Old World Secular View Point versus New World View Point on Creation
The Nebula Hypothesis was one of the earliest efforts to explain the origin of the earth and the entire solar system. The hypothesis contradicts various aspects described in the six day creation theory, yet forms one of the most widely accepted solar system creation stories across the world. In the early days, the nebular hypothesis was considered more reliable as the story of formation of the solar system. In the ensuing paper, comparison is made between the nebular hypothesis and the six day creation story. The objective of the paper is to foster an understanding of the key characteristics of the two hypothesis and to determine the areas of similarity and differences between the two. The Nebular hypothesis forms the old earth viewpoint of the paper while the six day creation story forms the new earth view point. The two are similar to a slight extent but different both in scope and in assertions.
Old Earth Secular View Point: Nebular Hypothesis
The Nebular hypothesis was developed by Pierre Laplace in 1796 (Woolfson, 2000). The hypothesis was widely accepted then, as there was not much information pertaining to the formation of the Solar System. In Laplace’s argument, the earth initially comprised of a plenum which hosted the elements and various bodies. The plenum, was contained within a vacuum. The positioning of the plenum was such that it formed substrata across the universe. Each substratum contained bodies which were under constant motion and which were constantly reassembled and/ or dispersed through the stratum. The assembling was a result of attractive forces between the elements within the stratum while repulsive forces which occurred among the elements resulted in the separation of the bodies into their distinctive forces.
The Nebular hypothesis holds that the bodies within the plenum which included the earth, moon and the sun, were incapable of remaining stable unless they comprised of a combination of many elements. The planets were originally formed due to the attractive forces between elements close to the sun, but were later dispersed for greater distances from the sun to occupy more stable positions. The position of the hypothesis is such that the universe begins with chaos in terms of elemental positioning. The condensing of the elements around axes due to attractive forces caused the initial formation of the bodies. As elements condensed, the weight of the masses formed can be deduced to have caused the collapsing of the bodies, during which they spun much faster and flattened. According to Woolfson (2000), the flattening occurred around axes, adapted lenticular forms as they aligned with equatorial materials and settled in the current positioning of the different planets.
New Earth View Point: The Six Day Creation Story
The six day creation story as adapted from the Bible, also begins with the universe in a void and formless. The story goes on to describe how the world and all its contents were created through words. The story is centered on an almighty being, who is described to be spiritual. From the first day, the creation was such that each of the bodies of the universe and all that the universe contains were created through speeches. The story goes further to described how the plant and animal life in the universe were created, and eventually concludes with the creation of mankind on the sixth day. The creation story purposes to provide clarification of the universe’s being, not only the making of the universal bodies but also an explanation of their impacts on the lives of plants and animals in the world.
The six day creation story, describes the universal power in a way that no other creation story portrays. For instance, the story not only describes how the bodies and other phenomena were created in the world but also how they would be sustained through the coming years. It provides evidence that the creation of the universe is self- sustaining based on the roles that each of the elements and the lives in the universe are to play. Furthermore, the story tells of how the various bodies were separated from each other, not through the repulsive forces but through the speech of the creator. From this perspective, it is clear that the six day creation story calls for faith and understanding more than it calls for scientific proof.
Comparison of View Points
One of the major similarities between the viewpoints is their description of the earth before the formation of the different bodies and the forms of life on the earth. Abruzzo (n.d), in his description of the Nebular hypothesis, asserts that the bodies were contained in a plenum, which floated in a vacuum. Woolfson (2000) adds that the universe began with a chaotic mix of elements. In Genesis 1:2 (King James Version), the universe is described to have been void and without form. The vacuum described by Abruzzo is similar to the status of the universe in the six day story (void). At the same time, the lack of form depicted in the six day story relates to the chaos described in the nebular hypothesis. As such, the descriptions of the universe as represented in the two stories are similar. Furthermore, the planets or bodies are described to have been in almost the same location across the two stories.
In the nebular hypothesis, all the bodies were initially formed around the sun and only later dispersed. The six day creation story tells of how God separated the sky from the earth and also separated the bodies into those that shine during the day and those that shine at night.
Contrasts between the View Points
While there are few similarities between the two stories, the differences are clearer. The key difference between the two stories is in the mode of formation of the earth as described in the two stories. In the old earth secular view point, the universe was created automatically due to the combination of various elements that were initially floating in the vacuum that was in the universe. On the other hand, the six day creation story tells the narrative of a universe created through the words of a creator. The creation story therefore depicts an all-powerful creator capable of giving commands to nature. It is therefore expected that the six day creation story should provide a more complete narrative compared to the nebular hypothesis. This completeness is observed in the extent of creation described in the six day creation story. Contrary to the nebular hypothesis which provides the universal creation just to the point of dispersal of the bodies, the six day creation story completes the creation narrative.
The story provides an overview of not only how the solar system came into being as depicted by the nebular hypothesis, but also how the features of the solar system were built into it. The creation story tells of how the waters were separated from the dry land masses as well as how various living organisms found their way into the world. It goes further to explain how men came into being. Many other differences exist between the old world secular view point and the new world view point. The existence of the universe. Based on the observed differences, many critics have questioned the validity of the old world view point. For instance, Thomas (2011) reports on some of the criticisms which asks the source of the initial debris that formed the elements. The Biblical story on the other hand clearly states that nothing was in existence before the creation and that all creation was accomplished through the word of God.
The old world secular view point describes the formation of the universe as does the new world six day creation theory. The two stories attempt to explain how the world was created out of formless vacuum to its present state. While the two stories agree about the condition of the universe prior to creation and the distinction between different bodies and their positions in the universe, there are various differences between them. The old world hypothesis for instance asserts that the world was created from existing elements without indicating the initial origin of the first elements. On the other hand, the new world story talks of a world created through the words of an all-powerful God. The two also differ in the scope of creation depicted, in that the nebular hypothesis narrates the creation of the universal bodies alone while the six day creation theory narrates the creation of the universe and all in it.
Abruzzo, A.J.N (n.d). The origins of the nebular hypothesis or the genesis of a theoretical Cul- de –Sac. The General Science Journal. Retrieved from http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Research%20Papers-Astrophysics/Download/1166
The Bible. (2011). King James Version. Biblica.
Thomas, B. (2011). NASA data derail nebular hypothesis. Institute for Creation Research. Retrieved from www.icr.org/article/6223/
Woolfson, M. (2000). The origin and evolution of the solar system. Astronomy and Geophysics, 41(1): 1.12- 1.19. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/41/1/1.12/182262/The-origin-and-evolution-of-the-solar-system