[Haley Anne – Age 10]:
“Daddy, if God created all the animals in the seas instantly with the snap of his fingers then what about all the fossils?”
We Home School my oldest daughter Haley Anne.
And, we are assuming, of, course, God has fingers, and not flippers like a Dolphin. 1/
I get to teach Science on Friday’s. These are really great days. The best part is actually going to the Starbucks together off Bethany Road. I savor my Ice Vente Chai (and Haley Anne) and Haley Anne usually partakes of the biggest piece of coffee cake she can wheedle out of the guy behind the counter. We sit outside in the sun. I tell her stories – usually about myself when I was her age. She listens to me. She won’t be ten much longer. But, she also asks me loads of great questions. I hope she does that for the rest of her life.
The Home Schooling curriculum we use is provided by Veritas. This quarter we are studying Marine Life. Haley Anne wants to be a trainer at Marine Land or Sea World. She studies hard because now she knows she has to study Marine Biology at a good College. The textbook we are currently studying is “Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day” by Jeannie K. Fulbright.
Fulbright says that God created all of the animals in the oceans spontaneously. She also says that Carbon Dating is a hoax; we should ignore fossils because the earth is not billions of years old. The Bible infers that the world as we know it was spontaneously “created” over the course of seven days. The Bible is, at least, in my view, open to interpretation. But, Fulbright, and people like her, is potentially delusional, possibly ignorant – but, certainly a Christian.
I don’t plan on letting Haley Anne go to a great school only to sort out that her father was wrong, and foisted one-sided dogma on her. So, I considered launching into a dissertation around the ‘Space and Time Continuum’, ‘Quantum Physics’ and Star Trek. But, instead I said…
[Daddy – Age 46]:
“God is, well, probably pretty big. Different.”
Ironically, because I am a creature of this earth, and I am bound by physics that I can relate too, I want us to assume, for now, that He lives by (and created) rules that we won’t be able to comprehend until He shows us the ultimate Rosetta Stone 2/. I don’t like the driving theory behind Creationism. It’s difficult to substantiate and defies the discernment God imbued us with. It also reduces credibility around the Christian faith. And, there is nothing worse than a Christian on the defensive. They become less tolerant and more judgmental when they get insecure. Beyond our tiny solar system is a vast space created by a big God whose days might not look or track like ours. Our days relate to the son and it’s rotation 3/. God can probably see suns that are a lot bigger than ours and this might create longer days on other planets. His days might relate to something like a black hole.
So… Maybe his days are longer. Maybe his ‘day’ is equal to several millenniums 4/ in our reckoning. So, maybe that fifth day when he created the seas and dropped in all that amazing and complicated aquatic life occurred over the blink of a God’s eye that translates into millions of years for you and me.”
I walked Haley Anne through this. And, she listened to me.
Haley Anne will go College one day knowing that her Dad really loves her; wants her to get it; be able to think things through; have a global perspective; and, ask lots of terrific questions.
Brian Patrick Cork
1/ See “Image” by brian patrick cork dated 03/14/05.
2/ The Rosetta stone is a Ptolemaic era stele inscribed with the same passage of writing in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and demotic) and in classical Greek. It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the French in 1799 at Rosetta, and translated in 1822 by Frenchman Jean-François Champollion. Comparative translation of the stone assisted in understanding many previously undecipherable examples of hieroglyphic writing. The text of the Rosetta stone is a decree from Ptolemy V, describing the repealing of various taxes and instructions to erect statues in temples. The Stone is 114.4 centimeters high at its tallest point, 72.3 centimeters wide, and 27.9 centimeters thick (45.04 in. high, 28.5 in. wide, 10.9 in. thick). Weighing approximately 760 kg (1,676 pounds), it was originally thought to be granite or basalt but is currently described as granodiorite and is dark grey-pinkish in color. The Stone has been kept at the British Museum in London since 1802.
3/ Solar rotations vary because the sun is composed of gaseous plasma, and therefore lacks a fixed rotation rate. The rate of rotation is fastest at the equator (Latitude φ=0 deg), and decreases as latitude increases. The rotation rate is demonstrated by the equation:
where ω is the angular velocity in degrees per day, φ is the latitude and A and B are constants.
A=14.1844 deg/day (+/- 0.35)
B=-2.00 deg/day (+/- 0.48)
At the equator the solar rotation period is 25.38 days. This is called the sidereal rotation period, and should not be confused with the synodic rotation period of 27.2753 days, which is the time for a fixed feature on the sun to rotate to the same apparent position as viewed from earth. The synodic period is longer because the sun must rotate for a sidereal period plus an extra amount due to the orbital motion of the earth around the sun.
4/ The term Millennia can also refer to an interval of time beginning on any date. Frequently in the latter case (and sometimes also in the former) it may have religious or theological implications (see Millenarianism). Especially in religious usage, such an interval may be interpreted less precisely, being not necessarily exactly 1,000 years long.