In the 1990’s Dr. D. Russell Humphreys came out with his theory on the origin of the universe.
Dr. Humphreys is an award-winning physicist retired from the U.S. government installation at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. He is also a biblical young-earth creationist.
He became famous for correctly predicting how strong the magnetic fields would be for the planets Uranus and Neptune before the space probes got there to measure them. By contrast, NASA’s predictions were nearly a million times off! In 2008, Humphreys accurately predicted the weakening of the magnetic field of the planet Mercury from 1975 to then. He is a solid scientist and also a Bible-believing Christian gentleman.
When he was working on his theory of the universe, Dr. Humphreys decided to let the Scriptures guide him in his thinking. He saw that in many places (like in Job 26:7) the Bible talks about God “stretching out the heavens” during the creation week mentioned in the book of Genesis.
Humphreys realized that if this was true, then it could solve one of the greatest problems in astronomy for the creationists. We had always wondered: if the world is only 6000 years old, how is it that we can see stars and galaxies that are thousands, or millions, of light-years away.
Shouldn’t it take thousands or millions of years of time for the light to get from there to here, for us to be able to see it?
Creationist theories on the universe at that time had some pretty difficult problems associated with them. Humphreys discovered what he thought (and now most creationists believe) is the best explanation. God stretched space when he made the universe.
According to the Bible, God didn’t make the sun, the moon, the stars, or the other planets until day four of the creation week. Up to then, the only thing in the whole universe was planet Earth. So there was nothing yet that had very much gravity.
The gravity of Jupiter is more than twice as strong as Earth’s. The sun’s gravity is 25 times stronger. Albert Einstein said that gravity can slow down time, and many years later he was proven right. He also said that anyone who is moving through space at near the speed of light will also experience time being slowed down for them.
Both these proven facts of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity can be shown to go hand-in-hand with both the Bible and with Humphreys’ theory on the universe.
Here’s how his theory works.
- At first, there was very little gravity anywhere in space, since Earth was the only thing that had been made yet.
- Time would have gone along quite normally as long as only Earth was there.
- But on Day Four, suddenly God made all of the stars and the galaxies with all of their huge amount of gravity.
Now, according to Einstein, gravity makes a kind of a dent in space, a lot like a bowling ball in the middle of a trampoline. Inside this dent caused by gravity, time will go slower.
Earth would have been like a marble on the trampoline, hardly making a dent in the fabric of space-time at all. Galaxies full of stars would be much heavier and would have much greater gravity.
Think about the example of the trampoline again. All the new gravity sources on day four would pull the fabric of space-time down far more deeply. This would be like putting ten bowling balls on the trampoline all at once.
This next part is not hard to understand; it’s just hard to believe. But the math and the physics and the astronomy all work out correctly.
If the “trampoline” of space is pulled down far enough, then time will slow down so much (because of the gravity) that it will actually stop. So, time stopped everywhere on Day Four of the universe.
Then why do we have time today?
The answer is simple. God kept stretching out the universe.
Let’s go back to the trampoline. If you put ten bowling balls on it, the center might become so heavy it might sag far enough down to touch the ground. This is like time coming to a halt.
But if God is continually “stretching out the heavens,” think of what would happen next. Imagine you got a large group of friends to all gather around the trampoline, and all of them grabbed around the edges, and all of them pulled as hard as they could. They might be able to pull it tight enough that the middle of it, bowling balls and all, would lift up off of the ground. This would represent time being hoisted back into operation on the stretched-out fabric of space in the universe.
Now which part of the trampoline will get back up off the ground first? It will be the areas farthest from the center. Which part will finally come up off the ground last? It will be the very center itself.
Creationists make one unprovable assumption at this point: that our Earth is someplace near the center of the universe. This would mean that time would have started back up again around the edges of the universe first, because of God stretching it from around the edges.
When time started back up at the edges first, the light from all of the galaxies at the edges would have immediately taken off (at the speed of light) in all directions. Meanwhile, Earth is still stuck in the center where time is yet standing still. The light would have had plenty of “time” to get from there to here before time began again at our location, nearer the center of the “trampoline” of space.
So, if true, it really did take millions of years of space-time for the light from the other galaxies to get here to Earth. But meanwhile, no time had passed on Earth, since the stretching had not yet pulled Earth and its neighboring stars up out of the “time dent” yet. All this time would have occurred on Earth’s day four from the vantage point of our place near the center part of the universe.
Thinking Differently About Time Itself
This might seem pretty complicated. The reason for that is that we are not used to thinking about time the way it really must be.
We only experience it from our own point of view.
- What about God’s point of view?
- What about the point of view of the universe?
Which way is the true way? God says in his Word, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Jesus said, “before Abraham was, I am.” Both these statements are confusing to us. It almost sounds like Jesus made a grammar mistake when he said that!
Time is different for God because he is eternal. He is infinite.
We are not infinite. That is why we have trouble even understanding the meaning of his words in either of these statements.
If time means nothing to God, then Jesus is dying on the cross at Calvary … right now. What does that mean?
Maybe it would be easier to think of time being like a huge history timeline on paper. Then Jesus could be seen dying on the cross “over there” in time, while we are looking at our timeline “over here.”
Big Picture Experience
Here’s another way to think of it. Time for us is like watching a parade through a hole in a wooden fence. Time for God is like watching the parade from a traffic helicopter. He sees the beginning and the ending, both at the same “time.” If we can think of time in this way, then just maybe we can get a tiny part of our thinking right about how God made the universe when he did.
From everything that we can learn from the infallible Scriptures and from the proven sciences, Dr. Humphreys’ explanation has become the best one that goes along with confirming what we see both in Scripture and in science.