The Science of Timelessness

Is God Eternal? Part 3

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Einstein’s Theory of Relativity gave us that one simple equation that not only explains how creation begins, but how motion relates to timelessness and to the beginning of the universe.

The letter c is always the speed of light. The letter m is always the mass of matter. The letter E is pure energy. What this equation really means is quite simple. Everything, all matter in the universe, is equal to energy. All matter comes from pure energy, and all matter is held together by energy. There are two ways to convert matter to energy.

Breaking atomic nucleic apart or fusing them converts a very small amount of matter to a great deal of energy. The fission bomb dropped on Hiroshima was called Little Boy. It yielded the blast equivalent of 15 kilotons of TNT, also known as trinitrotoluene. Alfred Nobel who created the Nobel Prize invented TNT. The fission bomb that dropped on Nagasaki was called Fat Man and yielded the blast equivalent of 21 kilotons of TNT.

The efficiency of these nuclear devices is measured by what percent of fission material is actually converted to energy. Little Boy converted less than 2 lbs of the original 141 lb of uranium to energy. It was less than 2% efficient. Fat Man converted 2.2 lbs of the original 13.6 lbs of plutonium to energy. It was 16% efficient.

Those small amounts of matter converted entirely to energy caused terrible devastation of those Japanese cities. Each bomb weighed in just near the 10,000 lb mark. Imagine we could somehow convert not just the fission material to pure energy, but all of Fat Man’s weight. It would result in a 95,454 kiloton TNT-equivalent blast!

Scale that to the size of the Earth, then the Sun, and then the entire mass of the Milky Way Galaxy, and you start to acquire great respect for the awesome amount of energy that must be in the mass of the universe. I dare say that number is too large to be calculated.

We are going to discuss energy being turned into mass in the next part. First, we need to discuss how Einstein’s equation relates to timelessness.

Einstein predicted that time was not constant. It varied between two objects depending on their relative velocities. Satellites circle the earth at great speeds relative to the rotation speed of the surface even if it is hovering over the same spot on earth. Even if we are standing still on the surface, we are in fact moving as the earth rotates and day becomes night and then day again.

Each satellite has a clock which must be constantly corrected to match the time to the surface of the earth. Without constant adjustment, GPS satellites would quickly, even within a day, be totally off. Navigation and location data would be wrong for every device that was listening to the satellites beacon.

It turns out that the time dilation equation which is derived from Einstein’s equation will precisely calculate the passage of time between objects. The faster an object travels toward the speed of light, the slower time passes for it. Let’s look at a classic example.

Say you have two identical twin brothers. One is an astronaut. He travels to and from a distant galaxy while his brother remains on Earth. If he travels to a distance galaxy at 50% of the speed of light, only 8.6 years would pass for him while 10 years would elapse for his brother. If he traveled at 99% of the speed of light, only 1.4 years would pass for his brother’s 10 years. Traveling at 99.999 999 999 999 999 999 9% of the speed of light, only 0.004 seconds would pass for him while his brother aged 10 years.

If the astronaut pushes on and reaches the speed of light, the time dilation equation reveals that there is no passage of time. All times for the astronaut become the same respectively for his brother. As the brother ages, the astronaut twin would remain the same.

You see an important mathematical concept now proves the timelessness of God. He describes himself as light. He is the light of the world. He calls himself “I AM” because all times are the same for him. Light is pure energy. And God’s first creative act occurred when he said “Let there be light.” This is not just a philosophical statement. It is mathematically correct.

Now we turn to what that means for the beginning of the universe. When God created light, I believe it burst forth as pure energy which he converted to mass by the power of his Word. In one fell swoop, God created physical light, the light of truth, and the substance that makes up all the universe we can ever see.

The Big Bang theory is a perfect description of God’s creative act. Any scientist who asks himself what caused all the matter to form in one spot at incalculable temperatures and expanding at a speed such that the universe reached 95% of its present size in well under a second is biased to disbelief in God.

There is no power known, atomic or subatomic, that could leap high enough over the required threshold to then result in the creative event that caused our universe. To think otherwise unfortunately makes the most brilliant scientist foolish and infantile.

Ex. 3:13 (ESVS)   Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

C. S. Lewis didn’t have our present mathematical knowledge and understanding when he finally grasped that God was timeless. Neither did countless people in all the time since creation. But they knew God heard all their voices because he had all the time in the world. For God, all times are now.