A Long Time Ago Only One Type Of Animal Existed Thoughts on the Age of the Universe?

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Thoughts on the Age of the Universe?

There are two established schools of thought about the age of the universe. The scientific view is that the universe expanded from a single point with a ‘big bang’ that occurred about 14 billion years ago. The alternative view is that advanced by fundamentalist Christians who claim that there was a creation process as described in the Hebrew scriptures and dates back to about 4000 BC, making the earth about 6000 years old. With such a great divergence of opinion, it seems unlikely that any agreement can be possible, but the issue may revolve around the definition of existence. What is known about the universe is entirely the product of human consciousness, and this has only been awakened in the last thousands of years. Can something be said to exist if no conscious being is aware of it?

The problem concerned philosophers in the eighteenth century. Bishop George Berkeley is said to have wondered if the tree in the square existed when no one was looking. The bishop solved the problem by saying that the tree’s existence was guaranteed by being constantly perceived by God’s eye. Perhaps Christian fundamentalists can accept the bishop’s view and admit that the universe may have existed in God’s perception long before it was perceived by human beings. In this case, the Genesis creation story corresponds to the awakening of human consciousness, with Adam being asked to name the plants and animals.

Scientists have often said that attributing actions to God explains everything and explains nothing. God can be used to account for anything that is not understood, but it remains not understood. Everything known about the universe has been observed, measured and recorded by a human being. The reality of the universe is the sum total of human knowledge. It is constantly expanding Like the physical universe of the astrophysicists, and its point of origin, its big bang, was the birth of human consciousness. By this reasoning, dinosaurs, for example, came into existence when their fossils were found and interpreted by paleo-biologists.

It is difficult to put a date on the birth of consciousness, but the recording of the natural world seems to have begun with paintings found in caves in France, Spain and Indonesia dated to about 40,000 years ago. Detailed and reliable records, however, could not have been produced until after the invention of writing, and this occurred in Mesopotamia around 3200 BC, or about 800 years after the biblical creation date. Written language brought the possibility of recording and communicating the knowledge of the universe and made it possible to pass much more from generation to generation than was possible before. By placing the date of creation at 4000 BC, the authors of Genesis may have been looking just before this important advance. If the tree was only there when someone was looking at it, now that experience could be recorded forever and the tree of knowledge could exist forever.

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