I’ve always been an applied physics kind of guy. My degree is in engineering and my career is in industry. Recently, though, I’ve been reading The Elegant Universe to expand my nerd-horizons.
One concept that struck me was the effect of speed and gravity on time. Basically: The greater the speed and the stronger the gravity, the slower the passage of time. So, if you’re standing “still” and I run by you, time is moving slower for me. (Yes, I know the speeds need to be much faster to make any real difference, but it’s still true.) Similarly, if you stay on Earth and I go hang out on Mercury, my time would again be moving slower (due to the warping of space-time caused by the Sun).
The reason this concept seems so counter-intuitive is obvious to me now: We all live on the same planet and move around at relatively slow speeds. We have no concept of how life would change if we took a vacation to the event horizon of a black hole, or if we traveled at 99% of the speed of light for a while. Our intuition is based completely on circumstances unable to demonstrate the variable nature of time.
In any case, my thought was this: If we can accept that time changes based on how you are moving and what masses are warping the space you’re in (i.e., what gravity you’re experiencing), why doesn’t this play a role in discussions about the Creation story in Genesis? Whether or not you believe in God or the Bible isn’t my point; it’s that when discussing even the idea of a being creating the universe in a certain amount of time, you have to consider how fast he was moving and how warped was his space.
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