Can This Class Be Saved? Bible Course Says Einstein's Theory of Relativity Backs Up Genesis Creation Story

by Dan Quinn

Christian Creationists believe the Bible’s Genesis story of creation — that God created life, Earth and the rest of the universe in six days — is literally true. That certainly is not the belief of all or even most Christians (or Jews). Even so, SMU biblical scholar Mark Chancey points out that the new Bible curriculum from Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit created by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, would teach public school students that science actually backs up the Genesis creation story.

From Chancey’s review of The Book: The Bible’s History, Narrative and Impact:

At one point, Albert Einstein makes a surprising appearance to shore up a biblical story’s seeming inconsistency. To reconcile Genesis’s description of the creation of light on the first day of creation with the fact that the sun is not created until day four, the book appeals to the Theory of Relativity: Because “energy and mass are equivalent and transmutable” and “all matter is also energy,” then “could it be that creation begins with the advent of energy?” Such reasoning, it suggests, “seems to correlate nicely with the Big Bang Theory of creation, a mighty explosion releasing tremendous amounts of energy.” The section closes by asking, “Could it be that light on day one refers to the initial energy [of the Big Bang] released into our cosmos?” This is obviously an impossible interpretation to attribute to the authors of Genesis or to any readers before 20th-century scientists developed the Big Bang theory. Its function is to attempt to reconcile a six-day creation and modern science, an urgent concern for religious communities that associate the Bible’s authority with its complete accuracy.

Chancey reviewed the new curriculum for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. Click here for the review, Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum, and his other reports on public school Bible courses for the TFN Education Fund.

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