The Genesis CodeFebruary 19, 2011
There is a new movie being aggressively marketed to evangelicals in the U.S. called “The Genesis Code”. It features such notables as Ernest Borgnine and Fred Thompson (the former Republican presidential hopeful). The movie appears to center around a budding romance between a young Christian girl and a hockey jock. The jock rejects Christianity because he can’t get past the irreconcilable differences between Genesis and modern science. The girl enlists her lab coat-wearing brother to come up with a solution.
I wish I could tell you that the solution was the discovery that Genesis addresses similar themes as other ancient near eastern origins legends and was never meant as a scientific description of the material origins of the universe. Nope. The solution, dubbed the “Genesis Code”, is that Genesis turns out to be scientifically accurate after all. When Genesis says that God made the world in 6 days, it really means that God made the world over 15.75 billion years. That’s right, modern science and Genesis are telling the exact same story and science is only now catching up to what the biblical author already knew.
Now, to be fair, I haven’t watched the movie, which was just released. But there are several trailers on the movie’s Youtube account and they include the following clip which contains an explanation of the “Genesis Code”:
For anyone with a basic working knowledge of modern science, the above video was probably enough to make you want to put your fist through your screen. But it went a little fast (as is necessary for good slight of hand), so let me attempt to break it down.
The Time Frames
For some reason, the movie pretends that the age of the Universe is 15.75 billion years old. I have no idea where they’re getting this. Current estimates are 13.7 ± 0.13 billion years. It’s hard not to suspect that the numbers were fudged to make the math work.
In order to cram 15.75 billion years into 6 days, the movie appears to be taking the idea proposed by D. Russell Humphreys in his 1994 book, “Starlight & Time” that if our galaxy were in the center of the universe (we have no reason to think it is) general relativity could distort time such that, while only 6 days were passing on earth, billions of years were passing out on the edges of the universe. If this doesn’t sound right to you, you’re not alone. Dr. Humphreys’ hypothesis has been uniformly criticized. Even old earth creationist Hugh Ross at Reasons To Believe has denounced the theory as “irremediably flawed” and “exhibit[ing] profound misunderstandings of relativity theory and cosmology.” According to Ross, “not one person competent in general relativity and cosmology theory who has examined Starlight and Time has given a ‘pass’ to this theory,” and even Humphreys himself has abandoned most of his central ideas.
Judging from the trailers, the movie presents these claims about time dilation without even a hint that they are controversial (to put it kindly).
In my next post, I will examine the claims made in the movie about how the 6 days (or “Passages of Time” as the movie calls them) match up to the scientific evidence.