If there is a God that made everything and if He did reveal Himself through the Bible we will very likely meet Him soon after we die.
For some this would be an unexpected turn of events. Some might have looked at the theory of evolution among other things and might have dismissed the scenario they will be facing at that moment.
I would imagine that one of the many questions that would raise itself at that moment would be how God then actually created everything since it had seemed that possibly everything came about by itself over billions of years and not in seven days.
God would then explain how it all came about.
At that point I guess some would argue that there was no way to have known that that is how it was done.
Upon which some kind of explanation would follow of how you could possibly have worked it out to some extent.
Because of this possibility I will try to write out one possible way I think it could have been done. This could be partially correct or completely wrong, however the point is not to prove it was done this way or that, but to show that there could be explanations harmonizing the creation account in Genesis with what scientists observe in terms of the geological record and DNA analysis of different organisms. The point is that it is not possible to dismiss the Biblical creation account completely out of hand. It could fit with what we observe and it could still turn out to be completely correct.
It is also important to note that like most theories the theory of evolution by natural selection gets adjusted over time as new discoveries are made. If you then step in a hundred years down the line it will appear that the theory is highly accurate since it fits so well with what is observed. However, there would be a circular reference to some extent since observations were used to adapt the theory. This is completely legitimate as you have to adjust theories based on evidence. It does though open you up to over adjustment and sticking with a theory longer than you should. However, until a better and acceptable theory comes along the current best one gets adjusted.
Some theories are not acceptable to science. There might be nothing wrong with them but because of societal bias at a given time in history the theory will not be considered. A theory involving God will not be acceptable at the moment although technically it cannot be dismissed. A theory involving life arriving at earth via comets on the other hand, although a fringe theory, is just about acceptable.
To say that we limit ourselves to only testable theories is not always wise. There may be a lot of things that exist that might not be testable. We think dark matter exists. We are trying to establish what it is. It might turn out that we are unable to do so due to the nature of it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that we cannot theorize about it.
In fact, anything is possible. Nothing is precluded. Our universe could be existing inside another completely different world with different laws we cannot even understand or describe. Ours could be anything - it could even be a simulated world or a projection or really anything.
From observing the laws of our universe, it seems clear that it had an origin. It has not always existed. One could maybe argue that it is an eternal oscillation. However even that logically has to have had an origin.
What could have originated it? We know we exist so something did. This question has an answer. However, the answer is likely not in our universe. It has to be outside it.
Some will then say that you have the question just removed one level out. So, if our origin is outside our universe then what was the origin of that? And in turn of that and so on into eternity. Some then say that since you have this n level question lets rather only stick to our universe.
That though is simply an arbitrary decision based on nothing. It is like fishes in a fish tank deciding to not consider anything beyond the fish tank as they cannot see beyond the room they are in and who knows what is beyond that and so on.
The fact that we exist means that there is an answer. It seems highly unlikely to be in our universe. So likely outside of it. The different laws applicable there could answer the n levels question and reduce it to 1 or something else.
Theories sometimes gets dropped when more evidence comes to light, it is entirely possible that as the genomes of most living things gets mapped and as the nature of life, how it works, gets understood more fully, that the theory of evolution by natural selection and basically random events only becomes untenable. You may die today convinced by science that there was no outside intervention during evolution. However, fifty years from now scientific opinion may change long after your death. Too late for you. You were born at the wrong time.
The scientific community once held that life arises spontaneously from decaying meat and other biological material. It was a widely held view until it was disproved by way of some ingenious experiments. At the time you would have been viewed dimly if you went against the theory. After all everyone could see maggots etc appearing from decaying meat. The evidence was there for all to see.
Today this theory has been debunked. Only one version has remained and that is the theory that life arose spontaneously not from decaying biological material but from some kind of special starting conditions that existed on the early earth. The reasoning goes that although the chances for this happening is infinitesimally small, given the many possible starting positions in the universe, it was bound to have happened somewhere and since we are here - well it happened here.
Projects like the minimal genome project has illustrated that even the most basic life form that you could possibly create, that could only exist in a special growth medium in a lab, has around 382 genes. These equate to a few hundred thousand base pairs of DNA. The chance that this could arise in some form or the other is zero. Zero times any amount of locations in the universe or universes would remain zero.
Actually, the minimal number of genes needed for life varies depending on the bundle of genes however it is in this range.
There are attempts to come up with intermediary forms between non-life and life as we know it. Nothing conclusive has been established in this area. One problem being that even if you could come up with a developmental pathway in some kind of simulation it would be another step entirely to work out whether it actually happened that way.
This then brings me to another concept. In the current classical evolutionary theory some events like mutations are deemed as entirely random events. These are then filtered out by natural selection so that only neutral and beneficial traits are retained and accumulated drifting the whole genome into certain directions.
The question here to consider is - how could you determine the difference between a random mutation and a directed change by a higher intervening power?
Now add to this the possibility that random mutations also take place from time to time along with other events that can bring about random change.
What if the process of natural selection has been designed into the mix deliberately?
So now and then a higher power, God in this case, intervenes shifting the genome in certain directions deliberately and sometimes the genome drifts and radiates on auto pilot. Sometimes genes might even be “copied” (recreated) by God from one line to another as needed. Lineages could even be started by God causing you to not have a single root node evolutionary tree but a multi start node evolutionary tree.
So, what would be a smoking gun that points to this possibility. Well a highly ordered complex outcome as we see today would be one. Another would be high percentages of shared genes between very remotely related organisms pointing to the fact that the common ancestor had to have had a very high percentage of the genes of the descendants although it is supposed to have been very primitive. Like the first bilaterians that had to have had lots of the genes that we have today for eye development because we share them with distantly related octopuses.
Here the Computer Science concept of reuse has to be explained. A good programmer always tries to reuse components. You don’t reinvent and make the wheel twice. You create it once and then forever after you reuse it everywhere you can, slightly adjusting it now and then as the need arises. Somebody from a biological approach might think your code must share a common ancestor because different branches use the same core components. However actually you copied and pasted the components between projects.
In our case God could intervene now and then in the evolutionary process and cause deliberate mutations or changes in the genome that would result in the same or similar components arising in different lineages if they could not have a common ancestor.
So why build a world in such an elaborate way. Why not just say “hey presto” and there it is?
Well for that please read some of the other articles on this site dealing with the why behind life the universe and everything. To reach the goals God wanted to reach that was not an option.
If God is outside our universe, time is also not an obstacle. You could simply fast forward time to the next point you wanted to intervene at. You could even rewind time if you wanted to.
To better explain this, it would be like playing SimCity. I used to play it on the computer while at school. You would start building a small city on the computer in the game. Lay out roads. Designate zones. Put up plants and infrastructure. Then you would let the time run. It ran much faster than your own time. You could cover decades in a few minutes. Now and then you would intervene. Build more plants. Rezone certain areas and watch your changes take effect.
If you asked someone in the game how much time passed they would have said decades even centuries. If you asked me the player I would have said an hour or two. In some computer games you can pause the game while making adjustments and then let it run free to see the results of your design choices. Sometimes in some computer games you can even decide how much to accelerate time. So, in the end the ratio between game time and player time has no fixed correlation.
This then brings us to the Genesis creation timeline. In it everything is created in six days and God rests on the seventh day. It is possible that the seven days are related to God’s timeline and not at all to what an observer on earth would have experienced. Whoever narrated the account may have been allowed to observe God as He was busy with creation, narrating the high-level milestones as they were achieved and observing God’s day count. Just like as if the person was allowed to watch me play SimCity. He would have written that in one day I built 10 cities. In game play time though unbeknownst to him it would have covered hundreds of years’ worth of events
God could even have worked on multiple timelines. Spinning up the universe from a big bang like event and putting it through 10+ billion years of time in a split second of his time and then transferring earth from some kind of primordial universe like scenario into the one he spun up in order to put it into a safe location with a moon, sun and stars. All effortlessly in his fourth day.
Therefore, it is possible that from God’s perspective creation took six days literally and He rested one day. The seventh in His time. In our timeline those six days could have covered billions of years and the seventh day could have been one day or several. It could be that all of human history since then is all still taking place in day one of the next week of God’s timeline.