The Edmond Sun


October 28, 2013

A new creation story to ponder in the cosmos

EDMOND — We need a new creation myth, one that draws on new science instead of Babylonian science, one that sees science as revelation rather than as humanism, one that helps us to visualize our place in the universe rather than to be transported out of it, one that encourages us to care for and marvel at creation instead of subduing and dominating it.

Such a myth might go something like this:

In the beginning, there was mystery. And in the mystery there was a seed, so tiny that it could not be seen with the naked eye. In that seed, particles and anti-particles were packed in a soup that was infinitely dense and infinitely hot, more than a trillion degrees. They would become all the matter and energy in the cosmos.

It is 14 billion years ago. In an instant, billions of quarks and antiquarks annihilated each other and the surviving quarks and dark matter exploded out of the seed and expanded, creating space and time. Almost at once, the seed expanded to the size of a galaxy and continued to expand.

It is 100 seconds after the cosmic seed exploded. As the universe expanded and cooled, protons and neutrons formed helium nuclei. This fusion into helium nuclei created another explosion that filled the universe with hydrogen and most of the helium there ever will be.

The elementary forces of the universe were present from the beginning. These forces were gravity, which would govern the relation of the galaxies to stars and the stars to planets, and electromagnetic, nuclear and subnuclear forces, which would govern the relation of atomic nuclei and atoms.

It is now 100 million years after the cosmic seed exploded. Gravity began to exert its pull over hydrogen and helium atoms. Denser regions stopped expanding and started falling together. The hydrogen and helium atoms bonded to form halos that became stars. The stars exploded and sprayed stardust across the universe. The stardust gathered into smaller stars that traveled together and formed galaxies, including a galaxy later known as the Milky Way. This galaxy produced 100 billion stars, including the Sun, which was formed six billion years ago. One of the planets traveling around the Sun was the Earth, which was formed 4.5 million years ago.

For the first billion years of its existence, the Earth was inhospitable to life. It had no oxygen. It was a mixture of rocky materials, metals and trapped gases. It was bombarded by meteoroids and asteroids. Its surface was molten. As the Earth cooled, the water vapor that had accumulated in the atmosphere fell in torrential rains that lasted millions of years, creating the oceans.

It is three billion years ago. Life on Earth began when complex organic molecules formed. It is the Age of Bacteria. They developed a primitive form of photosynthesis, which absorbed sunlight, converted it into carbohydrates and released oxygen.

It is two billion years ago. Multi-celled bacteria began to form, which evolved into plants and fish in the sea. The fish evolved into amphibians, which in turn became egg-laying reptiles and birds.

It is 225 million years ago. Some of these reptiles and birds grew to enormous proportions and became dinosaurs. The first mammals were small, rodent-like creatures that remained hidden because they were prey for the dinosaurs. Seed-bearing and flowering plants developed.

The dinosaurs flourished for 160 million years. They died and became extinct when a large asteroid hit the Earth and created a dust storm that blocked the Sun’s rays, killing many plants that were the food supply for the dinosaurs.

It is 50 million years ago. The death of the dinosaurs allowed mammals to come out of hiding and to grow larger and to populate the land regions of the Earth.

It is four million years ago. The great apes emerged. Their brains were large enough to give them cognitive capacities that exceeded other species of animals. They could teach their young through mimesis and episodic memory.

It is 400,000 years ago. A species of homo sapiens differentiated from the great apes. They gathered into small bands of hunter-gatherers. As their diet became more stable, their brains grew in size and they developed the capacity for language, which enabled them to communicate verbally and to create myths and legends.

The creative power of the universe imparted this wisdom to humans: “This is your home. Care for the garden; help it flourish and grow. You have the freedom to shape your destiny or to destroy yourselves.

“Be mindful of your place in the universe. Remember that you are recycled material. You are the descendants of the stardust that was produced by the explosion of stars, the bacteria that enabled photosynthesis, the first rodent-like mammals that remained in hiding in the age of the dinosaurs, and the great apes that first demonstrated cognitive powers. These are your kin.

“You are the consciousness of the universe. You have the power of creativity that comes from God. Life is an adventure. Be creative.

“Whenever you look in awe and wonder on the levels of the universe and their beauty, their complexity, and their serendipitous creativity, praise God and give thanks that you are alive to witness this.”

And the evolution of the universe continues.DON HEATH is pastor of Edmond Trinity Christian Church. He may be reached at

Text Only
  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

  • oil infographic[1].png Easy on the coconut oil

    These days, it seems like coconut oil is soaking up credit for its positive affect on a wide range of health conditions. But, still developing science around the popular oil tells a little different story.
    “We know all saturated fats are not created equally, but there’s no evidence that coconut oil is better or healthier than other vegetable oils,” said Janice Hermann, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Easter 4e.JPG Moms Club finds Easter fun at Fountains at Canterbury

    The Fountains at Canterbury hosted members of the Moms Club of Edmond-West Tuesday morning for a Easter egg hunt and party complete with a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Residents at the Fountains at Canterbury hid several dozen eggs filled with prizes and candy for the children. The Moms Club of Edmond-West is a nonprofit, local chapter of stay-at-home moms who aim to support each other during the day.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • New study counters pot legalization argument

    A new study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences, a researcher says.
    Researchers say the findings suggest recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

    April 15, 2014