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MODERATOR Posted - 11 September 2005 14:11
Regarding answering scientists and those who have blinf faith in them about the age of the world, first, just like the flaw in their "vestigial organ" logic, the entire concept of measuring the age of the world the way the scientsts do is based on the assuption that the world was not created by a Creator. But if you say that the world was created the way the Torah tells us it was, that is, a full-blown world, complete with starts visible in the sky, ful-grown trees and animals (and a human), a totally, fully developed and mature world, then their logic falls apart.

Because wHen the world was created, it already had an age. In other words, when Adam for instance was created, he was an adult, even though he was one day old; there were fully grown trees; the sun's light already reached the earth; an entire world existed, full-blown and OLD. How old was the world at the moment it was created? I dont know -- it doesnt say. But we do know that it didnt start from scratch. And so lets say a "scientist" would chop down a tree 1 week after it was created and find maybe 50 rings insude - would that prove that the tree was 50 years old? To the scientists it would, and the "tree ring" concept is used as one of their "proofs" that the world is over 6,000 years old. But the truth is it prove no such thing, becuase when the tree was created it was created as an adult, 50 year old tree.

So even if dating would be accurate, it still doesnt prove that the world was not created 6,000 years ago - because when it was created, it already could have been thousands or millions of quardrillions of years old.

That is the first thing to understand when dealing with the "true believers" of science. But even if they will come up with somethgin that cannot be explained by the above, there is a Torah principle that you must know that has been used long before any of today's scientists orbttheir grandparents were born, that tells us that although the world was in fact created 6,000 years ago, we know that it possesses all and every characteristic of a world that is much, much older. The Torah actually expects scientific measurements of the age of the universe to return an age of much, much more than 6,000 years. ANd we have known this for centuries.

Says the Divrei Chaim (Chanuka p.45 col. 4), “The scientists found a star whose orbit takes 36,000 years, yet the world is only 6,000 years old, as is stated in Avodah Zorah (9a) – so did He create [this star] for nothing? So the scientists ask... However, I found in a sefer of a great man, who was of the holy ones in the days of the Arizal and perhaps even much earlier than that, who brings this question and answers: It is known that the universe was once in its most perfect state, but Adam corrupted it and caused a weakness in all of creation. And therefore, at the time of creation, if not for the sin of Adam our father, the movement (orbits) would have been fast; but now, because of the flaw caused by the Sin, the orbit has to wait 36,000 years. A similar idea is expressed by the Yaaros Dvash.”

The Divrei Chaim does not tell us the location of the Yaaros Dvash. But the Divrei Yoel (Simchas Torah p.613) identifies it as being in 2 places: Vol. I, Drush 1 and Drush 15. There, it quotes a Medrash (Rabbah 10:4) that before the Sin of Adam the Mazalos operated much more rapidly. After the Sin, the Mazalos operated much slower and longer. With this Medrash, he explains the fact that we pasken that both the opinion that the world was created in Nisan, and the opinion that the world was created in Tishri, are true. Says the Yaaros Dvash: because the Mazalos operated much more rapidly before the Sin, between the time the Mazalos were created on the 4th day, and the time Adam was created, on the 6th day, the Mazalos had already run their course from Nisan to Tishri.

So there you have it - the world was created only 6,000 years ago as it says in the Gemora, but according to Chazal’s statement about the pre-chet rapidity of the Mazalos, we would a measure of history to have transpired during the 6 days of creation that would currently take much, much longer than 6,000 years.

So of course the scientists are going to think the world is much older than 6,000 years. We expected they would “discover” that, long before these scientists were ever born. All the scientists are doing, if indeed their dating methods are accurate, is picking up the billions of years worth of events that transpired before the sin of Adam. But we know that all took a few days.
The mistake in their system is that they are not measuring the amount of time itself that occurred. They are identifying various events that already happened and are saying:

1) We measured the amount of time it would take this event to occur
2) And this event has already occurred
3) Therefore, the amount of time it would take to make it occur has already elapsed.

The flaw on that logic is that they only measured how much time it would take if those events would happen NOW, in the post-chet world. But since those events took place before the Chet, they took much less time, and so the occurrence of those events does not indicate the elapse of nearly as much time as the scientists think.
If they would find a way to measure time itself, meaning the amount of moments that transpired during the course of history, they would come up with 6,000 years.

taon Posted - 12 September 2005 1:34
similarly, in the sefer Birds of the Torah, Rabbi Pinchus Presworky quotes a Rashi to show that Hashem sped up creation, so things that would take millions of years to age to an age aged to that in 6 days
Jenny613 Posted - 18 September 2005 21:03
Ohhhh! Mod, this is my favorite topic!!

I really don't have time now, but IY"H when I get a chance I'll add my two cents to all the cool stuff you wrote, but for now, let me just say that anyone who is interested in this should read "Challange", which is a compilation of essays but Rabbanim such as Rav Shimon Schwab on the age of the universe and similar topics!

Have a good Shabbos everyone!!

Shtreimel Posted - 18 September 2005 21:19
BS"D

and once again i have come to the realization that i have been misled my whole life...

~Krechtz~

MODERATOR Posted - 01 December 2005 21:37
taon,

I am not familiar with that book. Can you please tell me what Rashi he is referring to?

Oxymoron Posted - 28 December 2005 1:08
This is all semantics, whether the world is 10 billion years old or 6,000. To say that Hashem sped up the development of the universe during Creation or to say that Hashem created an "old" world is not any different than saying that we have no idea how long the Sheshes Yimei Bereishis lasted, because -hey!- There was no solar system yet. Why should we presume that the amount of time between one "Vayehi Erev" and the next was the amount of time it takes for the earth to rotate 360 degrees? The planet might not have even been in orbit yet!
MODERATOR Posted - 28 December 2005 2:30
I dont know what youre saying - please explain why the following thigns are identical in meanign and only semantically expressied in differing ways:

(a) Hashem created the world in 6 literal days. When He created the world, it was a full-blown world.
(b) Hashem creawted the world in 6 literal days. Dring most of those days, that is, until Adam sinned, the world was much more energized than it was afterwards.
(c) Hashem created the world in 15 billion years.

They are not the same at all.

Regarding what you are saying about the first 3 days being coincidently the same length of time that it takes the earth to rotate, you are confusing the cause and the effect. Its not that a day is a day because thats how long it takes the earth to revolve; rather, the earth takes that long to revovle because Hashem said the light should last only during the "day". When Hashem created the world, there was a period of time that was "day" and a period of time that was "night". Then, on the fourth day, Hashem said that the sun should be employed during the time period called "day" and the stars during the time period called "night". The length of the day and night were not tailored to fit the path of the planets; the path of the planets were tailored to fit the length of day and night. And clearly, that is 24 hours. There is no indication that ever was any different.

What are you saying happened -- that the first 3 days were billions of years, and the next 3 days - after the planets were created - were only 24 hours? Why would anyone want to say such a strange thing? Why would the creation of planets and stars change the length of "yom"? How could anyone read that into what the Torah says? And why would someone want to?

The idea that without planets there is no 24 hour day and night was first understood to be an issue by Clarence Darrow, a 19th-century lawyer, during the Scopes "Monkey" trial. Here's a link and a transcript:

http://home.infostations.net/srm/athart1.htm

CLARENCE DARROW QUESTIONS WILLIAM Bryan: "Mr. Bryan, do you believe that everything in the bible should be literally interpreted?"
BRYAN: "Yes..absolutely."

DARROW: Do you claim that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?

BRYAN: I believe everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there. Some of the Bible is given illustratively; for instance, "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people. ....

DARROW: "Do you believe that the sun was literally made on the fourth day?"

BRYAN: "Of course, yes."

DARROW: "Well then, according to the bible story they had an evening and a morning the first three days without the sun."

DARROW: Do you think the earth was made in six days?

BRYAN: Not six days of twenty-four hours.

DARROW: Doesn't it say so?

BRYAN: No, sir.

DARROW: Does the statement "The morning and the evening were the first day" and "The morning and the evening were the second day" mean anything to you?

BRYAN: I do not think it necessarily means a twenty-four hour day.

DARROW: You do not?

BRYAN: No.

DARROW: Then when the Bible said, for instance, "And God called the firmament heaven, and the evening and the morning were the second day," that does not necessarily mean twenty-four hours?

BRYAN: I do not think it necessarily does.

DARROW: Do you think it does or does not?

BRYAN: I know a great many think so.

DARROW: What do you think?

BRYAN: I do not think it does.

DARROW: You think these were not literal days?

BRYAN: I do not think they were 24-hour days.

DARROW: What do you think about it?

BRYAN: That is my opinion -- I do not know that my opinion is better on that subject than those who think it does.

DARROW: You do not think that?

BRYAN: No. But I think it would be just as easy for the kind of God we believe in to make the earth in six days as in six years or in six million years or in six hundred million years. I do not think it important whether we believe one or the other.

DARROW: Do you think those were literal days?

BRYAN: My impression is they were periods, but I would not attempt to argue as against anybody who wanted to believe in literal days.

DARROW: Have you any idea of the length of the periods?

BRYAN: No I don't.

DARROW: Do you think the sun was made on the fourth day?

BRYAN: Yes.

DARROW: And they had evening and morning without the sun?

BRYAN: I am simply saying it is a period.

DARROW: They had evening and morning for four periods without the sun, do you think?

BRYAN: I believe in creation as there told, and if I am not able to explain it, I will accept it.

But these Christians were not Lamdanim and they did not think that Hashem fit the movement of the planets to match the day and not vice versa.

Your question, therefore, is like asking: Before clocks were invented, why would we believe that a day was 24 hours? How would the days know to end exactly when the clocks would say they do -- clocks werent even invented yet!

At the beginning of Kovetz Shiruim on Pesachim, Reb Elchonon brings up a question:

Tzais Hakochavim (the time when the new day begins) is defined as when the stars come out. But does this mean that the emergence of the stars cause the status of Tzais HaKochavim, or that the stars do not cause Tzais HaKochavim, but merely are a sign that the new day has arrived - like a giant clock, which certainly does not cause cause midnight, but merely chimes when midnight has arrived?

His conclusion: The stars are merely signs of the next day, but do not cause the next day. His proof: The stars were created on the 4th day, but it says "vayehi erev vayehi voker" on the first 3 days as well. To wit: Stars measure the days, they do not make them.

Oxymoron Posted - 29 December 2005 3:48
<i>Regarding what you are saying about the first 3 days being coincidently the same length of time that it takes the earth to rotate, you are confusing the cause and the effect. Its not that a day is a day because thats how long it takes the earth to revolve; rather, the earth takes that long to revovle because Hashem said the light should last only during the "day". When Hashem created the world, there was a period of time that was "day" and a period of time that was "night". Then, on the fourth day, Hashem said that the sun should be employed during the time period called "day" and the stars during the time period called "night". The length of the day and night were not tailored to fit the path of the planets; the path of the planets were tailored to fit the length of day and night. And clearly, that is 24 hours. There is no indication that ever was any different.

What are you saying happened -- that the first 3 days were billions of years, and the next 3 days - after the planets were created - were only 24 hours? </i>


Rav Moderator,

I respect that your approach is viable. But what makes it necessarily the only apporach? I'm interested to know who you're quoting.

I understand that "yom" is a Hebrew word, and that Lashon Hakodesh predates Bereishis, and that therefore it would be a dangerous proposition to suggest that the definition is relative depending on whether it refers to a "Yom" during creation or after.

But how do we really define "yom"?

According to Halachha, the timespan of twenty-fours hours is irrelevent. It's from one "erev" to the following "erev." Using Shaos Zmanios, a "day" during the spring equinox is markedly longer than a day during the fall equinox. They're both considered one "yom," although they're not the same time because of astronomy.

I would never suggest that Hashem decided to change His standard of what is a "yom," but that the "erev" which marks the endpoints of the "yom" weren't the same, just as they aren't the same every day of the year nowadays.

MODERATOR Posted - 29 December 2005 4:12
The world "yom" has 2 differnt meanings - (a) daytime, as in Yomam Valylah - in which case you are correct, that the Yom" is longer in the sumemr than the winter, using shaos zemanios; and (b) a day - an entire day, i.e. the sum total of the daytime and nightime, as in "vayehi erev vayehi voker yom sheni". That "yom" is always 24 hours, no matter what the season, shaos zemanios notwithstanding.

And so there is no reason to believe that the length of the days changed on the 4th day from what they were on the first 3.

Please note that among the Meforshim that I quoted, who address the issue of natural phenomena that need more than 6,000 years to happen - the Yaaros Devash, Divrei Chaim, Divrei Yoekl, and the unnamed Godol in "in thedays of the Arizal and perhaps even earlier" - none of them saw fit to accept that the tens of thousands of years needed for that star to fulfill its orbit actually occured. Although that answer was sitting there "on a silver platter" for them, it was not an option.

And, because of what they say, there is no reason to even want it to be an option. You gain nothing.

As the Gemora says the world is 6,000 years old.

Oxymoron Posted - 29 December 2005 13:05
Sorry. What I meant to say about the "yom" being longer around the spring equinox than it is by the autumnal equinox-- I was referring to the the time from one nightfall to the next, one "day+night." And it's not always the same 24 hours.

You see, in the spring, when the days are getting longer, the sunset one day will be about three minutes later than it was the previous day, and in very beginning of fall, it'll be about three minutes earlier than it was the previous day. That means that the length of a full "yom," from one erev to the next, is not a set-in-stone amount of time; it can differ by six minutes during the year. It's determined by astronomy. This means that although the term "yom" always means the same thing, the parameters that determine its definition, i.e. from the coming of one ever to the next, are changeable.

That's all I was trying to say before. [Side-note: If you thought I was trying to say that the time from sunrise to sunset changes throughout the year, then the vernal and autumnal equinoxes that I mentioned wouldn't have made such good examples. They have halachic hours of exactly the same length, I believe. :-)]

MODERATOR Posted - 29 December 2005 14:39
First, your answer will not help you. Because much of what these scientists claim is ancient - such as animal fossils - was created after the first 3 days, when the sun and stars were already defining day and night.

(For the reocrd, though, it is not decided that a "day" is measured from Erev to Erev. "Erev" means when the sun starts to set (the word comes from "l'hisarev", meaning to mix together. During "erev", the light and darkness start to mix). Until Tzais Hakochavim, it is questionable if the next "Yom" has arrived.)

Second, the fact that days are not always exactly 24 hours does not impact on what I said above, that G-d created the orbit of the luminaries to signal the passing of what was already established to be the amount of time in a "day". If the length of a day varies then so be it -- those variations existed even before the luminaries were created. The pre-sun-and-moon light and darkness functioned with the same precision and variations as the sun and stars were destined to function with starting on the fourth day. Remember: The path of the sun and stars are not the cause of the legnth of the day - they are an effect thereof. Hashem wanted the luminaries to be "signs" - like "clocks" - to herald the arrival of day and night.

So when Hashem created the plantes, He created earth with the precise shape, precise tilt in its axis and the precise elipse its "orbit" so that the length of each day of the year will be properly reflected by the shkiyah.

taon Posted - 29 December 2005 17:01
Rashi on Beraishis Perek Bais Passuk Gimmel. "The work which was to be done on Shabbos Hashem doubled and did it on Erev Shabbos."
mo Posted - 29 December 2005 22:17
Oxy,

You probably mean Summer and Winter _Solstice_? On the Spring and Fall Equinox a day is exactly 12 hours in every place.

MODERATOR Posted - 29 December 2005 23:52
<< I'm interested to know who you're quoting. >>

Not quoting anyone. It's peshuto shel mikrah.

taon,

That Rashi doesnt prove that the world was speeded up. All it means is that Hashem did double the worl that day - but it doesnt mean that the grass gres faster or the stars flew faster than usual.

Oxymoron Posted - 30 December 2005 3:10
Hey Mo,

I guess I wasn't so clear, b/c the Moderator also thought I was talking about the length of daylight. I was talking about the length of the actual complete day, which halachically is a bit less than 24 hours on the Autumnal equinox and is a little bit more than 24 hours on the Vernal equinox. At the solstices, the halachic length of the entire day is 24 hours precisely.

MODERATOR Posted - 06 April 2006 14:09
In any case Rashi states explicitly that the the day of Vayehi Erev Vayehi Voker Yom echad was 24 hours. And its actually clear from the Gemora as well.
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