As Reverend of the Church of the Tetherd Cow, one of my many duties is to ponder the Big Questions of Life so that I may duly pass my received wisdom onto you, my flock of faithful Acowlytes. Recently, I found my mind wandering onto one of the biggest puzzles of them all – that of the Creation of the Universe. Specifically, the kind of Creation as taught primarily (but by no means exclusively) by those who advocate the Christian view of things.

In case your Sunday School lessons have receded a bit too far into the foggy haze of memory, here’s a quick refresher on how the Almighty got things under way:

In the beginning there was nothing at all. Except, self-evidently, for God Himself.1 This must have been deadly dull for dear old God. Imagine the most boring day you’ve ever had and then multiply that by ten gazillion. There wasn’t even so much as a crossword to fill in or some paint to watch dry. There was just a whole big heap of nothingness. Just God sitting in a chair, on his ass, wondering what to do with himself. No, wait, there wasn’t even a chair.

So God decided to bring the universe and everything we know into existence.2 The conventional wisdom has it that he did this over seven days. Well, technically six, but more of that in a bit. This was the To Do list:

Day 1: Light.
Day 2: Separation of the Waters.
Day 3: The Earth
Day 4: The Sky.
Day 5: Birds and Fish.
Day 6: The Animals including Humans.
Day 7: Rest.

Day 7 wouldn’t count as a working day in any job I’ve ever had, so we can only assume God filled in His timesheet something like this:

But really, if you start to scrutinize God’s first week of work, some interesting questions arise…

Day 1: How long, exactly, does it take to create Light? It’s not like you can carve it out of something, or cobble it out of stuff to hand – there isn’t anything. So you’ve got to conjure it up from scratch. To you and me this sounds rather daunting but it is of course no real problem for God, since He is omnipotent. This means he could easily whip up a whole batch of light in a good 8 hour day. But waiddaminute… if he’s omnipotent, why spend a whole day on it? He could do it in half an hour. A minute. A second even. Just what was God doing all that first day? Is it possible he rocked up to work, zapped light into existence, grabbed a cup of hot java3 and then sat on his fat ass all day? Are you with me here? Alright. Then, the very next thing that happened was:4

~And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Whoa! Wait just one damn minute there Big fella! Everyone knows that night and day are the result of the earth’s rotation5, and the Earth doesn’t get created until Day 3, according to the List. What the crap is going on here pal? You’ve got days, but you ain’t got rotation! Or even a planet. How the heck does that work?

Day 2: To me, creating Light sounds pretty damn tricky, but that’s a snack compared to what God did next:

~ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

~ And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

OK, now did you get that? It seems there was a lot of water (I don’t exactly know where that came from, because there is no mention of it actually being created, as such. The water was just there.) and God divided it into two portions, separated by a firmament – a sort of watery firmament sandwich. God then called the firmament Heaven. Just so you’ve got a visual picture here, there’s Heaven, with a whole lot of water above it, sitting in a whole lot of water. I trust that God made sure Heaven has good caulking.

Day 3:

~ God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

From here on in, there is no mention at all of the waters that float somewhere above Heaven. Like it doesn’t matter. What bothers me is if this supra-water was not important, then why bring it up it in the first place… What has it got to do with ANYTHING? And, as far as I know, we never again hear about this extra water in the whole course of the Bible!6

Well, I’ll leave you to ponder that until the next installment, when we will learn some more about the Creation of the Earth and then about the Sky, including the Sun and the Moon (Yes, yes – I know we have days already without the Sun being in place… if you think that’s daffy, wait till you see God make all the trees and plants and then the Sun. Talk about workflow inefficency.)

  1. There may also have been a lot of water – see later []
  2. Why He did this all of a sudden is anybody’s guess. []
  3. OK, I guess he couldn’t have done that – he hadn’t created coffee beans yet []
  4. All biblical references are from the King James Bible, ‘cos I’m an old fashioned kinda Reverend and I don’t hold with these modern ‘interpretations’ of the Holy Bible where some joker has gone ‘I know God said that, but this is what he really meant’. []
  5. Anyone going to argue with me over that? No? I thought not. []
  6. Although I guess God had to get the water for the Great Flood from somewhere… []