Time in Scripture and Science : A Conciliatory Key?
Converging Paths to Truth : The Summerhays Lectures on Science and Religion
Religious Studies Center, BYU
Time is a broad topic, and questions regarding it often ask different things. Question 1 on the age of the earth asks how long something has endured in time. Question 2 on Adam, death, and fossils deals not with endurance but asks which of several events came first. Question 3 on when Adam and Eve were created asks how the rather short duration of history since Genesis squares with the much longer time frame offered by the fossil record. It also asks if a creation event is to be understood as an instantaneous or gradual act. And questions 4 and 5 ask what time itself is and how or whether it can spring into being or blink out of existence.
To seek the answers to these questions, it is wise to first pursue a better understanding of the nature of time itself. Therefore, I first present some basic reasoning about time. I lay out what philosophers have said about its nature and, where possible, give an opinion on which thinking makes the most sense. And I point out ways that modern ideas of time allow some seemingly disparate views of science and religion to coexist harmoniously.