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Theory of Relativity and God

Science leads away from god. — Louis Pasteur.” (a poster in a Soviet Union classroom)
Science … brings men nearer to God.” (a real quote by Louis Pasteur)

Just over 100 years ago, Einstein showed that time is not constant but relative for each “observer”. The technical terms describing this are velocity time dilation and gravitational time dilation that derive from Einstein’s special theory of relativity and his general theory of relativity. In simple terms, these concepts mean that the objects perceive time differently depending on their location in relation to large-mass bodies that warp spacetime around them into non-euclidean shape or depending on their movement relative to each other.

The notion that time is not universally constant is so counterintuitive, and yet it is the bedrock of modern science. It has been demonstrated again and again. For example, time dilation is taken into account when NASA lands a rover on Mars or when you use GPS navigation in your car.

Over 1800 years ago before Einstein, Apostle Peter wrote,

“But do not forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8.

Even before that, Moses said in a psalm,

“For a thousand years in [God’s] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4.

These passages appear to argue that time is relative thousands of years before science got wind of the notion. But do these Bible verses imply that God is moving close to the speed of light (velocity time dilation) or that he is so massive as to curve the spacetime around him like a black hole (gravitational time dilation)?

Actually, neither. Theory of relativity deals with objects localized in space and having mass. The Bible claims that God is not localized in space (he is omnipresent or present everywhere; 1 Kings 8:27, Jer. 23:24, Prov. 15:3) and has no mass (he is spirit; John 4:24). So, the theory of relativity would suggest that an observer that is present everywhere and has no mass is not subject to spacetime at all.

Just as the Bible says, God “inhabits eternity.” Isaiah 57:15. All points in space and all points in time are before Him.

“O my God,” I say, “… [your] years endure throughout all generations!” Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.” Psalm 102:24-26.


P.S. Some scientists’ insistence on arbitrarily removing God from their understanding of reality and from their search for such understanding robs them and us of deeper insights.

If you only allow for God’s existence, it is so fascinating to contemplate cosmologists’ notions about the Big Bang, cosmic inflation, and accelerating expansion of the universe, cosmologists’ own admission that they can’t account for 95% of our universe’s matter and energy (so they are just calling what’s missing dark matter and dark energy), quantum fluctuations (physics of empty space), wave-particle duality of the quantum world, standard model of elementary particles, non-locality of quantum entanglement, delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, entropy’s inexorable arrow of time, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Gödel’s incompleteness theorems for mathematics, physics’ search for theory of everything and on and on.

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