Aided by a supercomputer, an international team of theoretical physicists has recently performed a massive computation that confirmed Einstein’s famous formula E=mc2, which states that matter and energy interconvert. Their research appears in the November 21, 2008, edition of the journal Science.
The study set out to provide a stronger theoretical basis for the Standard Model of particle physics. Part of this model holds that the protons and neutrons inside atomic nuclei are made of quarks and gluons, which are theoretical particles of energy. The researchers’ quantitative calculations agreed very closely with the experimental observations that “more than 99 percent of the mass of ordinary matter comes from protons and neutrons, and in turn about 95 percent of their mass comes from this confined energy.”1
Perhaps it is yet unknown what “confines” the energy, which thus produces mass, but this phenomenon seems consistent with ICR founder Dr. Henry M. Morris’ commentary on Genesis 1:2:
The “Spirit” (Hebrew ruach) of “God” (Elohim) proceeded to “move upon the face of the waters” (literally, “vibrate in the presence of the waters”). Waves of gravitational energy and waves of electro-magnetic energy began to pulse forth from the great “Breath” (another meaning of ruach) of God, the Prime Mover of the universe. The unformed “earth” material (Hebrew eretz), as well as the “waters” permeating it (Hebrew shamayim) quickly coalesced into spherical form under the new force of gravity, and the first material body (Planet Earth) had been formed at a point in space.2
Several points can be drawn from the biblical account of creation. Matter exists apart from God, as Genesis directly implies. Matter is not currently being created (just as the First Law of Thermodynamics states), since God ceased creative work on the seventh day.3 And with this new study, scientists seem to have strong evidence that matter is made of energy, even as God energized His creation as recorded in Genesis 1:2. If indeed the Spirit of the Creator was emanating vibrating energy into the primeval universe, then perhaps the material of the universe still consists of that energy.
The investigation of the structure of matter is a valid pursuit within the creationist worldview, and so far no information gleaned from this pursuit has shown anything but concurrence with the Word of the Maker.
- Dürr, S. et al. 2008. Ab Initio Determination of Light Hadron Masses. Science. 322 (5905): 1224-1227.
- Morris, H. 2006. The New Defender’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: World Publishing, 8.
- Genesis 2:1-2.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.
Article posted on December 4, 2008.