Windows of Heaven theory
The Windows of Heaven theory is presented in full by its author, Michael P. Engelbrite, at Windows of Heaven. The title of this theory is based upon the following Bible verse:
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11) Genesis 7:11 (KJV)
This theory allows for no gap or a large gap of time within the first two verses of Genesis, but that is where its similarities with the Gap Theory, created in the 17th century and made popular in the early 20th century, end. The Windows of Heaven theory also contains within it a modified Canopy Theory. Instead of an entire water canopy around the Earth, the author envisioned a water vapor torus in which the stars could be seen through two "windows" above and below the torus from Earth.
The Gap Revisited
- Main Article: Gap theory creationism
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. [And] the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. (Gen. 1:1-2a)
[And] the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2b) Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV)
Brackets are placed around the words "and" placed at the beginning of sentences because they don't exist in the Hebrew text. Thus there are no conjunctions linking these statements. In fact, there is not one single Hebrew "and" in the entire first chapter of Genesis. The conjunctions were added in the English versions for ease of reading. This being true, the "beginning" is no longer grammatically linked to "the first day" of Genesis 1:5 (KJV). This theory accommodates those desiring an ancient universe sufficient for ancient starlight.
God created the universe "in the beginning," but none of the details of star and galaxy creation are given in Genesis 1. Not until verse 16 are the stars even mentioned. But the English words before and after "stars" are not in the Hebrew text. The Windows of Heaven theory presupposes that the stars were created "in the beginning," not on the fourth day; and only mentioned in verse 16 because they are also lights in the heaven.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made the] stars [also]. Genesis 1:16 (KJV)
In the Windows of Heaven theory, the stars do not become visible to an earthly observer until day four.
The phrase "evening and morning" implies that the point of view of the creation account is from a person on the surface of the Earth. This is because from outer space, there is no evening or morning. From space, evening and morning are changing locations on the Earth below. According to the Tablet Theory, God wrote His account of creation (Genesis 1:1-2:4) for Adam and Eve as if viewed from their perspective on Earth. So to Adam and Eve the universe consisted of the visible "heaven" and the physical "earth" they walked upon.
Earth prior to being Terraformed
The Earth existed "in the beginning," and was basically a water planet rotating in the darkness.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 (KJV)
Since it was a water planet, it "was without form" and it was "void" of life.
Solar Nebula becomes Our Solar System
The solar nebula of our proto Sun exhibited certain characteristics of an astronomical accretion disc. But in our solar nebula, the Earth was already a planet before our proto Sun ignited. Others have noted problems with the current nebula theory.
The first day of the transformation of our solar nebula towards a solar system is described below by the author of the Windows of Heaven theory with his permission.
According to astrophysics, when a nebula gets large enough and dense enough, gravity wins in a big way and a nebula turns into a star. And furthermore, it can happen quite rapidly. The Sun started shining when the gasses in the proto-sun heated to the point where they became transparent. Genesis describes this as an act of God: “Let there be light.” All God had to do was trigger an event that was already pending. So, how is it that there was light with no Sun? The solar furnace is ignited, but the Sun is not visible in the sky of the Earth. The light was filtering through the Solar Nebula, so there was daytime and (as the Earth turned) nighttime. Remember that the account is told from the perspective of someone on the ground (or at least treading water at this point). There would be no visible disk at all, just light and dark. However, this situation did not last long. According to astrophysics, when a young star makes this change, it generates a shock wave (the T Tauri Wind) which rapidly pushes away the dust and gas of the disk shaped solar nebula, clearing the solar system of debris. - Michael P. Engelbrite
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. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. Genesis 1:6-8 (KJV)
Again, from the author . . .
This is the point where God raised part of the deep to above the atmosphere and put it into orbit around the Earth. It vaporized to become a huge water vapor torus (a shape like a donut or inner tube) around the equator of the world. This was also needed to reduce the depth of the ocean so that when God gathered the waters together the next day, dry land could rise out of the now shallower sea. So, in day 2, God lifted the waters vertically . . . - Michael P. Engelbrite
The rings of Saturn are composed of ice and dust.. If the Earth was further away from the Sun's heat, this water vapor torus might have become a flattened ice/dust disc like Saturn's.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10 (KJV)
The author notes the solar wind was continuing to push debris clouds away from the inner planets.
So, in day 2, God lifted the waters vertically, while on the third day, He separated them horizontally, creating the land. During day 2 and 3, the solar wind was continuing to push the nebula back, creating a larger and larger clear area around the sun. - Michael P. Engelbrite
From the "evening and morning" pattern of the days of creation, the Hebrews begin their days at dusk. At dusk on the fourth Hebrew "day" the solar wind had cleared the debris passed Earth so that as night fell, the light of the moon could be seen through the vapor torus. Note that Genesis does not mention the sun until Genesis 15:12 (KJV) after Noah's flood.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19 (KJV)
From the author . . .
The vapor torus still circles the Earth in the same plane as the Sun and Moon, blocking any direct sight of them. Notice that Genesis does not use the terms Sun and Moon; it talks about a greater light and a lesser light. We have always taken this to be poetic. However, Genesis mentions the stars specifically as stars. If it were consistently poetic, it would have called them tiny lights. Perhaps it really means what it says. Perhaps the light from the Sun and Moon was filtered through the water vapor torus orbiting the Earth, making them appear as blurry lights by diffusion. They would not be seen as the disk of the sun or the moon, but as great lights. But wouldn’t the stars be blurry also? Yes, they would, but only in the equatorial plane. The water vapor is orbiting around the Earth at the equator, leaving the pole areas free. These are what are mentioned later in Genesis 7 as the “Windows of Heaven.” Looking up into the night sky, you would see a great band of water vapor stretching over the sky. To the north and south of this band you would see the stars, as brilliant as they are today. If the moon was out, you would see it as a bright area, but not our familiar globe. - Michael P. Engelbrite
On the fifth day God creates fish and fowl, and the fowl fly above the earth in the "open firmament of heaven" which is the atmosphere.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Genesis 1:20 (KJV)
Windows of Heaven Open Completely at Noah's Flood
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11-12 (KJV)
It took forty days for the water vapor torus around the Earth to completely rain out.
The vapor torus collapses, and the water rains down on the Earth. As the torus shrinks, the windows of heaven (the clear parts of the sky at the poles) would enlarge until they meet when the vapor torus has totally rained out. So, the windows of heaven literally did open! After the flood, the Sun and the Moon became visible, because there was no longer the vapor torus to blur them in our sight. - Michael P. Engelbrite
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. Genesis 8:1-3 (KJV)
The "windows of heaven" opened wider and wider until the water vapor torus vanished or "stopped". That concludes the "windows of heaven" creation theory.