Thank you Hashem, for granting me the ability to write this article!

Were the Luminaries Created After the Plants? (Part 2 of a Series)

Written on Teves 19, 5781

Previously I had written in part 1 of this series that the Sun and Moon being mentioned after plants in the Torah's creation "story" seems to go against current scientific theory. I said that I would likely ask a rabbi and write a part 2. Indeed I did message a rabbi about this question and my main takeaway from his reply is that it was the Sun and Moon's orbits were finalized on the fourth day of creation (corresponding to 1 billion to 500 million years ago approximately [read the previous article to know how I got those numbers]).
Science has shown that the Moon moves very slowly away from the Earth over time (1.5 inches farther every year)[1] The Moon has existed for 4.5 billion years. How far would it have moved AT LEAST between then and the fourth day of creation (by the way, 63360 is how many inches there are in a mile; I hope that I have done the calculations correctly)?
1.5 In * (4,500,000,000 - 1,000,000,000) = 5,250,000,000 In
5,250,000,000 In / 63360 = 82859 Mi
Therefore on the fourth day of creation the Moon had moved away from the Earth by 82,859 miles (approx.) since it was created! That's about 20 times the diameter of the Earth!!
Now how has the Sun's orbit (or rather the Earth's orbit around the Sun1) changed between the first and fourth days of creation? Well the Sun was created about 100 million years before the Earth (the Sun is about 4.6 billion years old). The Earth moves 1.5 cm away from the Sun every year[2]. That means all I need to do to our previous calculation is add 100 million to the age, and change the unit to cm (and convert to km instead of miles [and finally convert THAT to miles], which means that I divide by 100,000; to convert km to miles I divide by 1.609).
1.5 cm * (4,600,000,000 - 1,000,000,000) = 5,400,000,000 cm
5,400,000,000 cm / 100,000 = 54,000 km
54,000 / 1.609 = 33,561 (Mi)
Therefore the Earth moved 33,561 miles (approx.) away from the sun between the Earth's creation and the fourth day [of creation]! That's more than 8 times the Earth's diameter! Since the fourth day of creation, the luminaries have moved considerably less2 away from the Earth than from before the fourth day.
Conclusion: For all those cretins who want to desperately find differences between the Torah and scientific theory, they've yet again failed (how surprising)! In fact this article has shown how the Torah is aware of the slowly moving Earth and Moon (relative to what they orbit). And even if this opening chapter did not fit with science (chas veshalom), you could simply say that it is not to be interpereted literally3, 4. May Hashem bless you!


1: Although the Sun still is the one that actually gives the gravitational force that the Earth orbits, thus it can still be said that is the Sun's orbit, but in a different sense. Alternatively, the Torah might be referring to the Sun's orbit "around the Earth", as viewed in the sky.
2: 3.5 Times less, to be exact.
3: As some gedolim from the medieval and modern period have maintained. This series of articles gives much less credit to their such views.
4: Or you could possibly maintain that science is wrong; of course that is extremely unlikely, and the condition in which we might hold that view has not been met, as Bereshis 1 fits with science.