RE: Cana and apparent age

Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 22:57:50 -0400


I fully agree with you that, regardless of exactly what the wine in Cana
was, it was a miracle. It should be seen as a manifestation by Jesus that
He was no ordinary person.

However, I do see a "difference between the "wine" - created in the absence
of process and time - and the appearance of an aged universe." As I've
mentioned before, a competent organic chemist may be able to analyze a
genuine, aged, wine using a suite of techniques best known by their acronyms
(HPLC, FTIR, GC-MS etc.) and then, from organic chemicals, synthesize a
"wine." That "wine" would therefore not have an age as such. In fact, some
years ago there was a scandal involving either France or Italy, where they
made a synthetic Chianti, I believe and foisted if off on an unsuspecting
clientele. How do we know that Jesus did not know how to make "instant"
wine? Most certainly, he could have made "instant wine" as easily as
"instant grape juice" or "instant apple juice."

I also maintain that it may well be necessary to age a wine with our present
state of knowledge but that one cannot determine the age of a wine by any of
the five senses. We don't say, "hmm, this tastes like a 10-year old wine,
but that one over there tastes a few years older." You can only determine
the age of a wine by looking at the label of the bottle.

The age of the universe is something quite different. We can, using various
techniques, determine how long ago a geological event occurred. We may not
all agree on the applicability of an individual technique, on the results
that are obtained, or on the interpretation of the results, but there is a
temporal component to the geological column that is absent from a wine
(unless, perhaps, we know the kinetics of the formation of some of the
organic compounds in the wine and even then, since the rates of reaction are
temperature dependent, we can only make a rough - albeit reasonable -

Chuck Vandergraaf.