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The harmony of Genesis' creationism and science

An essay donated by Sue Haskell

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Given the current and past battles fought over "creationism" vs. "evolution" it is deeply ironic that the creation story in the book of Genesis. which is respected by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, turns out to be quite accurate – startling accurate. …… As with all disagreements, wars, etc., it is our perspectives that distort the Truth. When opponents are willing to change their perspectives (often disguised as beliefs) Truth can emerge. In the case of the Genesis creation "story" it takes only a slight change in where we view the action to realize that science and God are in agreement!

So, imagine being present at creation as described in Genesis, but, not only being present -- but on the planet during creation. How would you describe what was happening? For most of us without extensive scientific training we would probably describe it much as it is described in the first chapter of Genesis. Studying today’s Big Bang theory and how science now understands our earth’s beginnings, and given that you experience it from the perspective of being on the planet - there is - surprisingly - no difference between the timing of events in the Genesis story and science! Given the perspective of being on the planet, following is the Genesis creation story verse by verse along with our current scientific understanding of those events:

Genesis, Chapter One:
"In the beginning .....the earth was formless and empty..." (verse 1) Indeed, according to the "big bang" theory, in the beginning, after the initial big bang, the earth was a whirling ball of gas - formless and empty.

"..darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.." (verse 2) As the gases condensed a solid core began to form. Thick clouds of condensation enveloped the planet. And then it began to rain and rain and rain for thousands of years. Gradually, the earth became entirely covered with an immense ocean. However, no light reached the planet due to the still thick cloud cover of vapor. There was only darkness.

"And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ and there was light. God saw the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and darkness he called ‘night’ " (verse 3-5) Gradually the earth‘s cover of clouds began to diminish slightly and a pale dimness from the sun began to reach the planet. As you viewed this from the planet and looked up you could begin to notice a difference between day and night.

"And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. God called the expanse ‘sky’ ." (verse 6-8) It must have looked as if the sky, the rain and oceans were one for many millions of years. Over time however, the condensation in the sky became less heavy. If you looked out over the waters you could gradually begin to differentiate between water on the planet’s surface i.e. the oceans and clouds of condensation in the atmosphere. There was a separation between the waters.

"And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear... and it was so. God called the dry ground "land" and the gathered waters he called "seas’." (verse 9,10) After the earth began to cool, a crust formed and then began to shift, forming mountains that arose out of the vast seas. Volcanoes erupted and also formed land above the waters. The waters gathered into oceans and seas.

"Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so." (verse 11) According to scientific theory today, the first, more highly organized life forms were plants that began to proliferate on the new land.

"And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark the seasons and days and years and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light to the Earth. ." (verse 14,15) It was most likely thousands of years after plants evolved that a truly clear day occurred on the planet. A person standing on the planet’s surface could actually begin to see clearly the stars, a moon and the sun for the first time. It was not that God had just created these heavenly forms but it would have been the first time a person could have seen them clearly. Man later learned that indeed the stars, the angle of the sun and moon could mark the seasons and the days and the years.

"Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." (verse 20) Modern science declares that animal life began in the oceans. Then life migrated to the land and the time of the great reptiles occurred. Interestingly, it has just been in the last few years that scientists discovered some dinosaur fossils covered with feathers and postulate these gradually developed into the first of our modern creatures -- birds.

"Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." (verse 24) From our fossil records we know that our modern, warm blooded land animals evolved next. And, each does produce according to its kind.

"Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground....’. (verse 26) Lastly, again according to present day science, man arrived on the planet and indeed is the master of the planet and all that is on it.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (verse 28) Man has indeed multiplied and has "subdued the planet and rules" over it. The only part of this "story" that science has not yet "proved" is that we are created in the image of God. Given the Truth of the creation story up to this point - perhaps that is the next big scientific discovery.

It appears from the above analysis of the Genesis Creation story that science can now prove the validity of this ancient story -- a "story" developed thousands of years ago by a nondescript band of nomadic herdsman. So, how could these ancient peoples have acquired so accurate a story that has only been proven by science in the last 100 years?

What is just as interesting is the fact that this story survived – obviously intact – over an immense period of time having been passed on verbally for hundreds of years and then written and rewritten for hundreds of more years. It must have made little sense to these early people. How could they have conceived of an earth that was formless and void? And, given the variety of creation stories that arose from early civilizations, it would be immensely tempting to change it to something that would make more sense to a primitive culture. However, given the above explanation, not a word is out of place.

Instead of the story being viewed as an anomaly, one cultures "creation story" and in fact often laughed at by our more advanced civilization, it presents us with an even more amazing enigma…where did it come from?

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Originally posted: 2005-DEC-25
Latest update: 2005-DEC-25
Author: Sue Haskell

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