The creation as outlined in Genesis 1 is a masterpiece of literary reductionism , perhaps not meant to be taken literally as to timelines. The account, however, seems valid as to the order , or stages, of creationor serial appearance of lifeforms. It may well have been derived from Babylonian religious practice , especially the references to “eves”, since the Biblical account was written by post-exilic priests who had no doubt witnessed the Babylonian elaborately- staged, and multi-phazed, creation drama with creation stages much like those appearing in Genesis. This dram was staged at every New Year celebration. The Babylonians prefaced every holy day with an “eve” so that their astronomists could identify(or at least pretend to identify) the star system from which their Gods came.This is therefore a lunar protocol typical of Babylonian religion. There is no such requirement in the Exodus commandments. In fact in the 10 commandments a solar protocol is indicated , as in the use of the word “day”. By “light” is meant the stage of thermonuclear ignition of a new star. The geological research in this article is very impressive, and I have saved it so as to go over it slowly as available time permits After ignition the new star(such as our own) will undergo a shrinking/ contracting process which can take up to some 30 million years—a short time astrologically. Then the expulsion of semi-molten material will eventually settle down to form planetisimals/protoplanets if all goes well; because some of these may not receive the “gas” they need to survive. A condensation cycle involving the new star and at least the nearer planets will be set up and this will no doubt produce rain for perhaps thousands or even millions of years, thus causing the surface of planets nearer to the sun/star to become filled with water (oceans/seas). According to some accounts (Raelism) God/ Yahweh, in preparing earth for habitation, ordered that material be raised from the bottom of the oceans/seas to form land. This was done by super massive controlled explosions. So originally there was one massive continent , which some call Pangea. It eventually devolved into several breakaway pieces from which one can trace the breakaways forming modern continents. God is indeed a super engineer/geologist/scientist/creator.
Here’s an excerpt from a book, “Reasoning from the Scriptures” from the Watchtower Society regarding this subject.
“The facts disagree with such a conclusion:(1) Light from the Andromeda nebula can be seen on a clear night in the northern hemisphere. It takes about 2,000,000 years for that light to reach the earth, indicating that the universe must be at least millions of years old. (2) End products of radioactive decay in rocks in the earth testify that some rock formation have been un disturbed for billions of years.
Genesis 1:3-31 is not discussing the original creation of matter or of the heavenly bodies. It describes the preparation of the already existing earth for human habitation. This included creation of the basic kinds of vegetation, marine life, flying creatures, land animals, and the first human pair. All of this is said to have been done within a period of six “days”. However, the Hebrew word translated “day” has a variety of meanings, including ‘a long time; the time covering an extraordinary event.’ (Old Testament Word Studies, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 1978, W. Wilson, p.109). The term used allows for the thought that each creative “day” could have been thousands of years in length.”
To me, this line of reasoning harmonizes with both the Bible and scientific evidence.
Ever notice that “defenses of the Bible” tend to focus focus of the literalness of the Gen 1:1 through 2:4a story, while ignoring the second story which speaks of “the DAY that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”?
The Oxford scholars wrote an introduction to their literary masterpiece which warns the reader not to rely on the KJV as a literal translation. A reasonable test of the scientific historicity of Scripture would be to put spotted sticks in front of sheep or goats during breeding and count the increase of spotted offspring.
Or at least read The Rocks Don’t Lie.
New Zealand is geologically stunning and rivals Norway’s fiords and BRITISH COLUMBIA, with its magical mix of lakes, sounds and majestic mountains.
What is of interest is that although there are dozens of species of UNIQUE to NEW ZEALAND birds, ( including the KIWI and the extinct ostrich-like MOA )
—there are NO native mammals on New Zealand — an animal less island!
And when mammals were introduced – rats – they decimated the bird population by eating the birds‘ eggs.
Captain Cook on arrival in the late 1700s, heard a cacophony of intense bird calls.-- dozens of unique species with no predators!
No longer, because the introduction of the domestic cat was calamatous.
Cats can kill eight birds a day.
A theological question:
Who installed the super complex neurological pathways to create the hunting instinct in cats, causing them to pounce on prey?
And whence came their sharp claws to grab their victims?
Also how did these unique NZ species travel the vast distant from Mount Ararat in Turkey, the supposed resting place of Noah’s ark" , without leaving traces of their uniqueness in the intervening immense distances?
One of my homes, is on the slopes of Haleakala – the house of the sun.
taller than MOUNT EVEREST, because the mountains peak at 10,023 feet, is only what shows above sea level.
The mountain’s shoulders descend another twenty thousand feet to the PACIFIC floor surrounding MAUI.
How many eons did it take to form this massive mountain, starting from a bubbling lava flow on ocean bottom, to reach a height of 30,000 feet?
Everest is,29,000 feet. The cubic volume of this immense mountain is incalculable. Seventy five per cent of the large island of Maui is comprised of this one mountain/volcano.
And how many more eons for wind, weather and water, to break down the super dense solidified lava, to form grains of sand suitable for plant growth?
Our six thousand year "young creation " advocates are silent in face of these legitimate provocative questions
The authors support a gap theory for creation. A long time of geological preparation for a creation week. And yet the authors refer to the presence of created life in the form of fossils including limestone, as part of this geological process. This does not seem to be consistent and I would be interested in the authors explanation.
@ezbord For the record New Zealand does have some native mammals. Hectors dolphin is found only in New Zealand waters and there are a couple of native bats. Like the birds, dolphins and bats have an advantage over non swimmers and flyers in reaching remote islands.
No one should expect the authors of early written texts, such as those comprising scripture, to have had knowledge of nature that was unavailable to them or their audience of the time. Those who require The Bible to literally comply with current knowledge and understanding are misrepresenting what The Bible is. Knowledge of nature continues to emerge as a result of research and data, aided by reason. Understanding of what The Bible is can also change and become more refined and accurate. A fuller appreciation of nature can help with that.
It is not helpful to quote Ellen White on this subject. You are assuming that God revealed these things to her in a dream or vision, which she never claims. What else could she have done but reflect the most conservative thinking on science and the bible in her day. If she had challenged it then, her ability to guide the church would have evaporated. God has left it to us to figure out these issues, the Bible notwithstanding. /
Beyond geology, we have anthropology, paleontology, bio-chemical and DNA research, all pointing to the same conclusion. We can keep fighting this battle by insisting that reason must submit to Scripture until, like the Amish, we provide no helpful answers to encourage faith in the God of Jesus Christ and become irrelevant. No thinking person who knows this literature, who has not grown up with a reverence of the work of Ellen White or the bible, would ever give this approach a moment’s notice. Sad indeed, but very true.
Thank you for your research and reasoned thought outlining the process of Creation of islands and continents. The authors are not to be faulted for their keen description and drawing together of biblical text and scientific history. Adventist readers need more of this kind of localized knowledge so they don’t swallow the idealistic and ungrounded ideas of YEC, which sounds pious but make no sense when you relate them to the real world as we know it.
One problem, which the authors seem to gloss over and over, is the remarkable age, not just of the rocks and geological data, but of life forms on this planet. The so-called “gap” they describe seems to be no gap at all, but a steady parade of extinctions and subsequent explosions of life forms. 99% of the species that ever existed did so “before” Creation Week as described here. In many ways this weakens the apparent role of the Genesis Week, which now becomes a late re-arrangement of a fully-diversified world of animals and humans about 6,000 years ago. I would like to hear the authors’ response to this criticism.
I prefer the approach taken by many others who accept the scientific description without any so-called “gap”. The biblical account is no sense a scientific or historical description of how life developed, but a theological reflection on the ancient worldview known to the writers of Genesis. The “gap” theory flies in the face of known ways to read ancient texts, and does not solve the problem it seeks to save.
Perhaps there have always been “infidel geologists.”
But for the record, let me mention the following 16 writers:
John Whitehurst (1713-1788)
John Playfair (1748-1819)
James Parkinson (1755-1824)
Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)
John Smith (1774-1851)
William Phillips (1775-1828)
Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864)
Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)
John Sumner (1780-1862)
William Buckland (1784-1856)
Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873)
William Conybeare (1787-1857)
Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
Roderick Murchison (1792-1871)
Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864)
What did these men have in common?
All of them, based upon the evidence they observed, concluded that the earth is old. All reached their conclusions before Charles Darwin published Origin of Species (1859).
Of the 16 listed, 12 were geologists. All were Christians. 5 were Christian pastors. All were creationists. And among these was not one “infidel geologist.”
Someday I may write an article offering more details.
R. Wresch, M.D.
The gap theory, is a hundred some years old now. See Herbert W. Morris, Work-Days of God; or Science and the Bible, enlarged ed. (London: W. Nicholson & Sons, 1915), 21– 106;
This theory interprets the tōhû wābōhû of verse 2 as implying a significant time gap in the account of creation. They take the Hebrew verb hāyâ (translated “was”) (“and the earth was”)to mean “became.” So the Earth did not begin formless and empty but rather ‘became’ formless and empty. However the verb hāyâ is best translated “was”) not “became. One rationale for messing with the translation is to reconcile the scientific evidence for Earth’s antiquity with the popular twentieth century teaching that the Genesis days represent six consecutive 24-hour periods.
The EGW quote from PP is referring to the immediate aftermath of the Genesis flood, probably months to a few years. It should not be taken to explain earthquakes today.
Is God capable of speaking matter into existence? With His voice, is he able to restore life to a decomposing body? Is He omniscient and omnipotent? How does the collective scientific understanding of the entire human race, compare to God’s understanding and capabilities? How much greater are His ways over our ways? Is their any scientific record of a human being who has observed a world unaffected by sin? Isn’t all scientific theory, regarding the age of the earth and human origins, based on an assumption that everything we observe today, in the physical world, has always functioned in the same way for all time? Could events like the introduction of sin and the global flood, have a catastrophic aging effect on the world we observe today?
Scientific inquiry is great, but at the end of the day it is nothing more than man’s understanding of the world around him. It is not the supreme authority in this universe. God’s word should always take precedence, over scientific theory, when the two are at odds with one another.
People often get wrapped up in the irrelevant debate on whether or not the language of Genesis allows for the creation week being significantly longer than 6x24hr days, or that scientific theory regarding evolution is possible if Genesis is understood as not being literal. The salvation of the human race is at the heart of the Biblical narrative, and the shedding of innocent blood is at the heart of the salvation narrative. Science would suggest that there was carnage and bloodshed, long before Adam and Eve sinned, and that suggestion flies in the face of the very heart of the gospel message.
Thank you to the authors of this provocative piece! (I confess to not yet deeply reading the entire thread, but promise to do so soon)I somewhat off handedly (and certainly neither scientifically or theologically) suggest that this moratorium on creation may well be the stayed hand of the creator, waiting at the end of the cosmic driveway for the first lost son to return home. I imply that If the whole of creation were at risk due to the insurrection of the progenitor of war and lies in heaven, that a loving creator would chose to not create more beings who would inevitably either be destroyed in the great conflict or suffer the other sequelae of needfully living through it.
If the parables have any real merit, how long would the prodigals father wait? He has limitless time, near a half dozen or even hundred billion enduring years would suggest untold more grace, than say a mere six thousand paltry days.
It begs the question-if he loves to create (and loves what he creates), how much does this (likely continuing) moratorium affect him? Imagine wanting to be a parent, and yearning to create a son-but choosing not to. The desire-and the reality are in stark conflict, even in our bodies.
With limitless space to fill-space perhaps crying out, like a restless spirit moving over old waters-i imagine it pains him deeply. Imagine–he wishes to share his whole creation (and has shared a palpable pro-creation responsibility with us)–but may have chosen to blunt his divine creative imperative.
Hey, and so very good to see you out here Joe!
A question: at what point would a global Flood enter into these geological considerations?
I found this article gives me a lot of food for thought. However I would like the questions that some here have proposed to be answered. That would be helpful.
Best I can tell; the Global Flood is used to cover up all evidence of a young creation. This way YEC can say any thing they want about creation. “All evidence was washed away, you will just have to trust me on this.”
Not all but most of the dry earth has evidence of water. Many areas show many floods at vastly different times. The earth is very dynamic. The ocean floor gets pushed up and becomes dry. Whole towns sink below the sea. Some places have cycled several times. It did not all happen in the same year.
YEC stands on the back of a global flood. YEC must deny continental drift, plate tectonics, numerous ice ages, not counting all the biological evidence.
Global flood stands on the idea that God is “angry” and will kill all_you_people and spare good people like my family. The loudest YEC in the news also preach that hurricanes are caused by gay people.
I would like to know you thoughts on soft tissue being found in dinosaur fossils. Reference the numerous scientific peer reviewed articles by Mary Schweitzer et al.
I have been studying God’s work and the scientific literature for many many years. I also am an MD.
I don’t pretend to know the answers to the “old earth” vs “young earth” debate.
The wine that Jesus made from water. How old did it taste?
whether egw claimed that god revealed to her the origins of our world in a dream or vision each time she wrote or spoke about it is irrelevant…from a consideration of just Patriarchs and Prophets, easily her seminal work on origins, it is clear that divine revelation as a source of information is a legitimate inference…in the first place, the preface by uriah smith contained in the definitive 1958 edition, which focuses on spiritual gifts and, in particular, the gift of prophecy, leaves very little doubt that our pioneer church considered Patriarchs and Prophets a product of divine revelation, even if there are found in it instances of unattributed borrowing from contemporary authors…
in the second place, egw’s own introduction, contained in the 1950 edition of Great Controversy, which follows closely her final copyrighted 1911 version, also focuses on the spiritual gift of prophecy…given that Great Controversy is the final entry in the Conflict of the Ages series, of which Patriarchs and Prophets is the initial entry, it is legitimate to infer that egw also considered Patriarchs and Prophets a product of divine revelation…
but in the third, most important, place, the language used throughout Patriarchs and Prophets doesn’t nurture doubt as to whether egw is claiming eye witness credibility in her descriptions, from which it is legitimate to infer supernatural vision and dream input, for instance:
“As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of life and joy. Adam’s height was much greater than that of men who now inhabit the earth. Eve was somewhat less in stature; yet her form was noble, and full of beauty. The sinless pair wore no artificial garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear.” PP:45.
given the rarity and value of divine revelation, particularly subsequent to apostolic times, it is foolish to not quote ellen white on the subject of origins…she is not, as scientists do, constructing a meta narrative from an interpretation of evidence resting on necessary assumptions…clearly she’s reporting what she was shown…her account is virtually the equivalent of video footage which, had it existed, would entirely remove the subject of origins from the quagmire of conflicting and ever-evolving conjecture in which it is currently, and for the foreseeable future, situated…
in general, i have to say that i find approaches to origins that veer from the biblico-egw account quite unconvincing…this is because important unprovable assumptions that directly affect conclusions are never acknowledged…in this article, for instance, we are told to believe that zealandia completed a split from australia 65 million yrs ago - other references tell us that zealandia and australia completed a split from antarctica 85 million yrs ago - on the basis of a reference to reconstructions of the cenozoic history of the australia-new zealand-south pacific sector of antarctica by steven cande and joann stock…but does anyone for even one moment believe that these scientists aren’t assuming that the observable tectonics and sedimentation rates of today can be legitimately used to come up with definitive time frames of the past…it goes without saying that if today’s plate tectonics rate, for instance, of between 2 and 18 cm per yr reflects an invariable standard, that the ocean floors and mountain ranges we now observe would have taken 100 million yrs, and more, to form…but what if that rate doesn’t reflect what existed in the past…what if a much greater rate was the reality during an earth-altering flood, during which egw informs us that earth’s topography, including plains and mountain ranges, was existentially transformed in proportion to the evil of local human inhabitants, PP:108…
in fact creation scientists have proposed just such a scenario, which they dub “catastrophic plate tectonics”…an example is Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History, by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D., John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D., Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D., Larry Vardiman, Ph.D., and Kurt P. Wise, Ph.D…it is hardly necessary to think that deep time is required to explain empirical evidence, or that nature identifies events during a so-called 4.5 billion yr gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2…nature is identifying nothing…it is scientists who are identifying a history that either takes into account the biblical narrative or not…here is the entire substance of the difference between evolutionists and creation scientists…
There is no end to how far people will go to continue to believe that red blood cells can last 65 million years… 65 million years…
The Pharisees and teachers of the Law demanded of Jesus a sign. Christ knowing their hearts said they would receive no miracle except the sign of the prophet Jonah. The raising of Lazarus from the dead proved that no amount of miracles would change their minds. In fact, it would probably make them more hostile to any further evidence - anything that would go directly against their presuppositions. And here we have the same thing. No amount of evidence - even a dinosaur bone brought back from the “dead,” will be enough. ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’"
“No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”
No they wont; and Christ knew it. And it’s no different today.
Dr Mary Schweitzer: “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: ‘The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’”
Yes I was aware of this. And have mentioned this same find a couple years ago or so on Spectrum. I just happen to reject the conclusion which is all too often speculation.
Strange that I found a recent article on the subject of Mary Schweitzer’s discovery that even uses the same depictions that you posted, Tony, yet draws a contrary conclusion to the one that you purport.
TISSUES AND PROTEINS IDENTIFIED IN DINOSAUR BONES
These remarks pertain mainly to thigh bones from two dinosaur specimens, a T. rex (approx. 68 million years old) and a duckbill hadrosaur (approx. 80 million years old). In both cases, the fossils had been buried in sandstone (which may help wick away destructive enzymes from the corpse) and the fossils were analyzed within a relatively short time after excavation, which minimized degradation from sudden exposure to a new set of environmental conditions.
After dissolving away the mineral portion of the bone with weak acid, various types of flexible structures were recovered. They conform to the microscopic pores of the bone in which they had resided, so they are mainly viewed under a microscope. These structures include transparent, branching hollow vessels corresponding to the blood vessels found in modern animals (e.g. ostriches), and also what look like modern osteocyte (bone) cells. Various biochemical tests have indicated that these structures are composed of animal protein, showing that they derive from the original dinosaur tissue, as opposed to being merely biofilms produced by microbes which invaded the bone pores.
The proteins which have been identified include collagen, actin, and tubulin. These are known to have structures which are resistant to degradation, especially when they are crosslinked. Tests indicate that these proteins from the dinosaur bones are indeed highly crosslinked, which appears to be a key aspect of their longevity.
Iron from blood hemoglobin can be highly effective in promoting this crosslinking and in general passivating the reactive groups on the proteins. Schweitzer’s group performed a dramatic experiment to demonstrate this effect, using modern ostrich blood vessels: the blood vessels which were incubated in a solution of hemoglobin (extracted from the red blood cells of chicken and ostrich) showed no signs of degradation for more than two years. In contrast, the ostrich vessels in plain water showed significant degradation within three days, which is more than 240 times faster degradation than with the hemoglobin. The osteocyte cell remnants from dinosaur fossils are essentially coated with iron-rich nanoparticles.
Beside the effect of iron, being in contact with the mineral walls of the pores, and being sealed in tiny pores, away from the enzymes and other body chemicals, can act to preserve remnants of the original proteins. Also, if soft tissue is initially dried out before it decays, it undergoes changes that make it more stable even if it is later rehydrated. Thus, several plausible mechanisms are known to help explain the preservation of these flexible tissues, and there are likely other factors yet to be discovered.