While I appreciate the scientific exposition and acknowledge its accuracy based on data derived from analogous processes, I tend to be concerned when attempts are made to turn the poetry of ascents in the Creation account into a scientific text. I doubt it was ever intended to be such. I do not agree with the Young Earth Creationists that accepting the geological paradigm set forth by science negates the existence or even the concept of God. There is far too much beyond the realms of scientific inquiry to believe that all can or will be explained rationally. Infinity is such a useful concept in that regard.
But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority–not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support. GC 595
The Sabbath commandment states that the heavens and the earth were created during the six days of creation. That doesn’t necessarily include the starry universe but could be restricted to this planet only or to this solar system.
Hear, hear brother. One can’t let sound human perspective or those infidel geologists cause you to doubt your understanding of the truth.
And I too am reminded of the following quote concerning the real cause of earthquakes from Mrs EG White:
“At this time immense forests were buried. These have since been changed to coal, forming the extensive coal beds that now exist, and also yielding large quantities of oil. The coal and oil frequently ignite and burn beneath the surface of the earth. Thus rocks are heated, limestone is burned, and iron ore melted. The action of the water upon the lime adds fury to the intense heat, and causes earthquakes, volcanoes , and fiery issues. As the fire and water come in contact with ledges of rock and ore, there are heavy explosions underground, which sound like muffled thunder. The air is hot and suffocating. Volcanic eruptions follow; and these often failing to give sufficient vent to the heated elements, the earth itself is convulsed, the ground heaves and swells like the waves of the sea, great fissures appear, and sometimes cities, villages, and burning mountains are swallowed up.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.108).
Why can’t we both be correct ? God created nature fully grown. Adam was a grown man, at one day old .But to look at him , we would say that he was about 30 years old. In the beginning God, and the Spirit moved over the face of the water . My question is , " When was the water created ? Then Rev 14:7 , God takes credit for creating the waters . There are also millions of planets. It gives us the idea that God could/ would come back to them and fit them out to sustain life , whenever . He can do that, because he is God.
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.