Monday, November 12, 2007

Thoughts on Creation

For those of you who don't know me very intimately, I studied many scientific disciplines in high school, including physics, biology, and chemistry. I also took calculus, which was no picnic but a fantastic challenge for the ole grey matter. I took these classes on the recommendation of teachers and peers who all suggested it would leave as many doors open as possible for my higher learning pursuits, and I suspect that's the case. Of course, once I got to university I decided to study the arts, as I felt more at home in literature and poetry than I did slicing frogs. I guess I've always been something of a silent romantic, having written some 200-300 poems since age 16 or so. With that in mind, you can understand why I felt conflicted about mainstream depictions of Creation and evolution, though I had never perceived any reason for them to refute one another. Unlike most people of my background, I kind of took for granted that A) parts of the Bible were wrong (or misinterpreted), and B) some scientific data were exaggerated (or misinterpreted). Funny that I would eventually conclude that neither assumption was correct, thanks to an honest approach to scripture and reliable scientific sources (i.e. pure science).

When I sat down last month to re-examine the book of Genesis, I noticed some startling things that had completely evaded me a few years back, such as a few ambiguities that never seem to pop up in the heated debates that polarize these subjects. As I studied the passages, I wrote down several thoughts, which now seem infantile in the wake of reading Lee Strobel's books, but I will post them here nonetheless, in case they might function as an introductory approach to a more comprehensive examination of these topics. Certainly, I don't encourage anyone to take my word as evidence of anything I say, but I do feel very comfortable with my own interpretations of time and creation. I will make slight modifications to the draft I circulated among trusted friends, only for the sake of corroborating some of my points that were expressed better by other people. I don't expect I'll write many more dissertations, not because I don't care about helping people understand scripture and/or science, but because God has done a very impressive job in guiding the hands of others, whereas He wants me to focus on my fiction writing, specifically a 5-book outline I've been fleshing out over the past two years.

One more point before the nitty gritty: It was suggested to me on Sunday that the best place to start reading the Bible is the New Testament, and I wouldn't dispute that. (Thanks, Pastor Jim!) As for me, I've been spoonfed portions of the New Testament throughout my life, and I'm quite familiar with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. You would think that would have been enough to recruit me, but there were so many holes and omissions in the way it was presented to me, as well as personal conflicts that got in the way, that prevented me from taking a proper plunge until recently. Seeing as Genesis had always been a big hurdle for me, I thought it quite appropriate to tackle that first, but for most people I would echo the sentiment that there is more promise and satisfaction in reading about Christ's ministry. (I also love the book of Revelation, for the record, with Acts as a very close second.)

Now then, here she be:


authored by: James Matthew Wood

inspired by: much greater men, as well as God (Listed in this order as I have been more influenced in my thinking by intellectual argument than prayer and scriptural study, so far.)


First and foremost, this is a work in progress. That may never change, and that's okay.

Throughout this dissertation, I will base certain arguments on principles I've studied over the past 27 years, which I believe coincide with the Christian doctrine. I don't wish to be credited with these ideas, but I will refer to them, sometimes without proper citations, in an allegorical manner and for the sake of explaining my logic. I wish to state that I have made past attempts to study the book of Genesis, but I realize in hindsight that my approach was dishonest, and I certainly did not notice any of the similarities between science and intelligent design as were revealed to me this week. It is very encouraging to me that I have discovered these new similarities, and I will explain why in due time.

For those who doubt my intentions, I want to make it clear that I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during these studies, and I suspect it is for one (or two) of two possible reasons: 1) I've taken a vested interest in the gospel, and I understand that it cannot be mentally absorbed alone or in one sitting, but I am making an effort, which I believe God appreciates; 2) perhaps I have stumbled onto things that are indeed true, but that is not something I'm ready to conclude yet. I trust that God is pleased, not with my limitations but with my renewed dedication to understand Him as best I can, and, to that end, I invite any degree of criticism from any well-intended source that might enlighten or clarify (or invite clarification on) any points I present herein.

Please understand that I will reduce certain concepts to simpler terms so they might be easier to grasp, as I firmly believe that the gospel is far more substantial than my ability to analyze it. It is for that reason that I would encourage those who disagree to first consider the congruity of the comparison, but only after having read the entire piece.

Please note also that I will not address all verses, as many of them, in spite of their perceivable relevance, don't conflict with Creationism vs Evolution, but moreso with the mere existence of God, insomuch as believers and non-believers are defined by an acceptance or dismissal of these verses, e.g. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The reason this line is not relevant (to this debate) is because mainstream argument focuses on the age and nature of our planet, of its species, and of humanity's origin. Neither side debates whether these things came into existence, but they do debate how, i.e. both sides acknowledge that the universe exists, that the Earth is formed from a shapeless cosmic soup of some kind, and so on. One cannot argue in favour of Creationism or approach it with an open mind if one does not believe in God, which suggests to me that, in so doing, one limits his or her ability to properly analyze the evidence. Conversely, because most Christians purport that God cannot co-exist with evolution, they are incapable of seeing evolution as the manifestation of God's influence, which is a matter of semantics and not grand truth, and it's equally inhibiting to an honest examination of the data.

Both arguments, as accepted by their respective peers, impose human-based restrictions on the other side: Creationists seem reluctant to accept that God's hand could be responsible for the observations we lump together as science, just as scientists seem to maintain that, in spite of the remarkable similarities between the gospel and nature, these similarities couldn't possibly be produced of God's influence. If one approaches this subject matter with the preconception that they cannot be one and the same, then one closes one's mind to that potential result, thus tainting the investigative process. (In that sense, I have far more respect for someone who reaches an incorrect conclusion honestly than someone who reaches the right conclusion dishonestly.)

My approach will hold each side of the debate side by each and will consider all similarities and dissimilarities equally; that is, I will merely compare the gospel with observable science. You will note that certain ambiguities exist in science that may never be explained, and, as Lee Strobel's interview subjects all conclude through their own disciplines, there is amply data that support the correlation between both bodies of work and why it is very rational to accept the ambiguities as supportive evidence, not mere conjecture. One of the most compelling aspects about the gospel is in the fact that it was written in a language that would appeal to every era of human civilization and makes claims that would be impossible to prove until several thousand years later when technology would allow us to examine these claims more scientifically. This is something I would not remove from consideration, as it adds weight to the prophets who so deliberately committed their divine visions to parchment for us.

The following link might be used to elaborate on the closed-mindedness of mainstream debate:

Here we see Hovind make the following statements:

"The Bible says that in six days the LORD made Heaven and earth and all in them that is."

  • CORRECT! And irrefutable, I might add: this statement is clearly contained in the gospel.

"[The Earth] was created in six literal 24-hour days."

  • INCORRECT! The Bible does not impose a time restriction upon the length of a day but defines a day as the time it takes for an observable recurrence, i.e. morning to morning, night to night, etc.

"Based on [the above] premise, we can make a few predictions, which is what science is supposed to do. Scientific theories are supposed to allow you to make predictions."

  • INCORRECT! Science is entirely observable. It's true that scientists often present theories, but these theories are only accepted once they have been repeatedly observed. A scientific experiment is dismissed as soon as it yield as little as one different result from the same scenario. As such, any theory that is accepted without proper observation and testing, whether it be in favour of Creationism OR Evolution, is inherently unscientific (or as yet unproven). Because Hovind's understanding of science is subjective, the arguments he presents as scientific, which cannot be repeatedly observed, are conjecture, as are the many unprovable theories presented by many scientists. Hovind goes on to confuse this point by reverting between the two, as many of his points are indeed observable while some are not.

"1. I predict that the universe will show evidence of order and intelligent design."

"2. I predict that there will be thousands of symbiotic relationships in nature."

  • CORRECT! It would be easy for evolutionists to dwell on the fact that Hovind uses pure science to illustrate his point, but it seems fruitless to me to fixate on the points that both sides accept. For the sake of objectivity, I must acknowledge the difference between evidence and proof. Evidence is suggestive, proof is final. Perhaps I am biased in this regard, but I do believe that the symbiotic relationships mentioned above are indeed evidence of intelligent design. There are many scientists who would agree, in spite of the devastating implications it means for the evolutionary process. This is one of the many ambiguities that refutes the premise of evolution: Evolution allegedly takes place over the course of millions of years, but most, if not all of the creatures we know to exist seem to spring from nothing. In spite of the dramatic and compelling evidence that intelligent design exists, accepted science suggests, quite vainly, that future evidence will surface. My opinion on this matter is shared by Strobel and his subjects, which is that most people do not want to be accountable to a will beyond their own, and that's why they refuse to credit God with His own works.

"3. I predict that there will be limits to the variations life forms are able to produce."

  • INCORRECT! I don't personally disagree with Hovind on this, but there is a very valid reason why he cannot substantiate this claim. Although we are able to intellectually observe the world, we are incapable of predicting the future. Hovind asserts that dogs are incapable of producing cats, thus aligning his argument with that of science. It's only in skewing this scientific observation in a holier-than-thou manner that he is able to reinforce his point, but this is not a constructive or honest approach to the debate. What he fails to realize is that Evolution, according to Darwin, its founder, is not based on a creature's ability to produce a new or different one, but in its ability to adapt to its environment through long periods of survival. I personally see no conflict between the gospel and observable science, as no respectable scientist would suggest that dogs could produce cats--unless, of course, he could demonstrate it, which no has been able to do yet, and I trust it will never happen. I must here acknowledge that nature is capable of greatly disfiguring God's creatures (such as in the case of many Chernobyl survivors, if you want to call them survivors). This is neither God's work, nor is it evolutionary; it's the result of toxic and mutative defficiencies exerted onto existing creatures. Beyond that, I would also like to stand up on God's behalf and simply state that if He should choose to invent something new or evolve His existing creations, He has no obligation to tell humanity about it. Similarly, if something were to evolve through God's influence, as I believe it would be strictly through Him, it is not our right to reject it, and certainly not based on the fact that it hasn't been observed or hasn't happened yet. Again, any argument that relies on the future caries no weight, regardless of which side of the debate it might benefit. If Hovind's prediction were not presented under the guise of science, it would be possible to accept this as his standalone belief, but he then imposes it upon himself to quote a line of scripture that that tells us, directly and not through interpretation, that God will not create more after the first six days. That would immediately end this dissertation, and I would be willing to pursue new ideas. (An important note about work beyond six days: Christ as good as tells us that He is very alive and still working.)

Having said all this, I aim to prove that the differences between Creationism and Evolution (or Darwinism) are akin to the following two statements:

Creationism: The cat is on the table.
Evolution: The table is beneath the cat.

Before I analyze the first few chapters of Genesis, line-by-line, I want to first touch on the nature of God, as God's nature is paramount to the gifts He bestows us with. According to my understanding, the greatest two physical (i.e. observable) gifts we all receive are this world and our bodies (salvation notwithstanding). There's a forward in my copy of The Holy Bible (King James Version) that briefly alludes to the fact that we can learn about God, the path He chooses for us, and the nature of His character through His Word:

"The Bible tells us about God, shows us God's mighty acts in the lives of his people, and describes how people responded to God. From the Bible we learn what God is like and what he expects from us."

The Bible and the Holy Spirit are what guide and enable us to grow as Christians. It is not sufficient to merely believe in Christ, but we must also follow and obey Him to truly save our immortal souls. Where I once felt the need to intellectually dignify this pursuit, I have since discovered that I can both approach the gospel intellectually AND enjoy the sheer happiness and freedom of serving Christ, as I find no rational conflict between the two.

Finally, I don't believe the book of Genesis is generally relevant to our daily lives, but it is certainly, according to my perception, one of the most hotly debated and easily subverted books, as it requires a literal acceptance that often contradicts the accepted scientific interpretation. Satan doesn't need to shatter the entire book to instil doubt into our hearts; instead, he merely needs to render it seemingly imperfect, which can be accomplished if we doubt as little as one syllable of the Word. Genesis is easy prey in that regard, and that's why, although we don't necessarily demonstrate its lessons as we journey through life, it's less relatable than some of God's more visible (to us) miracles, such as the book of Acts.


There are two contexts of nature:

1) the essence of something;
2) the physical world we inhabit (i.e. the wilderness).

I have said that it's important for Scripture and science to converge, not because earthly properties are more important than spiritual properties, nor should anything in the physical realm be held above the influence of the Holy Spirit, but because everything in nature (prior to Satan's influence) is a reflection of God as a Creator.

It is plausible to assert that a genuinely good and caring God would not create us in a manner that would distort our understanding of our surroundings, nor would He immerse us in surroundings that would deceive us. If God is truly altruistic, He would not create us with eyes that would not see the world for what it is. In other words, if I were to hold up two fingers and ask another person how many are being shown, and both parties are capable of seeing, and both have a concrete understanding of how many fingers constitute the number two, and neither person is schizophrenic or subject to any disease that might distort his or her view of the world, then that person should not see any other number but two. However, if that person--all these ifs cannot be understated--sees any other number, his or her eyes are showing his or her brain an image that is inconsistent with the physical world God created, which would indicate a deceptive flaw in this person's creation, and that flaw would be God's deliberate work. This would suggest that God's nature is not good but deceptive.

Considering the above logic, and, combining it with the premise that God created the Earth as a host for our material bodies, and, that along with our bodies the Earth is perhaps the greatest gift (aside from salvation) that God might give us, it would be indicative of a caring God to create an Earth that would not deceive us. Therefore, as the earth presents us with many repeatedly observable instances that it is indeed older than 6000 years, I am inclined to believe that it is, not because science tells me so but because I genuinely believe God is good.

The passage of time is not one that God describes in hours or minutes or seconds, but He instead describes it in days. I do not believe that, if God exists:

1) God has lied to us through the Scripture; or
2) God has lied to us through His creations.

Now then, let us examine why Creationism and evolution might be the same points with different semantics, granting all benefit of doubt to the scripture but only where ambiguities exist in both the gospel and scientific observation.


Christians contend, in accordance with the Scripture, as they ought to contend things, that Creation takes place over the course of six days. They also contend that any other interpretation is misguided and the work of Satan. These principles cannot be compromised in order to accept the gospel, and that is not something I would challenge.

Although I will attempt to splice science and Scripture to support a hybrid conclusion, I would first acknowledge the following possibility: God is entitled to test our faith with earthly and scriptural inconsistencies, but I don't believe He would, as I've yet to find any other instance where He doesn't guide us accordingly. It is imperative that God teaches humanity about sin, as it's the only way to enable humanity to avoid sin and live a proper life. Furthermore, it is arguably impossible for man to do God's will without His grace and guidance, as we are naturally inclined to sin. Adam and Eve didn't fall from grace because they accepted Satan's false gospel but because they rejected God's pure gospel. We are all able to accomplish the wrong objectives of our individual motivations, i.e. we can happen upon sin independently of Satan's temptations. I believe God realized this and that is one of the many reasons He has been so giving throughout our existence. The joy of Christ's message and sacrifice is that we might achieve salvation through Him, and, had we never been introduced to Christ, there would be little or perhaps no chance for us to join God in Heaven.

That is why, when God created the earth, and prior to Satan's influence on the world, it is unfair for man to impose earthly restrictions on God, the kingdom of Heaven, or how slowly time passes there. According to my understanding of the accepted argument in favour of Creationism, many Christians do just that. For instance, you might have heard the following statement, which I believe but cannot attribute to a proper source: "A thousand years on earth is like a second in Heaven." In other words, if we die and are accepted into God's kingdom, the time and distance spent away from our loved ones (who are eventually accepted into the kingdom) is imperceptible. Because of this disparity, it is entirely possible that, prior to the creation of the Earth, moon, and sun, the days described in the gospel are relative to God and not us. If this were the cause, only human vanity could purport that the first three days are subject to earthly increments of time, as earthly days rely entirely on the existence of the sun and the speed at which our planet rotates.

Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

This is a rather bloated passage in terms of substance, especially when you consider the grandeur of some of the objects mentioned therein. An earth without form is not an earth as we know it, and certainly not the way we live and perceive it during our human lives. Instead, it is the sum of all the components God uses when He gives the earth its form in verse 3. Truly, we need the earth, as no Christian life (or life in general) could be lived if we were born into an existence that couldn't sustain us. That is why the Earth must come first, not just because of relative logic, but because God understands that we need it, and, therefore, He creates it for us out of love.

On the subject of water, there are many secular philosophies that regard water as a vehicle of chaos (a malleable soup, if you will), which is how the universe is described here. The universe is created in verse one, and, as neither side of the debate suggests there is no universe, it seems futile to suggest there is no deliberate reason for it to exist. Why would anything exist without an origin? Beyond that, it's easy to focus on the fact that darkness enshrouds everything in the physical realm (especially when you consider how dramatic it would be to witness light cast on something for the very first time EVER), but that really defers attention away from the important point here, which is that the universe exists but has no form.

In science, this same point is phrased differently (think of the cat sentences) and is described as a swirling soup of inert gases and energies and, in layman's terms, a whole mess of stuff. There are two forms of substance: energy and matter. Matter can be broken down into energy, just as energy can react to form physical objects called matter. In my humble opinion, this is air tight parallel between the two camps, as each side is saying the exact same thing with different words. It is not until the universe is given a form that Creationism and evolution seemingly part ways, mostly due (again) to phrasing. For more on this point, let us skip ahead to verse 9.

Genesis 1:9 "And God said, Let the waters [energy and gas] under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so."

There are certain points that are important to consider here, and, as mentioned above, they differ only in phrasing. First, let us address Creation.

Both sides accept that a reaction occurs in the universe, and God phrases it by saying that it was He who compelled the formless universe (waters) to take a deliberate shape. To describe the exact same reaction, scientists coin the term "Big bang" and purport that it's an accident. They assert this by observing, through complex technology, that the universe is still expanding, and this is how they conclude that it must have started at a very finite point. Let us stress here that science is only able to assume that it started that way, by retroactively tracing the expansion back to an origin. What is problematic about this approach is not the way it unfolds, but why it unfolds.

Because science cannot possibly observe the beginning of the universe, science cannot prove there actually was a beginning, in spite of scientists' consensus there was. Hovind, therefore, has every right to contend that scientists are wrong, as they can only make educated guesses as to how the universe took its form, and who are they to defend something they haven't observed and could never experiment with? Beyond that, it makes little sense for Hovind to actually contend the big bang theory, insomuch as its manifestation--if not its origin--supports the first verse of The Bible. Again, it's not a matter of WHAT happened but WHY, and, as science has no possible way of ever explaining it, which I would combine with the staggering similarity it shares with the gospel, I must insist that the universe's history, regardless of how old it is, cannot possibly result from anything but God.

If inert gases were inclined to react in such a way that would produce the universe as we know it, there would likely not have been a time when the universe was in a former state, unless there was a time when the gases didn't exist. That must mean that the following statements are true (and in occurred in the sequence presented):

1) There was a time when the universe didn't exist, else it would have reacted independently of God and taken it's present state;
2) Because there was a time when the universe wasn't in its present state, it must mean that something created it. This something must also be the force that ignited it to take its present form.

Since all of the above is described both by science and The Bible, I maintain that it is absolute truth, and I trust that I've satisfied the reader as to the legitimacy of both points, which do support one another.

Aside: One of the things I struggled with when I was first introduced to the New Testament was the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not all live during the days of Christ. "That should be encouraging," said one of my brothers in Christ, "because they were able to write such similar accounts of acts they didn't all witness." To this I replied: "Is that so hard? If I were to read A Tale of Two Cities, just as they might have read existing scripture, I could then write something eerily similar and make slight changes, then present it as my own insight." It's true that very few copies of the existing books of the Bible were available, as there were no print presses, but it's entirely plausible that three of these four men were simply mimicking the work of their predecessors. [NOTE: I've since read substantial evidence that supports the authenticity of the New Testament as examined through the same tests used to verify all documents of similar antiquity. Beyond that, there is also compelling evidence to suggest these books were all written within a centure of Christ's passing. Please refer to Jeff McDowell's More Than a Carpenter for further study on this subject.]

I have since prayed on this subject and have come to accept all four books as true gospel, but, ironically, I now find myself making the exact same argument my friend once did: scientists are arguing in favour of the gospel, saying precisely what God does, but they are attributing a very concise act to a random, arbitrary influence. The fact that God's Word predates our ability to properly study the universe is evidence to me that science is only supporting a gospel that could not have been confidently presented by anyone lesser than God or his prophets.

There are many who think the physical and spiritual worlds are mutually exclusive, but I contend, for the reasons mentioned above, that the physical realm is the deliberate manifestation of God's hand, i.e. not an accident. But this does little to explain why the earth tells us, through observable and repeatable experiments, why it is much older than we can summate in the later chapters where God defines time as a concrete measure, specifically when He describes the generations that descend from Adam and Eve (Seth, Enos, Cainan, etc.). He is also very detailed in describing the exact dimensions of Noah's ark, which are quite unnecessary for me as a believer. In other words, I consider it superfluous data that we know the size of the ark, but it only adds detail, which is not a bad thing. When held against the six days mentioned in earlier chapters of the same book by the same author (Moses?), it stands to reason that no time is attributed to the length of the day because the length is inconsistent. I see no reason for God to muddle His gospel with an explanation that earlier generations might struggle to accept, and, as an editor, consider this ambiguity as deliberate as the concrete statements presented in the Bible. In other words, sometimes one says a lot by saying nothing at all.

Genesis 1: 3-5 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

Genesis 1: 8 "...And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Genesis 1: 13 "...And the evening and the morning were the third day."

I believe that is human nature to assume the situation of others matches our own. I also consider it a very subtle form of vanity, and it expresses itself through heated differences that we sometimes dwell on, be they with regards to important matters like Scripture or trivial issues like whether olives make suitable pizza toppings. As such, Creationists assume, in these passages, that the first three days are identical to ours, which is defined as the time it takes for the earth to rotate once along its axis. As I mentioned above, I do believe that, in Heaven, we experience no separation from our loved ones, and, as such, the time difference between a day in Heaven and a day on earth would be not only staggering but entirely reliant on one's situation as well as one's ability to perceive it.

In these first three days, the sources of light are not the Sun or the Moon, as they cannot possibly influence the days that precede their creation. Since the sun and moon are not created until later (described in verses 16-19), I contend that it's plausible that God instead describes a day from His perspective, as He would have no basis upon which to do otherwise.

Because the sun and moon are not the source of light that is cast upon the universe in verses 3-15, I would contend that God is the source of that light (Christ would eventually describe Himself in terms of light). If Heaven were located at an appropriate distance, and it might be, it is also possible that the light would take a staggering amount of time to reach the Earth, which could account for the following assumptions while allowing them to unanimously support one another:

1. A good and caring God would not create a world that would deceive us by telling us it is much older than it truly is;
2. The first three days cannot be based on earthly time increments (and perhaps the next three, as God never imposes a time on the length of a day but instead the number of days that elapse);
3. It is entirely possible for the world to be billions of years old and not distort the Scripture, if the light God cast upon us originates from a great distance and travels at the same speed we observe today.

When Hovind insists that a day is 24 hours, he is indeed using his eyes and his ability to observe to make this conclusion. This is scientific because we repeatedly observe that the earth takes 24 hours to complete a circadian cycle. Conversely, when Hovind insists that a day for God is 24 hours, he has absolutely no evidence (and certainly no proof) that this is true. That is why I am convinced that Creationism and evolution can co-exist, because it stands to reason that God needn't tell us the length of a day (or six) in Heaven in order to guide our spirits. [My friend Devan has since noted that Christ uses parables to teach his disciples about things they would not understand until later, and that it's possible that God is doing the same through Genesis. Thanks, Dev!]

I am utterly willing to abandon my assertion as soon as someone can present me with a Biblical verse that states God spent 144 hours in creating the universe. Until then, I am going to trust both sources of information, both of which are gifts from God: the gospel and the world, respectively.

I will now discuss the physical properties of evolution, as I consider my argument about the relativity of time as being complete.


Just as science observes repeatable tests that suggest the world is very old, humanity has discovered the fossilized remains of creatures in God's image that predate Biblical generations. I have read differing points on this subject, one that suggests man evolved from these primitive creatures, specifically those that are regarded as apes' ancestors, and another school of thought that suggests apes merely came before man. I am inclined to believe the latter for two reasons:

1) There is supposedly a missing link, which is, in layman's terms, a large gap of time that we have no fossils to account for, as science tries to connect humanity and apes;
2) There is Scriptural evidence that supports the notion that ape-like creatures came before man, and, in this case, it is much less subtle than the time argument, though understandably more difficult to accept.

Genesis 1:26-7 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Unfortunately, a literal interpretation of the Scripture can be a handicap, as the use of certain words changes over time. It is possible that a sentence written thousands of years ago would make sense to someone who read it today, but the meaning of certain words might have changed, which can dramatically influence the way we perceive things. In the case of ape before man, I think apes are described as men and women, because, whether we like it or not, they share many of our anatomical features. There is an important difference to note between the above passage and the creation of Adam, which is the fact that God breathes life (a soul) into Adam, whereas here he encourages the men and women to multiply in the same manner as the other creatures. Proper humanity is not subject to this practice until after the fall, and I think it no editorial error or meagre redundancy that God mentions the creation of man more than once, which suggests to me that God made baser creatures first and soon tires of the first, soulless, men-shaped creatures:

Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

This is clearly not the same men and women described in book 1, but the one man and one woman whose lineage we would all descend from, in spite of the eradication of most during the flood. I really don't see what more needs to be argued about this point, mostly because of my editorial inclination to assume every syllable and word in the Bible has its own purpose for being there. There are instances when things are repeated for the sake of clarity, but they are always prefaced with phrasing such as "These are the generations of..." or some such cue. Since the same thing is mentioned twice in consecutive chapters of Genesis, I believe they refer to different things that, while they are very similar in phrasing, are presented as such in very vague terms of the sake of describing a progressive timeline. It makes sense that human fossils are much younger than those of extinct creatures, because I consider the world's creation a very progressive procedure.

Consider this: If God is truly omnipotent, couldn't He just snap His fingers and create everything at once? Remember, God is not merely the strongest being in existence; He is the very extent of strength itself, i.e. limitless in that regard. That He takes more time than seemingly necessary to perform His acts is not something I have any authority to challenge; I merely accept it as being His way of doing things. That is why that, even though we might not be the first creatures He invents, I trust that He had a very deliberate reason for creating the dinosaurs. Without their existence several millions of years ago, they would not have been buried beneath the soil, along with many other surface dwellers, and subsequently converted to crude oil over great periods of time. When you consider the way crude oil, though it is an inefficient source of energy, has advanced our technologies and brought us together as a global community, thus allowing us to spread Christ's gospel, I can find very relative reasons for the deplorable way we thrust toxins into the atmosphere. The breadth and scope of purpose and reason is so far beyond our ability to reason it, that I am very inclined, and comfortable in that inclination, to hold both arguments side by side and accept both faithfully. The only places they seem to differ are in the ambiguities, and that only adds to my confidence.


While I do accept the above arguments for the time being, I will continue to investigate and pray on these matters. Please, if you have anything to add to this debate and my ideas, do not hesitate to send any constructive comments my way.


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