GENESIS: 6 DAYS OR 6 BILLION YEARS? (Appendix 1)

1 – Introduction
2 – Instantaneous Creation
3 – Recent Creation
4 – Starlight, Star Distances, and the Speed of Light
5 – Genesis Is Scientific
6 – Creation versus Gradual Evolution Debate: a Summary
7 – Naturalism versus Super-Naturalism
8 – Big Bang Theory
9 – Astronomy and Academia
10 – Astrology: Earth at the Center of the Universe?
11 – Life on Other Worlds? And Conclusion
Appendix 1: Outline of the Days of Creation
Appendix 2: Scientists’ Opinions on Big Bang Theory

APPENDIX 1: Outline of the Days of Creation

Let us take a closer look now at that great supernatural explanation and story that has been made available to us in Genesis, chapter 1. As this series of posts is trying to make clear, from the scientific point of view, there is every reason to understand that the Creation “process” was instantaneous, not long and drawn out.

The only question now is, did it really happen in six literal days or not? Well, if it didn’t happen in six days, God could have done it in three days, or we might stretch it out to ten days. Since we have no other information to go on, then we might as well settle for what Genesis 1 tells us – six days.

Day 1: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)

Time, space (“the heavens”), earth, water, light. These are the basic raw materials needed. To build a house, before it can take shape, you need the basic materials of lumber, bricks, concrete, and so on. Or to do a painting or computerized artwork, you need the foundation of a canvas, paints, a background. Similarly, at this point (in the beginning of the Beginning), the environment, being “without form, and void” had not taken shape; it was not yet ready for habitation. But the basic materials were now made available.

Strangely enough, light was created at this time, but without the sun. It appears that God Himself was the source of light. Interestingly, it is said of the future Heavenly City that it “had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23, 22:5 – KJV)

Many cultures throughout history have worshiped the sun, our source of heat and light, without which there would be no life on Earth. Had they known the Genesis account, they would have understood that God, who dwells beyond the boundaries of the physical universe, is the ultimate and true source of life.

Then finally, perhaps to underline the fact that “time” had begun, verse 5 states, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” And this evening-morning phrase is repeated for each day of the Creation week. Time (as we know it) had begun. The creation of our environment brought with it the creation of time, Earth’s version of it at least.

Although many have tried to say the “days” of the Creation week actually mean long ages of time, there is nothing in the ancient Hebrew wordings to suggest such an interpretation. (See Footnote for more explanation.)

What time would be like in the celestial dimension, where it either doesn’t exist or runs in a way different to ours, is difficult for us to fathom. At any rate it seems, by this repeated reference to “evening and. . . morning”, that time as we know it became part of the dimensional framework of our environment.

It has been said that time is God’s way of keeping things from happening all at once. God must have known it would be necessary for us, as imperfect beings separated from the Celestial Realm, to plod along in the kind of time dimension that God created for us on Day 1 – “in the beginning”.

Day 2: And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. (Genesis 1:6-8)

On Day 1 the earth was “without form and void”. (1:2) But now a little structure comes in – the “expanse” of the atmosphere is created. Interestingly, the atmosphere was placed between the waters below and a special canopy of waters (or water vapor) above. Such an arrangement generated a tropical or semi-tropical climate throughout the Earth, even in the polar regions. And there is plenty of fossil evidence in support of that.

It also caused an unusual form of precipitation, as Genesis 2:5-6 explains: “before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. . . the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth. . . but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” (2:5-6, NKJV) This canopy of water vapor collapsed at the time of the Flood cataclysm with the result that Earth’s climate changed a great deal, launching an ice age; the climate later stabilized into the equilibrium of our present-day set of  weather conditions, more extreme than what existed in the Pre-Flood Age.

Since the word “expanse” differs from the word “heavens” in verse 1, this suggests that the two are not the same. But then, since verse 8 states, “God called the expanse Heaven,” this suggests that the “expanse” was to be considered as a sort of subset of the “heavens”. From our earthly point of view, the expanse and the heavens all look the same. Perhaps God didn’t want to differentiate it too clearly; it would have been too difficult to understand for people in ages gone by. But there is just enough differentiation to satisfy our modern scientific view of things – of an atmosphere (expanse) separate from outer space (the heavens).

It seems that God worded the Creation account in such a way that it would be brief with just enough detail to appeal to peoples throughout history, ranging widely in their capacity to understand – from the uneducated to the cleverest of scientists.

For similar reasons, that also may be why the Genesis account doesn’t make it clear that Earth is a sphere (although certain other Scriptures do suggest that). Genesis doesn’t say clearly that Earth is a sphere or that the heavens stretch far into space, neither does it say that Earth is flat or the stars are nearby. These are bits of knowledge that were not needed for most of human history. He’s left it for modern man to figure it out, in an age when the human race needs that knowledge for its space exploration programs.

It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent. You cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind! (Proverbs 25:2, TLB)

The whole of Day 2 was spent in fashioning the atmosphere, perhaps because this is such an important feature in our environment. For that is what sets Earth apart from other planets in the cosmos and enables our planet to support biological life systems. Whether or not other planets somewhere in the universe have similar conditions is, nowadays, a big question, one that is addressed elsewhere in this study.

Day 3: And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
        And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. (1:9-12)

Dry land appears out of the sea. Again, things are starting to take shape – one more step from the shapeless and void state at the beginning of the Creation process. At this point the environmental stage is set for plant life. And we note here that there is an orderly progression in the Creation account: plants need light (Day 1), air and water (Day 2), and now soil (Day 3).

We should note also the phrase “according to its kind. . . to their own kinds.” Contrary to modern teachings, the various classes of plants and animals (Days 5 and 6) were created; they didn’t evolve over a long period of time from simple life forms to more complex ones. (See Posts 4B-4F in the Retrieving Our Lost Heritage series for more information on this issue.)

Day 4: And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. (1:14-19)

Up to this time God Himself had been supplying the light, but now that task gets delegated to the sun, moon, and stars. To complete the creation of the universe as a domain separate from the Celestial Realm, it was needful for God to withdraw from directly supplying the light and warmth needed to sustain life.

God didn’t try to explain the deeper scientific truths of how day and night results from the spherical Earth rotating on its axis, nor the fact that the seasons are caused by the Earth revolving around the sun, nor the fact that the stars are located deep in outer space. To understand the true physical nature of the universe was not needed in days gone by.

Although the Bible doesn’t explain everything, yet to understand “everything”, the Bible is essential. For example, consider the ice age. The Bible doesn’t say there was an ice age; geological science has learned that it happened. But the only way to explain how the ice age could have happened is by understanding it as the natural result of the Flood cataclysm, the account of which is found in the Bible.

All the naturalist theories for a gradual origin of the ice age have proven inadequate. Likewise, all the theories of star formation, or how the stars are situated so far away, seem inadequate. The first real step towards understanding star formation will be to see them as the result of the divine process of creation.

A major reason for the cosmos’ existence lies in how it interacts with life on earth. The cosmos was positioned so that the sun, moon, and stars could “be for signs and seasons. . . days and years”. God designed the cosmos in such a way that the passage of time, navigation, astrological profiles and horoscopes all depend heavily on the motions of the sun, planets, and stars in how they appear to revolve around the Earth.

So, besides providing light and warmth from the sun, the cosmos makes it possible for humankind to monitor the passage of time (seasons, days, years); and also, to act as “signs”, which appears to be referring to the astrological influences of the cosmos that have so much to do with shaping our lives and personalities and even world events.

Just because they are far away does not mean that God couldn’t figure out how to intimately connect the stars and planets with the activities and personal lives of us here on Earth. Like a template, these influences – our cosmic destiny – do not exercise total pre-determinism over us. How we exercise our free will and choice has everything to do with how much or how well the outline of one’s life gets filled in. And whatever we don’t or can’t learn in our earthly lives, we will have plenty of opportunity for that in the Afterlife.

Day 5: And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. (1:20-21)

Since plant life had appeared on Day 3, the stage was now set for living creatures – the fish and the birds – who would need that vegetation for their food.

Day 6: And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
        Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
       
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
        
(1:24-27)

The waters, the atmosphere, and vegetation had been created first (Days 1, 2, and 3), so the fish and birds were the first life forms to get created (on Day 5). Land also had been created on Day 3, so next on the list was the creation of land animals on Day 6. And since the sun, moon, and stars had been created on Day 4 to serve as “signs. . . seasons. . . days and years”, then everything was ready also for the creation of the first human beings who could appreciate and make use of those celestial bodies.

Regarding human beings, Genesis makes clear the fact that “in the image of God. . . he created them”, which is why they are listed as a creation separate from the animals and are greater than them because of having “dominion” over them. Here again, modern thinking tries to contradict these words with evolutionary speculations that humans are just a more highly evolved animal.

True, many of the same design features used in the mammalian group of animals were used also in human beings. Still, there is no getting away from the fact, scientifically, that we did not evolve; we were created. And we were created as a special being with attributes similar to God’s. (See Posts 4D and 4E in the Retrieving Our Lost Heritage series for more information on this issue.)

Day 7: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)

***

Footnote: Do the “Days” of Creation Mean “Ages of Time”?

(Excerpt fromHow Old is the Earth according to the Bible” by Dr. John D. Morris, 1 February 1995)
        Of course the genealogies only begin with the creation of Adam, so the question of time before Adam remains. As has been well noted on these pages, the six days of Creation Week must be of the same length as our days. We recognize, however, that the Hebrew word yom, translated “day,” can have a variety of meanings, including an indefinite period of time. Thus, some have suggested that these six days might then be equated with the billions of years claimed by geologists.
        Whenever a word in Scripture can have a variety of meanings, we must go to the context to determine what it does mean and not be content with what it might mean. And when we do, we find that the first time yom is used, it is defined as a solar day (Genesis 1:3), and then a total day/night cycle (1:3).
       
Furthermore, yom is modified by “evening and morning,” which in Hebrew can only mean a literal day. It is also modified by an ordinal number (first, second, etc.), a construction limited in Hebrew to that of a literal day. Elsewhere the six days of creation are equated with the six days of our work week (Exodus 20:11), a formula incorporated in the fourth of the Ten Commandments regarding the Sabbath rest. We should mention that the use of a numeral to modify “days,” in this case “6,” is again reserved for a literal day in Hebrew, as is the use of the plural word “days.”
       
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