Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”
And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”
7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.
8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land
that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit
with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning–the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night,
and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
16 God made two great lights–the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.
He also made the stars.
17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,
18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning–the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems,according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”
23 And there was evening, and there was morning–the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground,
and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures
that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air,over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea
and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground
–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
– Genesis 1-2:3, New International Bible
This, as I understand it, is your story and you not only believe it is the truth, you want it to be taught in science classes as an equal to Natural Selection and Evolution.
The almost universal opinion of just about all scientists including astronomers, geneticists, paleontologists, and geologists is that Genesis wasn’t science, isn’t science and never will be science. Its only backing seems to be an assumption that The Holy Bible is “the Word of God,” which is a religious belief rather than science and supported by faith but not by observation, experiment, or even its own text.
There are a number of anomalies.
The Moon presides over the day just as frequently as it does the night and sheds the same amount of light in either case. If God had the intention stated in Genesis for the Moon to “govern the night,” then He erred substantially in that it is only present at night half of the time and then it goes through phases which include half the light being on the wrong side of the Moon half the time and so the Moon is fulfilling its stated purpose less than a quarter of the time. If this were “Intelligent Design,” and if God’s intention were for the Moon to be a light in the night sky, He could have done better.
Furthermore, the Sun defines “day” and “night,” and, yet the light, including “days and nights” was created on the first day, yet the Sun and Moon and stars were created on the fourth “day.” Whatever meanings you give to this use of the words “day” and “night” have no correlation to either science or logic.
In this supposed history of the Universe, God created vegetation on the third “day” before He created the Sun. If the creator of this fable had known today what we know about photosynthesis, he would probably not have created the plants before the energy source that sustains them. Again, this “design,” if it were a design, wasn’t particularly intelligent, given modern information.
Science is supposed to be about what we can discern from study and experiment. Other than this book, there is no data to persuade me to believe any of this.
We see, in our telescopes, stars and solar systems at all stages of evolution, from nurseries of stars ringed with yet-unformed planetary mass to stars which had been shining more than 13 billion years ago. We know this because we can see 13.7 billion years into the past looking at stars that existed back then but so far away that the light is just now getting here. We may debate about minor details, but the Universe is far older and far bigger than the people who wrote the Old Testament could even imagine. Again, Genesis just isn’t science. It doesn’t match what we see. It doesn’t match what we know for certain.
We KNOW evolution happens. We’ve inadvertently bred antibiotic-resistant viruses and pesticide-resistant bugs. We’ve consciously bred racehorses, dogs and cats from quite different ancestors. The domestic cow has been altered by man’s persistent meddling in a process called “breeding” which isn’t natural selection but fulfills the same process of slowly altering the species to maximize either milk, meat or both. We’ve also bred plants that far exceed the outputs of their genetic predecessors. We’ve purposely made smallpox extinct and eliminated many other species due to over-hunting and or loss of habitat. The rate of extinctions is currently higher than it has been in millions of years.
We have fossil records all over the Earth that consistently show layers that match the story of evolution. Except for birds and a few species like the shark and the crocodile, dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65.5 million years ago. Paleontologists have found massive areas with the fossilized bones of hundreds of large duck-billed hadrosaurs who all died more-or-less together at the same time and in the same place. This matches a small layer of ash found around the world and a change in the color of the mudstone they’re found in. Even around Mt. Ararat, let alone anywhere else, there is no layer commemorating Noah’s Flood, no silt, no dead plants, animals, or humans; no hint of a mass extinction as humans and animals congregated on top of hills and mountains to escape the wrath of God.
We don’t find fossilized human bones with any dinosaurs. We don’t find monkey bones or bear bones or the bones of any land mammal as large or larger than a squirrel. We don’t even find the residue of grass seeds or trees. Clearly the world existed for hundreds of millions of years with plants and animals unlike today. The evidence suggests a succession of global catastrophes. Earlier disasters were worse as the extinction chart shows. Furthermore, the layers of silt which have accumulated all over the globe show a consistent, worldwide pattern of evolution originating with the deepest, oldest layers being consistently tiny, primitive life forms.
The Human Genome Project has discovered a great deal about the evolution of the human race. The genetic diversity all points to mankind originating on the continent of Africa a couple million years ago, long after the hundred-million-year rule of dinosaurs was over but well before the “History” in Genesis begins. Paleontology corroborates these findings. Geologists all study the evolution of the surface of our planet which again refutes Genesis. The “Genesis Rock” from the moon, is older than any rock yet found on the surface of Earth and confirms the predictions of geologists and astronomers.
You have a book you believe. Yet even that book says in a number of places that it was written by men. The Bible itself, when honestly read, refutes the assumption that it is inerrant. Furthermore, recent Biblical studies by renowned theologians have come to similar conclusions about errors in the Bible.
I have a “book” that I believe was written in a kind of language. It is the layers of the Earth itself. It is the light from the stars. It is our DNA. It is the work of our scientific community no longer fettered by religious prejudice or preconceived notions.
I believe this “book” for the most part and If God has created lies for us by creating the illusion of a vast and old universe, then I consent to be deceived by Him.
But if mankind has created the fiction of a young and human-centered universe, then I don’t consent to be deceived. This isn’t science, it’s religious belief and foisting it on us is an homage to the Inquisition where anything contrary to Scripture was actively silenced. If it were science, it would be very bad science and unworthy of our schools.
In any case, as Ira Gershwin said, “It ain’t necessarily so. The things that you’re liable to find in the Bible just ain’t necessarily so.”
A small postscript: I DO believe that the Universe was created – considerably more than 13 billion years ago. I do not believe the Big Bang Theory and I haven’t a clue how this Creation could have happened, but I do believe in a Creation and a Creator. I marvel at the atom and imagine an intelligence behind its intricate design. This belief that I have may some day be confirmed or refuted. In the meantime, it, too, is just belief and not science.
©David N. Dodson, November, 2015, Phoenix, AZ