It was reported that the Scottish geologist, Hugh Miller, was driven insane in his attempts to reconcile the geologic column with the Genesis narrative. Hopefully, we will fare a little better.
Probably all of us have heard or read that the creation narrative in the first chapter of Genesis conflicts with the modern Big Bang theory of cosmology. If scientists are correct about the origins of the universe and the earth, and if the Bible is true history, then there should be no disagreement.
If it can be demonstrated that the biblical text is not contradictory to science, then the reverse should also be true; the Big Bang should present no challenge to the Bible. We will see the value of a literal interpretation of Genesis from the remarkable harmony between Moses’s account and the latest theories of modern science. Allegorical, poetical, or mythological pandering is not only unwarranted, but detrimental to the spirit of the text.
If we keep in mind that the six days of creation are long periods of indefinite length where God did His creative work, and if we allow for the limitations of archaic language, then the two accounts, one from Scripture, the other from nature, are entirely compatible.
Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created” the sky and the land.
What? That doesn’t sound familiar? All right, if you insist, “the heaven and the earth.”
Satisfied? Yes, it sounds better in the King James Version, but here is the point. We modern folk are quite educated about our physical universe. At the mention of the word “heaven” we can picture or imagine planets, comets, black holes, supernovas, dark matter, galaxies, and the like. The Hebrew shepherd of 3,000 years ago saw a bright sun in the daytime and twinkling pinpoints of light, accompanied by a moon at night. His “heaven,” in the natural sense, was merely our “sky.”
This globe is decorated with continents, oceans, islands, and ice caps, but these would be as foreign to that Hebrew shepherd for the word he knew as “earth” as it would be if we tried to foist our known universe on him as “heaven.” The “earth” was all the land he could see from horizon to horizon, plus whatever distant lands he may have heard about, nothing more.
“Heaven” and “earth” are correct words, there is nothing wrong with them, but the very first sentence of the Bible can set us up for error if we are not cautious. We need to pause and reflect on a context quite ancient. With that caveat, let us look closely at the beginning.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). A word spoken by the Creator to commence the creation might have sounded something like “kaboom!” What had never been before, now was. Space, time, matter, and energy began. God spoke, and a universe came forth.
Astrophysicists say that hydrogen and helium gas spread out in an enormous cloud that through time was destined to become galaxies, stars, a sun, an earth, and us. What has bothered some physicists is that an inception point, a beginning, indicates something they may not wish to admit. The Big Bang can best be described as a creation event, requiring a Creator.
Over the course of billions of years after the Big Bang, clumps of matter drawn together by the force of gravity formed stars revolving around central cores that astronomers believe are black holes. Our own Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with our sun situated in a quiet spot near one of the outer arms. Our solar system, comprised of the Sun and its nine planets, revolves around the center of the Milky Way, making one circuit every 230 million years. [i]
The Beginning of the Universe
If our universe had a beginning, a creation, and its commencement was in an explosion, then we might expect there would be some remnant evidence attesting to that. And there is. Over a dozen independent proofs are available today confirming a beginning point for our universe. [ii] We will discuss just six.
Red Shift. When light emitting objects are moving away from us, the light waves are elongated. The visible light is then “shifted” toward the red end of the spectrum. The reverse would also be true, such that if objects in space were speeding toward us, the light waves would be “blue shifted” due to a compacting of the light waves. The greater the speed, the greater the shift. The amount of red shifting affords an approximate measure of the speed at which space objects are propelled apart.
By measuring red shift, Edwin Hubble observed that the farthest galaxies were moving away from us at the fastest speeds. Working backwards, the implications were that the entire universe originated at one place at one time. Thus far, no one has come up with any acceptable alternative, though a few keep trying.
Thermal Heat Loss. The extreme temperatures achieved at the beginning of the Big Bang have dissipated through billions of years, but the background radiation left over still has a temperature of 2.726 degrees Kelvin. [iii] This is within 3 degrees of what physicists predicted would be left from a universal explosion, from calculations done as far back as 1948. [iv]
Background Radiation. We can see evidence of the Big Bang just by turning on a television set and placing the channel selector to any unassigned channel. About 1 per cent of the visual static is residual background radiation from the Big Bang.
Scientists at Bell labs, Wilson and Penzias, discovered this effect accidentally while trying to remedy static detected by their sensitive instruments. They searched for the origin of the annoying interference, and found to their amazement the universe itself was the source, emanating a faint echo of that primordial event.
Hydrogen Depletion. Hydrogen, the lightest atomic element, is the prime component in stars. The effect of gravity causes the cores of stars to increase in temperature until the point is reached where hydrogen atoms fuse together forming helium, much as in the hydrogen bomb with its resultant release of energy.
The increasing pressure of gravity causes the helium in turn to fuse into heavier atoms, and so on, forming heavier and heavier elements. When a sufficient amount of these heavier elements has collected in the core of a star, it dies, or if it is massive enough, it explodes in a supernova. This irreversible decline of hydrogen in the universe implies that hydrogen must have been created at the beginning. [v]
Abundance of Helium. The amount of ambient helium remains virtually constant from place to place throughout the universe. [vi] Peebles calculated in 1966 that the observed ratio of helium to hydrogen matches exactly what would have resulted during the first four minutes of the Big Bang using the radiation temperature published by Wilson and Penzias. [vii]
Temperature Fluctuations. One of the perplexing mysteries to the Big Bang theory concerned how galaxies formed in clusters. Logically, a smooth explosion should have produced a uniform universe. In 1989, NASA launched the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite. Its instruments detected temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background amounting to barely thirty-millionths of a degree Kelvin. “The fluctuations represent tiny gravitational ripples - variations in the density of matter,” Science News reported. The article went on to say:
Cosmologists believe these ripples unbalanced the primordial universe enough to cause matter to begin lumping together and, after 15 billion years, evolve into the cosmic structures found today. [viii]
Cosmologist Joseph Silk described the COBE findings as “the missing link.” He continued:
The lack of fluctuations has been a major obstacle in having many people accept not just [theories of] galaxy formation but the basic premises of the Big Bang. [ix]
A rational conclusion is that the universe had a beginning. The time of the beginning is dependent upon the Hubble constant, the rate of expansion. This number has not been confirmed, but the Big Bang at about 12 billion years ago is a middle-ground number. Physicists in rival camps typically add or subtract up to 4 billion years. [x]
Jump Starting the Cosmos
Preston Cloud in his book, Cosmos, Earth and Man, said the question of first causes “transcends the bounds of science.” [xi] Robert Jastrow amplifies that point:
What is the ultimate solution to the origin of the Universe? The answers provided by the astronomers are disconcerting and remarkable. Most remarkable of all is the fact that in science, as in the Bible, the world begins with an act of creation. [xii]
The beginning of the universe was light. God’s very brilliance shown forth and manifested itself. John Wiester narrates:
The first particles to emerge were photons (particles of light) and neutrinos (subatomic particles that travel through solid bodies at the speed of light). These were almost instantaneously followed by electrons, positrons, protons, and neutrons. Initial temperatures were beyond comprehension, such as one hundred thousand million degrees. The Universe was filled with light. [xiii]
In a complicated process, physicists say, photons emanating from the Big Bang were absorbed and re-emitted rapidly, being unable to propagate freely. Ultimately, electrons and photons combined to form atoms, at which point the photons were released, and propagated as light. Nuclei were joined up with electrons to form the first atoms of hydrogen and helium. As these billions upon billions of atoms formed, and were forced out into the expanding space, gravity began to coalesce them into larger and larger clusters.
Enormous clumps of matter formed masses of clusters that grew gradually into galaxies. Gravity drew the atomic particles tighter and tighter. The heat of contraction caused the hydrogen gas to initiate a fusion process, and stars began to form. Eventually, atomic reactions took over to complete the life cycles of stars. By the same process, star formation is still taking place today.
When a star like our sun burns off its hydrogen gas, atomic particles of increasing complexity are “cooked” down. If a star is of sufficient size, it explodes at the end of its life cycle into a supernova, showering masses of debris into space. It appears our solar system was the benefactor of one or more supernova explosions some 5.5 billion years ago, that spun off a nebular cloud of basic raw materials to form our planets. [xiv]
After the space debris had contributed just the right mass and mix of materials we would need, the earth went through a nifty rebirthing process about 4 billion years ago. Due to gravitational compression, cosmic bombardment, and radioactive heating, the entire planet performed a meltdown so that heavier materials such as iron could sink to the core with the lighter elements rising toward the top.
Earth was blessed with a handy assortment of heavier elements we can appreciate today. An abundance of iron has afforded us a magnetic field protecting us from cosmic radiation and solar wind. A high amount of radioactive elements played a key role in remelting the earth, and it keeps our core just hot enough for a mantle with a plastic viscous upper layer. A high component of hydrous, water-forming compounds added an extensive water supply - a critical factor in supporting life. [xv]
In essence, we are the benefactors of an eloquent and enormous life support system planned to exquisite and infinite detail. Ignoring any grandiose details, the biblical account of God’s marvelous creation is modest in description and understated.
Genesis 1:2: “And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”
This concise description could apply aptly to the primitive, featureless surface of our planet after it had cooled enough to allow water to condense.
Genesis 1:3-5: “And God said, Let there be light ....”
The sun, ignited first by the heat of compression, developed slowly through a hydrogen fusion process to become our source of light, heat, and energy, our material lifeline. Periods of light were named “Day,” “and the darkness He called Night.”
A pointing to Christ may also be seen from these passages, a “light” reflected in John 1:1-10; 3:19-21; II Cor. 4:4-6; Col. 1:12-19; Heb. 1:1-3; and Rev. 21:23.
Genesis 1:6: “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”
The skies and seas were divided by a “firmament” boundary which God called “heaven” (Gen. 1:8). After the melting and outgassing of primordial atmosphere and water vapor, the earth was a smooth spinning ball covered by a shallow sea beneath the gaseous firmament.
Genesis 1:9: “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”
About 3.5 billion years ago, massive dome-like blocks of granite, some over twenty-five miles in thickness, buoyed up from within the earth’s mantle. They also formed massive roots, or cratons, underpinning our continental land masses today. [xvi]
Tremendous amounts of heat and pressure combined to bring about a separation between the relatively lighter granite land masses and the denser basalt sea basins where the waters gathered. About 2.5 billion years ago, the great vertical uplift came to an end, and the subtle lateral movement of plate tectonics took over to carry out the work of shaping the face of our planet.
Those who think the earth is young say that the effects of erosion should have worn away all the surface land completely after so many years. But just as icebergs continue to float on top of the ocean while melting, the buoyant granite continents float higher and replace the lost soil washed gradually into the sea.
According to geologists, about 200 million years ago all the earth’s great continents became joined together in a giant super continent they call Pangaea (all lands). The sea, named Panthalassa (all seas), surrounded this one conglomerate land mass.
The earth has been cooling off gradually, venting steam and magma through the earth’s crust in a driving motion, giving the continents a virtual shove around the globe. The fossilized remains of dinosaurs and coal seams in Alaska and Antarctica testify to their once warm-weather environs. Relief maps of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Europe and the Americas show the unmistakable stress of millions of years of internal pressure with resultant sea floor spreading.
Genesis 1:10: “And God called the dry land Earth ...”
Please note: God uses the word, “Earth,” to denote “the dry land.” To avoid the confusion caused by present-day translations, in nearly every instance for the duration of the Genesis 1-11 account, wherever the word “earth” appears we may apply God’s definition, and say instead, “the dry land.”
Bacteria and blue-green algae got their start over 3 billion years ago. The importance of algae early in the earth’s history cannot be overemphasized. Through the process of photosynthesis, they give off oxygen, a necessary atmospheric ingredient for the more complicated life forms to follow.
The fossil record indicates that marine life, including both plant and animal life, preceded any land-based life forms. Initially, living organisms were microscopic until about 700 million years ago. Organisms of only a few centimeters in size then began to appear, including jellyfish, worms, and now extinct tribrachidium. [xvii] According to Prehistoric Atlas:
The presence of fossil remains of marine animals characterises only those rocks dating back to the start of the Paleozoic Era. This proves that animal and plant life were then confined to the seas and oceans, but that all the groups of invertebrate animals alive today were already represented.[xviii]
Trilobites, brachiopods, sponges, and creatures of wondrous description comprised the Cambrian explosion about 570 million years ago. Biologists attribute this radical change in life forms to what might be called an “arms race.” Creatures developed defensive mechanisms such as a tough shell, or were gobbled up. Fossilized shells can be found in profusion today, which mark the beginning of the Cambrian period with an exclamation point.
Strange looking colonial creatures called graptolites were prevalent, and are part of the Stomacordata group which “stands midway between invertebrates and vertebrates.” [xix] The first tantalizing hint at vertebrates appeared in the Ordovician period 500 million years ago such as a kind of fish without jawbones called Agnatha, forerunners to present-day lampreys.
Life on land dates to the Upper Silurian period 435 million years ago. Plants emerged from the seas, and began to colonize river banks and basins where some degree of nutritious soil was available. The first primitive fish with jawbones (Acanthodii) dates to this period. Animal life to first venture on land included earthworms, gastropods, myriapods, and arthropods, which included primitive scorpions and the precursors to insects that would be needed for pollination.
Genesis 1:11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” Note that Genesis records land-based plant life on the third day before marine life on the fifth day. What’s going on here? Didn’t marine life precede life on land? The fossil record suggests it did, but consistently the Bible record and the fossil record use different start points.
Life on land, according to nature’s evidence, began about 400 million years ago; ferns, club mosses, and horsetails appeared which reproduced through spores not seeds, and were confined to moist wetlands. The first plants with seeds date to the Devonian period about 395 million years ago. By 355 million years ago, trees 100 feet high or more dominated much of the earth’s lowlands. [xx]
Conifers such as Callixylon began to appear, that were ancestral to pine and fir trees of today. The first blooming flowers began to color the landscape in the Early Cretaceous some 120 million years ago, and the earliest traces of grass date to the Upper Paleocene about 62 million years ago.
Here critics point to seeming discrepancies. From the evidence available, life in the ocean dates to even before the Cambrian period of 570 million years ago, and preceded life on land. The Bible demonstrates consistency, though; ancient precursors to modern men are excluded from the biblical record, and so are ancient aquatic precursors to modern plant and animal life.
Just as primitive sea creatures preceded modern fish, likewise, sea vegetation begat land vegetation, and all date initially to the same period, the Ordovician. Not that it is particularly significant, but the fossil record does indicate primitive land plants appeared before primitive fish. So it makes no difference whether we consider primitive life or more modern life forms. The Genesis account accords either way.
“Armored fish” called placoderms date to the Devonian period as does Eusthenopteron a forerunner to rhipidistians, and then crossopterygians, and, perhaps, also to amphibians. Characteristics of both fish and amphibian were combined in one creature called Ichthyostega also dating to the Devonian.
The latimeria and ceratodus could be called modern fish, but they appear 195 million years ago in the Jurassic period. Over 100 million years stand between seed bearing land plants and what could be called modern fish.
But what about “grass” on the third day of creation? Critics charge that grasses did not emerge until after the dinosaurs became extinct. How can 62 million year old grass predate the dinosaurs, for example, who came into existence over 200 million years ago?
Massive dinosaurs leave huge bones, which make wonderful fossils. The Cambrian explosion left a permanent record of hard-shelled marine creatures that is impossible to ignore. Any soft-shelled predecessors left scarcely a trace. The same could be said for any land-based vegetation that might have been.
Sparse fossil evidence hinders us from knowing exactly what plant life first began to grow on dry land. "Grass" may be just another instance of translation out of ignorance. The Hebrew word, deshe’ can mean simply “vegetation.” We can verify that the earth has had land-based vegetation for over 400 million years.
Modern fruit trees, critics point out, certainly were not in existence before fishes. That seems to be true, but these verses say nothing about “modern” fruit trees. In English, fruit trees bear edible fruit; apples, pears, cherries, and so forth. The Hebrew term includes seed-bearing trees, and shade trees that do not bear edible fruit. [xxi]
Apple trees, for example, do not date to the Upper Silurian, but the “fruit” of any plant is its yield. Conifers were among the first land-based vegetation, and calling them “fruit trees” is consistent with the Hebrew.
Genesis 1:14,16,17: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years ... And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth ...”
Some Bible scholars have put a strain on these passages, maintaining that the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day. This is unwarranted. The emphasis in this verse is on the purpose for the heavenly bodies not their coming into existence.
If we take “the heaven” from Genesis 1:1 to include the visible universe, or cosmos, then it would incorporate the sun, moon, and stars. Even if we just take the heavens to mean “sky,” it would be strangely black without sunlight, moonlight, and starlight. The Expositor’s Bible Commentaryreasons:
So the starting point of an understanding of vv.14-18 is the view that the whole of the universe, including the sun, moon, and stars, was created “in the beginning” (v.1) and thus not on the fourth day. [xxii]
In the creation account, the Hebrew word bara’ means create, and always emanates from God. That can imply an ex nihilo creation, a literal out of nothing creation (Gen. 1:1), or the use of elements brought into existence previously as with primitive sea life (Gen. 1:21), also a man and his woman (Gen. 1:27). The word “made” used in Genesis 1:14-19, is the Hebrew ‘asah, a more general term, and may mean “appoint” or “accomplish” in this verse.
The Septuagint avoids confusion: “God indeed made the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for the regulations of the day, and the lesser luminary, with the stars, for the regulations of the night ...”
Thus, on the first day God created the sun, moon, and stars in addition to the earth, and on the fourth day, God appointed the sun to govern the day and commissioned the moon and stars to rule the night.
Had the sun not been created until the fourth day, we would be left to wonder what caused the demarcation between the “day” and “night” named on the first day (Gen. 1:5). Furthermore, from what we know about the physics of orbital objects, it would be impossible for the earth and its sister planets to circle a blank spot in space awaiting the sun’s creation.
Genesis lists land plants before the luminaries began to govern either because there were no eyes to see light, or something such as liquid water or dense clouds prevented the heavenly lights from being seen. Dense vapor clouds surrounding the primitive warm earth might not have cleared enough to enable the sun, moon, and stars to shine through, and so they could not be used for telling time.
Is it possible that cloud cover could have lasted four billion years, until after land plants appeared? Maybe not, but clouds are only a water vapor barrier which inhibit terrestrial creatures from making celestial observations. No land animals existed until the fifth day of creation.
Sea creatures also cannot make celestial observations due to a water barrier in liquid form. So for whichever reason, the presence of an obscuring barrier, or the lack of observers, the sun, moon, and stars beginning to function as timekeepers on the fourth day of creation in no way contradicts the flow of events projected by naturalists.
Genesis 1:20,21: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Critics have a field day with these passages because birds are out of order here. Paleontologists agree unanimously that reptiles preceded birds. Archaeopteryx, a feathered reptile-like creature that lived 150 million years ago, is considered a likely transitional step. [xxiii] Furthermore, whales are mammals, and necessarily follow both reptiles and birds, and should not be included with primitive sea life at all.
These are good arguments, and would seem to be valid arguments, except that Genesis was written in Hebrew, and ancient definitions differ from modern faunal classifications. A closer look at the text reveals that the order presented here should not be troublesome at all.
First of all, sharks and armored fish date to the Devonian period. When God said, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,” these would make able representatives.
Next, the Hebrew word ‘op that has been translated “fowl,” is a “flying creature,” the same basic word for “insect” which probably would have been a better translation. [xxiv] Flying insects date to 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period, and were useful for pollinating some of the vegetation springing forth at about that time. Also, why would “fowls” be mentioned three times in three consecutive passages (Gen.1:20-22)? If birds had been intended in all three instances it would be a curious redundancy.
Some Bible translators shun the word “whales,” opting for “sea monsters,” for example. This makes sense. It is doubtful that Moses ever set eyes on a whale in the Red Sea, and therefore unlikely he would have used a name for an animal he had not seen.
The English translation of the Septuagint is less confusing. “Then God said, ‘Let the waters produce moving creatures having life; and winged creatures flying above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.’ And it was so. God indeed made the great sea monsters and every species of moving animals which the waters produced according to their kinds, and every winged flying creature according to kind.”
“Large sea creatures” satisfies the Hebrew, and one candidate is the Dinichthys, which could grow to over 30 feet in length, and had strong jawbones equipped with broad cutting plates making it a formidable predator. [xxv] Primitive amphibians began to appear in the Devonian giving way to reptiles in the Upper Carboniferous.
Reptiles were the first vertebrates which managed to leave the aquatic environment for the laying of eggs and the development of embryos, thus opening the way to the colonisation of the subareal habitat by vertebrates. [xxvi]
The advance of reptiles onto dry land was a big step. An amniotic egg with significantly different membranes was required than what was necessary for amphibians, which laid their eggs in water. Amphibians also lacked a waterproof skin, and became dehydrated on land. Equipped with a horny or scaly epidermis, along with a sturdier set of legs, the first reptiles such as the Cotylosaurs ventured forth on land. [xxvii]
Now, let us see how these passages read when we make accommodations for the Hebrew after applying what we know about nature.
Genesis 1:20-21: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life [fish], and fowl [flying insects] that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven [sky]. And God created great whales [large sea creatures], and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind [amphibians and reptiles], and every winged fowl [birds] after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
Genesis 1:24: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
On the sixth creation day, God lets the earth bring forth creatures according to their own kind, “cattle,” “creeping things,” and “beasts of the earth.” We could think of these groups as domestic animals such as livestock, wild herbivores, and wild carnivores. “Creeping things,” browsers and grazers are preyed upon by meat eating “beasts of the earth.”
Some consider “creeping things” to be reptilian, and there are some reasons for that - none good enough, though, to rearrange the fossil record. Psalm 148:10 categorizes “beasts,” “cattle,” “creeping things,” and “flying fowl;” so reptiles might fit, but in Hosea 2:18, the divisions are: “beasts of the field,” “fowls of heaven,” and “creeping things of the ground,” thereby placing all undomesticated animals in the “creeping thing” group.
Genesis 1:26 puts all undomesticated land animals into the creeping category when man is given dominion over “fish,” “fowl,” “cattle,” and “every creeping thing.” In Leviticus 11:21-22, a “flying creeping thing” refers to insects, and names “locusts,” “grasshoppers,” and “beetles” as examples.
The “weasel,” “mouse,” and “tortoise” are creeping things in Leviticus 11:29, lumping together rodents and reptiles. In Genesis 8:19, we encounter “every beast,” “every creeping thing,” “every fowl,” and “whatsoever creepeth upon the earth,” implying two separate categories of creepers.
The Bible did not intend to give us a neat, precisely definable term here, and that only underscores what has been said earlier concerning a living Bible. There is purposeful agility built into the living Word, affording breathing space for the Bible to adapt as we learn. That should keep us from making erroneous dogmatic assertions which have to be amended or retracted at a later date when we know better.
With reptiles preceding birds on the fifth day in Genesis 1:21, there is no need for reptiles on the sixth day in Genesis 1:24. Were the “kinds,” referred to in these verses, specially created with no transitional steps in between? Not likely, but transitional life forms, if they did exist, do no violence to the literal meanings of these verses. Forming animals “out of the ground” does not come until chapter 2 of Genesis, and it may be that Adam and the animals God formed expressly for Adam’s garden were formed out of the dust, or the animals Adam named could have been a subset of the animals God created in Genesis 1.
Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image...”
The term “in our image” is more apt to apply to Adam specifically than to hominids in general. Nevertheless, man, as creation’s pinnacle, fits everybody’s theory as the last to appear on earth. Homo sapiens have not developed into more than one species in 100,000 years, whereas many other “kinds” of animals have branched into numerous distinct and extinct species. Evidently, all the other animals have roamed the earth longer than man has, which puts science and Genesis in agreement.
Genesis 1:31: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Thus a blessing was conferred upon the earth’s resources, the life cycle, and the food chain. Everything in nature, man included, was “very good.”
[i] William J. Kaufmann, Universe (New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1985), 462.
[ii] Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God (Orange, Promise Publishing Co., 1989), 79.
[iii] Michael S. Turner, “Why Is the Temperature of the Universe 2.726 Kelvin?,” Science (5 Nov. 1993), 861.
[iv] Ibid., 84.
[v] John Wiester, The Genesis Connection (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983), 20.
[vi] Ross, The Fingerprint of God, 87.
[vii] P. J. E. Peebles, “Primeval Helium Abundance and Primeval Fireball,” Physical Review Letters, 16. (1966), 410-413.
[viii] M. Stroh, “COBE Causes Big Bang in Cosmology,” Science News (May 2, 1992), 292.
[ix] Ibid., 292.
[x] On October 26, 1994, NASA scientists released data obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope designed to help measure the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe is expanding. The Hubble telescope obtained a distance of 56 million light years to the galaxy called M100, a spiral galaxy in the Virgo Cluster. A class of stars called “cephids” are used as standard candles. A comparison of the cephids in M100 with those found in more distant galaxies yielded an age for the universe of 8 to 12 billion years old. Previous research data had dated the oldest stars at 15 to 18 billion years old. Since stars cannot be older than the universe, it is clear that estimates of the age of the universe will be revised periodically as more data surfaces.
[xi] Preston Cloud, Cosmos Earth and Man: A Short Story of the Universe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 25.
[xii] Robert Jastrow, Until the Sun Dies (New York: Warner Books, 1977), 11.
[xiiii] Wiester, The Genesis Connection, 37.
[xiv] Ibid., 37-44.
[xv] Ibid., 37-45.
[xvi] Ibid., 61.
[xvii] P. Arduini and G. Teruzzi, Prehistoric Atlas (London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1982), 23.
[xviii] Ibid., 26.
[xix] Ibid., 28.
[xx] From the exhibition on early plant life at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
[xxi] Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1944), 40.
[xxii] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Bruce K. Waltke and Ralph H. Alexander, eds., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), 33-34.
[xxiii] Carl Zimmer, “Ruffled Feathers,” Discover (May 1992), 44-54.
[xxiv] Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1982), 59-60.
[xxv] Arduini and Teruzzi, Prehistoric Atlas, 37.
[xxvi] Ibid., 32.
[xxvii] Ibid., 42.