Age One (Day One): Light comes to the earth (p. 28-31).
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5
A. God created physical light, that is, electromagnetic radiation “in the beginning” when he brought the cosmos into existence. Indeed, light is the dominant form of energy for both the primordial and present day universe. (p. 29)
B. The first act of God as he began to shape “modern” earth was to clear away some of the heavy atmosphere of gas and dust, so that light could better be seen on the earth. This light came from the sun, moon and stars.
C. Even though the earth’s atmosphere cleared up enough to allow sunlight to brighten the earth during the day and darken the earth at night, there still were no sunsets or sunrises to clearly distinguish the beginning and end of each day.
D. With the coming of light, photosynthesis was now possible and it’s highly likely that micro-organisms in the sea, which still covered the earth, began to grow and reproduce. The biblical accounts of the creation of fish and birds on the fifth day do not preclude simpler life forms prior to day five. What would fish eat if plankton and algae were not already present? Or what would birds eat if insects and worms did not already exist? It is not inconsistent with the Bible, and very consistent with science to believe that living coral reefs began to form about this same time.
Age Two (Day Two): The water cycle begins. (p. 31-34) “And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.” Genesis 1:6-8
A. Up to this point, water still covered the earth and the atmosphere was incredibly more humid than any tropical rain forest today.
B. When God separated land from water on the third day, (yet to come) how would the land get adequate water to support plants and animal life? For advanced life forms to be supported, it would require the cycle of evaporation and rain.
C. God’s “separation” of the water accurately describes the formation of the troposphere, the atmospheric layer just above the ocean, from the water which covered the earth. From the atmosphere clouds could now form and eventually (on day three) move toward land, rising over generally warmer land, causing condensation (rain) and watering the land. Without the mountains or higher warmer land masses this cycle could not happen with enough efficiency to cause rain deep into the earth’s continents, far away from the ocean. For that to happen, God caused the mountains to form and land to separate on the third day.
Age Three (Day Three): Dry land emerges (p. 35-41). “And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:9
A. With most of the poisonous gases gone and protective gases building up and the cycle of rain established, all Earth needed was a place to put plants, land animals and mankind – dry land.
B. The solid ground already existed of course, but the time had arrived for God to cause the Earth’s crust to force its way up, through massive volcanic eruptions, moving large bodies of land above the waters, to stay and dry out. Even continents broke away from each other, changing forever the face of the earth.
C. Because land had once been underwater and some life forms lived in the water, explains why we find fossils of water organisms in land hundreds or thousands of miles from the ocean today.
Later on day three… “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.” Genesis 1:11
D. The text does not say that all land vegetation which would ever appear on the face of the earth, appeared at this time, but emphasizes, rather, that God chose this time for dry land to abound with vegetation. The Hebrew verb dasha’, or “produce,” has broad meaning. It can be interpreted to mean that plants arose through natural processes, but it also can be interpreted, just as accurately, to mean that plants arose directly from divine miraculous intervention. Any combination or type of divine intervention and natural process would certainly be acceptable, from a linguistic point of view. In other words, this particular text cannot be used to state definitely to what extent God may or may not have employed natural processes in the development of plant life on Earth. This is an issue science is attempting to comprehend.
When did life begin (p. 38-41)?
A. All non-theistic origin of life scenarios require kerogen tars and carbonaceous molecules to self assemble in some kind of primordial soup or mineral substrate into living organisms. However, when living organisms die, they decay into the same kerogen tars and carbonaceous molecules. By carefully measuring the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in such tars and carbonaceous material, physical chemists can ascertain whether these substances are prebiotic or postbiotic. Thus, a prebiotic primordial soup or mineral substrate never existed upon the earth. In other words, lifeless “soup” cannot begat life.
B. Life has been abundant on Earth throughout the past 3.86 billion years. Between 3.5 and 3.86 billion years ago, dozens of life-exterminating bombardment events took place (for example, collisions with enormous asteroids). Apparently, life originated and re-originated as many as fifty times within the 360-million-year time span. God created life by his sovereign will, but that does not mean that all species in existence at creation still exist. It is consistent with scripture that through natural change, natural disasters, drought, ice ages and other events some life forms died out and were replaced by God with new life forms. Nothing in scripture suggests that God created the world and all life forms and never again created new species or variations of species.
C. The vast complexity of even the simplest life-form argues against random or natural self-assembly. If all the chemical bonds of Earth’s simplest living creature were broken, the chance of its reassembly, even under ideal environmental and chemical conditions and even if no components were allowed to escape and no foreign substances were permitted to intrude, is less than one in 10,000,000,000,000.
D. Some have suggested that life come from other planets. Aside from the obvious problem of where did that life come from, life transported from some distant “exotic” location in the cosmos to Earth would arrive dead. In fact, it would be so broken down that none of life’s building blocks (DNA, RNA, or proteins) would survive. Stellar radiation pressure strong enough to move microbes across the long reaches of interstellar space would kill the microbes in a matter of days.
E. Plants appear to have a limited capacity for speciation (production of new species) through natural processes. Botanists have actually observed a few plants develop new “species.” However, in these cases the word “species” may be a misnomer. Boundaries between plant species are much less distinct than boundaries between animal species. No plant species radically different from already existing species has arisen under human observation. The rapid rate at which plant species go extinct, both today and during the fossil cra, implies that supernatural rather than natural processes are responsible for the major changes in plant species evident throughout plant history.
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