Science, Genesis, and Six-Day Creation
: Framing the Debate
The early chapters of Genesis are difficult to
reconcile from a scientific and Biblical point of view.
Not too long ago, I went through a time of re-examining
6-day creation. I
did not find the argument as compelling as theologians and
scientific creationists make it out to be.
One really runs into the problem of language.
Scholars with similarly impressive credentials differ on
the meaning of terms in Genesis, such as,
(For the record, yom is used immediately in Genesis 2:4 to represent the entire
creation week, not a 24-hour day—a departure from its 24-hour
use in the 2nd chapter of the Bible!)
There are, however, some clear principles that
frame the old-new-creation week debate.
The Bible is God’s revelation, inerrant and infallible.
In my analysis, and in agreement with Gordon Clark (GHC),
it is the only truth that we will know in this life.
Everything else has some relativity, probability, and
dependence on interpretation in the originals themesleves.
That these issues around creation ever come up is the presence
and pressure of evolutionary “science”—pure and simple!
While we want to be honest with the “facts” of science,
we have to realize that the only reason such issues abound is an
atheistic, hell-bent-to-disprove-God attitude.
Science is empiricism, ever changing and never true.
The evolutionists don’t agree among themselves.
Their facts differ and are incoherent.
Creation scientists do
not agree among themselves. Their
facts differ and are incoherent.
All these differences make reference to what was thought
“then,” what is thought “now,” and what we will think “then.”
This tenuous nature of science exists because of its
inductive method which can
never determine truth. In fact, induction is defined a
So, without going further.
Empirical science is “iffy,” and Scripture is truth, and
the gulf is probably unbridgeable.
Thus, the problem becomes what Scripture
really says—a language-hermeneutic problem.
The language does allow some laxity, as I have suggested
“In the beginning…” of what?
Space, matter, energy, AND time.
And, time began with “evenings” and “mornings.”
Throughout Scripture, especially in reference to the
fourth commandment, the readily apparent reading of Scripture is
a literal day. All
this Biblical interpretation is great evidence to overcome with
“mere” science. If
you want probability, I would estimate in the 99.9 percent
I have become convinced that
is a test of orthodoxy.
Simply and plainly, that is what the Scripture teaches.
I favor idealism, and I can speculate that position as a
philosophy. I can
build an evidential base for it, but it would still be
speculation. God has
posited the spirit world and the physical world.
Man is both body and spirit.
Jesus Christ was both—the Incarnation seals it.
We should look at the comprehensive theology and “worldview” of those who differ on 6-day
creation. When an
otherwise orthodox, systematic theologian says something, for
example, John Jefferson Davis, we ought to evaluate carefully
what he says. But,
if Barth or Bultmann says something, we have to remember that
they are coming from their worldview which does not include
Biblical inerrancy (above).
That does not mean that they are wrong, but they are less
likely to have something of value for Biblically committed
The genealogies beginning with Genesis 5 have to be taken as
literal years. There
is no other reasonable way to interpret them in an inerrant
Bible. Two different
scholars, working more than 300 years apart, came to the exact
same year for creation week! These scholars were Bishop
Ussher and Lloyd Jones.
We have to remember that Adam was the most intelligent man that
ever lived. Even
post-Fall, he was not a descendent of generations under the
noetic effects of sin.
So, as far as man’s intelligence is concerned, he is
devolving, not evolving.
Technology blinds us to that fact; because we have a lot
of gadget, we equate that possession with intelligence and
knowledge. There is considerable evidence that people are less
able to learn today.
Of course, modern education is a factor as a “dummer downer.”
But, it seems that many Christians who discuss science
and Genesis assume the evolutionary scenario of man evolving to
become more intelligent and more “civilized.”
The anthropologists do not like to admit it, but the most
backward tribes of the world have a vocabulary that is
incredibly and exhaustively complex.
The differences between young earth creationists and
Christians with longer time frames should be more tolerant.
It is not automatic that “old earth” Christians are going
to throw out Biblical inerrancy, just because of this one issue.
(However, most strong Bible believers are young earth.)
There does need to be more grace and kindness here.
There is the issue of “life.”
What gives life?
A scientist may compound all the chemicals that make up a
human being, but what gives them life?
I think that life comes from the Spirit of God.
Man can never create a living thing.
Life can only come from life—the Living God.
12. There is the issue of the entrance
of the soul in any sort of evolutionary theory. (I equate
soul, spirit, heart, mind, and will—see
elsewhere on this site.) Evolution is a physical
process; the presence of the soul requires a spiritual
process. If theistic evolution is posited, then God still
has to intervene miraculously to unite the physical body of man
with his spiritual soul. To deny that man is not dualistic—comprised
of both body and soul—is to deny Biblical (orthodox)
anthropology. Thus, theistic evolution must posit this
additional step—a spiritual evolutionary step—in addition to the
physical process. This addition poses a complexity that
denies the whole evolutionary process. (1) It adds a
non-physical element. (2) It requires miraculous
intervention by God—a further denial of the evolutionary process
13. Theistic evolution is a
contradiction in terms. Evolution is a random, blind
process. If God directs a progression of lower animals to
higher animals, then it is a directed process.
Now, one might (on a tenuous basis, as outlined above) posit a
God-directed process over long periods of time, that is not
evolution. The Christian who would posit these long
periods must designate a term other than evolution, if
he is to name such a God-directed process.
Almost 20 years ago, I wrote that something
must regulate the DNA; it is only a blueprint.
There was the mad dash to map the human genome.
Where are the genetic cures?
There is more to matter than matter.
We had better not forget that, as Christians.
Here, we have substance dualism again.
I am not impressed with the orthodoxy and
Biblical depth and breadth of the American Scientific
Affiliation (worldview above).
Therefore, anything that they say is highly suspect.
The same holds for the Christian Medical and Dental
Society and The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at
Trinity International University. I grant hermeneutical problems in early
Genesis, but I do not think that anything in empirical science
which is only probability and temporary knowledge can challenge
anything that is generally considered to be orthodox theology or
One must have his “spectacles” (as Calvin
would say) that is, those Biblical teachings that are sound in
place. Otherwise, a
Christian is listening to voices that do not share his
worldview. Again, I do not think that 6-day creation or
young earth creationism
should be a test of orthodoxy, but Biblical inerrancy and other
central doctrines should be, including dualism.
I am not all that familiar with the literature in these
areas, but it seems to me that most of these voices are
non-orthodox or borderline orthodox and weak theologically.