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A Closer Look at Some Actual Fossils

Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave. Every scientific statement in the long run, however complicated it looks, really means something like, “I pointed the telescope to such and such a part of the sky at 2:20 A.M. on January 15th and saw so-and-so,” or, “I put some of this stuff in a pot and heated it to such-and-such a temperature and it did so-and-so.” Do not think I am saying anything against science: I am only saying what its job is.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (p32)

 

We have some telescope pointing to do! Only, we’ll be pointing our telescope at some bones.

My last post was more philosophical in nature (except for the parts examining the methods of reading scripture). In that post I stated that secular science is necessarily required to describe the origins of our universe as happening a very, very long time ago. This is due to the sinful nature of man not wanting to admit the universe was created by a God, and the only way he can do this is to push it back into the distant past and provide another solution for how things came to be, namely Evolution.

But if I were to be fair, I can’t stop at the philosophical level. While I might be able to safely make the claim stated above and never need to look at a shred of actual scientific evidence, that would be both arrogant and closed-minded.

In this post, I will look at a series of real fossils in order to hopefully show why even an atheist shouldn’t believe in Evolution. It’s not just a matter of religion vs science, it’s a matter of doing good science, science that we can be proud of and stand behind. I didn’t gather this information myself as that is well beyond my expertise. Marvin Lubenow wrote an exceptional book called Bones of Contention that gives an overview of the fossil record, and which I have just finished reading. Even though he believes in a young earth, Lubenow uses the multi-million (or billion) fossil dates provided by evolutionists to show the serious flaws in their own theories. You might think that the biggest task would be simply to prove that the dating methods point to a young earth (which they do), but in fact the evidence provided by evolutionists for their own theories is self refuting.

I myself of course don’t hold to any of the dates that an evolutionist might give to this or that fossil, but in this post I will refer to those dates (as Lubenow did in his book) as if they were proven facts to show the flaws of the theory of Evolution. This is basically a summary of Lubenow’s book as it would be quite unfair to ask anyone to read his book to prove a point (it’s lengthy and technical but very interesting, if this is something you want to dive into yourself). Since I have a Kindle version of his book, I will refer to specific pages by the Kindle “location” number (signified with an “L” here).

And now, to the bones! Kind of.

A Great Night for Stargazing? Think Again…

If you’re ready to pull out your dusty telescope and start looking at some of these fossils, hold on for just a minute. There are some misconceptions about studying fossils that Lubenow addresses.

First off, just how difficult it is to look at an original fossil? It might just be an easier thing to see the U.S. president with your own eyes. If you think that scientists are regularly pouring over every last detail of the original bones, assessing, theorizing, and conducting experiments in the process of doing what we call “science”, think again. Because human fossils are so priceless, it is extremely difficult to look at an original. Lubenow states:

Because of their incalculable value and fragile nature, the original human fossils are so protected that the total number of people who have access to them is actually fewer than the total number of heads of state in the world today. (L 293)

What are scientists actually studying? Lubenow, who has a masters in science with an anthropology major, makes this incredible claim:

Although I have visited most of the major natural history museums in the United States and overseas, I have never seen an original human fossil. Neither have most of the anthropologists who teach human evolution in our universities. Neither have you. In fact, you may not have even seen a picture of an original fossil. What you thought were pictures of original fossils may have been pictures of reproductions. (L 264)

This is a huge roadblock to doing objective science, and scientists are often not open about their source material in the papers they present (L 366), leaving people to assume that they are studying original fossils directly. Lubenow even states that “Casts of only a small percentage of the total fossil material and less than half of the most important fossil material are available for study.” (L 366)

Furthermore, the dating of specific fossils is often impossible to study after excavation. What I mean by this is, it is no longer possible to date specific fossils because fossils are often dated by the surrounding rock at the excavation site. According to Lubenow, the problem is that the excavation site can sometimes be destroyed or access can be restricted such that any updates to dating methods cannot be applied to get more accurate dates. We only have the dating for those specific fossils as was calculated when they were originally found.

The point of all this is that you cannot go get your science degree and just start studying some real human fossils. You’ll have to take someone’s word for a lot of things. Yet that is what we are going to do in the following paragraphs, and we will see that there are still some major problems even if we assume that everything we are told is true.

Java Man

Java Man is like an old friend. We learned about him in grade school. They called him the ape-man and told us that he was our evolutionary ancestor. The drawings of that beetle-browed, jaw-jutting fellow were quite convincing. In fact, the vast majority of people who believe in human evolution were probably first sold on it by this convincing salesman. Not only is he the best-known human fossil, he is one of the only human fossils most people know. (L 1517)

Dated at about half a million years of age, Java Man was found by Eugene Dubois, a Dutch anatomist. Dubois found both a skull cap and a femur bone in the years 1891-1892. Dubois was specifically searching for fossils that would demonstrate that there were pre-humans who bridged the gap between apes and modern humans, and so he intended to make sure these new fossils fit his mission (L 1511).

To be objective about this, we first need to know that Dubois was not a geologist, but a doctor and anatomist (L 1541). I do not believe you need to have a degree in anthropology or geology to discuss science (otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post), but if you are going to be actually pulling fossils out of the ground and then providing dates to the scientific community, you’d better know your stuff.

Knowing that, it is also the case that at the time the general scientific knowledge of the area where Dubois excavated the fossils was next to nothing. Lubenow states, “Dubois himself said that the Dutch East Indies were practically virgin territory in this regard.” (L 1564)

To top these two facts off, Dubois wasn’t even the one who excavated the fossils:

Dubois himself did not uncover any of the important fossils ascribed to him, and he never saw any of them in situ (except Wadjak II) [we will discuss this one later]. He was entirely dependent on his two engineers to determine the position of the fossils in the deposits— engineers who knew even less about geology than he did…By today’s standards, these fossils would have been disqualified. Yet they became for many years the primary evidence for human evolution. (L 1568)

So we have a scientist without the proper credentials, excavating from a site with an unknown age (as far as the rock was concerned), and not even being present to take down what is today considered extremely important documentation on the surrounding rock at the excavation site (L 1568). In fact, Lubenow says that “All quadrant maps and diagrams were made after the fact.” (L 1682)

Unfortunately, Dubois made it extremely difficult for the scientific community to analyze his findings, and it is believed to be because he wanted his findings to remain the answer to the question about the bridge between apes and modern humans. In fact Dubois did not publish definitive papers on these fossils for over 30 years! (L 1568). Lubenow says,

After 1900, he withdrew completely from the public debate for twenty years, published very little about the fossils, and refused to allow anyone to see them. The reason usually given for this behavior is that Dubois wanted Java Man to be accepted as the missing link. Because of the initial controversy over his interpretation, he retaliated by refusing access to the fossils. From what we know of Dubois’s personality, this explanation is possible. (L 1568)

 

Duboi’s Conclusions

Dubois concluded that Java Man was not fully human, nor was he an ape. He was the a member of the sub-species of humans that was the bridge between apes and modern day humans. (L 1682)

Now, remember that two fossils were found: the skull cap and the femur bone. The two fossils were found 50 feet apart, though actually Dubois changes his measurement from between 10 to 15 meters in different reports (L 1682). According to Lubenow:

From the time of its [the thigh bone’s] discovery, virtually every authority except Dubois felt that it was indistinguishable from the modern human femur. The great question on the femur was, Did it belong with the skullcap? It seemed far too modern in morphology to be associated with the rather archaic shape of the skullcap. (L 1682)

According to Lubenow, either way you answer this question the evidence goes against Evolution. If the two fossils do belong to the same body, than there really isn’t that much difference between the so called Homo erectus (Java Man) and modern humans. But if the skullcap is from Homo erectus and the thigh bone is from modern humans, then that is proof that both “species” lived at the same time, and therefore no Evolution occurred. After all, Dubois dated them both to 500,000 years. (L1682)

As difficult as that question is to answer definitively, it is incredible how Lubenow describes the acceptance of the fossils into public, mainstream thought:

One of the most amazing facets of the Java Man saga is this: Throughout the twentieth century, the skullcap and the femur were presented to the public together as Java Man, our evolutionary ancestor, by evolutionists. Yet the association of the skullcap with the femur has always been questioned by the most respected evolutionary anatomists from the time of Java Man’s discovery until today. It is just one of many illustrations of the fact that evolutionists will use whatever “proof ” possible to sell evolution to the general public, regardless of its scientific authenticity. (L 1682)

Wadjak Man

“Wadjak Man” actually refers to two separate skulls also found in Java in the Dutch East Indies, one by Dubois and another that he did not find but was given access to for study. Lubenow says, “The same lack of precision plagues the geological details of this site as it did that of Pithecanthropus [the Java Man fossils].” (L 1741)

Lubenow states that the skulls very obviously belong to modern humans, and that there is no reason why they should ever have been classified as belonging to another species or sub species of humans (L 1741). But yet again, Duboi’s secrecy and pride got the better of him:

The Wadjak skulls were found in 1888 and 1890. Dubois brought them back from Java in 1895 and kept them sequestered in his home in Haarlem, Holland. He made no public announcement about these fossils until May 1920, thirty years after they were found. The motivation then for Dubois’s revelation of his Wadjak discoveries was Stuart A. Smith’s publication of a monograph on Talgai Man, claiming that he had discovered the first “proto-Australian.” Dubois’s massive ego could not let that claim go unchallenged. He unveiled the Wadjak skulls and said that he had discovered the first “proto-Australian” years before Smith did. (L 1741)

30 years again! Imagine someone finding a fossil today and then not revealing it to the scientific community until 2047. Would it be accepted as legitimate? That probably depends on whether it supports Evolution. As Lubenow stated, these skulls look as if they belong to modern humans. But what is their actual age? Unfortunately, they were found before radiometric dating was discovered (L 1845). Lubenow remarks:

Even if we did go to Java, it would do no good. The Wadjak site has long since been removed for marble. We have no choice but to put our faith in the skill, accuracy, and evaluation of the experts. (L 1882)

Lubenow is speaking sarcastically to make a point. The excavation site cannot be analyzed or dated and so we simply have to trust scientists (both those in the past like Duboi and those after the fact). Do you trust Dubois?

Back to the Scene of the Crime

I just mentioned that you can no longer go to Java and verify any of Duboi’s work. I should mention that others did verify Duboi’s work long ago, before the excavation site was destroyed. This was known as the Selenka-Trinil expedition:

In 1907, the Selenka-Trinil expedition journeyed to the banks of the Solo River, an area known as “the hell of Java,” and found the stone that Dubois had used to mark the site of his original discoveries. Seventy-five national workers were hired, and barracks were built for them. A Dutch sergeant who had worked for Dubois was also employed by Frau Selenka. (L 1993)

What is most important to remember is that the expedition was intended to confirm Duboi’s findings, not disprove them. The latter is what actually happened. It was a well-documented and high quality expedition. And yet Lubenow remarks, “The thoroughness and scientific integrity of the expedition are exceeded only by the obscurity into which it has fallen.” (L 1993). The scientists on the expedition were all evolutionists. (L 1993) Just what did they find that was so offensive to the scientific community that their excellent work would fall into obscurity?

First, these scientists found that the dating of the rock where the fossils were found was much more recent than Duboi had claimed, and in fact could have been as recent as 500 years old (L 1998, 2031) There were things like foundations of hearths and pieces of charcoal that indicated activity similar to modern humans (not primitive activity of the so-called savages that Homo erectus supposedly was like). (L 1998)

I know I’ve quoted Lubenow quite a bit up until now, and that’s because he says it so well. Read and be amazed:

All of the members of the Selenka-Trinil expedition were evolutionists. The purpose of the expedition was to confirm Dubois’s findings of fossil evidence for human evolution. But Frau Selenka, the leader of this exemplary expedition, concluded that modern humans and Pithecanthropus [Java Man] both had lived at the same time and that Pithecanthropus played no part in human evolution. This is the same conclusion that would have been reached had Dubois revealed Wadjak at the time he paraded Pithecanthropus before the public. As it was, the Wadjak skulls were still sequestered beneath the floorboards of Dubois’s home. It would be another ten years after the release of the Selenka-Trinil expedition report before the Wadjak skulls would see the light of day. (L 1993)

So these Wadjak skulls are contemporary with Java Man. The skulls, which look just like modern skulls, could have been studied along with Java Man to conclude that these variations in the human skeleton can all occur in the human population within the same time frame, but Duboi’s pride got in the way of discovering this fact.

One of the scientists who worked on this expedition literally apologized to the scientific community, calling the expedition “fruitless”. Lubenow wonders how objective science that brings us helpful conclusions about the past could possibly be fruitless. It is only fruitless because it failed to provide the results they were hoping for. (L 2031). At least in this case, these scientists were honest. Unfortunately, the rest of the scientific community was not and therefore Java Man became the best known human fossil used as proof of Evolution:

With one exception, the newer works on paleoanthropology ignore the Selenka report completely. About half of the books written between 1945 and 1975 mention the expedition or the report but do so in such a way that it would be impossible for the English-reading researcher to discover what the Selenka report actually said. It is an amazing conspiracy of silence. (L 2030)

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had enough of Duboi’s “science”. Let’s move on to another fossil.

Rhodesian Man

Zambia (southern Africa) is the location where this fossil, called “Rhodesian Man”, was found. Found at the end of a deep cave in 1921, this fossil skull has some peculiar properties:

Because the browridges on this fossil skull are more severe than those found on any other human fossil, no human fossil appears to be more “primitive,” “savage,” or “apelike” than does Rhodesian Man. Woodward remarked that it is more apish than Neandertal Man. Yet Rhodesian Man’s cranial capacity of 1280 cc is so large that he demands to be classified as Homo sapiens. We need to be reminded that there is nothing in the contours of the skull of an individual that gives any clue as to his degree of civilization, culture, or morality. (L 2908)

The excavation site was a mine and therefore was also destroyed after discovery (L 2908). Lubenow quotes the original report as saying, “The skull is in a remarkably fresh state of preservation, the bone having merely lost its animal matter and not having been in the least mineralised.” (L 2951)

So the tension is that you have a “savage” looking skull (which in reality fits within the variation of Homo sapiens), but the skull is also very young. These facts are according to the words of the original finders of the fossil. What has happened since that finding shows just how twisted secular science can sometimes be.

One of the original scientists studying the fossil dated it to 11,000 years old. This was in 1921. In 1962 it was dated to 40,000 years of age based on radiocarbon dating (which was not available when the fossil was first discovered) by Carleton Coon. In 1973, it was bumped up to 125,000 by Richard Klein. Finally, in 1999 the fossil has arrived at an age of 300,000 – 400,000 years. (L 2988) This was because of the “savage” appearance of the skull. Lubenow summarizes:

Thus Rhodesian Man aged about 350,000 years in just 82 years, even though there was not a shred of rigorous evidence indicating that he was other than a few thousand years old. Here we see the power of philosophy over fact. (L 2988)

Lubenow refers to this as the “magic wand” which an Evolutionist can wave to change the dating of any fossil to fit within the pre-conceived categories of fossils. After all, if it looks like Neandertal, surely it must be dated with the other Neandertal fossils! This is not a joke. It is what is really done by scientists when studying the fossil record. (L 1119)

 

The Pit of the Bones

There’s a cave in Spain, discovered in 1992, that appears to be an ancient burial site from which many human fossils have been retrieved. (L 3626) These fossils have been dated to approx 400,000 years ago. (L 3664) The dating of these fossils is not what is relevant. It is the fact that so much variation is found in the bones such as to indicate that all these different “sub-species” of humans fall into the same category as modern humans:

Further, thanks to the extreme variation seen in the Sima de los Huesos [Pit of the Bones] fossil collection, the distinctions made by evolutionists between Homo erectus, early Homo sapiens, Neandertal, and anatomically modern Homo sapiens now fade into insignificance. It is a remarkable affirmation of the biblical statement from Acts 17: 26: “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.” (L 3664)

Notice what the problem for Evolutionists is here: all of these variations, which normally need to span a period of hundreds of thousands or millions of years, can be found at the same site and dated to the same approximate age. According to Lubenow, “Evolutionists claim that the changes from Neandertals to modern humans could take up to 500,000 years.” (L 3701) You see then that their own dating methods are working against them.

But Evolutionists have to handle this somehow. This is how:

In a Nature article, Stringer comes about as close as we can expect a scholar to come in admitting he was mistaken about these European fossils comprising many species. Stringer gives a list of fifteen cranial characteristics. He compares the Sima de los Huesos fossils to fossils of Homo erectus, Neandertal, and Homo sapiens. He finds that they have seven similarities with Homo erectus, seven similarities with Homo sapiens, and ten similarities with the Neandertals. He then gives four possible interpretations of the Sima de los Huesos fossils. His preference is to call them all Neandertals…Some workers prefer to call this group “pre-Neandertals ” in a desperate effort to give it some sort of evolutionary spin. (L 3664, bold mine)

The words in bold are the different species of humans in the evolutionary process. These cannot all co-exist, and modern humans certainly cannot exist as far back as 400,000 years ago, if Evolution is going to be a viable theory.

 

Conclusions

In writing this post, I have been so tempted to keep going. There’s so much “dirt” on the human fossil record that the only reason I can think of for why Christians have opened the door and allowed Evolution in is because they haven’t looked at the evidence themselves. Remember that you can philosophically and theologically prove why we can’t trust secular science to give us the age of the universe, let alone the earth. But it is definitely easier once you start looking at the evidence too.

There are other areas to look at and discuss. For example, you’ve probably heard people say that our DNA is 98% identical to that of monkeys. It’s actually more like 94%. But either way, 99% of our DNA is common with that of mice (which is why we use them for testing medications and food additives). And yet I don’t hear anyone saying mice are our ancestors. (L 5594) We need to study what’s being fed to us by the scientific community.

I never like to ask people to read a book I’ve read in order to prove a point I’m trying to make. In my opinion, I believe I need to provide those arguments myself, or else abandon my beliefs (otherwise, what am I believing in if I’m not aware of the premises?). Hopefully the arguments above are helpful. But the fact remains that there is a lot of information in Lubenow’s book, more than I could ever remember. It’s more like a textbook than anything else. I recommend reading it if you can devote the time. I’ve merely scratched the surface. Perhaps later I can do a post summarizing his study of the different dating methods.

If you get a chance, please take the time to look at the chart on L 6174 (Kindle). It shows all of the fossils we have (as dated by Evolutionists) and how they don’t tell an evolutionary story at all. According to Lubenow, you’re pretty much out of luck if you want to find a chart comparing all of the known fossils and their dates side by side in an pro-evolution textbook.

Perhaps there’s a reason.

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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Science

 

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A Treacherous Path

In 2011 (yikes! that was 6 years ago) I wrote about how it is important to not get sidetracked on controversial topics. I was mainly concerned with the thinking that you have to be Calvinist, Arminian, pre-millennial, post-millennial, or fill-in-the-blank to be a Christian. Those who think in this way are led astray.

There is, however, only one correct answer to all of those debates (and in some cases neither side may have it!). As humans, we do our best to understand a particular theological topic, and hopefully if we are in error, we are not in error in such a way as to endanger our faith. Certain camps of thinking, unfortunately, walk a treacherous path, a path that leans out over the railings of truth to say “Look at what I can get away with believing!” Some are less interested in stretching the rules and are genuinely interested in finding the truth, but are nonetheless in danger of falling off the edge.

There is a particular issue on my mind. It is one which is possible to hold to as a Christian, but which leans out so far over the railing as to incur that tingling sensation which happens when one is high above the ground on an unstable ladder. It has to do with the creation of God’s world.

 

The Trouble In God’s World

Christians have debated much about this topic, both within the church and with those outside the church. The specific debate to which I am referring is the date of the creation of the world and how long it took. There are two primary camps in this discussion: those that hold to an old-earth view, believing that the earth was created over a long period of time, perhaps as long as the billions of years proposed by secular scientists (though not necessarily), and the young-earth view (most often those who believe that the creation of the earth occurred roughly 6,000 years ago during 6 literal days).

The trouble comes as a result of scientific evidence that seems to point to an old earth. Christians have sought to embrace this scientific evidence in the attempt to be true to both the bible and reason. Anyone who knows me is probably aware that I hold reason in high regard; it is the medium by which we are able to communicate and by which you are reading this article right now.

The danger with reason comes when it stretches beyond its Creator. We can study the universe and make good conclusions in doing so, but our studies and thinking depend on the fact that “things are” and “things are not”; it is the fabric of everything. That is why it is so powerful when God says, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). God tells Moses to let the Israelites know “I AM” has sent him. Moses’ message was to be validated by the One who….exists! And has always existed, and will always exist…and brought everything into existence.

Keep this in mind as we dive into the science around the creation event. The Great I AM, who just always exists, has done some incredible things and we are going to try to understand them.

 

What’s the Danger?

This blog post is an attempt to show that any view outside of a literal 6 day creation that occurred roughly 6,000 years ago (based on genealogical records in the Bible) is a dangerous path, as was described in the opening paragraphs.

There are three main options to choose from to resolve this apparent contradiction between the Bible and science:

  1. The word “day” in the Genesis 1 account is not a literal day.
  2. The entire Genesis 1 account is figurative / poetic, so whether it refers to a literal day or not doesn’t matter as the whole thing ought not to be taken as literal history.
  3. The science in support of an old earth is not trustworthy.

Let’s look at each in turn.

 

The Genesis 1 “Day”

The focal point of the argument for a non-literal day in Genesis centers on the fact that the Hebrew word yôm has multiple meanings. An example verse we can look at is Genesis 1:3-5:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God 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.

(ESV, Gen 1:3-5)

In his in-depth overview of the word yôm, Jim Stambaugh gives us these possible definitions:

i. a period of light in a day/night cycle;

ii. a period of 24 hours;

iii. a general or vague concept of time;

iv. a specific point of time; and

v. a period of a year.

Before jumping to the conclusion that this leaves the door wide open to allowing a non-literal 24-hour day, keep in mind Jim’s wise statement:

If one were to believe that the ‘days’ of creation lasted a long time, then he would have to prove his case from the context of Genesis 1, not simply citing the semantic range of yôm.

We need to look both at the context of Genesis 1 as well as the rest of the old testament to see how this word is used and to determine the proper definition for this occurrence. Doing so reveals that the use of “evening” and “morning” with yôm always refers to a literal 24 hour day in the rest of the Old Testament. This would make “a general or vague concept of time” an exception to the rule if we were to read it that way here.

Now, if we look at Genesis 2:4 we can find an occurrence of the word yôm without “evening” and “morning” which is indeed intended to be used to refer to more than a 24-hour day:

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

(ESV, Gen 2:4)

Here the word yôm is used to refer to the entire creation week in summary, but the individual days are referred to as literal days throughout the creation process in chapter 1. Much more can be said about this discussion. I recommend reading the article cited above for more details (it’s not the easiest thing to go through but it’s well worth the info). In the end, the burden of proof is on those who would argue that this is an exception to what we find in the rest of the Old Testament.

 

A Different Hermeneutical Approach

I just wanted to make sure you are aware that everything I wrote up until this point is actually a love poem I wrote to my wife. And it has her in tears!

In all seriousness, I would raise an eyebrow if you told me this blog post is anything other than a logical argument for a particular viewpoint. Even if you don’t agree with it, you’ve made some very basic assumptions about what you’re looking at. This is because “things are” and “things are not” in this universe.

An attempt to reclassify Genesis 1 as poetry or figurative is perhaps the most dangerous path to take. If you want to hang on the possibility that yôm might mean a long period of time, ok. But don’t change common sense to make something fit, because no part of the Bible is safe then. There would be no reason why the gospels could not be read as poetic accounts to symbolize the love of God. You’ve probably heard it before: “Jesus wasn’t real, he was just an image pointing us to goodness and God”.

We have the ability in us to determine these things based on common-sense reading skills. One excellent example I’ve found in my studies (though I cannot remember the source) is of Exodus 14 and 15. Exodus 14 gives a narrative account of Israel escaping from the hands of Pharaoh through the sea, while the waters covered over Pharaoh’s army. Exodus 15 gives a poetic account of the same events. Even if chapter 15 didn’t begin with “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord” (NIV) and didn’t have indented lines in the print, we would read it as poetry and it would mean different things than the narrative account in the previous chapter.

Genesis 1 reads like the rest of Genesis: a historical narrative from the beginning of our universe to the time of Moses. It is very clear that the authorial intent is to give us information about what happened. This puts it distinctly out of the category of poetry as well as apocalyptic literature (which is intended to give a cloudy picture of what is yet to come). It’s all right there for us to read and believe.

There are other ways to determine whether the Genesis 1 account is narrative besides just reading it. The RATE team, a group of scientists that measured various rocks and minerals around the world in order to validate contemporary dating methods, also performed an in-depth analysis of the Old Testament. They found that certain tenses of verbs are more common in different kinds of literature in the Old Testament. With impressive accuracy, they came up with a formula for calculating the likelihood that a verse is narrative or poetry based on the verbs in the given passage. The Genesis 1 account was determined to be 99.99% likely to be narrative based on verb usage as compared to other passages in the Old Testament. This is just another reason why the burden of proof is on those who would decide to read the passage as poetry. This information comes from “Thousands Not Billions” by Donald DeYoung, a summary of the RATE group’s research.

 

What about Science?

Let me start off by saying that I am 100% behind science (true science). But I believe even science done by a Christian cannot probe very far into what happened in Genesis 1.

For example, it has been argued that the distance of the stars and the amount of time it takes for their light to reach us proves the universe is very old. But if we take into account the fact that just moments before the point when God began creating, the universe and all of its rules, patterns, temperatures, creatures, mountains, bodies of water, bodies of humans and all of their needs, desires, feelings, aspirations and longings were perhaps never before conceived of by any self-aware being out there other than God himself (and perhaps that there were no other beings to think of such things anyways!), it starts to seem silly that we expect God to follow a physical law he just created.

That’s why the faith of a child is necessary in order to understand Genesis 1. With the faith of a child, there’s no issue with the plants being created (and bearing fruit) on day 3 and the sun being created on day 4. Arguments like, “Well, plants couldn’t possibly grow in that short of time” or “The sun didn’t exist, so how could God tell what a ‘day’ was?” start to melt away.

There are other scientific arguments worthy of mentioning. Most notable are the arguments for an old earth based on radiometric dating of rocks and plant fossils. I recommend reading the above-mentioned book, “Thousands Not Billions”. The RATE group found evidence quite to the contrary of what secular science (and Christians) have been saying. Most interesting is the presence more often than not of carbon 14 in coal and diamond, in which case there should be no measurable carbon 14 if those elements are indeed as old as science claims. The first section of the book is particularly helpful in understanding how carbon dating actually points to a young earth. It shows that you have to assume that the world is really old before you can start achieving old readings with the carbon dating method.

But even if the RATE group had not done their work, what should the Christian do? Should the Christian leave the final word to secular science? It does not matter that there are Christian scientists who claim the same. What matters is what the Bible teaches. If you still disagree on this point, there are two things you need to realize:

  1. Because of the testimony of creation to the glory of God (Psalm 19), non-believing man, who is BENT against God, cannot effectively do historical science (at least as far as the creation of the universe and the earth are concerned). Ask yourself how a secular scientist could possibly arrive at a correct conclusion if the earth is indeed less than 10,000 years old? How can he possibly deal with the awe and glory of creation and the screaming obviousness that Someone made it? No. He must push it to the distant past to deal with it, there’s no way he can make it a recent event because Evolution (if it did exist) couldn’t possibly work that quickly. The idea that he could be objective about this is not even on the table and goes against what scripture teaches about the nature of man. This, by the way, is different than medical science and other fields of study where scientists are not forced to make an immediate decision about how things came to be.
  2. Even a believer cannot measure what happened in the creation week. As far as we know the laws of nature (as we like to call them) could have changed a thousand times during the creation week. This, along with the catastrophe of the flood (which probably transformed the earth), should not allow us to assume that we can possibly verify what took place. I guarantee that there are things that point to a creation event that occurred 6,000 years ago, but even so it is beyond science. Science is far better at doing things with the laws of our universe than it is at trying to figure out when or how things happened, which tends to cross the line between science and philosophy very quickly. Because of the power of God and the non-natural way things came about, I guarantee that this will result in situations where honest science is in fact contrary to scripture.

 

Conclusion

My hope is that anyone who is not reading the Genesis 1 account as what it is will think carefully about the danger of their path. I don’t know exactly what happened during that week, but God has graciously given us quite a detailed account of it. He could merely have said, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and left it at that. Rather, he let us know that it happened in six days and what happened on each day so we could A) have a reference for six days of work and one day of rest, B) see that no one could have done it except for God, and C) praise him for the glory and power through which he made our universe.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Philosophy, Theology

 

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