What does the Genesis Account say regarding the Earth and how life began on it? Before laughing it up as defending a God and Creator and such,lets see the Bible's account of events which is separate from what Christian Fundamentalist had said over the years.
To begin with many people claim that science disproves the Bible's account of how everything was created. But that argument should be labelled against the opinions of Christian Fundamentalist and not what the Bible says on the subject.Infact the Bible text reveals that there is no conflict with established scientific facts. The Bible even disagrees with what certain creationist believe happened,not just the Christian Fundamentalist.
Lets look at some.
1.When was "In the Beginning" spoken of at Genesis 1:1?
Genesis kicks off by saying:"In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth".That is all that the Bible says. It makes just a simple statement. Bible scholars all agree with this: That there is action that is separate from the creative days recounted from verse 3 onwards in Genesis chapter 1.Is that implication profound? Sure it is because according to the Bible's opening words,the universe,including our Earth,was in existence for an indefinite time before the Creative "Days" actually began.
Geologist says that they estimate the Earth to be around 4 billion years old. Astronomers calculates the Universe to be around 15 billion years old. Do these findings contradict what the Genesis account says? No it doesn't. The account in Genesis does not specify the actual age of "the heavens and the earth" so how could it be at odd with Science?
2.How long were the creative days?
Was the six creative days each literally 24hours in length? How do people even come to such a conclution?Does the wording in the Genesis account support such an assumption? No it does not. The English word "day" does mean various lengths of time,not just a 24hour period. For example in Genesis 2:4,in summarising the creative works of God,the man Moses refers to all six creative days as just "one day on the first creative day,"and that God began calling the light DAY,but the darkness he called NIGHT.
So here you find that only a portion of the 24-hour period is defined by the term "day" and therefore there is no basis in the Genesis account to arbitrarily state that each creative "day" was just 24-hours long now is there! Genesis does not say how long the creative days were. The wording simply indicates that a considerable length of time were involved in creation and that is it.
3.Six Creative Periods...
The universe existed long before the creative periods spoken off in the Genesis account began. So when the Bible writer Moses wrote Genesis,he was writing from the perspective of a person that is standing on the surface of the Earth. That viewpoint should rule out any controversy surrounding the creation account in Genesis.
A careful look at Genesis shows you that events started during one "day" and then continued on into one or more of the following "days" when the Bible speaks of light from the already existing Sun being prevented from reaching Earth's surface,it could all had been because of thick clouds. During the first creative "day" this barrier egan to clear,which allowed for diffused light to penetrate Earth's atmosphere. On the second "day" the atmosphere cleared more and more,making space between thick clouds above and the oceans below. On the fourth "day" the atmosphere gradually cleared to the extent that the Sun and Moon were made to appear "in the vault of the sky"(Genesis 1:14-16 NIV).All these events happened gradually. Genesis goes on to say that as the atmosphere continue to clear,flying creatures-including insects and membrane-winged birds-started to appear on the fifth "day".
What the Genesis account of creation does allow for is for the possibility that some major events during each "day" or creative period,that it happened gradually instead of instantly and that some lasted into the following "day".
4.Everything according to its kind...
Did God used evolution to produce the vast diversity of living things we see all around us?Genesis says all things created by God were basic "kinds" of either plant or animal life, etc(Genesis 1:11,12,20-25).Were these different kinds of plants and animals programmed with the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions? What defines the boundary of a "kind"?The Bible doesn't say. What the Bible does say is that living creatures "swarmed forth according to their kinds"(Genesis 1:21).This tells you that their is a limit to the amount of variation that can occur within a kind. The fossil record and modern research science both support the idea that the fundamental categories of plants and animals have changed very little over vast periods of time.
So contrary to what some believe the Genesis account of creation says,it does not teach that universe,including our Earth,was created in a short period of time in the relative recent past. Aspects of what's written in Genesis about creation of the universe and appearance of life on Earth harmonizes with recent scientific discoveries.
Genesis speaks of the universe as having a beginning and that life appeared in stages,progressively,over long periods of time. How did the writer,Moses, have access to such accurate scientific knowledge more than 3,500 years ago? Only someone that had both the power and wisdom to create a heaven and a earth could give Moses such advanced knowledge! The Bible says it is "inspired by God"(1Timothy 3:16).
The Genesis account and Science agree on many things,its up to you as an individual if you accept that or not.It's your personal decision.
1.www.internetmonk.com › Faith & Science.
3.Awake magazine 09/06.