In my opinion, the next "weakest link" in a scientific/historical Genesis
One is Gen 1:2-7.
Was there ever a time that this described the earth?
On the ASA site I found the following in Genesis Reconsidered (1999), by
Armin Held and Peter Ruest. I looked in Microsoft Encarta 98, under Earth
(origins). This actually seemed pretty close to what Held and Ruest said
(below). I wouldn't expect Encarta 98 to try to reconcile science and the
This description strikingly resembles the scientific picture of the early
earth. It accreted 4.55 Ga ago, and the moon apparently formed by the impact
of a Mars-sized body 4.5 Ga ago.21 The earth was bombarded by planetesimals,
differentiated into an iron core and a siliceous mantle in the molten state,
and collected a secondary atmosphere and hydrosphere from volcanic
outgassing and meteorite impacts. Sufficient cooling let a global ocean
At a relatively high temperature, a thick cloud of water vapor enveloping
the whole earth prevented the penetration of any light to the ocean surface.
Further cooling and chemical change of the atmosphere later permitted the
sunÝs light, still diffused by a permanent cloud cover,28 to reach the
surface, producing day and night.
The ancients knew the water cycle and would easily understand the raqia
between the waters as the air space between oceans and clouds.36 The two
were separated when the atmosphere cleared, after its temperature fell below
the dew point, generating the global water cycle.37
21S. Ida, et al., "Lunar accretion from an impact-generated disk," Nature
389 (1997): 353˝7; and D. C. Lee, et al., "Age and Origin of the Moon,"
Science 278 (1997): 1098˝103.
22M. J. Gaffey, "The Early Solar System," Origins of Life and Evolution of
the Biosphere 27 (1997): 185˝203; and D. C. B. Whittet, "Is extraterrestrial
organic matter relevant to the origin of life on Earth?" Origins of Life and
Evolution of the Biosphere 27 (1997): 249˝62.
28J. F. Kasting, "EarthÝs Early Atmosphere," Science 259 (1993): 920˝6; R.
Rye, et al., "Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations before 2.2 billion
years ago," Nature 378 (1995): 603˝5; W. L. Davis & C. P. McKay, "Origins of
Life, a Comparison of Theories and Application to Mars," Origins of Life and
Evolution of the Biosphere 26 (1996): 61˝73; C. Saga & C. Chyba, "The Early
Faint Sun Paradox: Organic Shielding of Ultraviolet-Labile Greenhouse
Gases," Science 276 (1997): 1217˝21; and F. Forget & R. T. Pierrehumbert,
"Warming Early Mars with Carbon Dioxide Clouds That Scatter Infrared
Radiation," Science 278 (1997): 1273˝6
36Eccles. 1:7 clearly describes the water cycle between sea and clouds,
indicating that for ancient Hebrews it would have been most natural to take
the "waters above the raqia" to be the clouds above the air space
37H. Ross (1979), note 24, 7
24H. Ross, Genesis One: A Scientific Perspective (Pasadena, CA: Reasons to
Believe, 1979), ˝7; criticized by R. ?sterberg, "On the prebiotic role of
iron and sulfur," Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 27 (1997):
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