In response to the two different creation accounts you wrote
>There's no conflict if they are read as theological accounts with
>different emphases. But they don't match up if you try to read them as
>chronologically accurate descriptions.
Where is Dick Fischer when you need him? He directly addresses this in his
"Historical Adam" articles and his book The Origins Solution. In a
nutshell, he says Gen 2 is the "details of Adam, Eve & the garden of Eden."
Like you say, they are separate accounts. Here's my best quick stab at the
chronology - "no shrub in the field" Gen 2:5, refers specifically to the
garden of Eden, not the world. The Hebrew translated as "earth" could just
as easily be translated "land" depending on context. Adam was one special
guy (also detailed by Dick). He was specially created by God. The animals
either had been created in the past, or were specially created (similar to
Adam & the special trees) for the garden.
Additionally, George writes in response to the question of the sun's
You've omitted my "&c" after "sun". This is just one problem, which
is not resolved by the creation of "light": Photosynthetic plants on earth
adapted to the solar spectrum. But more broadly, the order of creation
in Gen 1 doesn't match the geological record in which - among other things -
there were sea creatures before land plants. & even more broadly, the earth
didn't exist before the first stars.
Sorry about the omission, George. I place the "&c" with the heavens of Gen
1:1. I'm not sure what you're saying about the photosynthetic plants. Your
point about the sea creatures before the land plants is a good one. I don't
pretend to know everything, but here's my take on that -
I agree that primitive sea creatures come before land plants. If that's all
that matters, I lose the argument. I suppose that will just come down to
individual belief. I have to give a nod here to the folks who say there is
some poetry in Gen One. Gen 1:24-25 shows that God's purpose is not a 100%
chronology. But nonetheless, the chronology is excellent. The "great sea
monsters" of Gen 1:21 (NASB) aren't detailed. But the Bible calls Leviathan
(crocodile) a great sea monster. And Encarta 98 places crocodiles at 200M
ago. God could have mentioned the great sea monsters specifically for that
purpose, as sort of a "placemark." To me, the rest of Gen One matches
science/chronology/logic far too well to expect much more chronological
precision than that.
In my first e-mail, Genesis One that Fits, I base my arguments upon grouping
within days. I think it is fair to say that the fish/great sea monsters
belong more after the land plants than before them.
One last thought about giving up on Gen 1 as a fair historical/scientific
account. A lot of people for a long time thought that it was a creation
account. It, arguably, presents itself as a creation account. I want to be
very sure that it's not before giving up. I don't want to force more
chronology on the text than it is trying to present.
Thanks for your comments, Jim
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