>Genesis 1:11 mentions "fruit trees" on the third day of creation. In 1611
that might have made sense, however
>in Hebrew, a "nut" is a fruit. Conifers bear seeds (nuts), and appear in
the fossil record prior to fish, whereas cherry trees,
>apple trees, etc. do not. How the human writer understood this verse we
cannot know. What the Holy Spirit intended we can
>only guess. The fossil record can be useful. Why not use it?
Because you don't get your fossil record facts correct! As usual I check
claims and this one is simply false, unless you can document from more
recent literature what you say. Maybe I missed something in the past couple
of years but I don't think so.
Here are the facts as I see them today. If anyone wants to correct me then
do so but give documentation for the claim.
The oldest conifer I can find reference to in an internet search is 300 myr
The oldest fish is from the Upper Ordovician. The earliest plant occurs
long afterwards in the Llandovery epoch of the Silurian about 440 million
years ago see
Chongyang Cal, Shu Ouyang, Yi Wang,
Zongjie Fang, Jiayu rong Liangyu Geng and Xingxue Li "An Early
Silurian Vascular Plant," Nature, 379, Feb. 15, 1996, p. 592
The oldest fish is from the upper Ordoician about 460 million years ago.
Ivan J. Sansom, M.M. Smith and
M. P. Smith, "Scales of Thelodont and shark-like fishes from
the Ordovician of Colorado," Nature, 379:628-630, Feb. 15,
1996, p. 628
This is why I document much of what I say with lots of references. At least
then claims can be checked and people can show me the error of my ways. But
too much of Christian apologetics consists of nothing but unsubstantiated
claims or downright falsities. We simply must do better.
for lots of creation/evolution information
personal stories of struggle
5. On day 4, v. 14 says, "Let there be lights in the firmament of
and then in v. 16 "and God made the two great lights...the stars also."
the sun, moon and stars had already been created in v. 1, why do they
be created again here? What happened to them in the meantime that made
disappear? Concordists would have us believe these verses are just
sun, moon and stars were not clearly seen until God removed the clouds
between the observer and the lights. But, the problem is not just that
makes these lights again, but that v. 17 says he "placed them into the
I like Steve Krogh's comment: "If they were there In v.1 they didn't go
anywhere. Nathan can also mean "caused to appear" as opposed to bara." This
is good. Genesis 1:14-18 could be understood in this context: When the
clouds finally dissipated, on the fourth day, God appointed the sun, moon
and stars as timekeepers for the sighted creatures who came along starting
on the fifth day of creation.
There is plenty that tell us Gen 1 is not a revelation of scientific
Only in mistranslated and misunderstood form I would suggest. In my
humble estimation, whatever discord may exist is more apparent than real.
Where then did the "science" in Gen 1 come from? The Mesopotamian
of the rest of Gen 1-11 along with the Mesopotamian background of
suggests strongly that these ideas come from Mesopotamia. The solidity
firmament could have come from anywhere (all proto-scientific peoples
believed the sky was solid); but the dividing of the waters (Day 2) is
We heartily agree on the "Mesopotamian background" of the Genesis account.
Do we agree on the Mesopotamian background of the physical events, i.e.:
Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, the Genesis flood, and the tower of Babel?
In addition, since there is, in fact, no solid firmament and no ocean
it, we need not suppose this concept is a divine revelation.
Even to a casual Accadian or Sumerian observer the idea of a "solid"
firmament would have been a curious notion. The stars in space were known
to be different somehow from the "seven shepherds" we know as planets today.
Even the number seven had a mystical quality derived from these mysterious
lights that moved around versus the other lights that remained relatively
fixed, but yet rotated about the sky. What could have been solid? Were the
stars fixed to a solid dome rotating around the earth while the planets were
free to roam about without hindrance? I think the ancients were smarter
and knew more than we give them credit for.
The following two versus, there are others, would require the writers to
be cognizant of a gaseous "firmament," what we call "atmosphere" today.
Gen.1:20: "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open
firmament of heaven." Eze 1:26: "And above the firmament that was over
their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire
The creation of the animals and Adam in Genesis 1 versus Adam and then
animals in Genesis 2 appears to be problematical, but taken as two accounts
from two different sources, whether compiled by Moses or whoever; we can
either look for reconciliation, or just throw up our hands. I prefer the
former over the latter. Let's look at the verses in question.
Genesis 2:19-20: "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of
the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what
he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that
was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl
of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not
found an help meet for him.
"And" appears as the first word of a verse throughout the Genesis
narrative. It is a connective that serves to link thoughts. "I am going to
tell you this, and I am going to tell you this, and I am going to tell you
this, etc." We get into trouble thinking "and" provides links in a
chronology of events. "This happened, and then this happened, and then this
The subject of Genesis 2:19-20 is that certain kinds of animals and winged
creatures were brought to Adam and he gave them names. Some classes of
animals are not included; no "fish," no "creeping things," no man-eating
carnivores, no dinosaurs, etc. And the word bara is not found in these
versus to tempt us into thinking God started with clay models of animals and
breathed the breath of life into their nostrils.
The word "formed" is expansive enough to allow plenty of room for
scientific explanations of animal ancestry. In Hebrew, "all" and "every"
are used similarly to our saying "much," many," or "some" in English There
are plenty of OT examples where we can see exactly that. The phrase, "every
living creature" applies to only what is named, domesticated animals and
So what can we say? Is the order of animals and Adam in Genesis 1
reversed in Genesis 2? Absolutely not! In Genesis 2, Adam is within the
confines of the garden. The animals and birds are in his immediate
environment. No penguins, polar bears or kangaroos.
Absolute and total harmony between Genesis and science may not be
possible, but I do think it is entirely possible that every point of
difference could be explained by errors in transmission, translation and
interpretation. The original text may have been inerrant in my estimation.
To just throw in the towel, however, and proclaim Genesis to have
theological value without historical integrity is at best premature, and at
worst, plays into the hands of unbelievers.
Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution - www.orisol.com
"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago"
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