Sorry for not replying to this sooner, but I was unable to get connect to my
"electronic mailbox" until this morning: from Thursday afternoon until this
morning, there were some 136 ASA e-mail messages! Working my way through
them will take my entire lunch hour!
The argument I heard against the longer-then-24-hours day was that the
nights would also have been longer and that raised the problem of plant
survival in the absence of daylight. Yes, of course, one can argue that
"day" represents era, but that still doesn't get one away from the problems
raised by the sequence of events in Gen. 1, as you mention in your comment.
As to the "apparent age" concept, I never wrote that I supported this
concept; I merely indicated that, to me, it would be a "more satisfying
argument [than trying to fit Gen 1 into a scientific context]..." (see
below). In a later post, I mused that God might have created the Universe
as a puzzle to give scientists something to do. This would not make God a
liar; au contraire, by calling God a liar and deceiver, we base this on our
assumption of what God was trying to convey. Again, I don't support this
theory, but I was trying to "bend over backwards" to think of any redeeming
quality in such a concept.
From: Mr C [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday February 15, 2002 2:14 PM
To: Vandergraaf, Chuck
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: RE: Children of YEC's in Sunday School (WAS: How to discuss
evol ution with friends
This is my first post, I've been lurking for a week or so, forgive me if I
rehash old topics...
--- "Vandergraaf, Chuck" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
One must be very careful with trying to stretch the "day" in Gen.1 to
"ages" to accommodate an old earth. ["(For that matter, when talking with
adults on whom the light is just beginning to dawn & who say, "Maybe the
days were millions of years long", I don't try to introduce more
sophisticated ideas - right then.)"] Some years ago, when I tried this
tack, the response was something along the lines that plants need sunlight
and that they would not survive a long night (assuming, of course, that
the night was also "millions of years long"). I suppose one could argue
for long days and short nights, but that has its own problems. ;-)
What is you opposition to long days? I know of no day age theorists (now)
that claim that daylight or night lasted for millions of years. The
evenings and mornings can literraly be interpreted as beginning and ending
for the "days" (however long they were).
As for the Earth preceding the Sun... Genesis 1:1 says: "In beginning God
created the heavens and the earth." The fact that the heavens and earth
were created in verse one is inescapable in the text itself... for if the
earth is not created in Genesis 1:1 - then the origin of planet Earth
itself is never explained. Note that in verse two - the Earth not only
exists... but is already covered by water and in darkness. There are no
other details as to how the earth was created or came to be covered by
And the earth is not the only thing created in verse one. The heavens
(plural) are also created. It is a firmly entrenched conclusion among many
fundamentalists that Genesis 1:14-19 teaches that the sun, moon and stars
were not created until the fourth "day" of creation. They are then forced
to posit a light source that is totally unrelated to the earth's required
Sun and solar system at large.
Further, the length of the day is immaterial regarding the plants... If
there was no Sun, any life created prior to day four would have no chance
of survival, it would freeze - even if only for one night.
And, If you try to solve all this with the "cosmic flashlight" scenario
it would require that the initial "light" of day one - perfectly duplicate
the Sun's not only light, but - spectral radiation (including heat),
gravity, etc. And you are requiring that God have to go through all this
inefficiency and trouble for a mere 72 hours... Until He could get around
to igniting the Sun??? I'm real uncomfortable with that.
To further illustrate, consider this thought experiment:
I don't think anyone will doubt that the earth's rotation provides for our
day/night cycle - even in the context of a simplistic ultra literal
interpretation of Genesis 1. That being the case, the universe including
the Sun and Earth had to be created in Genesis 1:1. How so you ask? For if
not, not only does the Sun not exist until the 4th day - but the earth is
not created until the first actual 24 hour day! Remember in this scenario,
Genesis describes a "day" which begun with evening and proceeded on to
morning (as the earth allegedly rotates before the light). How could you
possibly have a night/day cycle? How could earth rotate to produce the 24
hr day (demanded by young earth creationists) before it and the Sun
existed? Both (and more) are required to provide the celestial mechanics
needed to produce the 24hr/solar day. It is impossible for the earth to be
created in the solar day which it's own rotation had to produce! It seems
to me prior time, and processes are inescapable.
Having thought about this for many years now (but not as long as some
correspondents on this ASA site), I've come to the conclusion that it is
hopeless to look for any agreement between what God shows us in His
Creation and what Genesis appears to tell us at first glance (or, for
many, even after 'n' glances). A more satisfying argument, to me, would
be that God created the Universe some 6000 or so years ago as a fully
functional system, with the stars 'way out there and the light well on its
way to us, with all the daughter products of the U and The series in
place, with the isotopic signatures that we find, etc., etc. Note that I
don't say I'd be happy with it, but I think I'd prefer it over "shoe
horning" Genesis into geology or the other way around.
I just can't accept the appearance of age concept. It essentially makes
God a liar.
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