Re: Gen 1:1 and Concordism

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 09:55:16 EST

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    > >Assuming Gen 1 is written from the point of view of a person on earth, Gen
    > >1:1-5 specifies that there was no differentiation between Day and Night, no
    > >Light alternating with Darkness, that could be discerned by a person on
    > >until Day 1. So, in Gen 1:2, when an ocean covers the earth, dated c. 3.5 to
    > >4.0 billion years ago, it was totally dark on the earth. This is c.
    > >500,000,000 years after sunlight appears. From what I have read, by that
    > >(after the earth cooled enough to have an ocean) the earth was no longer in
    > >total darkness. However, astrophysics-geology is not my field and I would
    > >like to be corrected if I am wrong about that. If there is reason to believe
    > >that the earth was still shrouded in total darkness when the first ocean
    > >appeared on earth, I will concede that the concordist interpretation fits
    > >facts of natural science up to v. 5.

    One of the best summaries of our current understanding of very early Earth
    history is given in E.G. Nisbet and N.H. Sleep, 2001, "The habitat and
    nature of early life": Nature, vol. 409, p. 1083-1091. It is also
    noteworthy that Nisbet is a Christian and the article concludes with a
    statement on creation. There are also scattered references to C.S Lewis in
    the article.

    I will not present the evidence here, you can read the article for
    yourselves. The scenario presented is that the proto-Earth was struck by a
    planet-sized body around 4.5 by ago. A dense envelope of dust may have
    persisted for thousands of years following this event. After perhaps 2
    million years, the Earth cooled enough for oceans to begin to condense.
    Large impacts likely occurred until about 3.8 by ago, some of which may
    have vaporized these primeval oceans. Life was present on Earth by 3.5 by
    ago and probably by 3.8 by ago. The earliest sedimentary (that is, water
    deposited) rocks are also about 3.8 by old. The early Earth probably also
    experienced episodes of nearly complete global glaciation due to lower
    solar out put (the faint young Sun). These may have alternated with global
    greenhouse conditions produced by volcanic outgassing of C02.


    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

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