Re: YEC Invasion

From: gordon brown (
Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 15:40:15 EDT

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    On Fri, 5 Sep 2003, Ted Davis wrote:

    > Then, examine the two Genesis creation stories carefully--and do emphasize
    > that there appear to be two such stories, whose details are not fully
    > consistent. (such as the order of events--animals then humans or vice
    > versa) Also look at the fourth day of creation, where the sun and moon are
    > created expressly to mark out time and to give day and night, yet we've had
    > time and evening/morning since day one. (This passage has been a source of
    > speculation since the earliest years of the church, long before "modern
    > science". It has long been questioned, for example, whether the first three
    > "days" are "days" at all, since the sun and moon aren't there.)

    Genesis 2 contradicts the YEC interpretation of day in Genesis 1 since it
    indicates a much longer interval between the creation of Adam and that of
    Eve. If YECs want a concordist interpretation, they would be well advised
    to reexamine their interpretation of the days of Genesis 1. Genesis 2 is
    also inconsistent with some of the other main assertions of today's most
    prominent YECs.

    However, I think it is misleading to label Genesis 2 as another creation
    account, thus putting it in the same category as Genesis 1. Genesis 1 is
    an account of the creation of the entire universe including all the life
    forms known to the ancients. On the other hand, the section Gen.2:4-4:26
    (i.e. between the toledoth clauses that mark the divisions in Genesis)
    concerns the fall of man and its consequences and continues until men
    began to call on the name of the Lord, and references to creation are only
    incidental to the main story. The earlier events of the Genesis 1 account
    (such as the creation of the heavenly bodies) are not addressed. The
    location of the story is limited to the vicinity of Eden. There is no
    reference to the sea or to marine creatures. Trees are the only plants
    mentioned as being planted. Some categories of animals are not needed in
    the story and so are not mentioned.

    There is a reference to trees being planted, but planting is not normally
    the same as creating. Usually plants or seeds are already in existence and
    are somehow transported from elsewhere for planting. The account of the
    animals may be the most problematic passage in the section. The NIV solves
    the problem by using the pluperfect tense, which they would presumably
    justify by the fact that Hebrew verbs have only two tenses, thus giving
    greater latitutde in translation, but the immediate context does not
    demand this, and there are even conservative commentators who say that the
    waw-conversive structure does not permit the NIV translation. One curious
    feature that should be taken into account in any interpetation is that
    although Adam names animals from three different classes, only two of
    these classes are said to have been formed by God and brought to him.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395

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