RE: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

From: Jon Tandy <>
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 15:02:51 EDT

I realize you aren't taking a strong stance on this point, but this is what
I was addressing with my first paragraph. If the verses in question are
suggested to have a "possible descriptive accommodation of an evolutionary
process," then what kind of accommodation could be contrived for the
creation of Eve from Adam's rib? If no accommodation can be conceived of
which explains Eve in the same way as explaining the creation of Adam, then
it seems to me that it undermines even the suggestion that evolution was
accommodated in the statements that waters and earth "brought forth" living
creatures. (As I said, and as perhaps you are saying, I think it does make
an interesting rhetorical argument, but if it fails for want of consistency,
it's probably not a useful argument.)
Jon Tandy

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Jim Armstrong
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

Just to perhaps speak the obvious, but with respect to your first "ponder",
the Genesis 1:20-21 passages, including, "...Let the waters bring forth
abundantly the moving creature that hath life..." are additionally
interesting. They are interesting in their very presence, given the
seemingly sufficient "out of the dust of the ground" passage. It is of
course also interesting because of its possible descriptive accommodation of
an evolutionary process. Neither passage of course proves anything relating
to evolution, but they do seem to me to make clear room for such a
progressive creative process, even to a very literal interpreter of
Scripture unless they are just to be ignored. They are there in plain view
for every reader, and their very presence sure seems to me to make it hard
to explain them away. Despite the "kinds" sophistry, they seem to me to
clearly describe some sort of developmental process, and it is no stretch
at all in my view for that process to be one and the same as an evolutionary
process, at the very least making room for that aspect of concordism.

I'm not a concordist per se, but I do still think it remarkable that the
wisdom of the day (as a minimal description of the inspiration for the
Genesis narrative) did as well as it does against the knowledge of today. It
is sort of sad to me that literalists insist on cherry picking of these
passages, ignoring these two developmental descriptions in light of what the
very Creation speaks to us today. These passages have been meaningful to me
in that light.

Regards - JimA [Friend of ASA]

Jon Tandy wrote:

In the last few days I've pondered a few points about Genesis 1 and 2 that I
don't recall reading about in other discussions (although I'm sure they must
have been somewhere).
First, I was pondering the statement that the animals and Adam were created
"out of the dust of the ground". I realize that some have inferred that
this statement could include evolution, as the earth itself is what produces
the variety of creatures. I think this is a tenuous conclusion when taken
as a "concordist" interpretation, but it does make for an interesting
rhetorical argument. However, if this is taken as a potentially
straightforward description of evolution producing man from the ground (from
common, existing structures), then for consistency what would the creation
of Eve be taken to mean scientifically, as being from Adam's rib? In other
words, for those who take the one statement as a scientific inference of
Adam's evolution, how can they apply consistent interpretation when it comes
to Eve's creation as a scientific event?
Second, the sun and moon were made to "divide the day from the night", with
the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night. If this
was so (according to a "literal" interpretation), then why do we see the
moon come out in the daytime and disappear at night sometimes? It seems
that if this verse were to be taken literally, the moon has ceased
functioning according to its created purpose, which was to rule over the
Also, since God divided the light from the darkness in Gen 1:4, why did it
need to be divided again in verse 14 by the sun and moon? How do the sun
and moon divide the light from darkness, since both of them cast light on
the earth (the moon for at least most of the month)? The only thing I can
think is that dividing the light from darkness in verse 14 means to divide
the day from night (sun=day, moon=night), which goes back to my previous
paragraph about why are the moon and the sun sometimes out during the day --
that is, if all this is to be taken in a strictly "literal" 20th century
cosmology. For me, this all contributes toward showing why a framework or
some other interpretation is more plausible.
Jon Tandy

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Received on Tue Mar 11 15:03:48 2008

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