In the Beginning: Science and Genesis 1-11
Class Five - SPACE/TIME and DAYS 1-3
Back to Genesis Chapter 1; Genesis 1:2 states PP:
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Let’s break this verse down. PP
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” This is the same word Hebrew word, erets, that we saw in verse 1 and therefore still refers to the component of matter in the universe. PP
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” So here we see that the matter existed, but not in any form. There were no stars or planets, which weren’t formed until day four, only the basic matter component of the space/matter continuum. PP
“And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” As God is light, one might question how he could create a world in darkness. God says in part in Isaiah 45:6-7: PP
“I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness …” So at this point, matter and space existed, but not in energized fashion. Light is a form of energy and at this point there was no energy, so there was no light. Darkness is the absence of light. The Hebrew word for face or surface, panim, is often translated “presence” so here God is simply stating that all that had been created so far, matter and space, was formless and without energy.
The remainder of verse 2 states: PP
“and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Scripture clearly teaches as we have already seen that Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is the creator of the universe and all that it contains. Here the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is participating in creation.
“and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” The Hebrew word translated here as “moving” or “moved” is rachaph, which occurs only three times in the Old Testament. PP
In Jeremiah 23:9 it is translated “shake” and in Deuteronomy 32:11 it is translated “flutter” so the idea seems to be mainly that of a rapid back and forth motion, or vibration. PP
“and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” We’ve already seen that “surface” could also be translated “face” or “presence.” So the matter included in the reference to “earth” in verse one clearly includes water. We don’t have time to delve into the unique properties of water that make life possible. Suffice it to say that liquid water is a necessary ingredient for carbon-based life, but not a sufficient ingredient. Liquid water has never been discovered outside of the earth, but even if it was discovered the implication that therefore life may also be discovered is a non sequitur, i.e. it does not follow. We’ll perhaps discuss that more later.
Proverbs 8, which primarily addresses wisdom, also in that regard discusses the activities of the Creator, Jesus Christ, during the first three days of creation. Verses 23 & 24 state: PP
“…From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth, when there were no depths I was brought forth.” Putting that with the latter portion of verse two indicates the water, with matter suspended in it, was without form initially, but through the “modeling” by the Holy Spirit is now taking shape. While not stated specifically here, that shape was PP
spherical as we shall see shortly. That is confirmed by Proverbs 8: 27, which states: PP
“When He established the heavens I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.”
Here is another example of the Bible being confirmed by science. We of course know the earth is a sphere, yet would that have been readily apparent “in the beginning?”
It’s quiz time again! What is a pejorative, besides knuckle-dragging fundamentalist, that evolutionists use to dismissively describe those that believe in creation and a young earth?
Defenders of Darwinian evolution sometimes compare their critics to believers PP
in a flat earth. According to the standard story, Christians used to believe for theological reasons that the earth is flat. When modern science demonstrated that the earth is actually a sphere, most Christians acknowledged their mistake, but a few continue to persist in their outmoded belief. Since modern science has likewise demonstrated the truth of Darwinian evolution (so the story goes), its critics are like people who still believe in a flat earth. So in addition to being knuckle-draggers, we are labeled flat earthers.
But the story is false. It began as fiction, and it was elevated to a historical claim by late-19th century Darwinists who used it as a weapon to ridicule Christians.
A major promulgator of the flat earth
myth was the 19th-century American writer Washington Irving. In his fictional History of the Life and
Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828),
It is obvious when you think about it that Christopher
Columbus and those that sent him on his voyage knew the earth was round. The purpose of his trip was to find as
And in addition to Proverbs 8:27 the Bible clearly teaches a spherical earth as well PP
in Isaiah 40:22: “It is He who sits above the vault (circle) of the earth.” PP That was penned nearly 2,700 years ago.
Let’s get back to the text. At the end of verse two we have, through the processing by the Holy Spirit, a spherical shape to the waters containing matter. This spherical shape resulted from the impartation of energy into the water and earth particles, activating gravitational forces that formed the sphere, which also began to rotate as is clear from verse four.
Genesis 1:3-5 state PP:
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good’ and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”
Many think this means the sun was created, but that occurs on day four. This light does not come from a physical object. It is a creative, energizing, act of God prior to the creation of objects other than the earth.
We’ve already discussed the Hebrew word “yom” and this is the first time God uses it and he clearly defines it as meaning the “light” time, while night was to be associated with the “dark” time. In the remainder of Genesis 1, God always does his creating in the day, with nothing occurring between each evening and morning. There are of course theological meanings to light and darkness, but we won’t take time to examine that except for 2nd Corinthians 4:6 PP:
“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
So God completed His first day’s work, which involved forming the sphere of the earth and imparting energy to the sphere to cause it to rotate on its axis and providing a source of light on one side of the earth, thus initiating the 24-hour day/night cycle that continues to today on the earth. While the creation of light obviously included visible light, it also included the remainder of the light spectrum, and presumably the electromagnetic and nuclear forces that are involved in the creation of the physical universe. From short wave gamma rays to long radio waves electromagnetic radiation includes a vast range of frequencies spanning at least 75 octaves. Visible light occupies only one octave of this range.
So on this first day the physical universe had been created and energized and was ready for further shaping in subsequent days when he created the sun, moon, stars and planets.
We now have an earth that is no longer without form, but it certainly is not inhabitable in its present form. On days two and three He completes the process of making the earth habitable.
As we move further into Genesis Chapter 1 it is important to remember a fundamental and very significant difference between the Biblical view and the view of most of the Biblical non-conformists or evolutionists. God recognized this significant difference would arise and addressed it in 2nd Peter 3:3-6: “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, PP
“Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”
In the early 1800’s Charles Lyell PP,
the foremost geologist of his day, published PP
Principles of Geology in the early 1830s. Charles Darwin took Principles on the HMS Beagle shortly after it was published and it had a significant impact on him. Principles espoused a new geologic theory, uniformitarianism. Simply put PP,
uniformitarianism states that the present is the key to the past. In the words of 2nd Peter: “all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” It rejects the catastrophism of the Bible, such as the Great Flood, and proposes that what we see now is the way things have always been. While we will deal with this in Genesis Chapter 7 it also relates to what we are going to be covering for the next few weeks. And while we desire to interpret Scripture correctly, it is often difficult to view these events in other than a uniformitarian mindset.
As we go
through Chapter 1, remember that we are dealing with creation events which are
unique and therefore cannot be subject to scientific discovery. Furthermore, in addition to being unique
events, they were mostly destroyed by the Great Flood described in Genesis
Chapter 7. A simple example of that
would be equating the current Tigris and Euphrates rivers in
“Now a river flowed out of
So while science certainly impacts the plausibility of some of what we will discuss, it is not always germane to these unique events. Suffice it to say at this point that the denial of the impact of the Great Flood skews the results of many of the supposed evidences for evolution we will address later. With that caveat, let’s move forward.
Genesis 1:6-8 states PP:
“Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”
This is a somewhat difficult passage that refers to an expanse dividing the waters of the earth and indicates the expanse and heaven are synonymous. Many have interpreted this to mean that a canopy of water PP
was suspended above the earth and that such a model would help explain the long pre-flood ages such as those matter-of-factly set forth in Genesis Chapter 5 such as Methuselah living 969 years. When we get to Chapter 5 we’ll show scientifically that those long ages are correct, but for now we’ll only deal with the canopy.
The canopy model was developed from an interpretation of the “waters above” when discussing the expanse. From these verses, scientific models were developed and modified to help deal with
problems that arose. These models included ideas about the earth’s temperature, atmospheric color, as well as oxygen concentration to attempt to explain the longevity of man in Genesis 5 and 11.
The proposed models have this canopy fading into history at the time of the Flood, which would have destroyed it. Researchers thought it could have provided at least some of the water for the Flood and was associated with the “windows of heaven” mentioned along with the fountains of the great deep at the onset of the Flood in Genesis 7.
Currently, however, the pitfalls of the canopy model have grown to such an extent that most researchers have abandoned the model. Let’s look at some of those problems PP:
The Pressure Problem. A canopy holding only 40 feet of liquid water, or its equivalent weight of vapor (steam) or ice, would double the earth’s atmospheric pressure—making oxygen and nitrogen toxic to many animals, including humans. This is why most vapor canopy theories limit the thickness of water in their canopy to less than 40 feet.
The Heat Problem. For a vapor canopy holding this amount of water, the high pressure at the canopy’s base would require that the temperature at the base exceed a scorching 220°F. Otherwise, the vapor would condense into a liquid. A vapor canopy whose base had that temperature would radiate large amounts of heat to the earth’s solid surface. People, plants, and animals would absorb so much heat from all directions above that life might not survive. So rather than a canopy producing a globally mild climate, the larger the canopy, the greater the heat problem.
For liquid or ice particles instead of a vapor to remain in space above the earth’s atmosphere, they must be in orbit. Anything in a near-earth orbit must travel about 17,000 miles per hour. Just as a spacecraft generates great heat as it reenters the atmosphere, orbiting liquid or ice particles would release all their kinetic energy as heat. This heat would dramatically raise the atmosphere’s temperature. Even if a canopy began with the coldest ice possible (absolute zero) or if some heat were transferred elsewhere, insufferable heat would remain.
A similar problem exists if this ice were part of a spinning shell surrounding the earth. A rapidly-spinning shell, providing enough centrifugal force to balance the gravitational force as much as possible, would still have too much kinetic energy. Once the shell collapsed, that energy would become scalding heat, enough to “roast” all life on earth.
The Light Problem. A canopy having only 40 feet of water—in any form—would reflect, refract, absorb, or scatter most light trying to pass through it. People living under a 40-foot-thick canopy could see stars only if they were directly overhead, so their light would have the shortest path through a canopy. Before the flood, people presumably could see stars, because stars were created for a purpose as we shall see in Genesis 1:14. Stars would achieve their purpose only if enough stars could be seen to identify seasonal variations. Therefore, one needs to see large star patterns, such as constellations—not just a few stars directly overhead. By looking through a “keyhole” into the night sky, it is questionable whether one could have seen, recalled, and distinguished seasonally shifting star patterns through the filter of a 40-foot-thick canopy, even on a moonless night.
A canopy would also reflect and absorb considerable sunlight. How then could many tropical plants that require much sunlight today, have survived for centuries under a preflood canopy? PP
The Greenhouse Problem. While sunlight can pass through glass into a greenhouse, heat in a greenhouse has more difficulty radiating back out through the glass. This greenhouse effect traps heat inside the greenhouse, raising its temperature. All canopy theories have a greenhouse problem.
Also, as temperatures under a canopy rose, more water would evaporate from the earth’s surface, especially its oceans. More water vapor in the air means a greater greenhouse effect, a warmer atmosphere, and even more evaporation. This cycle would feed on itself, producing what is called “a runaway greenhouse effect.” For example, Venus’ atmosphere has experienced a runaway greenhouse effect. Venus is about 700°F hotter than one would expect based on its distance from the Sun. The greenhouse effect increases earth’s temperature by about 60°F. PP
The Ultraviolet Problem. Ozone in the earth’s upper atmosphere blocks the Sun’s destructive ultraviolet light, but a canopy surrounding the atmosphere would be exposed to ultraviolet light. Therefore, water in the canopy would dissociate into hydrogen and oxygen, effectively destroying that canopy.
So while any canopy must address these problems, Scripture certainly does not dictate the existence of such a system above the earth.
Aside from the scientific analysis, there may be a much bigger issue at play: if the canopy really was part of earth’s atmosphere, then all the stars, sun, and moon would have been created within the earth's atmosphere as Genesis 1:14 indicates they were created in the expanse of the heavens.
Furthermore, Psalm 148:4 states PP:
“Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!” The psalmist wrote this in a post-Flood world in the context of other post-Flood aspects. So, it appears that the windows of heaven still exist at this point. And this is complimented by Genesis 8:2 PP:
“Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained.” This verse merely points out that the two sources were stopped and restrained, not necessarily done away with. These two verses suggest that the windows of heaven remained after the Flood. The canopy model would have to explain when and how they suddenly dissipated, and without any basis for this in Scripture.
As I mentioned, I have been teaching courses on the creation/evolution issue for about 20 years. Until now I have generally supported the probability of a canopy being addressed in these verses, but I now believe these scientific difficulties make such a position untenable. Nor is it now needed to explain the long ages set forth in Genesis 5, as we shall see in Class 10 re genetics.
Let’s look at verses 7 & 8 again PP:
“and God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse, and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning a second day.” I’m going to challenge you to think outside of the box now. Notice that verse 8 states PP:
“And God called the expanse heaven.” What did God say about His creation in Genesis 1:31? PP
And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good.” Since Genesis 3 the whole earth has groaned (Rom. 8:22) as a result of sin, but before Genesis 3 the earth and everything in it was very good in the sight of God. We sometimes use the phrase “heaven on earth” and verse 8 equates the expanse with heaven. I certainly can’t be dogmatic about this, but I submit to you that the earth at this time was in fact heaven on earth. God created man to live forever before the Fall, and it’s reasonable to think that prior to the corruption of sin that led to death the earth would have been man’s heaven. I believe these verses simply state that the expanse was the earth’s crust and the waters above the earth resided above that, perhaps in what we call space. But let’s move on.
Genesis 1:9&10 state PP:
“Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.”
This was the first time that God labeled creation as good. He has completed the formation of the earth to sustain life by bringing forth the land. While we’ll examine it later, the waters below the heavens, or the earth’s crust, were gathered into subterranean chambers that were all linked and provided the PP
“fountains of the great deep” which burst open in Genesis 7:11. The land and the seas were created.
The pre-flood earth was quite different from today’s earth in many ways that we’ll examine later. Approximately half the earth’s water was below the earth’s crust, so the earth’s surface had about half the water it has today and therefore a much larger land mass. We’ll see this later, but the flood produced today’s ocean basin’s, some of which are seven miles deep.
Genesis 1:11 states PP:
“Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so.” Let me refresh your memory of our differing creation events with our PP
visual contrast again. So Plants were created on day three while the sun wasn’t created until day four. Can you think of a reason why God did it in what we view to be an illogical order? I submit it was to confirm the days of creation were 24-hour days as the plants would have died without photosynthesis to fuel them.
Regardless of your view of the length of the creation events, whether they are millions of years or 24-hour days, as we move through the creation events it will be clear that the Biblical chronology and the evolution chronology are not in sync. As we’ve already seen, the Biblical chronology has the waters created first, followed by the earth and then, while we haven’t gotten there yet, the stars and planets. The evolution chronology, surprise, surprise, is just the opposite. Obviously, if the evolution chronology was correct the days in Genesis could not be 24-hour days and the Biblical creation chronology is also erroneous.
The evolutionists have a molten earth being formed 4.5 billion years ago, and the seas not appearing until 3.8 billion years ago. In between those two events, their model indicates it took three hundred million years for that molten earth to solidify and cool.
Let’s look to the scientific evidence relevant to this question instead of the postulations of a worldview that must have millions and billions of years for its creation events to be plausible. Let’s look at the base rock of the earth, granite, to see which view the evidence supports.
Before we see the amazing evidence counter to the evolutionary theory of granite formation we need a brief lesson in radiometric dating and the half lives of radioactive elements. So let’s begin with a video segment regarding dating methods and their significant problems. (Evolution: Fact or Belief? - about 10 minutes).
We just saw the significant problems in the assumptions used to date things. We’re going to see more on this later – it’s important! Let’s summarize them. PPx2
What you didn’t see is the fact that wide ranges
are generated in these tests and the one felt to be the closest to the desired
date is selected. For a further example
of the extreme inaccuracy of these methods, lets visit
the Cardenas Basalt flow that runs down the side of the
(a) 516±30 million years (the potassium-argon age), PP (b) 1,111±81 million years (the rubidium-strontium age), PP (c) 1,588±170 million years (the samarium-neodymium age). So would someone please tell me the age of this lava flow? I say it’s PP none of the above.