Creation versus Evolution
The case for creation Part 1
(Next: The case against evolution Part 2)
It seems to me that many today do not bother to study the issue; the evolutionist smugly says that it is okay to believe in religion as long as you believe in evolution while the Christian somehow believes the two contradictory propositions to be true. What I hope to show in this two-part posting is that the two views are incontrovertibly contradictory. What we are left with is simple logic: either both are untrue, or one is true and the other is false. What is not possible is that both can somehow harmonize. It is nothing but the simplest logic.
In Genesis, the Bible says that God created the earth in six days and on the seventh He rested. Some who would reconcile the irreconcilable do so on one of two bases. First they argue for a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Indeed, it is my opinion that there could be a gap forced between the two verses, but it is not likely. However long it took the Creator to do this logically does not force a gap, preferably the one of five billion years which is what evolution currently teaches as the age of the earth. In any case for the Christian the case is clearly settled in Exodus 20:11, an important passage giving the 10 commandments to the children of Israel. Hardly a disputed passage, it clearly states: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day” (emphasis added). It seems very clear that the Creator did create in very short order.
Which brings us to the second basis: that of the long-day-interpretation. Some have postulated that each day could be lengthened to a nonspecific term. This term would have been considerably shorter a mere fifty years ago when evolutionists said the earth was much younger. Now they believe that they need more time, and believe it or not, dating systems today show an earth about 5 billion years old. So today we would have to suppose that each day is lengthened to something shorter than a billion years. But what is a few million years more or less when we are talking about such a long period?
The Hebrew for day is the word yowm, which means, according to Strong’s Concordance either from one sunset to another or an unspecified age. At first appearance one might exalt in harmonizing the two views, crying out “Here it is. The place where evolution and religion meet.” But alas, such is not to be. For when the scripture is compared with scripture we clearly see the week that the children of Israel being compared to the same week in which creation took place. Israelites are told to rest on the seventh day, exactly as God rested. The Israelites are told to rest on the seventh day over and over again on the basis of what the Creator did. To make the one a billion years and the other an ordinary day would severely distort the plain sense of the passage.
The real and unstated problem is of course those who refuse to believe in the spiritual. If God is a spirit and all-powerful, why would it take him seven eons instead of seven days? Thomas Jefferson was so furious at the miracles of God that he retranslated the New Testament taking all the miracles out. But it evidently did his faith no substantial good to remove the miracles; as far as I know he remained a skeptic to the end of his days. Some have made the same mistake in trying to naturalize the miracles. I have heard some say the parting of the Red Sea came when a great natural wind came up, providentially this time for the Israelites, but a natural occurrence nonetheless. Naturalizing miracles, or gainsaying them away will not bring us to a knowledge of the Creator; instead the miracles are what point us to the unspeakable power of God. It is His authentication of who He is.
So what? What can be made of this and where is the contradiction? It is really quite simple. Everything from Adam to Abraham is counted in years in the Bible. The years add to 1,946. Abraham was born about 2,150 BC, a date well established in Jewish history. Thus we have 2,150 plus 1,946 to equal 4,096 BC as approximately the time of creation. We are limited in this math somewhat because the Bible only tells us that each father was so old when he had his child. To better exemplify take the case of Noah. Was Noah exactly 500 (did he have his birthday on the same day as his son Shem?) or had he been 500 for 364 days already? This does lend some uncertainty to my math, so for each generation I add a year of uncertainty. Thus in the 20 generations to Abraham I have added 20 years of uncertainty. We are also unsure exactly of Abraham’s birth although New International Version (hardly a conservative icon) lists his birth at 2166 BC. No matter—for the sake of simplicity I will give another 50 years of uncertainty, thus moving my total uncertainty to 70 years. There is not a lot of room for any more uncertainty.
Bishop Ussher gave a famous chronology in the Middle Ages for this, figuring the creation of the world to be 4004 BC. In my opinion, for the above reasons it seems impossible to be this precise, but it can be stated that the Bible does give the clear beginnings of the earth to be at or about 4,000 BC. That is, in a nutshell, the problem of evolution which now states the earth to be five billion years old. This chronology as well as an excellent short biography of Ussher is given by Answers in Genesis.
So let me state the contradiction succinctly: the literal interpretation of the Bible shows the earth to be about six thousand years old and the current hypothesis of evolution says the earth is about five billion years old. Not much room for harmony there. The choice might well be stated as Darwin or God.