e Bible ? as God’s direct revelation of life, and science ? a way to interpret the Bible using scientific knowledge. In his book Biology Through the Eyes of Faith, R. T. Wright (1989) states: “It is an important conclusion of faith that both science and Scripture are sources of knowledge of God’s works and that, when properly understood, should not lead to conflicts. ” I agree with this statement, believing that God created the original species.
I also uphold a belief that a series of natural processes lead to the formation of other species thereby increasing the diversity of life on earth. By carefully studying both science and Scripture, I believe that we will be able to find truth about God’s creation. Genesis 1 clearly states that God created heavens, earth, and their organisms. It doesn’t indulge, however, in explanations of how or when God created them.Order now
As the result of that a variety of view appeared on how to interpret Genesis 1. Old-earth creationists believe that the Bible shouldn’t be taken literally, referring to various problems associated with the order of creation and the “obvious” old age of the universe. They base their beliefs on various studies such as paleontology, astronomy, biology, genetics; and the list goes on. Young-earth creationists, on the other hand, believe that the Bible should be taken literally, telling a story of 24-hour day creation. Theistic evolutionists presume that God used evolution to create living species. However, biblical creationists argue that this could not be the case because the Bible says: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.
. . ” (Exodus 20:11), and He created species “according to their kind” (Genesis 1:11,12,21,24,25). This paper will analyze the worldviews of young-earth creationists and old-earth creationists, pointing out that both the Bible and science can agree on the issue of origins of species, and reveal which worldview I agree with more. Exodus 20:11 says that God created the universe in six “days.
” Many people, however, still wonder whether or not the modern scientific belief that the earth and universe have existed for billions of years can be harmonized with a literal interpretation of the Bible. Some Christians believe that the word “day” in Genesis doesn’t mean a literal 24-hour day, but rather that a “day” is a long period of time. In Hebrew, where every word has three basic letters and vowel sounds are not included in a written language, the historical and literary time become a dominant factor in determining the meaning. Some commentaries have estimated that there may be as many as a hundred different meanings in the Bible for the word “day.
” These include the non-literal interpretations implying periods or epochs (Zabilka, 1992). However, when the phrase evening and morning is coupled with a numbered modifier and the word day (yom), there is no stronger way of specifying a normal day (Bebber, 1995). Others maintain that “morning” and “evening” should also be taken figuratively. The Bible doesn’t specifically state that “day” in Genesis 1 is a 24-hour day. No one, except God, can know for sure that Genesis is describing six earth rotations and not an unspecified period of billions of years.
Another argument for old earth comes from the study of fossils. Many scientists believe that it took millions of years for the rock layers to form. They reason that many fossils seem to be more than 10,000 years old. Geologists today hold that the earth is approximately 4 to 5 billion years old. Others have found different explanations for the old age of the earth. According to a scientist Dalrymple (1991),The best value for the age of the earth is based on the time required for the isotopic composition of lead in the oldest (2.
6-3. 5 billion years) terrestrial ores, of which there are currently only four , to evolve from the primordial composition, recorded in meteoritic troilite, to the composition at the time (measured independently) the ores separated from their parent rocks in earth’s mantle. These calculations result in ages for the earth of 4. 42 to 4. 56 billion years with a best value of 4. 54 billion years.
Another group of Christians believes that the earth is not as old as is sometimes claimed. People in this group relate most of the geological strata and fossil beds to the Great Flood of Genesis (Zabilka, 1992). Sarfati, Ph. D. (1999) points,”A cataclysmic globe-covering (and fossil forming) flood would have eroded huge quantities of sediment, and deposited them elsewhere.
Many organisms would have been buried very quickly and fossilized. Also recent catastrophes show that violent events like the flood described in Genesis could form many rock layers very quickly. The Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington state produced 25 feet of finely layered sediment in a single afternoon!”Those who believe that the earth is young also find theological difficulties in believing that the earth is billions years old. For example, they argue that the idea of old earth interferes with the concept of the origin of death, described in Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6 (cf.
Romans 5:12, Corinthians 15:21-22). “Death was the promised result of sin. It was also the means by which man would be restored to God. In contrast, old-earth creationism (Progressive Creationism and theistic evolutionism) teaches that death and bloodshed existed long before man’s existence, contrary to the very message of the Gospel” (Taylor, 1998).
The Bible teaches that the death and suffering on the earth resulted from Adam’s sin. “But theistic evolution teaches that God used struggle for survival and death, the ?last enemy’ (1st Cor. 15:25) as His means achieving a ?very good’ (Gen. 1:31) creation” (Sarfati, 1999). Biblical creationists argue against this.
In my opinion, it is not so much important when God created living species but that He created them. When God created the earth with all of its organisms (whether or not He created them in six days), there were various scientific processes, which lead to a change in the original species thereby the formation of different species. I believe that God used a process of natural selection to produce a vast variety of species after He created the original ones. According to the concept of natural selection, a population of organisms can change over a period time as a result of individuals with certain heritable traits leaving more offspring than other individuals. The resulting increase in the proportion of reproductively successful individuals usually enhances the adaptation of the population to its environment. Natural selection thus tends to promote adaptation by maintaining favorable adaptations in a constant environment or improving adaptation in a direction appropriate to environmental changes (Campbell, 1999).
Genesis 1 tells us that God created various kinds of organisms “according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:11, 12, 21,24, 25). All of these kinds were created “with a vast amount of information,” enough for their descendants to adopt to various changes in the environment (Sarfati, 1999). This explains the great variety of species that are alive today. Recently, I have been wondering if the earth really is old, and if God did in fact used evolution to create living species. A desire to find out the truth led me to extensively research evolution.
Evolution refers to the processes that have transformed life on earth from its earliest forms to the vast diversity that characterizes it today. In his book The Origins of Species Darwin points to the evidence that species were not created in their present forms but had evolved from their ancestors. Darwin also proposes a mechanism for evolution ? natural selection ? a process described earlier (Campbell, 1999). According to the theory of evolution, non-living chemicals organized themselves into a self-reproducing organisms over billions of years.
Evolution also tells us that mutations are the source of new genetic information in population’s gene pool (Sarfati, 1999). There is a lot of evidence for evolution. Paleontologists have discovered many transitional forms that are said to link older fossils to modern species. A series of fossils have been said to show, for example, that whales evolved from terrestrial ancestors (Campbell,1999).
The studies of comparative biology, comparative embryology, genetics, and other sciences also seem to point to evolution. For example, many species today share homologous structures: the forelimbs of all mammals have the same skeletal composition. Also, closely related organisms have similar stages in their development. Another important evidence for evolution is the common genetic code for all organisms (Campbell,1999). Despite all this evidence some scientists are still uncertain whether or not evolution took place. Some people today find major problems in the concept of evolution.
There are many reasons why the theory of evolution is being questioned today. The criticism against evolution has come mainly from a lack of fossil evidence ? the absence of transitional forms. According to Wright (1989), “one of the most extraordinary examples of discontinuity is the so-called Cambrian explosion, the appearance of representatives of all major marine invertebrate phyla in the earliest sedimentary fossil-bearing rock as well as a variety of other that have not left descendants. ” Wright also says that “explanations offered for the lack of fossils prior to the Cambrian are to date not very satisfactory” (Wright, 1989). Even theistic evolutionist Ivan Zabilka (1992) points that “as much as 50 percent of all fossil finds are improperly located and can contribute little to evolutionary chronology. ” In recent years, however, there have been many discoveries, one of which was a discovery of Ediocarian geological period (Precambrian).
According to Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionist, (1998),”the first phase of the Cambrian, called Manakayan and lasting from 543 to 530 million years ago, features primarily a confusing set of spines, plates, and other bits and pieces called (even in our technical literature) the SSF, or small shelly fossils. The next two phases of the Cambrian (called Tommotian and Atdabanian and ranging from 530 to about 520 million years ago) mark the strangest, most important, and most intriguing of all episodes in the fossil record of animals–the short interval known as the Cambrian explosion and featuring the first appearance of all animal phyla with skeletons subject to easy preservation in the fossil record. “From the information above we learn that the lack of fossil discoveries for the Precambrian period is explained by the jellylike structure of the species at that time, and for this reason few became fossilized. In 1998, scientists Shuhai Xiao, Yun Zhang, and Andrew H. Knoll discovered the oldest triploblastic animals, preserved as phosphatized embryos in rocks of southern China, which were estimated to be 570 million years of age (Gould, 1998). This discovery fills a major “gap,” which was earlier a great problem for paleontologists.
Despite this, numbers of people still find problems with evolution. Davis (1991), for example, points that when a scientist Behe examined the Journal of Molecular Evolution, he couldn’t find even one article, which contained a detailed model by which a complex biochemical system might have been produced in a gradual “Darwinian fashion. ” According to Behe, this lack of an explanation is “a very strong indication that Darwinism is an inadequate framework for understanding the origin of complex biochemical systems” (Davis, 1991). This observation again led me to question evolution. After extensive research on theistic evolutionism and biblical creationism, I have concluded that it seems to be evidence in favor of evolution, yet there is still some reasonable evidence against it.
At this point, I believe that God could have used natural processes to create a diversity of species we have today. Based on the evidence, I believe there is a possibility that He used evolution to create some species. Throughout the Bible we can see that God created by His Word and wisdom. Second Peter 2:5, for example, states that “long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed.
” Wright puts it in this way, “creation by God’s Word is one image used throughout the Bible, and it indicates God’s absolute authority over creation. Creation by wisdom, another biblical image, speaks of purpose ? the fulfillment of God’s intentions toward thee development of the created order” (Wright, 1989). It’s easy to notice the emphasis of the author to the goodness of God’s creation. After creation the Bible says that when God looked at His creation he said, “behold it very good” (Genesis 1:31). This tells us that God takes pleasure in His creation.
The Bible also points out that God sustains His creation. In conclusion, I can say that the Lord is the source for every life on earth. He created the earth and everything on it by His Word, and may have used evolution to do so. I’m not yet decided on the issue of how God created species, but have eliminated the possibilities to natural process or evolution. BibliographyBebber, M.
V. “Is the Bible clear about the age of the earth and universe?”1995: n. pag. On-line. Internet.
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html2) Campbell, R. M. Biology. 5th ed. Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings, an imprint of Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. , 1999.
3) Dalrymple, G. B. So How Old Is the Earth, Anyway?, NCSE Reports, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Winter 1991), pp.
17. 4) Davis, E. B. “Debating Darwin: The Intelligent Design Movement. ” Christian Century, 07/15/98, Vol.
115 Issue 20, p678, 4p. 5) Gould, S. J. “On Embryos and Ancestors.
” Natural History, Jul/Aug98, Vol. 107 Issue 6, p20, 9p, 2 graphs, 4bw. 6) Sarfati, J. D. Refuting Evolution.
Brisbane, Australia: Answers in Genesis, 1999. 7) Taylor, Paul. “Is the age of the Earth a trivial doctrinal point?”1998: n. pag. On-line.
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html8) The Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible. Indianapolis, IN: B. B. Kirkbride Bible Co.
, Inc. , 1997. 9) Wright, R. T. Biology Through the Eyes of Faith.
New York, NY: Christian College Coalition, 1989. 10) Zabilka, I. L. Scientific Malpractice: The Creation/Evolution Debate.
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