did the earth come from?
2) according to the Bible
"Atheism is so
senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right
distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light.
This did not happen by chance." 23
order of creation in the Bible is woefully incorrect and violates even
the most simple and obvious rules of natural science."
The biblical scenario:
The Bible gives a very
specific accounting of events of the earth's beginnings. In contrast to
the above quote from Cazeau, the Bible's order of events is perfect as far
as today's science can confirm. The perspective Moses offers is different
in one important aspect however. The revelation Moses was given reads
as though the observer was virtually centered in the malestrom of matter
and energy which combined to become our solar system and the earth itself.
Keeping that in mind, it is only the perspective which is different from
the secular scenario; the
events are the same.
One note: to the Bible's
credit, it usually intends to communicate on several levels at one time.
Specifically, its literal truths are often found accompanied by spiritual
truths. Gods introduction of light and order into a dark and chaotic
universe, for example, has as much application for us personally as it effectively
communicates natural origins.
For this reason, science-focused
readers should not expect Moses to discuss nuances of the periodic chart,
but neither should spiritual-focused readers dismiss finer details as having
no real, material meaning. It could be that the literal as well as the profound
are being expressed. (More on natural revelation here.)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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.
FROM WATER TO FORMATION:
The first verse of the
Bible is the original inflationary theory - a definite beginning to space,
time, and matter (these two verses were extensively discussed here).
The description of the earth being "formless and empty" is an accurate description
of the nebula from which our solar system is believed to have formed if
that is indeed how it happened. The nebula would have contained no objects,
per se, but particulate matter, and no light as the nebula had not yet formed
the sun. The nebula, being multiple cubic light years in volume, would even
have blocked out all light, if any, from surrounding space - "darkness
over the surface of the deep."
The waters over which
the Spirit of God is said to be hovering was previously demonstrated to
be either literal water (a primary
molecule in nebulae) or its major constituent hydrogen (the
dominant atom in all of space).
Meanwhile, the significance
of the action by the "Spirit of God" in this passage may allude to
the extreme uniqueness of this planet in contrast to all the others, and
the careful events which God may have orchestrated to produce it. Arthur
Custance is one of many scientists who writes extensively of the narrow
margins by which our planet is able to sustain life:
Now, the size of
our earth is important because it plays a critical role in establishing
the kind of atmosphere we live in, an atmosphere with just the right gases
to support a high order of life.
The distance of
the earth from the sun determines its mean temperature, and this range
of temperature is quite critical. Carbon chains which constitute an essential
component of flexible living tissue can only form and survive within the
range of temperature that is true for the earth. A little closer to the
sun and these chains would be unstable, and a little further away and
they would be inflexible.
The rate of revolution
of the earth seems to be important for the maintenance in a suitable form
of the air we breathe because the alternating periods of light and dark
are required by plants as they act to regenerate the atmosphere which
we, by the very act of respiration, cause to degenerate.
of land to water surface seems to be ideally suited to maintain a
constant circulation of moist air to irrigate the land.
The tilt of the
earth's axis is sufficient to produce seasonal variations which, if
they did not exist, would almost certainly allow certain forms of disease-causing
bacteria to multiply continuously and bring about the virtual disabling,
if not death, of man perhaps of animals also. Epidemics have restraints
placed upon their continuance by the changing of the seasons. 10
[line breaks and emphasis mine]
Jonathon Weiner, in
the PBS series Planet Earth, references British chemist James Lovelock in
he says, is too nicely adapted to life's needs to be accidental. With
no oxygen, for instance, there would be no respiration. With just a little
more oxygen, on the other hand - even 25 percent instead of 21 - the whole
living world would burst spontaneously into flames. Earth's air holds
just the optimum amount. Similarly, without carbon dioxide, photosynthesis
would fail, more carbon dioxide, however, so much heat would be trapped
in air and sea by the greenhouse effect that the planet would descend
into hell... The atmosphere 'is not merely a biological product, but more
probably a biological construction: not living, but like a cat's fur,
a bird's feathers, or the paper of a wasp's nest, an extension of a living
system designed to maintain a chosen environment.'
11 [emphasis mine]
B) LET THERE BE LIGHT
Then God said,
"Let there be light"; and there was light.
One inevitable result
of the contraction of the nebula would be the fusion reaction within its
central collection of matter. This describes the origin of the sun. A consequence
of solar ignition would be the dispersion of the sun's embryonic cloud of
elements. Under this condition, heat repells elements too light or too distant
for gravity to draw in. The sun could then be said to have a definite boundary
- "And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the
light from the darkness" (Genesis 1:4 NASB, emphasis mine).
Some creationists interpret
this more figuratively as the introduction of truth or understanding, and
put off the creation of the sun, moon, and stars until day four of creation.
More on that when we get down here.
And God called
the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening
and there was morning, one day.
A second result of a
nebula's contraction would be to give rotation to the planets forming within
it; all along an equatorial plane. The planets' positions would be maintained
by a balance between the invisible forces of gravity and centrifugal force.
This would give the earth the visual appearance of "being in empty space
and hung on nothing" (Job 26:7).
With the introduction
of the sun and planets, the time interval called a "day" is defined
for the first time. Without the sun, everything was in perpetual night.
The advent of "days" in either of the scientific or biblical models
once again raises the question of interpretation. Was Moses using days in
a literal or figurative sense? How long did creation take? Is the earth
many thousands or several billion years old? (Those questions are deferred
to here and
C) THE AIR AND THE SEAS
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...
Stated here might be
the biblical parallel to the simultaneous formation of the atmosphere (waters
above) and the seas (waters below). Secular opinion attributes the origin
of the air and the seas as having come from the early degassing of rocks.
A detail from Moses in the second chapter of Genesis favorably compares
to this belief of that early time:
Now no shrub of
the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted...
But a mist used to rise from the surface of the earth and water the
whole surface of the ground,
D) LET THE DRY LAND APPEAR
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
Notice that in the above
verse the creation of the air and the ocean, which by all accounts covered
the entire surface of the earth, comes at just the time modern science
predicts - after the sun ignites, but before the earth's shifting crust
creates the continents ("dry land").
E) LET THE EARTH SPROUT VEGETATION
Secular science offers
the belief that vegetation appeared after the formation of land masses.
Moses does not differ.
Then God said,
"Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees
on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it
Once land masses appeared
and vegetation began, a change would likely have taken place. In the early
atmosphere laden with CO2, the vegetation would
have flourished, but the greenhouse effect would have clouded the young
earth in a similar manner by which it clouds Venus today. However, we know
that vegetation converts CO2 to oxygen and thereby
reduces the greenhouse effect. As a result, this would have eventually cleared
the dense cloud cover. If that is so, then only at this point would objects
above the clouds be clearly discernable. That satisfactorily explains the
F) LET THERE BE LIGHTS IN THE EXPANSE OF THE HEAVENS
Then God said,
"Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day
from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days
And God made
the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser
light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
From the perspective
of standing on the young earth's surface, or phenomenologically speaking,
Genesis 1:14-16 indicates that lights in the sky are distinguishable from
one another for the first time.
Now, this is obviously
not the creation of light as that was attributed to the first day
(Genesis 1:3). Nor does the term "made the two great lights" require
an interpretation that the sun, moon, and stars are only now being created
(review Scripture's record of how
God works.) So if it is only after the sky cleared of some
kind of greenhouse effect that all things previously masked from view
(the sun, moon, stars) get their first mention, then Moses has quite accurately
recorded the phenomena.
Note that some creationists
prefer to interpret this as the time of creation for the sun, moon, and
stars, but their arguments supporting this must still rely on phenomenological
wording within this passage.
Specifically, the "lesser
light" is how light from the moon is described. However, we know the
moon has no light of its own. It is only reflecting the one light source
in the solar system. In truth there is only one light in our solar system
- the sun; the so-called light of the moon being merely a phenomena. In
other words, it is described that way only because of its appearance (even
by modern meteorologists) though the term "moonlight" is technically
So if "fourth-day
sun" creationists can acknowledge the phenomenological reference of
"lesser light" in Genesis 1:16, they are without grounds to object
to "first-day sun" creationists' placing the phenomenological
emphasis on the word "create" instead. Additionally, knowing how
plants use photosynthesis makes it seem more likely that the creation of
the sun would have preceded the creation of vegetation which occurred
on day three, not follow it.
- LET THE WATERS TEEM WITH LIVING CREATURES
Where and in what order
do living creatures appear on the earth according to secular theory? First
in the sea, then on land, and lastly mankind. What's
next according to Moses?
And God said,
"Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the
earth across the expanse of the sky.
- LET THE LAND PRODUCE LIVING CREATURES
And God said,
"Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock,
creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according
to its kind." And it was so.
LET US MAKE MAN...
Then God said,
"Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them rule
over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock,
over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
Perfect parallel: coincidence or confirmation?
In conclusion, the parallels between the biblical account and modern planet
formation theory are striking. The chronology of events, as described
by scientific observation and theory, is of the same general description
and identical chronology as that found in the Bible. From a scientific
perspective, one could argue that the Bible confirms the following order
- The world began dark
and formless, (Gen. 1:2)
- Particles which came
together consisted almost entirely of the same atoms that make up water
- including water itself, (Ps. 148:4,5, 2 Pet. 3:5)
- Fusion began producing
the light of the sun, (Gen. 1:3)
- The resulting heat
dispersed the embryonic cloud which effectively separated the sun from
surrounding elements, (Gen. 1:4,5)
- The atmosphere and
all-encompassing ocean of the earth were simultaneously produced by degassing
of the cooling, young planet, (Gen. 1:6,7, Gen. 2:5,6)
- The cooling resulted
in tectonic plate motion which forced today's continents up from below
the water and, as a result, separated the seas, (Gen. 1:8,9)
- On the dry ground
appeared vegetation, (Gen. 1:11)
- Oxygen, produced
by vegetation, cleared the cloud cover from the skies making the sun,
moon and stars visible, (Gen. 1:14,16)
- Oxygen allowed living
creatures to appear - first in the water and then on the land, (Gen. 1:20,
- The last to appear
on the earth was mankind. (Gen. 1:26)
If today's scientific
model of planet formation is even close to correct, its correlation with
the Bible suggests that Moses had access to knowledge that is impossible
to account for 3,400 years ago. Even fifty years ago, the best scientific
minds did not describe our planet's beginnings as accurately as we now know
the Bible extols them. The similarities in the two accounts are not even
attributable to Judeo-Christian bias as most of the scientific quotes
come, purposefully, from outspoken atheists and humanists as well as secular
Did the Creator of the
universe really share this information with Moses, or are all these parallels
just coincidence? If the biblical account of the planet's origin is identical
to twentieth century science in all of its essential aspects, then it
is not unreasonable to believe that Moses' information came from a source
far more knowledgeable than himself.
(top of page)
NEXT: PART THREE - How old
is the earth?
prophecies of the Bible ever come true?
Where did man come from?