Prior to Darwin, most intellectuals of the western world, including scientists, believed in a creation by God about 6000 to 10,000 years ago, in six literal days, as presented in the Bible. As the scientific evidence has grown, particularly with the discovery of fossils and with radiometric dating techniques, much longer time periods are generally accepted for both the start and the process of creation. The cosmological Big Bang theory supports the belief that creation started about 15 billion years ago and bio-evolutionary theory supports a beginning of life on earth about 4 billion years ago, with humans first appearing around 100,000 years ago.
The Genesis story of six days for all of creation, with humans created on the sixth day is obviously in conflict with modern scientific concepts about when and how the world was created. Since the explanations for how we got here are so different between a literal reading of Genesis and evolutionary thought, individuals (who wish to reconcile science with religious belief based on the Bible) have, since around 1850, sought out alternatives to reduce their cognitive dissonance.1
The purpose of this paper is to describe the current state of thinking on Biblical creation alternatives among theologians, philosophers, and scientists who believe in both the scientific method and a “strong” interpretation of the Bible.2 There are a number of individuals who would count themselves in the group of believers in both science and the Bible who consider evolution and a literal Genesis reconcilable. For many others it has been extremely difficult to accept Genesis (literal or otherwise) as God inspired if in fact evolutionary concepts have been demonstrated with high scientific confidence. This need not be an issue, however, since it can be argued that none of the scientific evidence supporting evolutionary explanations of creation currently reaches a high level of scientific confidence.3
Most intellectual thought that exists on creation and evolution is not discussed in this paper.4 I cover here only those alternatives that are left after eliminating ones proposed by people who a) reject the Bible as having any merit on determining how or when the world was created; or b) believe in God and the Bible, but accept the Genesis account as “weak” historically.
As the reader will see, this still leaves a considerable number of alternatives of biblical creation for discussion. For example, the remaining alternatives range from those that fully accept evolutionary evidence to those that reject all such evidence in their Genesis interpretations.
Biblical Creation Theories
In consideration of fossils, long-term dating techniques, and other scientific data that appear to conflict with the Genesis creation, the Biblical creation alternatives are:
A. Historical Theories (19th Century and earlier)
1. The “Gap” or “Ruin- Reconstruction” –, theological, philosophical theory
2. The “Day-Age” – theological, scientific theory.
3. The Gosse Omphalos - theological, philosophical, scientific theory
B. Modern Theories ( Mid 20th Century to present)
4. The Scientific Creationists’ - theological, philosophical, scientific theory5
5. The Schroeder “Relativity” - theological, philosophical, scientific theory
6. The Aardsma “Virtual History” - theological, philosophical, scientific theory
Each of these theories will be described to show their unique features in dealing with reconciliation of Genesis creation “days” with Science.
1. The “Gap” or “Ruin- Reconstruction” Theory
The gap or ruin-reconstruction theory has its modern beginnings with Scottish theologian Thomas Chalmers in the early 19th century. It was widely popularized with the notes from the Scofield Reference Bible and is a fundamental assumption retained in The Companion Bible and Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament.
This theory is founded solely on theological interpretations of biblical verses. The most critical verses are Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. A “gap” is proposed between these two verses, such that these two verses read: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth became waste and void; and darkness was upon the deep.” The Hebrew for the words translated “became waste” is hayetha tohu va bohu. In the King James Version hayetha is translated “was” and tohu va bohu is translated “without form and void,” which gap theorists claim to be weak translations.6 This small change in translation is an important distinction because it allows an originally created universe declared with the first verse; followed by a brief description of a very large gap of time at the beginning of the second verse (during which it can be hypothesized that all the fossils and other evidence of a past world represent ruin); and a world wide reconstruction beginning with the second line of the second verse of Genesis. “And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Proponents of the gap theory see “The spirit of God moved” as the invisible divine power manifesting itself in creation of the world we now know.
This is further strengthened by the other scriptural verses most crucial to the ruin-reconstruction theory. 2 Peter 3:5-7 is particularly important, where the disciple writes “...that by the word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth which are now by the same word are kept in store ...” Here then, Peter is interpreted as saying the original heavens and earth (created in the beginning, Genesis 1:1) perished; whereas the heavens and the earth which now exist, began with Genesis 1:2 when the spirit of God moved to create the present world in six literal days.
With the gap theory, we can believe that all fossils and indications of age beyond 10,000 years ago belong to that original creation; and retain the Bible creation week as a literal new creation week occurring in recent history. The Bible is essentially silent on pre-history such that any clues to what happened to that old world will be found only by science.
Although not so strongly supportive as the above scriptures, there are other scriptural verses that could imply an earlier creation. During the creation week of the world that is now, the Genesis writer always makes the statement that the creation was “good”7 which suggests a comparison with something -- as if God had previously created something before which was “not good” or which “became not good.”
Also consider the creation of Satan and the angels and the subsequent rebellion of Satan and some of the angels before being cast out of heaven.8 When did these events occur? Certainly not in the first seven days which ended up “very good.” It is also difficult to fit them into the period before the Serpent in the Garden, just before the fall of Adam and Eve, when things were still very good. One could speculate that Satan and the angels were residuals from the old world creation; that the original rebellion of Satan took place then; and that God had responded to Satan’s sin by bringing about a divine cataclysm leaving the earth covered with water in waste and darkness.
Another example comes from Noah’s flood. After the flood, God makes a covenant, symbolized by a rainbow, with Noah and “every living creature” that He will never again use flood waters to destroy all flesh and the earth.9 The fact that God felt it important to make this promise would be extremely impressive if God had used floods to destroy the earth more than once. One world- wide flood would be a fearful experience, but a one-time event would not necessarily suggest God would repeat it in the future. However several cataclysmic floods in the past would definitely suggest the earth to be in danger of God’s wrath through floods in the future. Geology would show floods to be God’s cleansing method of choice. In fact the early geologists did believe that God had caused a series of cataclysms in the past and so interpreted the scriptures.
2. The Day-Age Theory
“Day” interpreted as “age” rather than a 24 hours period is far and away the oldest theory for reconciling scientific evidence with the Genesis account of creation. The idea that “day” in Genesis means something longer than a 24 hours “sun-divided” day has been accepted by both Christian and Jewish theologians long before the discoveries of modern science. Going back as early as Philo and Josephus (1st century Jewish writers) and continuing with Irenaeus (2nd century martyr), Origen (3rd century apologist), Basil (4th century bishop of Csesarea), and including both Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, theologians have historically accepted Genesis days as meaning periods or ages of somewhat indeterminate length.10 This theory was formed prior to modern geology based partly on reason, and partly on scripture. Reason tends to question the basis for “sun-divided” days, when God did not create the Sun until the 4th day; or as Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer illustrates, “it would seem to border on sheer irrationality to insist that all of Adam’s experiences in Genesis 2:15-22 could have been crowded into the last hour or two of a literal twenty-four-hour day.”11
Scriptural basis is provided by the fact that the Hebrew word yom translated day in the first chapter of Genesis frequently means time in a general sense. For example, Genesis 2:4 speaks of the “day” that all creation activity took place, obviously meaning a period of at least six solar days. When this Old Testament interpretation of “day” is combined with Peter’s statement in the New Testament “that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,”12 proponents of the day-age theory feel confident that scripture and science can be reconciled.
3. Gosse’s Omphalos
In 1857, just two years before Darwin’s Origin of Species, Phillip H. Gosse, a distinguished English marine biologist, published Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot. Omphalos was written as an attempt to reconcile the biblical beliefs of the Plymouth Brethren in a recently created world and the emerging scientific evidence for a great age of the earth based on the fossils that were being unearthed. Gosse’s unique concept was that God created everything in the world (included buried dinosaurs) in a way that gives the appearance of age. For example, Adam would have been created with a belly button and the trees in the Garden of Eden, if cut down, would show tree rings. In other words, if God created a world in the recent past with the appearance of history all the scientific indicators of age, like the gigantic geological formations and fossils, could be consider apparent, not real history. Unlike the ruin-reconstruction and day-age theories, which accept the fossils as examples of previously living creatures, Gosse dismisses all such evidence as indicators of structures and processes from an age that never actually existed.
Gosse divides the past developments of organic life (which can be inferred from present observations) “into two categories, separated by the violent act of creation.”13 Those unreal developments whose apparent results are seen in the organism at the moment of creation, he calls prochronic, because time was not an element in them. Those subsisting since creation and having actual existence, he calls diachronic (occurring during time).14 In Gosse’s words, “the strata of the surface of the earth, with their fossil floras and faunas, may possibly belong to a prochronic development of the mighty plan of life – history of this world.”15
A most intriguing point of Gosse’s argument is that the fossils depicting such creatures as dinosaurs are “skeletons of animals that never really existed.”16 The most frequent objection to Gosse’s argument is that God would not deceive us by creating a world with fossil skeletons of animals and plants that never existed. Gosse’s reply is that God did not create in a way to deceive, but rather, out of necessity created things with the appearance of age.
“Were the concentric timber-rings of created tree formed merely to deceive? Were the growth rings of a created shell intended to deceive? Was the navel of a created Man intended to deceive him into the persuasion that he had a parent? These peculiarities of structure were inseparable from the adult stage of these creatures respectively, without which they would not have been what they were.”17
This is the heart of Gosse’s argument from scientific observation. All living structures have retrospective marks, which are visible and tangible proofs of previous processes. At their original creation, all organic structures would have had similar marks that at the time were visible and tangible proofs of prochronic processes, and early humans would not have been deceived into believing otherwise.
Gosse then extends this argument to account for all the original creation.
“If then, the existence of retrospective marks, visible and tangible proofs of processes which were prochronic, was so necessary to organic essences, that they could not have been created without them, -- is it absurd to suggest the possibility (I do no more) that the world itself was created under the same law, with visible tangible proofs of developments and processes, which yet were only prochronic?”18
For example, we see distant stars as they were when light started, not as they are now. In Gosse’s words –
“We do not perceive the heavenly bodies, as they are at the moment of seeing them, but as they were at the time the rays of light by which we see them left those bodies.”19
For Gosse, the light we see from distant stars was created with their light reaching earth instantaneously, and perceptible to the human eye, on the order of thousands of years ago, but if one were to calculate the apparent (or even actual) distance based on the speed of light, it would appear that the light started millions, even billions of years ago in real time. As far as fossil skeletons, the Gosse explanation would be that all such organic remains that appear extinct from pre-historic times, could be reflecting part of God’s great plan of Nature at the instant of creation.
“All naturalists have speculated upon the great plan of Nature; a grand array of organic essences, in which every species, should be related in like ratio to its fellow species, by certain affinities, without gaps and without redundancies: the whole constituting a beautiful and perfect unity, a harmonious scheme, worthy of the infinite Mind that conceived it. Such a perfect plan has never been presented by any existing fauna or flora; nor is it made up by uniting the fossil faunas and floras to the recent one; yet the discovery of the fossil world has made a very signal approach to the filling up of the great outline;” 20
Perhaps the most significant modern discussion of Gosse’s contribution comes from philosopher John Mark Reynolds – who considers whether Gosse’s omphalos argument has been disproved philosophically and is of no scientific value to the creationist.21 Reynolds covers three primary objections to the omphalos argument. 1. The argument is empty because “an infinite number of exclusive creation epochs and/or creators can be invoked.”22 2. Even if Gossean histories are possible, there is no good reason to reject “apparent” actual histories in their favor. 3. If one postulates the God of the Bible, the creation of the appearance of age is seen as being inconsistent with certain divine attributes.
As far as the problem of an infinite number of potential creations, Reynolds finds this criticism is directed at the wrong issue. While the Gosse argument does postulate an infinite number of possible creations, it does not probe some particular notion about when the universe was created, only that it is possible that the entire world was created at any given time (of God’s choosing) and “introduces a strong element of skepticism about ever knowing when the cosmos came to be based only on the appearance of history.”23 If the appearance of history can be logically separated from actual existence, then a literal six days of creation has not been empirically falsified. For the individual who believes in both science and the Bible (and who rejects both the gap and day-age theories), Gosse provides an important philosophical alternative. Reynolds concludes, “If one has a Creator, then one is logically forced to admit the possibility that the moment of creation is not necessarily tied to the appearance of history.”24 The Big Bang, for instance, may have occurred 10,000 years ago with only the appearance of it happening 15 billion years ago. To determine the actual point of creation (where the prochronic and diachronic division would be) would likely come from a combination of arguments based on interpretations of the Bible and scientific evidence yet to be discovered (see Aardsma theory No. 6).
Criticism number 2 suggests that even if creation is possible with virtual precursors appearing in real time the rational person should accept the weight of the evidence and accept apparent history as real history. Although this argument against Gosse is a strong one, philosophically, it can be rationally argued that for the creator God to be what Christians claim God is, what we are seeing with the scientific evidence must be an appearance of age. While one can imagine a God creating with no appearance of age, it would not be a God who is perfectly wise. If God in his nature must act in a perfectly wise manner, He must act in the most efficient manner possible. “It would be far more efficient to create the world with appearance of history, even if God used evolution as a process.”25 An old earth is a waste of time and filled with evidence of a creation with billions of years of death and destruction, rather than a “very good” creation. With this counter argument the burden is on the Christian “to wonder how she will believe in a perfectly wise God and an old earth at the same time.”26
The third objection to the omphalos argument is the one raised and answered by Gosse himself. That is, “An all good God would not deceive.” Beyond Gosse’s reply to this objection above (i.e., appearance of age is necessary), Reynolds allows that God may deceive us, if it is for our own good. As examples Reynolds raises two possibilities for God’s purpose in obscuring (or withholding) information that would allow us to reach a wrong conclusion on accepting apparent old ages of the earth as actual ages.27 One possibility would be our lack of total knowledge about origins may help to preserve our free will. Some uncertainty in the area of origins might be necessary to allow people to freely choose to love Him. If all people knew for sure that creationism was true, only the totally irrational could choose to reject God. Another possibility is considering the creation event from God’s point of view -- creation with appearance of age is economical and displays God’s wisdom. As Gosse describes God’s grand plan of Nature, all that precedes the creation event need only be in the mind of God, a plan for the path of creation, not actualized. To these reasons, I might add a third, which is, it is only in quite modern history since Darwin and Lyell that the world perceives earth history as “old.” The Judeo-Christian world before then read the Bible literally, and saw geological formations as a series of catastrophic events.28
4. Scientific Creationism
The first of the modern biblical creation theories is Scientific Creationism. Since the early 1970's Scientific Creationism has arisen among certain Christian scientists with the avowed purpose to make a full frontal attack on evolution. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), headed for years by Dr. Henry Morris, has been at the forefront of that charge resulting in the promulgation of many modern creationists’ works. For the most part, the modern creationists reject both the gap and day-age theories, because they believe a different approach to the scientific investigation of origins can reconcile Genesis and science. Don’t change Genesis, but rather change the approach to science. Science of origins simply needs to be redirected toward a creation model and away from an evolution model. Scientific Creationists believe that the evidence from cosmology, geology, and biology can as easily be interpreted within a creation model as an evolutionary one. Morris in Scientific Case for Creation distinguishes the two models as follows:
“In the evolution model, the entire universe is considered to have evolved by natural processes into its present state of high organization and complexity. Science natural laws and processes are believed to operate uniformly, such evolutionary developments are interpreted in an over-all context of uniformitarianism. The creation model, on the other hand, defines a period of special creation in the beginning, during which the basic systems of nature were brought into existence in completed, functioning form right from the start. Since ‘natural’ processes do not accomplish such things at present, these creative processes must have been ‘supernatural’ processes, requiring an omnipotent, transcendent Creator for their implementation. Once the Creator (whoever He may be) had completed the work of creation, the creating processes were terminated and replaced by conserving processes, to maintain the world and to enable it to accomplish its purpose.”29
Of all the biblical creation theories, scientific creationism is the most inflexible on the literal six creation days and the world wide flood. The scientific creationist argues that were it not for the doubts raised by evolutionary science, the clearest reading of Genesis would be literal 24 hour days during creation and a world wide flood during the time of Noah. There is no need to resort to special interpretations of Genesis. It means what it says. Therefore, the modern creationist sees all the earth’s geology and fossils contained therein as formed after the creation and to a large extent during the Noachian deluge. Scientific creationists either deny the validity of long age measures or search for young age measures to support a recent creation model.
5. Schroeder's Relativity Theory
Dr. Gerald Schroeder is a Jewish theologian and physicist who believes Genesis can be reconciled with science by applying a combination of ancient Bible commentaries and modern relativity theory to the issue. Schroeder claims that the six days that the Bible states God took to form mankind from the material produced at creation and the 15 billion years current cosmology (Big Bang) needs to get from “the beginning” to mankind are both simultaneously literally true.30 The answer of how he gets from an apparently illogical statement to one logically defensible is cogently described in his two books Genesis and the Big Bang and The Science of God. From modern physics he relies on the Big Bang and relativity theories. For biblical commentaries he draws from four of the most reliable sources recognized by both Jewish and Christian scholars. These are Onkelos (Ca.C.E. 150) Rashi (C.E. 1040-1105), Maimonides (C.E. 1135-1204), and Nahmanides (C.E. 1194-1270).31 The crucial concept to grasp from Schroeder's logic is the application of relativity theory to "days". Relativity theory states that time is not universally constant but is relative to a frame of reference. Schroeder concludes that the literal six days of Genesis are from God's frame of reference; whereas the 15 billion years, starting from the Big Bang, are from our modern earthly frame of reference.
Schroeder's theory is similar to the day – age theory in some respects, but considerably different in others. The similarity is in interpreting "days" as long "ages" from a human view. A principal difference with Schroeder is that the days mean literal 24 hour days from God’s perspective. More importantly the correspondence of God's days to human periods of creation is an exponential relationship, not a simple linear one, like dividing of 15 billion years by 6.32 This is important to Schroeder's argument showing correspondence of all modern scientific data with six dramatic stages of the creation process. For example see Table 1 adapted from The Science of God.33 Starting with the Big Bang, day one takes 8 billion years for the creation of the universe, more than half of the total time. Day two is devoted to forming the disk of the Milky Way and our Sun, which Schroeder equates to the forming of the heavenly firmament described in Gen. 1:6-8. Day two is 4 billion years long, so the first two days take up about 75 percent of the total creation week. By the beginning of day three Earth has formed and cooled so that liquid water appears. Day three which lasts about 2 billion years brings about the first forms of life on earth. Day four lasts for about 1 billion years, during which the Earth’s atmosphere becomes transparent, allowing the previously created Sun, Moon, and stars to become visible in the heavens. Day five, about 500 million years in duration introduces the first multicellular animals, and animal life having the basic body plans of all future animals. Day six is nearly 250 million years long, during which a massive extinction destroys over 90 percent of life. Near the end of the day, land is repopulated with hominids and eventually humans appear.
Table 1 The Six Days of Genesis (adapted from Schroeder; The Science of God, p. 67)
Day Earth’s Bible's Description Scientific Description
One 8 billion yrs The creation of the The Big Bang marks the universe; light separates creation of the universe;
from dark (Gen. 1:1-5) light literally breaks free as electrons bond to atomic nuclei; galaxies start to form
Two 4 billion yrs The heavenly firmament Disk of Milky Way forms;
forms (Gen. 1:6-8) Sun, a main sequence star, forms
Three 2 billion yrs Oceans and dry land The Earth has cooled and
appear; the first life, liquid water appears 3.8
plants, appear (Gen 1:9-13) billion yrs ago followed almost immediately by the first forms of life: bacteria
and photosynthetic algae
Four 1 billion yrs Sun, Moon, and stars be- Earth's atmosphere becomes
Come visible in heavens transparent; photosynthesis
(Talmud Hagigah 12a) produces oxygen-rich
(Gen. 1:14-19) atmosphere
Five ½ billion yrs First animal life swarms First multicellular animals;
Abundantly in waters; waters swarm with animal
Followed by reptiles and life having the basic body
winged animals plans of all future animals;
(Gen. 1:24-23) winged insects appear
Six ¼ billion yrs Land animals; mammals; Massive extinction destroys
human kind (Gen. 1:24-31) over 90% of life. Land is repopulated: hominids
and then humans
6. Aardsma's Virtual History Theory
Gerald Aardsma is a physicist with special qualifications in radiometrics. His "virtual history" is the most recently developed theory of the biblical creation alternatives.34 Aardsma appears to be the first scientist since Gosse to expand upon the omphalos argument in a serious attempt to reconcile the evidence from fossils and long age measurements with the six days of Genesis. As Gosse, he classifies all historical evidence into two categories – that which is not real but appears to have happened before the creation events and that which is actual, happening after the creation.
Aardsma uses the terms "proleptic time" and "virtual history" to explain his theory. Proleptic time – credited to Joseph Scaliger by Aardsma for its first use is very similar to Gosse's "prochronic time" and simply means imaginary time.35 Aardsma states "Proleptic time is the mathematical projection of real historic time back behind Creation. Real historic time only begins at Creation, as the "In the beginning God created" of Genesis 1:1 teaches."36 Virtual history is a term coined by Aardsma to extend history in a way that "time appears to emanate" from it, "when in fact time does not emanate from it at all."37 In optics, for example, a virtual focus is a point from which light rays appear to emanate when actually no light emanates from that point at all. When one looks in a mirror that person is looking at a virtual image. The image of "you" appears real and coming from in the mirror, when actually the light rays emanated from the real you and bounced off the mirror into your eyes. Aardsma notes that virtual history is not unique to proleptic time, but rather "seems to be a general artifact resident within the physical substance produced by creation-type miracles."38 He uses the miracles of Jesus in feeding the 5000, turning water into wine, and healing the man born blind to illustrate virtual history. The Gospel of Mark, for example, records the feeding of the 5000, where Jesus beginning with five loaves and two fish, broke up the loaves and divided the fish among five thousand people until "all ate and were satisfied." After that "they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish."39
Aardsma explains that were we there we would have seen bread that had been cooked and fish with bones, muscle, and veins. But this newly created bread was not actually cooked and the fish did not go through a development process that it takes a fish to become a fish. Could we probe the newly created fish scientifically, we would find “biological cells, and even DNA with a whole genetic blueprint of the fish encoded within it.”40 All these things reflect a virtual history this newly created fish never had. Similarly the turning of water into "good" wine reflects a protracted aging process, yet the wine was created only moments before. And the man born blind after Jesus gives him sight has his eyes, optic nerves, brain cells, and learned visual perception operating as one who has never been blind. The blind man has a virtual history within his visual apparatus of seeing since birth, but actually can see only after the miracle. From examples such as these Aardsma make the important philosophical argument that miracles, of necessity, all have a virtual history.
Aardsma applies the concept of virtual history to the proleptic time we see today, which includes "evidences of pre-Adamic man, dinosaurs, exploding stars, concentrations of radioisotopes in rocks, and all the rest."41 Virtual history is close conceptually to Gosse’s apparent history, but Aardsma differs significantly from Gosse on two aspects. First Aardsma, as a chronologist establishes a date of creation; that being 5176+26 B.C.42 Everything that appears to come before that date occurs in proleptic time and exhibits virtual history only. Physical indications of history after that date are real.
Second, Aardsma importantly argues that the proleptic time we see today is not a direct consequence of the Creation, but of the Fall and the Curse. What we see in proleptic time is the virtual history of dying stars, death and destruction in the fossils. "The Fall was the Serpent's victory and the Curse his spoil, not God's."43
Discussion – Strengths and Weaknesses
All six of the creation theories are supported by people who are believers in God and a literal interpretation of Genesis -- yet, they all are fundamentally different, with far more than minor interpretational differences. When the major strengths and weaknesses are examined for each theory from theological, philosophical and scientific views, a number of comparisons can be made.
1. “Gap” or “Ruin-Reconstruction”
Although the gap theory does not attempt to address philosophical or scientific issues, it has one philosophical strength which is making the problem of evil more acceptable to the human conscience. The problem of evil is a philosophical issue that has not been adequately answered. No one has yet conceived a satisfactory answer to why a good, all powerful God would allow human and natural evil to exist for the length of time required by modern scientific evolutionary theory. If on the other hand, the problem of evil has been in existence a relatively short (say 10,000 years) period since the creation and fall, it could be reasoned that God’s plan to allow evil is a test of free will that does not require billions of years to demonstrate. The primary theological strength of the gap theory is that it provides a scriptural explanation that would allow a person to accept all scientific evidence on origins while retaining a literal view of the creation week. Although not universally accepted by biblical scholars, the translations of Genesis 1:1-2 and the interpretation of 2 Peter 3:5-7 are based on sound exegetical scholarship, and cannot be classified with obvious “scripture twisting” approaches. Another theological strength is that it allows a “good” daily creation ending in a “very good” creation week, which the day-age and Schroeder theories do not. The other three theories (Gosse, Scientific Creationism, and Aardsma) also have this theological strength as well as the philosophical strength in softening the problem of evil.
The major weaknesses of the gap theory are pointed out by Morris.44 Morris’ first objection is that the gap theory does not reconcile scientific explanations of geological formations (which include the fossils) with the “ruin” description of Genesis 1:2. Morris points out cataclysmic explanations of geological formations are completely contrary to the current scientific system of geological ages, which is “based completely on uniformitarianism (the belief that physical processes have always functioned in the past essentially as they do at present).”45 In fact, Morris argues, the gap theory is not possible scientifically, because such a disintegrative explosion, as would be required to leave the earth inundated with waters and darkness covering the face of the deep, “would obliterate the sedimentary crust and all its fossils, and thus would leave no evidence of the ‘geological ages’ which the gap theory is attempting to accommodate.”46
Morris’ second objection is that the gap theory requires the acceptance of the fossil record that “speaks of a world in which suffering, disease, and death ... were universal realities.” Theologically this is repugnant to Morris, because this would mean “suffering and death existed for a billion years before the sin of Satan and the subsequent sin of Adam.” Morris’ interpretation of the Bible is that death came into the world only when Adam brought sin into the world (Romans 5:12; Corinthians 15:21). For Morris, acceptance of the gap theory is no better than modern theistic evolutionary theories that teach “the God of order and love” directly created and used “a universal system based on randomness and cruelty.”47
Morris’ third objection is that sound Biblical exegesis does not require the translation of Genesis 1:2 as suggested by the gap theory. He allows that translating the Hebrew hayetha as “become” rather than “was” is grammatically possible, but it is unlikely in the context. Since hayetha usually means “was” (as high as 98 percent of its occurrences) “was” is preferred, unless the context implies a change of state, which he does not believe is true. Similarly the Hebrew tohu could be translated to something like ruin or waste, (considering it occurs 20 times in the Old Testament and is translated at least 10 different ways in KJV) but again the context does not require it, and so Morris argues “without form” is still the best translation.48 Morris does not discuss the issue of the two worlds in 2 Peter, in terms of the gap theory, since he would see this simply as Peter describing the world before and after Noah’s flood.
Similar to the gap theory, the strength of the day-age theory is theological, by providing a scriptural explanation that would allow a person to accept all scientific evidence on origins while retaining a general order of creation as revealed in Genesis. This view has gained greater acceptance in modern times, since it allows a general progression in revealed creation that can be interpreted to roughly correspond with modern scientific geological and cosmological evidence. Created solely on theological grounds, it offers no particular insight into philosophical or scientific questions. It is however the precursor for the newer relativity theory (Schroeder); which has both philosophical and scientific merit.
Perhaps the greatest weakness of the day-age theory is its failure to provide a satisfactory theological explanation for a “not good” creation period. When the six days of creation are expanded to cover the geological ages with all the buried evidence of death and destruction; how could the Genesis writer conclude the process and result of each creation age to be “good?” Four of the theories treat this issue as fundamental, and as such are superior to the day-age theory when it attempts to reconcile geological ages with biblical creation days. Further, while the Christian and Jewish thinkers mentioned above had in mind creation days longer than 24 hours, this was not at the expense of giving up their concept of a “very good” original creation.
Another significant weakness of day-age is a generally poor correspondence between the specific activities described in Genesis days and those attributed to scientific ages. Although the biblical order of creation might be construed to roughly approximate the current scientific description of the order from the Big Bang to the creation of the universe to the evolution of life culminating in humans, a closer examination of both Genesis and the current scientific order reveal too many differences to find a strong correlation between "days" and "ages." In Genesis, the sun, moon, and stars are not created until the fourth day after the earth and plants on the third day. The scientific model has the stars created before the earth. Also there is no scientific model that shows the earth and plants created before the existence of the sun. How for example would plant life survive for a period of billions (or for that matter, even tens) of years without the presence of sun light? Another obvious problem is the order for reptiles and birds. The bible indicates all marine animals and birds were created on the fifth day well before any land animals, all created on the sixth day. Current evolutionary models have land reptiles appearing before birds. Still another obvious difficulty with the day-age link is the omission of the seventh day in scientific ages. "On the seventh day, God rested …"49 Was this age much shorter than the others, completed in a literal 24 hours or a few years at most, sometime before the Fall? Or is the seventh day still in effect?
3. Gosse Emphalos
Strengths The principal strength of the Gosse omphalos argument is philosophical. Gosse does not require a special scriptural interpretation or scientists to change their methodology in studying pre-history. He does however provide an original rational argument for the possibility of a creation which has old age indicators, discoverable by science, reaching backwards in imaginary time. By providing a rational argument that allows a person to accept all scientific evidence on origins while retaining a literal view of the creation week, omphalos has many of the same theological strengths as the gap and scientific creationist theories. A scientific strength is providing the hypothesis that there is a point where the physical omphalos in the actual world can be separated from the prochronic virtual events, and traces of this can be searched for scientifically.50
Weaknesses The greatest weaknesses of Gosse’s theory are both philosophical and scientific. While the criticism (of Gosse) that a good God would not deceive by leaving us so many “appearance of age” indicators is not persuasive, the problems of an infinite number of possible creations and the bulk of the scientific evidence favoring actual old ages are strong philosophical objections to this theory. They do not, however, completely refute the logic of the omphalos argument. Theologically, Gosse also has a flaw by assuming death and destruction as shown by fossils to be an inherent part of the creative acts of God. Scientifically, Gosse provides a clear description of why individual organisms would be created with necessary appearances of age, but he does not provide a conceptual model to help scientific investigation on why vast arrays of whole organisms (like dinosaurs) must appear as a consequence of creation.
4. Scientific Creationism
Strengths Scientific Creationism has strengths theologically, philosophically, and scientific. While it is not alone among the theories in opposing evolution (gap and to some degree Gosse and Aardsma do also) Scientific Creationism presents a novel and coherent argument for a scientific interpretation of origins evidence that does not depend on evolution. Scientific creationists do not deny the scientific method; only evolutionary interpretations of scientific findings. Most importantly, however, when compared to other biblical creation theories, it is clearly the leader for stimulating novel scientific research on origins.51 Gosse suggests some research and Aardsma has conducted some research, but to date, nearly all research on creation science has been by creationists who believe in a literal six days of creation and a world-wide flood. Finally scientific creationism is strong theologically by not requiring anything beyond a plain reading of scripture and allowing a basis for a “very good” creation, followed by the introduction of evil during the Fall.
Weaknesses If we eliminate criticisms by the bulk of modern science (which includes many Christians who believe in God and an “inspired” Bible) that accepts evolution as the only scientific model for interpreting evidence on origins, there are few weaknesses with the scientific creationists' theory. Perhaps the greatest weakness is the tendency to reject any evidence for old age radiometric data as flawed. The final two theories need to be considered as possible explanations for at least some of the old age data.
5. Schroeder’s Relativity
Strengths Like Gosse, Schroeder proposes a philosophical theory that is unique and logically coherent in reconciling a literal Genesis with modern science. A primary strength of Schoeder's theory over Gosse's is that all the current data on fossils and current radiometric methods can be accepted as scientifically valid indicators of long ages.
Weaknesses The primary weaknesses are the same as the day-age theory which are: 1) It fails to provide a satisfactory theological explanation for a “not good” creation period. The geological periods, whether days in God's eyes, or billions of years to earthly eyes, are colossal piles of evidence showing death and destruction attributed to the creation events. 2) It provides a weak correspondence between the specific activities described in Genesis days and those attributed to scientific divisions of creation from the Big Bang to mankind. For example, Genesis' days three and six appear totally different from Schroeder’s scientific description of those days. Genesis speaks of all plants (with their seed according to kind) forming on day three whereas Schroeder speaks only of bacteria and photosynthetic algae. Day six in Genesis is pronounced as “very good,” yet a major event for Schroeder on that day is the extinction of over 90 percent of life. Schroeder relies heavily upon the ancient biblical sources for interpretations to improve the correspondence, but these seem contrived. Given that Schroeder insists on a literal 24 hours for a day (which is measured by rotation of the earth with respect to the sun), it is inconsistent, for example, to explain away the order of events (such as the Earth and plants on the 3rd day appearing before the Sun and stars on the 4th day) in non-literal terms. Special interpretations like "plants" meaning "microscopic life" do not strengthen Schroeder's argument. 3) Although Schroeder uses modern science in building his argument, his theory does not suggest any scientific research.
4) Finally, it is not readily apparent that Schroeder has applied relativity theory completely accurately to make the case for the Genesis days and science's billions of years both being true. From the two frames of reference (God's and Earth's) time is stretched for Earth relative to God's but this does not mean that more actual events can occur in 15 billion earth-years than in 6 God-days. While under relativity theory time can be long from one perspective compared to another when a set of events is examined from two different perspectives, it is still the same set of events; the events just happen quicker or slower from the different viewers perspective based on their personal clocks.52 Relativity does not get around a question like: "Would God in his 24 hours (measured by one rotation of the Earth with respect to the Sun from his vantage point at the center of the universe) on day 6 have made all the Earth's strata with multiple layers of fossils for all the creatures (including humans) that ever walked or "creeped" upon the earth the very same day he was creating the original land creatures?" Unlike the day-age theory which would make a day actually very long and thereby allow many events to occur, Schroeder’s theory requires all the events laid out by the Earth’s fossil record to occur during one God-day. That would mean all the created life forms must grow to maturity and die, generation after generation, over and over again for the entire animal kingdom -- all during one rotation of the Earth.
6. Aardsma's Virtual History
Strengths Aardsma's theory has theological, philosophical, and scientific strengths. Theologically, virtual history avoids Gosse's weakness of a "not good" creation by postulating the Fall and the Curse to be the cause of the virtual history observed in earth's pre-history and the cosmos. Philosophically, Aardsma overcomes the Gosse criticism of infinite possible creations by specifying a specific date for creation, and in addition provides an important new argument for all miracles having a virtual history. Scientifically, virtual history allows that the long ages shown by radiometric measures are not scientifically flawed as claimed by the scientific creationists and therefore useful for interpreting the origins of earth and the cosmos. As with Gosse and scientific creationism, the virtual history theory also suggests new research possibilities that do not require evolution assumptions. Aardsma does allow however that evolution is a legitimate scientific theory for explaining at least portions of virtual history.
Weaknesses One important weakness of virtual history theory is similar to Gosse, in that it does not provide, even conceptually, a scenario (apart from “virtual evolution”) that might be investigated to explain such virtual history as fossils of dinosaurs or evidence of pre-Adamic humans. Like Gosse, Aardsma provides convincing examples to illustrate that it is necessary for individual creation miracles to show history that is not real, but the basis for extrapolation to arrays of animal fossils or pottery from pre-Adamic humans is not obvious. Currently it is inconceivable why either creation itself or creation-like activity during the Fall and the Curse should leave real skeletons of things that never existed. Future research by Aardsma could perhaps create such useful scenarios for science.
Summary and Conclusions
There are number of ways the various theories might be compared. The following topics are chosen as a way to summarize the main contributions of each theory and to conclude the value of each to theological, philosophical and scientific thought on Biblical Creation:
Consistency with a “very good” creation
Relationship to evolution
Stimulation of scientific research
By postulating all scientific evidence of apparent long ages exists prior to the first day of Genesis, creation gap theory is in a class by itself. All the other creation theories accept the old age evidence as emanating either during the six creation days or after. Gap is generally opposed to evolution as the method by which current species and people were created, but for the most part, simply avoids the creation evolution debate at any philosophical or scientific level of detail. It also does not attempt to stimulate any scientific research. Gap is consistent however, with a very good creation during the six days reconstruction period.
The three objections raised by Morris are not sufficient to eliminate the gap theory as a strong theological explanation for the old age indicators and a recent creation. The first of his objections has to do with the gap theory depending on a uniformitarian geological model and the second is that it would provide an old world of suffering and death. However objecting to gap theorists using cataclysmic means in the hand of God appears inconsistent with Morris’ support of such an event with Noah’s flood. If the scientific creationists can have a flood that retains the fossils, why not the ruin-reconstructionists? Certainly the earth’s surface was ruin or waste and the atmosphere dark, both as stated in Genesis and as postulated by meteor theorists for extinction of dinosaurs. Also there are strong indications that geologists are coming back to non-uniformitarian explanations for the geological strata. The gap theorists do not try to outguess the latest scientific explanations, only to reconcile such explanations with scripture. As far as the second objection, the new world is obviously filled with suffering and death, so there is nothing theologically preventing an old world with some of the same failures. Morris’ third objection is with the gap theorists’ translation, which differs from the KJV, but he does not provide a convincing argument that seriously faults their translation. Finally, it appears to be a toss up in determining what Peter is talking about in reference to “the world that then was.” Depending on your point of view, he could mean a pre-Adamic world, or the one before Noah’s flood.
Gap also is the only theory that would allow God to have a creative purpose prior to the six days of Genesis, such as the creation of Satan and the angels, for example. Consequently this theory would also allow God to have experimented in the past with designs which he may have rejected or simply explored for his own pleasure.53 Certainly it is more pleasing to the human imagination that God had creative activities prior to the current creation, whether 7000 or 15 billion years ago. There is of course no way currently known of how to explore scientifically what happened between “In the beginning” of Genesis 1:1 and “the spirit of God moved” of Genesis 1:2.
Day-age and relativity.
Both the historical and modern day-age theories can be placed in the same class for their examination through our three topics. Both accept God’s creative activity in six major episodes, but spread out long enough for evolutionary processes to operate much as science explains. Both are critically flawed theologically by having signs of death and destruction as part of the creation period, which is inconsistent with “good” and “very good” creation activities. Neither of these theories generates ideas for new scientific research. Schroeder utilizes the most modern theories of physics to make his argument for both 24 hours days and 15 billion years occurring simultaneously during creation, but does not generate any ideas for new research on origins. Beyond allowing the validity of old age indicators for the believer in an inspired Genesis, there is little value provided by these theories in advancing an acceptable scientific and theological solution to the biblical creation issue.
The one thing these theories suggest which adds value to the overall study and reconciliation of Genesis questions is in proposing that a day could be variable. Each day need not necessarily be 24 hours and each day is not necessarily the same length as every other day. One day could be 48 hours, another 64 hours, etc. The Bible does not say that the first days were 24 hours, only that there was evening and morning. In the artic morning or evening based on sunlight (or the lack of it) might extend to six months. If the sixth day were say a week or a month long, there would be no problem of including all the events described in the bible for that day. The principle of God making a long day for a special purpose is shown in Joshua – the sun “stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”54 But a day would not likely extend into years, because of the other problems like the plants on the third day needing the sun from the fourth day to survive.
In a class by itself, scientific creationism is the most fully developed creation alternative. By opposing evolution as a satisfactory answer to origins and offering a scientific approach of its own, scientific creationism is able to fulfill the objective of accepting a literal Genesis of a very good creation in six days, while maintaining scientific integrity. It does appear, however, that the other creation theories discussed here could help with some of the difficulties facing a theory that must assume all long-term age indicators are invalid or inaccurate. The theory is also limited in the range of possibilities for the creation of Satan, angels, and other pre-human life forms.
Imaginary History (Gosse and Aardsma).
While the concept of apparent time in considering the creation is original with Gosse, Aardsma has expanded the concept in a way that is most relevant to the current discussion. Gosse was prior to Darwin, so did not discuss positions on evolution. Aardsma, while generally opposed to evolution as an overall model for explaining the development of nature, would not oppose evolution as a useful scientific model in the study of virtual history. Perhaps the most important contribution of Gosse and Aardsma is their philosophical argument that miracles, of necessity, all have an apparent (or virtual) history. Aardsma would even argue that the difficulty of studying the process of miracles scientifically is eased with the concept of virtual history. One need only study them with the same naturalistic tools for real time, being careful to interpret the data for virtual time events prior to 10,000 years B.P.55
Aardsma seems to provide a plausible explanation for radiometric indicators of long ages, with anything longer than about 10,000 years B.P. being virtual history. However, neither Gosse nor Aardsma provide satisfactory explanations of fossils or pre-human artifacts. Other than Gosse’s “great plan of Nature” with fossils “filling up of the great outline,” we are left without a clue to imagine how or why God would leave a record of life that never existed. Conceptually it makes little difference whether the bones and artifacts came from the Creation or the Fall. The existence of dinosaur bones as the necessary result of the Creation (or Fall) miracle is not the same as miracles like the creation of Adam or Jesus creating fish for the 5000. In these creation miracles, the created substance did exist in real time, along with their bones after death. The Gosse/Aardsma argument for dinosaurs and pre-human relics, however, contend only the bones and relics ever existed in real time.
To comprehend their logic, one might try to visualize a “chain of being” with everything linked in nature being a necessary process for the creation of higher and higher forms of life. Similarly, during the Fall one might try to imagine a decay model of this process in reverse. Such a concept would seem to require God to create in accordance with a predetermined path – certain species appearing before others, all the way up to pre-Adamic humanoids - as a design necessity. It is difficult to find any theological, philosophical or scientific advantage for a chain of being requirement for God’s design of nature over simpler, less incredulous concepts provided by the other alternatives.
Drawing from the best of each of the six alternatives considered, a plausible scenario for the creationist who wishes to be true to scripture and accept the findings of science could play out as follows.
Using the ruin-reconstruction (gap) theory to extend back beyond the first six days of Genesis, God created world(s) and biological diversity that were destroyed at least once before the current world described as reconstructed in Genesis. Satan, the angels, and possibly pre-Adamic humanoids were created in this pre-Genesis period extending back to the true beginning of Genesis 1:1. Many of the fossils (dinosaurs and others) and humanoid artifacts might come from this period. Scientific study of this period might be possible in the future through extensions of natural scientific radiological, geological, and archaeological methods. Aardsma virtual history could extend into this period as well. It would be a scientific challenge for the future to find ways to discriminate between virtual history and real history interpretations of this period.
Genesis day one started in real time about 7000 years ago based on Aardsma’s research. The broad content of the six days of creation would be as presented in the Bible, with “days” being variable in actual time, but closer to literal 24 hours than to thousands of years (and certainly not billions of years). Each Genesis day could range from 24 hours to something a little longer, perhaps a week or month. This would allow all the activities of Adam on the sixth day, for example, to be plausible. If day six is long enough, perhaps other humans, besides Adam and Eve were created as well (this would provide a group of people for Cain to go to after the killing of Abel.56) More dinosaurs and other creatures (later to be found as fossils) would have been created during this Genesis week.
Scientific creationism would offer plausible descriptions of the order and detail of events during the creation week, and similarly for those events after the Fall, including a world wide flood. The geological strata with the fossils encased would be evidence of both the pre-genesis floods and the Noachian deluge. Having such archives of pre-genesis stored as historical relics would not detract from the very good creation of Genesis week. Again virtual history could be a possible interpretation of the effects of creation and fall miracles, particularly in regard to long-term radiological time measures. So when we look at the evidence for the Big Bang, what we are seeing through our telescopes is first a residual of the Fall - a decay of the universe - not a creation. Behind that can be extrapolated the qualities of what might have been "good" heavens, earth, moon, and stars before the Fall – the results of Genesis creation week. Still backward in time would be the ruin period of the "world that then was" with possible residue showing up in both the current heavens and the earth. Sorting out these three sources of radiological energy and physical remnants could be the greatest challenge of the 21st century for cosmological and geological sciences. Moreover, because miracles would be associated with each historical period, virtual history could be involved in nearly all the observations recording events beyond 10,000 years B.P.
In summary, measures of the past 10,000 years are likely recording real events happening on earth and in the heavens since creation week. Radiological measures of matter registering beyond 10,000 years B.P. could be 1) either invalid or inaccurate as shown by scientific creationist data; 2) valid and accurate but emanating virtual history (Aardsma); or 3) measuring real historical time, assignable to the gap (ruin) period.57 Fossils, such as dinosaurs, however, are likely relics of real creatures who walked on the earth either before Genesis 1:2; or during their creation day in Genesis up until the Fall; or between the Fall and Noah’s flood (although some may have survived even up until the recent ice ages). Their creation and extinction may have been rapid and miraculous, but they did exist at some point since "the beginning" in real time. The trees of Eden likely had tree rings and Adam may have had a belly button, but it is incredulous and unnecessary to attribute any relics of creatures buried in the earth to anything other than life that once existed.
1. For discussion of cognitive dissonance applied to belief in evolution see Booher, H.R., Origins, Icons, and Illusions:
Exploring the Science and Psychology of Creation and Evolution, St. Louis, MO: Warren H. Green, 1998, pp. 29-30.
2. Strong versus weak interpretations of Genesis is primarily based on the emphasis placed on the historical importance of the Genesis account. Both views might see Genesis as “God inspired,” but the strong version believes modern geology and cosmology must be reconciled with the detailed description of Genesis events, whereas the weak view would allow much of the early Genesis reporting to be more poetic; perhaps reflecting human perceptions at the time of the writing of Genesis.
3. Booher, H.R., 1998, op. cit., note 1; Booher, H.R. 1999, “Systems Psychology and Origins Science”, paper provided for Life After Materialism Conference, Biola University, La Mirada, CA: December 2-5. 1999.
4. A full review of intellectual thought on creation and evolution issues is covered in Booher, 1998, op. cit., note 1
5. Scientific Creationist literature is extensive, but only a few major points of the theory are covered here, sufficient to compare with the other 5 theories of biblical creation.
6. The word tohu is used in the same context about the creation in Isaiah 45:18. Regarding the creation of the earth, the verse states, “He created it not in tohu, (best translated “waste”)” which supports the language of the earth “becoming tohu” of Genesis 1:2. Bohu rendered “void” in KJV is best translated “desolate.” In the three instances where tohu and bohu appear together “waste” is a good translation for the combination. (See The Companion Bible, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1964, Ap. 8).
7. Genesis 1:4; 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31
8. Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:18
9. Genesis 9: 9-16
10. Heeren, Fred, 1998. Show Me God, Wheeling, IL: Day Star, p. 187
11. Archer, Gleason, 1982. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, p. 60
12. 2 Peter 3:8
13. Gosse, P.H., 1857,, Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot, Originally published John Van Voorst,
Paternostor Row, London, 1857. Reprint, Woodbridge, CT: Ox Bow Press, 1998., p.124.
14. Ibid, pp. 124-125.
15. Ibid, p. 347.
16. Ibid, p. 347
17. Ibid, p. 347-349.
18. Ibid, pp. 350-351.
19. Ibid, pp. 361-362
20. Ibid, p. 345.
21. Reynolds, J.M., 1994.”Gosse and Omphalos” International Conference on Creationism. Pittsburg, PA.
22. Shadewald, R.J., unpublished paper, quoted in Reynolds, op. cit., note 21, p.2.
23. Reynolds, op. cit. note 21,, p. 3.
24. Ibid, p. 3.
25. Ibid, p. 5.
26. Ibid, p. 6.
27. Ibid, p. 8
28. Booher, H.R., 1998, op. cit., note 1,, pp. 17, 252
29. Morris, H.M., 1977, Scientific Case for Creation, San Diego, CA, Creation-Life Publishers pp. 3-4
30. Schroeder, G. L., Genesis and the Big Bang, New York: Bantam, 1990, p. 29
31. Ibid, pp. 18-19.
32. Schroeder, G. L., The Science of God, New York: Free Press, 1997. pp. 61 ff.. Schroeder speculates the natural log e defines the mathematical exponential relationship between Genesis time and Earth time.
33. Ibid, p. 67.
34. Aardsma, G.E., “A Unification of Pre-Flood Chronology,” The Biblical Chronologist 5 (2) (March/April 1999).
35. Proleptic comes from a Greek root meaning “to take beforehand.” Around four hundred years ago, the historical
chronologist Joseph Scaliger coined the term “proleptic time” in dealing with the secular chronological data for the
dynasties of Egypt that appeared to extend back beyond Creation. See Aardsma, Ibid. p. 4; also Grafton, A.T.,
“Joseph Scaliger and Historical Chronology: The Rise and Fall of a Discipline,” History and Theory 14.2 (1975)
36. Aardsma, op. cit, note 34, p. 5.
37. Ibid, p.6
38. Ibid, p.8
39. Mark 6:41-44
40. Aardsma, op. cit, p. 8.
41. Ibid, p.11.
42. Ibid, p.16, – for details of how Aardsma arrives at the date for creation see Aardsma, G.E. A New Approach to the Chronology of Biblical History from Abraham to Samuel, 2nd ed. (Loda IL: Aardsma Research and Publishing, 1993); Aardsma, G.E., “Toward Unification of Pre-Flood Chronology,” The Biblical Chronologist 4.4 (July/August, 1998): p.1-10.
43. Ibid, p.17.
44. Morris, H.M., The Genesis Record, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1976.
45. Ibid, p. 47
46. Ibid, p. 47
47. Ibid, p. 48
48. Ibid, pp. 48-50
49. Genesis 2:2
50. See, e.g., Gentry, R.V., 1992, Creation's Tiny Mystery, Knoxville, Tennessee: Earth Science Associates. For a brief summary of Gentry's research on pleochroic halos, see Booher, 1998, op. cit., note 1, pp.127-132.
51. Scientific creationism is also superior to other theories (like intelligent design) in generating meaningful scientific research on origins.
52. Greene, B., 1999, The Elegant Universe, New York: Vintage, pp. 42-43. A simple thought experiment can illustrate this. Let us imagine a car were to speed down a runway at a fixed velocity for a fixed distance. Let us also imagine that we have two observers each with their own clock measuring the time the car takes to go from start to finish points. Both clocks are perfectly accurate and both observers start their clocks simultaneously when the car passes the start point and stop their clocks simultaneously when the car passes the finish point. One of the observers is in the car and the other is standing on the ground where he can view the start and the finish. At the end of the event, the two observers examine their clocks and find they do not have the same elapsed time. Relativity stretches time for the moving clock making time slower compared to the fixed one. Yet the event from start to finish remained the same in both cases. No additional events can be inserted into the car to fill up the time differential between the two clocks.
53. It was Anne Booher's comment, "Perhaps dinosaurs are God's big joke." that stimulated the research for this paper.
54. Joshua 10: 13
55. Aardsma has precise date of approximately 7000 years B.P. However, because of uncertainties in the Bible chronology and all time dating techniques, most young universe theorists would allow for the sake of argument 10,000 years as a safe estimate for the start of biblical creation week.
56. Genesis 4:16
57. The original creation and ruin period is not likely to extend into billions of years. Pre-genesis arguments are only useful for extending a reasonable period for God’s experimentation, not to allow billions of years of evolutionary “survival of the fittest.” Virtual history is a better explanation for very long ages B.P.