The Bible and Science 2
Creation of the Sea, Land, and Vegetation
Imagine being there watching God continuing to create our Earth. What do you see?
Scientists have varying opinions about the early time of earth’s history. Some believe granite was the first rock to cover the earth. As the rock lay in a flat layer, like a stony skin over the hot Earth, water would have covered the whole surface, estimated at about 2.4 kilometres deep.
In Genesis chapter 1 verses 9-10 it tells us God just needed to speak, commanding land to appear as the water receded into oceans.
The scientists don’t really know why rock rose up high in places to form continental blocks. They reason that rain, storms and earthquakes then helped to break up rock to form soil and then earthquakes and volcanic activity formed the mountains and valleys over a great period of time. To a certain extent it is still happening now.
The Bible tells us it was God’s command, “Let dry land appear,” that set it all into motion. He may have used the natural forces he’d created to accomplish it.
Now as you continue to watch, God speaks again and all kinds of plants begin to grow over the land. They produce seeds to continue on growing more plants just like themselves. (See Genesis chapter 1 verses11-13).
The Hebrew word deshe for vegetation in verse 11 comes from a word meaning to sprout or shoot, and often refers to soft growing plants like herbs. And in verse 12 the Hebrew word for trees can mean a wide variety of seed bearing trees.
Scientists say plants came in the Devonian Period and flourished in the Carboniferous Period. The earth was still surrounded by clouds but by now they were thin enough for warmth and defused light of the sun to penetrate.
It made the earth like one giant hot house, possibly all the way from one pole to the other. Vegetation grew in abundance. Fossil trees from this period show no seasonal rings – it was tropical all year round. Wikipedia states: “A likely solution is that there was enough carbon dioxide and methane to produce a greenhouse effect. The carbon dioxide would have been produced by volcanoes and the methane by early microbes.”
Eighty per cent of the world’s coal deposits were formed then.
But what was the next stage in God’s plan? In the verses 14-19 in Genesis chapter 1, the English translation of the Hebrew reads that on the fourth day God made the sun, moon and stars. How can this be when God had already created them, and by now all kinds of plants too? As we know plants can’t grow without the warmth and light of the sun.
In Genesis + Science = Creation, my father writes, “For many years these verses have been the butt for sceptics’ jibes, because, so they maintain, they teach that the sun, moon and stars were made (created) after the earth and even after plant life had been established.
When the Bible is studied closely it becomes quite clear that it does not say that God created the sun, moon and stars in this fourth period. The word ‘made’ in verse 16 is not the word bara to create, but asah.
Thus as asah does not mean ‘to make’ in the sense of ‘to create,’ we are left with a number of very interesting alternative meanings.”
Some of the meanings for the word asah are ‘to advance’, ‘appoint’ or ‘bring forth,’ so how did God make the sun and moon to mark the seasons, days, and years at this stage of Earth’s development?
For more information we look to science. Scientists tell us the Permian period came after the Carboniferous Period. The lush forests disappeared, swamps dried up, deserts formed, salt beds appeared in various countries and ice covered parts of the world.
Trees began showing seasonal rings and they were really clearly marked in the next era, the Mesozoic. The scientists explain it was all the result of the earth cooling enough so that the cloud layer thinned and the sun could shine right on to the earth.
In your imagination, can you see the clouds drifting away to let the sun shining in clearly for the first time?
The scientific explanations follow the same order of events as the description of creation in Genesis in the Bible.
How could such an accurate description be written so long ago if it wasn’t inspired by God?
References: Genesis + Science = Creation, E-Sword Biblical Dictionary and Commentary, Wikipedia, New International Version of the Bible (NIV)