Concept developed between 1965 and 1980|
The story in Genesis 1 of the Bible, about the beginning of everything, is fully compatible with modern science. The SEQUENCE of events mentioned in Genesis 1 actually even PROVES that modern science is on the right track! And modern science has CONFIRMED that Genesis presents the proper SEQUENCE of events! That is even though Genesis was presented by Moses around 800 years before the Greeks even INVENTED logic and science! Science might even help explain some confusing things in the Bible like where Cain went when he left Eden, and whom he married.
If a human author had written Genesis 1 without God's help he could have presented/listed the 14 events mentioned in over 87 billion different sequences. How could a human author have selected the sequence, beginning with Light first and Man last, which has now (3300 years later) been shown to match the sequence that modern science accepts?
Over 3,000 years ago, God presented men with the story of Genesis. He knew that man would always have great curiosity about his environment and history. Since this story was presented to very primitive humans, who were almost universally illiterate, He knew that the story should be brief and clear and fairly simple. (Few modern Christians seem to realize that at the time of Moses [around 1275 BC], there was not yet any written language invented [the first written languages being developed around 1200 BC. Prior to that, only symbols in stone, hieroglyphs and similar systems, but no language.]) He also clearly wanted to emphasize to those early humans just how incredibly powerful He was, so He presented the entire Creation story as having taken just Six Days. Even if He had WANTED to describe the steps as having taken millions or billions of years (which might have made it seem like He was not so spectacularly powerful), the peoples of the time would not have been able to comprehend such time intervals. Even now, when we casually discuss thousands of years of history, or even greater intervals, it is very difficult for us to actually comprehend any time period greater than our own human lifetime of 70 years or so.
God also knew that the inquisitive and creative and persistent nature of man would some day enable mankind to more carefully and thoroughly investigate human environments and history. With remarkable thoughtfulness, He made sure that fossils would exist, He provided DNA similarities of all living things, and many other intellectual artifacts. Scientists who would come to exist thousands of years in the future would be able to find appropriate evidence to be able to intellectually create logical sequences and patterns. Those scientists would eventually conclude that the human environment would seem absolutely scientifically self-consistent, and that a logical history of the past would also be (some day) absolutely logically self-consistent.
Since He has provided us with a duality of understandings of our Universe, each of which is absolutely internally self-consistent, we will NEVER have any way of proving one or the other wrong. We WILL always find that EACH perspective is "right" and can be forever confidently supported. He arranged for Creation believers to be able to conclude that He "planted" fossil evidence and even "aged" those artifacts so that they would give reassurance to the scientists who would some day find them, even though He actually whipped all of it up in just Six Days. He arranged for those people whose logic made them resist believing such a rapid Creation process, to eventually develop solid logic and science and to therefore be capable of developing a compelling scientific explanation of everything. This just means that the "views" through the two different "windows", each show us the exact same Universe, which is totally logical and internally self-consistent, but just seem somehow to have very different rates of the passage of time.
There are very few instances where the Bible and science stand face-to-face regarding established facts. The most prominent of these is the story of Creation in Genesis. The Book tells us what happened. Modern science also tells us what apparently happened. The time scales involved are extremely different, but we've already commented on that. The critical part would be that the SEQUENCE of the events described has to be in the same order. Then, even if the time scale appears very different, or even non-linear, the two perspectives could still be compatible. If the sequence does NOT match up very well, no realistic compatibility could be inferred.
This allowed God to give a brief, simple story of Creation to Moses for the primitive people of ancient times, while also allowing future human curiosity to find consistency in logic in everything, which would eventually include "fleshing out" the brief Genesis story with a more complete, scientifically-supported story.
It seems certainly intentional that the time scale that actually occurred while the Universe was created, was left vague. The premise of this Parallelism concept implies that NEITHER view has preference or precedence over the other. We will therefore NEVER know if He actually took six standard days, or 15 billion years, or even some other interval of time, to create the Universe! God might actually have taken two years to create everything. He might have provided one "time-lens" that made that two years appear as taking Six Days and another that made it appear to take many billions of years. We will never have any way of actually knowing.
As mentioned above, the critical matter is that the SEQUENCE of events be the same. The following presentation of Genesis 1, with comments regarding current scientific thoughts regarding the times of those events, is meant to make the case for this. There appears to be AMAZING compatibility between the two! Statistically, it represents staggering scientific proof that the Bible MUST BE true and accurate. There IS the one item that does NOT match up (the appearance of birds is one position different), but the matching of the sequences is otherwise quite striking. A mathematical statistical analysis of the comparison of the two sequences implies that there is far less than one chance in a billion that Genesis 1 could have been written with the sequence it has, without God's knowledge of the correct sequence. (Statistics of Genesis 1 - Scientific Approach). Since science has only been able to determine the times of these events within the past few decades, the question arises to scientists: "How can you explain the writing of Genesis 1 over 3,000 years ago?" No one (except God) knew the correct sequence! How could any human author of that time know that plants came before animals, or that fishes came before land animals, or that Light came before everything else?
Apparent Time Discrepancies
An additional observation needs to be mentioned that relates to the time scales involved. There would seem to be an obvious contradiction regarding time. "Did the year 14,613 BC actually exist?" People are sometimes distressed that a Six Day Creation, in about 4004 BC (as Bishop Ussher had calculated centuries ago), seems to have problems of incompatibility with events that science has determined to have existed prior to that date. There IS a logical explanation!
The actual MEANING of the word "year" or "day" is fundamentally different for Christianity and science. The two understanding happen to match up almost perfectly now and have matched up for the past several thousand years, but there was a time when they were very different. It is probably unfortunate that science and Christianity have chosen to use the same words for these actually different intervals.
My impression (and that of most of society) is that the scientific time scale is "linear". That means that each second or minute or day or year has always been of exactly the same intrinsic length, as described by some repetitive event, such as the rotation of the Earth, or its revolution about the Sun, or the number of oscillations of atoms of Cesium. In contrast to this linear time scale of science, the Creation time scale is seen as being non-linear, (at it would appear from that linear time scale) such as a hyperbolic time scale. (A chart showing such a relationship is below). A hyperbola has two straight lines called asymptotes that define its limits. Such a scale would have one asymptote (on the Christian time scale) in 4004 BC and the other asymptote being the 45-degree angle line that describes the identity with the linear scientific time scale. (In this diagram, the dotted lines represent the asymptotes.)
The 45-degree asymptote of this hyperbola would mean that our current year 2000 AD is virtually identically long in both scales and it began at essentially exactly the same moment. This enables an indistinguishably identical modern perception of a day or year. Even 2000 years ago, the two time scales would have been virtually identical. The distinction between the two would only have been significant before about 3900 BC. (For example, 3900 BC creation time might have been 3901 BC scientific time). Because of that vertical asymptote, from a Creation perspective, nothing could have existed prior to that year (4004 BC), so dates earlier than that (in the Creation time scale) are meaningless. But, looking at the chart shows that the line goes almost straight downward. If we extended the chart downward to 1,000,000 BC (scientific), you can see that the line WOULD exist down there, meaning that such a date has real meaning. If a memorable event happened then, it would be recorded in the year 4004 BC (creation). Extend the chart even farther down, to one billion years BC (scientific), and that still matches up to some moment during 4004 BC (creation). Effectively, this non-linear, hyperbolic time scale would have the effect of "compressing" an enormous amount of scientific time into a very short period of Creation time. (The author realizes that this is getting deep!)
Regarding the question posed earlier, there are actually two different answers, depending on which time scale is being used! In the scientific time-scale, YES, certainly the year 14,613 BC occurred. In the Creation time-scale, NO, no such year could have existed. No date prior to 4004 BC (creation) has any reality. If something momentous occurred during the "scientific" year 14,613 BC, it would have been recorded as having taken place late in the Sixth Day of Creation (in 4004 BC or thereabouts).
A technically more correct way of describing the relationship between the two time scales is represented in the graph here. The Creation time scale would be along the horizontal (X) axis and the scientific time scale would be along the vertical (Y) axis. A hyperbola is drawn here, with asymptotes along a vertical axis (X = - 4004) and along a diagonal line (X = Y). This hyperbola would have an eccentricity of 2.59. (An exponentially shaped curve would also look very similar.) The 'modern' part of the curve has essentially exactly identical years in both scales (slope = 1.0).
In recent history (upper right in the graph), the curve is virtually identical to the angled asymptote, meaning the slope is 1.00000, and a year in one is the same as in the other. But at the bottom of the graph, all scientific dates much before about 4000 BC all match up to that very busy Week of Genesis (in 4004 BC on the Creation time scale)! This hyperbolic line is continuous and always has a one-to-one relationship, so every event that has ever or will ever happen is represented uniquely by one specific point on that curved line, meaning that there is one perfectly defined moment in scientific-time and one uniquely defined moment in creation-time. It is what mathematicians call a real function.
This particular drawing of the graph has greatly exaggerated the separation between the curve and the asymptotes for clarity. In reality, the angled portion would be virtually identical with the dotted line asymptote on this graph except in that tiny curved area, and the vertical portion would appear virtually identical to the vertical dotted line.
So! Did the Universe get Created in a Serious Week of Work about 4004 BC? YES, if we're talking about the Creation time scale. Did the Universe take billions of years to form? YES, if we're talking about the scientific time scale. BOTH statements are entirely and equally true! Matters such as dinosaurs are thus easy to deal with. In the scientific time scale, they appeared around 225 million years ago and the final ones died out around 65 million years ago. In the Creation time scale, they appeared during the Sixth Day and died out later on that same Sixth Day (leaving their fossils and all the rest).
This non-linear premise might actually be somewhat supportable by Genesis. If you think about it, the line on the graph must get steeper and steeper (higher slope) for really ancient scientific events. That would imply that the very first creation-day would have matched up to billions of years, while the second and following days would match up to shorter and shorter scientific time intervals. The first Day of Genesis only involves creating light, but it appears to match up with a scientific interval of many billions of years. By the time we get to the Sixth day, the slope of the line has changed so that (creation) Day only matches up to a small fraction of a billion scientific years. Shortly after the Creation, the non-linear time-scale curve would go around its curved part from its nearly vertical section to its nearly 45-degree angle section, forever getting closer to 45 degrees as time proceeds. A virtually 45-degree line on that graph today would indicate a virtual identity between the modern time-scales of science and Creation. This would explain why we see no noticeable difference today between the two time scales.
A scientifically non-linear time scale in the Genesis story might also even be somehow related to the fact that a lot of people of the Bible lived to around 900 years old! But that's a different matter and may not have any connection to the matter at hand!
It also provides footnotes to the Original Ancient Hebrew words, and all their possible English translations, since some of the English wording is not precise enough for this analysis.
This might also be a vague reference to a Big Bang event to begin
the existence of the Universe, for when scientists would eventually become
capable of comprehending the possibility of such things. Modern
science currently believes that such a Big Bang event occurred,
and various evidence suggests that this event took place about 15
billion years ago. (Notice that this Parallelism approach also allows a
compatibility of Young Earth and Old Earth Creationists.
Whether the Creation sequence took six days or billions of years
becomes a moot point!)
Logically, this seems to be a peculiar first item to create, if you think about it. Ancient people would probably have expected ground or people to have been created first, then the other stuff. In ancient times, the sequence of Genesis events must have seemed very strange. Why plants before animals? Why water before plants? Why fishes before land creatures? Why light first?
From a scientific perspective, a LOT happened here. Early on, ONLY the element Hydrogen existed, the very simplest of all atoms. Gravitation caused clouds of this Hydrogen to collect in large balls. When a ball got extremely large, the weight of all the overlying Hydrogen squeezed and heated the Hydrogen at the very center. Once that Hydrogen got up above 100 million degrees or so, the Hydrogen atoms were moving so fast (that's what heat actually is, the speed of atoms moving around) that when they crashed together, they didn't always bounce off but sometimes fused together, a process we now call nuclear fusion. As a result, atoms of Helium were formed, the next simplest atom.
Eventually, the Hydrogen fuel would get used up, and the outward going radiation that was partially supporting the weight of outer layers would essentially stop. This would allow a further collapse of the size of the star, causing even greater temperatures in its center. Eventually, with massive stars, the temperatures could get high enough that the new Helium atoms started fusing together, creating more energy and even heavier atoms in the process, such as Carbon.
This sort of thing could continue (for the very most massive stars) with ever heavier atoms as fuel and even heavier atoms as results. At some point, after having therefore created nearly all the types of atoms from the initial Hydrogen, the star became unstable and blew itself apart, in something called a nova or supernova. This resulted in all those varieties of atoms being sprayed out across the Universe. With enough time, the Universe would get cluttered with such an assortment of elements and chemicals.
At a later time, a DIFFERENT cloud of Hydrogen, which included a mixed assortment of these other elements, gravitationally collected to form our Sun, and also our various planets, including Earth. There is reasonable scientific documentation for these various ideas, and collectively they are seen as being an explanation of how our incredibly complex Universe, with all its 92 elements and countless chemical compounds, could have arisen from just simple Hydrogen, given enough time.
The paragraphs above were an extremely brief presentation of the
field of Cosmology, a reasonably well-founded subject in science.
Note that there are some amazing consequences. Look at your little
finger. It is primarily composed of Carbon and Oxygen with many other
elements in small amounts. If Cosmology is correct in the above,
then every single one of those countless billions of atoms of Carbon
and Oxygen in your finger were originally fused together in some
extremely remote stars which later supernovaed! The concepts are
nearly as mind-boggling as the Bible's Genesis 1!
Also, note that right after the Sun was created (separated light
from darkness), we have the end of the First Day. The end of a day
would seem to have little meaning if the Sun had not yet been Created,
and so again, God was extremely logical in the sequence!
With enormous amounts of moisture in the atmosphere, the sky was continuously and completely overcast with clouds. Light would get through, as on overcast days now, but actually seeing the Sun or Moon or stars would have been impossible. No oxygen was yet in the atmosphere, but substantial carbon dioxide had also come up out of the volcanoes. Science believes this happened about 3-4 billion years ago.
Science believes that the Earth was first formed without any atmosphere either. This had to result in an interesting situation! We know the distance the Earth is from the Sun, and the rate that the Sun creates energy to radiate out. It turns out that we can easily calculate the temperature the Earth would have had to have been (called a Black Body temperature) in order to radiate away exactly as much energy as it was receiving from the Sun (a necessary situation). That calculation shows that the Earth would then have been an average of around -20°C or -4°F temperature! Any water would have soon become ice, and not much else could ever have happened here! The volcanoes were again the source of several simple natural gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, so the early Earth atmosphere was unbreatheable. As the carbon dioxide increased, an effect called the Greenhouse Effect increased the average temperature of the Earth's surface up to the current +15°C or +59°F average temperature that is important in enabling life on most of the Earth's surface.
Research regarding the gases that are now coming out of volcanoes in Hawaii show that they include around 11.61% (by volume) of carbon dioxide and 79.31% (by volume) of water vapor. If these percentages were approximately true early in the Earth's existence, it would certainly explain large additions of water, water vapor and carbon dioxide to the earth's environment, given hundreds of millions of years of volcanic eruptions.
Note that NO oxygen came out of the volcanoes, so no oxygen was
in the atmosphere!
There is yet another important thing that happened to the atmosphere. The Earth is constantly bombarded by rather strong ultraviolet radiation given off by the Sun. Such radiation seems to be fatal to nearly all living forms. Therefore, the earliest lifeforms, such as blue-green algae, could only live under water, where the water protected them from that UV radiation. They certainly were producing a lot of oxygen as a by-product of their existence, but no land animals could yet have existed, because of that radiation. This also confirms that fish were the first of all animals, again confirming what Genesis 1 told us 3300 years ago. After a lot of oxygen had accumulated in the atmosphere, some of those oxygen molecules were hit by cosmic rays from outer space, and altered into becoming ozone molecules. As these ozone molecules accumulated near the top of the Earth's atmosphere, they blocked and absorbed much of the incoming ultraviolet radiation. This had several consequences, but the most important to us is that it allowed animals to be able to survive without having to be protected under the water. So, through a complex but extremely logical process, it would finally be possible that there be animals on the land (and larger plants too).
Isn't that interesting? Composed around 3,300 years ago, Genesis had told us that plants came before any animals, and now science has proved why that was true, because of the animals' need for oxygen that the plants first created. Science is not confronting Genesis, but supporting it!
For the record, the "uniform evolution" approach that
was long popular within science confronts the first of several
complications at this point. At seemingly the same time,
a broad assortment of very different new forms of life all
appeared, often referred to as the "Cambrian explosion."
The difficulty is that it seems illogical that a generalized
random process would initiate so many different types of life
at around the same time. There is moderate credibility in this
being a problem. However, critics tend to describe it as all
being simultaneous, while ten or twenty million years might have
been involved, sufficient time for millions of generations of
lifeforms to grow and possibly evolve. There are several later
examples of the same effect (not mentioned here) that were certainly
in shorter time periods, and definitely represent something that
uniform evolutionists need to explain. A substantial group of
researchers have concluded that there were bursts of rapid
evolution, within the otherwise slow and relatively uniform
evolution. In any case, the time periods involved are all so
long, millions of years, that a LOT could happen that we might
never have any evidence of. Science often has gaps in its
knowledge, some of which gradually get filled in at later times.
Enough fossil evidence of these and all following plants and
animals exists, such that sequences of subtle changes have been
found by scientists that suggest a logical progression of
how all these living things would seem to have come about.
A fairly continuous fossil record exists for some species
of plants, which suggests that later plants could have "evolved"
from earlier plants adapting to new conditions. This set of
scientific understandings allows scientists to be comfortable
with an evolutionary explanation for these events that they
can comprehend in a logical way and that they are comfortable with.
This might even offer a suggestion to science regarding
extreme cloudiness in that era, which I have not heard proposed
before within the scientific community. The Bible providing
evidence on which science can grow, imagine that!
A side note needs to be interjected here: The text being used here is the Christian translation in the King James (KJAV) Bible. This is translated from the Original Ancient Hebrew and then Aramaic and then Greek and then Latin translations. The Jews have their own translation of the very same original Ancient Hebrew text, which they call Bereshit. The Bereshit text for Genesis 1 is at http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/jewgenes.html
Specifically, Verse 21 reads (translated):
21. God created the great sea monsters, and all the living creatures of every kind that creep, which the waters brought forth in swarms; and all the winged birds of every kind. And God saw that this was good. (However, Verse 20 also mentions birds, which confuses things.).
The Jewish text might therefore indicate a sequence where sea creatures were first, THEN creeping creatures, and THEN the birds. This actually exactly agrees with what science now believes, and so the match up is absolutely perfect!
It seems also possible that the Bible might have more generally been referring to "flying creatures" and there were certainly winged (flying) insects by around 300 million years ago.
Similar to the comments regarding that only a single thing, Light, was created on the First Day, please note that only fishes (and birds) were Created in the entire Fifth Day, and that a great complexity of Creation was kept for the last remaining day of the Six.
Overall, if this scientific perspective is not included, it almost appears that God did very little on any of the first Five Days! And then Did nearly everything that we think of as Creation in the remaining Sixth Day. So the traditional Christian or Jewish interpretation of Genesis 1 seems weak.
These observations would seem mysterious, except for the
suggested resolution of the time scale discrepancy referred
to earlier, which not only removes the difficulty, but adds
to the credibility of Genesis from a scientific perspective!
Note the interpretation we make regarding "in our image" mentioned at the beginning of this presentation. We feel that a correct interpretation is that God may have earlier used a process that we now call evolution to develop the grasses, seed-bearing plants, trees, fishes, crawling creatures and then larger creatures. And that He even continued that to creating CREATURES that happened to look like us! But they were CREATURES and not MEN. In Genesis 1:26-27, He "provided a Soul" to Adam, which we believe is what is meant by "in our image" and not that we necessarily have any physical similarity to God. Given this, all descendants of Adam and Eve would therefore have Souls, as per a scientific reasoning regarding genetics. It also makes clear an extreme distinction between humans and any other of God's creatures which can never be affected by any "evolution" or anything else that science might discover.
Science has absolutely no way to detect a Soul or to study them or to even confirm that Souls do or do not exist! So the very special addition that God made in Genesis 1:26-27, in making mankind unique in having Souls, presents no conflict with science!
There actually are many recent examples of similar evolution things. Several decades ago, modern medicine virtually exterminated the germs that caused smallpox and tuberculosis, and the agents that caused polio. Massive usage of antibiotics and other chemicals accomplished this goal. However, I said "virtually". Out of all the trillions of bacteria killed by those antibiotics, there were a few, let's say two, that managed to survive the antibiotics. Science would guess that those two had somehow "mutated", possibly as a result of the natural cosmic rays that continually bombard us from outer space. In any event, consider the situation AFTER that massive antibiotic use. Instead of trillions of bacteria having to share the available food supply, just the two were present. Can you see how they would multiply very rapidly, with essentially an unlimited food supply? Bacteria reproduce very quickly, in just a matter of hours, so those two could have had millions and billions of descendants within a period of months. In other words, the world again soon winds up with the trillions of tuberculosis-causing bacteria. But, do you see the one difference now? Since all of these NEW ones are descendants of the antibiotic-resistant two survivors, THEY are also drug resistant. You may note in current news that the medical community is extremely concerned about drug-resistant strains of a number of dangerous diseases, including TB. This is the scientific understanding of why this currently exists, as being a "natural" consequence of some individuals having a "survival advantage". In the case of TB, the recent cases are absolutely untreatable with any known treatments or medicines, so the patients ALWAYS die, a true catastrophe in the makings, and there is no way to avoid it in the very near future.
Of course, that was NOT humans, and there is the possibility that similar things do not happen regarding humans, but that is the basis for why science generally believes in "natural selection". In the event that some individual had a BIG advantage, like those drug-resistant bacteria that survived and had no remaining competition, the result is called "evolution". Please note that NO individual "evolves" into anything else, like in horror movies. Natural selection is a very gradual process that generally takes many generations of descendants before the result is noticeably different than before. In any case, whether it actually applies to humans or not, this is the correct explanation of what "natural selection" or "evolution" actually is.
By the way, there are some Christian leaders who think they are denying science when they say "You claim that evolution occurs, but you only talk about it happening a long time ago! It is obviously not true because it is not happening today!" The correct response to that is: "Natural Selection" (the more correct term for 'evolution') NEVER involves individual organisms drastically changing, but involves MANY generations to occur. Any Biology student can grow many generations of common fruit flies and experimenters have long seen Natural Selection results in countless experiments. If the student exposes a community of fruit flies to some kind of radiation, most of the flies might die. However, if any survive, and are fertile, they will be likely to genetically pass along whatever it was that kept them alive! Their descendants would therefore have a "radiation resistance" as a result of their survival. There may have only been a few that survived the radiation, but when they (the survivors) multiply, then all of the living flies would be resistant. There is no "magic" involved; simply the fact that only survivors can procreate!
The present drug-resistant TB danger represents another proof that it occurs, and that it is quite natural. Larger animals live so long that a hundred generations of them can easily involve thousands of years, and so "proof" of Natural Selection in them is far harder to establish, except through the use of ancient fossils.
This is all brought up here for a reason. Remember those two surviving bacteria that eventually "replenished the earth"? When science looks at the possibility of evolution applying to humans, they necessarily see the need for a VERY small number of beginning individuals. Thus, the concept of evolution virtually INSISTS on the existence of an Adam and Eve! In BOTH cases, it is agreed that you and I are direct descendants of (probably) two initial people. Science has no way of giving them names, but the Bible tells us they were Adam and Eve.
This combination of Genesis and science gives us a possible answer. Prior to Genesis 1:26-27, of making man in our image, there were many creatures populating the Earth. None of those creatures had SOULS! If science is correct regarding evolution, it could easily be that some of those creatures might have evolved into human-like beings. (This also offers an explanation of the fossils of primitive man-forms which have been found.) So, there could easily have been an existing population of human-like creatures PRIOR to Adam. When the Lord, in Genesis 1:26-27, made man IN OUR IMAGE, that meant that Adam had a SOUL, which no creature had ever or will ever possess.
This would have meant that there were two similar-appearing populations, the creatures that had evolved from the primitive creatures of Genesis 1:24, and the entirely distinct MAN who had a SOUL. When Cain left Eden, the Lord KNEW that he would later interact with those "creatures" and He gave him the mark. Nod and the wife and the family and the city then make sense, while not challenging any aspect of the Genesis story.
Later still in Genesis (look at Genesis 6:1-5) inter-marriage might have been occurring between the two similar-appearing populations. The "sons of God" then seem to be describing Adam's descendants, while the "daughters of men" might then be referring to the man-like creatures that had no Souls. Does it now seem obvious why the Flood was necessary? How else could the Lord have ensured that ONLY men with SOULS would populate the future Earth? (These thoughts are obviously speculations, but they are interestingly logical, better than other explanations for these matters usually seem to be.)
He created some big things but needed to tailor the possible understandings of those things to terms that both ancient and modern humans could comprehend. His Universe would appear totally self-consistent to both the Christian believer of the Bible and the scientist, who only wants to believe in things he can measure and analyze.
Notice that this does NOT mean that mankind is ACTUALLY related to other of God's creatures. Christians believe that we are distinct and separate from animals, while scientists believe that we evolved from lower animals. The Parallelism of understandings just allows each individual the choice of believing whichever viewpoint he or she comes to be most comfortable with. BOTH are completely and absolutely true! It is actually just more evidence of just how marvelous our Lord is, to provide this option for us.
In primitive life-forms, similar exons and introns have been studied. In the process of procreation, a protozoan, Tetrahymena, has some interesting things occur. It turns out that, if the introns are left IN an intermediate precursor RNA molecule stage, the process of procreation cannot continue! The intron somehow manages to snip itself out of the sequence and then splices the loose ends (of the important parts) together to form the functional molecule. This might first seem to imply that the introns are of no functional purpose whatever.
Some preliminary results of the HGP have suggested that parts of these apparently unnecessary "introns" in humans appear to be remarkably similar to the DNA found in bacteria and amoebae and trees! In the February 2001 announcements, scientists confirmed that they found several hundred sequences that seem to be precisely identical to bacteria DNA. One (of many) scientific working theory is that each organism forever maintains the DNA (genetic) code and capability of its predecessor species (in evolutionary development) and just adds on to the DNA string for newly added adaptations or improvements. That intron self-snipping feature might be its way of automatically selecting the latest and best gene string for that characteristic.
If this all turns out to be reasonably accurate, then evolution will have been absolutely proven! Every cell of every person would therefore contain genetic materials from earlier (simpler) life forms. It might then be theoretically possible to use existing gene-splicing methods to remove some of the modern genes to allow a life form to be created from the more primitive intron genetic material. It's hard to even imagine the ethical and moral questions that would arise if some idiot scientist actually did that. Unfortunately, one probably will, to achieve fame. It seems more likely that "reputable" scientists would first snip out a LOT of advanced versions, and might then be able to have bacteria or mold or algae grow from the HUMAN DNA. Such an experiment seems likely within a very few years. It does not seem that it will be possible to deny human evolution in the face of such an experiment.
In the case where the results of the HGP actually absolutely prove human evolution, this current Parallelism presentation may be the only way of maintaining credibility of Genesis / Creationism in the face of Paleontology / Evolutionism. Even if this research theory turns out to be correct, it STILL doesn't mean that mankind is related to any other creature; it just means that the Lord prearranged another detail regarding parallel perceptions of our environment to enable us to come to that conclusion for the sake of scientific consistency. We already know that He made our blood and DNA very, very similar to that of some apes; He left intriguing ancient skeletons that seem to hint at mutual origins. He left all this totally consistent scientific evidence for the benefit of our intellectual curiosity!
If they did actually do this, they did a pretty stupid job of faking it, because the story line really wouldn't be very believable to people of the time.
The ORDER of events seems really peculiar. Why light before dry ground? Why plants before animals? Why everything before man (who would need to witness it all to be able to be aware of it)? Why ocean animals first? Why, even, a WHOLE DAY to create light, while a LOT of things apparently happened on the Sixth Day?
A plausible fake story wouldn't have had such a sequence. An intelligent faker of the time would have spun quite a different tale for the Biblical Genesis sequence of events. Many reasonable sequences seem far more logical than the Genesis story.
But that ancient Bible (including Genesis 1) was written, around 3,300 years ago, as it is understood today.
Only in the past two hundred years has science started to be capable of recognizing the (apparently) correct scientific sequence of those events. And they have turned out to be REMARKABLY similar. One can apply the scientific approach of statistics to the two sequences. (Statistics of Genesis 1 - Scientific Approach.)
There are several billion different permutations of sequences possible regarding those dozen or so events. Actually, for the fourteen events included in the descriptions above, there are 14! or 14-factorial possible sequences that were available. Maybe that doesn't sound like a very big number but 14! is the same as 87,178,291,200. An astounding number of possible storylines that a faker could have chosen from! A mere storyteller could have selected any of them. Why not have Adam created first, so he could witness all the rest? Why not Earth first as a logical starting point? But LIGHT was first! The amazing similarity of Creation and science sequences confirms that from a scientific statistical point of view, the likelihood that the Bible could have been faked is probably far less than one in a million. That's a compelling statistically valid proof that the Bible MUST be what it claims to be, inspired by God himself! The people of the day didn't have anywhere near enough information available to them to get the sequence of Genesis events in the correct order unless God was giving guidance! For example, there is NO chance that people back then could have known that LIGHT preceded everything else!
As another observation, have you ever noticed how LITTLE of Genesis 1 was involved in creating mankind? God used the first Five Days in creating Light and the Earth, and the oceans and plants and the fishes. Even much of the Sixth Day was used up creating all the various animals. Hardly a sentence is involved in the eventual appearance of Adam. Doesn't it seem, that if the Bible was faked, that human authors would have spent much of Genesis 1 emphasizing the special effort and attention that God paid in creating us? It would seem that self-centered, arrogant human authors would have tried to find some way of getting all of the rest of Creation out of the way on the First Day, so God could spend the rest of the days concentrating on these wondrous humans! But that is not the case! It seems to be additional strong evidence that humans did not write the Bible, specifically Genesis.
Since no human up to less than a hundred years ago had the knowledge to list the various Genesis events in the "correct" scientific order, and since it just isn't written in the anthropocentric way that we humans tend to do, there seems to be overwhelming support for the validity of the Bible being directly from the Inspiration of God. The many additional proofs offered by others, including historical and archaeological evidence and textual analysis, collectively make, to me, an overwhelming case for the Bible being directly from God.
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C Johnson, Pastor
A Christ Walk Church
Christian and Theoretical Physicist
Physics Degree from University of Chicago