And It Was So

The Genesis Creation Riddle

Dallas E. Cain
with Karen L. Trespacz

Copyright 2002 Dallas E. Cain


The authors would like to thank Professor R. Lansing Hicks for his kind reading of the manuscript and for his very helpful suggestions. They would also like to thank their editor, Linda Triemstra of Gold Leaf Editorial Services, for her insightful, encouraging and capable assistance.

About the Author

Dallas Ellsworth Cain has been taking things apart to figure out why? and how? since childhood. Before he was old enough to have his own tools, he badly nicked a family table knife using it as a screwdriver to explore a wind-up alarm clock. Every mechanical thing in the house was a puzzle waiting to be solved. This passion for finding solutions eventually led to an electrical engineering degree and a career solving problems that involved electrical and mechanical engineering.

His boyhood home was a cradle not only to a successful scientific career but also to faith. His mother was a devout church member, and his father was a clerk for fifty years at the local Baptist church. Dallas made his decision for Christ in 1931, when he was eleven.

Thinkers in Western culture have for more than one hundred years thought of religion and science as being at war, fundamentally incompatible. But instead of experiencing conflict between his scientific life and his religious life, Dallas found that each nourished the other. Dr. Herbert S. Mekeel, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, New York, was of particular help in encouraging Dallas to bring rigorous scientific thinking to matters of faith.

The riddle of the first chapter of Genesis started to nibble at Dallas in the 1960s, while he was teaching adult Sunday school. The explanations in the teachers’ materials did not add up, but he was sure there had to be an answer worthy of the Author of creation. So Dallas started on a literature search that led him to libraries around the world and to concepts born in centuries distant from our own.

After more than thirty years of research, the answers to the riddle of Genesis began to fall into place. The result is the book you now hold. This is not the final answer, surely--those decades of research have driven home the point that no one can claim to fully understand the mind and the hand of God. But it is answer enough to respond with confidence to questions and charges alike that the first chapter of Genesis does not make sense or is wrong.

St. Augustine, A.D. 415

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on the facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

The Literal Meaning of Genesis 1.19.391

1 Johannes Quasten, Walter J. Burghardt and Thomas Comerford Lawler, eds., Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, no. 41, St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, John Hammond Taylor, S.J., trans. (New York: Newman Press, 1982), 42-43. Augustine wrote two volumes in this series, even though he limited his analysis to the first three chapters of Genesis.

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