Research Report #12 (1983)

A Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism

Robert J. Dunzweiler
Biblical Theological Seminary

Copyright © 1983 by Robert J. Dunzweiler. All rights reserved.

Originally Delivered as the Fall Lecture Series at
Philadelphia College of the Bible November 1-4, 1971


ABSTRACT

A series of four lectures which suggest a way in which both Biblical and scientific data concerning the nature of God's creative activity can be synthesized in a unified creationist view as an alternative to evolutionism. In Lecture One a case is made for the need for such an alternative and a survey/appraisal of various creationist views is made. In Lecture Two an outline-summary of the creative events of Genesis 1-2 is proposed, incorporating both Biblical and scientific data. In Lecture Three the problem of the proper relationship of Biblical and scientific chronologies is analyzed and a time-frame for the structuring of God's creative activity is proposed. In Lecture Four the question of the meaning of "kinds" is explored; the paleontological record is reviewed, and a proposal for the synthesis of the Biblical and paleontological data is offered in which these two records of God's creative activity provide mutual intelligibility. 

EDITOR'S NOTE

Although the author is in agreement with the doctrinal statement of IBRI, it does not follow that all of the viewpoints espoused in this paper represent official positions of IBRI. Since one of the purposes of the IBRI report series is to serve as a preprint forum, it is possible that the author has revised some aspects of this work since it was first written. 

ISBN 0-944788-12-2


Lecture One
A Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism

Evolutionism is that view of reality which holds that natural processes, operating exclusively by means of natural forces, are responsible for the whole range of physical, chemical, biological, psychological, and sociological phenomena which make up the history of the universe.
 

Ordinarily, when we think of evolution we think of only one phase - the biological phase. Yet, as Sir Julian Huxley points out in his book Evolution in Action, the overall process in the comprehensive sense is understood to comprise three main phases: the inorganic (or cosmological) , the organic (or biological), and the human (or psycho-social).1  Evolutionism is thus the view that the process of evolution is comprehensive, all-encompassing, universal.
 

Upon analysis, this view can be seen to contain several constituent propositions:

(1)  Either matter is eternal or it has simply, of itself, come into being.

(2)  The complex structure of the physical universe has evolved from the simple unorganized condition of primeval matter.

(3)  Living material has evolved from non-living matter.

(4)  All living things - whether monerans, protistans, plants or animals - have evolved from the simplest living things.

(5)  Man has evolved from animals.

(6)  Each of the above processes took place by means of the random operation of previously-existing natural forces.
 

In connection with our topic, I should like to point out the fact that there are good reasons why an alternative to Evolutionism is needed. One such reason is that Evolutionism makes a claim that it is the only reasonable and credible explanation of the origin and development of the universe, of life, and of man, and that any other explanation is unworthy of consideration, To substantiate this charge, it is necessary only to quote from one of a number of writers who express themselves on this point. Horatio Hackett Newman, when he was Professor Emeritus of Zoology at the University of Chicago, wrote:
 
 

The nature of the proof of organic evolution, then, is this: that, using the concept of organic evolution as a working hypothesis it has been possible to rationalize and render intelligible a vast array of observed phenomena, the real facts upon which evolution rests.... There is no other generalization known to man which is of the least value in giving these bodies of fact any sort of scientific coherence and unity. In other words, the working hypothesis works and is therefore acceptable as truth until overthrown by a more workable hypothesis. Not only does the hypothesis work, but, with the steady accumulation of further facts, the weight of evidence is now so great that it overcomes all intelligent opposition by its sheer mass. There are no rival hypotheses except the outworn and completely refuted idea of special creation, now retained only by the ignorant, the dogmatic, and the prejudiced.2

 

Another reason why an alternative to Evolutionism is needed is that Evolutionism is presently confronted with virtually insuperable problems in connection with the question of a causal explanation of the origin of matter and of life, the question of adequate evidences for its claims, and the question of a mechanism which is sufficient to produce new families, orders, classes and phyla of living things. Unless it can give reasonable answers and solutions to these questions and problems, it hardly seems scientifically accurate, logically sound, or ethically responsible for Evolutionism to make such extravagant and immodest claims for itself, and to vehemently denounce all opposition as being ignorant, dogmatic and prejudiced!
 

However, the question may now be raised as to why a Creationist alternative to Evolutionism is needed. One reason that immediately occurs to us is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to permanently compartmentalize in one's mind conflicting religious beliefs and scientific beliefs. Unless reconciled, one set of beliefs tends ultimately to destroy the other. Unfortunately, it is usually one's religious beliefs that are sacrificed upon the altar of scientific belief. In this day of increasing tensions between religion and science, an alternative that synthesizes one's religious beliefs with one's scientific beliefs is desperately needed. There are many students and teachers, laymen and pastors, seminarians and professors, scientists and theologians, who are seeking for a competent, responsible, coherent synthesis which will include both religious beliefs and scientific beliefs in their integrity.
 

A second reason why I believe a Creationist alternative to Evolutionism is needed is that, as a Christian, I believe that the Scriptures are the only inerrant and unfailing rule for faith and life, and that they do teach a number of truths concerning God's creative activity. In those places where the Scriptures speak on matters which have a bearing upon scientific questions, Christians should be ready to listen. I realize, of course, that this view has not always been held by all believers, as is evident by a quotation from Augustine's defense against the Manicheans. He declared: "We do not read in the Gospel that the Lord said, 'I sent to you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon,' for he wanted to make Christians, not mathematicians."3
Herman Bavinck, commenting upon Augustine's statement, pointed out that when the Scripture, as a book of religion, comes into contact with other sciences and sheds its light upon them, it does not suddenly cease to be God's Word but continues to be such. He then added:
 
 

When it speaks about the origin of the heaven and earth, it presents no saga or myth or poetical fantasy but even then, according to its clear intention, presents history, which deserves faith and trust. And for that reason, Christian Theology, with but few exceptions, has held fast to the literal, historical view of the account of creation.4

 

But there is yet a third reason why a Creationist alternative to Evolutionism is needed. I firmly believe that the only self-consistent, coherent alternative to Evolutionism is Creationism. Creationism alone answers the question of the ultimate origin of matter and of life; Creationism alone explains the similarities which form the basis of the alleged evidences for evolution from comparative anatomy, comparative physiology or biochemistry, embryology, vestigial organs, taxonomy, geographic distribution, genetics, paleontology, and physical and cultural anthropology, and Creationism alone provides an adequate mechanism for the appearance of new kinds of living things. May I say that I do not believe that any Christian need ever be ashamed to be, or to be called, a Creationist. Of course, I say this because I believe that Creationism is not only the best view theologically, but also the best view scientifically! On the other hand, I believe that a Christian who chooses to remain in wanton ignorance of either the relevant Biblical facts or the accessible scientific facts should feel ashamed, and not proud! For how can such a Christian obey the scriptural injunction in 1 Peter 3:15 - "But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord, being prepared on every occasion for a defense to every man who asks of you a reason for the hope that is in you."?
 

Having come thus far, it is needful to pause and to reflect upon the way in which we have come. We began with a definition of Evolutionism, and took note of its several constituent elements. We then suggested reasons why an alternative to Evolutionism is needed, and especially a Creationist alternative. But what is Creationism? We must now propose a definition.
 

Creationism is that view of reality which holds that the triune God, employing supernatural and natural forces as well as second causes, has, for the purpose of glorifying Himself, created or brought into objective being the universe and all things in it, whether material or non-material, and sustains, or holds in being, all things according to His good pleasure.
 

Unfortunately, having said this much, we discover that we have not yet said enough. For there are several views of God's creative activity, and each of them claim to be the Christian view! Now whenever there is a multiplicity of views differing from one another, the applicable logical axiom is that, although one of them may be correct, yet all of them cannot be correct. It is even possible that all of them are incorrect, or that some of them contain elements which are correct. Although the limited scope of these lectures prevents extensive discussion of those views of God's creative activity which Christians have from time to time espoused, perhaps a brief mention of these views is in order.
 

Upon examination, those views which have claimed to be Creationist appear to fall into one of four basic types, as follows:

(1) Non-Scientific Creationist View - This category includes those views which regard the Creation account in Genesis as mythical or symbolic, those which regard the Genesis account as a pictorial-relevatory account of Moses' visions during six consecutive days, and those which understand the events of the six days to have been arranged by means of some non-chronological framework, whether topical, logical or literary. Although these views differ from each other at many points, yet they are agreed upon two crucial emphases. The first emphasis of each form of the Non-Scientific Creationist View is that science and theology occupy two distinct spheres, and any conflict between these spheres is settled the moment both are content to remain within their proper boundaries. The second emphasis of each form of this view is that in Genesis 1 the author offers us a story of creation. It was not his intent to present an exact report of what happened, but to impress the reader with the fact that all that exists has been created by God.

(2) Theistic Evolutionist View - This category includes those views which hold that God, having brought into existence the primal matter of the universe, and having created living material, proceeded to create all forms of life mediately, that is, by employing the process of evolution as His mode of operation. Some who espouse the Theistic Evolutionist View hold that the creation of man was part of this process, whereas other advocates of this view hold that, because of his spiritual nature, man must be viewed as a special creation. Most proponents of this latter view hold that, at the least, man's soul must have been a special creation of God.

(3) Scientific Creationist View - All varieties of this view, whether they are named "Progressive Creationism," "Threshold Evolution," or simply "Scientific Creationism," hold that God created primal matter, living material, all of the basic "kinds" of living things, and man, as special creations. The many points at which they differ arise out of differing approaches to and methods in the interpretation and correlation of the relevant scriptural data or scientific data or both.

(4) Anti-Scientific Creationist View - This last category includes all of those views which reject the conclusions, the methodology, or the data of science as capable of making a significant contribution to the interpretation of those scriptural data which are relevant to the doctrine of Creation. Thus those views which advocate a recent date for the age of the universe, or earth, of life, and of man; which affirm the doctrine of the "fixity of species," i.e., the dogma of the inherent impossibility of one species giving rise to the development of another; or which assert the Noachian Flood as a proper and adequate explanation for both the existence and the sequence of the sedimentary strata of rocks in the geologic column, fall within this category. However, as we have already mentioned, its most prominent characteristic is its rejection of the data and observations of science as an aid to the better understanding of the relevant scriptural data.
 

By way of a critical analysis of one aspect of these four basic types of views of God's creative activity, it is instructive and interesting to note the attitudes taken by each of these views toward the scriptural data on the one hand, and the scientific data on the other. The Non-Scientific Creationist View does not take into consideration the scientific data, while according them independent authority within their own realm, and does not do justice to the biblical data, abstracting from them their scientific aspects. Small wonder that we are left with myths, pictures, or empty frameworks, in which Revelation is divorced from history!
 

The Theistic Evolutionist View takes the scientific data seriously, but does so in such an uncritical fashion that it does violence to the exegesis of Scripture. It thus commits the error of inverted priorities, in that it allows its imperfect understanding of the scientific data to exercise a controlling influence over its Biblical exegesis.
 

The Scientific Creationist View takes both the Biblical and the scientific data in their integrity, and then attempts a synthesis of them. Its chief problems lie in at least four directions: (1) the problem of maintaining the proper order of priorities; (2) the problem of the amount of weight to be accorded to the scientific data wherever those data bear upon theological understanding; (3) the problem of the relative certainty of our understanding of the Biblical facts on the one hand, and our understanding of the scientific facts on the other; and (4) the problem of the achievement of a fine balance between the interpretation of both sets of data. However, the problems are not insuperable obstacles; they are simply methodological safeguards, which proponents of the Scientific Creationist View must be careful to observe.
 

The Anti-Scientific Creationist View, although it attempts to do justice to the Biblical data, does not do justice to the scientific data, but actively rejects or speculatively reinterprets them. As a consequence, it does justice to neither set of data. Having rejected God's General Revelation of his creative activity as a possible source of truth, in favor of a supposed ideal of objective, certain, clear understanding of God's Special Revelation in Scripture, this view must of necessity be characterized by a distortion and emasculation of the truth of the doctrine of Creation. Having begun by denying the theological value of God's Revelation in nature, the Anti-Scientific Creationist View ends by misinterpreting both God's Revelation in Scripture and His Revelation in nature.
 

We are thus brought face to face with the question of which of these Creationist views to adopt. At this point I must confess that the Non-Scientific Creationist View, the Theistic Evolutionist View, and the Anti-Scientific Creationist View, because of their failure to do justice to both the Biblical and the scientific data in their integrity, are unacceptable views of God's creative activity, at least to me personally and professionally. As to the Scientific Creationist View, no variety of this view has thus far appeared to synthesize, to my satisfaction, both the theological and the scientific elements in the doctrine of Creation.
 

At long last, therefore, I come to the "proposal" part of my topic, "A Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism." This proposal has two parts, the first rather brief, and the second somewhat more extensive. In this lecture I shall present only the first part of the proposal, that part which deals with the definition of the term "Creation."
 

In order to set forth the scriptural understanding of this word, and in order to avoid the semantic ambiguity which so often accompanies its use in discussions of this nature, I should like to suggest three meanings for the term.
 

First of all, "Creation" means the bringing into being of that which did not (either in its substance or its form) previously exist. An example of this meaning would be the creation of the original matter-energy complex of the physical universe. This usage we shall call Ex Nihilo Creation (i.e., "creation from nothing").
 

Secondly, "Creation" means the bringing into being of that which did not (in its form) previously exist, employing previously-existing substance. An example of this meaning would be the creation of Adam's body from the dust of the ground. This usage we shall call Immediate Creation (i.e., creation by direct action of God, using previously existing substance).
 

Thirdly, "Creation" means the bringing into being of that which did not (in its form) previously exist, employing both previously-existing substance and secondary causes. An example of this meaning is the creation by God, through human parents, of each child born into the world. This usage we shall call Mediate Creation.
 

In each of these three usages - in Ex Nihilo Creation, Immediate Creation, and Mediate Creation - it is important to remember and to recognize that in the context of this discussion it is God who is the Creator. But it is also important to remember that when we speak of God's activity in Creation, we must from time to time clarify the statement "God created such-and-such" by specifying whether God created ex nihilo, or immediately, or mediately. This also means that when we read a statement in Scripture concerning God's creative activity, we must occasionally ask ourselves the question, "Which meaning of 'creation' is intended in this usage?"
 

At this point someone may be wondering, "Of what value are these distinctions, and how do they contribute to the subject at hand?" This is a perfectly proper question. However, instead of attempting to justify the making of these distinctions by giving reasons, I shall attempt to illustrate their value in a series of concrete instances.
 

To implement this purpose, I propose to examine these three meanings of the term "Creation" as those meanings are conjoined with various aspects of God's creative activity. By doing so, we may be able to determine whether these distinctions are artificial trivialities, interesting oddities, or fruitful tools of systematic understanding.
 

In keeping, therefore, with this intention, I should like to present another Creationist View of the creative events of Genesis chapters one and two. In thus doing, I shall include in the body of facts to be structured both the Biblical facts and the scientific facts, or to put it in theological terms, both the data of Special Revelation and the data of General Revelation. Lest there be some objection to the inclusion in this synthesis of both sets of facts, we must hasten to point out that the assertion in Psalm 19:1 that "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork" is not only a truth of Special Revelation; it also affirms the reality of General Revelation. This means that if we ever hope to read God's account of His creative activity properly, we must learn to read it from both books of Revelation - the Book of Scripture and the book of nature. Or, to express it more precisely, we must learn to read the book of nature through the spectacles of the Book of Scripture.
 

In the second lecture, then, I shall propose an outline/survey of the creative events of the first two chapters of Genesis, attempting to synthesize both the scriptural and the scientific data, and to unify all of the relevant data in one self-consistent and coherent system of truth concerning Creation. This conception of God's creative activity, which we shall refer to as The Unified Creationist View, shall then form the structure of my "Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism."
 

Let us now, by God's grace, set out to regain a deeper and fuller recognition of the great truth that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they who dwell therein," and let us strive to reclaim all of nature as God's creation, and as the sphere in which God's glory, God's eternal power, God's divinity, and God's Creatorship are wonderfully manifested.


Lecture Two
The Unified Creationist View

In this second lecture on the subject, "A Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism," we have set for ourselves the task of presenting the second part of our proposal, namely the structuring of the scriptural and the scientific data, and the unification of these data in one self-consistent and coherent system of truth concerning the doctrine of Creation.
 

However, before proceeding to this task via a summary-outline of the creative events of the first two chapters of Genesis, let us briefly review two basic definitions and the first part of our proposal.
 

Evolutionism, we have stated, is that view of reality which holds that natural processes, operating exclusively by means of natural forces, are responsible for the whole range of physical, chemical, biological, psychological, and sociological phenomena which make up the history of the universe. We have also noted that this view implies several constituent propositions:
 

(1) Either matter is eternal or it has simply, of itself, come into being.

(2) The complex structure of the physical universe has evolved from the simple unorganized condition of primeval matter.

(3) Living material has evolved from non-living matter.

(4) All living things have evolved from the simplest living things.

(5) Man has evolved from animals.

(6) Each of the above processes took place by means of the random operation of previously-existing natural forces.
 

Creationism, on the other hand, is that view of reality which holds that the triune God, employing supernatural and natural forces as well as second causes, has, for the purpose of glorifying Himself, created, or brought into objective being, the universe and all things in it, whether material or non-material, and sustains, or holds in being, all things, according to His good pleasure.
 

However, as we noted, there are four basic types of Creationism. We have called these four types the Non-Scientific Creationist View, the Theistic Evolutionist View, the Scientific Creationist View, and the Anti-Scientific Creationist View; and we have stated that, of these four basic types of Creationism, the first, second and fourth are unacceptable to us personally and professionally, and that no variety of the third (i.e., the Scientific Creationist View) has thus far seemed to be adequate or entirely satisfactory. We are therefore proposing yet another alternative.
 

The first part of our proposal concerned the definition of the term "Creation." We have suggested three meanings or usages of the term, and we have called these three usages by the names Ex Nihilo Creation, Immediate Creation, and Mediate Creation. By Ex Nihilo Creation is meant Creation out of nothing in an instantaneous event. By Immediate Creation is meant Creation using pre-existing material but not secondary causes, in either an instantaneous event or a gradual process. By Mediate Creation is meant Creation employing both pre-existing material and secondary causes in either an instantaneous event or a gradual process.
 

In my first lecture I mentioned that the second part of our proposal would be set forth in this present lecture, by means of an examination of these three meanings of the term "Creation" as those meanings are conjoined with the various aspects of God's creative activity. At that time I also proposed doing this by drawing an outline-survey of the first two chapters of Genesis, attempting to synthesize both scriptural and scientific data in one unified, coherent account. Let us now attempt this ambitious project.
 

This second part of my "Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism" is structured by a series of fourteen events, all of which concern God's creative activity as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2. Let us now consider these events in numerical order, noting one or two interesting aspects of each.
 

Event #1 (included in Genesis 1:1) - God's Ex Nihilo Creation of all the matter-energy and the space of the universe, together with their properties, several billion years ago.
 

Although Genesis 1:1 does not specifically mention the creation of primal matter, yet it includes that creation. Since matter is not eternal, it must be created; and it is here that we learn of this creative event. In point of fact, this creation refers to God's bringing into being, from nothing, all of the basic units of matter and energy found in the physical universe - neutrons, protons, electrons, and various other atomic and sub-atomic particles.
 

It has been estimated that the entire observed universe contains 1080 particles (i.e., 10 followed by 79 zeros). For most of us, this is an inconceivable number! And yet God has created them from nothing, by the Word of His power. Incidentally, by way of comparison, the entire earth contains 1050 atoms (10 followed by 49 zeros), and a single cup of water contains 1025 atoms (10 followed by 24 zeros, or 10 trillion trillion atoms).
 

With respect to the age of the universe (and thus the age of primal matter), a number of astrophysicists, computing back from the present rate of expansion of the universe to the beginning of the expansion, have arrived at a figure of 10-13 billion years. In addition, astronomical evidence indicates that the energy emitted by certain galaxies (whether in the form of light waves or radio waves) left those galaxies several billion years ago.
 

Event #2 (included in Genesis 1:1) - God's Mediate Creation of the basic structure of the universe, a process which began after the creation of primal matter-energy, and continued for a vast period of time of indefinite duration.
 

This process, which proceeded during the long phase of the universal expansion of the universe, refers to the formation, out of the original gaseous agglomerate of energy and matter, of the various elements; and to the condensation of enormous amounts of galactic gas into the large groupings of galaxies and stars which form the essential structure of the physical universe.
 

Event #3 (included in Genesis 1:1) - God's Mediate Creation of our own galaxy (the Milky Way Galaxy), a process which occupied a long period of indefinite duration.
 

The Milky Way Galaxy, as it presently appears to us, is a vast aggregate of star clusters, stars, interstellar gas, and interstellar dust, arranged in the shape of an enormous disk somewhat bulged in the middle (viewing it edge-on) or in the shape of a pinwheel, containing spiral arms winding outward from a central nucleus (viewing it from the top). The size of our galaxy is almost beyond comprehension. The distance from one edge to the opposite edge is roughly 100,000 light years, i.e., the distance light travels in 100,000 years. Since light travels at 186,000 miles per second, the distance covered by a star's light traveling from from one edge of our galaxy to the opposite edge would be 587 quadrillion miles (587 followed by 15 zeros), and it would take that light 100,000 years just to cross our galaxy! When we stop to consider the fact that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observed universe, our minds reel and stagger at the very thought of such vastness, and we cannot help recalling the Psalmist's words: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? ... O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"
 

Event #4 (recorded in Genesis 1:2-5) - God's Mediate Creation of our solar system, comprising a system of planets orbiting the sun and rotating about their own axes, a configuration which not only produced light to shine upon the planet Earth, but also provided for a division between day and night upon the earth.
 

Here I should like to mention a particular scientific theory of the origin of the solar system: the Fowler-Greenstein-Hoyle theory. Now in order for any scientific theory of the origin of the solar system to be called a good theory, it should be able to explain at least five sets of facts:
 

(1) The fact that the sun has most of the mass of the solar system (750:1), whereas the planets have most of the angular momentum (200:1).

(2) The fact that the orbital planes of the planets are mostly within five degrees of the mean plane of the system.

(3) The fact that the planets and their satellites (with only a few exceptions) both orbit and rotate in the same direction as the sun rotates.

(4) The fact that the planetary orbits are nearly circular.

(5) The fact that the inner planets are made of less volatile material (i.e., which does not vaporize as easily) and are more dense than are the outer planets.
 

The Fowler-Greenstein-Hoyle theory of the origin of the solar system proposes that the whole solar system was at first a dark, tenuous nebula which, as it revolved, contracted into a slowly spinning disk. When contraction was well advanced, this disk began to glow. The center of the disk, contracting still further, became the hot sun. The gaseous outer portion of the disk, magnetically connected to the spinning sun, moved outward and cooled, condensing to form the orbiting planets.
 

There are three reasons why I mention this particular scientific theory:
 

(1) Most of the contemporary theories of the origin of the solar system are similar to the Fowler-Greenstein-Hoyle theory.

(2) This theory is not in conflict with the Biblical facts, but fits them rather well. The dark, tenuous, disk-shaped-nebula concept fits rather well with the Biblical statement, "And the earth was without form (or unformed), and empty; and darkness was upon the face of the deep."
 

(3) This theory fits the scientific data quite well.
 

This fourth event, the creation of our solar system, provided for both light and for day and night, since it is the earth's rotating motion in relation to the sun that gives us the alternating periods of daylight and darkness which we know as day and night. This is in perfect accord with the scriptural account in which we read, "And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night." (Genesis 1:3-5)
 

Event #5 (recorded in Genesis 1:6-8) - God's Mediate Creation of the earth's atmosphere, and the subsequent separation of water above the surface of the earth from water covering the surface of the earth.
 

The word translated "firmament" in Genesis 1:6, 7, 8 - (raqiya) - means "that which is stretched out, an expanse." Our proposal is that this expanse was the atmosphere, or what we call the sky (in the near sense of that word). In verse 8 of Genesis 1, God calls this expanse "heaven."
 

Our present atmosphere is a rather thin blanket covering the surface of the earth to a height of about 100 miles. It is comprised of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (20.9%), water vapor, and small amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, and other gases. It should be noted that nitrogen and oxygen comprise 98.9% of the total volume of atmospheric gases.
 

Professor Russell W. Maatman, a member of the department of chemistry at Dordt College, asserts in his book The Bible, Natural Science and Evolution, that there is considerable mineralogical evidence that the early atmosphere was largely carbon dioxide, and that it was almost totally devoid of oxygen (in contrast to our present atmosphere which, as we have mentioned, contains 20.9 % oxygen). Such an atmosphere would have been capable of holding a great deal of water, in the form of thick clouds. Thus the initial atmosphere or "firmament" would have provided a means of dividing between water above the surface of the earth, and water covering the surface of the earth.
 

Event #6 (recorded in Genesis 1:9-10) - God's Mediate Creation of dry land, by the structuring of earth's surface into land and seas.
 

At the present time, of the total surface area of the earth (197,000,000 square miles), 29% (or 57,000,000 square miles) is dry land, and 71% (or 140,000,000 square miles) is covered with water. In primeval times, as we learn from these verses, the entire surface area of the earth was covered with water.
 

The separation of dry land from water would of necessity involve the uplifting of enormous land masses, with the concomitant creation of deep ocean basins. It is instructive to note that, at present, the average depth of the oceans is much greater than the average elevation of the land. The average depth of the oceans is about 2½ miles, while the average elevation of the land is about ½ mile. Thus if the continents were entirely eroded away, and the material composing them placed in the ocean, the earth would be covered by a universal sea approximately 1.8 miles deep.
 

Whether one holds the theory that the continents are presently where they always have been, or the theory that whole land masses have drifted to form our present continents, is not crucial to the essential interpretation of the Genesis account. However, it is interesting to note that twice in these verses (verses 9 and 10) we read of the gathering together of the waters into one place. Is this significant?
 

This form of expression could be thought to suggest the idea that only one land mass existed in the distant past; and that later the single land mass broke up to form our present continents. This is called the Theory of Continental Drift, a theory which has practically swept the field of geology in the last few years. This is a possible interpretation of verses 9 and 10. Of course, these statements could also mean simply that God gathered the waters into their own places ("place" taken collectively), so that dry land could appear in its own place.
 

Event #7 (recorded in Genesis 1:11-13) - The beginning of God's Immediate Creation of various "kinds" of land plants.
 

Here in these verses we have the first mention of the creation of living things. It is instructive to note that Moses makes no mention of Monerans and Protistans, - two whole kingdoms of very simple microscopic living plants. He speaks only of plants which grew on the land. Of course, it should be pointed out that if Moses, by means of a Special Revelation, had spoken in the inspired Scriptures of these microscopic creatures, no one reading his words at any time during the next three thousands years would have had the slightest notion of what he meant!
 

In verses 11-12 three general categories of plants are mentioned: "vegetation," "herbs which produce seeds," and "fruit trees which produce seed-containing fruit." The word "vegetation" and the word "herb" are quite general terms, and would appear to have a very wide range of applicability.
 

It is fascinating to note the fact that the creation of plants is mentioned before the creation of animals. Is this a mistake on Moses' part? Or is it merely a coincidence?
 

In reply to these questions, we must point out that plants are capable of manufacturing their own food, by means of photosynthesis. Green plants, which contain chlorophyll, take carbon dioxide and water, and using the energy from sunlight, break down these substances and synthesize their constituent elements into energy-rich sugar plus oxygen and water. Some animals eat these energy-rich plants, and thus obtain the energy needed to carry on life functions. Other animals eat these animals, which in turn have eaten energy-rich plants. And man eats both energy-rich plants and animals which (directly or indirectly) have eaten energy-rich plants. Thus we discover that, as far as utilizable energy for the carrying on of life functions is concerned, animals and men are dependent upon plants. It is therefore no mistake nor coincidence that Moses mentions plants as having been created before animals and man.
 

One further word about the fact that only three general categories of plants are mentioned is in order. Botanical taxonomists classify all known plants into more than 350 thousand species. One may with propriety ask whether 350 thousand species of plants were intended to be included within this simple three-point classification. I should like to suggest that the list in Genesis was not intended to be exhaustive, but only representative of all plants. Yet, as a representative list, in which part is given for the whole (as in the figure of speech called synecdoche), its implications are clear: God is the Creator of all plant-life.
 

Event #8 (recorded in Genesis 1:14-19) - God's Mediate Creation of the appearance of the sun, the moon, and the stars (as viewed from earth's surface).
 

We have already spoken of God's creation of the firmament or expanse; and have proposed the idea that the expanse is earth's atmosphere. We have also mentioned the mineralogical evidence that the atmosphere during earth's early history was largely composed of carbon dioxide. And we have suggested that, with a carbon dioxide blanket (which would cause a slight increase in atmospheric temperature), much of the water on the earth's surface would be in the form of water vapor, and the weather would be continually cloudy.
 

As soon as the created plants began to grow, they commenced, by means of the process of photosynthesis, to consume the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to produce free oxygen. Of course, through the process of cellular respiration, they also took in oxygen and released carbon dioxide. However, since the rate of photosynthesis slightly exceeded the rate of respiration, the atmosphere, over a long period of time, was gradually converted from one containing a very large percentage of carbon dioxide and almost no oxygen, to one containing very little carbon dioxide (33 thousands of one percent, on average), and a sizable amount of oxygen (almost 21 percent).
 

As the carbon dioxide percentage decreased, the temperature decreased also. Gradually the water vapor condensed, and the thick clouds began to dissipate. Then at some point in the process, the cloud cover broke up, and the sun, moon, and stars became visible from the surface of the earth. And thus the now-visible sun, moon, and stars became light-bearers, to clearly distinguish day from night, to give light upon the earth, to signify God's Creatorship and Providential Rulership, and to mark off periods of time, including days, seasons and years.
 

Event #9 (recorded in Genesis 1:20-23) - The beginning of God's Immediate Creation of various "kinds" of aquatic animals and various "kinds" of birds.
 

The animals mentioned in these verses are classified according to the environment in which they move. The environment of the various "kinds" of "living creature that moves" is, in this case the water. This category also includes the "great sea monsters," and probably the amphibians, as well as all fish and marine invertebrates. The environment of the various "kinds" of birds and other flying creatures is twofold: the firmament of heaven (i.e., the air above the ground), and the ground.
 

In addition, we are told that God blessed the aquatic animals and the celestial animals with the blessing of fruitfulness, that they might multiply and fill their ecological niches throughout the earth, both in the seas and on the land.
 

Event #10 (recorded in Genesis 1:24-25) - The beginning of God's Immediate Creation of various "kinds" of terrestrial animals.
 

Three basic categories of land animals are mentioned here: "cattle," "creeping animals," and "living animals of the earth." The principle of division upon which this classification is based could very well be the method of locomotion. Thus these three categories could be viewed as including animals that move by walking upon the ground, animals that move by creeping on the ground, and animals that move in the ground itself (presumably by digging or burrowing).
 

In any case, it would appear necessary to break down these three categories into various "kinds" of each category, and we are told that God called these "kinds" of terrestrial animals into existence.
 

Event #11 (recorded in Genesis 2:8) - God's Immediate Creation of the Garden of Eden.
 

There may be a question as to whether this creative event should be placed before the creation of Adam, or between Adam's creation and Eve's creation. There can, of course, be no question that it must be placed before Eve's creation, since God placed Adam in the garden (2:15) and put him to sleep there (2:21) in order to create Eve.
 

Since both male and female are spoken of in the general creation account of Genesis 1:27, it would appear to make very little difference whether one places the creation of the garden before Adam's creation or after it. However, I prefer to view the creation of the garden as coming before Adam's creation, so that the newly-created man would be located in the Garden of Eden from the very beginning of his existence. Thus I prefer the pluperfect translation of Genesis 2:8 - "And the Lord had planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed."
 

Where was this beautiful paradise located? Well, beyond the fact that it was somewhere in the Middle East, we know next to nothing about its precise location. Perhaps like the mythical lost continent of Atlantis, that beautiful garden was destroyed, wiped out, and completely obliterated from the face of the earth. Perhaps when we are in glory we shall learn of its location and its end. In the meanwhile, we are urged, not to fix mournful and longing eyes upon paradise lost, but rather to look forward to a better Paradise, one regained for us by Christ and prepared for those who love Him.
 

Event #12 (recorded in Genesis 1:26-31 and 2:7) - God's Ex Nihilo Creation of man's soul, and His Immediate Creation of man's body.
 

The Scriptures tell us that God created man in His own image and likeness. This likeness is stamped upon man's soul. As God is a Spirit (i.e., a Person), so man is a spirit (a person). As God's nature has the attributes of wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, so man's nature, as created in God's image, had the attributes of wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. However, whereas God possesses these attributes in an infinite, eternal, and unchangeable way, unfallen man possessed them in a finite, temporal, and changeable way. Thus there is both likeness and unlikeness in God's creation of man in His own image: likeness, because God created man in His image; unlikeness, because God created man in His image.
 

The creation of man's body, as recorded in Genesis 2:7, is an immediate creation by God, using pre-existing substance (in this instance, "dust from the ground"), but not secondary causality. The substance from which Adam was formed was not living substance before God communicated life to it at this point.
 

In connection with this assertion, the translation in the Authorized (King James) Version is unfortunate, since it obscures a very important truth, and also makes the verse teach something that simply is not there. Genesis 2:7 should be translated, "And the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life, and man became a living being" (or "living creature"). The Hebrew simply says that man became  (nephesh hayyah).
 

Looking back to Genesis 1:20-21, we notice that God created aquatic life. This life is called .  In Genesis 1:24-25, God created terrestrial life. This life is also called . And then in Genesis 2:7, as a result of divine inbreathing of life into the body which God had created for him, Adam became a . The facts are clear: Adam was not a living creature before Genesis 2:7; the animals were living creatures before the time of Genesis 2:7; therefore Adam could not have been descended from the animals, since in that case Adam would have been a living creature before he became a living creature, which is plainly absurd. And further, since Genesis 2:7 is speaking of the creation of Adam's body, and of the bringing of that body to life, neither Adam as a whole nor Adam's body descended from animals.
 

Event #13 (recorded in Genesis 1:27 and 2:19-23) - God's Ex Nihilo Creation of woman's soul, and His Immediate Creation of woman's body.
 

It should be emphasized that God also created woman in His own image and likeness. Again, this likeness, as in man, refers to woman's soul. As to her body, however, she was created from Adam's flesh and bone, not from dust from the ground. Nevertheless, since Adam's flesh and bones were formed from the dust, Eve also (indirectly) was from the dust; and, as a result of the Fall, was destined, by the sentence of death, to return with Adam to the dust. Thus the curse in Genesis 3:19 falls upon both Adam and Even, and upon all of their posterity.
 

Event #14 (recorded in Genesis 2:1-3) - The Cessation of God's Immediate Creation; the continuation of God's Mediate Creation.
 

By "cessation of God's Immediate Creation" is meant the completion of God's purposed activity of bringing the universe and its constituent elements into being. This expression is not intended to deny the reality of miracle, or to deny the immediate character of God's redemptive acts.
 

I do not believe the words, "He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made," mean that God was tired out from all that creating, and therefore needed to rest up for a day before He took up the job of keeping everything running. Rather, I believe that this "resting from work" is better understood as a cessation, a stopping of God's creative activity in the Ex Nihilo and Immediate senses. Of course, His Mediate creative activity continued, continues, and shall continue until the end of time.
 

This then is an outline-survey of the structure of what I have called the Unified Creationist View. This is my proposed Creationist alternative to Evolutionism, the value of which I must discover through further study and thought, as well as through the evaluation of your judgment.
 

I pray that the Spirit of Truth will open our eyes to two things: to the glory of God that is being revealed day unto day and night unto night throughout the entire vastness and beauty of His created universe, and to the need of relating the truth of that revelation to the truth which He has been pleased to give us in the Scriptures. May God grant still better, less imperfect, more competent syntheses than this!


Lecture Three
The Unified Creationist View and the "Days" of Creation

In the first two lectures of this series, we attempted to sketch out, in broad outline, a "Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism." At the outset, having defined the terms "Evolutionism" and "Creationism," we attempted to demonstrate the need for such an alternative. We then proceeded to present our proposed view, the first part of which was a careful consideration of the three basic meanings of the term "Creation." In the second lecture we presented the second part of our proposal, which took the form of an outline-summary of the creative events of Genesis 1-2. The resulting synthesis we called the Unified Creationist View.
 

We now come to the question of the chronology of the first two chapters of Genesis. Actually, there are two important questions that relate to the chronology of the events of these chapters. The first question concerns the chronological meaning of the term "day." The second question concerns the relationships of the events of the seven "days" and of the seven "days" themselves to the geologic and paleontologic records. Let us now address ourselves to these two questions.
 

What is the chronological meaning of the term "day" in the Genesis record of the seven creation "days"? This question places before us the task of determining the Scriptural meaning, according to usage, of the Hebrew word yom .
 

The Authorized or King James Version translates the Hebrew word yom in the following ways: 1167 times yom is translated "day," 63 times it is translated "time," 30 times it is translated "today," (in these cases the Hebrew has the definite article); 29 times it is translated "daily" (in these cases yom is associated with various prepositions and adjectives); and 18 times it is translated "forever"!
 

Quite apparently the King James translators viewed yom as comprising a fairly broad range of meaning!
 

Upon examination of a large number of usages in context, the possibilities of meaning of the Hebrew word yom appear to contract to essentially four:

(1)  A period during which there is light upon a part of the earth's surface, relative to a particular location on earth; or simply a period of light.  Thus in Genesis 1:5 we read, "And God called the light yom"; and in Genesis 1:16 we read that God made "the greater light to rule the yom."

(2)  A period during which the earth makes one full rotation upon its axis; or a 24-hour day.  In Exodus 20:8-10 we have an instance of this usage. There we read: "Remember the yom of rest, to keep it holy. Six yamim         ( - plural of yom) shall you labor and do all your work. But the seventh yom is the rest of the Lord your God."

(3)  A relatively determinate period (i.e., a period with fairly well-determined boundaries) during which some event or series of events takes place. This period could be short or long.  In Genesis 41:1 we read: "And it came to pass at the end of two full yamim (plural of yom), that Pharaoh dreamed." This is translated "years" in the Authorized Version, and I believe that the translation is correct. If so, then we take note of the fact that this Scripture is speaking of two full years during which Joseph was in prison, and yet it uses the plural of the word yom.  In Exodus 13:10 Moses commanded the children of Israel, "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in its seasons from yamim to yamim."  And in Proverbs 25:13 we read the words, "As the cold of snow in the yom of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him." Here yom means the time of harvest, the season of harvest.

(4)  A fourth possibility of meaning is that of a relatively indeterminate period (i.e., a period without well-defined boundaries) during which some event or series of events takes place. This could be a brief indeterminate period or a lengthy indeterminate period.  In Genesis 35:3 Jacob said to his household, "Let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the yom of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went." In this usage yom simply means time.  In Genesis 40:3 we read of what Pharaoh did to his chief butler and his chief baker: "And he put them in prison." In verse 4 we are told, "and they continued a yom in prison." Here yom simply means a period of time, a season of time of indefinite length.  In Proverbs 31:25 we read of the virtuous woman that "Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in the yom to come." Here all is indefinite, without boundaries in time. Yom simply means time.
 

But we are now faced with the question: Which of these four possibilities of meaning was intended in Genesis 1-2?  In which sense shall we understand the seven Creation yom's? Are they periods of light, 24-hour periods, relatively determinate periods, or relatively indeterminate periods of time?
 

There are at least five important considerations which bear upon the question of how we are to understand the time value of the seven Creation yom's:

(1) The light-darkness separation, and the calling of light "Day" and of darkness "Night";

(2) The evening-morning pattern ("and it was evening, and it was morning") which is associated with yom's 1-6;

(3) The appointment of the sun to rule over the "Day" and of the moon and stars to rule over the "Night";

(4) The time-period occupied by each yom. This could be:
      (a) the period during which God spoke His creative command
      (b) the period during which God's creative activity was exercised
      (c) the period during which God's creative command began to achieve fulfillment
      (d) the period when a particular aspect of God's creation was completed
      (e) the period during which God spoke His creative command, and saw it completely fulfilled.

(5) The question of the time consumed in the fulfillment of God's creative commands. How shall we interpret the Biblical record? Were the creative commands of God fulfilled in a moment, or in a twelve-hour period, or in a twenty-four hour period, or in a relatively short period of time, or during a moderately long period of time, or throughout a vast period of time? Could some of these commands have been fulfilled in an instantaneous event, and others by a long process? Notice: there is no question here of whether God could have created all things instantaneously, if He had so chosen. The question here is simply, How did He create all things?
 

With these five considerations in mind, and attempting to keep the Biblical data in view, I should like to propose a chronological-aspect meaning of the seven yom's of Genesis 1-2. This proposal has two parts:

First, as to the time-period indicated by each yom, I propose the meaning, "the period during which God's creative command began to achieve fulfillment." Thus the seven yom's would fall into seven periods of time, the first six of which would be creative periods (i.e., periods during which some aspect of God's creative activity would be accomplished). Further, these creative-aspect periods would be marked by three distinct stages: the beginning stage, the stage of essential fulfillment, and the completion stage. The beginning stage of each creative-aspect period would be marked by God's creative command, "Let there be!" These commands are recorded in Genesis 1:3, 1:6, 1:9, 1:11, 1:14-15, 1:20, 1:24, and 1:26. The stage of essential fulfillment, in which God's creative command began to achieve fulfillment, would be marked by the recognition, by God, that His handiwork was good. These appraisals of the value of God's handiwork toward the accomplishment of His eternal Plan and Purpose are recorded in Genesis 1:4, 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, 1:25 and 1:31. I propose that the first six yom's coincide with six stages of essential fulfillment in six distinct creative-aspect periods. The completion stages of the creative-aspect periods are not generally marked, in Scripture, by a special notation. The reason for this may become apparent in facts which we have yet to consider.
 

To summarize my proposal, then, I propose that the first six yom's fall within six creative-aspect periods of indefinite length, and that they coincide, not with the beginning stage or the completion stage, but with the stage of essential fulfillment in each creative-aspect period.
 

Second, as to the duration of each yom, I propose that the light-darkness separation factor, the day-night oscillation factor, and the evening-morning pattern factor all combine to point to a literal day, i.e., a period during which the earth makes one full rotation upon its axis.
 

Combining the two parts of this proposal concerning the yom's of Genesis 1-2, we thus far define a yom as a literal day which marks the stage of essential fulfillment in each of six creative-aspect periods of indefinite length. In this scheme, these Creation yom's are separated from one another by indefinite, sometimes vast, periods of time.
 

We have thus far considered the first question related to the chronology of the events of these chapters: namely, the question of the chronological meaning of the term "day." We must now consider the second question, which concerns the chronological relationships of the events associated with the seven days to the geologic and paleontologic records.
 

The Standard Geologic Relative Time Scale divides all geologic time into five eras. They are called the Archeozoic Era (meaning "beginning life"), the Proterozoic Era (meaning "fore- life"), the Paleozoic Era (meaning "ancient life"), the Mesozoic Era (meaning "middle-life"), and the Cenozoic Era (meaning "recent life"). These five eras are divided into periods, and some of the periods are further divided into epochs and ages. The Archeozoic Era and the Proterozoic Era are frequently lumped together under the name "Pre-Cambrian" (the Cambrian Period being the first period of the Paleozoic Era).
 

Geologists, using radioactive techniques, have computed the age of the earth to be 4.55 billion years. Precambrian time represents almost 87% of this figure, or 3.95 billion years. Thus the beginning of the Paleozoic Era (which is the same as the beginning of the Cambrian Period) is dated 600 million years ago. The beginning of the Mesozoic Era is dated at 225 million years ago. And the beginning of the Cenozoic Era is dated at 70 million years ago.
 

The word "paleontology" means the study of ancient being. The paleontological record is both fascinating and illuminating. It is made up of literally billions and billions of fossils, which have been found in practically every corner of the earth. These evidences of former living things are found in the various strata of the geologic column, and they tell a very important story which is directly relevant to our understanding of God's creative activity.
 

In the pre-Cambrian eras of the geologic column, there are very few fossils, and these are of relatively simple living forms. Some algae, some bacteria, a few worm tracks - these are the only evidences of living things before the Cambrian. However, in the Cambrian Period of the Paleozoic Era, a veritable population explosion unfolds before the eyes of the paleontologist! Almost every major phylum appears in the Cambrian! Algae, Arthropods, Brachiopods, Chordates, Porifera, Coelenterates, Annelida, Mollusks, Echinoderms, and Protozoans - all appear in the fossil record quite suddenly!
 

In the Ordovician Period of the Paleozoic Era, the Bryozoans and the first Vertebrates appear, the latter in the form of jawless fishes.

In the Silurian Period of the Paleozoic, the simplest vascular plants, the oldest known land plants, and the first land animals (scorpions) appear.

In the Devonian Period, Fungi, the first known seed-bearing plants (seed ferns), the first boney fishes, and the Amphibians appear.

In the Mississippian Period, the first Bryophytes appear.

In the Pennsylvanian Period, the first Conifers, primitive insects, and primitive reptiles appear.

In the Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era, modern insects appear.

In the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era, the first dinosaurs appear.

In the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era, the first flowering plants, the giant dinosaurs, the first birds, and the first mammals appear.

In the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era, the last dinosaurs and the first modern birds appear.

In the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era, a large number of new mammals appear, together with the Primates, which include lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes.

In the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era, most of the modern families, genera, and species of plants and animals appeared, together with humans.

This, then, in very brief outline, is what we are told by the record of the rocks.
 

Now we come to the crucial question. Can the scriptural record and the record of the rocks be synthesized and correlated? A number of men, including theologians and scientists, have made the attempt but have been unsuccessful. Perhaps they have not been willing or competent or patient enough to carefully examine the data in each other's field, or perhaps they have not taken each other's data in their integrity. But if we believe that truth is a unity, and that God's revelation in nature and His revelation in Scripture are true, then we must conclude that such a synthesis can be made and ought to be made!
 

Toward this end, therefore, I should like to present a proposed synthesis of the Creation Days and the creative events of Genesis 1-2, and the records of geology and paleontology. The conceptual structure which I propose is that of a series of creative-aspect periods, some of which partially overlap in time, and all of which are marked by a beginning stage, a stage of essential fulfillment, and a completion stage. In all of these creative-aspect periods (except the first), the stage of essential fulfillment falls upon a particular literal day, which is numbered. In the total configuration, the seven Days of Genesis 1-2 are arranged in numerical order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (See diagram of One Possible Structuring of the Creation Days and the Creative Events of Genesis 1-2.)
 

The arrangement of the fourteen creative events which we enumerated in our second lecture is thus as follows. The Ex Nihilo Creation of primal matter(1), the Mediate Creation of the structured universe (2), and the Mediate Creation of our Milky Way Galaxy (3), all fall into a Pre-Day 1 creative-aspect period. The Mediate Creation of our solar system (4) falls into a second creative-aspect period, which culminates in Day 1. The Mediate Creation of our atmosphere (5) falls within a third creative-aspect period, which culminates in Day 2. The Mediate Creation of day land (6) and the Immediate Creation of land plants (7) fall into a fourth creative-aspect period, which reaches its stage of essential fulfillment in Day 3, but continues through Day 6. The Mediate Creation of the appearance, from the earth, of sun, moon and stars (8) falls into the fifth creative-aspect period, which culminates in Day 4. The Immediate Creation of aquatic animals and of birds (9) falls into the sixth creative-aspect period, which attains its stage of essential fulfillment in Day 5, but continues through Day 6. The Immediate Creation of terrestrial animals (10), the Immediate Creation of the Garden of Eden (11), and the Ex Nihilo Creations of Adam's and Eve's souls, together with the Immediate Creations of their bodies (12 and 13) all fall within the seventh creative-aspect period, which culminates in Day 6. Day 7 then initiates the period of the cessation of Ex Nihilo and Immediate Creation (14).
 

But how does this conceptual structure correlate with the combined records of astrophysics, geology, and paleontology? First of all, on the basis of astrophysics, we postulate a pre-earth period of time which stretches back to the Ex Nihilo Creation of primal matter. This pre-earth period would correspond with our Pre-Day 1 creative-aspect period. Day 1 would then fall near the beginning of the Precambrian, and Day 2 farther on in the early Precambrian. Day 3 would fall in the later Precambrian, and Day 4 near the close of the Precambrian. The sixth crative-aspect period would then begin with the paleontologic record in the Cambrian, and Day 5 would correlate with the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. The seventh creative-aspect period would begin in Silurian Period of the Paleozoic, and Day 6 would fall in the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era. Day 7 would then begin after the appearance of humans upon the earth, during the Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period. This conceptual structure can no doubt be grasped with greater ease if seen in the Diagram of One Possible Structuring of the Creation Days and the Creative Events of Genesis 1 & 2, noting especially the correlation with geology and paleontology.
 
 

Diagram of One Possible Structuring of the Creation Days and the Creative Events of Genesis 1 & 2

                        Pre-Day 1
#1 /----------------------------------------/
(Matter) (Universe) (Our Galaxy)

                                                            Day 1
                        #2 /------------------------o/
                                  (Solar System)

                                                                       Day 2
                                                #3 /---------------o/
                                                      (Atmosphere)

                                                                                                                                         Day 3
                                                                          #4 /----------------------------------------------o------------------------------------------------/
                                                                                   (Dry Land)                          (Plants)

                                                                                                                                                              Day 4
                                                                                                                                         #5 /--------------o/
                                                                                                                                  (Appearance of Light-Bearers)

                                                                                                                                                                                       Day 5
                                                                                                                                                      #6 /------------------------o----------/
                                                                                                                                                             (Aquatic Animals)    (Birds)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Day 6
                                                                                                                                                                                   #7 /--------------------------o/
                                                                                                                                                                                     (Terrestrial       (Garden)
                                                                                                                                                                                       Animals)            (Man)
                                                                                                                                                                                                             (Woman)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Day 7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    /o-----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Cessation)
 
 

Correlation with Geology and Paleontology

/-------------------------------------------/---------------------------------------------------------------/-----------------------------/------------------------/--------------
                    Pre-Earth                                                    Pre-Cambrian                                           Paleozoic                     Mesozoic            Cenozoic
                                                                                                                                               (C)              (S)                                (J)                           (Q)
 
 

In this third lecture, then, we have attempted to raise and to answer two important questions. The first question had to do with the chronological meaning of the term yom, with particular reference to the Creation Days of Genesis. We have proposed literal, 24-hour Creation Days, separated by intervals of varying length, and marking the stage of essential fulfillment in overlapping creative-aspect periods (i.e., periods of time during which God accomplished some aspect of His creative activity).
 

The second question which we raised had to do with the correlation of the Creation Days and the creative events of Genesis 1-2 with the combined records of astrophysics, geology, and paleontology. We have proposed a correlation which, although it does not answer all questions which might be raised, yet does attempt to show that the scriptural record and the record of the rocks are not, at any essential point, in conflict, but rather are beautifully in agreement with one another.
 

Of course, we must confess that this is exactly what we expected, not only because we have constructed this synthesis, but primarily because we are convinced that God's inspired revelation of Himself in Scripture is true, and that this revelation in Scripture cannot conflict with God's revelation of Himself as Creator in nature! It is one and the same God who has revealed Himself as Creator in Scripture and in His creation!
 

But now a problem arises. Does this discussion imply that the interpretation by most paleontologists of the record of the rocks as proving evolution from non-living to living material, and from living material to all the forms of living things on earth today, is a correct interpretation? Here it is important to distinguish between a Creationist interpretation of the record, and an Evolutionist interpretation of the same record. This distinction raises the question of exactly what God created, and this in turn points our attention to the need for discovering the meaning of the Biblical "kinds" which Genesis tells us God brought into being. However, this subject must be reserved for our next lecture.
 
 

THE UNIFIED CREATIONIST VIEW
 

Part One: Three Meanings of the Term "Creation"

EX NIHILO CREATION - The bringing into being of that which did not (either in its substance or its form) previously exist.

IMMEDIATE CREATION - The bringing into being of that which did not (in its form) previously exist, employing previously-existing substance but not secondary causes.

MEDIATE CREATION - The bringing into being of that which did (in its form) previously exist, employing both previously-existing substance and secondary causes.
 
 

Part Two: A Proposed Structuring of the Creative Events of Genesis 1-2

Creative Period Creation Day Creative Event Reference
1st Pre-1 (1)    Ex Nihilo Creation of primal matter-energy
(2)    Mediate Creation of the structured universe
(3)    Mediate Creation of the Milky Way Galaxy
1:1
1:1
1:1
2nd Day 1 (4)    Mediate Creation of our solar system (thus light, and thus day and night) 1:2-5
3rd Day 2 (5)    Mediate Creation of earth's atmosphere, and the subsequent separation of
        water above the surface of earth from water covering earth's surface
1:6-8
4th Day 3 (6)    Mediate Creation of dry land, by the structuring of earth's surface into lands
        and seas
(7)    Immediate Creation of land plants begins
1:9-10

1:11-13

5th Day 4 (8)    Mediate Creation of the appearance of sun, moon and stars in the sky (as
        viewed from earth)
1:14-19
6th Day 5 (9)    Immediate Creation of aquatic animals and birds begins 1:20-23
7th Day 6 (10)  Immediate Creation of terrestrial animals begins
(11)  Immediate Creation of the Garden of Eden
(12)  Ex Nihilo Creation of man's soul
        Immediate Creation of man's body
(13)  Ex Nihilo Creation of woman's soul
        Immediate Creation of woman's body
1:24-25
2:8
1:26-27
2:7
1:27
2:19-23
--  Day 7 (14)  Cessation of Immediate Creation;
        Mediate Creation continues to present
2:1-3

 

Standard Geologic Relative Time Scale

Time Scale
(yrs BP)
Eras Periods Epochs Fossil Record - Appearance of New Life Forms
10 thousand

2 million

 
Quaternary
Recent

Pleistocene

No new basic forms

Most modern families, genera, species present, first humans

12 million
 

26 million

36 million

54 million 

65 million


 

Cenozoic


 
 

Tertiary

Pliocene

Miocene

Oligocene

Eocene

Paleocene

All types of carnivores, many types of horses and browsing animals

First mastodons, giant ground sloths, primitive dogs, horses, antelopes

First true carnivores, first cats (saber-toothed), first apes

First rodents, first rhinoceroses, first monkeys

First hoofed mammals, first flesh-eating mammals, first lemuroids

135 million

180 million

225 million

Mesozoic Cretaceous

Jurassic

Triassic

  Last dinosaurs, last toothed birds, first modern birds

First flowering plants, giant dinosaurs, first birds, first mammals

Last seed ferns, first dinosaurs

280 million
 

310 million

355 million

405 million

440 million

500 million

600 million


 
 
 
 

Paleozoic

Permian

Pennsylvanian

Mississippian

Devonian

Silurian

Ordovician

Cambrian

  Last trilobites, last eurypterids, first modern insects

First conifers, first primitive insects (wingless), first reptiles

First bryophytes (mosses and liverworts)

First fungi, first seed-bearing plants, first amphibians

First land plants, first land animals

First bryozoans, first vertebrates (jawless fishes)

Almost every major phylum of living things

  Proterozoic     Marine worms (trails, burrows)
3.4 billion 
4.55 billion
Archeozoic     Marine bacteria, 
Marine algae
(oldest surface rocks)
(age of earth)



 
 

Lecture Four:
The Unified Creationist View and the "Kinds" of Creation

In the first two lectures of this series, we attempted to establish the need for a self-consistent, coherent, responsible Creationist alternative to Evolutionism, and we proposed the Unified Creationist View as that alternative. In the third lecture we dealt with the chronology of the Creation Days and the creative events of Genesis 1-2. We proposed the conceptual structure of several overlapping creative-aspect periods (i.e., periods of time during which God accomplished some aspect of His creative activity), each of which was marked by a beginning stage, a stage of essential fulfillment, and a completion stage. Within these creative-aspect periods we arranged the creative events of Genesis 1-2. We defined the Creation Days as literal 24-hour days and proposed that these days marked the stage of essential fulfillment in each of these creative-aspect periods (with the exception of the first creative-aspect period, which we placed prior to the creative-aspect period marked by the creative command, "Let there be light," which command culminated in Day 1).
 

Having proposed this conceptual structure of the creative events and the Creation Days, we attempted to correlate this structure with the records of astrophysics, geology, and paleontology. We found that they harmonized rather well. This, in turn, suggested the question, "If we correlate the scriptural record with the scientific record, do we not thereby place our stamp of approval upon the essential arrangement of the geologic and paleontologic data as given by men of science in these fields? And, since this arrangement is used by paleontologists as a very important evidence for the theory of evolution, do we not thereby give up the entire Creationist case in favor of Evolutionism?" To this question we suggested that a distinction must be made between a Creationist interpretation of the fossil record and an Evolutionist interpretation of the same record. From a Creationist standpoint, this raised the question of the meaning of the Biblical "kinds" which God created. And it is to this question that we now turn.
 

The Hebrew word translated "kind" is used ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. It is used a total of 31 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. This Hebrew word () is transliterated min. But now we must ask the question: What does min mean?
 

One of the first principles of lexicography is that the meaning of a word is discovered by an examination of its usage in context. In this connection we are fortunate to have as many instances of min in Scripture as we do have, and we are doubly fortunate in the fact that 30 of its 31 occurrences are found in the writings of one author, namely Moses. We thus have a fairly solid base upon which to build our understanding of the meaning of this Hebrew word.
 

As we approach the question of the usage of the word min, something that could affect its meaning strikes us almost immediately. In every one of its 31 uses, min is preceded by a preposition, and it is the same proposition in every case. This preposition () has the meanings "to, according to, for." It would appear that the meaning "according to" best fits its usage in these cases.
 

Unfortunately, this preposition has sometimes been translated by the English preposition "after," and this has caused readers to think that there is some temporal idea, some time component in the Scriptural phrase. There is no idea in the Hebrew preposition l] of something "coming after" something else, or of one thing "following" another. This time idea must be expunged from our understanding, if we wish to correctly interpret these usages. The meaning of this preposition, in all of its usages with min, is simply "according to."
 

Let us proceed, then, to an examination of those scriptural passages in which min is used. However, lest we enter upon this examination of a portion of the Word of God in a careless manner, let us pause and ask ourselves, "What method of examination will best facilitate our study?"
 

In inductive studies in which a considerable number of items are involved, it is sometimes quite sufficient to study them in simple enumerative order. At other times, especially when the items to be studied differ in degree of difficulty, it is often more efficient to begin with the less difficult problems and proceed to the more difficult ones. In this study, we shall adopt the latter approach.
 

Let us begin at Genesis 6:19-20. Here we read God's words to Noah:
 
 

And from every living thing, from all flesh, two of each shall you cause to come into the ark, to preserve alive with you; they shall be male and female. From the bird, according to its kinds, and from the cattle, according to its kind, and from every creeping animal of the ground according to its kinds; two of each shall enter unto you to preserve alive.

 

It is important to note that there is no time element, no before-and-after sequence in this passage. Verse 20 says nothing about birds, cattle, and creeping things which come after other birds, cattle and creeping things. Verse 20 also says nothing about animals being similar to their parents. I mention these things at this point because these two ideas of coming after and being similar to are the ideas most frequently associated with the translation "after its kind."
 

In this connection, I believe that the King James Version's translation of min with the preposition is misleading to English-speaking people today. What can the phrase "after its kind" as it is ordinarily understood mean in this context? What can it mean for Noah to take "fowls after their kind" into the ark with him? What can it mean for Noah to take "cattle after their kind" into the ark? What was Noah to understand by such a command? Did God wish Noah to make certain that he took into the ark only those birds and those cattle which had been begotten in their parents' likeness? Such an interpretation reduces a simple command to meaninglessness!
 

At this point I must speak frankly. There are many exegetes and theologians who appear to firmly believe that, unless min with its preposition is translated in every case by the phrase "after its kind," a potential loophole is opened which could be interpreted as providing aid or support to evolutionists. And such a loophole must not be opened, even at the expense of interpreting Scripture in a faulty, incorrect or meaningless way!
 

This allegation receives support from the fact that, by translating min with its preposition exclusively (with one exception) by the phrase "after its kind," twenty out of thirty uses become meaningless for present-day English, and the remaining ten uses are all in Genesis 1, where we are dealing with Creation! But what does it matter that twenty uses become meaningless; Creationism has been preserved, and Evolutionism has been deprived of a potential weapon! Is not the good accomplished thereby greater than the evil?
 

To this we must answer with all the earnestness and vigor at our command: Christianity does not need the well-intentioned but exegetically questionable, hermeneutically unsound, theologically indefensible, and ethically reprehensible attempts on the part of some Christians to save other Christians (especially Christian young people) from the faith-destroying theory of Evolutionism. What Christianity needs in this desperate hour is a straightforward translation of the Word of God in its integrity! Let those who wholeheartedly believe in the truthfulness of the Scriptures set them forth truthfully!
 

But how, then, shall we translate this passage in Genesis 6 in a meaningful way, while simultaneously preserving its integrity? Actually, in the proper understanding of the inspired Word of God, these two purposes never conflict. Scripture can only be meaningful if its integrity is preserved; and if its integrity is preserved, it will be meaningful.
 

In this passage God told Noah that "from the bird, according to its kinds, he was to take two of each into the ark. "The bird according to its kinds" simply means "various kinds of birds" which Noah was to take into the ark. The correctness of this translation is reinforced by the clause, "two of each shall enter unto you." The phrase "two of each" certainly does not mean that only two birds, two cattle, and two creeping animals of the ground were to enter the ark with Noah, but rather that two of each kind of bird, two of each kind of cattle, and two of each kind of creeping animal of the ground were to be brought into the ark.
 

This translation receives further support from the record of fulfillment of God's command, as found in Genesis 7:13-14. This passage states:
 
 

In the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth the sons of Noah entered, and the wife of Noah and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. They, and every living animal, according to its kind, and every cattle, according to its kind, and every creeping animal which creeps upon the earth, according to its kinds, and every bird, according to its kinds, every winged bird.

 

Here we do not read that Noah brought into the ark those animals which came after and were similar to their parents (the idea associated with the expression "after its kind"). We read simply that Noah brought into the ark two specimens of each kind of living animal, each kind of cattle, each kind of creeping animal, and each kind of bird. Thus the phrase "according to its kind" as the translation of min with the preposition  is not only the proper translation, it also makes good sense!
 

Proceeding now to Leviticus 11, we discover that min is used five times in connection with animals that are not to be eaten. Verse 14 states that the kite, according to its kind, is not to be eaten. (Incidentally, this is not addressed to that famous species of kite-eating tree which plagues Charlie Brown; it is a prohibition to the children of Israel against the eating of the various kinds of long-tailed, long pointed-winged birds called kites!) Notice what this verse does not say. It does not say that the kite which has come after and is similar to its parents is not to be eaten. It simply says that the various kinds of birds known as kites are not to be eaten!
 

The same is true in Leviticus 11:15, 16, 19 and 29. The children of Israel are forbidden to eat various kinds of raven, various kinds of hawk, various kinds of heron, and various kinds of tortoise.
 

In Leviticus 11:22 we find that min is used four times in connection with animals which may be eaten. The children of Israel are permitted to eat various kinds of locust, various kinds of bald locust, various kinds of beetle and various kinds of grasshopper. In all of these cases, instead of translating min with its preposition by the phrase "after its kind," we should translate it by the phrase "according to its kind."
 

In the second giving of the Law, as recorded in Deuteronomy 14, there are four instances of min. They are found in verses 13, 14, 15 and 18, and they all concern animals which are not to be eaten by the children of Israel. In verse 13 they are forbidden to eat the vulture according to its kind. In verse 14 they are prohibited from eating the raven according to its kind. In verse 15 they are commanded not to eat the hawk according to its kinds. And in verse 18 they are told not to eat the heron according to its kind. All of these uses are quite transparent. They are simply not to eat any kind of vulture, raven, hawk, or heron. There is not the slightest hint, in the expression of min preceded by  of the idea of animals being "after their kind," i.e., of animals which have come after and are similar to their parents. The entire thrust of the expression is the inclusion, within a given category of animals not to be eaten, of all the various kinds of that category. Thus we translate the expression in the Hebrew, "according to its kind," or "according to its kinds."
 

In Ezekiel 47:10 we have the only usage of min outside of the Pentateuch. This is also the only instance out of 31 uses in which the proposition  is translated "according to" in the Authorized Version. The passage, speaking of the great river which flows from beneath the Millennial Temple, states:
 
 

And it shall come to pass, that fishermen shall stand upon it, from Engedi even to Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread out nets; their fish shall be according to its kind, as the fish of the great sea, exceedingly many.

 

This passage would appear to be speaking of the many varied kinds of fish which shall inhabit the great river of the Millennial Temple, and the Authorized Version translates it in exactly this fashion.
 

This brings us to the disputed uses in Genesis 1. The word min with the preposition  occurs ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. Three of these instances are associated with the Immediate Creation of plants, one instance is connected with the Immediate Creation of aquatic animals, one instance is concerned with the Immediate Creation of birds, and the remaining five instances relate to the Immediate Creation of terrestrial animals.
 

One point, which may at first appear to be a truism but must nevertheless be made, is that these plants and animals which God created did not exist before God created them. There are many who are quick to give assent to this proposition, but who reject its clear implication. The clear implication of this proposition is that, in the Genesis account of Creation, we are not dealing with reproduction, but with the original creation of all living things. Genesis 1 is not speaking of plants reproducing other plants; it is speaking of God creating plants. Again, Genesis 1 is not speaking of animals reproducing animals; it is speaking of God creating animals. With this clarification firmly in mind, let us proceed to an examination of min in the first chapter of Genesis.
 

In the following translations I have translated min with the preposition in the same fashion as in all the instances already noted. I have done this for at least three reasons:
 

(1) An examination of the 21 instances of min outside of Genesis 1 has revealed the fact that min with the preposition  uniformly means "according to its kind(s)."

(2) Twenty of those 21 instances fall within the writings of Moses (7 in Genesis, 9 in Leviticus, and 4 in Deuteronomy); Moses also wrote Genesis 1.

(3) In Genesis 1 we are dealing with the Immediate Creation of all living things; i.e., their initial coming into existence by God's creative commands. In Genesis 1:11-12 we read:
And God said, Let the earth cause vegetation to sprout forth; the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree producing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kind, upon the earth. And it was so. And the earth produced vegetation, the herb yielding seed according to its kinds, and the tree producing fruit whose seed is in it, according to its kinds, and God saw that it was good.
In the English it is difficult to phrase the words of these verses in such a way as to show the connection of min with its antecedent. Verse 11 connects min with "fruit tree." This may be expressed by reading, "Let the earth cause to sprout forth various kinds of fruit tree which produce fruit whose seed is in it." Likewise verse 12 connects min with "herb" and with "tree." This may be expressed by reading, "And the earth produced various kinds of herbs yielding seed, and various kinds of trees producing fruit whose seed is in it." Although this mode of reading may seem a bit awkward, it is the only way in which to show the proper relationship of the words concerned.
 

In Genesis 1:21 we read:
 
 

And God created great aquatic animals, and every living being that moves, which the waters multiplied according to their kinds, and every winged bird, according to its kinds; and God saw that it was good.
Here we understand the statements of fact to mean simply that God created various kinds of aquatic animals and various kinds of birds. There is no thought of reproduction here, since aquatic animals and birds did not exist before this creation; this passage speaks only of their original creation in various kinds.
 

In Genesis 1:24 we read:
 
 

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living being according to its kind, cattle and creeping animal and living animal of the earth, according to its kind. And it was so. And God created the living animal of the earth, according to its kind, and the cattle, according to its kind, and every creeping animal of the ground according to its kind; and God saw that it was good.
Here there is absolutely no thought whatever of terrestrial animals "reproducing after their kind"; the thought is simply that of God's calling forth from the earth all the varied kinds of living being: cattle, creeping animal, and living animal of the earth. Verse 25 should be understood to mean that God immediately created different kinds of the specified categories of land animals. And there is nothing more in the combination of min with the preposition  than this!
 

But now, having ascertained the Biblical usage of min, we must ask the question: "To what level in the scientific classification of plants and animals does min correspond? Is it the equivalent to a biological species? Can it sometimes refer to a genus, or a family, or an order, or a class, or a phylum?"
 

An analysis of the level of the classification of the Biblical "kinds" uncovers a rather remarkable fact. The word min is associated with categories of plants and animals which range from the level of sub-species to the level of phylum, and which include all levels between! From this information we may learn a very important truth: the word min does not denote one specific level in scientific classification (such as species, for example). Another truth which we may learn from this study is that, in Genesis 1, where we read of God's original Creation, the categories of plants and animals range from family up to phylum, and therefore we may not say that the Bible says that God created all plants and animals on the level of our present species. In the case of some living things, God may have created on the level of our present orders, in some cases on the level of our present families, in some case on the level of our present genera, and in some cases on the level of our present species. Perhaps the paleontologic record could be of help in learning on what present classification level or levels God created the various "kinds" of plants and animals.
 
Analysis of the Technical Taxonomic Level of the Biblical "Kinds"
Scripture Nature of Kind Taxonomic Level Scientific Group Name
Gen 1:11 Fruit trees Some orders of a subclass Dicotyledonae
Gen 1:12 Herbs Some orders of 2 subclasses Mono- and dicotyledonae
Gen 1:21 Aquatic animals Several phyla  
Gen 1:21 Birds Class Aves
Gen 1:24 Terrestrial animals Several phyla  
Gen 1:24 Cattle Family Bovidae
Gen 1:24 Creeping animals Several phyla  
Lev 11:14 Kite Family Elaninae
Lev 11:15 Raven Genus Corvus
Lev 11:16 Hawk Family Accipitrinae
Lev 11:19 Heron Family Ardeidae
Lev 11:22 Locust Family Locustidae
Lev 11:22 Bald Locust Species (?)  
Lev 11:22 Beetle Order Coleoptera
Lev 11:22 Grasshopper Suborder or Superfamily Acridiidae & Locustidae
Deut 14:13 Vulture Family Cathartidae
Ezk 47:10 Fish Superclass Pisces

Another truth which we learn from this study is that the Bible does not say that the development of new species is an impossibility. As a matter of fact, if God originally created some living things on the present level of family (for example), then all of the members of the family have since developed, which means that new genera as well as new species have developed. The Bible simply does not teach the dogma of "the fixity of species." As a matter of fact, this dogma grew out of a mistranslation of min with the preposition  coupled with a mistaken identification of the Biblical word min with the scientific concept "species."
 

But further, the Bible does not even say that God created all of the original "kinds" of plants and animals in such a way that no new "kinds" could develop from the original "kinds." I realize that in saying this I am desecrating the "sacred cow" of many who believe that the limits of variability established by the phrase "after their kind" is the last bulwark of Creationism against the flood-tides of Evolutionism. However, not finding this translation "after their kind" is Biblically correct, I do not find it theologically correct! And therefore I do not find it a crucial support for Creationism, nor a great bulwark against Evolutionism.
 

But let us pause for a moment and reflect. Does this mean that the door is now wide open for a thorough-going Evolutionistic interpretation of the record of the rocks? Is the way now cleared for the Evolutionist's assertion of amoeba-to-man development? Having given up the phrase "after its kind," which was the one remaining defense against Evolutionism, must we now become Evolutionists?
 

Before we answer too hurridely (thereby running the risk of making fools of ourselves), let us consider what the record of the rocks tells us. And, for a competent and unbiased (i.e., unbiased in favor of Creationism) summary of that record, let us note the words of the "Dean of American Paleontologists," George Gaylord Simpson, in his book The Major Features of Evolution. Simpson writes:
 
 

The record already acquired is amazingly good. It provides us with many detailed examples of a great variety of evolutionary phenomena on lower and intermediate levels and rather abundant data that can be used either by controlled extrapolation or on a statistical sampling basis for inferences as to phenomena on all levels up to the highest. Among the examples are many in which, beyond the slightest doubt, a species or a genus has been gradually transformed into another. Such gradual transformation is also fairly well exemplified for subfamilies and occasionally for families, as the groups are commonly ranked.... In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.5
It is most important to realize what Simpson is saying. Gradual transformations leading to new species, new genera, some new subfamilies, and occasionally new families are witnessed to by the record of the rocks. However, most new species, genera, and families appear quite suddenly; i.e., the record of the rocks is absent of ancestors from whom they could have descended. Moreover, practically all new orders, classes, and phyla appear quite suddenly; i.e., without ancestors. How are these systematic deficiencies, these discontinuities, these gaps in the fossil record to be overcome? Simpson says that this can be done by extrapolation and inference from what we are able to see on lower levels to what we are not able to find on higher levels. To say that such an explanation of the systematic gaps in the record of the rocks, especially on the higher levels, is quite unsatisfactory, is to utter a gross understatement! But how then can these gaps be explained?
 

I would propose that the record of the rocks is a natural record of God's creative activity. I would further propose that the reason that most new species, genera, and families, and practically all new orders, classes and phyla appear quite suddenly in the fossil record is that these appearances represent separate creative acts of God in the bringing into existence of new "kinds" of plants and animals. I would still further propose that these distinct creations of new "kinds" of plants and animals be synthesized with the chronological framework which was presented in the third lecture of this series.
 

In that lecture, we proposed a chronological framework for the correlation of the creative events and the Creation Days of Genesis 1-2. This framework consisted of seven creative-aspect periods, some of which overlapped in time, and all of which were marked by a beginning stage, a stage of essential fulfillment, and a completion stage. In each of the creative-aspect periods from the second to the seventh, the stage of essential fulfillment coincided with a specific literal day. These were the six Creation Days of Genesis 1.
 

In synthesizing the concept of distinct creations of new "kinds" of plants and animals with this chronological framework, as well as with geologic and paleontologic history, I would propose the following:
 

(1) That the Immediate Creation of various "kinds" of plants be placed at various intervals in the fourth creative-aspect period, beginning in the later Precambrian and continuing through the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era.

(2) That the Immediate Creation of the various "kinds" of aquatic animals be placed at intervals in the sixth creative-aspect period, beginning near or at the inception of the Cambrian Period of the Paleozoic Era and continuing through the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era.

(3) That the Immediate Creation of the various "kinds" of birds be placed at intervals in the sixth creative-aspect period, beginning in the Jurassic Period of the Mesozoic Era and continuing through the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era.

(4) That the Immediate Creation of the various "kinds" of terrestrial animals be placed at varying intervals during the seventh creative-aspect period, beginning in the Silurian Period of the Paleozoic Era and continuing through the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era.

(5) That the Ex Nihilo Creation of man's soul and the Immediate Creation of man's body be placed at the close of the seventh creative-aspect period, somewhere in the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era.
 

Thus, by combining the conceptual structure of our proposed chronological framework for the events of Genesis 1-2 with the conception of creation at varying intervals of all the various "kinds" of plants, animals, and man in the world, we arrive at a synthesis of the relevant Biblical and scientific data, which we have called the Unified Creationist View. However, this is not the completion of our task; it is only the beginning. Yet, as a beginning, it is our "Proposed Creationist Alternative to Evolutionism." May God grant that this work shall be carried forward, by His grace and for His glory!


Reference Notes:
 

1. Julian S. Huxley, Evolution in Action (New York: The New American Library, 1953), p 10.

2. Horatio Hackett Newman, Evolution, Genetics, and Eugenics (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1956), p 51.

3. Augustine, "De Actis cum Felice Manichaeo," in Patrologia Latina 42.525, caput X.

4. Herman Bavinck, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (Kampen: 1928), 2:458.

5. George Gaylord Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), pp 359-60.
 



 
 

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