The big bang theory describes the origin of the Universe starting some 13.8 billion years ago with a ultra-hot plasma cooling to form hydrogen and helium gas in an expanding universe. From this, a billion years later, stars and then galaxies allegedly started to form. Some of the stars exploded building the heavier elements and dust and then about 5 billion years ago our sun allegedly condensed from a solar nebula of the gas and dust from recycled stars. Then about 4.6 billion years ago and the rest of the planets in the solar system formed from the remnants of that cloud. Eventually the Earth cooled, oceans formed, life started by some unknown mechanism, crawled out of the ocean onto the land, and over the past 3.8 billion years life evolved from single-celled organisms to the complex life today. Man allegedly evolved from some ape-like ancestors over the past 2 million years. But what does the straight-forward account of the Creation in Genesis chapter 1 describe?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” ( ). “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,…” (Exodus 20:11). “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalms 33:6) “For he spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalms 33:9) “I have declared the former things from the beginning, and they went forth out of my mouth, I showed them, and I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.” (Isaiah 48:3) “Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spanned the heavens: when I call unto them they stand up together.” (Isaiah 48:13 KJV)
All Bible references are from the(KJV). A straightforward reading of Scripture describes God creating everything at the beginning of time, about 6000 years ago, in six ordinary 24-hour days. He spoke it into existence from nothing and He did it suddenly. He set things within fixed boundaries and domains. God created with deliberate design, not by any random wasteful process. God created, nothing evolved. He laid the foundations of the Earth, for the purpose of making a home for mankind and all creation. (Isaiah 45:18)
We shall see below the sequence that God created was totally different to the alleged sequence in the big-bang-evolution-of-the-universe hypothesis. For starters God started by creating the Earth, which is the focus of His attention, has always been. That was before the sun (created on Day 4). The big bang scenario has the sun before the Earth.
Let us first look at the first seven days. Here I describe a YEC model of the creation consistent with the historical narrative of the Genesis 1 text and some theoretical ideas and speculations I have developed. The general scenario all creationist agree on. Details which we don’t get from the Bible creationist researchers variously speculate about. YEC means Young Earth Creation as opposed to OEC meaning Old Earth Creation. The latter will be discussed in a subsequent post.
DAY 1 Energizing of the physical elements of the Cosmos (Genesis 1:1-5)
God started by creating light and all electromagnetic energy. The Earth was initially created of formless matter. Yet He made it of liquid water. “… the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1.2) After matter was ‘energized’ by God’s creative power it has a gravitational field. The Earth then would have formed itself into a rotating sphere under its own the gravitational forces. A sphere is the natural physical configuration which would be reached bringing all forces into a balance. This is a rotating ball of water.
And it had a magnetic field, from an inner liquid metallic core with circulating currents. This is part of the foundations of the Earth. “When He prepared the heavens I was there; when he set a compass [Hebrew meaning: circle] upon the face of the depth:” (Proverbs 8:27) Certainly the Bible does not describe a flat earth as some modern myths seem to suggest. The Earth had a much greater magnetic field at Creation than now. Over the past few hundred years, its field strength has been measured to be freely decaying indicating it must not be older than about 6 thousand years. In the past it was much stronger and provided shielding for the Earth from cosmic radiation.
Note: I have drawn the Earth rotating with a titled axis with respect to a distant light source. God said “…there was light” (Genesis 1:3) and marked off the days with “evening and morning,” including the first 3 days even though the sun is not created until Day 4. The simplest conclusion is that God provided a light source for this period, a source that is replaced later by the sun. Currently the Earth’s rotation axis is tilted at 23.4° to the orbital plane of the planets around the sun. It has been suggested by some that the Earth was less tilted at Creation and changed at the global Flood, which God used to judge the world in Noah’s day. As a result the seasons were much milder in the pre-Flood world. However, we can only speculate. Thus I have drawn the Earth with the same tilt as today. It does slowly change due the gravitational influences of the sun and other planets but with a timescale of about 40,000 years. This may have contributed a few degrees since Creation.
DAY 2 – Formation of the Atmosphere/Hydrosphere (Genesis 1:6-8)
On Day 2 we read of the formation of the atmosphere where birds will live, and the hydrosphere, the ocean, where marine creatures will live. This is not readily understood by many who read the Bible, but it is crucial to our understanding and even possibly to future events.
The Lord took this rotating ball of water and placed an expanse (firmament) in the middle of it. “...Let there be a firmament [Hebrew: expanse] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Genesis 1:6) so that the “…fowl that may fly above the earth in the open “(Genesis 1:20).
Therefore the expanse (firmament) must have been in the part of the sky, or the atmosphere around the planet. That is, God placed an atmospheric shell in the midst of the ball of water so that there was an inner ball of water, the “waters below,” and an outer shell of water, the “waters above” rotating in space. God in His foreknowledge had a purpose for this. The “earth [was made] standing out of the water and … [made of] … water: Whereby the world that then was being overflowed with water, perished.” (2 Peter 3:5,6) The last part of that verse means that this was the mechanism by which God used to judge the world with the global Flood in Noah’s day.
On Day 4, as well read below, God placed the heavenly lights in this expanse, the sun and the moon, at least. (Genesis 1:14-17 )
DAY 3 – Formation of the Lithosphere/Biosphere (Genesis 1: 9-13)
To accomplish the next phase, God formed the lithosphere or the land on and in which all life including mankind will live, and the biosphere or the environment which supports life on the planet. God gathered together the waters into one place, which He called “Seas.” Therefore He created only one ocean and one mega-continent. We mostly see water in the oceans, but we are also told that the rocky crust contains a lot of water.1 Some estimate that there is as much as 5 times the amount of water in the rocks as is in the oceans today.
We don’t know what that mega-continent looked like then as the Earth surface has since been totally reworked by the global flood waters. However, you might be familiar with the idea of joining together all the continents like a giant jigsaw puzzle and they seem to fit together. It has been suggested that during the Flood rapid processes caused the continents to drift apart over the space of about only one year, arriving at their current locations.
He created the grass, the trees and vegetation before He made the sun. Note, the text says that the plants were made “after his kind“. This defines specified created types, called kinds. It does not include the notion of one kind evolving into another. God created a complete genetic code in each “kind” from which variations developed, not by evolution of new genetic information as is required by Darwinian evolution, by mutation and natural selection, which just does not happen.
Variation happens but within kinds, and these are not necessarily modern-day species. Initially God made the adult (mature) plants with “seed in itself.” He made the trees, and in fact, “every plant of the field before it was in the earth“ (Genesis 2:5). Those trees may have been quite tall for example–they would look mature. That solves the ‘chicken and egg’ problem–the chicken came first, created by God with the seed, or eggs, in itself.
The Creation was mature and as the Scripture says “it was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12 etc) meaning it was perfect and “wound up” in a sense. Now according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, unless there was a mechanism or machinery to regenerate it, the whole Creation could only wind down and decay. The Second Law can be roughly quoted as, “left to themselves, things go from good to bad to worse!” Scripture tells us that “...they all shall …[grow] old as doth a garment…” (Hebrews 1:10-12), meaning decay is a natural process started from Creation. But to maintain His Creation, God would have to have regenerated all those elements with His sustaining power. Later, after Adam’s sin and God cursed the Creation, with “thorns and thistles” and bad stuff and thus carnivory etc started. For this to happen God withdrew some of His sustaining power, not all, but enough, that we see the effects of the 2nd Law all around us.
DAY 4 – Formation of the Atmosphere/Cosmos (Genesis 1: 14-19)
All astronomical bodies, the sun, the moon, all planets and all the stars were created on this day. They too have a purpose, “… let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:…” (Genesis 1:14) The “signs“, for example, might be navigational signs like the North star, “seasons” for man to grow crops by, which could include the cycle of the monthly tides due to the orbit of the moon around Earth, which is important to life on the planet. The “days” indicate the day/night cycle due to the rotation of the planet and “years” the annual cycle of the earth revolving around the sun.
But nowhere here is the 7-day week determined by astronomy, and all cultures live by that. It comes from the literal seven 24-hour days God used to create over 6 days and then rested on the 7th. It is highlighted by each day where He says in Genesis 1, “evening and morning” after the day in question.
The question arises, where did God limit the “waters above” to? Firstly, the most generally believed idea is that they are simply the atmospheric rain clouds. That is certainly a possibility but I developed the idea that they were limited to our solar system and are mostly found today in the outer solar system and Kuiper Belt objects.2 Those bodies are largely made of a lot of water ice and other volatile molecules, like methane and ammonia hydrate etc. The “waters above” were then instrumental in the global Flood, or, are an element of the flood waters and will be used in the judgement on the Day of the Lord to come. This really gives a different significance to the separation of the waters on Day 2 of Creation Week.
Then if this is true, then the sun, the moon and planetary bodies of the solar system were created inside the “waters above” boundary, which might have been an extended Kuiper Belt, or halo around the solar system. But the stars were created outside this, and from the earth observer perspective would have been seen “in” the firmament. Creationist D. Russ Humphreys has a different model where he posits that the “waters above” are at the boundary of a finite bounded universe. That is, they form a boundary outside all the galaxies in the universe.3,4
This then raises the question: How do we see starlight if the stars and galaxies were created on Day 4 only about 6000 years ago? This is often referred to as a light-travel-time problem. The standard big bang also has a light-travel-time problem called the ‘horizon problem’ and to solve it some suggest the speed of light was enormously faster in the past, just after the putative big bang. There are several proposed solutions for creationists, and I have suggested one. See How do we see distant galaxies in a 6000 year old universe? and my book Starlight Time and the New Physics.5 Russ Humphreys also has a new model.4 Both his model and mine employ relativistic time dilation that occurs on Earth during Creation week, such that billions of years of time pass in the cosmos but only normal 24-hour days pass on the Earth. This gives light plenty of time to reach Earth even on one day when God made all the galaxies in the Universe.
DAY 5 – Formation of Life in the Atmosphere/Hydrosphere (Genesis 1:20-23)
On this day God created birds that fly, which included extinct birds like archaeopteryx, the flying reptiles like pterodactyls, and the fish in the sea, as well as the marine mammals including the great whales, and the marine reptiles such as the plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs etc. All were created “after their kinds“. Of course many have since gone extinct. That has been a result of the Curse and the global Flood and changes to the world that resulted.
The Day 5 narrative is totally different to the evolutionary story. They tell us that dinosaurs evolved into birds, yet God created birds a day before He created the land dwelling air-breathing dinosaurs. He made coelacanth fish for example. We were once told they died out 300 million years ago, but they are still found alive today and even sold in fish markets in Indonesia. No evolution had occurred.
Marine and flying reptiles, which are not really dinosaurs (which are literally from their name “terrible lizards”), were created before their land counterparts. This indicates that they are quite distinct animals. Evolutionists say that whales evolved from a land animal, but here again the sequence is wrong.
DAY 6 – Formation of Life in the Lithosphere/Biosphere (Genesis 1:24-31)
On this day God created man, Adam, His crowning creation “…of the dust of the ground,” (Genesis 2:7) not by some long evolutionary process. He also created the land animals “… out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field.” (Genesis 2:19) They were full-grown, mature, in definite types, “after his kind“.
God made both man and animals as herbivores (Genesis 1:29,30). Only after the Curse/the Fall did carnivory amongst animals begin and possibly the ungodly people ate meat after the Curse but before the Flood. We know that only after the Flood did God tell humans that they were permitted to eat meat (Genesis 9:3).
Carnivory means physical death. All animals were vegetarians in the initial creation. Initially Adam did not need fear that T-rex might have him for lunch because only after he sinned and God cursed the Universe did animals and humans die. These animals are the type the Bible describes as ‘living creature’ (nephesh chayyāh). When it refers to man, it is often translated ‘living soul’. Before Adam’s sin there was no death of these creatures and man. This fact makes the biblical account inconsistent with so-called biological evolution, a record of millions of years of death and disease, as a process of creation. Only after the restoration of all things can the Universe be delivered from the Curse.
These animals, created on Day 6, would have included mammoths, giraffes, elephants, the land dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Diplodocus etc. Man and these animals were made fully intelligent, fully prepared with all the necessary genetic information, to adapt to any and all changing environments, not evolving from a long sequence of intermediate forms over millions of years.
DAY 7 – God Rested from His completed work of Creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)
Now the “days” were and still are simply measured by one rotation of the Earth on its axis however the sun was not created until the fourth day. These were 24-hour periods. The word for “day” here is the Hebrew word “yom“. It can mean either a day (in the ordinary 24-hour sense), the daylight portion (or about 12 hours) of an ordinary 24-hour day, or, occasionally, an indefinite period of time (e.g. “In the day of the Lord”) and when used in this way it is always indicated by context. Without exception, in the Hebrew Old Testament the word yom is never used to refer to a definite long period of time with specific beginning and end points. The scripture uses the expression “evening and morning” and uses numbers to define ordinary days.
If we believe the Bible to be consistent then we must believe this because God told the Jews,
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work … For in six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:9-11)
And if each of these original days were a million years as some theistic evolutionists suggest, then it means the Jews had to work and do hard labour for six million years in order to enjoy their “seventh day” rest of another million years. But now, it is said, that creation took six billion years–so a billion year Sabbath? That makes no sense at all.
Any attempts to compromise the Scripture with day-age theories (described above), or the gap theory or progressive creationism are artificial and distort and twist the plain narrative reading of the Genesis text. Though an atheist, Dr James Barr, Regius professor of Hebrew, at Oxford University, stated;
“So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience, (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story…”
(Prof. James Barr in a personal letter dated 23 April 1984 to David C.C. Watson.)
The historical narrative in Genesis needs no re-interpretation in light of so-called modern science like the alleged big bang origin of the Universe, the long geological ages for the Earth and solar system and the millions and billions of years of Darwinian evolution. God said what He did, and we can believe it. I do. Scientifically there is absolutely no reason to doubt what God has said.
- Nur, A. and Walder, J., Time-dependent hydraulics of the earth’s crust, Chapter 7 in The Role of Fluids in Crustal Processes, Geophysics Study Committee, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, 1990.
- John G. Hartnett, The ‘Waters Above’, J. of Creation, 20(1):93–98, 2006
- D.R. Humphreys, Creationist cosmologies explain the anomalous acceleration of Pioneer spacecraft, J. of Creation, 21(2):61–70, 2007
- Russ Humphreys, New time dilation helps creation cosmology
- John G. Hartnett, Starlight Time and the New Physics, 2nd Edition, Creation Book Publishers, 2010.