Science and Genesis

Feb 27, 2017 by

Print Friendly

Discussion of the conflict between Genesis 1 and science centers on evolution (“Museum Enshrines One Creationist View,” Book Review, Jan. 16), but the far greater conflict between a literal reading of Genesis 1 and science is the creation of the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day, after light and plants. This conflict is only made worse by those who suggest a day is a thousand years or an “age.”

I looked all through the Creation Museum to find some explanation for the sun’s creation on day four but found nothing. I’ve heard the sun only appeared through a dense cloud cover on day four, but that isn’t the literal reading, and no person was standing on the Earth’s surface to witness this limited perspective anyway. If God is revealing this story, his perspective is hardly limited to ground level.

It wasn’t science that convinced me Genesis 1 isn’t to be taken literally but Bible study pointing out that Genesis 1 is written in poetic form and that Genesis 2 is a second story of creation that, if taken literally, conflicts with the first. Since the writer of Genesis saw fit to include both stories, he obviously wasn’t going for scientific and historical accuracy as we think of it.

Duane Beachey
Isom, Ky.


Comments Policy

Mennonite World Review invites readers’ comments on articles. To promote constructive dialogue, editors select the comments that appear, just as we do with letters to the editor in print. These decisions are final. Writers must sign their first and last names; anonymous comments are not accepted. Comments do not appear until approved and are posted during business hours. Comments may be reproduced in print, and may be edited if selected for print.

  • Ernie Carter

    There is really no conflict other than human assumptions about what is required. Telling a summery before telling the detailed story is not an uncommon method of communication in the ancient or modern world. Note that that in the second more detailed account of the 4th day God made two great lights a lesser light and a greater light and he “also” made the stars. It does
    not say he made the “sun and moon” on the 4th day. What if he just lit them up on the 4th day? This “also” statement allows that the stars could have been “made” previously, but were not yet visible from earth. What if he made all mass in the universe before the middle of the first day and then created light, from some fixed point halfway through the first day first day as a placeholder to number the “evening and morning” daily cycle? A point on the earth rotating from dark to light seems to be how God defines a day here. Exodus 20:11 says God planned to make his work of creation an example to man of working six days and resting one. It may be that it took four days for the sun to gravitational compress enough to begin the nuclear fusion reaction in its depths and for the light to get to its surface. If God wanted to demonstrate his glory by letting us look up and view a near infinite cosmos we could never reach on our own, he could have placed earth at the center and then expanded it (much faster than the speed of light). If the universe has a center rather than “no edge”, time would flow dramatically slower near the center due to the massive gravity well and the acceleration of everything away from us. Thus the earth could be young in an ancient universe without God having to do any alteration of laws he set in place.

  • Herman Cummings

    Don’t try to call the first chapter of Genesis “an account of Creation”, because it is not. Only the Fourth Day was of Creation Week. The seven visions shown to Moses were concerning the seven periods of time that Yehovah created and/or restored life on Earth after an extinction. It was one 24-hr day, taken from seven different weeks, which were the first week (creation/restoration) of the seven eras. The first was Creation Week, represented by the Fourth Day, followed by six Restoration Weeks. Five of the periods are from the ancient past. One is of our own period (second day), and one is of a future period (third day, feast of Tabernacles), when Yeshua will rule all the universe from the New Jerusalem. Starting with Passover (Wednesday), the 24-hr days follow the sequence of the seven Feasts of the Lord, given to Israel. The second chapter of Genesis begins the history of modern man, which began in 7200 BC.

    Herman Cummings
    ephraim7@aol.com

  • Wilbur H. Entz

    But Genesis One is meant to be read literally. As well as Genesis Two also. Genesis 1:1 – 2:3 tells us HOW God created and Genesis 2:4 – 2:25 tells us WHY God created.
    Andrew Snelling writes, “The subsequent pages of Genesis recount the early history of the nation of Israel, beginning with Abraham. Few conservative Christian scholars would deny the historicity of these later chapters in Genesis. Yet many regard the creation account as a form of ancient Hebrew poetry, even though the genre throughout the first eleven chapters of Genesis is no different to that used in the remainder of the book. The conflict occurs not with the language but with the supposed scientific facts that insist on a multi-billion-year-old earth and organic evolution. A choice has to be made between Scripture, which is authored by God, and modern science, authored by men”.

About Me