Questions for Answers in Genesis #1

One of these days, I’ll get around to discussing Dr. John Walton’s take on Genesis 1 in greater detail. For now, I’ve got a few observations from the last several Answers in Genesis e-newsletters:

Here’s one that, even as a YEC, would cause me to do a double take (emphasis mine):

Molecules-to-man evolution is a belief concerning what supposedly happened in the past, but no one was there to see it happen. Thus, evolutionists are free to postulate stories about abiogenesis (non-living chemicals evolving into life), stellar evolution, or ape-men without direct observation. Such scenarios are merely belief statements. The ideas Darwin espoused were his beliefs concerning the past. They are not science in the sense of scientists being able to observe these things actually happening. However, we do not have to depend on mere guesses about the origin of the universe and life. We can thankfully refer back to the eye-witness account—the Bible.

I’m curious to know who that “eye-witness” is that saw God create the heavens and the earth. Anyone?

Here’s another that requires some creative eisegesis:

The Bible clearly teaches that when God created Adam and Eve, the world was perfect (i.e., “very good”). There was no death and bloodshed.

“Clearly teaches” that the world was “perfect”? I’d be curious to know how many hands would raise if one asked a group of people who thought “very good” can be equated with “perfect.” Moreover, what passage of Scripture teaches that there was no death or bloodshed prior to Adam’s fall? I couldn’t answer that as a YEC, and I can’t now. Consider this: What good is a threat of physical death (the result of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) without an example in nature?

From the same newsletter comes this statement, with which I can tentatively agree (with one exception):

But a Christian who believes in evolution over eons as told by evolutionists must also believe that God used death and bloodshed over millions of years as a way to bring man into existence. For them, the fossil record is not a sign of God’s judgment in the Flood, but of the cruel nature of the world they believe God created.

The one exception is AiG’s use of the word “cruel.” What makes animal death “cruel”? By what standard is AiG evaluating the “circle of life”? To me, AiG appears to be making a subjective judgment on the nature of animal death, as the idea has absolutely no Scriptural support. From my perspective, the concept of “no animal death before the Fall” is required to provide the YEC paradigm logical consistency; I can respect that. However, I think the idea creates more problems than it solves. Can one successfully argue that Adam never performed a Pink Panther (you know, “dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, de, de, de, de, dead-ant”) during his walks through the Garden? What to do about the high unemployment rate for trillions of bacteria that reside in our own digestive system to keep it healthy?

This leads me to a question that, as a YEC, I had never really considered before: Why would a single act of rebellion by mankind cause the vast transformation of his “perfect” world (and, by extension, the universe) into a cosmos of chaos and violence? Did God ever threaten Adam with that consequence? Or should we only limit God’s threat to what the Bible really says:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17, ESV; emphasis mine)

That’s it, folks. Only man’s longevity, caused by his inability to access the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22), was threatened. Nothing else. Every other consequence is purely imagined. Of course, with man’s access to the Garden denied, there were some other sub-consequences (Gen 3:17-19). I’ll discuss those in a future post.

6 Comments

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6 Responses to Questions for Answers in Genesis #1

  1. “I’m curious to know who that “eye-witness” is that saw God create the heavens and the earth. Anyone?”

    Excellent point! What is amazing though, is how many YECs would let that go right by, and would not, as you suggested, do a double-take even as a YEC.

  2. It’s ironic that, after I posted this article, I was able to discover the answer to my own question. After an exhaustive internet search, the eyewitness appears to be:

    Chuck Norris.

    See, God didn’t voluntarily create the universe in the beginning. Chuck Norris made him do it. 😉

  3. Middleknowledge

    Wow,

    Mike, you’ve been prolific over the last few days.

    Great stuff. The comments about “no death before the fall” look vaguely familiar… I wonder why.

    Keep it up. Keep spreading the word,

    Tim Martin
    http://www.beyondcreationscience.com

  4. Pete

    I think when AiG refers to an eye-witness account they mean that God Himself is the eye-witness and He told us exactly what He did.

  5. Pete,

    Good point. However, if that’s the case, then AiG chose to use very odd phrasing. When people speak of eye-witnesses, they are usually not referring to God, who sees all. God being an eye-witness would be “stating the obvious.”

  6. The common misconception that the earth and cosmos were pristine and perfect prior to the Fall ignores the data in Genesis. First, Adam is instructed to “subdue” the earth (1:28). A study of the Hebrew word, kabash will show that “subdue” assumes opposition, resistance. The idea is clear: outside of the Garden of Eden was a whole world that needed to be subdued, and that it would resist Adam’s efforts to do so. This notion is reinforced in chapter three when Adam and Even are banished from the garden where conditions were obviously quite different from those found inside Eden; Cherubims are posted to keep Adam and Eve from returning. Eden was a pristine paradise; Genesis clearly reveals that the rest of the cosmos was not.

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