Comments on Creation vs. Evolution Debate

Feb 6, 2014.

The debate put up a Christian who adopts a ‘young earth’ interpretation of the Bible (Ken Ham), vs a TV “Science Guy” personality (Ken Nye).  Not all Christians take this “young earth is 6,000 years old” position, in fact, many do not – including me.  Its is very possible that the earth was “created” over a period of “ages”, in contrast to a period of several literal days.  Many great Christian theologians, including Augustine, took this position.  And there is a significant amount of scientific evidence to support the notion that the earth was “created” over a long period of time (the “old earth” position).

If it is the case that the word interpreted as “days” in Genesis by some can just as well mean “ages”, then the Genesis story lines up pretty well with the scientific geological record (see our article on this web site concerning the “days vs. ages” controversy)

Not all of the Bible is written to be taken as a literal historical record.  Some of it is, but other parts are psalms, sonnets, songs, etc.  It is not required that we interpret Genesis as literal 24 hour “days”.  The text allows for reading it as creation over a period of six “ages”, during which God work His creative powers.

True science cannot be in conflict with the Bible.  God has revealed Himself in nature, as well as through His written Word.  When we look at nature, the human body, the beauty of the sun, moon and stars, the magnificence of the DNA programming in every living thing, how can we not see the hand of a grand Designer?  Science reveals His grand design, and His word declares “The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork”. We see His word in nature, in the stars; and in His written Word.

Natural revelation and Scriptural revelation.  Both point to the one true Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Resources for further reading:

Reasons to Believe:

4 thoughts on “Comments on Creation vs. Evolution Debate

  1. The Hebrew word for “day”, that we see in creation story in Genesis, is yo-wm (think Yom Kippur–Day of Attonement), and it appears 239 times in the Bible. When comparing these multiple occurrences, it is clear that scripture is referencing a 24-hour period, not an “age” of time, as we see, for example in Job 8:8. The Hebrew for that reference of “age” is le-dor, which occurs 26 times and clearly means a span of time.

    • Hi Suzanne. Thanks for your comment. I looked at the arguments on both sides, and I think it makes more sense – based on the evidence (both God’s written word and His revelation in nature, which I believe necessarily reinforce each other) – to read Genesis as talking about the cosmos being created in six “ages” of time, rather than in six literal 24 hour days. Based on my research, which I allude to in the article, the word for ‘day’ in Genesis can be interpreted to mean an “age”. And some great Christian thinkers took it to mean an ‘age of time’ – Augustine for one. Reading these as 24 hour literal days leaves you with a contradiction – how do you reconcile this reading, with God’s revelation in nature, which the Bible speaks about as also an important instrument used by Him to proclaim His glory (see Psalms, Romans, etc.). In sum, I can read it either way, but my view is that it makes more sense to read these ‘days’ as ‘ages’ (which interpretation allows for), as opposed to 24 hr days. In my view, Moses was telling his people a story, a story about how God created, with the intention of them getting the main truths behind this amazing story.

  2. Thanks for your reply. I understand your reasoning (and Augustine’s) and certainly understand that the Bible is not to be taken literally in all cases. But, it makes me uncomfortable, shall I say, to come to a conclusion that ignores the original meaning of a word when the writer could have easily said exactly what he meant, if in fact he meant something else.

    Especially on the first day, when we are told that God separated the light from the darkness. “The light He called Day and the dark He called Night. “So, the evening and the morning were the first day.” Even without the original text, there’s no way for me to interpret that as anything other than a 24-hour period. The definition of a “day” has been established right there. Purposely so, it would seem. To then define the other days of Creation as something outside of that definition might “make more sense” to us based on what we think we know up to this point in time (science), but I think it’s problematic to do so. Where does one stop then? What about the other 200-odd references of the 24-hour day? Am I free to interpret those differently as well?

    Thank you for the discussion.

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