Monday, January 13, 2003

The Day Age View

The Day-Age View (c.f., The Genesis Debate, David G. Hagopian, ed., Cruxpress, 2001) holds that Genesis 1 should be taken literally, with the six "days" meaning six epochs (as the Hebrew yôm allows). It is a testable scientific alternative to naturalism and evolution with the immeasurable benefit that it is consistent with scripture. In The Genesis Debate, Hugh Ross and Gleason L. Archer layout 11 stages in the history of the universe, earth, and life that are consistent with both the Genesis account and the scientific data.
  1. Big-bang, creation of the universe (ten space-time dimensions, matter, energy, galaxies, stars, planets, etc.) by God’s Holy fiat.

  2. Singling out the earth for a series of creation miracles. At its beginning it is empty of life and unfit for life; the earth’s primordial atmosphere and the solar system’s interplanetary debris prevent the light from the sun, moon, and stars from reaching the surface. (End of day 1)

  3. Clearing of the interplanetary debris and partial clearing of the earth’s atmosphere so that light now penetrates to the surface of the ocean.

  4. Formation of tropospheric water vapor and a stable water cycle. (End of day 2)

  5. Formation of the continental land masses and the ocean basins.

  6. Creation of plants on the land masses. (End of day 3)

  7. Transformation of the atmosphere for perpetually translucent to occasionally transparent. For the first time, the sun moon and stars are visible on the surface as distinct objects. (End of day 4)

  8. Creation of swarms of small sea animals.

  9. Creation of sea mammals and birds. (End of day 5)

  10. Creation of three kinds of land mammals (1) short-legged land mammals (2) long legged mammals that are easy to tame and (3) long legged mammals that are difficult to tame (wild).

  11. Creation of man. (End of day 6)

After that, God rested. Nothing more was created.

The day-age view holds that God spent about 15 billion years to get the universe ready for earth. Then about 4 billion years to get the earth ready for human life. On earth, God, by holy fiat, introduced simple life at the earliest possible moment, and human life at the last possible moment, after the earth had been carefully prepared to make it hospitable.

Why didn’t God do this is six 24-hour days? Why didn’t He do it in six nanoseconds? Why not instantaneously? My answer is: I don’t know. For some reason it pleased God do it this way and to leave behind evidence of His handiwork.

In preparing earth for human habitation, God created many species and many different times (until man was created). These plants and animals were (a) suitable for whatever the environment was present at the time God created them and (b) were used to alter the environment and prepare resources in anticipation of the creation of man.

Naturalists say that species evolved one into another by mutation and natural selection. The day-age view states that God created the species and, as they became extinct, he created new ones, and in some cases reintroduced old species (perhaps with slight variations). This is a testable difference. Like evolution, the day-age view can be tested against the fossil record.

Quite unlike the creation myths of other religions, the bible’s creation account, viewed through the lens of the day-age view, provides testable explanations for the construction of the universe, the primordial conditions on earth, and the fossil record.

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