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A Theory for Creationists


A suggestion for the Creation-Evolution Debate

Glenn R. Morton

This post Copyright 1996 G.R. Morton It can be freely distributed anywhere if unaltered and no charge is made.

Preface: Below I present a view which is the only way I know to make Genesis be historical and at the same time accept modern science. The question often is asked could this be true? It could be, but the important question is 'Is it true?' Honesty demands the acknowledgement that the odds of this scenario being true are low, but long-shots occasionally win. That being said, I present the following as a possibility only. One can't advocate it as historical truth without further verification.

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Related Pages,

Days of Proclamation

Why I beleive Genesis is Historically Accurate

Plain Reading of Genesis 1

The Bible's Way of Telling Us the Earth is Old

Evidence for One World Language

How God used Evolution

The Metaphysical Casino--Why I believe in Design

Early Church Fathers were not YECs--John Tobin's Essay

Genesis 1:11, Why the Bible teaches evolution


The debate over the veracity of the Bible, especially the first part of Genesis has raged for over a century. During this century, many scientifically trained people have left the faith they were raise with because they could not see how to reconcile Genesis and Science. Many have observed that if the Bible is not historically true, then there is no reason to believe the claims that the Bible makes for our lives. I agree with this point. Unfortunately, most of those people feel that there is no way that the Bible can be compatible with modern scientific observation. _Foundation, Fall and Flood_ presents a new harmonization which does not violate any of the scientific observations but allows the events in Genesis to be actual, not allegorical, events.

Genesis 1 Issues

Genesis 1 occurs at the beginning of the universe. These are 6 proclamations God made in laying out the laws of the universe. They are proclamations only -- not actualizations. Nothing was completed on these days. Thus these can be events immediately at the beginning of the universe or just prior to the existence of the universe. The days are viewed as consecutive proclamations or "periods" of short duration. The proclamations were in temporal order; the fulfillment of those proclamations were NOT in the same temporal order. Diagrammatically it looks like,

time---->



proclamation 2 (expanse)---fulfillment


proclamation 3 (dry ground, plants)---fulfillment=>


proclamation 4 (sun,moon)--fulfillment


proclamation 5 (sea creatures)-fulfillment=>


proclamation 6 (land creatures,man)--fulfillment=>---fulfillment

Take Genesis 1:3,4, And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness."(NIV)

Moses reported what God said at the beginning of the universe "Let there be light" The rest of this passage is Moses' commentary. Moses reports that sometime after God said this, light existed. This does not say that the light necessarily existed at the moment God said it. There could have been a time lag. Later God separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:6 "And God said, 'Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.' Genesis 7 "So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it and it was so." (NIV)

Verse 6 is the proclamation. Verses 7 and 8 are the commentary by Moses that yes indeed this was accomplished. BUT THERE IS NO REPORTED TIME FRAME IN WHICH THE ACTION WAS COMPLETED!

This last point is very important. There is no explicit time relationship in any of the Genesis 1 verses between the proclamation by God and the completion of the event. Today we, like Moses, can say that it was accomplished. All the proclamations are completed. But this last statement does not tell you the time frame in which those were finished. While the proclamations were in temporal order, the fulfillments were not!

Several problems are avoided by this interpretation. There is no problem raised by the Genesis account in relation to the time of creation of the sun/plants or sun and moon/day- night, or insects after the plants or anything at all. God merely proclaimed the future existence of these animals and plants in the order He chose fit. He did not create them necessarily in the order He proclaimed them. The Bible does not require a belief in 24-hour accomplishment of the events of Genesis 1. By this technique a whole host of nasty problems are avoided in the relation between science and the Bible.

Some might object that God only works instantaneously. When He speaks it is done. There are lots of prophecies in the Bible which took time. God's promise to Abraham to have a son; God's promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him. Jesus' prophecy concerning the fate of Jerusalem took some time to become fulfilled. So the Days of Proclamation I am advocating here has other precedents in the Scripture.

Evolution

Does the Bible teach that evolution did not occur? No, it does not teach this in spite of what many Christian apologetical books say! A look at Genesis 1:11 shows that God did not create the plants directly.

Genesis 1:11 "And God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation....'"

The Bible states very clearly that God used a secondary cause to produce the vegetation. God used the land. I firmly believe that this implies God used evolution to create the plants. They were not created as young-earth creationists often teach because the best translations of the Hebrew state differently than they teach. God commanded the land to produce the vegetation; He didn't do it directly!

To continue with verse 1:11, "The God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so." The second very important point here is that contrary to almost all Christian exegesis this verse does not teach that the plants were commanded to reproduce according to their various kinds. The land was commanded to "produce plants and trees...that bear fruit...according to their various kinds." This is merely saying that there were supposed to be various kinds of fruit which is quite different from saying that fruit could only reproduce fruit after their kind. There is a big difference between the two. Young earth christians have clearly perverted what Genesis says here. If I send you to the grocery store to "get fruits after their kind", do you think I have told you something about the reproductive potential of fruit trees? Of course I haven't. I have told you to get various kinds of fruits from the store. This is the same thing that Genesis 1:11 is saying. God created various kinds of fruits.

Genesis 1:21 says "God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems,according to their kinds." Look at the object of this sentence and the modifying phrase, "Creatures... according to their kind." God created creatures according to their kind. They were not commanded to reproduce according to their kind. Once again, a very different situation. Why Christians misread this I really don't know.

Genesis 1:24 "And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kind." Once again nothing about reproduction was mentioned. The land produced creatures according to their kind. This is not the same as saying animals reproduced according to their kind. "Animals" is not the subject of the sentence, "land" is. Thus this verse says nothing about reproduction. Assuming that the translators have remained somewhat faithful to the Hebrew, the subject/verb relationships here say nothing about the reproductive abilities of animals.

The three verses which are most often used to say that the Bible rules out evolution, do not even say what young-earth creationists say they do. Their entire view is based upon a gross misunderstanding of what the Bible actually says!

Thus the Bible is perfectly in accord with the concept of evolution, i.e. that animals do not have to reproduce according to their kind. They are free to reproduce anyway they want. They were not free for the land to produce them anyway they wanted. God placed a limit on the production of plants and animals. They were to be produced according to their kinds. Some translations say various kinds.

For those who might need more convincing, consider Genesis 1:21 which says,

"And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, AFTER THEIR KIND, and every winged fowl after his kind:..."

Then compare that to Genesis 6:19-20 which says

"And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls AFTER THEIR KIND, and of cattle AFTER THEIR KIND, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive."

What is fascinating is that anti-evolutionary Christians say that the phrase "after their kind" in Genesis 1 implies something about the reproductive capacities of animals and yet no one says that the same phrase used in a parallel fashion in Genesis 6 means something about the reproductive capacities. Thus internal Biblical evidence says that the phrase "after their kind" does not mean what the creationists say it does! The creationists have engaged in a tremendous misinterpretation of the Bible.

What is the relationship between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2?

Normally, young-earth creationists view the events of Genesis 2 as an expansion of Day 6 of Chapter 1. I do not believe this is true. Genesis 2 is a separate event which occurred billions of years after Genesis 1. By viewing Genesis 1 as a separate event from Genesis 2, there is no problem with trying to account for why are there two creation accounts (which is often a criticism of the Biblical accounts) There are not two creation accounts, there are two descriptions of two separate events. Adam does not fit into the sixth day of Genesis 1. In Genesis 1 that was the proclamation of man's existence; Genesis 2 was the actualization of man's existence billions of years after Genesis 1.

Genesis 2 Issues

As I mentioned above, Genesis 2 is a totally separate event which occurred billions of years after Genesis 1. This voids the higher criticism objection to the scriptural validity that these two accounts of creation are the two accounts of two different peoples who joined to become the Hebrews. The JEDP theory is not satisfactory because it assumes the existence of documents and traditions for which there is absolutely no evidence. Assuming the existence of evidence is not the way to prove the view.

The lay of the land

Genesis 2:5 "Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth; and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground." NAS

This verse is often said to support the idea that there was no rain on earth before the flood. This can not be correct scientifically, unless the laws of physics were different in the past (which is an impossibility). As long as the earth is a sphere, the poles will receive less heat from the sun than the equator. Because of this, air currents will be initiated which attempt to equalize the distribution of heat. This will mean cold and warm fronts and the rainfall associated with them would have occurred. If one wants to believe that there was no rain anywhere on earth before the flood, then it is incumbent upon them to postulate a viable hypothesis which would explain the lack of rain. And the vapor canopy will not solve this problem. The solution to this verse lies with the translation.

I am going to suggest that the Hebrew word "eretz" which is often translated "earth" might more sensibly be translated "land" through much of Genesis 2-11. If you do that, then the above verse says there was no rain upon the land and that there was no shrub of the field in the land. The lack of rain and plants of the field could imply a desert. The modifier to plants, 'of the field', could imply a lack of agricultural plants because of the statement that there was no man to cultivate the ground --a condition which was removed a few verses later. It is amazing the difference the choice of a translated word can make. To extend the lack of rainfall to the entire earth until the advent of the flood, as young earth creationists do, seems to be an excessive extrapolation. "Eretz" can equally be translated "land" or "country" and these choices for the translation are entirely ignored by them.

There are two areas of the hydrology of Genesis 2 which are utterly bizarre when compared to present realities. The first is the mists which used to rise up out of the ground. This implies artesian type of activity which means that the "land" (mistranslated earth) was in a topographically low area where rainfall on the highlands seeped into the ground and emerged from the ground at a lower elevation. (in the following diagram the ... are the equivalent of spaces)

rain -------- \


.....................\water oozing out of continental slope


......................\


.......................\


........................\


..........................----------------------

The second bizarre hydrological situation is the splitting of the 4 rivers out of Eden. Rivers don't split into 4 except at two places - a delta, and where a river flows from a steep gradient out onto a broad plain at a lower level. At the place where the gradient lessens, the flow is more easily split into numerous channels. Once again this implies a topographically low area.

stream splits at change of slope

*


..*


....*


......*


........*


..........*


............* start of slope change


................*


......................*


...............................*


................................................*


...............................................................*


I will make a suggestion that the place Genesis 2 is talking about is the Mediterranean basin when it was emptied 5.5 million years ago. There are several reasons for this. 1. When it was dry, there would be very little rainfall on that land. In all directions it would be in the rain shadow of 15,000 foot tall mountains. 2. Subterranean water in the rocks of the surrounding continental sediments (Africa, Asia, and Europe) would ooze out of the ground along what we now call the continental slope of the Mediterranean basin, thus explaining the "mist" or "streams" spoken of in Genesis 2:6.

When the Mediterranean was dry, the Nile River flowing out onto the basin would split into numerous channels much as the modern rivers in the Kalahari desert do today. 3. All the minerals described in Genesis 2:10-17 are found in the region I am describing. 4. This makes an excellent place for the Flood to have occurred because it fits the Biblical description of the Flood covering high mountains and provides a mechanism for the massive rainfall described. As that basin filled with water, the air would be forced upward. Air, containing any moisture which rises, cools and condenses to form rain fall.

Was the Mediterranean dry?

This is the currently accepted view of the geologic history of the Mediterranean region. (Hsu, 1972, 1974; Hsu et al, 1977; Hsu, 1983). The evaporation of the Mediterranean region is such that if you built a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar today, the entire sea would evaporate in 1000-4000 years. The evidence Hsu cites are many. Caves are eroded into the limestones which form Malta down to a depth of 2000 meters and deep karsts are found in Yugoslavia (Hsu, et al, 1974, p. 140; Hsu, 1983, p. 175). Rivers cut canyons as deep as 3,000 meters below sea level along the Rhone in southern France, the Nile, in Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, and Libya.(Hsu, et al, 1973, p. 243) Desert deposited alluvial fans were drilled into at the base of the Miocene (Hsu, 1983, p. 149). Desiccation cracks filled with salt were found (Hsu et al, 1974, p. 139) The fauna below the desert deposits were deep ocean sediments. These were overlain by salt, anhydrite, limestone and other desert-like deposits with animals indicating a hypersaline environment. (Hsu et al, 1977, p. 401). These in turn are overlain once again by animals which could only have lived in excess of 1000 m of water (Hsu et al, 1973, p. 240; see also Robertson et al, 1995, p. 233). The European fauna from the time of the Mediterranean desiccation changed from a forest to a savannah environment as the climate dried up (Hsu, et al, 1974, p. 141). Hippopotami walked down the Nile and up onto Cyprus during this time. (Hsu, 1983, p. 177). Since Hippopotami do not live in the ocean, they could not have swum to Cyprus. Chicken-wire dolomite is a type of rock which is only deposited if the temperature is above 35 deg C. Chicken-wire dolomite is found on the bottom of the Mediterranean where today the water temperature is near freezing. (Hsu, 1983, p. 14) Finally, stromatolites, a type of algal precipitated rock is found on the bottom of the Mediterranean, several thousand meters below the present sea level. Stromatolites are only deposited when the water is less than 10 meters deep! (Hsu, 1983, p. 14-17)

Thus there is lots of geologic evidence that the Mediterranean was once a desert. The most fascinating thing about this is that very shortly after this time the earliest hominids are found in the fossil record!

The origin of man.

This is the tricky place. Everybody says that it is impossible to account for the origin of Adam and Eve by means of evolution and yet still have the Biblical account be true (Wells, 1961, p. 777; Whitcomb and Morris, 1961, p. 473; Davidheiser, 1969, p. 168-169). An example is Lane (1994, p. 20) who says: "Special creationists in contrast, point out that the general theory of evolution is incompatible with Biblical Christianity, a view shared by many atheistic and agnostic evolutionists."

This is false. Christians have not put enough effort into solving this problem. Here is what the evidence says.

The apes have 48 chromosomes; we have 46 (Johanson and Edey, p. 138, 275). If we arose from the apes,(as I believe we did) there must have been a chromosomal fusion (there are also other differences like inversions of certain segments etc). The data clearly shows that it man's chromosome 2 is the combination of two ape chromosomes. The banding in chromosome 2 are identical to the banding in 2 ape chromosomes. ( Yunis and Prakash, 1982, p. 1526)

The biggest piece of evidence in my mind connecting us to the apes is a) the extreme similarity in DNA (99%) and b) the existence of pseudogene insertions at the same locations in man, chimp, gorilla and orangutan. (Max, 1986, p.42; 1990, p. 48) A pseudogene is a BROKEN gene which is found in a part of the genome far removed from its normal position. The pseudogene has lost the control information which informs the cellular machinery how to make the protein and thus it does nothing. Since the pseudogene does not perform any useful function it can not be claimed to be the result of design. Designers do not design broken parts! Thus the pseudogene is an error in DNA copying. As noted above, this same error has been found at the same location in the four species listed above. What are the odds of this happening by chance? About the same as this: Let 4 different people go to four different towns with the instructions to type a copy of Gibbon's _Decline and Fall_. Sometime during the typing each of the 4 are to stop, randomly select one paragraph from somewhere else in the book and insert the paragraph where they stopped. They then continue typing the rest of the book. Do you believe that the 4 people would not only choose the same paragraph, but also choose the same spot to insert it into their copy? If you believe this, then you can believe that the pseudogene was produced by pure chance. To believe this is pure lunacy. Thus the pseudogene requires that the humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutan be related. Any Biblical interpretation which expects to survive the scrutiny of modern science needs to handle this piece of data. Currently no conservative view of the Bible addresses this problem.

Biblically, it states that God made man from the dust of the ground, that He breathed the breath of life into the man, and that the man was alone--no Eve. This would appear to contradict evolution. God is also described as being actively and supernaturally involved in the creation of man. And that man's spirit is somehow different from that of the animals. Is there a way to put all this together? I believe there is.

Assume that God was ready to create a being who was "made in His image". During this time, there was among the physical ancestor of man a very rare mutation -- a chromosomal fusion. But this error was almost always fatal. God took one of these creatures, a still born, fixed him, and blew his breath into him. Why do I have God make Adam in this fashion? Because of what God said when Adam sinned. If you remember the verse Genesis 3:19 God said, "for dust you are and to dust you shall return." A dead body is "dust." Adam came from dust and to dust he now will return.

Those who will object that a dead body is not "dust" should consider this. If you say that 'dust" must be DUST, then why does God call the living Adam 'dust'? Genesis 3:19 states, "...for dust you are and to dust you will return." (NIV) When that was spoken Adam was a living being and so the dust does not mean dirt! And one can not ignore the fact that when Adam died he would become a corpse(i.e. a return to dust).

Thus Adam was created from the product of a chromosomal fusion. This allows us to explain the existence of the pseudogene; something no other Biblical interpretation which believes in a specially created Adam can explain. But Adam was alone. He had not evolved in the normal fashion and so there was no population of creatures like him with whom he could mate. He also could not talk. Adam's physical parent could not talk and so he could not learn from them. God taught Adam to speak. That is what God was doing when he brought all the animals to Adam.

In this scenario, it is not necessary for Adam to have been created as a full grown individual. The language lessons may have lasted years before Adam finally realized that he needed a mate. At that time, God created Eve in the fashion described.

This is the only way that I have found to be able to retain a historical view of Genesis and still account for the biological evidence which indicates genetic connection with the non-human primates. While this view is very different, it does not violate anything that the Bible states. For those who prefer some form of divine intervention in the creation of man, this is the basis upon which this view should be judged. But additionally, this does not violate any scientific data either; something Christians ought to be interested in.

Adam's immortality

There has historically been an objection to evolution because of the belief that death entered the world through Adam. Romans 5:12 states, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world {cosmos}, and death through sin and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." (NIV)

Notice that the verse says death spread to all men. It does not say that death spread to the animals or plants. Death was man's punishment for sin. Man was the only creature given the possibility of immortality by God. The cows, goats and my cat never had that possibility. To interpret this verse as implying that the death of animals prior to the advent of sin is taking the verse further than it wants to go.

The very fact that God created reproduction argues very strongly that death, at least for the animals was part of the creation. Bacterial reproduction, if unchecked by death and stasis, would cover the earth in less than a week's time. Cockroaches are well renown for their reproductive success. Do we really think that God created a world in which cockroaches would continue to multiply without end and never die? No, death was part of nature at the creation of Adam, but Adam had the opportunity to not participate in that death had He made the correct choice.

The second passage is the Romans 8:20-23: "For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now."(NAS)

The creation suffers from man's sin far beyond mere death. Man's sin has upset the ecological balance, we are not being good stewards of the earth (and I don't think we even know how to be). But the above passage does not say that creation was subject to death, but to futility. No matter what man does in the area of conservation and ecology, he faces a Hobson's choice. Save one species but at the expense of another. By allowing the saving the wolf, we run the risk of killing off other species because of their predation. Suppose the wolf captures the last black-footed ferret?

The place of fossil man

There is often an issue raised concerning where the fossil man fits into the Biblical record. This of course raises the question of how do you define man. Can you do it on brain size? The Australopithecines had brains in the 450 cc range much smaller than modern man (1350 cc). Well, there are modern humans who had hydrocephaly as an infant, whose brains are mere coatings to the inside of the skull (about one millimeter thick) and yet have normal intelligence. A generous calculation of this man's brain size places it in the range of 108 cc. Are we to deny people like this the status of humanity? (Lewin, 1980, p. 1232). There was a report of one child whose epileptic seizures required the removal of half his brain. At college he received a higher grade in a class with half his brain than his father, who took the same class, did with a full brain. Does his approximately 600 cc brain deny him a place in humanity?

What other characteristics can we use to define man? This gets really tricky here. Modern man has an amazing range of morphological variation. Pygmies to the tall Watusi in height; straight hair of many Chinese to the extremely kinky hair of Africans; very dark skin with lots of pigmentation to the near absence of pigmentation in the Scandinavians. Eyes with and without epicanthic folds are found. Is there one physical trait that can be used to define man? No. If you say that the Australopithecines could not be man because their brains were small and they were very short, you would rule out by that definition, men alive today. While I know of no examples the possibility of a normal intelligence, hydrocephalic pygmy certainly exists. To deny such a person the title of human would be an injustice of the highest degree.

Can we use intelligence? Hardly. First technology and intelligence do not go hand in hand so there is no way to measure it in the fossil record. Secondly such a definition of humanity would then deny humanity to one such as my wife's Down's syndrome uncle or a good friend's extremely unintelligent anencephalic child. Is he not human? I would fight such a definition.

Humanity can not be defined by such terms. I would contend that humanity is anyone made in the image of God, even if they look different from me (e.g. pygmy, Chinese, Swede, Homo erectus). Before we exclude some of the fossil men from humanity, we need to have a very, very clear definition of what humanity is. There was a time, not too long ago in this country, when Africans were not viewed as human since they were so different in appearance from the Europeans. God judges what is inside of us, not what we look like. Thus I would define man as any being who engages in human activities.

When was mankind created? Morris and the ICR crowd would want us to believe that man was created 6-10 thousand years ago. Hugh Ross would want us to believe that mankind was created less than 60,000 years ago. (Ross, 1994, p. 141). If this is true, then there should be no evidence for human-like activity in the fossil record prior to that time. Do these views match up with the data found in the fossil record?

There are some behaviors which can currently be correlated to man and man alone. These activities have been in the fossil record for several million years.

Mankind is the only creature on earth today that fashions stone tools. The oldest stone tools found in the fossil record come from 2.7 million years ago. (Chamberlain, 1983, p. 143).

Mankind is the only being that creates a tool with the purpose of making another tool. (Schick and Toth, 1993, p.53-57). The first evidence of tool use for a purpose other than gathering food or making a nest is from Homo erectus 1.5 million years ago. Schick and Toth report that microanalysis of the stone tools found evidence of wood-working on the stone tools of Koobi Fora 1.5 million years ago (Schick and Toth, 1993, p. 176).

Mankind is the only being who controls fire and the first evidence of the controlled use of fire is from Europe with Homo erectus 700,000 years ago. (Barnouw, 1982, p. 143).

Only mankind fashions weapons with the future purpose of killing. The first spear in the fossil record is from Clacton-on- Sea from 300,000(this is really the making of a tool to make another tool for a third purpose) (Schick and Toth, 1993, p. 271).

Mankind is the only being who has been known to scalp his own kind and the first evidence of this is from Bodo, Ethiopia from a skull dated at 300,000 years old. (Tattersall, 1995, p. 244).

Mankind is the only being who has two brain structures related to speech, Broca's area and Wernicke's area. Both of these leave impressions on the inside of skulls. These are first found in the skulls of Homo habilis dated at 2 million years ago. (Shreeve, 1995, p. 274-275). This indicates that some level of speech was probably developed in Homo habilis. Since speech is a purely human trait, it would seem difficult to exclude habilis from humanity!

Mankind is the only being who engages in art-especially the art of making statues of naked females of his species. The earliest possible example of this type of art is a presently controversial object known as the Golan Venus. It is a rock modified to look like a female. It was found in rocks dated at 330,000 years ago (Morris, 186-188; Feraud et al, 1983, p 263-265.) While I have no details, apparently more ancient art has been found in Africa from 240,000 years ago. (Bower, 1995, p. 378). Marshack (Marshack, 1995, p. 495) reports that it is clear that human hands modified this object. These behaviors have a lot of bearing on when it can be reasonably asserted that a being engaging in those activities first appeared on earth. For Christians to ignore this data and blithely state that Adam was created less than 60,000 years ago is wrong. Modern humans first appear at Klasies River Cave in deposits dated at 120,000 years (Shreeve, 1995, p. 214-215). To claim that they were not spiritual, and therefore not human, as Hugh Ross wants to do, raises all sorts of possibilities that some of the modern peoples alive today are not human. That view opens the door to racism.

The only way to fit the scriptural account with the scientific observations is to have Adam and Eve be Homo habilis or Australopithecus. Bones of Australopithecines are found as long ago as 5.5 million years ago (Chamberlain, 1991, p. 139). The earliest habilis is from around 2.4 million years ago. A small population of habilis could have lived considerably earlier than 2.4 million years ago. The recent discovery of Homo in China at Longgupo from strata dated at 2 million years (Huang, 1995, p. 275-278) argues for a fairly long prior existence for habilis or another species, ergaster, since dispersal from Africa to Asia requires some time.

Genesis 3-5

Events here are basically as described. The genealogies, are true, but very incomplete. Even Whitcomb and Morris believe that the word translated as "begat" in the genealogies can mean, "is ancestor of" (Whitcomb and Morris, 1961, p. 474-475) Whitcomb and Morris try to limit the length of those gaps to only a few generations. Hugh Ross also limits the gaps in the genealogies to no more than 60,000 years (Ross, 1996, p. 4). But I am not sure that they can do that in light of the use of what must have been the same or similar term by Jesus. Jesus was called the Son of Man. My Bible dictionary says that Adam means man! Thus Jesus was using that term to skip over hundreds of generations. Thus, I feel that it is within the realm of possibility that the genealogies, while true in what they report are a minuscule portion of the true list of humans in the line from Adam to Jesus.

Genesis 6-9

One thing is very clear to anyone who has studied geology, the world-wide flood, as envisioned by Whitcomb and Morris, is absolutely impossible. Animal burrows are found throughout the geologic column. Since one can not catastrophically deposit a hole in the ground, there must be a lot of time for the animals to dig and eat their way through the rocks making the burrows. This is especially true of certain limestone burrowing animals, the clionid sponges. Paleocaves, deep in the geologic column, are found (occasionally filled with oil) and these also can not be deposited catastrophically. Large holes in the rock are not the product of deposition. Footprints on layer after rock layer, vertically, clearly shows that the rock was NOT covered by deep water when it was deposited. Animals do not have long enough legs to leave footprints on the botton sediments during a worldwide flood which covered high mountains (Olsen, 1980, p. 18). I have a photo of an oil well core with 9-10 layers (years) worth of plant roots. This was pulled up from 7,000 feet in southern Colorado (Morton, 1995, p. 32). I can point you to 3 dimensional seismic data which shows, river channels (Brown, 1993, p. 14-15), paleokarsts (sinkholes like what happens in Florida) and other features buried deeply in the geologic column. Since these features require much time to form, they could not be formed in the Flood as envisioned by Whitcomb and Morris.

The flood as alluded to above occurred at the in filling of the Mediterranean Sea, 5.5 million years ago. The Bible uses the word "eretz" to describe what was flooded and as we saw above that word can be translated as "earth", "land", or "country". I suspect that the main reason that "earth" is chosen is that it was always chosen. One certainly can not claim that the "context" requires the entire earth be flooded, and thus we must translate 'eretz' as 'earth. The context is precisely what is at issue! Is the flood local or global. Your decision in relation to that question will determine how you translate the verse. The word 'eretz' does not determine the extent of the flood, your view of the extent of the flood determines the translation choice.

What about Genesis 7:19 where it talks about the waters of the flood covering the 'high mountains'? Does that not require a global Flood? It does, unless you place the Flood where I do, in the Mediterranean basin. Then, the high mountains were covered but by a local flood not a global one. This issue of the high mountains has always been a difficulty of the local flood view in that no one could point to a place where anything which remotely qualified as 'high mountains' could be covered without also covering the entire world. This left the local flood view as an explanation of the Flood which had no location. Local flood advocates could merely say "Yeah, we know it happened but don't know where, probably in the Mideast somewhere." This led to a further problem that the local flood advocates could not correlate the biblical events with their event in any detail whatsoever. The suggestion was made that the Caspian Basin was the locale. This failed because parts of that basin have no geological deposits which could qualify as flood deposits and you can't cover 'high mountains' in that basin without covering the earth to a depth of 3000 feet with water. There is also the difficulty that no local flood in a river valley can last one year, and deposit the ark on top of a mountain. How do you have the Ark float down a river for a year and land on top of mountains? He would float to the sea! The view presented in _Foundation, Fall and Flood_ can solve these difficulties.

There is a subtlety in Genesis 6:13 which young earth creationists miss. The verse states: "Then God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth." (NAS) If you insist on translating 'eretz' as 'earth' then this verse if read in a normal fashion would imply that the 'earth' is about to be destroyed. But we live on the earth and so it was not destroyed. If on the other hand you view this as the 'land' which is about to be destroyed, then even this can be true. The 'land' at the base of the Mediterranean was destroyed, and it has not been land since the catastrophic collapse of the Gibraltar Dam 5.5 million years ago.

Conclusion

Can this scenario be proven? No, but it is consistent with almost all of the data of science. That is an important step in developing any viable view. It also makes certain predictions. First, it makes the prediction that Homo habilis or Homo erectus should be found much further back in time. It also would make the prediction that certain artifacts or bones of hominids might be found at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary in the Mediterranean region. Prediction is an integral part of science. Without predictions, a theory can not receive confirmatory support.

Now, If H. erectus or habilis should be found further back, why haven't they been found? The answer lies in the nature of the fossil record of the earliest history of any species. There are large temporal gaps in which the animal was on earth but too rare to leave fossils. For evidence of this, see http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gaps.htm

To me it is quite sad to see Christians confidently state that all observational science must be wrong in order for the Bible to be correct.

A much more detailed account of this can be found in the book, _Foundation, Fall and Flood_ (ISBN 0-9648227-1-7) available from the address below.

$15 + $2 postage in U.S.

Canada U.S. funds, $15 +$3 postage

Overseas U.S. funds, $15 + $4 surface mail, or $10 Airmail.

Glenn Morton

16075 Longvista Dr.

Dallas Tx, 75248

References

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Bower, Bruce, 1995, "Africa's ancient Cultural Roots," _Science News_, Dec. 2, 1995

Brown, David, 1993, "Make Room! Its 3-D for Your PC: $10,000 Computer Setup Images Shallow Channel", _AAPG Explorer_ June, p. 14-15

Chamberlain, A.T., 1991, "A Chronological Framework for Human Origins," _World Archaeology_, 23:2, 1991, p. 143

Davidheiser, Bolton, 1969. _Evolution and Christian Faith_. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Feraud, G. et al, 1983, "40-AR/39-AR Age Limit for an Acheulian Site in Israel," Nature, July 21, 1983, p. 263-265.

Hsu, Kenneth J., Dec. 1972 "When the Mediterranean Dried Up," _Scientific American_, p 26-36

Hsu, Kenneth J., et al, 1973, Nature, 242, p. 243

Hsu, Kenneth J.,1974 The Miocene Desiccation of the Mediterranean and its Climatical and Zoogeographical Implications', Die Naturwissenschaften, 61, p. 140+/-

Hsu, Kenneth J., et al, 1977, "History of the Mediterranean Salinity Crisis," Nature, 267, p. 401

Hsu, Kenneth J., 1983,_The Mediterranean was a Desert_, Princeton Univ. Press

Huang, Wanpo et al, 1995. "Early Homo and associated artefacts from Asia", Nature, 378, Nov. 16, 1995, p. 275-278.

Johanson, Donald, C., Matland A. Edey, 1989. _Blueprints_, Boston: Little Brown and Co.

Lane, David H., "Special Creation or Evolution: No Middle Ground," Bibliotheca Sacra, 151, January-March, 1994, ca. p. 20

Lewin, Roger, 1980. "Is Your Brain Really Necessary," _Science_ 210, Dec. 1980, p. 1232-1234

Marshack, Alexander, "On the "Geological' Explanation of the Berekhat Ram Figurine," Current Anthropology, 36:3, June, 1995, p. 494-495.

Max, Edward, 1986, "Plagiarized Errors and Molecular Genetics: Another Argument in the Evolution-Creation Controversy," _Creation/Evolution_ XIX:34-46.

Max, Edward, 1990, Letter, _Creation/Evolution_ 10:1

Morris, Desmond, 1994. _The Human Animal_, New York: Crown Publishing.

Morton, Glenn R. 1995, _Foundation, Fall and Flood_, Dallas: DMD Publishing Co.

Olsen, Paul E., 1980. "Triassic and Jurassic Formations in the Newark Basin," in Warren Manspeizer, ed. _NY State Geol. Assoc. Guidebook.

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Shreeve, James R. 1995. _The Neandertal Enigma_ New York: William Morrow and Co.

Tattersall, Ian, 1995. _The Fossil Trail_ New York: Oxford University Press.

Wells, H. G. 1961. _The Outline of History_. Garden City: Doubleday, 1961.

Whitcomb, John C. and Henry M. Morris, 1961. _The Genesis Flood_, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing

Yunis, Jorge J., and Om Prakash, "The Origin of Man: A Chromosomal Pictorial Legacy," Science, p 1525-1530

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