THE CREATION ACCOUNT
At the time the Creation Account was written, the only element of reality with which man could interact was the known Earth itself. The universe above his head was the home of supernatural influences and didn’t enter his reasoned worldview. Hence, there is the direct assertion at the beginning of the account that: ‘In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.’ (1:1:1)
The actual construction of the ‘heavens’ was literally of no value to them. This said, the actual Creation occurred in Six Days. I would immediately agree with the Comte de Buffon, who argued that the Six Days were, infact, vast amounts of time. This is understandable in terms of the people at the time of the account. Their only measurable length of time was that dictated by the sun and moon – i.e. the day.
The first major assertion of the account relating to Earth is that the Earth ‘was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.’ (1:1:2)
The most generally accepted theory for the formulation of planet Earth is that gravity affected gas clouds of particles, attracting them into a whole that would eventually condense into the planet as we know it. Hence, at the beginning of Earth’s existence, it was ‘without form, and void.’
At such an early period in Earth’s formulation, the solar system would also have been in a more primeval state, the gases being attracted to form the sun not yet densely packed enough to form nuclear reaction. It is therefore valid to say that ‘darkness was upon the face of the deep.’
And lo and behold: ‘God said, Let there be light, and there was light’ (1:1:3). By this time the sun had compacted to the point to allow nuclear reaction. And by the end of the ‘first day’, God had created night and day.
‘And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
‘And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.
‘And God called the firmament Heaven.’ (1:1:6-8)
At the beginning of this period, the condensing gases would be changing constitution the closer such gases were to the central point of gravity. Hence, towards the centre of the cloud, the gases would be beginning to liquify. On the outer edges of the cloud the gases, however, would still be in a gaseous state.
In the centre of this reaction would be a point where liquid and gas would be breaking away from each other, forming the actual construction of the hard planet, and its encircling atmosphere. Hence, the waters under the firmament would be divided from the waters above, eventually becoming the planet and sky. And so endeth the second day.
God was particularly busy on the third day.
‘… Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear …’ (1:1:9)
The atmosphere, having been created on the second day, the condensing of the actual planet had begun, and before long we see the construction of the land and the sea. Hence, the waters were gathered unto one place, other than upon land. But God didn’t rest, for on the same day we find: ‘Let the Earth bring forth grass …’ (1:1:11)
As the Earth was forming the land and sea, it also formulated a concept known as the ‘primordial soup,’ a kind of cooking pot, wherefrom came life. And on the third day we clearly see these two processes going on almost simultaneously. Admittedly, grass did not suddenly sprout out of this ‘soup’ – rather, the first form of life would be bacteria – but the writer of the account identified the first living thing as the genetically most basic form of life he could see about him. He had no knowledge of bacteria or microscopic creepy-crawlies, but intuition and scientific integrity remain sound.
The scientific hits within the Creation Account are becoming quite impressive as the account follows with herb formulating seed and the tree giving fruit. But then God slept until the fourth day. Then: ‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament … to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons and for days, and years …’ (1:1:14)
‘… And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.’ (1:1:16)
We can immediately see an apparent problem here. It is ridiculous to see the sun, moon and stars only being created at this point in planet Earth’s evolution. But we must remember from what frame of reference the Creation Account is written. Mortal existence could only be viewed in terms of the Earth itself. So to understand the fourth day, we must view it in terms of what the writer could have experienced had he been on Earth at the time of the ‘fourth day.’
The Earth had produced its initial lifeforms, the sea and land were existent, and it had an atmosphere. The concept of day and night would also exist, but of what order? For instance, would Earth have had an atmosphere as we know it today?
Science says not. Rather, the atmosphere would have been extremely volatile and gaseous, to such an extent that the whole Earth would have been shrouded in dense cloud. Light and dark would be appreciable on the Earth’s surface, but it would be a ‘fused’ light, unlike day and night as we know it today. Viewed from the Earth’s surface, therefore, the sun, moon and stars would not be visible. Hence, on the fourth day, the atmosphere thinned out to become the atmosphere we appreciate today; exactly in line with scientific theory the sun, moon and stars would suddenly appear.
And so to the fifth day.
‘And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.’ (1:1:20)
On the fourth day we saw the correct identification of vegetation before the evolution of actual creatures. Now, on the fifth day, we also see the correct process of creatures being first evolved in the sea. So far so good. But within evolution theory, sea creatures must then crawl out of the sea to become land creatures, before they take to the sky. The creation Account seems to get it completely wrong by saying creatures appeared, first, in the sea, and then in the sky. Do we at last have an error in the creation account? No. We have the greatest proof yet that the account is scientific.
Scientific methodology can be best identified as data collection, or observation, intermingled with intuitiveness. And in this apparent error we can see proof of the ‘observation’ element of scientific methodology.
Imagine you are a scientist in the second millennium BC. You have intuitively decided that creatures first came from the sea. So you look at the kinds of creatures you have around you – land animals such as sheep and dogs, birds, small reptiles and insects. Which of them appears to resemble the next stage on from the fish? A sheep or dog shows no resemblance at all. They have well developed muscular legs and hairy coats. Nothing like a fish. Insects are out – too many legs and too small. So what about reptile?
With the exception of the snake, he can also be discounted. Although he is scaly, he has well developed legs and teeth. Even the fact that he can exist in water need not necessarily lead to the conclusion that he came from fish. But what about the bird?
Here we have a creature with rudimentary legs, suggestive of the next step forward from fish. He has a beak rather than well designed teeth. He has wings, which could be construed as a development of the fin. And as any fisherman will tell you, birds are clearly visible flying over the water when bringing in the catch. Hence, it is feasible to argue that our second millennium BC scientist would opt for bird as the evolutionary outcome of fish. However, there is a more intuitive possibility here, too.
The actual evolutionary process from fish was, infact, the reptile. But the point is, the evolutionary line, leading to the present-day reptile, was not around to be ‘observed’ by our ancient scientist. The dinosaur had become extinct or evolved. He could not, therefore, have seen this transition phase in action.
Yet, as becomes obvious from the Adam and Eve Narrative discussed shortly, something intuitive within our scientist had suspicions regarding the reptile. For it was the ‘serpent’ – an ungodly creation – that tempted Eve, being condemned to crawl along the ground on its belly, as a snake, also bringing this form of reptile into a quasi-scientific structure.
And so to the Sixth day.
‘And God said, Let the Earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after His kind: and it was so.’ (1:1:-24)
Thus we have the evolution of present day creatures, created ‘after His kind’, which itself can be termed to mean the next stage on from the previously evolved cousin; a direct hint at the acceptance of evolutionary principles at work in the account. All that is missing is man. But later that day …
‘And God said, Let us make man in our image.’ (1:1:26)
‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.’ (1:1:27)
And by the end of the Sixth Day evolution is complete. However, the story is far from complete. Indeed, let us follow through to the Adam and Eve Narrative, which appears in Chapter Two of Genesis.
Chapter Six – ADAM & EVE NARRATIVE
‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ (1:2:7)
Here we have the opening of the Adam and Eve Narrative. Surely this part of Genesis has got to be pure myth? Or does this, too, hold valid scientific theory?
To see if this is the case we must shift the frame of reference away from Earth, and onto the human race. And in doing so, two points must be immediately noted. Genesis seems to separate man from other animals, as if he is a separate creation. For the Adam and Eve Narrative we must reverse this and see Adam as the embodiment of all evolution. The Narrative, in this way, is divorced from the Creation Account – a separate work – and sees man simply as evolution from a different perspective. In addition, we must discount Adam as being a single man, but rather a representative of evolving humanity – a symbol, an embodiment of a wider nature. And when such symbolism has been stripped away, we can proceed in a truly scientific way.
So Adam was created from dust and became a living soul. How can this be compatible with known science? To understand, we must look to the fundamental construction of the human body. We all appreciate that we are essentially of cellular construction. But what is not generally appreciated is that all forms of life can also be reduced to an atomic construction.
At our most basic level we are an electric field of particles. However, this construction is not unique to us, in that such particles were ‘cooked’ billions of years ago within stars and went on to formulate the fundamental construction of the gas clouds which formed planets. Hence, creating Adam from the dust of the ground can be seen as a symbolic representation of this valid scientific reality. We did come from the ‘stuff’ of the Earth.
Indeed, the identification of the ‘dust of the ground’ shows incredible intuitiveness. Why not ‘soil of the ground’? Surely that would have been a more sensible statement if the declaration was purely mythical. But in identifying ‘dust’, our ancient scientist identified the smallest observable substance possible as lying behind the construction of matter.
The narrative goes on: ‘And the Lord God planted a garden eastward of Eden; and there he put Man whom he had formed.’ (1:2:8)
The narrative goes on to locate this ‘garden.’ Four rivers are identified as flowing from it. They are the Pison, the Gihon (which compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia), the Hiddekel (which goes towards the east of Assyria), and the Euphrates. Although the geography isn’t exact – indeed the Pison is hard to identify – we can place Eden. If we take the Gihon, the River Jordan flows south of the Gulf of Aqaba, where it enters the long, thin Red Sea, which ‘compasseth’ Ethiopia. The Hiddekel, which goes towards the east of Syria, could well be the Tigris, which does flow to the east of modern day Syria. And the Euphrates is still named as such, and flows to the west of the Tigris.
There is a large, natural oasis of fertile land in this area along the Jordan. It is present day Israel; the Promised Land to which Moses eventually returns. However, it appears, from the Out of Africa hypothesis of human proliferation and evolution that our ancestor, Australopithecus Africanus, most likely proliferated first and foremost in Africa.
By approximately 8000BC man began to turn towards civilization in the lands between the Tigris and Euphrates. The Jordan Valley lies on the route from Africa to the area that seeded western civilization. So at some point our evolutionary ancestors would have migrated from Africa, across the wastelands of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, to the Jordan Valley. Hence, the above narration of Genesis can be seen as evidence of this evolutionary migration, the placing of man in the Garden of Eden being the time when our ancestors had traversed the wastelands and suddenly found a fertile ‘garden’ with an abundance of food.
‘And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof;
‘And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.’ (1:2:21-22)
To understand the scientific meaning of this ‘myth’, we must remember that the viewpoint is of man being a separate Creation. Hence, when it speaks of man, we must see man as encompassing the whole evolutionary process. But Eve being created from a spare rib? Surely this is ridiculous?
Rudimentary creatures, such as the earthworm, are fundamentally different to man, in that they are Hermaphrodites, or sexless, with no separation between male and female. Plant life is similarly sexless. Hence, at some point in the evolutionary chain, nature created male and female.
Prior to this eventuality, reproduction was asexual – i.e. offspring were ‘seeded’ from a sexless parent. But after male and female had evolved, reproduction was carried out by mating. However, if we look again at plants, we can reproduce by taking cuttings from the parent, creating clones.
Going back to the Adam and Eve Narrative, the taking of a rib from Adam can also be seen as taking a ‘cutting’ from a parent in order to produce a clone. And with that ‘clone’ becoming ‘female’, we can see the rib myth as a perfect symbolic representation of the evolutionary change from asexual to sexual reproduction, with female being created from a hermaphrodite Adam.
Once male and female were in Eden they were tempted by the serpent, to whom Eve warns: ‘But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it …’ (1:3:3)
But Eve is tempted by the serpent – the evolutionary misfit identified earlier – and she bites of the fruit and tempts Adam to do so too. They eat and realize their nakedness. Angered, God banishes them from Eden.
Here we have another scientific truth cloaked in the symbolism of Biblical times. The tree they were not to eat from is identified by God (1:2:17) as the ‘Tree of Knowledge of good and evil,’ usually interpreted as meaning ‘everything.’ In realizing their nakedness, they obviously lost their natural naivety, and thus broke away from the instinctual processes of other animals. This was clearly done by gaining ‘knowledge’, and the accepted scientific model for this evolutionary process is that man developed manual dexterity and began using, and fashioning, tools.
Intriguingly, the first tool man would most likely have used would have been a branch from a tree. So the fruit myth can be seen as representing the time when our evolutionary ancestor first became a tool user and rose out of his natural, instinctual pact with nature. This period can be identified as the ancestor known as Homo Erectus – one of the last known links before Homo Sapien, or modern man.
However, there is another possibility which can be gleaned from the myth which could hint at processes not yet known to science. For instance, the scientific model above does not satisfactorily answer our progression from instinctual animal to modern man purely with our increase in manual dexterity and adaptation of tools.
Many other lifeforms reached this stage of evolution millions of years ago – the bird who builds a nest; the monkey who uses rudimentary tools – so what is missing from these species that stops their natural progression? Something about us must be more unique than we generally realize. And perhaps the above myth can leap out of antiquity and teach our present scientists a thing or two. And the hint comes from asking why Eve is considered the temptress of the fall of Adam.
Woman is fundamentally different from any other female of a species due to experiencing an emotional, as opposed to simply biological, orgasm during sexual intercourse; an act for which there is no genetic need or survival requirement and is therefore anomalous to the natural requirements of reproduction. Further, apart from some sea mammals and possibly the occasional act of some chimps and orang-utans, Homo Sapien is also different from any other species in that we naturally mate facing the partner; all other four limbed species mate naturally belly-to-back. This is due to a revolutionary pelvic bone, required to allow us to walk erect, thus leaving our hands free to handle technology – originally a branch. Through an apparent quirk of evolution, mating face to face is simply more comfortable for us.
The most intelligent of animal species after us, such as the monkey, have a pre-disposition to imitate. At the time of the evolution of our unique pelvic bone, we most likely were similarly disposed. So we can see the possibility of the female imitating the reaction of the male orgasm – being seen during mating for the first time by the participant – and developing the ability to orgasm into the make-up of Homo Sapien female, through repetition. But this inter-relationship between male and female is also suggestive of something else of importance.
Before the adaptation of our pelvic bone, it is possible to suggest that we did not experience emotional togetherness during intercourse. We can come to this conclusion by studying other animals, who class mating as a mechanical act. Hence, could it be that through facing the partner to mate, our early ancestors began to conceive the feeling of emotional togetherness? If so, until this time our evolutionary ancestors had only instinctual bonding between male and female – as with other animals – but with facing the partner to mate, man drove himself on to advance out of nature by gaining the ability to ‘love’ his mate.
Suddenly, male ‘felt’ for female, and vice versa, and overcame the natural processes of instinctual behaviour, due to the new, powerful emotions he was experiencing. Suddenly, nature was left behind and man was by himself, his survival instincts on the wane, and cunning through knowledge and technology about to rocket him to the unique lifeform he is today. In other words, our uniqueness could well come from love.
In the above we have an admittedly speculative process by which humanity became human and offering further evidence of Genesis holding sound, intuitive science. So how did the saga proceed?
Adam and Eve begat Cain and Abel. Cain became a tiller of the ground, and Abel a keeper of sheep. But brothers will be brothers:
‘And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against his brother, and slew him.’ (1:4:8)
This first murder was caused by God appreciating the offering of the first of Abel’s sheep above Cain’s offering of the fruits of the land. The insinuation is clearly given that the motive of the crime was jealousy, leading to conflict. This can be seen as an expression of the emotional incentives born from the adaptation of the pelvic bone. For once man had birthed love he had opened the floodgates to other emotions, such as jealousy and hate. As such we have, in this narrative, an extension of the psychological profile of man, and the birth of conflict. However, we can also see another facet of the on-going advancement of man.
Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain a tiller of the ground. A sheep is a herding animal, and can therefore be seen as symbolic of the concept of the herd. Prehistoric man was a known hunter/gatherer who lived off the migrating herds. He passed out of prehistory upon realizing agriculture, becoming a tiller of the ground. Hence, looked at in this way, we can also see the death of Abel as the death of man’s hunter/gatherer existence and advancement into rudimentary agriculture.
The narrative ends, of course, with God banishing Cain to the land of Nod, east of Eden, into an area where: ‘When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength …’ (1:4:12)
Going east from the Jordan Valley, man again negotiated the deserts and was on the correct course for his appointment with civilization between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers about 8000BC …