Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Third Day of Creation

The first creative act of Day 3 was dry land.  Verse 9 of Genesis 1 says, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear."  While true that God created dry land, let us not overlook a key phrase - "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place."  What implication does that have?

If you look at a map of the world today, you will see that 2/3 of the globe is covered by water.  We believe, of course, that most of that came from the Noahic Flood.  So what did the Earth look like before that?  The phrase "to one place" implies to me that there was more land than water - just the opposite of what we find today.  Together with the water canopy that many think was over the earth, it could be that the entire planet was one big tropical jungle, once everything was in place.

I think this is borne out in the amount of coal that we find in the earth's crust.  Coal, as you may know, is nothing more than plants that have been buried and subjected to intense pressure.  Wikipedia tells us,  "The main mineral resource known on the continent is coal."  Which continent?  That would be Antarctica.  How did such a frozen wasteland get to be covered with vegetation, buried with water and changed to coal?  Well, if the whole earth used to be a tropical jungle, when the flood came, there would be sufficient amounts of available plant life to be buried wherever it landed - in this case, Antarctica.  Furthermore, coal is mined in more than 100 countries in all of the other continents.  Another interesting tidbit is that the worldwide coal reserves amount to approximately 900 gigatons - that is, 900 billion (with a "B") tons, or almost 2 quadrillion pounds.  That is a lot of former plant life!

So, let's talk about the plant life.  Once the dry land was in place, God continued with the next item on His list - vegetation.  "Let the land produce vegetation. . . And it was so."  In "Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan," there is a scene that deals with the creation of a planet.  As the camera flies across the landscape, you can see land appear, followed by plants that grow at an astonishing rate.  The whole planet is ready to go in about 20 seconds.  This is probably not how Day 3 developed.  Remember, we are dealing with 24-hour days.  If God had created a tree, for example, that grew to 24 feet that first day, it would grow at a rate of one foot per hour, or 1 inch every 5 minutes.  An observer would not really have been able to see any development - it would be like watching the movement of a minute hand of a clock.  The rate would have been even slower with smaller plants, and the development of grass would be next to nothing.  This obviously does not take away from the miracle of Creation - it merely serves to remind us that things are not necessarily like what we see in the movies.

Here is first time that we read the phrase "after its kind."  Young Earth Creationists, like me, take this to mean that whatever offspring comes from something that God created will be similar to what the original life form was.  "What?"  Let me explain.  Let us say that God created an original apple tree.  Down through the centuries and millenia, those apple trees produced seeds, which became other apple trees.  Due to various environmental factors, different varieties of apple trees have developed.  This is called Natural Selection.  It is NOT evolution.  Evolution dictates that living things change into other living things - single-celled organisms become multi-celled, then fish, amphibians, all the way to the famous monkeys to man.  Natural selection causes different genetic characteristics to become dominant, leading to speciation.  All the species we have on the Earth at present came from an original "prototype."  Apple trees, then, came from other apple trees - they did not descend from banana trees, and banana trees did not come from apple trees.  God created every living thing to produce something more or less like itself.

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