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Sometime during the 18 hundreds new developments in science caused people to question the information stated in the Bible about creation. Statements were made by well meaning people that contradicted some of the findings of science. Science is defined as knowledge ascertained by experiment and critically tested - according to the Chambers 20th Century dictionary. True science is knowledge that can be tested and reproduced. Much of what is called science is speculation, guesses or anything but knowledge. Paul warned Timothy almost 2000 years ago to be on guard against that which is falsely called science (knowledge) (I Tim 6:20). That error produced contradictions and idle babblings. The Bible does not quarrel with true knowledge and the Lord is called the God of knowledge (I Sam. 2:3). Some of the difficulty of welding knowledge and the words of the Bible together comes from the fact that there is also a spirit realm or world that is not physical. That realm is very difficult for humans to understand, but we are given permission and ability to understand the physical in hopes that we might seek the spiritual. God has revealed Himself through the physical in many ways. He informed Job about Himself by describing the creation (Job 38-41). God asked Job if he was there when He laid the foundation of the earth (Job 38:4) or when He produced the heavens and stars which He knows by name (Job 38:31-33). Job was awestruck at the greater understanding he was given about creation and thus the Creator.
The Book of Genesis contains the description of that which is known of creation, or that which God wanted to reveal. We humans come to the conclusion that God has written details of creation when it is clear from the Bible that He does not include much about what existed before the days in which He created Adam and Eve and the creatures we see today. Some people believe the whole universe was created in 6 literal days. Science produces evidence that the earth is much older than 6000 years (which is the calculated time for man's existence and thus the creation of Gen.1). At one time religious people who insisted that God made everything in 6 days - concluded He had the power to make something look older if He chose to. Those sorts of arguments are an insult to the incredible ability and intelligence of the Creator.
The book of Genesis begins by saying: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Moses used the words "without form and void" in describing the earth in the second verse of the Bible. Jeremiah noted that condition of being "without form and void" as a condition that the inhabited earth had come to after great destruction (Jer. 4:23). Moses noted that there was great destruction and then the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. These verses indicate that the earth was in existence before God began to bring about the 6 days of creation in the rest of Genesis 1. That would then be a recreation or correction of the conditions on earth. There was no light on the surface of the earth - but that cannot be taken to mean there was no sun or universe. What we see is an earth in great turmoil due to some terrible destruction that resulted in the atmosphere being filled with material that would blot out the sun and moon. The first act from God was to clear out the atmosphere (which we may think of as the first heaven from the point of view of the earth) and prepare the surface for work. His second act was to raise the land out of the water. So it becomes clear that land animals would have died, the atmosphere was so corrupted that birds would not survive and the only possible creatures that could live might be something that could inhabit the oceans and not be affected by the great catastrophe that took place on the surface. The water may not have been that deep. Nothing is said about what life there might have been or how old the earth was. Only that it was a mess and God set about cleaning it up and creating new life on the surface of the earth. Millions of years would have passed and great changes had to happen. Stephen Hawking made a comment in 1997 about the delicate balance and continuation of that balance which was required for the earth to exist as it is. Stephen Hawking said: "the universe and the laws of physics seem to have been specifically designed for us. If any one of about 40 physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist; Either atoms would not be stable, or they wouldn't combine into molecules, or the stars wouldn't form the heavier elements, or the universe would collapse before life could develop, and so on -- (Austin American Statesman Oct. 19;1997). This earth is finely tuned in at least 40 different ways and all of them depend on the others to be as they are in order for the earth to continue.
It is not likely that the atheists of today or scientists who have long denied God's existence will change their thinking, but more and more are admitting that there is an intricate and incredible design in this universe. They generally stop short of saying God exists because admitting to that knowledge would immediately mean they need to seek to find Him. Recent studies by astrophysicists state that "the values of the four fundamental forces-gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the "strong" and "weak" nuclear forces-were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction-by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000-then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp." (quote from 'Miracles; What they are, Why they happen, and How they can change your life".
One astronomer named Fred Hoyle (he coined the term "big bang) said: "his atheism was greatly shaken" at these developments. He later said that a common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology." That is not quite stating God exists, but it is getting close. Another theoretical physicist Paul Davies said: "the appearance of design is overwhelming". He also said: "the more we get to know our about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator … gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here." (also quoted from the book). The events of the Bible are not detailed, but they are astonishing in their accuracy. First the universe and earth were created without saying how long ago. Then something drastic happened on the surface of the earth which resulted in huge flows of water attested to by strata and fossils. From this point of a damaged surface, the process of restoring life happened. It seems water covered the surface - not always deep water. The order of recreation of the surface of the earth is proof that these changes took occurred day by day. Life forms cannot live without food, water and light for long. Plants need water, sunlight and minerals or they cannot produce chlorophyll and grow. God first cleared the air so the sun could shine, then produced the land or soil and after that plant life, all creatures including birds, animals and the insect world - each depending on the existence of the other. The reliance on other life forms is so strong, nothing would live on its own. Every cell in our bodies needs other cells - and all need to be living at the same moment in time. The days listed in Gen. 1 are 24 hour days - and in agreement with life that sustains life. We may not fully understand, but science is satisfied. Just look and see.