Creationary assumptions on the age of the Earth

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Mike's Origins Resources: A PhD Creationist's view of science, origins, and the future hope of the human race; by looking at Creation Science, Biblical Evidence, and Prophecy Molecular History Research Center

Creationary assumptions on the age of the Earth

Creationary Assumptions on the Age of the Earth

The Use of Assumptions Help Feed the Creation/Evolution Controversy.

As a scientist, I realize that virtually all theories are based on assumptions.

In some areas of science, the role that assumptions serve, is very minimal. For instance, the areas of science which are the most successful, which the public notices, are the amazing discoveries in medicine, biology, space exploration, and the like. In these areas, the assumptions play a smaller role since there is so much that can be found out through experimentation. These are the areas that deal with the here and now. Also, these areas have problems that scientists can study easily. Not some phenomena in outer space where we are again limited in the experiments that can be done to collect the data.

In these areas of the here and now, if an experiment is conducted and the information needed to answer the problem is not forthcoming, then another experiment can be designed to answer the problem. The process can continue until some answer to the problem is understood. The problem is only limited by money, ingenuity, and the technical difficulties that have to be surmounted.

So, if a scientist is experienced in one of these areas of present-day phenomena, such as that of biochemistry; Virtually every scientific problem he/she will try to solve, will involve present day natural processes. If an experiment that they design does not provide them with sufficient data to solve the problem, they can do another experiment. They can always kill another rat in another experiment. More and more rats can be sacrificed until some answer to their problem is understood.

However, the kind of science that seems to pit itself against what the Bible states as being true, is not the same kind of science that I have discussed thus far. When the scientific problem deals with something that has happened in the past, some aspect of evolution (or even creationism), the science process is limited.

Historical science is limited by the fragmentary nature of the artifacts it is able to find. So, instead of having an intensive series of experiments, more and more assumptions are having to be made because the researcher cannot get at the problem with experiments. In effect, the accuracy of ideas is limited by the assumptions chosen by the researchers because the actual experiments cannot be done.

Scientists Assume that God has not Played any Part in the History of Our World

You must realize that scientists from the start, assume that only natural processes are what governed our past. Scientists assume that God has not played any part in the history of our world. So because of this, they are only looking for answers that agree with natural processes. They have essentially solved the evolution/creation problem by definition!

Scientists almost never look for indicators in nature that might speak of a very young age for the world's history. Why would they? Most scientists do not believe that the short chronology of the Bible has any validity at all and most would consider it counterproductive to pursue such a course of investigation. If in fact such an answer were found, it would be quickly dismissed. It would be assumed that there was something wrong with the idea or the data, and a new scenario would be sought.

It should also be remembered that these researchers are not being dishonest in their actions. They think of the long age scenario of evolution as being fact. They do not believe that there is any alternative way to look at history. Period! So when the data does not come out right, it is only natural that they assume that there is something wrong with the dates that do not fit the long age viewpoint.

However, when they turn around and say that the data supports the evolutionary viewpoint and not the Creationary viewpoint. This is not right nor is it true! The data can support a number of viewpoints. So many people try to say something like: the weight of evidence proves evolution; or, all the data supports evolution. But this is not true either, the weight of evidence does not prove anything. We do not have an issue of weight of evidence. Rather, what we have is weight of interpretation! This interpretation is based on not only the data but it is also based on assumptions which are the viewpoint of the researcher.

This controversy is not over data. The data can go either way. Very intelligent people believe in the long history of the earth and they have good data to support them. There is no question about it. However, I look at that same data and I come to very different conclusions. This process is legitimate! There is such a thing as multiple interpretation to the data base. There is no proof for either position.

Science's Use of Assumptions in Areas of Historical Research.

Scientific theories are not only based on data but also on interpretations that are based on various assumptions. Often a scientist has holes in the data; In other words, the data is not able to tell us everything that has happened in the past. So, a scientist will then make assumptions that help explain the data. These presuppositions are assumptions because the scientist cannot find the data that would support or attack the assumption. That is why it is an assumption. Science cannot support it or attack it as a theory. Science cannot even get at the problem.

In science, many of the basic questions, that determine the interpretation of a study, are not known. Especially are the historical sciences dependent on interpretation that is not fully understood. Since there is no way to solve all the basic questions of a problem, they must be assumed. So, in order for a scientist to study almost any aspect of nature, he/she must start with a set of assumptions that cannot be proved or found by experimentation.

Since Scientific understanding, by its very nature, must depend upon assumptions that cannot be substantiated; Then we must realize that Science cannot claim to be absolute truth. All science needs to do is to come up with a plausible scenario that answers the question that the scientist was looking at. Science answers questions, but it does not demand that the answers be correct. It hopes they are correct, but there is no direct way to determine the correctness of answers in science other than continued experimentation. So of course, if experiments cannot be conducted any farther, science cannot progress any farther. It is hoped that the right answers will eventually be found or that the current answers will be confirmed; but, there is no guarantee that truth will ever be achieved.

The real difference between the evolutionist and the creationist is that they have different assumptions that they base their interpretation on.

There is no real evidence that proves or disproves the Genesis story or Evolution. Instead we must choose which paradigm we wish to work in. Science can work in either paradigm providing they are successful.

Science is not absolute truth.

Science is not absolute truth. Its concepts and mechanisms change as new data and viewpoints force it to change. Science does not describe what and how things are, but it is a description of what and how we think things are. We cannot get absolute answers to our questions, we can only observe, test, and probe the unknown until we begin to think we know what the answers are to our questions.

As a scientist I am aware of the changeable nature of science. Often we see many possible explanations that could solve a problem for the Creationist's position. However we must ask ourselves whether our explanation is true or not. Is it fully supported by the data? What are it's weak points? What needs to be studied to falsify the explanation?

Often clear answers seem to rise up from the data only to fall again as new evidence is realized for the first time. This is the way science works.

I have faith that further evidence for Creationism will be forthcoming, yet as a scientist, I must go where the data takes me. That is what makes what I am doing, Science. However, at the same time I must realize what my assumptions are when I am looking at the data. It may be that a chosen assumption may force the data to go away from what the Bible supports.

In essence, I am testing God with my research. At the same time, I am testing my assumptions. Testing our assumptions should also be part of science. The data can often go in several different directions, its the assumptions we make that determine which direction the data will take us. So, in this process, I am asking the question: "Can a scientific understanding of the data be obtained that fits with the Biblical story of Creation and the Global Flood?"

Mainstream Science wants to Restrict Scientific Discovery to Natural Processes

Many scientists I have met, compartmentalize their thinking on Science and Religion. Science and Religion cannot easily be brought into agreement, so many have kept them separate in their thinking. Presently, Science and Religion (Christianity) are at odds with each other. The teachings of one denies the other's main premise.

So, is there a God who has created all things? Or have all things come about by natural processes? I am amazed that people do not know this simple fact: that science cannot determine which assumption for our past is true. The basic assumptions that both Scientists and Christians choose to assume as being true, is scientifically untestable. Science cannot determine which is correct. scientists can only make assumptions!

Yet, we have a scientific community that says very vocally that science has answered the question that only natural processes have shaped our past and not God. If Science is unable to determine what happened in the past without assumptions and they only explore one set of assumptions; How can anyone say that Evolution is fact? How can we solve a problem when we ignore the other possibility?

Mainstream Scientist have essentially solved the evolution/creation problem by definition! They define science as only looking for natural processes, which is something that can be measured and observed. This is touted as being the reason why only this kind of study is actually science. It is governed by the scientific method, a process of experimentation and analyzing. Thus, they observe only natural processes because they assume that our world and life has only been shaped by natural processes.

However, it can not be proved that only natural processes have shaped our world and life! It is also assumed that when God is introduced to science that the scientific method become ineffective.


Methodological Science Versus Naturalistic Science

So, what is it that I do with my time when I study Origins? Is my study of the physical world, science? A few scientists have told me that I do not do science because I include God in my theories and thus, I can not use the scientific method.

They would want to restrict me to their more narrow view of what science is, that of Naturalistic Science.

However, what I do is Methodological Science rather than the more restrictive Naturalistic Science. I am using the term Methodological Science to designate a science which is open to a variety of explanations that include the concept of a Designer/Creator. So by using the term Methodological Science, I am saying that I use the methods of science by following the scientific method but that my theories also include the existence of God and His interactions with what we call the natural world. So, I can use the scientific method, but I must restrict myself to phenomena that I can test.

I can no longer decide that God does not interact in our world by ignoring Him. This is what most scientist do. If they can think of a possible explanation that explains their data without God, many think this helps to prove that God does not exist. This is not a valid method to determine what God does or does not do.

Science cannot prove their naturalistic explanation by ignoring the opposing theories. Yet this is exactly what has happened in the scientific community.

I think there is a much better way. Science usually cannot prove things, but on the other hand, science does work with possibilities. As a scientist, I can see if an idea is scientifically possible and I can study nature to see if a short time scenario will fit the data.

I cannot study the miracles themselves, since that would be trying to study something which is beyond the reach of the methods that we use, namely the scientific method. Rather, what I do is to study things that I can detect experimentally. The age of the Earth, is it around 6000 years old, or is it billions of years old? Is life progressing in an evolutionary process, or is it degrading in a degradative or degenerative process? Do pseudogenes arise in a repeatable process thus allowing different families of organisms to exhibit the same pseudogene at the same relative positions on their DNA; or do these similar pseudogenes only indicate that there was a common ancestor? These kind of questions are of the type that we can study using the scientific method. So, I can use the scientific method, but I must restrict myself to phenomena that I can test.


How do we determine if only Natural Processes have shaped our Past, or whether God has made the Earth?

So, if Science is unable to determine where we came from in the past and has ignored the opposing side in their assumptions; What can we do as scientists to test the other possibility? The answer is obvious. We can test to determine whether the events described in the Bible can agree with the data of nature, that we can feel, touch, and see. We cannot pretend to be able to prove the existence of God. That is why these kinds of questions are assumptions and they remain as assumptions. We simply cannot get at the data to determine those questions. However there are certain things we can determine.

I am excited with the prospect of approaching problems from a totally different perspective. Yes there are many problems to confront and in some case the problems seem insurmountable. However overcoming problems is exactly why I chose to do science. In fact I see a unique opportunity in choosing research topics that are particularly troublesome to Creationists. A major breakthrough of scientific knowledge could result because I am using a unique set of assumptions.

If the Biblical Creation/Flood Paradigm is correct then I might expect to see explanations to associated phenomena that weren't originally sought after. A classical example of having associated phenomena being self-evident is the Watson/Crick discovery of the structure of DNA. Once the double helix was known, the basic process of DNA replication was immediately self evident because of the close association of the interacting bases within the molecule. All previous DNA models gave no easy mechanism possibilities.

The Evolution paradigm has been a successful tool for producing workable models and interesting theories, but I feel the Creation paradigm will prove to be even more successful in producing greater insights in the workings of reality.

So, I have become excited with the prospect to conduct rigorous scientific investigations, to look for evidence that the Earth could be quite young. As a Molecular Geneticist, I have been looking for alternate Pseudogene origins. (A simple definition of a Pseudogene is a gene that is defective in some way. The Pseudogene does not function.)

Are Pseudogenes the result of unsuccessful biological experiments in the Evolutionary process or are Pseudogenes the product of degradation from God's original creation design? As results come, they will be posted in the Molecular History Research Center web site.

You can read the introduction to the Pseudogene problem to understand measurable aspect of the problem. What is it that would help to determine if pseudogenes can fit within a short age chronology of the earth?

What assumptions should we make as Creationists?

If God really exists, as is depicted in the Bible, then it should be clear that we have had an inside scoop into our past. that means that the process of science can be led in the right direction by using the right assumptions. Also, if God is interested in us, as is depicted in the Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and also Revelation (the last book of the Bible), then it should be plain that He will help us understand.

That is what I wish to test in my research. I do not pretend to to want to prove the existence of God; But, to see if His existence, as described in the Bible, can agree with the nature that we can feel, touch and see.

The manner in which we look at Scriptures is extremely important. If we do not some how standardize a way of reading and studying Scripture, than the assumptions that arises out of our understanding of the Bible is questionable. There are many ways to read the Bible, and of course, any different way of reading the Bible would cause us to arrive at different assumptions.

I read the Bible literally. I also try to determine what the Biblical writers meant to say by looking at the original language. I think it important that we determine what is actually said so that we do not make the text say more or less than that it was meant to say.

Many people struggle with the Bible when they try to align what the Bible says against the discoveries and opinions of Naturalistic Science. I am using the term Naturalistic Science or Mechanistic Science to designate a science that excludes the workings of God. No miracles can be considered, only natural processes are allowed to be possible.

So in the mind of many, the idea that Creation Week occurred about 6000 years ago or that a world wide global flood destroyed all that was living on the land of the Earth, just doesn't fit their view of reality. By definition, the assumptions of Naturalistic Science has chosen to ignore the possibility that God exists and interacts with our world! So many choose to think in terms of the first 11 chapters of Genesis as being allegorical. When they do this they explain away the very works of God which have become a great strength in my life.


Why I Choose to Include God's Actions in Nature

I have personally felt the power of God in many ways in my life. It is especially clear to me that I did not receive these gifts that He has given me by explaining away Scripture. It is because I took promises in the Bible literal and pleaded to God for help, that I received help! Now because of my personal experience with Jesus, and having called for help in His name, I have a few interesting stories to tell you.

You can read of my personal experiences by first; clicking on the link "Why did I ever become a Creationist; and also the last chapter of my book: The Joy of winning with Christ for other early experiences. More recent experiences are described in: "Miracles: My Own Experiences!

Because of my own experience of receiving gifts from God when I take Him at His word, it is clear to me that the first 11 chapters of Genesis is not allegory; Nor do I see that these early chapters are couched in figurative language. I see these chapters as being a simple and brief description of what happened during creation week and the flood.

When I study the things of nature, I now include these ideas I have received from the word of God to help guide my theories and ideas in the right direction.


Biblical Understanding

We will now turn our attention toward the Bible so we will be better able to determine what assumptions best fit the Bible and our data. We need to have a better understanding of what the Bible says so we can be more intelligent about our assumptions we need to make. Then of course, we will use these assumptions to help make some sense out of Nature, such as the radioisotope data we will be analyzing.

Michael E. Brown Ph. D.

Hi,

From my experiences
I have found that
the assumptions we
choose in our
research is the real
factor that will
determine what our
answers will be,
no matter what the reason was
for choosing our assumptions!

On this page
I explore the assumptions I think are the most reasonable.

It is an exciting
thing to explore our
Biosphere from a
different perspective
than everyone else.
Often new possibilities
are realized when
this fresh new
perspective
is explored.

And when I see
new explanations
to phenomena
that no one else
sees, because
I am working in
a new paradigm
,
it is down right
exciting!

Mike Brown

 


Creation Week - Seven Literal Days

From the 4th commandment of the Ten Commandments we read:

  1. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  2. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
  3. but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
  4. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 New King James

It is clear from the Ten Commandments which God wrote with His own finger, that He Himself says that He created the world in 6 days and then rested the 7th day. Of all the things written in the Bible, this should be one of the most reliable portions of scripture, because it is God Himself, who said it before thousands of people and then wrote it on tablets of stone, The Ten Commandments!

So, we see God talking to His people about the Sabbath. Because He created the Earth in six literal days and rested one day, He is asking them to worship Him in a special way on the seventh day of the week, a literal day!

The forth commandment would not make any sense at all if God did not create the Earth in six literal days. The Sabbath is a memorial of God's creation of what He did during creation week.

In the first chapter of Genesis we see more evidence that we are looking at real 24 hour days. The following six text show us that each period of time was connected with the revolving of the Earth about it's axis.

  1. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Genesis 1:5 (last part)
  1. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Genesis 1:8 (last part)
  1. So the evening and the morning were the third day. Genesis 1:13
  1. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Genesis 1:19
  1. So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:23
  1. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31 (last part)

The original language can either suggest evening/morning or it can suggest sunset/sunrise. So it is very clear from the original text that these days are 24 hour days.

The seventh day, the last day in the first week is not described in the same manner. Rather Moses simply states it as being the seventh day.

  1. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.
  2. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
  3. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

We also see that during Creation Week, God Blessed and Sanctified the seventh day. It was during Creation Week itself that God made a memorial of Creation. It was a special day and God Himself rested.

Before we go into the specifics of Creation Week, we need to realize an important point. The following parts of our calender: Years, Months, days, hours, minutes, seconds; all have a reason for existing. Because the Earth orbits around the Sun we have years. Because the Moon orbits around the Earth, we have months. Because the Earth revolves on its axis, we have days. Hours, minutes, and seconds devide the day up.

There is no physical reason in our Solar System for having a Week. Yet virtually all civalizations have followed the same 7 day weekly cycle.


Creation Week - The First Day

What happened on the first day of creation week? Did God create matter and light on this day, or was matter already existing? An interesting field of study is the presence of Extinct Nuclides which could have either been created in creation week or it could have been already existing. The issue seems to pit the first day of Creation against the Fourth day of Creation. If you have any answers to solve this problem, please contact me.

If we look at various versions of the Bible we don't get the clear answer that we would like.

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 King James
  1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  2. The earth was a vast waste, darkness covered the deep, and the spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. Genesis 1:1-2 The Revised English Bible
  1. When God set about to create heaven and earth--
  2. the world being then a formless waste, with darkness over the seas and only an awesome wind sweeping over the water-- Genesis 1:1-2 from Genesis (Anchor Bible)
  1. When God began to create heaven and earth--
  2. the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water-- Genesis 1:1-2 TANAKH (Jewish Bible)
  1. When God began to create the sky and the land,
  2. the land was a shapeless desolate (empty) waste and the surface of the ocean was in darkness. The Spirit of God moved gently over the water. Genesis 1:1-2 The Brown Bible (My own version)

There seems in the five versions above, two ways of translating the original Hebrew.

Actually, there is no way to determine which of the two are correct. The King James and all the revised versions can be said to favor the concept that God created the original stuff of our planet on the first day of Creation Week. The Anchor bible and the TANAKH favor the idea that there was something already present at the beginning of Creation Week.

Both are valid renderings of the original Hebrew text. Remember, the original Hebrew only has consonants, no vowels are supplied in the original writings. When the translator starts reading the text, if he uses certain vowels, he gets one meaning, however if he uses different vowels, he gets another meaning. So the two groups of translations result from supplying different vowels to the consonants of the original Hebrew text.


The words: Beginning, Created, Heaven, and Earth

Since the original text is ambiguous, we will need to look elsewhere for the answer. If we had a better understanding of the words in the text we might be able to understand which translation might be correct. The words we need to look at are: Beginning, Created, Heaven, and Earth.


Create

The word "Create" is used in Genesis to indicate divine acts making things.

In Hebrew, Strongs no. 1254, means to shape, fashion, make, or create. It can even indicate a transformation of nature. It is always refering to divine activity.

Most believe this word means that God creates out of nothing, ex nihilo. However, elsewhere in the Bible Create is used to mean: cut down and to carve (see Joshua 17:15, 18; Ezekiel 23:47) or even to choose (Ezekiel 21:19). In these examples create was used to mean "to form" or "to fashion". Some think these examples come from the Piel form and is different from the Qal form used in Genesis. However this argument is not conclusive. Also create is used in places to indicate a transforming nature (Isaiah 65:17-18; Jeremiah 31:22). So it is probably best to consider the meaning by its usage in the text itself.

Lets see how the word "Create" is used in Genesis to indicate divine acts of making things. It is used quite a bit in the creation story. To better understand what Create means, let's look at the text referring to when God made humans.
King James Version The Brown Bible
26.  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 26.  Then God said, "Let Us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the animals, over all the land, and over all the small crawling animals on the land."
27.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27 New King James 27.  So God created human beings in His image. In the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. Genesis 1:26-27 The Brown Bible

Both make and create are used in reference to the making of humans. Both male and female are mentioned, so both Adam and Eve are included. Below, the word "create" is also used in connection with sea creatures, and birds. The word "made" is used in connection with the beast of the earth.

King James Version The Brown Bible
21.  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: and God saw that it was good. 21.  So God created the large sea animals and every living creature that moves in the sea. The sea is abundantly filled with these swarms of living creatures, with each one producing more of its own kind. He also made every bird that flies, and each bird produced more of its own kind. God saw that this was good, both pleasant and agreeable to the senses so He approved of it.
25.  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 25.  So God made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good, both pleasant and agreeable to the senses so He approved of it.

The above examples show us that "make" and "create" is used for the creation of man (both Adam and Eve), sea creatures, land animals, and birds. There are some who believe that when the word "create" is used, it means that God creates things out of nothing.

This understanding of "create" would dictate that God must have created everything in creation week.

Yet when we read other parts of the Bible, we see that this is not necessarily the case. In the following verse, we see that God took dust and formed man.

King James Version The Brown Bible
7.  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. Genesis 2:7 7.  Then the Lord God formed a man out of the dust of the ground and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and that man became a living person. Genesis 2:7

In the following verses we see how God made Eve. Also we see that God formed every beast of the field and every bird or the air, out of the ground!

King James Version The Brown Bible
19.  And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 19.  From the ground God formed all the animals of the field and all the birds of the sky, and He brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that became its name.
20.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 20.  And the man gave names to all the tame animals, and to the birds of the sky, and to all the wild animals, But Adam noticed that there was no helper that was like him.
21.  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 instead thereof; 21.  So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he slept, God removed one of his ribs, then closed up the place with flesh.
22.  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2:19-22 22.  The Lord God then used the rib from the man and built and formed it into a woman, and then he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:19-22

This is very interesting! We see that God formed both Adam and Eve, all the wild animals, and all the birds from preexisting matter. Yet the words: Create and made are used to describe the very same process. So the word "create" could possibly be translated as: prepare, modify, or transform; since it seems that God uses preexisting matter at least some of the time.

If God used preexisting matter when He made Adam, Eve, and the animals; then God could have also used preexisting matter on the first day and all the other days of creation week. We would all have to agree that God is not restricted to the using of preexisting matter in his creative acts!

So it seems that the word "create" does not have to mean that something is made out of nothing. It can also mean that something such as man or possibly other things were created from something else, from preexisting matter.


Earth

In Hebrew, Strongs no. 776 means earth, land, city, or under world.

Today, the word 'Earth' usually means our whole planet. This would include all the matter that the Earth is composed of to make a planet. However, we need to understand what is meant by the word 'Earth' in the Bible? Let's look at some of the text that refers to the third day of creation week.

King James Version The Brown Bible
9.  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry ground appear: and it was so. 9.  Then God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered together so that the dry ground will appear." And so it happened.
10.  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10 10.  God named the dry ground "land" and the water that He gathered together, He called "seas". God saw that it was pleasant and agreeable to the senses so He approved it. Genesis 1:9-10

We can see that God called the dry land that appeared, Earth! So when Moses uses the word earth, he means the dry land, not the whole planet.

If there was no dry land before The Lord gathered the water together on the third day of creation, then what He did was to create earth or dry land by using preexisting matter. Nothing in the text refers to a whole planet. The creation of dry land that is no-longer flooded by water is the creation of earth.

Later on when Moses describes the flood, he informs us that the flood destroyed "the earth".

New King James Version The Brown Bible
11.  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. Genesis 9:11 11.  I make this agreement with you: It is a pledge that I will keep. I will never again destroy all living things by a flood of water. Never again will I destroy the land with a flood." Genesis 9:11

The planet Earth is still here. God did not destroy the whole planet, just the dry land which is called earth. The following verses help to support the idea that the word "earth", is understood to be the dry land.

  1. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. Isaiah 65:17 New King James
  1. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13 New King James
  1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1 New King James

It should be clear that the word "earth" is used by the Bible writers to refer to the surface of our planet, not to the planet itself. Nowhere in Daniel or Revelation does the whole planet get destroyed. It is flooded by Noah's flood and burned by fire in the last days, as described in Revelation, but the planet is never destroyed.

In 2 Peter, we see a very clear reference of the earth standing out of the water:

  1. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
  2. by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 2 Peter 3:5-6 New King James

Verse 5 is very clear: "the earth standing out of water and in the water". Peter is speaking of the earth as the land, that it pokes out of the water. In verse 6, he says that the world was destroyed because it was flooded with water. Again, a clear picture that it was the land that was destroyed by flooding. Our planet was never destroyed.


Heaven

The word "Heaven" can be used to refer to three different things. It can refer to the atmospheric heavens, the stars in the sky that can be seen from the earth, and to the Heaven where God is.

However, every time we see statements in the Bible where the Biblical writer refers to both the "heaven(s) and earth" together, it is always clear what he means. He always refers to the atmospheric heavens and to the surface of the earth. It is not referring to the stars and to our earth as a planet!

Let's look at some examples:

  1. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. Isaiah 65:17 New King James
  1. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13 New King James
  1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1 New King James
  1. And: You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands;
  2. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Hebrews 1:10-11 New King James
  1. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:7 New King James
  1. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10 New King James

No one believes that the planet earth and the starry universe will be destroyed in the great battle of the last day.


The words: Without form, and void

"without form and void" come from two Hebrew words, Strongs no. 8414, the meaning is difficult to pinpoint. It can mean formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness. Strongs no. 922 means emptiness.

Some think these two words refer to a time when nothing existed, no matter was present. People who have this idea, usually think of the word "Earth" as representing the whole world instead of just the land. In addition, they believe that when God created, He created things from nothing. He said it, and it was there! So it is easy for them to assume that there was nothing before Creation Week.

If the word Earth is referring to the dry ground, as it is defined in Genesis 1:10, and not the entire world; It seems like the best understanding of "without form and void" would be to describe a surface of the dry ground as being shapeless or a desolate waste.

We find in Jeremiah 4:23-24 that the earth, at the end of time, will go back to the same condition as it was at the beginning, a shapeless desolate (empty) waste.

  1. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
  2. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. Jeremiah 4:23-24. New King James

Jeremiah describes the earth as a place that is without form, and void. Yet, there are still mountains and hills that were unstable. This state is probably much like the other planets in our solar system or else where. So the earth before creation week could have been a desolate wasteland, much like the other planets in our solar system.

The meaning of "without form and void" must agree, in context, must agree with the other words in the text. The scripture must make good sense. The important words to note are: Beginning, Created, Heaven, and Earth, which have already been covered above.


Creation Week - The Fourth Day

There is a topic that seems to pit the first day of creation against the fourth day of creation. Click on the link to find out what the ramifications are of Extinct Nuclides.


Under Construction


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Officially posted January 1, 2003
last revised January 1, 2014