Does the book of Genesis fit the scientific account of creation?

Selected transcript of the video

In the beginning God created. The verb there “bara” means to create something brand new that never existed before, entirely compatible with the Big Bang singularity which tells us that there’s an actual beginning of matter, energy, space and time. Genesis 1 starts off with that claim. Now this is important because when you look at the other holy books of the religions of the world they speak about God or Gods creating within space and time that always exists. The bible gives a radically different message, that God creates independent of space and time and so space and time are created when God creates the universe.

Then we notice that the frame of reference shifts from the universe as a whole to the surface of planet earth. So we go from Genesis 1:1 to 1:2 it shifts our point of view from the universe down to the surface of planet earth with those four initial conditions and then we begin with the first creation day: let there be light. Notice the text does not say that God created the light. He says “let the light be”. It’s dark on the surface of the waters because the light of the universe is not able to come through the atmosphere of planet earth to penetrate to the waters. So it’s dark because of the fact that the clouds prevent the light of the sun for example from penetrating through the clouds but “let there be light” as a statement of how God transforms the early atmosphere of planet earth so that that atmosphere is no longer opaque to light but is transparent or translucent for light.

Keep in mind there’s water over the whole surface of the earth. No continents at this point. Creation day two again does not use the word create. It says let there be waters above and waters below. The water below referring to the liquid water that was all over the surface of the earth, the water above referring to the water vapor atmosphere and this is a statement of God setting up a stable water cycle where you’ve got water in the atmosphere above, liquid water below and they circulate one from the other. This is something that was critical that God performed a miracle in order to prepare for the watering of the future continental land masses.

Then you move into creation day three and it begins by talking about how God gathers the water and now instead of having an ocean that covers the whole surface of the earth we have oceans and continents land masses begin to appear and then “dasha” – let the land masses produce plants. Now the verb “dasha” there could be interpreted that God supernaturally created the plants or that he worked through the natural process to bring about the plants or combination of the two. This is an example of where the scriptures do not give us a clear answer about how to resolve the creation-evolution debate. Then we move into creation day four and it says let there be the great lights. Notice the text does not say that God created the great lights. He says let the great lights be, so we have the sun, moon and stars for the first time becoming visible to the observer on the surface of the earth. In other words this is when the atmosphere gets transformed from being permanently translucent to at least occasionally being transparent where observers can now see the objects responsible for the light. And in verse 15 which follows the 14th verse where it says let there be the great lights, verse 15 says so that they may serve to mark seasons and years. And for whom? Well for all the creatures that are going to show up on creation days 5 and 6. 

And in creation days 5 and 6 the text talks about God creating life forms that need the visibility at least on occasion of the sun, moon and stars to regulate their complex biological clocks and that would apply to anything more advanced than a clam. Clams need the occasional visibility of the sun, moon and stars and so before the fifth creation day we have these more primitive creatures. After creation day four we have these advanced creatures that need that visibility. Then we have the 16th verse which says “so God made the sun, moon and stars” but the verb “asah” in the completed form, letting us know that the sun, moon and stars were completed before the fourth day. Doesn’t tell us exactly when but that God had created them previously to the fourth creation day. Genesis 1 1 would tell us in the beginning before the sixth creation days.

And then we move into creation day five where it talks about these swarms of small sea creatures and I believe this is a reference to the Cambrian explosion of life where you have the sudden burst of complex life in many different forms. It shows up all at once and then it talks about God creating birds and sea mammals towards the end of creation day five, soulish creatures. In other words what we have is simply physical life for the first four creation days. Creation day five is the first time that we see soulish life, a life that’s not purely physical but soulish in the sense that God imbues these creatures with mind, will and emotions so they can relate to one another but also relate to the future human beings.

And then in creation day six it talks about God creating three specialized kinds of land mammals. Creation day five talks about birds and sea mammals generically. Creation day six does not talk about land mammals generically but rather focuses on three specialized kinds of land mammals, those that God specifically created to cohabit the planet with humanity.

Then last of all it talks about God creating the human species, male and female and it uses “bara” just like with the souls of these soulish creatures. When God created the soulish creatures, there’s something about him that he manufactured supernaturally but there’s something in them that’s totally brand new. What was manufactured would have been the physical component, was brand new would be the spirit. Well with likewise with humanity we are supernaturally manufactured by God from the dust of the earth from what previously existed but there’s something in this is brand new and we’re the only species that God created according to genesis 1 that’s body, soul and spirit. And so that gives us the capacity to communicate with God himself, for the only species that’s given that capacity to ask questions like who am I who created me why am I here? How can I have a relationship with my creator, that’s the spirit component within us now.