Often, those who believe in Darwinian evolution have misrepresented what creationists teach. In many cases, this may be inadvertent resulting from ignorance of the creationist position. So, it is often necessary to educate the critic on the basics of creation. All biblical creationists should be prepared to do this with gentleness and respect. Let’s explore the basics of creation and how these differ from the straw-man arguments that often proceed from the evolutionist camp.
1. The Biblical God

1. God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, sovereign Being described in the Bible who supernaturally spoke the universe into existence and upholds it today by His power (Jeremiah 32:17, John 21:17, Isaiah 43:13, 46:9-10, Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 1:3). In grad school, one of my classmates professed to be an atheist. He and I would often discuss issues of science and faith, and I quickly realized that he had a terrible misconception of the Christian God. He tended to think of God more like the Greek gods who were limited in power, not all-knowing, within time, capricious, and fickle, with needs and weaknesses. The Biblical God is not like that. He is beyond space and time (both of which He created) and does not change (Malachi 3:6). He needs nothing and has no weakness (Acts 17:24-25). He is perfectly logical, and orderly, and controls every atom, every photon, every sub-atomic particle in the universe – this is why the universe is so orderly and it is what makes science possible.

As Creator, God owns everything and holds everyone accountable to His sovereign and unchanging standard. He is the Judge of all mankind. Since He is righteous, all of His judgments are fundamentally right (Genesis 18:25). God is good and is the standard of goodness. There is only one God, yet He is three in persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are not merely different aspects of God; each is a person who is eternally distinct from the other two. Each member of the Trinity is fully God (Hebrews 1:8-9, Acts 5:3-4), and yet there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).

2. The Bible is God-Breathed
2. The Bible is God-breathed and inerrant in its original manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is primarily a history book, recording the most significant historical events that pertain to the relationship between God and mankind. God used men to write His book, primarily eye-witnesses to the historical events. God inspired them by His Spirit and yet used their distinct styles and gifts to write exactly what He wanted (2 Peter 1:21, Luke 1:70). So, everything that the Bible affirms is true. The Bible is the Word of God; so, when the Bible says something, it is the Lord who says it.

The Bible does not necessarily endorse as morally right everything that it records as true. For example, the Bible correctly records the fool who says, “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The fool’s statement is false, but the Bible accurately records it. Those of us who rely on an English translation of the Word of God are doing just that – relying on a translation. We do not claim that every modern translation is perfect. However, most are very good, and can be cross-checked or checked against the original Hebrew and Greek languages. So, there can be absolutely no doubt about the main and plain teachings of Scripture.

3. Interpretation of Scripture
3. There is exactly one correct interpretation of every passage of Scripture (2 Corinthians 1:18) – that which corresponds to the author’s intention. This intention is discovered using a grammatical-historical hermeneutic. This method uses grammar and historical context to understand each passage. Note that this is the way we would interpret any other book. Some people call this a literal approach, but such a name is less than precise. A “literary” approach is more accurate, because we do recognize that Bible contains poetry and figures of speech: sections that are not intended to be read in a strictly literal fashion. The straw-man argument, that creationists take all of the Bible strictly literally, is false. We do of course take the literal historical narratives as literal because that is the appropriate way to read history if we are to arrive at the author’s intention.

 

4. Genesis: Historical Narrative
4. Genesis is historical narrative, giving a simplified but accurate description of the creation of the universe and the events of early history. Using the grammatical-historical approach and taking the Bible as the inerrant Word of God leaves no other possibility than to understand that Genesis is literal history (Genesis 2:4). It cannot be interpreted as allegory, or as a myth designed to compete with other near-eastern creation myths, because it claims to be an historical account and God does not lie (Genesis 2:4, Titus 1:2). It is written in the standard Hebrew style consistent with historical narrative (e.g. the same style as Exodus). Genesis makes frequent use of the Hebrew waw-consecutive, which translates to English as a list of sentences starting with “and” (And this happened. And that happened, and so on). Such long sequences only occur in historical narrative; poetic sections of Scripture never do this.
5. The Biblical Age of the Universe
5. God created the universe and everything within it in six, literal, ordinary days: six rotations of earth on its axis (Exodus 20:8-11, Genesis 1:5). This is obvious for many reasons. First, Genesis is written in historical narrative, which means it is to be interpreted as literal history. Thus, absent any indicators of idiomatic usage, the word “day” would naturally be interpreted literally, not poetically as in a longer period of time. Second, Genesis 1:5 actually defines “day” as the period of time when it is light out, and that it is bounded by morning and evening, which identifies it as an earth rotation. Third, the numerical sequence (first day, second day, third day, etc.) when used in historical narrative is always indicative of ordinary earth-rotation days; there are no exceptions.

Furthermore, Exodus 20:8-11 teaches that our work week is the same as God’s creation week. Namely, these passages explain that we are to accomplish all our work each week in six days, and then rest on the seventh day because this is what God did. God had the power to create the universe in an instant. But He chose to create in six days and rest one day as a pattern for us to follow. The Hebrews rightly understood this to mean six ordinary, literal days. Moreover, Exodus 20:11 uses the plural form of the Hebrew word for “days” to tell us that God created in six days. This plural form always translates as ordinary days and is never used to denote longer periods of time.

The Bible gives sufficient information to compute, at least approximately, the timespan between creation and Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. Much of this is computed by adding the ages of the patriarchs at the time of the birth of the next patriarch (e.g. Genesis 5:3,6,9). This number is roughly 4000 years. And given that Christ’s earthly ministry occurred about 2000 years ago, the biblical age for the universe is about 6000 years.

6. The Biblical Sequence of Creation
6. The order of events in Genesis contradicts the secular order. Some Christians mistakenly think that if they stretch the days of creation into millions of years each (which is disallowed from context), then they can get Genesis to line up with secular beliefs about origins. But since the order of events is different, this doesn’t work. For example, the Bible states that fruit trees are created on day 3 (Genesis 1:11-13), fish on day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23). But the secularists believe that fish evolved long before fruit trees. Secularists teach that stars formed long before earth. Yet, Genesis indicates that the earth was created on the first day, but the stars were made on the fourth day (Genesis 1:1,14-19). Secularists teach that dinosaurs existed before birds, but the Bible teaches that birds were made on day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23), and land animals (which would include dinosaurs) on day 6 (Genesis 1:24-31).
7. Created Kinds
7. God created plants and animals “after their kind” (Genesis 1:11, 24). That is, plants and animals naturally fall into certain logical groups. This is what makes it possible to classify organisms: the science of taxonomy. Apparently, the biblical “kind” represents the original reproductive limit of an organism. We infer this because God brought two animals of each kind on board Noah’s ark so that life might be preserved (Genesis 6:19-20). The different kinds of organisms were created separately by God, and do not share a common ancestor. So birds are not biologically related to dogs, though dogs are biologically related to other dogs.

The biblical kind is not, in general, the same thing as a species. This is one of those straw-man arguments that evolutionists invoke from time to time. They will sometimes claim that creationists teach that God created each species separately during the creation week. But this is not what the Bible teaches. ‘Species’ is a modern word and does not occur in the original manuscripts of Scripture.

8. No Death before Adam Sinned
8. Death entered the world as the result of Adam’s sin – his disobedience to God’s command. Therefore, it was not part of the world before Adam’s sin. The Bible teaches this both explicitly and implicitly. It is explicit in passages such as Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21, and Genesis 2:16-17, 3:19. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). As God had promised, the moment that Adam ate from the forbidden fruit he became mortal; his death went from a hypothetical possibility to an inevitable reality (Genesis 3:19). Note that the fact that death entered the world only after Adam sinned (and as a result of it) disallows the possibility of animal fossils that are allegedly millions of years old. Fossils are the remains of dead organisms, but if there was no death before Adam sinned, then neither can there be animal fossils before Adam sinned.

 

Some people have tried to restrict the result of Adam’s sin to human death, as if animals were living and dying long before. But this is implicitly disallowed by a careful reading of the Scriptures. When Adam rebelled against God by violating God’s command, Adam’s sin affected all that was under his dominion – the entire world (Genesis 1:26, Romans 8:20-21). God sacrificed an animal or animals to provide clothing for Adam and Eve, a symbolic covering for their shame (Genesis 3:21). So, God instituted animal death at the time of that first sin. Furthermore, the Bible states that after God finished creating everything – including Adam and Eve – that God saw that everything He had made was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Naturally, this disallows animal death and suffering. For that matter, we find fossils with evidence of disease in them: arthritis, cancer, and so on. Such fossils must have formed after Adam sinned, otherwise we would have to conclude that cancer, disease, and bloodshed are “very good.”

We must also note that plants are not classified as “alive” in the biblical system. The Bible refers to living creatures as “nephesh chai” – a phrase that is used to describe human beings and animals, but never plants. Plants do not literally die because they are not literally alive to begin with – not in the biblical sense of the word. Plants are self-replicating food. So there is no problem with a plant cycle before sin. God’s creatures originally ate only plants. Yes, all animals (and people) were originally vegetarian (Genesis 1:29-30). Some of them became meat-eating after sin and death entered the world. Human beings were given permission to eat meat in Genesis 9:3.

 

9. Sin and the Gospel
9. All human beings are descended from Adam and Eve and have inherited their sin nature (Romans 5:12, Genesis 3:20, Acts 17:26). When Adam and Eve transgressed God’s command, they became sinners: criminals of divine law. It became their nature to sin – their desire was to continue to rebel against God. Their children inherited their parent’s nature, and so did their children’s children and so on. All human beings are therefore born into the world already in a state of willful rebellion against God. We rebel against God’s law by our very nature. And since God is righteous, He must eventually punish sinners. The penalty for sin is death, and since we have committed treason against an infinitely Holy God, we all rightly deserve an infinite death: an eternal conscious tormented existence apart from God’s grace in what the Bible calls the “second death, the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:14).

That’s the bad news. The good news (the Gospel) is that God is also merciful and has generously offered to pay for our sins and offers forgiveness if we will simply repent and trust in Him. In Genesis 3:15 God promised to send a Redeemer, a descendant of Eve, who would accomplish this salvation. As history progressed, God revealed more information about this redeemer: He would be a descendant of Abraham (Genesis 22:18), a descendant of David (Isaiah 7:13-14), yet He would be God Himself (Isaiah 45:21-22). It may have seemed perplexing to Old Testament believers. But we now understand that Jesus is the promised Savior. Christ is both God and man. As man, He is our relative and can represent us on the cross and pay our penalty (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). As God, Christ can pay an infinite penalty (Hebrews 1:8). He died in our place, but resurrected Himself, showing that He has power over death (John 10:17-18). He will resurrect everyone else on the last day (John 6:40, 44, 54).

10. A Global Flood
10. The earth was globally flooded by God in response to human wickedness (Genesis 6:5-7). But God extended grace to Noah and his family, instructing them to build an ark that would preserve life (Genesis 6:8,13-22). The ark was large enough to hold two of each kind (not species) of land animal on earth, as well as Noah, Noah’s wife, their three sons, and their son’s wives. The ark did not hold aquatic creatures (as some evolutionists have mockingly insisted) because these could survive outside the ark. All land animals and people not onboard the ark perished in the flood (Genesis 7:21-22). People sometimes have the misconception that the flood lasted only 40 days because this was the initial period of torrential rain. But the flood actually lasted much longer. The Bible teaches that Noah and his family were on board the ark for over a year (Genesis 7:11, 8:14-16).
 

 

Creation Scientific Models

 

The above essentials of creation are taught in Scripture, and are thus non-negotiable aspects of biblical creation. Building upon this foundation, and making scientific observations about the world around us, creation scientists have developed creation-based models that explain what we observe and allow us to make predictions about future observations. Since these are scientific models, we may have to revise them in light of new data. Nonetheless, most biblical creationists would agree with the following interpretations of the data:

 

A. Definition of Kind
A. In many cases, the biblical created “kind” aligns with the family level in our modern taxonomic system. This is not always the case, and there is no reason why our man-made taxonomic system would have to line up one-for-one with the biblical created kinds. But generally, the created kind lines up with family, rather than order, genus, or species. We define a “kind” as a group of organisms that are capable of interbreeding or are descendants of organisms capable of interbreeding. For example, all dogs are the same created kind. There were only two dogs on Noah’s ark, and all dogs today (wolves, coyotes, dingoes, domestic dogs) are descended from them. Perhaps surprisingly, all cats are of the same kind. Panthers, lions, and tigers are related biologically to house cats. They are all descended from just two cats on Noah’s ark.

We know this from breeding studies. Two particular varieties of cat may not be able to interbreed for various reasons, such as size differences. But if each of them can interbreed with a third variety, then they are all related and of the same kind. Over time, varieties of a kind may lose the ability to interbreed with another variety of the same kind. But since they share a common ancestor, they are still classified as the same kind. Evolutionists really should not object to our definition of “kind.” They simply believe that there is only one “kind” since in their view all organisms on earth share a common ancestor.

B. Variation within Created Kinds
B. Variation within a kind is a prediction of biblical creation. God has genetically front-loaded organisms with the ability to produce many different varieties of descendants that nonetheless remain the same kind. Dogs are a great example of this. Though there were only two dogs on Noah’s ark, they gave rise to all the different breeds of dogs on earth today. This is accomplished by the various outworking of genetic combinations as organisms reproduce, shifts in allele frequency, combined with natural processes such as mutations and natural selection, the latter of which merely refers to the removal of unsuccessful varieties.

No informed creationist denies natural selection and mutations, and that these have a role in adaptation along with the genetic information contained in an organism’s DNA. We further acknowledge that different varieties within a kind can become genetically diversified to the point that they can no longer interbreed with each other, and as such are classified as separate species. This process is called speciation, and yes, creationists do believe in speciation! However, speciation never results in a fundamentally different kind of organism. Organisms do have an ability to adapt to their environment (within certain limits). But they remain the same created kind. So, dogs have always been and will always be dogs. They will never turn into anything else.

 

C. Catastrophic Geology
C. Most of the major geological features of earth were formed under rapid, and/or catastrophic conditions, either during the creation week or during the worldwide flood. We reject the assumption that earth’s major features were formed primarily by the slow-and-gradual geological movements we observe today. When God created land and separated it from the waters on day 3 of the creation week, most creationists believe that this involved a great deal of process. Such processes are responsible for the geology we see in lower (Precambrian) rock layers.

The Cambrian rock layer seems to be the first (lowest) layer associated with the global flood, because it contains abundant fossils of multi-cellular marine organisms. Naturally, the flood would dump sediment into the ocean, killing and trapping some marine organisms in the process. The flood was a geologic catastrophe, unlike anything in our world today. It was not tranquil, but violent, involving rapid plate tectonics and continental separation. Most creationists believe that the continents were connected before the flood into something like Pangaea. The mountain ranges we have today would not have existed before the flood, but were pushed up as a result of it. Creationists believe that the vast majority of fossils were deposited during the flood year, with a few afterwards.

Since the flood waters rose in stages, they buried plants and animals in stages. We therefore expect to find a progressive order in the fossil record. We would expect the lower rock layers would contain only water-dwelling organisms, as sediment was rapidly deposited into the ocean. Then as the flood began to inundate the land, we would expect to find the higher rock layers to contain both aquatic and land organisms mixed together – exactly what we do find. Contrary to the claims of some evolutionists, creationists do not expect to find the fossil rabbits in the lowest layer (Cambrian); that would be absurd because rabbits do not live on the ocean floor.

D. An Ice Age after the Global Flood
D. There was an ice age after the worldwide flood. Not only do creationists believe in an ice age, but we really have the only working model to produce one. The tectonic activity during the global flood warmed the ocean water, and the associated volcanic activity dispersed aerosols into earth’s atmosphere, which would block some sunlight, reducing the temperature of the continents. The warm ocean water evaporates, moves over the cold continents, and falls as snow. Contrary to popular conception, the earth was not entirely covered by ice during the ice age; some sections would be tropical just like today. Rather, the ice age simply means that there was much more ice than today. Today, the earth is about 10% covered with glaciers, but during the ice age it would have been around 30% covered. The effects would cause the earth’s seasons to be mild and rather pleasant.

The ice age was caused by the worldwide flood, and lasted a few hundred years after it. Abraham and Job likely lived during this time period. This explains why the climate was so different then. Recall that Lot lived in the land near (and eventually in) Sodom because it was green and lush at that time (Genesis 13:10-12). Today it is a desert. With much of earth’s water trapped in glaciers, the oceans would have been as much as 300 feet lower than they are today. This would result in natural land-bridges and ice-bridges connecting the continents. These aided in the dispersal of organisms as they departed the ark and spread to the various continents.

E. Dinosaurs and Noah's Ark
E. Dinosaurs lived at the same time as people, and the Bible seems to describe them. This is shocking to those persons who have been brainwashed into believing that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. But we know that all the land animals were made on the sixth day of creation – the same day human beings were created. And dinosaurs are land animals. So the conclusion follows quite naturally. Furthermore, the Bible seems to describe known kinds of dinosaurs, such as the Behemoth mentioned in Job 40:15-24. This creature is described as having a tail that swings like a cedar tree (Job 40:17). Modern land animals do not have a tail like a cedar tree. But sauropod dinosaurs did. Those were the largest dinosaurs, four-legged with a long neck and a long tail. Many ancient legends describe people fighting “dragons” and there is a great deal of ancient artwork depicting dragons that resemble known types of dinosaurs.

Since dinosaur fossils are found in rock layers associated with the global flood, the animals must have still been extant at that time. And since they are air-breathing land animals, they would have been on Noah’s ark. The critics mock this, saying that they wouldn’t fit; but their objection does not stand up to rational scrutiny. We estimate that there were around sixty dinosaur created kinds, only a few of which grew to be enormous. The average size would be that of an American bison. We estimate that there were no more than 16,000 animals on board Noah’s Ark, and that they took up less than half the available space. When we do the math, we find no rational objection to Noah’s ark.

Conclusion

The goal here is not to defend or demonstrate each of these aspects of biblical creation, but merely to state them in order to avoid confusion. If we are to have rational dialog with those from other perspectives, it is imperative that we at least understand both positions. Most creationists have attended public schools where they have had Darwinian evolution crammed down their throats since kindergarten. Then they go home and are taught evolution on the television and at the movies and in books and so on. Needless to say, most creationists are very familiar with Darwinian evolution. But the reverse is not usually the case. Evolutionists are rarely familiar with what creationist actually teach, though they have likely heard misrepresentations of what creationists teach. This article serves as a starting point to clear up the confusion.

 

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