Topic: Biblical inconsistencies rule out a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story

Apr 2000
by Jeff Childs

This is Essay6a in a series of debate topics between CSFNM and NMSR.
See CSFNM Homepage for details.

The title of the topic suggests the issue is biblical inconsistencies. However, biblical inconsistencies, even if they did exist, are not the reason evolutionists reject the creation narrative.

Before discussing the real reasons there are two observations to be made from the topic. First, the problem with the topic as stated is that it assumes the presence of inconsistencies in the biblical narrative. This could be debated ad nauseam. Inconsistencies are perceived due to insufficient research or presuppositional biases, either interpretational or anti-supernatural. It is believed that any perceived inconsistancy can be resolved by addressing one of these three areas. And second, the topic recognizes that the Bible clearly teaches creationism. While NMSR is debating this topic with CSF, their problem is with the Bible.

The reasons that evolutionists reject the biblical narrative are found in history and philosophy. While science owes its existence to the information in the Bible, evolution owes its existence to the rejection of that information. Modern science traces its history to the great thinkers of Ancient Greece, but science as we know it was not born then. Another step was needed. Perry writes, "The Hebrews' removal of the gods from nature-the demythicizing of nature-is a necessary prerequisite for scientific thought." [1] It was the acceptance of the supernatural information in the Bible that permitted men to explore nature without fear of reprisal by "the gods." There are no gods in nature, but there is a God who created nature. On the other hand, the later rejection of that information gave birth to evolution. There are no gods in nature, and there is no God who created nature. Evolutionists reject creationism because evolution IS the result of a wholesale rejection of the supernatural as a source of information. [2] Having rejected a supernatural creation, another "truth" had to be found.

Given that evolution exists because of a rejection of the supernatural begs the question, "How was it rejected?" The answer is choice, an act of human will to decide between two or more options what to believe. For our purposes there are three ways of gaining information and determining the truth: Revelation (Supernatural disclosure by God of truth which could not be discovered by the unaided powers of human reason. [3]), Rationalism, and Empiricism. By definition the presence or absence of the supernatural cannot be tested by way of Rationalism or Empiricism. Therefore, neither of these can be used to reject the supernatural. The evolutionist's rejection of Revelation is not based upon Rationalism or Empiricism. It is a choice. Evolution is not the presence of Rationalism. It is the absence of Revelation. It is simply the ultimate conclusion based on the presupposition that God does not exist.

Finally, there is evidence for a literal interpretation of a six-day creation seen by everyone every day. It is the calendar. Time is measured using such divisions as year, month, and day. With each of these there is a physical event that determines its length. But from where do we get the seven-day week? There is no physical phenomenon that repeats every seven days. The Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) states, "The seven-day week may owe its origin partly to the four (approximately) seven-day phases of the Moon and partly to the Babylonian belief in the sacredness of the number seven, which was probably related to the seven planets. Moreover, by the 1st century BC the Jewish seven-day week seems to have been adopted throughout the Roman world." [italics added] [4] The EB recognizes that the week began in ancient Israel, but offers only speculation as to its actual function. Unfortunately, the suggested function, the division of the month, fails by 1.5 days after only one month. While the EB only speculates, the Bible is very specific. Genesis 2:3 says that the seventh day is a day of rest because God rested on the seventh day. Almost 2,700 years later, in Exodus 20:8-11, God equated the seven-day human work week to the seven days of creation. Both pericopies demand an equivalence between the duration of the creation and the duration of a week. There would be a violation of logical equivocation if the creation were anything other than seven literal days. [5]

Although the title of this topic suggests otherwise, the real issue is not inconsistencies. The issue is choice. The choice is to accept or reject the supernaturally provided information in the Bible. That choice not only determines whether one is a creationist or an evolutionist, but also one's eternal destiny. The next time you look at a calendar remember that you get to rest on the weekend because God rested and declared it a time of rest.

1. Marvin Perry, "Western Civilization: A Brief History," (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993) 31.
2. This is a change in epistemology.
3. Norman L. Geisler and Paul D. Feinberg, "Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective," (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980) 255.
4. "Calendar," The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia, 1975.
5. Howard Kahane, "Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric" 5th Ed, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1988) 35.