Creation? Evolution? or both...

So, before you read this, go ahead and start this song, it's important to be in the right mindset:

 

When you imagine the first chapter from Genesis, the Creation of the Earth, how do you see it?  And is it a cartoon? Maybe it looks a bit like this: 

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Creation vs. Evolution is a hot topic these days, but I'm going to explain to you why the whole argument makes no sense to me, because they're both right, and if you embrace both with an open mind, they support each other, rather than contradicting each other.

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     1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

4.6 billion years ago, the Earth was formed out of what was leftover from the formation of our Sun, which formed out of what was leftover from the rest of the universe.  This single, ten-word verse describes an event that scientists have discovered took place almost 15 billion years ago, and took another 10 billion years to complete.

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 Newly formed earth

Newly formed earth

     2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
 Hadean Era earth - before sunlight

Hadean Era earth - before sunlight

During this time, which lasted about 1 billion years, the earth collided with another planet (which is where our moon came from), it got peppered with asteroids, creating thick clouds of dust and debris, which blocked any sunlight that may have been shining on this world.  The earth was dark, formless, very hot, and could not even begin to support any sort of life.  And the waters existed in the form of vapor, as the Earth was so hot it couldn't coalesce into liquid.

     3 And God said, "Let t here be light," and there was light.
     4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning --the first day.
 The first sunlight probably looked more like this, but there were no eyes to see it with in existence...

The first sunlight probably looked more like this, but there were no eyes to see it with in existence...

The Sun had already been shining brightly, but as the dust and ash settled out of the newly formed atmosphere, it began to allow sunlight through.  While the earth had been around for almost a billion years at this point, this would have been the first REAL day on Earth, as a period of light, separated by a period of darkness.  

 Earth in the Archean Era - Earth was cooling and liquid water began to form.

Earth in the Archean Era - Earth was cooling and liquid water began to form.

     6 And God said, "Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water."
     7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.
     8 God called the vault "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning --the second day.

The earth at this time was extremely hot.  The temperature exceeded boiling.  During this period of time, God allowed the earth to cool, causing the water vapor in the air to condense into the world's first massive ocean. 

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     9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so.
     10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

The further cooling of the earth's surface set in motion a process of natural contraction, uplifting, and motion of the crust, which is STILL going on today, we call it "Plate Tectonics." The surface of the earth changed from that smooth, formless one-level sphere to a planet with irregular ocean basins and continental land-masses.

     11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

As landmasses rose and dried up, plants were able to grow.

 Beginnings of land life...

Beginnings of land life...

Now obviously, according to science there was a lot of microbiology and evolution involved here, but if you were the Great Architect of the Universe and were to try to explain this process to say, someone like Moses, a man living in very primitive times, with a language without words to describe such things as cyanobacteria and photosynthesis, you might put it in simpler terms for comprehension.

The one fact that no one can deny is that not one person was around to witness this work of art in the making. But what gets me, is that even though no one was around to witness this event, both the story in the bible and all of the stories told by geology, archaeology, biology, physics, and astronomy all have parallels that are far too convenient to be called mere coincidences. 

The power of God is incredibly awesome.  Many of us learned so many of these stories as young children, that we hold onto the  two-dimensional cartoon imagery that we learned it from, and when we learn about the science behind how our world was created, how it works, and God's awesome power through Physics, Chemistry, and Nature, it becomes a weird conflict.

So, how can we expect to fully comprehend God?  Well, the truth is, we never, ever will. We weren't designed to.

When we read the Bible, we are reading GOD put into words- the words created by other tiny, limited minds, and then trying to connect dots with our own tiny, limited minds and clumsy human language, and you can imagine, mistakes and inaccuracies will get made along the way. It serves us best as Christians to approach what we know about God and the world we live in with the understanding that we'll never know everything, and to keep an open mind when it comes to something new, EVEN if it challenges your beliefs. I want to encourage you to look at science, not as a contradiction to the bible, but as a companion to it, and a means to understanding how the Artist created his masterpiece, by using gravity as his paintbrush, and chemistry as his paint.  You'll find it can actually become a source of strength in your walk with God.