On the fifth of February 2012 I published on this website the article:
Our Eternal Home. In the comments thread which follows it, I received a severe rebuke from one believing in Evolution on why, as a Creationist, I disregarded the work of many scientists who devoted their lives to the work of Charles Darwin's theories. Also in that blog, I dwelt on John's vision of the New Jerusalem described in Revelation chapters 21 and 22, and using maths based on the density of the population in the UK, made a guess on how many of the saved will live within its walls. The commentator, after pointing out that I was arrogant to make such an estimation, then concluded that because there is a moderating system in place, that I would reject his contributions.
But I was willing to pass his comments for publication. The moderation system is not there to dissuade discussion. It is in place to deter advertising. Rather, if my blogging stirs controversy, first it shows that somebody is reading my contributions. Secondly, I quite enjoy a discussion! One reason being that it enables me to look deeper into the topic referred to and to brush up on any gaps in my knowledge or understanding of the subject at hand. But most important of all, that such a debate allows me to stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ and his revelation of salvation to us, such written revelations collected into one volume we call the Bible.
I take the Bible literally as the inerrant Word of God. What it says I believe and bow the knee to. Now if the Bible hints that Man and Dinosaurs co-existed within the same time frame, then who am I to say otherwise? How could I even dare make such an assumption, and in effect, calling God a liar? Yet that was exactly what this commentator was aiming at, basically sidelining my beliefs and opinions into the realm of the lunatic fringe.
But reading the first two chapters of Genesis does give a strong impression that all species of land animals walked past Adam as he gave each of them names. And he also noticed that with every species there was a male with its female mate. And many of these species must have included those we refer to as Dinosaurs today. It was then that Adam realised that he had no mate of his own. He could not pair himself up with any of the animals that he named. That was when God, who made every life form, knew that it was not good for Adam to be on his own. Therefore God then performed history's first surgical operation, under what we now call anaesthesia, to remove a rib with which God created Eve - Adam's lifelong mate. It is a beautiful story, but very real, not a fairy-tale. After all, today's top surgeons use exactly the same method of induced sleep to perform life-saving operations!
For many centuries since the beginning of the Church Age, here in the UK and for the rest of Europe, Genesis was seen as the authoritative record of all life's origins. Great men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin as well as Jerome, all believed in the historicity of Genesis for our origins. Our church founders, the twelve Apostles believed in it, as all the early church fathers. But most important of all, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - God incarnate - not only believed in Genesis as history but quoted it as authoritative. Such examples of this include Matthew 19:3-6, where Jesus himself endorsed the sanctity of marriage. Peter, too also confirms the Noachian Deluge as history (2 Peter 2:5-8, 3:3-6) In fact, the apostle actually prophesied that in the latter days "scoffers" will arise who will question the historicity of the Flood and deny catastrophism altogether.
So are you, the reader, married? If so, then you are confirming the historicity of Genesis. And do you have a respite from work at weekends? Then this too, stems from Genesis. (2:1-3). And the hospital operating theatre? The idea of induced sleep by means of anaesthetics - yep - Genesis again (2:20-25). If Jesus Christ and his Apostles endorsed our origins as history, then it is sheer arrogance on our part to deny this or think otherwise.
Much of British history was centred upon the Bible being the authoritative revelation of God, right up to the 18th Century. Sure, the churches went through very turbulent times, mainly due to the Catholic/Protestant debates. But all believed in the history of Genesis, as well as all the Bible with its record of all supernatural miracles left without question or doubt.
But Peter's prophecy stood, as in defiance of the universal belief in Creationism and the Flood. It was if, despite the universal belief by both clerical and the public alike - the schooled and the ignorant - right across the known Christian world, God knew that the tide of times would eventually change.
The first person to question the authority of Genesis and the young Earth theory was George Buffon (1707-1788), who in 1767 wrote: The Epochs of Nature, after observing a cliff of stratified rock layers, and decided that the Earth must be more than 6,000 years old for this to have formed.
Then Scottish Geologist James Hutton (1726-1797) who studied Buffon's observations and produced his own thesis, Theory of the Earth (1788), and coined up the word Uniformitarianism which meant that instead of catastrophism, as the Bible implies, the Earth evolved by slow gentle depositing of sediments by means of shallow seas, river estuaries, and lakes to form the stratified rocks we see today, over a much wider period of time. This is a very important turn of events, as this is the beginning of the true departure from the truthfulness of scripture, just as Peter prophesied some 1,700 years earlier.
The works of Buffon and Hutton provided the bedrock from the geological thesis to the biological theory of evolution. French Biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, (1744-1829) a strong atheist who had a contempt for Christianity, wrote in 1809; Philosophie Zoologique which theorised that all living organisms came about by means of evolution by mutation (a word meaning change). He believed that as migrating lifeforms encountered different environments, its offspring had a slight change in its body structure adapted to suit the new environment in which it had found itself. Examples of this included fishes which gradually developed legs and lungs as they began to leave its watery environment to migrate on land. Thus from fishes, amphibians and then reptiles evolved.
The result of the studies done by these brilliant minds was that the theory of Uniformitarian Geology and its bedfellow, Evolution by mutation, began to spread particularly among the academics, while belief in the authority of the Scripture, particularly Genesis, began to wane.
It was then French Anatomist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) who wished to give some credibility to Scripture by retaining the historicity of the Genesis Flood. But at the same time, after observing the stratified rock strata, hit upon the idea of multiple-flood theory. He wrote, Research of the Fossil Bones of Quadrupeds (1812). Cuvier refuted the works of Buffon and Hutton, and advocated that the geological history of the Earth consisted a series of universal floods which were responsible for the layers of rock strata with their fossil content so frequently found. The danger of his theory was that the Noachian Deluge of Genesis was stripped of much, if not all, of geological influence. In other words, the Flood of Genesis, although acknowledged by Cuvier as the final universal flood in history, it had little or no impact on present geological stratum.
But Buffon and Hutton were to have another follower to arise, who refuted Cuvier's multi-catastrophic theory. He was Scottish Geologist Charles Lyell (1797-1875) who wrote, Principles of Geology in 1833. Lyell became the chief spokesman for Uniformitarian Geology and his work became the bedrock for thinking behind Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1892).
Between 1831 and 1836, Darwin sailed around the world in a merchant ship HMS Beagle. When the ship moored at Galapagos Islands, in the Pacific west of South America, the rich diversity of wildlife became the source of his studies. He noted on how one group of finches was diverse from those of another group as a result of a natural barrier such as a mountain range or stretch of sea or ocean preventing the two groups from interbreeding. Darwin concluded that the inability to interbreed allowed the two groups of finches to diverse to the point when they were no longer able to interbreed, therefore two separate species arose from what might have been the arrival of just one original pair of birds to the islands. Darwin summoned his observations in his now famous book: On the Origins of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), a title now shortened to Origin of Species.
Darwin's book became the classic on which the author is regarded as the discoverer of Evolution. Darwin's theory is somewhat different from Lamarck's as where the Frenchman's idea was evolution by mutation - a theory based on the rise of each species due to the slight change of the offspring's body structure to suit the new environment. Darwin's theory, in turn, was that new species branched off as a result of a natural barrier preventing the original species to interbreed. Darwin's theory became the standard yardstick for the theory of Evolution to this day.
While all this was going on, the Noachian Deluge recorded in Genesis suffered a loss of potential in shaping the Earth's surface in geological terms.
With Cuvier's theory of multiple floods, the Genesis account was already under threat of loss of geological impact. Here we can ask whether these developments were really the result of scientific research - or bias against Scripture. Although Darwin did profess a belief in God, his predecessor, Jean Lamarck, was a staunch atheist. So was English scientist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) who lived about the same time as Darwin, was another atheist who fully supported Darwin's theory - not so much of substantiation by scientific proof as was his own hostility to Scripture.
Cuvier had a follower, William Buckland, a Professor of Geology at Oxford University, who wrote in 1820, The Connection between Geology and Religion Explained, and again in 1823 wrote, Relics of the Flood, which were both essentially Cuvier's theory of multiple floods.
In fact Cuvier himself gave credit to Buckland's work in his later book, Discours sur les Revolutions de la surfaie du Globe (1826).
Then also in 1826, Scottish minister John Fleming coined the Tranquil Flood Theory. This means that the universal flood recorded in Genesis was so tranquil in nature, that the waters rose to drown a corrupt race of men without harming a single tree, let alone causing any geological upheaval.
But this idea was realised that it could not be supported by physics, especially hydraulics, as it was observed that even a minor flood caused havoc to the environment it affected. Thus the Tranquil Flood theory went to oblivion as quick as it was thought up.
Then, at last the Local Flood Theory was put forward by English theologian John Pye Smith (1774-1851). He wrote, On the Relation Between Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science, (1839). It is interesting, going by the dating, that this book was completed twenty years before Darwin wrote his Origin of Species. If all the dating is true, then it shows that the forces bent in destroying the credibility of the Genesis Flood was well underway when Charles Lyell was researching for his book which was to be the basis of Darwin's work.
John Pye Smith advocated the theory that the Flood of Genesis covered only the Mesopotamian Basin, and insisted that the antediluvian population was small enough to be confined to that area. There are many problems with the local Flood theory, I am not able to cover them here. But one major problem was how a flood could gain enough depth to cover Mt Ararat without covering a much larger territory. It would take several blogs to deal with this objection alone. But Pye Smith had many followers who were keen to admit the possibility of a flood which purpose was to destroy mankind without it interfering with Uniformitarian Geology. Biblical scholars began writing books supporting the local-Flood theory, the following are just few of many:
E.F. Kevan, The New Bible Commentary (1953).
Fred Wight, Highlights of Archaeology in Bible Lands (1955).
Werner Keller, The Bible as History (1956).
Nelson Keynes, Story of the Bible World (1959).
Today, as the commentator so demonstrated on one of my earlier blogs, the Genesis accounts of Creation and the Deluge has gone from historic to the level of legend, now even further to the level of complete nonsense in the face of Science. Academics as well as the general public who claims to possess common sense now confines true believers of the Bible's historicity as on the lunatic fringe.
In my next blog I will show something that will shatter the entire theory of Uniformitarianism, on which organic evolution rests. Watch this space.