Not everyone who believes in evolution is an atheist. Some Christians reason that the book of Genesis-said to have been authored by Moses or compiled under his direction-was originally written for a primitive people. So instead of confusing them with a lot of scientific explanations that they wouldn’t understand, God kept it simple with this charming little Creation fable. Let’s examine that supposition in context.

Moses led the Hebrews in their exodus from the bondage of Egypt. At the time of Moses, Egypt had already been a flourishing civilization for centuries. It built, among other things, the famous pyramids-marvels of engineering that many structural engineers claim could not be built with the same precision today. The Egyptians were not ignorant, nor were the Hebrews who had lived in Egypt for 400 years, much of that time as a favored guest nation.

There was no reason for God to have handed Moses and the Hebrews a line with regards to the beginning of all things. If all of this had evolved over billions of years, He could have said so. But He didn’t. And the reason He didn’t is because it didn’t happen that way. God had His reasons for making the world, and the main one was for it to be a proving ground for humankind to prepare us to be His companions in the infinitely better world He has made as our ultimate home.

Nevertheless, ever since the theory of evolution became popular, there have been attempts to harmon­ize the biblical account of Creation with evolution-what is known as “theistic evolution.” In short, theistic evolution holds that God used the evolutionary process to bring about creation. The two most common theories of theistic evolution are the Gap Theory and the Day-Age Theory.

The Gap Theory

(also called the Ruin and Reconstruction Theory)

This theory supposes that evolution occurred during an enormous time gap between the first two verses of the book of Genesis. This theory has eight basic assumptions:

* God created Earth and life.

* Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, all that evolution proposes took place.

* Fossils are the remains of animals and plants that evolved millions of years ago and were preserved in deposits left by local floods, sometimes millions of years apart.

* All of the fossilized animals evolved from non-living matter by chance, just as evolution teaches-first single cell plants, then invertebrate animals, vertebrate fish, amphibians, reptiles, and finally mammals.

* Mammals evolved into a race of man-like beings (a pre-Adamite race).

* All of this ended when Lucifer (a.k.a. Satan, the Devil) rebelled against God and was cast down to the earth.

* The result of Satan’s fall was global cataclysm (flood and explosion).

* This cataclysm left Earth as we find it in Genesis 1:2, without form and void with darkness on the face of the deep.

From a Scriptural point of view, this theory is totally without foundation. The proponents of the Gap Theory have been so bowled over by the supposed correctness of evolutionary theory that they have tried to save God’s and the Bible’s reputations, but they are doing God no favors.

Again, Genesis 1:1-5 states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

The theistic evolution theories are both scientifically and Scripturally bogus.

This all happened on the first day. The Hebrew word yowm in the original text can mean: 1) from sunrise to sunset; 2) a 24-hour period; 3) an indefinite period of time defined by an associated term (e.g., “in the day of battle” [Psalm 140:7]). But the context in Genesis 1:5 makes it clear that either definition 1 or definition 2 applies because it hems in the time period by one evening and one morning. (The Jewish day starts in the evening and ends the following evening, so the term evening and morning is consistent with Jewish usage.) And finally, whenever the word yowm appears in the Bible qualified by a number, such as “first” in this instance, it means a 24-hour period.

Also, when God had finished the Creation at the end of the sixth day, Genesis 1:31 (KJV) states, “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Because everything He made at this point was very good, this seems to place the fall of Satan and his angels after the Creation Week-not before it, as claimed by the Gap Theory.

Evolutionists reject the Gap Theory outright because any cataclysm (such as a worldwide nuclear or volcanic explosion) that would leave Earth “without form and void” and with “darkness on the face of the deep” would effectively disintegrate Earth’s crust and thus obliterate all evidence of any previous “geological ages,” which they claim is found in sedimentary deposits with their fossils. Thus the Gap Theory-which is supposed to accommodate the geological ages-requires a cataclysm that would destroy all evidence for the geological ages. [Footnote: For more details on this subject, see “Why The Gap Theory Won’t Work,” by Henry M. Morris, published by the Institute for Creation Research.]

The Gap Theory satisfies neither the creationists nor the evolutionists.

The Day-Age Theory

Proponents of this theory contend that the six days of Genesis 1 were actually long periods of time-ages-that correspond to the major periods of geological history, as defined by evolutionists. Day-Age Theory proponents apply the third definition of yowm (“an indefinite period of time”) to the days of Genesis 1, and support this with 2 Peter 3:8: “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” They also insist that too much activity took place on the sixth day (Genesis chapter 2) to fit into a single 24-hour day.

The passage 2 Peter 3:3-10 speaks of scoffers in the last days who belittle biblical predictions of the second coming of Christ. Verse 8 is not meant as a mathematical formula of 1 = 1000 or 1000 = 1, but rather to make the point that the Lord is not limited by time, that He can accomplish something in a day or in however long He wants to. 2 Peter 3:8 has nothing whatsoever to do with the length of the Creation Week. Genesis 1 needs to be interpreted in context, not by a verse written over 1,500 years later and taken out of context. Even if it were possible to apply this verse literally to the Creation Week, 6,000 years does not begin to accommodate the millions of years required by evolution. [Footnote: For more details on this subject, see “Theistic Evolution and the Day-Age Theory,” by Richard Niessen, published by the Institute for Creation Research.]

Again, the Day-Age Theory satisfies neither the creationists nor the evolutionists.

God’s Checklist for Day Seven

* Take a break