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Indeed a gullied terrain resembling the badlands of South Dakota was formed, not within thousands of years, but in 5 days - a tremendous array of topographical forms 'arose'.
As to the 600 foot deposit formed in Spirit Lake, there are photographs of the sequence. A pumice layer came in less than one day. It was felt it would be homogenised, but the observation was quite different. Rather there were minute layerings, the boundaries between the layers being formed not in millions of years, but in days.
Morris has noted the lack of evidence of natural forces over presumed time in much smoothly defined rock strata, in favour of a vast flood and this episode short and pungent, at Mt St Helens, in fact gave in days the layerings that might have been claimed to take millions of years. Unlike the other theorised and anomalous cases, this one was observed, clearing up the theoretical problem Morris had raised, in just the direction he claimed. Here the case was fast, visible and gave its own explanation.
Does not II Peter 3:2-7 speak of the period of history directly leading on towards the fearful judgments of the day of the Lord, in just such a way as this "mockers at the close of the days" - is Peter's prognosis relative to this aspect of coming human history.
Let us hear it:
Be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandment given us by the apostles of the Lord and Saviour, knowing this first that scoffers will come in the last days where their own passions lead (Goodspeed) and saying, Where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation... For they wilfully shut their eyes to the fact (Twentieth Century NT) that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth, rising from and extended through the water (Weymouth): through which things (lit.), the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished. (The translations referred to in parenthesis, while apt, are not necessary for the purpose, being chosen simply to assist the impact of the fact.)Peter proceeds to trace coming history in terms of destruction by fire - showing conflagration in judgment, this time, in contradistinction to water, last time. The fire is a more terminal method; and continues by exhorting to holy living. The hydrogen bomb makes the point a little easier, perhaps now, to appreciate, that once it may have seemed to some...
Now it is the wilfulness of floundering in incoherent theories in the face of clear evidence, as well indeed as the word of God, that is so perspicuous and, indeed, so conspicuous in our seeing this prophecy of II Peter 3:3 fulfilled before our very eyes.
Incidentally, it too is one of the items of the prophetic syndrome for the return of Christ via the end of this present age of opportunity. Even where the word of God is assaulted, it diagnoses, like a doctor speaking clinically of the interpretation of the action of a patient who attacks him, in terms of the patient's condition, and... its prognosis.
But let us revert to Dr Austin's account. A canyon was carved 100 feet through solid rock at Mt St Helens in the summer of 1980, and a new 20 foot cliff at the lake was left, not by the occult operations of millions of years, but in months, less then one year.
This has become rather like an audio-visual science class demonstration, but with the unusual feature that it was naturally provided on a colossal scale, providing a paradigm, an example, an illustration for the analyses made for so long and with so much patience by men of eminent scientific standing, indicating the evidences of catastrophe on the earth.
Such were speaking either of catastrophic bases for observable situations accounted for in inadequate terms on gradualistic bases, or of the flood directly.
It fits like components of precision equipment; the scientific analyses on the one hand, and the observable indications on the other. In this sense, Nature... has given its own shrug, as it were, of the shoulders to the gradualistic mystifications. One event does not prove others; but such an event confirms preceding analyses in contradistinction to 'explanations' neither seen nor yet able to give rational account of their operation, indeed contrary to rationality.
Catastrophic immediacy has shown us its hand, and allowed us to examine it. Austin compares the type of situation to that in the Grand Canyon and proceeds to observe that 27 levels of petrified forest at Yellowstone should be considered in the light of his on-the-field observation at Mt St Helens' environment. Here by careful checking and photography, he shows thousands of logs gradually being embedded in the same direction in the surrounding silt, as that in which they appear at Yellowstone. It is vertical or slightly tilted.
Steps in the process were a matter of observation and the amount of cubic feet of timber involved was vast for this one incident. This in fact agrees well with those ludicrous situations where evolutionists (as a matter perhaps of some sort of psychological principle, and not for any physical necessity or even plausibility) blandly make a story of millions of years out of a site where a tree covers vertically a whole set of strata for a vast (alleged) period! That the one tree should live so happily through so many 'geological ages' is an excellent testimony to the length of such 'ages'...
Types of formation and strata deemed one thing cannot on the same theory be deemed wholly other, if there is any ground in the theory at all, rather than the convenience of fantasy, obstructed by the nuisance of fact... such as the 'dislocation' of strata, by nature non-conformist, in a seamless seeming situation refusing to conform to the need of a disruptive force of vast magnitude, leaving something called evidence, and the wide crown of sedimentary rock upon the surface of the earth, undismayed by great heights or vast scale.
What we have here, on the other hand, at Mt St Helens is the observation of the formation of such a situation, which is now added to the inference that one tree would scarcely lie around for millions of years from root to top, while nature, part by part, covered its undecaying trunk. Facts can be so refreshing, almost 'different' in this uniformitarian captivity of almost a century of philosophically controlled 'scientific' thinking in this area.
The work of steam, like that of ice, can excavate in its own way; and in its own time. On the other hand, assumptions against the evidence of an often catastrophic past to the planet (which Velikovsky, so vehemently and with such varied documentation, showed to have occurred, as a trend, constituting a major historical exhibit) - these agree neither with evidentially based science, nor theoretically cogent concepts.
Thus, if gradualism had always been in practical operation, there would be no way to explain so much of the geological and paleontological data - some examples of which are mentioned here; as Morris so well showed with Whitcomb in his Genesis Flood... of the earth. As has been shown earlier, moreover, there is even less available scope to explain biological reality without its instituter and creator. Flamboyant contradiction indeed has just been noted supra- re the Cambrian 'expectations' and the reality.
Since current earth formations have not always been the case, we now have observational evidence of the kind of process by which the earth could readily have been carved to something of what we see. Indeed we find a contemporary case implying answers to basic problems, showing them to be available, and that with considerable felicity. Mt St Helens did not blow its top for nothing.
Ignorance, then, not only of the rate (Frederick B. Jueneman, cited by John Morris, Science, Scripture and the Young Earth, p. 16), but even of the manner in which certain events of crucial significance occurred in the past, is scarcely ground for rational argumentation, philosophic protestation or student indoctrination. Even less is this so, when radiometric 'constants' are concerned, such that the level of alteration to the outcome of equations used can be potentially astronomical and downward in time span indicated. Faster rate, other things equal, means shorter history.
The quasi-exponential decay curve, concerning the velocity of light, to which radiometric decay is proportional, is one index of 'natural' change that may relate. Vastly greater initial rate of operation is implied where this is applied to times past, hence signalling as erroneous any extrapolation from the lesser assumed rates, to large periods of time. (Instead excited early rates rocket events, telescoping time).
The same sort of comment could be made, and has been (Professor Andrews in his God Science & Evolution e.g. pp. 119 ff.), of the vastly levering effect inherent in quantitative error that may be made on radioactive residues, or residues from such a process. Any error here 'will virtually guarantee ages of some hundreds of millions of years.' Conceptual error about origins and significance of elements involved, through the corresponding mathematical assumptions, can have just the same effect. To revert to Andrews: he exhibits the nature of the mathematics in the case, to show such consequences from small errors. It is rather like a gun: it makes large differences by means of a small propellant.
When, however, this also is compounded by systematic and basic collision with evidence (such as the Cambrian cast noted above) and unverified hypotheses used as a basis, on the one hand and a verified professional trend to devalue radiometric findings, on the other; and when, moreover, such findings are often in conflict with each other, by vast amounts, according to method, and sometimes comically with the facts in ascribing millions of years of age to LIVING objects per favour of strata 'evidence' for dating purposes, itself in turn subject to acute question of (observationally relevant) origins in rapid catastrophe: it becomes like building a house on the wind. As Jueneman (Morris, loc. cit.) notes sagely on radiometric dates:
Such 'confirmation' may be shortlived, as nature is not to be discovered quite so readily.
There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radioactive decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster... within the age and memory of man.Morris (loc. cit.) adds that radioactive decay rates are a matter of statistical observation- and that they harbour no inherent reason why they should not have varied immensely in the past. When Setterfield's indications of excellent evidence for a curve similar to an exponential one, for the decay of the velocity of light are considered: together with exhibitions of observed rapid formations at Mt St Helens and Surtsey (Andrews, op. cit., p. 116): dating reticence becomes rationally obligatory. Not merely error, but absurdity becomes a clear possibility. We are in the area not merely of guesswork, but gross guesswork: and this not merely of 'initial states' of elements, or components of elements, or ratios of elements, or forms of elements or compounds, but of processes and procedures.
Pretensions of exactitude in such situations can be as delusive as occurs in economics, when theories with no more force than that of simple philosophical assumptions, then dazzle students with the rigours of mathematics, based on what is often either mere arrogance, preferred philosophy, or logical farce.
What however may be said of any observable evidences concerning the age of the earth ? While all process-deduction runs some risk in extrapolation, certain processes are better within the field of tested knowledge and observation, for man, by their very nature: so that it is proper to give them greater credence, in proportion as this is so. Now let us review and extend somewhat.
Such evidences range from the long observed and accurately predicted deterioration rate1 of the earth's magnetic field (again relating to the rapid decline of the exponential rate), and evidence that does nothing to show innate ground, in our continuing world, either for the electrical currents that indeed seem involved, or for their maintenance (Barnes: Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field ); to the rates of solution of minerals in the ocean, brought to it from the earth, and the extrapolation from these rates to possible time for this to occur; to theoretical stringencies affecting particle formation in space (Slusher: The Origin of the Universe), as well as the need for far less time than what is commonly lavishly... provided, for the annihilation of our comets on the one hand, and for the unspiralling of the galaxy formation on the other (Slusher: Age of the Cosmos).
Add topics such as heat loss drastically curtailing age calculations for the earth (Slusher: The Age of the Earth: A Study of the Cooling of the Earth Under the Influence of Radioactive Heart Sources), together with the quite unexpectedly small depth of moon dust (and the implications of confidently held earlier theories on the time span to produce this slender moon margin cf. p. 86 supra), and the strongly evidentially attested and mathematically supported concept of the loss of light velocity, which affects in turn crucial other rates so grossly: And what do you find ?
You find evidential indications most numerous and synthetic in their impact for a relatively young earth, perhaps very young: and these harmonise perfectly with the scope and sovereignty of creation which is so Biblically evident. Indeed, Biblically as rationally, the two in harmony, the creation is attested as monergistic, majestic, speaking of mental and material operations which inspire language... but which also use it. Employ it, outside the oral and literary attestations of man ? Yes indeed; one such locale being the coded genetic system, which is nothing less than language.
All this evidences the biological institution of life and man: sudden, encapsulative and short has it come, as with the construction of a space-craft. Yet it is a work showing far more power and mentality than we mere men can muster. The language of thought and the thought of language appear... passim, in the book of the universe of which the readable genetic code is merely a part.
Defined and determinate from the outset comes man. With such bases, he works with a spirit and imagination, as lively as a pilot in a jet; but he needs to remember what got him off the ground, as an operative ensemble. Even while he writes, much of his basic equipment... is written. What is not, invokes a liquid and moving thought, a roving articulation, that writes, and also speaks, a masterpiece of vision and vocabulary, that flaws itself by the sombre sullenness of misused powers, as if the flight had no ground. Alas that what is so eminently visible, should be disregarded in the thrill of the flight. The delightfulness of the human dynamic can also be deadly, when man forgets the source of his power.
Without this creation, nothing fits, except pure undaunted imagination; while with it, all the requirements of evidence are satisfied - if not sated; and only undisciplined imagination can really make plausible suggestions any more. Indeed, what Pierre Grassé, past President of the French Academy has stated of one of the ingredients of the delusive system, bears emphasis (cf. p. 208 infra):
There is no law against day dreaming, but science must not engage in it.On p. 8 of the same book, he speaks of the need for biologists to be encouraged to think about the weaknesses and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit, says he... is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies of what they hold; indeed, the 'falsity'. The process is quite obvious, and has bases as broad as man's dislike of God, His word, His will and the witness of His creation. As such we have been tracing it, with its richly operative spiritual ingredients.
(Evolution of Living Organisms, Academic Press, N.Y., 1977, p. 88.)
It is indeed, for example, almost dizzying just to list the follies of the dedicated secularist, where primordial dates are concerned. What do we find ? Dates spun from theories; evidence disregarded; constraints dismissed; assumptions made in order to secure 'proofs'; 'initial' states of things guessed in a sort of hypnotic time game; gradualism posited where fixity in fact appears; creative chemical action assumed where experiments on 'life' even with intelligence behind them in the human laboratory, and with the judicious removal of waste products, destructive of results if allowed to remain, before their eyes, do not produce this result or anything remotely like it! (See Gish, for example: Speculations and Experiments Related to Theories on the Origin of Life, pp. 17-31.) No functionally effective cell-membrane, no mitochondria, no DNA blueprints, no RNA 'executives', no life-proteins as such, indeed appear. (Analogically: no car, no manufacturing plant, no car makers' steel present themselves!) Moreover, time is given the task of being the creator, in terms of the postulate of an already created, instituted universe: making for the system, what that system never shows itself to possess in capability. Yet after all, it is merely part of it.
All this, meanwhile is done in stark contravention of the laws of decay, of entropy, of actual observation and observed trends, of leftward slanted chemical equilibrium situations (Wilder-Smith: Man's Origin, Man's Destiny, cf. pp. 13-109): as if time were the means to change law, and chance the method to make law. If this produces the utmost admiration for the untempered audacity of the proponents, the instillers of these dreams: it does not do so, in the area of science. To this, it is antithetical in method. (Cf. pp. 148 ff., 135 supra.)
Such things compose the buoyant extravaganza of irrelevant irrationality. These incoherent concepts fail to meet the realities of causation and observation; and the explosive myth of time, since it merely secures what was implicit in the nature of the system, whatever the source, is as futile as is the delusive intrusion of creative power into the interstices of a universe which, in itself as it works, simply does not show such power as part of its system. No amount of time is the same as creativity; and the 'greater' the system, the greater the call on its systematiser.
Disfaith is a disease when, as here, it not merely disbelieves in logic, in causation, in settling with observation humbly and unpossessively, but makes laws the opposite of what is and turns the observation of degeneration into the myth of generation, self-generation of a universe over time from the 'days' when, uncaused, it had no self with which to do the generating to, or for the time when, today, it exhibits no power to do so even with the self it now has.
Man remains in as much a fix logically blustering without God, without creation, without evidence, contrary to observation, as on the other hand, his own form has been lustrously fixed. As Lord Zuckerman, we have seen, put it of the evidence: if man came from an ape-like creature, it is an act performed 'without leaving any fossil traces of the steps of the transformation' (Beyond The Ivory Tower, p. 64). It is good for scientists to turn to the evidence, from time to time, even in such a field as this!
On the contrary to such trends as Zuckerman rightly criticises in his own special field of comparative morphology and human fossil remains: when one makes assumptions, one should not use them as grounds of argumentation; and when one notes careful observations, one should humbly follow, them rather than bypass them in favour of thoughts in precise contradiction to those things which are clear and confirmed.
The trouble to find experimental evidence: of life formation without the use of intelligence (for that is the hypothesis, if we want observable science in its special field); of man construction (or some parody or prodigy of man, dreamed to come) without intervention of intelligence; of geological formation before our eyes - as noted in the creation- confirming illustrations cited here, but covering the uniformitarian case; to find evidence conformable to continuation of spiralling galaxies over such times spans as are assumed, or the sustaining of such magnetic fields as are observed over the time reference in view - it is prodigious!
This trouble, it is as prodigious as is the initial failure to provide logical basis for the initial components of the system, the complex and profound interactions of which even yet do not play God to outward observation. Thus they do not create new systems and more advanced designs; but play instead the game they were given by God. They play it, these components, with 'ruthless' disregard for discrepant imaginations. The gossamer constructions of philosophically flirtatious fancies do nothing to subdue the facts. The facts do nothing to support the theories.
It is man who is dissatisfied, on the one hand, with the fixity of much and, on the other, the degeneration of more! It seems no amount of time will suffice to disabuse him as a race of the desire to play the part of God... which, alas, he is as far from fitted to perform, as is the evidence unwilling to permit the proposition... even in his imagination!
This leads to frustration and contradiction in his thoughts, as appears even in the area of dating and rock formation, as if energy had no form, form no law, law no base, synthesis no spirit, mind no author, character no creator and all no point except this: to grab and gain like a spiritual Mafia, the heart of the universe and exploit it.
Environmentalists protest, but their cry is too low; psychologists and sociologists make demands, but their subjects are too often drugged with philosophic hypotheses, trussed short in irresponsibility; politicians sometimes seem almost to desire purposeful discipline, but often simply seem to slump into mere amassing of national debt, as if primary economics appalled them, while their Education Departments teach self-fulfilment in a wicked world where strife... has created their souls - should they 'happen' to have any. Neither in logic, learning, law, science or life is there any outlet for what denies its inlet.
The 'outlet' into drugs, drink, stark and rampant perversity and all its appalling psychological and spiritual, not to say physical consequences; into gambling, abuse of power, of responsibility and of any sense of trust: all this is virtually predictable from the deprived, mistaught and depraved spirits which drink of this poison. They also eat of this putridity; and our mounting statistics of crime attest well the weight this type of confusion can produce, and where it bulges.
In sum then, we are obliged to say this. The fact of creation is logically demonstrable just as the Bible indicates ( Romans 1:17- 20). As for any 'contest' from evolution: it is not even science and, by scientific method, it would fall if it were; even as godless philosophy, it fails categorically.
But what of the day of creation ? To seek for the time when it occurred - that is, how long ago our time sequence began: this is a properly humbling experience.
No man on earth can tell. Yet from pleochroic halos (*40) - rock traces of radio-active particle emission in the past - suggestive (Dr Gentry in Scott Huse's The Collapse of Evolution - *41) of virtually instantaneous creation... to decaying forces and fields, both skeletal and galactic form, and actual, geological observations of forces at work: the testimony is strong. And to what effect ? It is that this vast impact of divine power was accompanied by a far greater splash* of initial energy, than we now see as nature erodes; and that it occurred possibly not only far more recently than brash, thoughtless and uninformed extrapolation once was taken by many to suggest, but perhaps even in the very backyard of history.
Man is frequently, and perhaps all but habitually on earth, very slow to acknowledge the effects of his sins; just as frequently he is fast to minimise them when he does: and this case appears no exception. So often indeed he wants more time to play God and just to see... just to see what would happen.
Increasingly he is seeing, but afraid of the sight. Indeed, in one salient respect the whole pathos and pitiability of man is this: that that he (as Biblically pronounced and predicted) is wilfully blind (cf. Matthew 13:15) as well as blindly wilful. The compassion of Jesus Christ in such a setting is like the snip of a surgeon's scissors severing a tumour... careful, exact and beautifully done.
We referred to the divine splash of creative energy (asterisked - see p. 173): let us then look at the understanding of the days in Genesis, to understand what is taught.
Of course, it could be urged that His majesty is such that our pittance of time should not be literally compared to His grand spaces of it; but this is scarcely the point. He uses what words and deeds He will, and in so doing makes a grand splash of divine energy wholly diverse from anything we can do. That in itself meets this point. Grandeur is not inseparably annexed to slowness; and if so grand, can accomplish in its greatness what we take time to produce in our littleness, surpassing us with consummate superiority. He in His days does prodigiously and suitably beyond what we do: He creates the system; we use it, in so doing, developing our little selves. His speech alone will determine what He chose: as far as His greatness is concerned, He can as well do what appears a thousand years' worth in a day, as extend a day as a unit, to a thousand years. There is no limitation with God; He does as He pleases.
What He chose as the parameters is, then, as noted quite clear. If, again, it were intended to be in some way divorced from the time notations expressly given, it could scarcely make it less clear that this is so. In verse 18, for example, the sun and moon are caused to appear in order to rule over our time as we know it: this is the testimony. We are being given terms in our own usage, with the institution of time as we use it, the difference being the institution; but upon the institution, this is the situation.
There is some legitimate question before this day four event. If, as Gleason Archer presents it, the event in day 4 is the revelation of the sun and moon (possibly hitherto not, as they now are, visible from the earth): if this may be the meaning, then what of the days preceding this clarification ? Simply, the presentation of fruit trees and other natural events in the context of days, suggests at least time in the analogy of what we now know as days. However, here we cannot be so readily assured.
If the sun and moon were doing their stuff, as it were, but under a cloud, or more meteorologically, simply superficially obscured as to their form, then days would not be altered by that fact, only the clarity with which they might be observed. The time processes would grind away irrespective of the relative ease with which the focal points could be seen by any hypothetical individual on earth.
If however they were not; and if in day four, this is in fact a creation of sun and moon, for the clearing is only one possible rendering; and if God used some other method of separating day and night before this event of day four: if these things be so, then our grounds for making days one, two and three at least after the style of our own days (we do not know, in fact, the speed of rotation of the earth at those days): these are reduced.
The fact that evening and morning, however, are announced for these earlier days, without determining this issue, gives good, solid ground for the view that the sun and moon may have been normally operational except for surface clarity (a very important fact, but not then! in that man was not there to utilise the information). If so, then all the days proceeding would be at least after the style of our current ones, the exact time being of course wholly unknown, but revolution-related and hence in a settling situation, days as distinct from ages.
While there is some little question, then, about the length of days 1, 2 and 3, for these various reasons, though no great question, there is real question about the length of day l. In this day, light is created. How soon, in it, we do not know; nor as above, do we know if the sun and moon were day determinants at that time, or not. Only the analogy of the later days has weight, and it is unwise to push analogy too far. In this primordial setting, it is a brave man who insists that the furniture of custom is operating while it is being created! However, the thrust of the total days, and the analogy to our own work days, made in Exodus 20:11, does schematically portray that, apart from this institutional day when the very fact of 'day' is coming to be, a week is in view as the cardinal concept; though its first beginning is not susceptible to too much rigour.
This means that we are facing short, sovereign, dynamically institutional days in days four and on, days which are rotational in kind - not vaguely durational; while the light-darkness ensemble time is, to a point, less specific in days 1, 2 and 3, it being only one possibility that it is very close to that at present. It is not however in any way related to something divorced from day, different in kind from day as we know it. The concept of age is foreign. The events are significant of sovereign, monergistic action without confusion or trial, and we move to our present epoch with the use of the very days we know.
All the kinds are regulated by the language itself to exclude any variation beyond the limitations which bound kind; the concept of variation beyond kind is expressly removed.
All the days are deemed such in a context where the later ones are days as we know them, in type; and this makes it apparent that any move to even operational diversification rationally must make and establish its case. This may not be done except for days 1, 2 and 3, and even there it is merely one possibility; and the generic and consistent usage of the term argues that even here, there is nothing diverse in kind (even if in mechanics).
Indeed, assuming the author is writing to be understood ('nothing wreathed' is in His words - Proverbs 8:8-9 covers the case, for interpretation), a certain common character at least must attach to the 'days': though it would be ourselves who would be to blame, if we forced our current mechanisms onto the early one. Whatever the mechanisms, however, and that they are correlative to our own is undoubtedly indicated by the 'evening and the morning', days 1, 2, 3 may have some diversification in the means of production of the light zones.
In the case of day 1, however, we simply cannot require how much time preceded that phase of the day which allowed for the input of light. What one does not know is not improved by emphasis or contention. It may be that the sovereign overruling power ensured that the kind of day which succeeded was as it were, honoured in the 'day' of the institution of light and darkness separation (day one). It would be most comprehensible if there be so; but it is not determinable by our minds.
As for days 2 and 3, it is conceivable that they had a light darkness movement mechanism wholly different from that now, in that day 4 specifies the institution of the operation of this mechanism, and we are not sure if this involves only its visibility aspect or its whole character. The fact remains, however, that mornings and evenings are operational in uniform linguistic usage with that employed for later 'days', so that the generic character of these aspects is certainly already instituted. The genus, if not the species, of chronological concept is clear on any reading.
(Further, if the terms 'evening and morning' in this uniform context are to be given full scope, then day four would indeed see the uncovering, not the creation of sun and moon, a key and index by the uniformity of the phrase.)
This gives ground for viewing all days initially constituted, irrespective of operation, as similar in constitutional kind, even then; and argument to the contrary is merely to institute conceivable mechanical variants. The maximum input here, for variation, would be this: though the terms employed are the same, and the generic impact must be similar, the exact term of time as we know it, that is involved, cannot be specified to within quotable limits.
For all that, the generic structure of the matter does limit this variability; and it cannot be used as of an 'age' with any logical propriety; for that is divergent in kind. We are as excluded from evolutionary type 'ages' in this simple fact, as from any imagined (transmutational) genetic plasticity in the clear use of the term 'kind', such as occurs in Genesis 1:11, 21, 21 and 25.
As to the pre-life day 1, we repeat, however, such limit is simply not available. only the fact that the ensemble of a 'week' is in view gives plausibility to the concept of a day of limits as strict as those of days 2 and 3. This however is no mean point; it is just that there are no limits to the institutional basis for this day. Presumably it fits happily into the total schema for days to construct the appropriate week for our instruction, the later days being specific in kind; and any vast distortion in initiation would seem wholly questionable.
Despite this, it would be presumption to argue from this, that the initiation activities of day one must be co- ordinate with the time frame of the other days. All one can rightly say without further ado is this: even day one is a day, the term used elsewhere, and hence may not be transmuted into some other type of concept, liberating thought from the text - from the author's thought which has been put into this text. That would not be interpretation, but evasion.
One result of this analysis is simply this: life is given neither the parameters in variability nor in time that relate to the magical hypothesis of evolution; and six co-ordinate-in-kind days constitute the time span of creation, the later members of the creation days becoming wholly those we now know, with current rotational data, as being presumably near to 24 hours in duration. All life comes from determinate designs, dynamically instituted in short order. Animal and human life, specifically, relate stringently to rotational days for the creation actions their mentioned.
Life in particular, in all its specified variety, has a highly specific, totally short, sharp matter of (rotational) days specified for its entire construction, institution and execution: a divine splash of magnificent energy, exquisite craftsmanship and glorious invention.
It might well and duly be urged that the concept of evening and morning being day one, or two or three, as it is stated to be, comes from this creative fact, that first there was darkness in the world, before light got there... was instituted in the world.
The importance of this consideration from the present viewpoint: it is this. It is in focus that darkness came first. It is stated to be so, and the sequential notation enshrines just this. What (statedly) happened is the same as the notation given.
Darkness at the entry of matter is affirmed; light is a convenience, an asset, an enduement fitting for life. How long then, was that darkness. As Jesus said, "how great is that darkness!", we ask in this case, how long is that darkness?
The answer is beautiful, it is one that people should learn to give rather more freely in some circumstances: We do not know. Simply that.
Before God, when one day is as a thousand years (as he says) and a thousand years is as one day, then in this case of day one, we really do not know. Shall we impertinently advise God how He wished to think about, 'hover' about... as the Spirit brooded over the waters, to put it metaphorically following the text, before He made light! It is suggested that this would be unwise before One whose understanding is infinite.
In the case of day one, even the parallel considerations relative to 6 days (which gives the word in context much call for uniformity of definition, sufficient call to be conclusive as to the nature of the day in view, in the last analysis): there is this difference.
The text states that this is the institution of the day. Part of it is prior to the very institution of light. If the rest of the day one were to be the normal length, then of necessity this would make the 'time' from the institution of matter to the end of day one, longer than is the case for the other six days: except the primordial darkness did not exceed that later darkness, which at that time was in fact to be a separating period between successive days. But was this so ?
Did the primordial darkness, before the very creation of succession of day and night, before there was any day to separate from night indeed: did this in fact equal the night time which later would separate day from day ? There is a distinction between bravery and hardihood, and it appears to be exemplified here. You statedly have a different situation in day one. Its prior darkness is not part of a sequence: it is initial, one aspect of institution in the whole later-to-be-repeated scenario of day and night to which we are now so accustomed, but which then had not even begun; for which then, in the early reaches of day one, there was no example.
Are we justified in retrospectively exporting our evening as a separation from days, to that darkness which had not as yet (we know because we are told when God called the darkness 'night') been called night. Darkness ? yes; night ? not then. Why assume, simply assume that the darkness extending before it was called night, equated in time with the darkness called night, after light ? that the time for the institutive function of darkness equated with that for the separation-of-days function ?
Ultimately, there can be only one reason: it is this. The seven day sequence is expressed in terms of seven days; and would not this stress the coherence on the one hand, terminologically speaking, and the parallel for man, on the other ?
It would not stress the concept for a parallel for man's work as noted in Exodus 20, because the text in Genesis 1 explains that there was first an institution and then a sequence; and the fact that man is not equal with God, is derivative, is part of a creation which is not integral to God, but a result of His creation-thought-and-power-and-purpose, is crucial to the context.
Not to observe this is not to observe the distinction between the finite and the infinite God. When He is doing what is His specific in principle, which by nature we cannot share, that is, instituting both ourselves and our environment, there can be and obviously is no parallel. Setting up the trappings, the equipment for the test is no part of the test. Further, to realise this is part of being godly, that is, realising what you are and are not, and what God is. It is a conceptual part of it.
The six creative days incorporate one distinction we cannot have, a divine distinction. Can we bypass this divine distinctive and equate the initial darkness in which such a thing as matter was made, as if it were inconsequential, irrelevant ? Is the examiner's setting up of the chairs part of the first hour ? we might ask, in a suggestive, but merely illustrative analogy. Since day one incorporates this divine distinctive, we do not well to act as if it did not. What are the environs of that distinctive ? What depicts the environment of terms, the cluster of considerations, the operative schema, for God ?
We do not know. When God, in the form of God, does things in the arena of creation, we do well to put our hands over our mouths rather than know the answers...
This must be said. However, to what extent may we properly attenuate this salient fact, this sovereign fact by the very fact that God in His sovereignty has called the darkness and the light, notwithstanding, day one? That is the question.
To the extent it is called 'day', despite the fact that during the initial darkness light was created, as distinct from given one of its episodic emplacements between a preceding night and a following night, we may urge that it is in essence, just the same. Certainly, it would be put, there would be differences of kind, in that during the course of day one, light is instituted as such, in our universe; but there is no need to postulate any difference of time, in that days are all called days.
Yet they are so called as things instituted in a night to day sequence, not in a setting of day creation within the initial darkness which was (in terms of the duo), at that stage, all of the sequence which was in existence.
Because the context is explicit on this point, there is no real excuse for assuming that its declared specifics, the incorporation of the creation of light, make no difference. They are different and notably such. They are institutional, not constitutional.
How long was the first night ? We do not know; but this we do know, that it is in a style of performance, in a splash of divine energy where omnipotence stoops to no constraints, sovereignty relates to no obfuscation, frustration, where the energy of the text is clear: to God there is His work.
He does it and it is done; indeed, He says it and it is done. Speech is performance; means are assumed. In analogy, it is rather like the executive who picks up the phone and tells them. Yes, I have done that, he tells the meeting. It is done.
Power is no problem; it is assumed. Means are in hand. The action is correlative to no obstruction. While the analogy is imperfect (in our real world), the point is not.
God, to the perfected degree, is in that situation, as shown in Chapter 1. Therefore no suggestion is made, should be made or could logically be made that time had to be long, in terms of constraint for the divinity. Constraints are, as often shown, what He invents. The text indicates that time to institute all life was unquestionably short, in terms of some number of hours: that is certain.
The initial time, in terms of the style of our exhortation in Exodus 20, must harbour no disjunction of style, or of basic correlativity to the other days in the energy and panache, the sovereignty and certainty of the events. Day one cannot be atypical in such a way as to destroy the exhortation. Nor may it be construed with certainty as lacking a divine authority and specificity in the absolute initiation, linked with darkness. It must relate to the whole duration of the sequence so as not to destroy its flow, yet this without presupposing the entire nature of the setting up at the outset.
Therefore, there appears no way in which day one would be a time of a different sort of toil on the part of the divine artisan; except perhaps in its establishment for ongoing purposes. There certainly is neither need to assume it different in duration from the other days; nor warrant to streamline this demonstrably different day into entire conformity with them. It is just that the exact length is simply not known.
The colour, impact, feel, style is correlative with that of the rest; but the pre-sequential time specific is not to be gauged.
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1. The intense mathematical work of Professor Tom Barnes (magnetism) and Professor Harold Slusher (astronomy and heat), as well as of Setterfield and Dr. Humphreys - q.v. (light), Gentry (coal, radiometric dating, early formations) and others, tends to converge impressively for the implications of the earth's age. A few thousand years seem indicated for its span, with considerable rigour. Barnes' work, for example, shows no known process by which the magnetic field could be generated in any direction; it seems that these rates read backwards from the present, over much more time than a very few thousand years have rather drastic implications. For example, it would come to mean an earth hostile to man, being molten!
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