Category Archives: Evolution vs Creationism

Why I walked away from Christianity[1]

Stoning - Wikipedia

(Saint Stephen, first martyr of Christianity, painted in 1506 by Marx Reichlich (1460–1520)
(Pinakothek of Munich)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

Some prominent apostates included:

clip_image002 Charles Templeton

clip_image004(Image courtesy Pinterest)

Chuck Templeton became a convert to Christ/Christianity in 1936 and then became an evangelist. He founded Avenue Road Church of the Nazarene in Toronto, Canada in 1941.

In 1945, he met with Torrey Johnson at Winona Lake, Indiana to form a group that became Youth for Christ. Billy Graham was hired as its first full-time evangelist. He and Templeton engaged in an evangelistic tour of Western Europe.

He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and hosted a weekly religious television show on CBS, Look Up and Live, in the 1950s.

He struggled with doubt about the Christian faith and in 1957 he announced he had become agnostic. This publicity caused reactions in the evangelical community.

He made forays into politics in Canada but spent much of the rest of his life as a journalist in public life.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the late 1990s and passed away from disease complications in 2001.[2]

A couple years before he died, Lee Strobel of A Case for Christ fame interviewed Charles Templeton. Some of Templeton’s replies to Strobel included the following:

[Strobel asked]: “And how do you assess this Jesus?…”

“He was,” Templeton began, “the greatest human being who has ever lived. He was a moral genius. His ethical sense was unique. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my readings. His commitment was total and led to his own death, much to the detriment of the world. What could one say about him except that this was a form of greatness?”

I was taken aback. “You sound like you really care about him,” I said.

“Well, yes, he is the most important thing in my life,” came his reply. “I . . . I . . . I . . . ,” he stuttered, searching for the right word, ‘I know it may sound strange, but I have to say . . . I adore him!” . . .

” . . . Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus. Yes . . . yes. And tough! Just look at Jesus. He castigated people. He was angry. People don’t think of him that way, but they don’t read the Bible. He had a righteous anger. He cared for the oppressed and exploited. There’s no question that he had the highest moral standard, the least duplicity, the greatest compassion, of any human being in history. There have been many other wonderful people, but Jesus is Jesus….’

“Uh . . . but . . . no,’ he said slowly, ‘he’s the most . . .” He stopped, then started again. “In my view,” he declared, “he is the most important human being who has ever existed.”

That’s when Templeton uttered the words I never expected to hear from him. “And if I may put it this way,” he said as his voice began to crack, ‘I . . . miss . . . him!

With that tears flooded his eyes. He turned his head and looked downward, raising his left hand to shield his face from me. His shoulders bobbed as he wept. . . .

Templeton fought to compose himself. I could tell it wasn’t like him to lose control in front of a stranger. He sighed deeply and wiped away a tear. After a few more awkward moments, he waved his hand dismissively. Finally, quietly but adamantly, he insisted: “Enough of that” (Charles Templeton: Missing Jesus, The Gospel Coalition).

What penetrating statements from one who had committed apostasy by rejecting God and Jesus!

clip_image006(Photo of an elderly Charles Templeton, courtesy The Gospel Coalition, U.S. Edition)

When Christians have doubts about anything relating to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the life of a Christian, the place to begin addressing those doubts is not to head into the darkness of agnosticism – I don’t know if God exists. That’s a fence-sitting position with no hope of resolution.

A better way to go, I suggest, would be to tackle these doubts one at a time and with the counsel of wise biblical theologians and apologists. In this era with the Internet, it’s so easy to obtain information to deal with doubts.

However, the Holy Spirit’s personal ministry to all Christians is especially in these actions:

John 14:15-18 (NIV)

‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you’.

John 15:26 (NIV)

‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me’.

Romans 8:9 (NIV) 

’You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.’

The NT Greek word for Advocate, parakletos,[3] in various occurrences in the NT, means Helper, Intercessor and Convincer. In John’s Gospel only is the Holy Spirit called ‘the Helper’ (Jn 14:16, 26; 16:7). There is a damaged fragment of the Greek MSS for 1 John 2:1 that is in all English translations. It reads, ‘My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (ESV).

So here Jesus Christ has the role of being an advocate. In pre-Christian and extra-Christian literature, the word has the meaning of ‘one who appears in another’s behalf, mediator, intercessor, helper’ (Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon 1957:623-624).

I recommend this article to help us in ‘understanding the Role of the Holy Spirit as our Helper.

Another who was once an evangelical Christian and from present indications is an apostate. I speak of

clip_image002[1] Professor Bart D. Ehrman.

clip_image008(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

He attended Moody Bible Institute, known for its evangelical Christianity and the liberal arts, and Wheaton College (Billy Graham’s alma mater).

Today Ehrman is a theologically liberal professor in a university. He could not be clearer about his view today:

I have not called myself a Christian publicly for a very long time, twenty years or so I suppose. But a number of people tell me that they think at heart I’m a Christian, and I sometimes think of myself as a Christian agnostic/atheist. Their thinking, and mine, has been that if I do my best to follow the teachings of Jesus, in some respect I’m a Christian, even if I don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God, or that he was raised from the dead, or that… or even that God exists.  In fact I don’t believe all these things. But can’t I be a Christian in a different sense, one who follows Jesus’ teachings? (The Bart Ehrman Blog, March 6 2017).[4]

With backgrounds from training in Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, both stalwart evangelical institutions, Bart Ehrman knows that good works and rejection of God’s and Jesus’ existence and attributes do not suffice for entrance into God’s kingdom.

He has written books antagonistic to the Christian faith:

In his works, I have found Ehrman to set out to destroy evangelical Christianity and promote his own brand of liberal, agnostic religion. In a YouTube clip he claimed that he moved from fundamentalist Christian to liberal Christian who went to church, to an agnostic and humanist. He says he became an agnostic because of the problem of suffering in the world.

In an interview in 2018, Ehrman stated: ‘I feel like I’ve gained a lot by becoming an atheist, but I’ve also lost a lot, and there’s no reason, in my mind, to deny that’ (An Interview with Professor Bart Ehrman, Author of The Triumph of Christianity, Friendly Atheist, 15 August 2018)

There you have the slow movement of Bart Ehrman from evangelical Christianity, to liberal Christianity, to agnosticism and atheism.

It began with his doubts about the accuracy of the Bible and not having a biblical solution to the problem of evil in the world.

1. Evolution defeats Christianity[5]

I’ll pick up a few things from the early parts of his post.[6]
He wrote: ‘I walked away from Christianity as a child because of evolution’. To allow Charles Darwin & Co to determine HOW God created and continues to create is a view that is added to Scripture. I don’t see the origin of species and adaptation (Darwinism) in Scripture.

It’s the theory of evolution that has now become the facts of evolution.

clip_image010For further examination of the evolution-creation debate, I recommend this series of books by a Christian lawyer (Philip E Johnson) and a non-Christian biologist (Michael Denton):

(photograph Michael Denton, courtesy Discovery Institute)

clip_image012Michael Denton, Evolution: A theory in crisis (Burnett Books 1985);

clip_image012[1]Michael J Denton, Evolution: Still a theory in crisis (Discovery Institute 2016); hear a podcast of this issue (YouTube).

clip_image013Michael J Denton, Nature’s destiny: How the laws of biology reveal purpose in the universe (The Free Press 1998);

clip_image013[1]Phillip E Johnson, Darwin on trial (InterVarsity Press);

clip_image012[2]Phillip E Johnson, Reason in the balance: The case against naturalism in science, law & education (InterVarsity Press);

clip_image014Phillip E Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by opening minds (InterVarsity Press);

clip_image013[2]Phillip E Johnson, Objections sustained: Subversive essays on evolution, law & culture (InterVarsity Press).

See also my articles:

clip_image016Challenges to evolutionary ‘factual’ evidence

clip_image017Has evolution been proved by science?

2. Does literal interpretation mean you are conservative?

Again, his reasoning is, ‘I’m not sure if dropping literalism means dropping conservativism (sic),[7] because there have been people who’ve read Genesis as allegory since the religion first started up. That seems to be even more common in Judaism’.[8]
He provided no documentation for this. It is his assertion. Therefore, it is a diversionary tactic. Do you want the first man and woman to be an allegory? Are you going to treat Noah and the flood as an allegory? How about Abraham? Is God’s promise to Abraham an allegory that had no relationship to the nation of Israel: ‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing’ (Gen 12:2 NIV)?
How do you read your local newspaper, whether hard copy or online? Do you read it literally or impose your allegory on it? Take this article from The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 2017), Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ executive order kicks in, passengers refused entry to US.
The story began:

New York: President Donald Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect on Friday night (Saturday AEDT). Refugees who were in the air on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.?

What would stop the person on the forum from making this an allegory where you force your own meaning onto it to make it say what you want? That’s what allegorical interpretation does. It imposes a meaning from outside of what the text states. It is far too easy for you to say,

There have been people who’ve read Genesis as allegory since the religion first started up. That seems to be even more common in Judaism. I didn’t know that this stuff could be read in layers when I was seven, but I certainly know it now’.

So you are already accepting the ‘layers’ of allegorical interpretation without investigating the harmful consequences of what that does to any piece of literature, including the Bible.

3. His liberal bias

He[10] continued: ‘If I decide the Resurrection happened, I can then start working on the question of how much of the rest is true, but that seems a bit backwards as a starting point.’

My comeback was he already told us about his ‘liberal bias’. How will he ever get to understand Jesus’ resurrection as an historical event without telling us which historical criteria he will use to examine the evidence?
He asked,

Can you be conservative and read the Garden of Eden metaphorically? I find it a very powerful statement when viewed symbolically, but when taken literally I think it’s blatantly misogynistic. My liberal bias very clearly lines up to the reality that Eve has been used as an excuse to justify the oppression of women throughout all of Judeo-Christian history.

How can I respond to someone who wants to interpret the Bible his way – metaphorically? Here goes!
You can’t be a legitimate biblical interpreter and make the Scriptures mean what you want them to mean. When you impose a metaphorical hermeneutic on the Garden of Eden, you introduce your own story into the narrative.

That’s called a red herring fallacy because it takes us away from what the narrative states. There is no indicator in the text of Gen 1-3 (ESV) that tells us the Garden of Eden account is an allegory. That’s your ‘liberal bias’ speaking.

4. Driven by this agenda

He nailed what drives his agenda: ‘I lean towards the liberal view that the Word of God was filtered through a patriarchal culture and picked up some of its bias’.

Again, that’s imposition on the text. It’s eisegesis (putting your meaning into the text) instead of exegesis (getting the meaning out of the text).[11]

Unless you put your presuppositions up for examination and follow the evidence wherever it leads, you are going to have difficulty in pursuing this investigation. I see your foggy worldview of liberalism blinding you to the reality of what the text states.
When you pick and choose what you want to make allegory, you are a postmodern deconstructionist who is deconstructing the text to your own world view. I urge you to place your presuppositions on the altar of critical examination – crucify them (I ask the same of all of us on this forum, including myself).

5. I chose to accept Christ’s offer of salvation

Why have I (this writer) chosen not to follow Charles Templeton and Bart Ehrman in their rejection of Christianity? Scripture confirms that the Templeton and Ehrman examples were anticipated in Scripture. See Hebrews 6:4-6 (ESV) and my article Once saved, always saved or once saved, lost again, which exegetes these verses.

I was raised on two sugar cane farms near Bundaberg, Qld., Australia. My parents were ‘religious’ Methodists who took the 3 children with them to Sunday School and church. However, in 1959 real Christianity came to live in our house when Mum and Dad responded to the Gospel invitation through the preaching of Billy Graham. Billy preached in the Brisbane Ekka grounds and his voice came through the loud speakers at the Bundaberg Show Grounds (called Fair Grounds in the USA).

They sat in their old Ford Prefect utility and at the Gospel invitation they went forward to receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Our household was changed from that day. Jesus so changed my parents’ lives that all 3 children became born-again Christians, not through coercion, but through the free offer of salvation made available to the children. We have each grown in various dimensions down through the years.

Through Mum and Dad’s influence and the teaching in a local Baptist church I responded in faith to Jesus and was baptised as a believer in 1962.

That was the beginning of my journey of over 50 years of growth and failure in the Christian life. By ‘failure’ I refer to the years in my late teens and early 20s when I went astray but later returned to the faith. During the remaining years I’ve also failed others and myself in not living up to the standards of the teachings of the NT.

My faith has continued to grow as have my gifts as a Bible teacher and apologist. This homepage should demonstrate how I have chosen to pursue Jesus with all my heart and to seek answers when doubts and questions arise.

5.1 Faith founded on facts

In this era when facts are being denied with the promotion of a post-facts’ world, there are facts historical and contemporary that are denied at our peril.

Post-fact is an adjective ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’ (Lexico/Oxford Dictionary 2019. s.v. post-fact).

My faith is not founded on a leap of faith but on facts of God’s existence; Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection; the historical reliability of the Old Testament and New Testament, and the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Neither is my faith established by how I feel about the Trinitarian God. Feelings are unreliable in establishing truth because they can change so rapidly.

Historical facts about the world of the Old Covenant Israelites and the New Covenant Scriptures have been demonstrated in historical research. See:

clip_image019 Kenneth A Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Eerdmans).

clip_image019[1]Walter C Kaiser, The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? (InterVarsity Press).

clip_image019[2]Craig L Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (InterVarsity 1986)

clip_image019[3]Craig L Blomberg presentation, Historical Reliability of the Gospels (YouTube).

clip_image019[4]Craig L Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the New Testament (B&H Academic).

clip_image019[5]Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Eerdmans).

I understand challenges to the Christian faith as opportunities to engage with antagonists to better understand their world views, expose inconsistencies, and discover their presuppositions that drive their anti-God agendas.[12]

See especially the topics covered in Apologetics index.

My faith was openly challenged when I took a Christian position in a doctoral class at a secular university on the evolution-creation issue. I pointed out an apparent discrepancy in the text book being used. The professor, in front of the class, shouted at me: ‘Your views are b… s..t’ and he did not abbreviate. The next day he spoke to me privately and apologised for what he said. However, he never expressed regret to the class.

I was shocked by his attack and eventually withdrew from that university’s program in counseling psychology as I couldn’t see that professor treating me objectively in the future. I’ve thought about what I should have done:

  • He committed an Ad Hominem (Abusive) logical fallacy. He attacked me rather than dealing with the issue. It was erroneous reasoning and that by a university professor teaching in a doctoral program in the USA.
  • I should have left class immediately and gone straight to the academic dean of the department to make a complaint against the prof. However, I was too nervous and inexperienced to do that. Thirty five years since then have taught me a great deal about identifying logical fallacies that side-track a discussion.
  • I could have challenged him further with evidence but I did not know enough about the evolutionist-creationist discussion.

clip_image021(photograph, Norman Geisler, courtesy Norman Geisler International Ministries)

My mentor at a distance has been Dr Norman Geisler who went home to be with the Lord on 1 July 2019, at the age of 86, 20 days shy of his 87th birthday. He taught me so much through his books, online material, and debates.

5.2 The fact of human free will choices

Dr Geisler was one of the finest advocates for the biblical basis of human beings having free will, the power of contrary choice. He advocated this position in one of his finest publications, Chosen But Free (Bethany House Publishers).

He explained further:

Thomas Aquinas, keenly observed why there is no contradiction between God knowing future free acts and their being freely chosen. It is simply because a contradiction occurs only when something is both affirmed and denied of the same thing at the same time in the same relationship. But the relationship here is not the same. For “Everything known by God must necessarily be” is true if it refers to the statement of the truth of God’s knowledge, but it is false, if it refers to the necessity of the contingent events.

Since God is an omniscient being, He knows with certainty what we will do freely. The fact that He knows “in advance” from our temporal perspective does not mean that the event can not happen freely. For God can know for sure that the event will occur freely. The necessity of His knowledge about the contingent event does not make the event necessary (i.e., contrary to free choice). It simply makes His knowledge of this free event an infallible knowledge. In brief, the same event can be viewed in two different relationships; one in relation to God’s foreknowledge and the other in relation to a human being’s free will. Since the relationship is different, the law of non-contradiction is not violated (Norman L Geisler, Is God an Android? (2011).

6. Works consulted

Kurish, N & Fernandez, M 2017. Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ executive order kicks in, passengers refused entry to US (online). The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January. Available at: (Accessed 29 January 2017).

7.  Notes

[1] This person’s question and some responses are at Christian 2017. Couple of Questions (online), Silmarien#29. Throughout this article I address this individual personally as ‘you’ and ‘he’. Available at: (Accessed 19 October 2018).

[2] The above biographical information is from Wikipedia (2018. s.v. Charles Templeton).

[3] The ‘e’ in this transliteration is the Greek letter eta and not epsilon. The normal transliteration of eta is an ‘e’ with an ellipse (straight line) above it. Unfortunately, when I upload from MS Word to my webpage, all ellipses for transliteration become question marks. I have not learned how to stop that from happening.

[4] Available at: (Accessed 18 October 2018).

[5] This is my reply at ‘Couple of Questions’, OzSpen#52, #53.

[6] 2017. OzSpen 29 January 2017.

[7] The correct spelling is conservatism. See Oxford Living Dictionaries (2019. s.v. conservatism).

[8] Silmaren, Christian

[9] Kulish & Fernandez (2017).

[10] Silmaren (as above).

[11] See the differentiation between exegesis and eisegesis in What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis? (Got Questions Ministries 2019).

[12] See examples of how I attempt to do this with my comments as OzSpen in this thread, Was Izzy Folau moral? On Line Opinion, 1 July 2019.

Copyright © 2021 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 08 September 2021.

Did God create the world in 6 literal days?

 (image courtesy, public domain)

 By Spencer D Gear

This is the type of question that thoughtful Christians sometimes ask:

This sounds like a dumb question but if in God’s time 1 day is 1,000 years, does that mean that He created the world in 6 days or 6,000 years? I know that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh, but I was wondering that. If he literally created the world in six days then where does the 1 day = 1,000 years come from?[1]

The topic being addressed on this Christian forum was, ‘Did God literally create the world in 6 days?’

A.  Is a day compatible with a thousand years?

My initial response[2] was to ask, ‘Why don’t you quote the verse? It’s in 2 Peter 3:8,

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (NIV). This has to do with God, the eternal One, and time. I urge you to read D Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermon on 2 Peter 3:8-9, ‘God and time‘.

These verses seem to indicate that God created in six literal days because of the parallel with 6 days to labour and to rest on the 7th, as in Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV),

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

B.  Days, long periods of time or figurative language?

Scarlet Time and Dates Button

There was another response to an issue raised about the creation of the sun:

No where in Genesis does it say God created the sun, you are reading into it and changing the sentence by trying to understand it on your terms and not Gods [sic]. God created light, you just assume he speaks of the sun. The first day is when light was created on the fourth day the stars were aligned into the zodiac we know today to give us signs to go by.
You my friend are not rightly dividing the word of God, with that said look at the verses I cited earlier in a KJV bible and explain them please if what I have been shown is wrong.[3]

How does one respond to such claims? This was my attempt:[4]

I think you are trying to split hairs.

Genesis 1:1 is VERY COMPREHENSIVE as to what God created, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’.
Are you saying that this does not include God’s creating the sun? I find that to be straining at a gnat!
Exodus 20:8-11 is specific as to the meaning of ‘day’ in comparison with the days in the creation of the heavens and the earth:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (ESV).

Or do you want this to mean:

8 “Remember the Sabbath [long period of time or figurative day], to keep it holy. 9 Six [long periods of time or figurative days] you shall labour, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh [long period of time or figurative day] is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six [long periods of time or figurative days] the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh [long period of time or figurative day]. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath [long period of time or figurative day] and made it holy.

The comparison with the work week of 6 literal days and 1 literal day of rest, with the 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest by God makes the parallel very obvious. God is speaking of 6 literal days of creation and 1 literal day of rest.

I have a hunch that if it were not for the theory of evolution, the 6 literal days of creation would not be creating issues for us. What was Darwin’s aim when he proposed the theory of evolution? I invite you to read, ‘Darwin’s arguments against God‘. Darwin wanted God out of the picture with the creation of the world.

I invite you to consider how worldly science – in many areas – wants God eliminated from the creation events so that He can be replaced with a human ‘origin of the species’.

I have a high regard for empirical science that depends on repeatability to experiment with various products. My mechanical heart valves depend on daily doses of the drug warfarin and vitamin K when needed to reverse warfarin’s excessive impact on the blood.

C.  The nature of ‘days’ doesn’t really matter?

Another view was, ‘I don’t think it’s a dumb question but does the answer really matter? None of us will know for sure till Abba answers us HimSelf or gives divine revelation’.[5]

Does it really matter?[6] For consistency of interpretation it does matter. Does it matter that ‘day’ as a long period of time or a figurative day conflicts with Exodus 20:8-11? Yes it does! I want to be a consistent biblical interpreter when comparing Genesis 1 with Exodus 20, for example.

Alister McGrath has an interesting assessment in ‘Augustine’s Origin of Species‘.

D.  What about ‘day’ in Genesis 2:4?


(image courtesy ChristArt)

Another fellow wrote:

The days in Genesis 1 are literal days, 24 hr or less. Both the Exodus passage agrees that God made everything in 6, 24 hr days. There is a problem though, and I think it’s in Gen 2:4 “in the day” the Lord made heavens and earth. Is this still 24 hour? Because here the author does not say what day it was. This is like saying “back in my youthful day” etc. What do you guys think?[7]

This question has been asked many times over by questioning people as the use of ‘day’ in Gen 2:4 seems to have a different meaning to ‘day’ in Genesis 1. My response[8] was that evangelical commentator on Genesis, H C Leupold (1942), divides Gen 2:4 into two verses and joins the second part with v. 5.

His translation of Gen 2:4a is, ‘This is the story of the heavens and the earth at the time of their creation’. He explains that his translation, ‘at the time of their creation’ is rendered literally: ‘in their being created’. He further wrote that ‘since it is a temporal phrase, we have rendered it: “at the time,” etc. It marks the occurrences that are to follow as practically a part of the creation story’ (Leupold 1942:111).

Then, Gen 2:4b, 5 he translates as, ‘At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven, then no shrub of the field was as yet in the earth and no plant of the field was as yet sprouting forth; for Yahweh God had not caused rain to descend upon the earth, nor did man exist to till the ground’.

He explains that verses 4a and 4b are usually translated

‘as a whole, with the result that two temporal clauses of nearly identical meaning appear within the sentence, calling forth artificial attempts at distinctions. By keeping 4a separate as a title and by combining 4b with 5, this trouble is removed, and a very natural rendering results. For the two initial clauses of v. 5, introduced by waw, may be correlative…: ‘when God made heaven and earth neither was there shrub … nor had any plant sprouted’. At the same time the complicated sentence structure which the critics make of v. 5-7 is shown to be quite unnecessary and quite cumbersome: v. 5 protasis; v. 6 rather parenthetical, or a concessive clause; v 7 apodosis – all of which calls for a very artificial rendering…. Nor is terem the conjunction ‘before,’ but the adverb ‘not yet’ (Leupold 1942:112, emphasis in original).

He explains that Gen 2:4b ‘takes us back into the time of the work of creation, more particularly to the time before the work of the third day began, and draws our attention to certain details, which, being details, could hardly have been inserted in chapter one: the fact that certain forms of plant life, namely the kinds that require the attentive care of man in greater measure, had not sprung up. Apparently, the whole work of the third day is in the mind of the writer’ (Leupold 1942:112).
The specific question asked by this person related to the meaning of ‘in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens’ (Gen 2:4 ESV).

Leupold explains that

it is not important to the author to mark the point of time within the creation week when this condition prevailed. Consequently, the opening phrase of 4b, beyom, is to be rendered as it so often is “at the time” and not “in the day” (1942:113).

I found this explanation helpful as it gives the meaning of the ESV’s translation of ‘in the day’ to be ‘at the time’. This clears up the confusion for me.

Gleason L Archer’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (1982) is now available FREE online. For a discussion of the days of creation in Genesis 1-2, I recommend pp. 45-53 of this outstanding scholarship.

E.  Some resources

For some penetrating, thought-provoking articles on creationist topics, I have found Creation Ministries International (CMI) to have some targeted answers to questions about origins. And some of them are by Christians who are scientists.


I am somewhat guarded in recommending this CMI website because of  its short-sighted view that one has to be a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) to be regarded as having a high view of creation. This is not the case.

The YEC theory is only one view among Christians. There are other evangelical Christians who are as committed to the Gospel and the authority of Scripture as CMI staff and writers, who are convinced of Old Earth Creationism (OEC). One such person is Dr. Norman Geisler. He wrote:

There are unprovable presuppositions in most, if not all, the scientific arguments for an old earth…; that is, an earth that is millions or billions of years is biblically possible but not absolutely provable…. Given the basics of modern physics, it seems plausible that the universe is billions of years old. And as shown [in what he presented] there is nothing in Scripture that contradicts this…. There is no demonstrated conflict between Genesis 1-2 and scientific fact…. A literal interpretation of Genesis is consistent with a universe that is billions of years old (Geisler 2003:648, 650).

See these articles on the nature of creation:

blue-arrow-small Did God create plants on Day 3 out of nothing?

blue-arrow-small Does yom with a number always refer to 24-hour days?

blue-arrow-small Answering 10 big questions in detail;

blue-arrow-small Geology and the young earth;

blue-arrow-small Distant starlight and the days of Genesis 1;

blue-arrow-small William Lane Craig’s intellectually dishonest attack on biblical creationists;

blue-arrow-small The dating game;

blue-arrow-small Evolution vs God;

On another website, Ken Ham deals with the question,

blue-arrow-smallCould God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?

That should get you started on some Christian answers to the origin of the world.

Geisler lists these orthodox Christians who held to a universe of millions or more years old. These included: Augustine, B B Warfield, C I Scofield, John Walvoord, Francis Schaeffer, Gleason Archer, Hugh Ross, and most of the leaders who produced the 1978 Chicago Statement on the inerrancy of the Bible (Geisler 2003:650).

F.  Bibliography

Geisler, N 2003. Systematic theology: God, creation, vol 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota: BethanyHouse.

Leupold, H C 1942. Exposition of Genesis, vol 1, chapters 1-19. London: Evangelical Press (originally by The Wartburg Press).

G.  Notes:

[1] Lik3#1, Christian Forums, Apologetics, ‘Did God literally create the world in 6 days?’ (Accessed 26 September 2013).

[2] OzSpen#3, ibid.

[3] Godssontoo#10, ibid.

[4] OzSpen#13, ibid.

[5] HisSparkPlug#12, ibid.

[6] This was my brief response at OzSpen#14, ibid.

[7]Faith24#15, ibid.

[8] OzSpen#18, ibid.

Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 22 September 2018.

Challenges to evolutionary ‘factual’ evidence [1]

Evolutions wish


By Spencer D Gear

Earth rotating around the sun and gravity are given as examples that ‘evolution is true because of all the factual supporting evidence’ by Phil Gilbank (Pine Rivers Press, February 6, 2013).

Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley for 20 years used his skills as a lawyer to investigate the evidence as the books defending the Darwinian theory ‘were dogmatic and unconvincing’.

What did he conclude after gathering the evidence? ‘Darwinist scientists believe that the cosmos is a closed system of material causes and effects, and they believe that science must be able to provide a naturalistic explanation for the wonders of biology that appear to have been designed for a purpose’.  He continued: ‘Without assuming these beliefs they could not deduce that common ancestors once existed for all the major groups of the biological world’.

And there’s another belief they have: ‘Random mutations and natural selection can substitute for an intelligent designer’.

But have a guess what? ‘Neither of these foundational beliefs is empirically testable [by science] and … neither belongs in the science classroom’.[2]

But Mr Gilbank wants us to believe that evolution is supported by lots of factual evidence. Not according to a leading lawyer who examined the evidence!


[1] This is a letter-to-the editor that I sent to Pine Rivers Press on 5 May 2013 that was not published. The email address is:

[2] Phillip E. Johnson 1991. Darwin on Trial. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, p. 144.


Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.

The creation of the sun on day 4: Actual days or day-age of millions of years


(image courtesy ChristArt)

By Spencer D Gear

If the common evolutionary perspective is accepted, then the days of Genesis 1 are considered very long periods of time. An example of this explanation is that of Rich Deem, with his support for the Day-Age theory,

I believe in what has been called the “day-age” interpretation of Genesis one – that is, that each “day” is actually a long period of time during which God created life. This interpretation is not figurative in any way, but adheres to the scientific method in its analysis of the biblical texts. At its foundation is a literal translation of the Hebrew word, yom, which can mean a twelve hour period of time, a twenty-four hour period of time, or a long, indefinite period of time. The biblical basis for the translation of the word yom as long periods of time appear on another page.

Evidence to believe’ claims the following:

Based on the evidence, we submit:

  •  That the Day-Age interpretation is the more reasonable interpretation
  •  That when one properly reads Genesis 1, going back to the original language, one find(s) no contradiction with the findings of modern science.  In fact, one finds confirmation of the Biblical record in modern scientific findings!
  •  That one can fully accept from a literal perspective the Genesis 1 record, accept the proofs from science of an old universe and old earth, and still be consistent in their beliefs about God and science

Consistency between the Bible and science is what we should expect.  For if the Creator of the heavens and the earth also inspired the writers who penned the words of the Bible, why shouldn’t we expect the discoveries of science to support the Bible?  It would be surprising if they did not.[1]

Brad Bromling gives a contrary view:

The ancient Hebrews hardly could have imagined that the creation week was any different from theirs. Thus when the Ten Commandments were issued, requiring them to observe a day of rest, it was natural for the creation week to serve as their model (Exodus 20:11). It is doubtful that any of the Jews who heard this command raised a hand to inquire about the duration of either their week or God’s. Regardless of what the astronomers and cosmologists may say about the age of the Universe, Genesis describes a creation week comprised of ordinary days. Contemporary efforts to reinterpret these days succeed neither to enhance confidence in the truthfulness of Scripture nor to accommodate current age calculations.

For a similar view that supports literal 24-hours for the days of Genesis 1, see ‘How long were the days of Genesis 1?’ from Creation Ministries International.

An exegetical understanding, based on Genesis 1 grammar

There is an explanation that harmonises Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:14-19 that John H. Sailhamer (1990:33-34) has suggested. This is involved with the meaning of ‘the heavens and the earth’ in  Gen. 1:1  which reads, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (NIV)

If the phrase, ‘the heavens and the earth’, refers to the universe or the cosmos (which seems to be the most likely understanding), then it is taken in the same sense as throughout the Bible as in passages like Joel 3:15-16. Thus, the creation of the universe would include the sun, moon and stars according to Gen. 1:1.

This is the kind of objection that is commonly raised:

According to the Bible, on what day was the sun created?[2]…. I’ve read conflicting opinions. Most of which say the 4th day but that begs the question “How can you have 3 days without a sun?”[3]….

[4]Sailhamer’s exegesis and exposition stated that the place to begin with an understanding of the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1:14-18) is to view the whole of the universe (including the sun, moon and stars) to have been created ‘in the beginning’ (Gen. 1:1) and NOT on the fourth day.

If we try to understand the syntax of Gen. 1:14 and it is compared with the creation of the expanse in 1:6, the verses have two different senses. The syntax of 1:6 suggests that God said, ‘Let there be an expanse’. God was creating an expanse where there had not been any previously. So the author of Genesis clearly wanted to state that God created the expanse on the first day.

But when we come to 1:14, the syntax in the Hebrew is different though in English the translations are often very similar to 1:6. Gen. 1:14 states:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years (NIV).

In 1:14, God did not say, ‘Let there be lights … to separate’ in the Hebrew language, as if there were no lights before that and the lights were created. Instead, the Hebrew text reads, ‘And God said, “let the lights in the expanse of the sky separate”‘. So, instead of the syntax of 1:6, in 1:14 God’s command is assuming that the lights were already in the expanse and that in response to the command of 1:14 they were given a purpose, ‘to separate the day from the night’ AND ‘to mark seasons and days and years’. However, this grammar is not seen in the English translations. Let’s look at a few of them:

  • NIV, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night….’;
  • ESV, ‘And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night….’
  • NLT, ‘Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night….’
  • KJV, ‘And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night….’
  • NASB, ‘Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night….’
  • NRSV, ‘And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night….’
  • New Jerusalem Bible, ‘God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to divide day from night….’
  • NET, ‘God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night….’

None of these actual translations conveys the grammatical difference that causes us to understand the Hebrew grammar, ‘Let the lights in the expanse of the sky separate…’ The New Living Translation (NLT) comes closest with, ‘Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night….’

What is the grammatical difference? The syntax of Genesis 1:6 uses hayah alone, while in Genesis 1:14, it is hayah + l infinitive (Sailmaher 1990:34).


The exegetical response, with God’s revelation (Scripture being the decider), is that if we are to understand the grammar of Gen 1:14 correctly, the author does not state that this was the creation of the lights, but the narrative assumes that the heavenly lights were already created. What is the assumption? The lights were created ‘In the beginning’ as stated in Genesis 1:1.

I’m indebted to John Sailhamer for this explanation and it makes sense when the grammar is considered.

I leave that for your consideration. I do not find the regular secular, scientific, and doubting argument about literal days to hold much theological ‘water’. It is designed to create doubt when the Hebrew grammar seems to solve the supposed problem.

Works consulted

Sailmaher, John H 1990. Genesis, in Frank E Gaebelein (gen. ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 2, pp. 1-284.


[1] This conclusion is based on science being the final arbiter over the Bible’s exegetical statements from Genesis 1. The alleged scientific, evolutionary conclusion is the decider. Human reason usurps the role of God’s revelation. It makes Scripture fit into the scientific framework, which is intolerable for biblical revelation.

[2] RayComfort #1, 9 September 2012. Christian Forums, Christian Apologetics, ‘On what day was the sun created’, available at: (Accessed 10 September 2012).

[3] Ibid #8.

[4] Much of the following response was given by me as OzSpen at ibid #16.


Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 25 April 2018.

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Has evolution been proved by science?

Creation Fish Wins

(courtesy ChristArt)

By Spencer D Gear

That was the heading of a letter to the editor in my local freebie newspaper, The North Lakes Times (northern Brisbane, Australia), August 8, 2012, p. E8: The letter read:

Evolution proved by science

Contrary to Col of Petrie’s comments (Press July 18) there are no facts being discovered that bring the theory of evolution into question.

In fact, the reverse is true. Evolutionary theory is based on science not on belief. Every discovery, bit of evidence and experiment confirm the theory. Mainstream faiths accept this and don’t take the first book of the Bible literally. It is only fundamentalist fringe that seem incapable of accepting scientific fact and seem set on trying to impose their ignorance on the rest of us.

Marcus Toyne, Mango Hill

What is a theory?

This brief explanation of ‘theory’ states: ‘Theories are analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions about a given subject matter. There are theories in many and varied fields of study, including the arts and sciences’. When applied to evolution, this means that an evolutionary theory is a way of explaining and making predictions about Darwin’s and continuing explanations of evolution in science. Yes, there are theories that are developed, based on facts that have been uncovered.

What was the basic content (in summary) of Darwin’s evolutionary theory? This is one reasonable summary:

Natural selection explained how life evolved from the first simple organisms; how in nature the fittest win out, leaving more offspring with more of their desirable characteristics. This survival of the fittest would, over time, allow a species to change and develop until eventually new species could arise. Given billions of years, natural selection could create, unguided, the diversity of life on Earth.

Dr. Henry Morris wrote, ‘The vanishing case for evolution’, in which he stated:

Evolutionary belief is a remarkable and largely unexplained phenomenon. It is a belief held by most intellectuals all over the world, despite the fact that there is no real scientific evidence for it at all. Evolutionists allege that evolution is a proved scientific fact, based on a multitude of scientific proofs, but they are unable to document even one of these supposed proofs!

Morris cited David Kits who stated that ‘Evolution, at least in the sense that Darwin speaks of it, cannot be detected within the lifetime of a single observer’.

What are the holes in the argument in Toyne’s letter to the editor?

  • He confuses theory and fact. Evolution is a theory. Some could even say that there is insufficient evidence for it to be called a theory and that it is nothing more than an hypothesis. Facts may point to the need to develop a theory, but we must not confuse facts with a theory. A theory is a proposed explanation; it is not a statement of facts.
  • If evolution is based on science and not belief, why does this ‘belief’ continue when the transition species are just as non-existent as they were when Darwin announced his theory 150 years’ ago?
  • He gives this false statement, ‘Every discovery, bit of evidence and experiment confirm the theory’. What are the facts concerning transition species? We’ll briefly examine this below.
  • ‘Mainstream faiths’ are not defined, but I expect he is referring to theological liberalism in mainline denominations. This is using the logical fallacy of ‘appeal to authority’. Rational discussion is handicapped when people resort to the use of logical fallacies.
  • He uses a genetic logical fallacy by diverting attention to the ‘fundamentalist fringe’ and rejecting it because of its origin. He should be addressing the issue and not associating it with a group of which he apparently does not approve.
  • If mainstream faiths do not read the book of Genesis literally, this is not an argument for whether literal or otherwise should be used. A short letter just gives opportunity for him to make assertions without defending his claims. Therefore, his views are open to challenge, as I’m doing briefly here.

What are the facts about transition species?[1]

Charles Darwin knew about 1.5 centuries ago when he developed his theory of evolution that the fossil record did not demonstrate what he tried to predict in his theory. He wrote:

Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. (Darwin 1902:413, ch 9 link; also in ch 10).

What was the situation in the late 20th century? The late Dr Colin Patterson, senior palaeontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote the book, Evolution. In reply to a questioner who asked why he had not included any pictures of transitional forms, he wrote:

I fully agree with your comments about the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them …. I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.[2]

The renowned evolutionist, the late Stephen Jay Gould, formerly of Harvard University, wrote:

The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution (Gould in Smith 1982:140).

And Gould also wrote:

“New species almost always appeared suddenly in the fossil record with no intermediate links to ancestors in older rocks of the same region” (1977:12).

‘The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils’ (1977:14).

‘I regard the failure to find a clear ‘vector of progress’ in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record’ (Gould 1984, link).

A letter of reply to the North Lakes Times

This is my letter of reply to this newspaper, dated 8 August 2012:[3]

North Lakes Times

Dear editor,

Marcus Toyne (North Lakes Times, Aug 8) seems to have confused theory and fact with his statement that ‘there are no facts being discovered that bring the theory of evolution into question’. Evolution is a theory and its problem with finding transition species to agree with the theory is as bad now as in Darwin’s day, 1.5 centuries ago.

There are major facts that question the evolutionary theory. Darwin said that every stratum of geological formation should be full of intermediate links. They weren’t there in Darwin’s day and are still not.

Dr Colin Patterson, former palaeontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote that ‘there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument’.

Former leading evolutionist of Harvard Uni, the late Stephen Jay Gould, wrote that the absence of fossil evidence for intermediatry stages ‘has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution’.

As for Toyne’s view that mainstream faiths ‘don’t take the first book of the Bible literally’, this is a red herring. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ and then statements of what was created on day 1, day 2, etc., are literal ways of stating God’s creation of our magnificent universe, according to Genesis 1.

Spencer Gear
North Lakes

Was the newspaper so adventurous as to print this letter? At least the paper did print a significant part of the above letter for which I’m grateful. How much of this letter do you think that the North Lakes Times printed? Here is what appeared in the paper on August 15, 2012, page E10.

Evolution theory ‘lacks facts’

Marcus Toyne (Pine Rivers Press, August 8) seems to have confused theory and fact when saying “there are no facts being discovered that bring the theory of evolution into question”.

Evolution is a theory and its problem with finding transition species to agree with the theory is as bad now as in Darwin’s day, 150 years ago. Darwin said that every stratum of geological formation should be full of intermediate links. They weren’t there in Darwin’s day and are still not.

Former leading evolutionist of Harvard University, the late Stephen Jay Gould, wrote the absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages “has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution”.

As for Toyne’s view that mainstream faiths “don’t take the first book of the Bible literally”, is a red herring. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and then statements of what was created on day one and so on are literal ways of stating God’s creation of the universe, according to Genesis 1.

Spencer Gear, North Lakes

Two further letters in the North Lakes Times

On August 29, 2012, p. E8, The North Lakes Times published two further letters responding to my letter (above). The large heading in the newspaper was, ‘Evolution: Genesis v scientists’. There were 2 responses to me. One was by the author to which I responded, Marcus Toyne of Mango Hill. His main emphases were:

  • Scientific theory explains facts;
  • Theories provide the framework for understanding how we share a common ancestor with other apes through evolution.
  • There are transition fossils that scientists find regularly but they don’t label them as such.
  • The second version in Genesis 2 contradicts parts of chapter 1.
  • Some do not consider the biblical creation story to be literal as a description of origins.

My reply to Mr. Toyne

On 3 September 2012, I sent this latter to the North Lakes Times to respond to some of Mr Toyne’s issues:

Marcus Toyne (NLT, 29 Aug) takes me to task over evolution as a theory and how Genesis 2 “contradicts part of the first (chapter of Gen.)”. Contrary to Marcus, a scientific theory doesn’t explain facts. It explains scientific observations and must be open to be falsifiable. The theory of evolution deals with unique events of the origin of life, including intelligence. These events are unrepeatable and cannot be subjected to the same kind of experimental investigation of a regular scientific theory.

He claimed scientists regularly find transition fossils but gave not one example. Not one! Dr Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History, wrote in 1981 that evolution was “positively anti-knowledge” and that “all my life I had been duped into taking evolution as revealed truth” [in Taylor 1984:393]. Evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, wrote that the basic theory of evolution “is in many instances hardly more than a postulate and its application raises numerous questions in almost every concrete case” [in Taylor 1984:393].  A postulate is a supposition that is assumed without proof. These scientific specialists are not as certain as Marcus.

So Genesis 2 contradicts chapter 1? But Marcus gave zero examples. This makes his a red herring kind of argument. However, the JEPD theorists have proposed this for many years and it has been refuted over and over. Ch 2 does not present a complete creation story or the time sequence of ch 1.

If anyone misses the nature of a key word in the first 5 words of Genesis 1, there will be misleading information promoted. Those words are, “In the beginning GOD created”. If one does not understand the omnipotent Yahweh God who created (Hebrew bara = out of nothing) the universe, the one who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass over on dry land and drowned the pursuing Egyptians, and the God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, then one will misunderstand the mighty acts of God in creating the universe.

Another letter opposing my position

Phil Gilbank’s response included these elements:

  • A theory is a collected theory of facts that explains observed phenomena.
  • The theory of evolution by natural selection is fact that is explained by the scientific facts.
  • The book of Genesis is a myth.
  • How does Spencer explain the anomaly in Genesis 1 that green vegetation was created on day 3 and there was no sun until day 4.

How should I respond?

I sent a letter on 3 September 2012 to The North Lakes Times:

So “the book of Genesis is a myth”, says Phil Gilbank (NLT, Aug 29). That’s his assertion that reveals one of his presuppositions. He provided no evidence. The wayyiqtol narrative structure of the Genesis creation accounts shows that the author wanted the readers to understand the account as happening in history.

There is evidence to show that Adam and Eve were real people. Genesis 1-2 presents them as actual human beings and it narrates the events of their lives as history. Have a guess what? They gave birth to literal children who produced similarly (Gen. 4:1, 25; 5:1ff). Later Old Testament genealogies placed Adam at the top of the list (see 1 Chronicles 1:1).

In the New Testament, Adam is placed at the beginning of Jesus’ literal ancestors (Luke 3:38). Jesus Christ himself referred to Adam and Eve as the first literal “male and female” indicating that their physical union was the basis of marriage (Matthew 19:4).

Phil thinks there is an anomaly between God creating vegetation on day 3 with no sun until day 4. Is Phil assuming days as representing millions of years? Whenever the Hebrew yom (day) is used with a numeral, it refers to a literal 24-hour period. Hebrew scholars, Keil & Delitzsch, stated that the days of creation, using the interchange of light and darkness, “must be regarded not as periods of time of incalculable duration, or years or thousands of years, but as simple earthly days” (n.d.:51).

By the way, the sun is not the only source of light. Phil will continue to have an issue with God’s creation of the universe as long as he retains the false view of Genesis being myth (not an uncommon theory) and failure to understand the nature of the omnipotent Lord God Almighty who created the heavens and the earth.

What is the meaning of ‘wayyiqtol narrative structure’ in the Hebrew language?

‘The most predominant verbal form in Biblical Hebrew narrative prose is WAYYIQTOL (41% of the total clauses in the texts and 79.2% of the total clauses in the narrative portion of the texts analyzed).  The use of this form in uninterrupted syntactical chains consistently implies sequentiality of action in the narrative’ (Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Vol 5, 2004-2005).

Another put it this way: ‘Biblical Hebrew narrative usually employs verbal forms referring to the past, the variety of which is due not to an indication of tense, but rather aspect and narrative organization. Narrative sequence is mostly achieved by wayyiqtol clauses, which appear to be dominant in this genre, while boundaries of paragraphs and off-line information are usually achieved by non-wayyiqtol clauses’ (review of Roy L Heller 2004, Narrative Structure and Discourse Constellations, The Free Library).

See the article, ‘Are there two creation accounts?’ (Tekton). See also, ‘Alleged biblical contradictions – creation stories’ (CreationWiki); ‘Are there two creation accounts in Genesis’ (Wayne Jackson). See my own very brief article, ‘Are there two creation stories in Genesis?


Darwin C R 1902, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (online), 6th ed. London: John Murray,available at: (Accessed 8 August 2012).

Gould, S J 1977. Evolution’s erratic pace, Natural History 86, May, 12-16.

Gould, S J 1984. The Ediacaran experiment, Natural History 93(2):14–23, February. available at: (Accessed 8 August 2012).

Keil, C F & Delitzsch, F n.d. Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch, vol 1. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Smith, J S (ed) 1982. Evolution now: a century after Darwin. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.

Taylor, I T 1984. In the minds of men: Darwin and the new world order. Toronto: TFE Publishing.


[1] I am indebted to this author for some of the following citations: Johathan Safarti’s article, ‘Refuting evolution’, Creation Ministries International, available at: (Accessed 8 August 2012).

[2] C. Patterson, letter to Luther D. Sunderland, 10 April 1979, as published in Darwin’s Enigma (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 4th ed. 1988), p. 89.

[3] The email was sent to:


Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.

Buttons 4 Buttons 4

Richard Dawkins won’t debate creationists

(Richard Dawkins, public domain)

creation research
(Ask John Mackay)

By Spencer D Gear

I hope as many people as possible view this discussion between Richard Dawkins and John Mackay HERE

It’s an interview of a basic Aussie geologist and creationist, John Mackay, by Richard Dawkins, PhD scientist at Oxford University.

My estimate was that Mackay found gaping holes in Dawkins worldview. This down home geologist who knows science, the Scriptures and his God, exposed the superficiality of Dawkins’ worldview. Dawkins tried to make this creationist who believes in a young earth, look like a fool before Dawkins who believes in a universe that is aged millions of years.

In The God Delusion, Dawkins stated: “I never take part in debates with creationists” (2006:318), but his footnote at this point states,

I do not have the chutzpah to refuse on the grounds offered by one of my most distinguished scientific colleagues, whenever a creationist tries to stage a formal debate (I shall not name him, but his words should be read in an Australian accent): “That would look great on your CV; not so good on mine”.[1]

On the Richard Dawkins Foundation website, Dawkins explains “Why I won’t debate creationists”. Some of his reasons are:

  1. He has ‘a spellbound delight in the wonders of the natural world, and a passionate conviction that such wonders deserve nothing less than a purely natural explanation’.
  2. Creationists distort ‘the theory of punctuated equilibrium so that it appeared to support their preposterous (but astonishingly common) belief that there are no intermediates in the fossil record’.
  3. He does not accept the creationist admission that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record.
  4. Creationists need the publicity; evolutionists don’t. He encouraged other scientists not to debate creationists for the same reason. Here he stated: ‘I hope that my recollection of Stephen Gould’s wise words will encourage others to refuse all debating invitations from pseudoscientists avid for publicity’.

However, on, in an informal debate, with crowds gathering in a public auditorium in the background to hear John Mackay, Richard Dawkins is debating a creationist geologist with an Australian accent – informally – and not in a public debate.

After watching this video, I can assess another reason why Richard Dawkins would not want to enter into a formal debate with this Aussie geologist and creationist. John Mackay would expose the holes in Dawkins data and worldview and for a PhD scientist that would not look good on his resume.

There is another person Richard Dawkins refuses to debate. See Richard Dawkins article in The Guardian [UK], “Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig: This Christian ‘philosopher’ is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him” (20 October 2011).


Dawkins, Richard 2006. The God delusion. London: Black Swan (a division of Transworld Publishers).


[1] Dawkins (2006:318).


Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 16 October 2015.


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