PUBLISHED IN THE INTEREST OF AN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS BY THOSE WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH SCIENCE DEVELOPED FROM A FRAMEWORK IN HARMONY WITH A CONSERVATIVE VIEW OF THE BIBLE
This Newsletter is being mailed from Caldwell, Idaho. There is no subscription price. Contributions for expenses are welcome. It is our desire to distribute this Newsletter to whomever it will be helpful.
RESPONSE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
Requests for the Bible-Science Newsletter since its third issue in December have risen from 160 to more than 200. Requests have come from Canada, Sweden, Egypt, India, and it is being sent to Japan. One feels a desperate interest in something which may effectively combat the prevailing belief that the world was made by the same laws of nature which we can now observe.
We are grateful to LUTHERAN NEWS, CHRISTIAN VICTORY MAGAZINE and BLU-PRINT for helping promote this Newsletter. We . plan continuing this Newsletter in its modest mimeographed form another time or two. If interest continues to grow, we may consider having it printed, if finances permit.
We are exchanging this publication with a number of others. One is THROUGH TO VICTORY by the Rev. Paul Neipp of Ridgecrest, California, opposing communism. Another is CHRISTIAN SCHOOL LIFE, coming from Christian Schools Service in Chicago, Illinois. We have 3 newsletters from the Rev. David Sieberg of Austin, Texas and THE BAPTIST CHALLENGE, edited by the Rev. Moser of Little Rock, Arkansas. From La Mesa, California there is a newsletter of the UTAH CHRISTIAN TRACT SOCIETY, published by the Budvarsons refuting Mormon-ism. There is also THE LUTHERAN SCHOLAR edited by A.J. Buehner of St. Louis, Missouri; LeTourneau's NOW coming from Longview, Texas; and the WORLD UNIVERSITY SERVICE BULLETIN from New York.
We are indebted to Dr. Walter E. Lammerts for material from the old Deluge Society later named "Society for the Study of Natural Science". This was led by George McCready Price, the geologist who strongly fought evolution in a previous generation, This material contains interesting discussions on the pros and cons of the pre-world. It also contains some deep studies of the Scriptures.
OF A CREATIONIST
Frank Marsh in his new booklet, "Evolution or Special Creation", draws a comparison with the church of the Middle Ages and scientific authority today. As the church was predominant then, so the authority of science is today. As the church abused the Bible by insisting it taught a geocentric theory and the fixity of species as well as kinds, so the theories of evolution are pretty much an abuse of scientific facts today. As the church was intolerant and persecuted Galileo and others who dared oppose it, so science today persecutes those who will not accept organic evolution.
An example came to us in a letter from Dr. David A. Warriner of East Lansing, Michigan. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Tulane, his Ph. D. in educational psychology from Cornell and had two years at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was asked to join the Natural Science department of Michigan State University as a Creationist in order to balance the evolutionists on the faculty.
After four years his Department Head suggested tenure. Because he had openly come out for Creationism also in the community, the Dean claimed he had damaged the image of science for the university, and he was dismissed.
When the Christian businessmen in town took up the matter with the president of the school, he was offered a file-clerk position which he would not accept. The Lord opened up a position for him in a community college. We have received from him a booklet "What is Life" and another essay which will be reviewed on a later page.
We await the publication of the first Annual of the Creation Research Committee which Dr. Lammerts has promised in February. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Lammerts' correspondence. We were happy to see the Lutheran News publish an article by Dr. Lammerts as the lead article. We understand Dr. Lammerts recently addressed the student body of Concordia Junior College at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in which he stressed that mutations cannot be the organism for organic evolution.
We appreciate the generous financial support from Wm. C. Gehrke, a contractor in Denver, Colorado, and from Mrs. E. W. Platzer of Houston, Texas who says she joined the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 1960 in order to be a member of a conservative body. She mailed us material on Joshua's Long Day, which we shall take up later.
Arthur Raske of Albany, California writes:
"I am a graduate student at the University of California's Department of Entomology, studying for my Ph.D. degree. I have been exposed to the evolutionary point of view the last eight years. The theory of evolution had so many holes in it that in my own thinking I reduced it to a hypothesis. This came by listening and reading the evolutionist. Disregarding evolution I started to form my own hypothesis concerning the past of man, animals, and the earth, You can imagine my surprise when I stumbled onto The Genesis Flood by Whitcomb and Morris who presented me with a good deal of evidence and facts to back up my own conclusions ... I know of another student in biology (who has now switched to history) who had the same experience that I did. I think your Newsletter will be a valuable paper for the exchange of information."
We have received several cards from the Rev. Beshai Saeed Beshai, Fellowship Upper Room in Suez, Egypt, U.A.R. He would like books on the Bible and Science if anyone cares to send him some.
Arthur Durnan of Scarboro, Ontario, Canada writes an interesting letter. In his request for the Newsletter he adds "The probability of life originating by accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing factory."
Anders Wigholm, secretary of the Bible League in Stockholm, Sweden, edits a 48-page "For Biblical Faith" booklet, in which he attempts to stem the tide of modernism sweeping into Sweden. He requested the Newsletter.
Another request came from H.L. Armstrong, instructor in physics at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Creation Research Committee, and writes: "even in physics we may get new insight in the light of a real belief in the Bible."
A Christian worker in India, J.P. Samuel, requested the Newsletter through an aerogram.
DO YOU WANT
Mrs. Violet T. Pearson of "Baptist Publications" in Denver, Colorado and Robert L. Mosier, president are looking for writers to handle lesson manuals for young people and adults from the Creationist viewpoint.
Julius Seeliger of Paradise, California writes "where does original sin and the need of a Savior fit into this evolutionistic concept of origins?"
Norman L. Geisler, Old Testament instructor at Detroit Bible College has sent considerable material to support his point that the 430 years of Galatians 3:1 is from Jacob down to the Exodus and not from Abraham. (Exodus 12:40) He finds it difficult to believe that 70 people could become 600,000 soldiers and more than two million people in 215 years. He believes four or five generations would be enough, because in Genesis 15:15 a generation is equated with 100 years. Then four or five generations between Jacob and Moses of I Chronicles 2:3-10; Matthew 1:2-4; cf. Numbers 1:7 would be enough.
Dr. John Grebe of Midland, Michigan has sent excellent material on virgin birth, wave-theory in physics, radioactive decay dating and DNA genetic code. He is active in the Creation Research Committee. He states: "I tried to find it years ago when the scientific arguments for evolution were stronger than they are now".
The Rev. Robert Feller, student pastor at Troy, New York, requested five of the science film-strips with tape commentary to use on January 10.
EVOLUTION IN CALIFORNIA
We are indebted to the Rev. Curtis Ewing, Los Angeles, California and to "Christian School Life" for information on Rafferty and California. The latest clipping from Ewing (January 6) indicates the State Board of Education overrode Dr. Max Rafferty in his attempt to eliminate the teaching of evolution as a fact from the state textbooks.
The clipping quotes Dr. Walter Lammerts at the hearing. He produced a series of several elementary school textbooks containing statements on the origin of man. He quoted a seventh-grade science book which said "billions of years ago, the only life in the world was cells in the ocean," Lammerts said, "Why does the author not say this series is only true if you accept the theory of evolution?" Lammerts said books should make categorical statements only about "facts" and not "theories".
Dr. Rafferty was elected as the only Republican in the last election in California. He pledged revolting parents he would slay the twin dragons of Progressive Education and John Deweyism. His democratic opponent had the backing of national and state teacher Associations, school administrators, teachers' colleges, the governor, the attorney general, the state Board of Education, all the large labor unions, and even the Nobel prize winning scientists. Rafferty had no money, no machine - but he had people. It was the first time parents had the clear-cut choice of teaching "life-adjustment" as against teaching their children clearly organized subject matter, and the subject matter won.
The eight principal differences between Progressive Education and Education in Depth are outlined by Rafferty as follows:
1. Progressive Education has no positive, eternal values. Education in Depth has them and seeks them out for children.
2. Progressive Education teaches life adjustment and group acceptance are proper methods and motives of education. Education in Depth wants organized discipline in subject matter.
3. Progressive Education downgrades individuals and glorifies the group. Education in Depth makes the individual the be-all and end-all of education.
4. Progressive Education thinks memorization a waste of time, whereas Education in Depth makes it vital.
5. Progressive Education says curriculum depends on group interests and needs and Education in Depth says curriculum is there to give tools and skills to make individual child cultured and a patriotic citizens.
6. Progressive Education achieves learning through senses, sight, sound, smell, feel, taste. Education in Depth stresses rather rating and recitative repetition as the most economical and best educational method.
7. Progressive Education says a student must compete only with himself and his best previous efforts. Education in Depth says children should learn to hold their own in stiffest competition with all.
8. Progressive Education doubts free-enterprise and advocates collectivism. Education in Depth shows that growth and development of our free-enterprise economic system made us the envy of the whole world.
Henry Morris in his new book The Twilight of Evolution says page 19: "A good example of the far-reaching influence of this idea in America is the fact that practically the entire structure of modern public school education is centered around this theme (evolution). This fact is so obvious and so common to universal observation and experience that it needs no documentation."
In this connection we have just learned from a teacher of education at an Idaho college that the State of Oregon requires anyone teaching biology in the state must have taken a course in evolution before teaching.
One problem today is the statement of Joshua that the sun should stand still (Joshua 10:12-13).
A book devoted to this problem is C.A.L. Totten's "JOSHUA'S LONG DAY", first published in 1890 and now republished in paper back by Destiny Publishers of Haver-hill, Mass. Howard Rand, editor of Destiny, sent us the November 1946 issue in which he adds to what Totten says and reviews the book. Mrs. Platzer of Houston sent us a quotation from "All About the Bible" by Sidney Collet (Revell) on this subject.
Our first reaction to Totten's book was that it is too dogmatic. He was too sure of the date of the creation of the world. He figures from the day of Creation and comes up with Tuesday. He figures back from 1890 and comes up with Wednesday, and thus finds proof of this extra day.
On page 39 he says: "To be scientifically correct it may therefore be stated that the Sun and Moon were going into accurate conjunction, in the mid-heavens over Beth Horon, (as recorded in Joshua) for the 31,604th time (since their primeval conjunction on the first day of Adam's first week of time), on the 24th day of 4th Civil, or 10th Sacred month of the Hebrew calendric year 2555 A.M., which day was a Tuesday at ll:13 a.m., it being the 933,285th day of the world reckoning from Creation inclusive. Whereas, if we reverse the cycles from the latest solar-eclipsing conjunction of history, to wit that of Tuesday, January 17, 1890, they pass unerringly backward to that same conjunction, and make it 1,217,530 days 'ago', but upon a Wednesday, at about 10:30 a.m., i.e. there is inevitably 'about a whole day' between the two results."
Perhaps Totten's greatest contribution is his proving that the sun and moon must have been in thirteen minutes of conjunction, of a sun eclipse. He notes the significance of the moon standing still as well as the sun. At sun's eclipse you can't see the moon, and yet Joshua had it stand still. If Joshua were standing on Bethhoron, between the sun and moon, and the moon were standing over the valley Ajalon on one side and the sun over Gibeon on the other, the angles and degrees would show them within thirteen minutes of conjunction. Totten says we can figure astronomically just when this was 1445 B.C.
He stresses that Joshua 10:13 says "about" a whole day. He claims the long day was 47 hours and one-third hour long. The other two-thirds of an hour were made up in 707 B.C. when the sun dial went backward ten degrees in Hezekiah's day.
Howard Rand in the November 1946 issue of Destiny Magazine states his idea of how this happened and illustrates it with beautiful colored drawings on the inside cover of the magazine. He demonstrates how the earth could continue to revolve on its axis and how it could be made to turn on the equatorial axis so that the North Pole would go where the South Pole was and then return to its place within a day's time. If this happened, he says, the sun could remain on one spot for another nearly twenty-four hours, even though the earth kept on revolving its usual way. He thinks perhaps a meteor came close to the earth and caused this to occur. Since at the same time rocks came down from heaven and destroyed the enemies of the Hebrews, this heightens the possibility of a meteor.
Sidney Collet points out that some explain the miracle by a refraction of light, so that the sun appears above the horizon for some time after it has set. This could lengthen the day only by an hour, not an entire day. Collet states that E.W. Maunder, F.R.A.S. of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in an article in the Sunday at Home for February, 1904 traced not only the spot on which Joshua must have been standing at the time, but the date and time of the day when this remarkable phenomenon took place.
Collet also points out that Herodotus, 480 B.C., considered the father of history, told of priests of Egypt who told him of a time when "the sun has four times risen out of his usual Quarter, that he had twice risen where he now sets, and twice set where he now rises."
Collet also quotes from a Chinese record where Duke Yang, B.C. 1058-1053 is said to have raised his spear at the declining sun and it went backward in the sky three zodiacal signs or six hours.
The Indian account is mentioned by Collet in Hamilton's Key to Chronology of the Hindus, Volume 11, page 224, which corresponds with our 1451 B.C., when the sun delayed setting for twelve hours.
"STAND STILL" Howard Rand and Collet both indicate the word for "stand still" in Joshua 10:12 is really "be quiet, be silent". But in verse 13 is the usual Hebrew word for "stand still" beside the word "be silent". We feel there are several explanations of this exhortation for the sun to stand still, even though today we generally believe the earth revolves around the sun. The sun was told to stand still on Gibeon and the moon on the valley of Ajalon, which means they should remain in their relative positions, within thirteen minutes of conjunction or eclipse for almost twenty-four hours, and then continue normally. There is no better way of saying this than to say "stand still on Gibeon and on Ajalon." The other explanation is that the sun does move, even though the earth revolves around it; that if it did literally stand still in space, it would greatly affect also the motion of the earth and could be responsible for the longer day.
What we should avoid is to say that Joshua spoke in this manner only to accommodate himself to man's way of thinking. The Bible is perfect and contains no mistakes, nor does it here. It is not necessary to say this is not an accurate historical and scientific statement.
Since the Bibliography published in the second issue of this Newsletter we have had some fine suggestions from Dr. David Warriner of Lansing, Michigan, from Dr. John Moore of Michigan State University, and from others. The following is an addition to the previous Bibliography.
There are many fine inexpensive booklets available. It is a good idea for some of us to keep a supply on hand to distribute or to sell, especially to our young people.
WHY I ACCEPT THE GENESIS RECORD
- by Raymond Hand
A CATECHISM ON EVOLUTION - by Dr. Paul A. Zimmerman
WITNESSES AGAINST EVOLUTION - by Fred Meldau (Contains an amazing amount of material.)
A CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO CONCERNING EVOLUTION - by Meldau
EVOLUTION OR SPECIAL CREATION - by Frank Marsh Review and Herald Publishing Co. (Just published, well printed and illustrated. Clarifies the distinction between kinds and species and gives a summary of how a believing creationist and scientist views the relationships between Bible and Science.)
BIBLE CATASTROPHISM AND GEOLOGY - by Henry Morris (This is a survey of his larger book on the Genesis Flood. May be ordered from the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company of Philadelphia.
MOODY SCIENCE INSTITUTE booklets which explain their films
EVOLUTION BY A MEDICAL STUDENT - International Christian Crusade, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
EVOLUTION: FACT OR THEORY? - by Cora A. Reno. Published by Moody Press
MISTAKES GOD DID NOT MAKE - by B.H. Shadduck Published by Higley Press, Butler, Indiana.
Six or seven other pamphlets against evolution Same as above.
The following inexpensive books
published by Berne Witness Company, Berne, Indiana by the author Harry
MONKEYSHINES - by Rimmer
MODERN SCIENCE AND YOUTH OF TODAY - by Rimmer
DAYS OF GENESIS; AEONS OR SOLAR DAYS? - by Rimme
ORIGIN OF MAN AND THEORIES OF EVOLUTION - by Rimme
IS EVOLUTION OR THE BIBLE TRUE? - by Professor L.V. Cleveland, Canterbury, Connecticut.
EVOLUTION: FACT OR FICTION - Same as above.
EVOLUTION - Same as above
Dr. David Warriner sent us a booklet of his entitled WHAT IS LIFE. May be obtained from J.M.R. in Troy, Michigan. It is a fine statement of theological and biological evidences for Christian beliefs. In it is a very good bibliography.
Mentioned are CREATION - by Robert
E.D. Clark (Tyndale Press, London - 1963) and DARWIN, BEFORE AND AFTER
- also by Clark (Paternoster Press, London - 1958). Dr. Clark is a physical
Also mentioned are DID MAN JUST HAPPEN? - by W.A. Criswell (Zondervan, Grand Rapids - 1957)
DOES SCIENCE SUPPORT THE SCRIPTURES? -by O.E. Sanden (Zondervan - 1951)
SCIENCE IS A SACRED COW - by O.E. Sanden (E.P. Dutten - 1950)
Dr. John N. Moore of Michigan State University sent two fine bibliographies with reviews. We mention the following:
NOMOGENESIS OR EVOLUTION DETERMINED BY LAW - by L.S. Berg (biologist) (Constable and Company Ltd., London -1926) Berg states: "The struggle for existence is not a progressive, it is a conservative agency; it does not spare the most diverging individuals, exterminating others; but, on the contrary, maintains the standard and restricts variations."
AMERICAN SCIENTIST - January, 1963 R. Goldschmidt gives a position on systematic mutations and thesis of sudden change (saltation) which is hardly distinguishable, for some, from special creation of "distinct" kinds.
THE LISTNER, Volume 61l, May 7, 1959, pp. 797-799. R. Good, a botanist, is quoted by Moore as saying that natural selection is unscientific "because it depends too much on false parallels and weakly supported assumptions ... it is no longer appropriate to the moral, social, and educational climate of our time."
SCIENTIFIC RATIONALISM AND CHRISTIAN FAITH (Inter-Varsity Fellowship, London 1951) R.E.D. Clark, a chemist, is quoted by Moore as follows: "The question of evolution is already showing signs it will fare in the same way (as arguments on the origin of the solar system and on spontaneous origin of life). It may still by necessary to use the word in a narrower sense and to recognize that there are various modifications during descent. But scientists of today are not nearly as confident that the development of amazingly complex structures out of sim-ple ones is exactly what we should expect to happen, as were the scientists of a former generation. Indeed, there is an increasing body of opinion — strengthened with each new discovery of the complexity of nature - that it could scarcely have happened at all were it not for something at least akin to design." (page 88).
MODERN SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN BELIEFS by Arthur F. Smethurst, Abingdon Press, New York - 1955. Smethurst was first a scientist in England then became rector in the Church of England. The first part of the book is quite good - then the author becomes liberal, and later he compromises. He points out there must be cause in nature or we could not have our scientific approach. A scientist always asks why a thing happened, postulating cause. Smethurst quotes Max Planck; "'Of course, it may be said that the law of causality is only after all an hypothesis. If it be an hypothesis, it is not an hypothesis like most of the others, but it is a fundamental hypothesis because it is the postulate which is necessary to give sense and meaning to the application of all hypotheses in scientific research!" (page 9) Smethurst states that Christianity developed the scientific spirit because it is strongly materialistic. He says: "Christians believe, as did the Jews before them, that the material world and everything in it is created by God and exists only through His will and sustaining power. It therefore follows that material things cannot possibly be bad in themselves, since it is inconceivable that the workmanship of the all-good God and divine Craftsman could be anything except good." (page 1?) Smethurst says that the earlier scientists were all strong Christians.
Of energy Smethurst has this to say: "It does seem significant that modern developments in physics have indicated that the ultimate constituent of the universe is energy; for the Christian view of the universe is the dynamic view." (page 81)
Smethurst says that Heisenberg's Principal of Indeterminacy has gravely modified Newton's strict determinancy. He states: "The fact that the behavior of an electron is unpredictable or the fact that it is impossible at the same time to determine with accuracy both its position and velocity does not seem an adequate reason for supposing there is no cause at all ... at the same time these new ideas have gravely modified the absolute and strict determinancy of Newton." (page 85)
Regarding the steady-state theory Smethurst states: "there is nothing inherently more 'queer' about the idea of continuous creation than about the idea of the creation of the whole universe at a first instant in time. If Christians find any difficulty in accepting Hoyle's views, it will probably be due to the fact that they have an inadequate conception of the continuing and ever-present power and activity of the creative Holy Spirit." (page 95)
When we wrote to Henry Morris for something with which to counteract an article in the January issue of the Reader's Digest on the "oldest" man, he sent us an article which he had prepared on Zinjanthropus boisei or "nutcracker man" of Dr. L.S.B. Leakey. Morris shows how the age of this man was raised from 600,000 years to 1,750,000 years (more than double and nearly triple) simply because of radioactive dating. The original find of this man was only a fossil skullcap.
Morris points out there could be old human beings; "Therefore, all fossil men must once have been living descendants of Adam, and. many of them of Noah as well. These remains usually seem to have been found in deposits which were stratigraph-ically identified as Pleistocene or later, and therefore were deposited after the Noachian Deluge. It appears quite possible that, after the dispersion of peoples at Babel, certain tribes were cut off from previous cultures, scattering into Africa, Asia, and America, Through inbreeding, harmful genetic mutations, inadequate diets, or perhaps other causes, many such tribes rapidly degenerated into a savage state.
It is probably the remnants of these that are now occasionally found as fossils. Thus, they demonstrate not an evolving humanity, but rather a degenerating humanity."
Regarding the radio-active dating method Morris states that there may have been some of the radiogenic argon, the element measured, already in the mineral when it was first created, or at least when it was deposited. Some may have come in from outside sources; the decay rate may have been accelerated during the highly abnormal atmospheric and geophysical conditions associated with the Deluge, or some of the potassium may have been removed from the mineral by some other means than radioactive decay.... Any one of these possibilities would make the apparent age much greater than the true age.
Henry Morris also sent an essay read at the joint meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation and the Evangelical Theological Society at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, on June 20, 1963, which is entitled "The Spirit of Compromise". This is based upon Elijah's call of 1 Kings 18:21: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him."
He says: "And what is idolatry and paganism but evolutionary pantheism? The transcendent Creator is identified with His creation, so that He must be depicted in terms of men or beasts or other created objects. God is a fish, or a cow, or a superman, or the sun or the elemental forces of nature. He is a part of, and limited by, the universe. He is rejected as omnipotent, sovereign Creator of all things."
Morris also says: "Science can measure and correlate and evaluate present processes and phenomena, but has no way whatever of knowing that these have always been the same or that they always will be the same. The principle of uniformity, which assumes this, represents therefore not a scientific law, but rather an act of faith. But that faith is faith in the eternity of matter, in materialism, in evolution, rather than faith in God and creation and revelation. The decision between these two faiths is not a scientific decision, but a spiritual decision, and is therefore made on the basis of moral and spiritual considerations rather than scientific evidence." (page 6)
Morris notes there is no indication geologically of a pre-world, or a destruction of a pre-world. He says that strict evolutionists will no more accept a "gap" theory or a pre-world than they will accept a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible. Strict evolutionists will also not accept the days of creation as periods. It does not fit in with their idea of the progress of evolution.
Morris claims this leads the compromisers completely to abandon the historical and scientific significance of the Genesis record and claim the Bible is not a textbook of science but one of religion and morals. He shows the evolutionist is not even satisfied with this compromise. The evolutionist insists, as the Communists do, on giving up God entirely. If one wants to compromise and satisfy the evolutionists, one finally has no Christianity at all, only pure paganism.
Morris concludes: "And it is all so tragically unnecessary! The Biblical revelation of origins is wonderfully satisfying, fully self-consistent, and perfectly harmonious with the character and purposes of a sovereign, gracious God. There can never be anything in true science (which really deals only with the present) which can ever impugn its literal, historical factuality. May God in these last days guard His people against this Spirit of Compromise which is today threatening to remove the last vestige of Biblical Christianity even from supposedly Christian America." (page 9)
In the second issue of this Newsletter we printed a commentary on verse one of Genesis. We continue with verse two.
"AND THE EARTH WAS WITHOUT FORM AND VOID: AND DARKNESS (WAS) UPON THE FACE OF (THE) DEEP: AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD BROODED UPON THE FACE OF THE WATERS.""AND THE EARTH"
is not "became". The word is in a tense which does not allow "became" and the first and most natural reading is "was". The first creation was without form and void from the beginning. It did not first become so.
"WITHOUT FORM AND VOID"
The first word stresses a lack of form. It is used of "waste" in Deuteronomy 32:10. When used of waste or desert, tracklessness is emphasized. The second word stresses lack of substance and life, "emptiness". It is used with the first word in Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23 where it describes desolation of a depopulated and ruined land.
In the original language there are similar sounds between the two words "tohu vabohu", and even the word for "deep", "tehom" sounds like these two words. This is Hebrew poetry.
"AND DARKNESS (WAS) UPON THE FACE
OF THE DEEP"
Here there is no verb but an adverbial expression and we supply "was". Hebrew poetry is short.
The word for "darkness" comes from a root which means "obscure".
It does not say darkness was in the deep, but on the face of it. This could mean that a cloud of darkness covered everything. Yet, we also have the feeling there was no light at all.
Astronomers have discovered "dark nebulae" which seem to be stars and substance without light. Was this the way the entire universe and all the galaxies were at first? Does science support the Bible here?
"AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD"
This could mean merely "wind" rather than Holy Spirit, but there was no air or wind, and the words "Spirit of God" would make us think of the Holy Spirit. The word for "God" is the same as in verse one.
This is a verb which first meant "to be soft" and then in the form it is here "to cherish, brood" as a hen sits on an egg and by its warmth imparts life. Deuteronomy 32:11 speaks of an eagle fluttering over her young. The main thought seems to be the Spirit broods over the heavens and the earth and then imparts substance and life. This is a better way of explaining the origin of life than to see it begun in. the slimy substances of the sea, or out of putrifying matter, as evolutionists used to say, or that it came by accident as evolutionists still say. With all our scientific knowledge we have not yet produced life, how could it happen by accident?
"UPON THE FACE OF (THE) WATERS"
This could mean the Spirit is not in the waters, part of it, as if the waters were Spirit. This is pantheism. When we try to make matter eternal, or practically so, we are in danger of pantheism. The Spirit was upon the face of the waters, keeping it, having made it, and still was separate from it. "Waters" probably refers to everything made so far. II Peter 3:5 says everything was standing in and out of water. Were heavens and earth together in watery fashion, without form, substance or light?
We feel the purpose of the three expressions "without form and void ... darkness" and later "deep" and "water" indicate not a ruined world, but the need, for the Trinity. The earth being without form needed the Father. The earth without substance and life needed the brooding of the Spirit. The earth was darkness and made light necessary. Light was made when God spoke and John 1 shows the Word of God is Jesus. Darkness needed Jesus to make light.
In John 5:39 we are told to search the Bible and find Jesus in it. If we find Jesus as the second person in the Trinity, we find the Trinity. This means we should find the Trinity also in these first verses of the Bible. Rather than look for a ruined world in these first verses, we should look for the Trinity.
IS THE CONFLICT
BETWEEN ORGANIC EVOLUTIONISM
AND CHRISTIANITY OVER OR JUST BEGINNING?
David A. Warriner, Jr. of Lansing, Michigan, in a paper which he prepared, states that he does not believe this conflict is a thing of the past as some He says: "Recently a mature scholar of a prominent university wrote to me, 'Of course we have scientific dogmatists like Sir Julian Huxley who use the theory of evolution as a base for the propagation of atheism, but, generally speaking, I would have thought that this particular conflict belonged to a past age of intellectual history.' "
In contrast Warriner quotes from David Lack of England, himself an evolutionary ornithologist in his EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF - 1961: "'My aim in this book is to discuss a live and highly controversial issue in simple and I hope fair terms. Various writers, both Christian and agnostic, have claimed that the dispute is over, but this, I suggest is because they have not accepted the full implications of evolution by natural selection, or alternatively of Christianity.' "
Warriner quotes from Dr. Walter E. Lammerts: " '... the idea of evolution has had a deadening effect on the minds of many, especially younger and less imaginative research workers ... the concept of evolution has had a bad influence on research in that it tends to make the scientist work on the theory that nature acts slowly and mutational changes occur slowly. Hence he tends to limit himself as to the possibilities of getting results rapidly.' "
W.R. Thompson of England is quoted from his Introduction to "Everyman's Library" edition, (1956) of Darwin's THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, on how unscientific scientists can be: "'as we know, there is a great divergence of opinion among biologists, not only about the causes of evolution but even about the actual process. This divergence exists because the evidence is unsatisfactory and does not permit any certain conclusion. It is therefore right and proper to draw the attention of the non-scientific public to the disagreements about evolution. But some recent remarks of evolutionists show that they think this unreasonable. This situation where scientific men rally to the defense of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigor, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and undesirable in science.' "
Finally he quotes Lammerts again
on mutations: "It would seem then that the idea that evolution can occur
through the accumulation of mutations is simply not borne out by the ever-increasing
array of experimental evidence. In fact, it becomes more and more clear
that species and even variations are very complexly integrated units tolerating
very little 'tinkering' or 'change'."