I’m happy to introduce a paper by Daniel Pech, an enthusiastic creationist with lots of ideas, in which he proposes a reading of Genesis 1 that includes subtly more nuanced perspectives between the heavens and the earth while retaining a young-earth creationist perspective..
Daniel contacted me after reading my post concerning the complementary nature of Genesis 1 and 2 (as opposed to a self-contained and contradictory nature).
You might be interested in getting to know Daniel a little bit more. If that’s the case, head over to my post entitled Daniel Pech – Bio, Aspiring Creation Writer -Selah.ca Guest.
The first section below, The Best of Both Worlds, is a primer to Daniel’s main idea in his paper on a reading of Genesis that highlights what Daniel believes is a lack of reading the full ‘dimensionality’ of the text.
The second section is an excerpt to Daniel’s paper which more fully reveals his argument and direction.
I hope you enjoy the introduction and take a look at his full paper if you’re interested.
The Best of Both Worlds
by Daniel Pech
The best of both the physics and terrestrial readings conceivably can both be that meant by the author of the account.
By a perhaps very simplistic analogy, suppose we wanted to make a pictograph of a particular portion of a particular year of the Tour De France in which some or even all of the riders saw, on a particular portion of the road, an unusual event in which a flock of birds were on and near the road eating seeds. Here is a single pictograph every bit of which serves to account this particular instance of this particular year of the Tour De France:
Notice that the selfsame set of data comprising the above series of shapes can serve simultaneously to tell both halves of the whole basic story.
This is because each of the six repeated units can be seen to represent both (a) a bicycle-and-rider and (b) a bird eating a seed.
All that is required to get the whole basic story from this sequence is to know the author in terms of the author’s intent.
The primary subject being thereby described is the Tour De France. The story, therefore, is to be understood thereby not to be either per (a) or per (b), but, rather, per (b) within per (a).
The author we know of, as to his intent, is that he is, say, one of the riders. Thus, if we know that he also has some special concern for the possibility that some kind of birds might like to crowd a particular part of the road during the season when yummy seeds fall there, we can recognize in this sequence the possibility that he made this sequence to tell a story about the Tour De France in which these birds were indeed crowding the road.
An Empty ‘Bottle of Water’
The Modern YEC’s In a Mature Young Cosmos; A Critical Response to DeRemer, Amundrud, And Dobberpuhl on Genesis 1 & 2 by Daniel Pech
Why do we espouse Young Earth Creation? Earth is a member of the total cosmos that God created. Would it not be more accurate to call it Young Cosmos Creation?
Today, it is popular to think of Earth as a member of ‘the cosmos’. Secularist cosmologists even think of her as entirely the product of him. But not even the cosmological constants are sufficient; their fine-tuning for life is necessary, but not central. There must be an Earth.
So, the foundation of secularist cosmologies is the endless masses of lifeless matter, and endless space, of the cosmos. The foundation of Genesis 1 is a single, special planet.
So, God created everything, including Earth, in the span of six ordinary Earth days. But the cosmos is not its own end. The wider cosmos supports Earth and her life. But the cosmos also does its own thing, just as she does hers. If Earth were left without his support, his own other ways would cause her to die. So she needs him. But she is not merely a member of him. She, alone, is the special of the two, and he knows it.
So, for us ‘Young Cosmos Creationists’, the question is not for any meaningless kind of equality between ‘the cosmos’ and Earth. Much less is the wider cosmos its own prime of place. Without her, his existence would be in vain. So the crucial question is this: How basically well does Genesis 1 recognize her?
God created Earth with an abundance of water, air, and life (Genesis 1:2; 6-7; 11-12, 20-22, 24-25). But is such abundance a useless addition to the fact of any life and water at all? Can life survive on Earth if there were only a few individuals, and maybe only a small local patch of green? Can Earth’s life support system abide at all if it involved only a small amount of water? The foundation of secularist cosmologies is the endless masses of lifeless matter, and endless space, of the cosmos: from such things everything supposedly evolved. God created life specially, and so He did of Earth’s life-support system. So the question is whether Genesis 1 gives a complete basic account of what makes Earth special to life.
Imagine if I said that a woman is nothing but a particular physical shape that bears children. That would be crazy, right? But this is essentially what DeRemer, Amunrud and Dobberpuhl allow to be said of Earth.*
In regard to the text of Genesis 1, DeRemer et al render every verse possible in terms of a life-indifferent kind of physics. This they find readily done for the first eight verses, and so they propose that such physics is what the author actually and exclusively meant. For instance, they claim that vs. 1-3 means essentially and exclusively:
· (1) In the beginning, God created the purest fabric of space and purest prematter. (2a) This prematter was prematter because (a) it had no atomic structure, and therefore absent any radiative energies, including both humanly visible light and all other instances of light; and (b) comprising an utter pliableness through and through, and therefore (c) absent any living creatures. (2b) Also, the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of this fluid-like ‘prematter’. (3) And, so God caused atomic structure, or energy, into that ‘prematter’ in order to change it into a basically useful state. –Days 1-4 by Frank DeRemer, with Mark Amunrud and Delmar Dobberpuhl
Then they proceed to interpret the following verses in these terms, so that by Day 2, God is only forming the ‘large-scale structure of the universe’. This leaves the only explicit description of Earth to be that of vs. 9-10. But vs. 9-10 is the final part of the entire account that says anything about the geophysical Earth. And only v. 9 actually accounts of the formation of Earth, because v. 10 merely reports that God named that formation: land and the waters. So DeRemer et al render the Genesis 1 account to say essentially nothing about Earth except that it a physical location on which God creates life.
I will be posting a link to the full paper in the near future.