This Weeks Topic: The Two Creations
The debate between the academic Left and the Fundamentalist Right has reached a pinnacle in our schools and in the media concerning how man came to be created. Recently a school superintendent in Texas was not hired back because he supported the Creationist view. This argument has polarized our society to the point that we sometimes see neighbor against neighbor and atheists against Christians in a destructive way that seems to some to be an all out war of ideology, and punishes the children in our schools, who are confused about where they stand.
There is a way out that would resolve the debate with minimal damage and still maintain the integrity of both sides as well as the sanctity of the Bible. It requires some adjustment of interpretation on the side of the religious right and the acceptance of a religious belief on the part of the scientific community. This doesn't mean we're changing the Bible, only that we are changing what we understand it to be saying. By accepting three basic assumptions, there emerges a version of Genesis that satisfies the scientific version as well as the fundamentalist version of man's history. Two of the three assumptions will possibly offend some on the right who insist on holding onto traditional interpretations. However both groups would have to agree that the version of book of Genesis that emerges allows for the science books to be right as well as the Fundamentalist Right. The side benefit of this version is that most of the "myths" and mysteries of Genesis become believable and are cleared up. Here goes:
Assumption number one: There is a God
Assumption number two: The first two books of Genesis describe two different events that we interpreted in the past as one event that we call "The Creation".
Assumption number three: The Flood of Noah was a catastrophic regional flood, not a global one.
Imagine two different timelines. One begins 13.7 billion years ago at the creation of the universe that scientists call the Big Bang. Genesis chapter one describes it precisely all the way down to the creation of the sun and the earth 4.5 billion years ago. (We will discuss the 6 days argument in a later article for the sake of space here). As God created and seeded life on planet Earth, He proclaimed "Let the Earth bring forth...". This sounds a lot like Evolution all the way down to about 2 million years ago when He said "Let us create man in our image", in chapter one verse 27. This version of man did not have the Breath of Life" that Adam had in the second chapter of Genesis. This was simply an announcement by God that He intended to "develop" a form of man that had an "image" but lacked other qualities that would come later in the plan. In time this "man" would be inhanced by merging with Adam's descendants. This man was Australopithecus, or according to science, the first version of a creature called "man", all according to a plan of God's to create the final product, the creature we call "modern man"
Now imagine another timeline that began about 6000 years ago in the area around the present Black Sea, somewhere in modern Turkey. God came back to Earth and began creating some new creatures in a place the Bible calls "The Garden of Eden". One of these was a genetically superior form of man, named Adam in the Bible, that lived 930 years, was immune to all disease, didn't bear children until past 100 years of age, communicated with God daily, and, according to ancient legends outside the Bible, his body didn't decay at death like present man's does. This was a genetically different man to modern man, separate in species to the "primitive man" that had "evolved" outside the Garden. Both co-existed on the earth in separate locations.
The final piece of the puzzle that allows this scenario to make sense is the third assumption concerning the flood of Noah. By having a regional flood, as supported by the book "Noah's Flood" by William Ryan and Walter Pittman, only a corrupted line of Adam's descendant's were destroyed while Noah's line as well as the primitive "Homo sapiens" line outside of the area,survived.
It was after this event that the two timelines mentioned above came together and became one line in the history of man.
The Area of Eden and Noah's Flood
Why is this important? If Noah's line, after the flood, settled in the "plains of Shinar", or Shumer, known today incorrectly as Sumer, and mixed with the primitive line of man, a phenomenon would take place that is described perfectly in Genesis chapter 11 verse 10 where the ages of the descendants of Shem are given, and the longevity of each succeeding generation decreases in geometric steps. This happens because, as a long-lived descendant of Noah marries a primitive female whose lifespan is about 40 years, according to science, their children have lifespans that lie somewhere between the two extremes. Each succeeding generation's lifespan decreases a geometric step until the lifespan of Abraham's descendants settles around the normal 120 years maximum for modern humans.
This is important because if it is true, it changes our perspective of how we came to be and the history of our species.
What other "mysteries" does this scenario clear up? It provides a source for the wife of Cain in Genesis 4: 16 and 17, within the colonies of primitive humans outside of Eden. It also explains Genesis 20-24, about how Cain's descendants made such contributions to humanity as metalworking and art, which would have been impossible if all his descendants had perished in a global flood.
The argument against this of course, is that the Bible says that "All that God created was destroyed." This phrase has caused all ancient Hebrew scribes to assume that the flood was global when it wasn't. How can I say that when the Bible says the "whole world was covered with water"? Because the original Hebrew Bible, the one God gave Moses, doesn't say that.
The ancient Hebrew word used for world was "erets" which also means "land", "country", and "ground". Because the ancient Hebrew scribes in the first millennium BC didn't understand the meaning of the statement "All that God created..." they asssumed the word meant world. The word "erets" is used elsewhere throughout the Bible to refer only to land or country, and is only used to mean world in the flood description. Because they didn't know of the two separate creations, they could only assume it meant the original creation and not just the things created in the Garden of Eden. It would be more accurate to substitute the words "land" or "ground" in every case where the word "world" is used in modern translations. This was the "world", the land of Eden, that was destroyed in the flood and now is probably under 600 feet of water in the present Black Sea.
This misunderstanding by the early Hebrew scribes forever embedded in our minds the idea of a global flood when that isn't what the "original" Bible really says. This newer understanding of the "flood" narrative also allows another "mystery" to be solved.
No longer do we need to have millions of animals and plants on board the ark as so many have advocated. With the regional flood idea only the "creations" in the Garden needed to be saved, which would have been a vastly smaller number than the traditional account. The statement "All that God had created" only applies to the most recent creation, the one in the Garden.
While this new interpretation is radical and new to some, it is supported by various statements in both the Old and New Testaments. If we are a product of the merging of the descendants of Adam, and Noah, with the primitive humans that are described in our science books it would seem to support both versions of the creation of man, within the separate "definitions" of man as described in our science books and the Bible. It would mean that genetically we all have the DNA of both the man that came out of Evolution, with God's help, and the man Adam that was created in the Garden of Eden.
There is a statement by the apostle Paul in Corinthians 2:14, that describes the situation far better than anything I could say about it. "For the natural man received not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him...". This is followed up by even more specific references to two kinds of man in chapter 15:47, "The first man is from the earth, a man of dust. The second man is from heaven... Just as we have born the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven".
We could easily substitute the word "genes" for the word "image" in this statement, and retain the same meaning. This is a very powerful and timely statement from someone who had no knowledge of genetics.
If the ideas presented here are true then we all do bear the genetic image of both the primitive man of the science books, as well as the image of the first man, Adam, who, because God "breathed the spirit of life into him", is the only one who can legitimately be called a "man of heaven".
This new interpretation of the book of Genesis solves the problem of Evolution Vs Creationism as it applies to man and needs to be considered and debated before general acceptance will follow. It is not in any way changing the Bible, but only our "imperfect" interpretation of the Bible. It does however present a new perspective of who we are and our purpose for being here. Each of us has to decide for ourselves which of the two lines of man controls our lives. Are we more a product of divine origin, as of Adam, or of the animal kingdom, as in Evolution. This is one of the most important decisions we could possibly make.
This feature is a continuing commentary on perspectives of the debate of Evolution Vs Creationism. The topic will be changed weekly with new issues and discussions of various aspects of the mysteries of the book of Genesis and how they impact modern man. Comments are welcome and invited. The basic thesis of this feature is that the book of Genesis is a perfect, divinely written document and is accurate both historically and scientifically. Only our interpretation of the book is imperfect.
The book from which this writer draws inspiration and information: Beyond Genesis: The Untold Story of Man's Origins, at