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The Day/Age Theory

March 20, 2017
By Mike Pilliod

Hello all!

This next post in our series will discuss, briefly, what has been called the “Day/Age Theory.”  The basics of the Day/Age Theory are as follows:

  1. The earth and universe actually are billions of years old
  2. Each “day” represented in the Creation week is actually a long age…some millions/billions of years

Many Christians adhere to one version or another of the Day/Age model.  The immediate problem with this sort of thinking for Christians, of course, is that the ULTIMATE authority and arbiter of truth is placed on the mainstream scientific conclusions…and not placed upon God and His revealed Word.

Most folks adhering to this idea are also evolutionists…so keep that in mind.  They are Christians that believe in atheistic evolution and are looking to squeeze their scientific conclusions into the biblical account.

There are others, however, that do NOT adhere to evolution and yet still maintain the earth and universe are very old (billions of years) and that each day is a metaphorical day and not literal.

Firstly, we tackle the issue of the Hebrew word for day, which is יוֹם pronounced yowm.  Yowm is used exactly like the word day in English.  In other words, there are 4 ways to render the word yowm or day.

  1. A roughly 24 hour period of time. 
    • It took 3 days to drive from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida.
       
  2. A roughly 12 hour period of daylight. 
    • I only walk during the days (meaning daylight hours).
       
  3. A period of time longer than 24 hours. 
    • Back in my grandfather’s day (clearly meaning some number of decades).
       
  4. A moment in time shorter than 24 and 12 hours and could be an instant.
    • A feeling of pride arose within me the day my son graduated.

So now we go to the Bible itself to see the context in which this was written.  Grammar plays a huge role in this!

First, in the Bible, whenever yowm (day) is associated with a number, it ALWAYS means a 24 hour period.  Just like in our English example above, “It took 3 days to drive from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida.”  We would NEVER think that any of the other possible definitions for day would be in play in this sentence…it just doesn’t make any sense at all.  And Hebrew is the same way.

So as we go to the Bible, please note that Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and 2:2 all contain the word day, yowm, associated with a number.  Therefore, each of these days actually MUST be roughly 24 hour periods. 

It’s worth noting that in Genesis 2:4 the word day, yowm, is used in association with the entire Creation week, but without a number.  “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven” (emphasis mine).

And so here we have day, yowm, being used to mean a period of time longer than a 24 hour period.  But it refers to simply a normal week’s worth of time because of the usage of day, yowm, in the previous verses that are associated with a number.

Additionally, just flip over to the book of Exodus.  This passage eliminates any idea that the days of Creation week were anything other than normal, 24 hour days.  Let us read Exodus 20:9-11 below:

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the 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.”

In fact, the reason we have a 7 day week in the first place is due to God’s Creation week!  Notice that we are to work for 6 days and then take the 7th day off as a sabbath.  And it explains it right there in the passage.  Why do we work six normal days?  Because God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, that’s why!

There is absolutely no reason to assume the days of Creation in Genesis 1 are anything but normal, 24 hour days.  Unless of course you already believe in “deep time” are trying to insert your old earth/universe belief into the biblical account.

Let us allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.

Les us allow Scripture to hold the highest place of authority with respect to truth.

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Posted in Apologetics
Daniel Pech says:
March 21, 2017 05:23 PM CST

I agree.

But even most who espouse the Young Earth-and-Cosmos paradigm of Genesis 1, in reading the text, do not entirely abide the principle that 'Let us allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.'

The Bible uses phrases such as 'darkness upon' to imply a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants. For example, Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, Joshua 24:7, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:9, and Psalm 18:11. Genesis 1:2 uses that phrase. Many 'YEC''s insist that this verse, in combination with v. 3, does not even allow there to have been any light in the cosmos UNTIL v. 3. This presupposes that Genesis 1 spells out everything necessary to a basic apprehension of all of its most crucial teachings.

But, as one of that particular kind of 'YEC's', James B. Jordan, stresses, we ought to read Genesis 1 'sentence by sentence, absorbing each statement as it comes'. (Jordan, J. B., 'Dr. Waltke on Genesis One, Concluded'; Biblical Chronology Vol. 10, No. 2, February 1998, http://reformed-theology.org/ice/newslet/bc/bc.98.02.htm)

If we were to read Genesis 1-2 as a *neutrally* 'objective' scientific account, we would conclude that it is saying that the Sun is the biggest luminary in the cosmos, the Moon perhaps the second biggest and, therefore, the stars of an unspecified range of even smaller sizes. So it is obvious that the account is using human normative terrestrial phenomenological language.

As John Calvin wrote: "it is not here philosophically discussed, how great the sun is in the heaven, and how great, or how little, is the moon; but how much light comes to us from them. For Moses here addresses himself to our senses, that the knowledge of the gifts of God which we enjoy may not glide away. Therefore, in order to apprehend the meaning of Moses, it is to no purpose to soar above the heavens; let us only open our eyes to behold this light which God enkindles for us in the earth. By this method (as I have before observed) the dishonesty of those men is sufficiently rebuked, who censure Moses for not speaking with greater exactness. For as it became a theologian, he had respect to us rather than to the stars." (((John Calvin, "Commentary on Genesis Vol. 1" (see 1:14-16), http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom01.vii.i.html)))

Daniel Pech
https://independent.academia.edu/DPech


Mike Pilliod says:
March 21, 2017 08:36 PM CST

Hello Daniel!

Thank you for your comment! I will answer this later on either tonight or tomorrow.

Please understand that you wrote a good bit and since the format for commenting on this particular blog doesn't easily allow us to see what is being answered, I shall do a lot of copying/pasting/quoting you and then answering.

Thanks a bunch!


Mike Pilliod says:
March 21, 2017 11:26 PM CST

“I agree.”

Thanks!

"But even most who espouse the Young Earth-and-Cosmos paradigm of Genesis 1, in reading the text, do not entirely abide the principle that 'Let us allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.'”

That is quite disappointing…although I’m not sure about the usage of “most” with regards to YECs not adhering to the idea of allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture…that’s a tough notion to prove ;-)

“The Bible uses phrases such as 'darkness upon' to imply a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants. For example, Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, Joshua 24:7, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:9, and Psalm 18:11.”

I disagree. The verses you referenced, in English, don’t say “darkness upon” at all; not even in the KJV. Only in Genesis 1:2 is that particular phrase used. However, the word “darkness” is indeed used. But I don’t think it is used in the fashion in which you are stating. Let me identify why below…

Yes, in Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:19 (I believe you mistakenly wrote 38:9 in your comment), and Psalm 18:11 the word חֹשֶׁךְ (choshek) is used for darkness. That is true.

However, in Joshua 24:7 it’s actually the word מַאֲפֵל (ma’aphel). And it comes from the root word אָפֵל (‘aphel) meaning something opaque. Indeed, it’s the only time this Hebrew word is used in Scripture and as such I will eliminate it from the conversation here since it is different than the other verses you referenced. And actually, if the verses you referenced had used this term, then the idea of “something opaque” causing a darkness on the other side, like cloudiness, might make more sense.

However… Psalm 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Exodus 14:20 all refer to God’s presence and not “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”

Job 38:19, 22:11, 17:12 refer to darkness itself (absence of light; not daytime) and not “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”

Job 3:5 seems to indicate that darkness here does refer to it as you say, given the words are in Job 3:3-6 are:

"May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months."

Darkness here is described as covering the day which he was born as “may a cloud settle over it.” However, in context of the rest of the passage, Job here also refers to the night of his conception and says that darkness should “seize it” (the night of his conception). And then further describes that night as being not “included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months”! He wishes for his conception to have never existed. So darkness in this context refers to a lack of ever existing. And of course if he so wishes for his conception to never have existed, then it makes sense that even the cloud covering the day of his birth would never have existed.

Clearly, in this context, we’re talking some serious figurative language…like much of Job is written. So this is not a literal cloud of covering causing darkness in this case. We’re talking non-existence.

“Genesis 1:2 uses that phrase.”

Yes, Genesis 1:2 uses the word חֹשֶׁךְ (choshek) for darkness. That is true.

“Many 'YEC''s insist that this verse, in combination with v. 3, does not even allow there to have been any light in the cosmos UNTIL v. 3.”

Correct. Given what I have shown above, חֹשֶׁךְ (choshek), used for darkness, can mean either the presence of God, the absence of light, or non-existence. Clearly God is present, non-existence doesn’t make much sense since God is present and had already created volume and matter, and the absence of light makes sense as well…ESPECIALLY given verse 3 that God then simply demanded for light to be there, and then there was. ESPECIALLY given that trees and animals and lands did not exist until God spoke them into existence.

And when reading this first chapter of Genesis sentence by sentence, you get what has been described by traditional YECs for quite some time. Additionally, when one reads each sentence in the context of the chapter, this same narrative simply falls into place. And when one reads chapters 1 and 2 in the context of one another, clearly this is what the Bible screams to us.

There were no stars, there was no moon, and there was no sun until Day #4. Therefore, the light in verse 3 simply came from God Himself. He commanded it and it shone.

“If we were to read Genesis 1-2 as a *neutrally* 'objective' scientific account, we would conclude that it is saying that the Sun is the biggest luminary in the cosmos, the Moon perhaps the second biggest and, therefore, the stars of an unspecified range of even smaller sizes.”

Maybe…but I would say one only needs read Genesis chapter 1 to gather that information and not chapters 1 and 2. But that still doesn’t discount that Scripture itself is demanding that the stars, moon, and sun were not in existence until Day 4. That’s the natural reading of the text.

“So it is obvious that the account is using human normative terrestrial phenomenological language.”

Granted. Just like saying that the sun is “rising” or “setting” when we actually know better than that. But again, that doesn’t discount the fact that Scripture itself demands that the stars, moon, and sun were not in existence until Day 4.

Thanks a bunch for commenting!


Jacob Sinus says:
October 31, 2018 09:51 PM CST
Hey all!I have a project on Day Age theory of evoloution and I can't find an answer to these questions. what is the... Who, What, When, Where, Why and impact if you could help that would be great! thanks

Daniel Pech says:
March 06, 2019 11:48 PM CST
Millions or billions of years also is the position of the 'Gap' theory. According to this theory: (1) there is a non-specifically large amount of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2; (2), the Hebrew word translated 'was' in v. 2 is better translated 'became', past tense of become, so that (3) this implies that 'waste and void' in v. 2 is an *adverse* condition of a post-destruction Earth that had, prior, been a 'very good' condition that had at least equaled the 'very good' of v. 31. But, not only is this Hebrew word 'became' not inherently, nor most naturally, alluding to adverse conditions resulting from evil, I am aware of no any instance in the Bible in which that word is used for any kind of adverse thing. I have done a Biblical review of that word all the way to the Psalm 150, and I find every instance clearly used for the idea of various kinds of constructive potentials or constructive realities. This constructive implication even is seen in II Peter 3:5b, which clearly alludes to Divine use of liquid water as a prime agency in bringing about the Earth's thermally binary surface (Genesis 1:9), and its atmosphere's substrate gases (vs. 6-8). Moreover, it would only make sense that the constructive, life-favoring nature of the liquid form of water is what cleansed (destroyed) the corrupted Earth in Noah's day, which underlines Enoch's prophecy that the corrupt world in the End Time shall be destroyed by fire. So, it seems that, even if we admit that, in Genesis 1:2, the Hebrew word translated 'was' can therein be translated 'become', there is no precedent anywhere between Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 150:6 for assuming that that 'became' is even of generic meaning, much less of an adverse meaning. After all, even if we were to allow that the waters' surface of a water-engulfed planet could be chaotic, no adversity is implied in Genesis 1:2 since there is, there, not yet any life to be violently buffeted. And, even according to II Peter 3:5, the account clearly is about a process by which God changes that 'chaotic' state into a proper place for plants and animals. So, even if we were to allow that Genesis 1:2 better says, 'And the Earth became formless and void', we still would have to allow that, given the Hebrew usage, this 'became' must be referring to the constructive potential of all that water. God even used water upon the planet in Noah's day to form a new thermally binary surface after the destructive phase of Noah's Flood. More importantly, therefore, it seems easy enough to reason that, for Genesis 1:2, a 'became' in place of 'was' is implying that the planet became full of liquid water; A planet that just previously had been dry as dust, perhaps with water ice, but none of the water in liquid state. This presumable dry state can, then, be likened to Eve's own first minutes or hours prior to when she first found herself in Adam's presence (Genesis 2:23). Thus, for the phrase 'the earth became x' in Genesis 1:2, where 'x' is 'formless and void', it can very well mean simply 'ready to become productive'. In other words, in terms strictly of the context that the verse spells out, 'formless and void' more naturally means 'ready to begin to do good for life'. And it is this 'good' that we find throughout the account. At the end of most of the accounts' Days of Creation Week, God esteems the work 'good. The telling and sole exception is Day Two (v. 6-8), which does not result in a completion of a basic part of the ecology. And if that Day's work is the atmosphere, then the basic water cycle is not completed until the thermally binary surface is established in the first part of the next day (v. 9). The atmosphere, as such, would, then, properly find comparison in the Spirit. The truest Divine job of the Spirit of God is that of the most direct and abiding action in the world. That job, therefore, is incomplete if there is, as yet, no proper world within which to act. The same, by analogy, is when we can breathe: re-spir-ate. Only with a proper binary surface (v. 9) for a balanced water cycle can even plants basically be provided for. And plants, to begin with, are the basic anchor of the life-supportive kind of atmosphere. Only then, in turn, can any animals abide, both as to air and to food. Pure H2O is not an organic substance, but it is the one substance that all life needs in order to make use of the vast variety of solid substances. Fish breathe water, and so need not seek it to drink; Land animals and birds merely drink it, bathe in it, and sometimes swim or float in it. Ducks and gators go downstream in it looking for food, and salmon swim upstream to spawn. Finally, the whole ecology is made as an abundant and relate-able home for humans, who therefore need only one of each human gender to begin. This human beginning emphasizes the fact that, unlike all the animal kinds, humans have by far the greater freedom and adaptability. The first two humans, in regard to the Earth and the cosmos, each and together are the practical image of God. It is this that even determines what is moral and ethical for humans, whether metaphysically or practically: what is each person's inalienable rights. We are those rights, because we are the images of God. Whether in doing, knowing, or feeling, we are---and thus, even though fallen, still ought to be---creaturely reflections of God. If this were not so, then there would be nothing inherently wrong for one human to steal another's life, whether as if a servant-animal to be possessed, or as if a mortally adverse bit of haplessly falling wood that may be destroyed and burned.

Daniel Pech says:
March 11, 2019 04:33 PM CST
Dear Mr. Pilliod, Thank you for your careful, readable, and kind reply. I can only hope to match it in carefulness and readability, never mind kindness, as mine, below, is very long, and I am frustrated by your logic on the matter. This current reply is divided into three parts, and each part has some of its own sections labeled according to those sections' respective content. PART ONE is for general things (including for some of your claims and observations regarding various verses); PART TWO is mainly for addressing your claims and observations regarding various verses; PART THREE is in reply to your take on Genesis 1:2, per three things for which you say that 'choshek' can mean in the Bible. This reply includes a list of References at the end. ----------------------------- PART ONE ----------------------------- ------------------- The Most General Things------------------ * * * * The Four Easiest-Resolved Real-And-Possible Problems * * * * P 1 In considering your reply, it occurred to me that you might be thinking that I am claiming that every instance of 'chosheck' in Scripture implies dense cloud. In case you think I am claiming, I am not. P 2 You early say of me that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my 'comment'. I am surprised that you believe so. Because, just to begin with, I did NOT make any mistake in putting the Job reference as 38:9. So, your belief in that regard is mistaken: I did not mean verse 19. I meant verse 9 (nine), just as I wrote. I address your real and possible thoughts on both these verses in PART TWO. P 3 I am arguing under the presumption that you believe that 'choshek', and possibly even ma’aphel, are typically used in Scripture for what I am going to call a Divine 'mysteriophany', or Divine 'darkophany'. You know, just some darkness that God causes directly, so that it appears to us simply as some darkness; that we SEE that it seems to have no natural cause such as a dense storm cloud during daytime. That is, I get the singular impression that you are thinking something like: “Well, since the passage here does not spell out for anyone as to what this 'darkness' was, it must have been a darkophany. Yes, that would make the best sense, since the passage does not explain what it was.” This thinking presumes that the Ancient Hebrews never used such terms for dense storm cloud. In fact, your entire reply seems to me to be SPECIOUSLY bent on denying that the Bible EVER so uses either of those terms. So I am assuming that you are, in fact, denying that the Bible ever so uses those terms. My current, below, is fairly thorough in offering a rational and Biblical counter that denial. P 4 You correctly say that the several verses that I referenced on “darkness” 'do not, in English, say “darkness upon”' at all; 'not even in the KJV;' and that 'only in Genesis 1:2 is that particular phrase used' anyway. But I did not mean that those verses, in the English, use the particular phrase as found in the English of Genesis 1:2. On the contrary, I mean simply that they use phrases SUCH AS that phrase. That is, I mean that they use the essential TOPICAL phraseology which allows for phrases such as that to be made in the first place: something is over or above the 'upon', and it is darkness caused by something else. And, since that thing upon is 'darkness', I would think that there normally is assumed to be some relation which the darkness has to something else. It's like if you go to a restaurant and order “the pie”. In ordering “the pie”, you did not specify a PIECE of pie, yet that does not NORMALLY mean you ordered a whole pie. You had simply said, “I'll have the pie” which was in response to the fact that the menu mentioned only “pie” and “Ask about our daily flavors, as our fruits are in or out of season.” Likewise, the fact that you did not specify that you wanted “the pie” on a plate, and this plate of pie placed on the table, does not mean that the wait(er/ess) can just as well instead drop the piece of pie on you, or throw it in your face. Similarly, though you also did not specify, say, that you did not want your foot purposely stomped on, that clearly does not mean that you would welcome the wait(er/ess) to do so. * * * * Why The 'earth' In Genesis 1:1 MUST Be The Planet, Not Mere Matter * * * * Now I address what I believe is the most important issue. I shall expressly return to this issue by the end of this very long reply. In the meantime, it is an issue that you should notice is threaded throughout this entire reply. The issue is that of one simple fact: --------------------------------------- FACT#1: GOD CREATED THE EARTH, THE MOST SPECIAL PLACE IN ALL THE COSMOS. -------------------------------------- That's the most important issue, in my view. I expect that you will wonder how the fact that God created the Earth could possibly be the most important issue. “After all”, you might say “isn't Salvation more important?” Well, let me ask you: What are we saved from? If you answer, “from Sin”, or from “the consequences of Sin”, then you have answered really nothing worth mentioning IN ITSELF. It is ENTIRELY TOO GENERAL to say “we are saved from Sin”, because then we can just go on happily assuming that whatever we find merely reasonable in interpreting various parts of Genesis 1 are basically the Divinely authoritative interpretations AS OPPOSED to some OTHER interpretations, of those parts, that we presume LIMITS the account's information on a more REALISTICALLY BROAD set of matters. But, would we all be better off, for Salvation issues, if we just threw FACT#1 under the Bus? This would be NO generic Bus. Rather, this would be that Trivially Obvious Atheistic Bus of “Origins begins with matter”. Is that Bus what Genesis 1 is most concerned to FIRST address?? I don't think so. I explain why in this long section. Many of my fellow YEC's---including yourself, it seems---seem convinced that that Bus of Mere-matter-comes-first is really all that. I think we, as fallen-humans-who-are-YEC's, are too inclined MAINLY to see how Genesis 1 can compete directly in terms of that which all the Carl Sagans of the world say about Genesis 1: ...“You Christians: Don't you know better than to leave out matter from your Creation account? Didn't God create matter? If He did, then you should be sure to have that spelled out, explicitly, in your Creation account. Otherwise, why should anyone think that that account is anything but superstitious myth?” So... ….Is the Salvation issue better served when we fail to notice that we misrepresent God by giving Sagan his atheistic preference in this regard? “No,” I can hear you replying, “The Account spells out that GOD created matter. And since God DID create matter, there cannot possibly be anything wrong with thinking that the Account explicitly and specially says so.” How, I ask you, does the Account being specially EXPLICIT on THAT topic make this obviously-short-account MORE true to God? What if, in its specially mentioning matter, its text is short on mention the Earth? In other words, God created a lot of things that this account does not specify, so what parts of the account may we justifiably claim are EXCLUSIVELY mentioning mere matter? Worse, if we think that God is best served for this account's EXPLICIT level of meaning to spell out that 'God created matter', then where does such thinking stop? Only to begin with, matter is made of things more specific than 'matter', and God indeed did do more things with matter than simply to create it. So, to allow that this account specially mentions mere matter is to beg for what more ABOUT matter might this account specially, exclusively spell out. In other words, we might find that, in allowing that the account spells out about matter ONLY that 'God created matter', we are prematurely limiting the account to how much of it we could find seems exclusively to spell out about matter. The point here is, AT WHAT POINT IN THE TEXT DO WE STOP DEEMING THE TEXT TO EXCLUSIVELY EXPLICATE ABOUT MATTER? In other words, how many verses into the text are we justified in claiming explicitly and exclusively address matter? To put this the other way, how much of the text are we justified in DENYING ADDRESSES THE EARTH??? Do you begin to see the cost-benefit problem here? But I expect that you still will miss the deeper issue: God created a functionally life-centered cosmos, not a bag of mutually exclusive what-nots. Thus, when we talk of the Earth and of normal outer space, we inherently allow suggestions of such things as mere matter and volume. In short, Genesis 1 need not be deemed to more address either Earth or matter, but simply which of these two comprises the explicit level of the Account. We already know that the Account IMPLICITLY involves theological typologies. But we must realize that these typologies do not obtain by way of any kind of artificial linguistic contortions of the Account's Plain-Main-Literal information. So I hope you agree that Saving Faith can be only just that, with no backing in God's Primary Glory of His Life-centered cosmos. Therefore, to discount THAT glory is to be far more atheistic and pagan than Christian and godly. “No,” you may reply, “We do not deny THAT glory by saying that Genesis 1:1 is about volume and matter INSTEAD of about the actual Earth and such.” I say that such a reply is, at best, a presumption upon a nearly senseless ignorance of just what God's Cosmic Primary Glory (that functionally centered on FACT#1) is all about. Consider (a) and (b), following, which are a pair of facts that you NORMALLY WOULD NOT consider to be mutually isolated facts: (a) It is obviously TRUE that a specially made wedding dress is made of matter. (b) It is obviously TRUE that the Specially Elected Speaker at a wedding does NOT introduce that dress to the guests by not even mentioning the dress until AFTER he has stated that 'matter was created, blah blah blah.' I presume that you can see that (a) is NOT to be taken as some kind of First Principle of Account of the Dress. For, NOT EVEN God is made of The Trivial. This implies the life-critical fine-tuning of even the trivial matter and physics. (I return to this implication, and to the wedding analogy, partway through PART THREE, specifically with something that I think you will agree can well be called the Seven-fold Logic of the Cosmos.) So your physics-chauvinistic take on Genesis 1:1 is like saying, “Oh, it's not atheistic to think that Genesis 1 opens with simply specifying that God created volume and matter, since I am not an atheist, and I DO abide the Plain Six Day reading.” The problem here, as already mentioned, is that, if we maintain that Genesis 1 opens with simply specifying that 'In the beginning, God created volume and matter', then we must ALSO allow that the account NEXT SIMPLY DETAILS what God did with that matter, and so on, until we finally get to some part of the account that readily seems to PRECLUDE this physics-chauvinistic reading. In fact, such a reading is happily espoused and defended by some very respected YEC's, who claim such a reading for the entire first eight verses (I get deeply into that claim in PART THREE). This is not to say that a Universal Physics consideration of these verses is, in itself, informationally invalid to the account. On the contrary, as I pointed out: even talk of the actual Earth ONLY RIGHTLY SUGGESTS such things as mere matter. But, if we ALSO are right to bring up a wedding in regard to this account, then a wedding is fitting typology for what sorts of information that the account actually bears. We ALREADY admit that it bears MUCH 'Theological' information by way of typology, but we tend to restrict such bearing to that 'theological' typology. Therefore, there is another analogy fitting to the physics-chauvinistic reading: The ability to tie one's own shoelaces into FIRM knots DOES NOT somehow preclude mistakenly tying the laces of each shoe to those of the other. In fact, by simply focusing on tying the laces into firm knots, we can end up tying the shoes together with those SAME FIRM KNOTS. Worse, as long as we STILL are so focused on the fact that we have “tied each pair of the laces firmly”, we can take for granted that our difficulty walking is simply how walking is supposed to be! Your idea about Genesis 1:1 is that it is about is mere matter and such, INSTEAD of about the actual planet Earth. But, in terms of the Semantic Patterning of the text, there is simply no justification in presuming such a mutual exclusion. The physics-chauvinistic reading sees, and admits to the fact of, this Patterning, but then demands that that Patterning MUST 'really' be meant for that reading, INSTEAD of for an Earth-first reading. The arrogance of this reading should be obvious to anyone with more language sense than that of a simulated computing device. So, despite the FACT that God created mere matter first, not the Earth first”... ...that fact DOES NOT justify itself as being used as the premise to the conclusion that “The explicit level of the Prime Short-and-Sweet Account of Origins begins, and maybe even proceeds, on the basis of that fact.” So we must reconsider the thinking that says,“Well, this admittedly short account of origins MUST begin in OUTRIGHT saying that God created matter, as such, for God DID create matter.” This thinking essentially renders God as some kind of Carl Sagan wannabe, Who is so concerned to state the trivially obvious things FIRST that He states The Main Thing only AFTER having stating the absurdly obvious. And it is ABSURDLY obvious FOR THAT VERY REASON: for being thought to need to be stated OUTRIGHT as the Account's very first statement. I think you are thinking just like Sagan thought, even while you correctly practice rejecting that thinking. That is, even while we YEC's DO TYPICALLY practice a genuine, Godly denial of that atheistic way of thinking, we still are fallen. This means that it is all too possible to fail to practice that Godly denial JUST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST. You see, unlike atheistic notions of objectivity-in-origins, God has the option to begin His Account WITHOUT having to EXPLICITLY inform on ANY trivia, either upfront or in ANY part of the Account. Indeed, the central portion of the account, which is the only portion to mention the luminaries, mentions the luminaries STRICTLY in terms of their purpose for life and the Earth. Sagan believed that the cosmos is just a big bag of randomly associated what-nots that randomly eventuated in the Earth, life, and humans. So Sagan would HAVE to AT LEAST specify SOME trivia SOMEWHERE in his own atheistic account of origins. So the mere fact that you reject Sagan's belief does not mean that you are thereby precluded treating Genesis 1 as if you are afraid that Sagan might have been right. There is so justifying playing the game of “my dad is bigger than your dad” with the world's Sagan-disciples. It should be OBVIOUS that our playing that game with him is IN NO WAY truly reminding us that Sagan's 'dad' of origins is not even typologically a dad in the first place. Sagan's entire implicit effort to get us to play that game is one big flop NO PART of which should EVER be taken at face value. Yes, is a fact that: (a) A specially made wedding dress is made of matter. So, what? So, what is a physics-first version of the Special Speaker at the wedding even talking about??! “Mere matter, mere matter, mere matter.” What is all that even ABOUT?? Why does he not even mention the dress yet? Why???!!! Doesn't it even count that talk of the actual planet ONLY NATURALLY SUGGESTS mere matter ALREADY? Yes, that counts for everything. In short, who do you really render as the primary addressee of Genesis 1? You render it no so much yourself as a Believer, but Yourself-as-a-Believer under the gun of committed skeptics and atheists. You really are saying, “Oh, we YEC's must remind ourselves how much God hates atheistic notions of origins. Therefore, we must believe that that's really what Genesis 1 is about: reminding Believers that God hates atheist notions of origins.” What? Did God first hate such notions, and ONLY THEN determine either how to create or what the Ideal Short Basic Account of that creating says??? No!!! Of course not, right? How much mere, if scientifically advanced, trivia do you think would be BETTER for such Account than what ever it is that you think we have already in the actual Genesis 1? Wouldn't more of that trivial detail be better, and this as the first part of the account? Is it not obvious that NO amount of that trivia is enough, by that standard? In other words, how LONG is the physics-first version of the Wedding Speaker justified in going on and on about the trivia before he ever first even mentions that this bloviating ultimately is about the dress??? And, how is such a wondrously 'advanced', physics-chauvinistic opening of Genesis 1 to add one iota of PROPER glory to God? Sagan, or at least Dawkins, would just say that such an Account either is a fraud perpetrated by modern Christians, or that some advanced Extraterrestrial race, for some reason, put JUST THAT advanced information in there: “Wow,” Dawkins would say, “the physics of matter and such, all so spelled out as the first twenty thousand words of the Christian's Creation Week account. So, where is this race now, and why have they not come back to help us anymore? They must have been up to no good, because they let the Account say that the earth and cosmos came to be in a mere six days.” You see. No amount of advanced physics information EXPLICITLY dedicated by any of the text would add one iota of proper glory to God. And, much of that glory would thereby be removed from that which the Short-and-Sweet Account does have. All because the Account would then be so burdened with the INFERIOR things as not even to mention the actual Earth until twenty thousand words in!!! Pure obscenely stupid, no? When you talk about a bike to your young son, do you really have to FIRST tell him all about metallurgy??? WHY would you ever do so??? You wouldn't. There is NO good reason to. What is the bike even for? You never say. “Oh, no, not the bike; Don't mention that thing first. It's too mundane, since we [supposedly] all know of bikes already. Metallurgy is really where all good things are at. A bike is just some cheap scrap that we can ignore until later.” So, in reasoning that “mere matter is the first thing that this most glorious account SPELLS OUT is created”, you in effect are just playing the 'bigger-dad” game with any skeptics of the account. In fact, the Sagans of the world can just keep adding levels of the trivia, as more and more trivial-cum-powerful levels of trivia and discovered. It used to be mere atomic elements. But few even recall that level of discovery for this ugly game, as this game was not remotely popular among YEC's then. So, perhaps, it must be repeated-and-expounded to you even more at this point: When we talk of the actual Earth, we INHERENTLY suggest mere matter. It does not work so well the other way, you see? Genesis 1 has all possible information anyone ever needs. But this is NOT as if all of that information is spelled out. Nor is this as if the account is meant to stand in place of explicit instruction. We are not Idiot-Savants whose only capacity of action and focus is on this account. Genesis 1 is only the most condensed form of all that, NOT the ONLY instance of all that. As Proverbs 25:2 implies, “It is the glory of God to put great things in the obvious, and it is the glory of His creaturely images, humans, to seek to know of it.” It is a fact, but a trivial one, that God has power to have (1) created Adam and Eve, instead, inside a just-then-created Star Trek Enterprise type ship, complete with food synthesizer, artificial gravity generation, and air, and (2) left them in that ship wandering aimlessly and ignorant far out in some random locale of intergalactic space. But are we humans God's pets? No, we are His children. In fact, He created Adam and Eve on a properly prepared ideal home base in the cosmos, and this in the daytime when “space” was not even in view. That part of Earth then, if it had been seen plainly from space at a distance equal to the Moon's, was not darkened, but bright. That is, you could have seen it, in its glory, against the backdrop of the starry host, like a meek-but-adorned bride at her wedding. There were no overwhelming flashes of light, no violently-loud booming sounds. Just the Earth. Not even God's evidential presence on Mt. Sinai could compare. On Mt. Sinai, God was angry at a deficient People. But the completed Earth was very good, exactly as God made her*. *What you miss, and, in effect, utterly neglect, of Earth, by a physics-chauvinistic reading. To me, THAT glorious Earth, in its awaiting your acknowledgement, is expressed by this Middle Eastern Ethereal Chant audition, Youtube title “The Voice - Best Blind Auditions Worldwide (№5)” @ video time 29:36-41:44 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB_3rUCqmFA&feature=youtu.be&t=2365 Sagan simply rejected both the 'pet' and 'children' options in favor of something worse: A presumption of objectivity in the trivially universal things, such as mere matter. Therefore: “Humans ever really progress in science only by constantly reminding themselves that humans do not matter in the cosmos. The best we can do is observe this while studying the cosmos, and abide by it religiously.” Yet there is much more in the fact that even the Sun warms the Earth than that the Sun TRIVIALLY does so. Sagan, in all his presumed 'objectivity', confidently asserted that the Earth is an average planet orbiting an average star. But no professional astronomer today thinks Sagan was right on that count. Creaturely life is its own best, truest instrument for learning of anything else, including whether the Sun is made specially for life. Sagan would have said, “Well, no, because, from the ground, the Sun is simply the nearest star, by far.” But Sagan likewise rejected the idea that God had designed this supposedly merely “subjective” relative perception so as to CONFIRM humans' deduction of that specialness of the Sun. Yes, the relative perception of the Sun's size compared to the stars is purely relative. But what Sagan did not know is that the Sun is by no means an average star in the cosmos. In other words, life is not simply alive. It is designed specifically, exquisitely, as a mutual relation with ever bit of the cosmos, beginning with the Earth. Lots of pitfalls, of course, have been fallen into in our conceiving of ourselves on the Earth as our own best instruments for studying the cosmos or any bit of it. But that is beside the basic point. God is a LIVING Creator, after all, and God is His own best source of everything. So the Earth is first in the Prime Account. It even is why God created Adam and Eve on the Earth, instead of on, at, or in, any place else. When Adam first began, did he not immediately have awareness of God and the Earth at once? Did Adam have to look around a bit before realizing that either God or the Earth was there? Was he blind, deaf, and otherwise senseless? Adam also did NOT begin in a womb, but instead was made a fully-functional, prototypical human. In fact, as human history went, only Adam and Eve were ever prototypically human. The rest of us were conceived fallen, and grew up in a fallen world. You see, I am presuming that you would have thought that talk of Salvation issues is ENTIRELY DISTINCT from the debate on whether 'earth' in Genesis 1:1 is or is not mere matter. For, Genesis 1 MUST begin with HOW Genesis 1 and 2 address the rightful normal concerns of fallen single young persons, BOTH as to their broad normal human concerns and to their concerns specifically as young people who were BORN in a fallen world. Of course, if creaturely life is its own best instrument, then there can be nothing better for to addressing those latter concerns than the ideally short and sweet account of the beginning, unfallen, stage of the prototypical humans. In other words, God made everything 'very good', so humans messed up at some point (hence Genesis 3), and now we have to keep in mind the principle which, for us who live in post-Flood times, can be seen in Proverbs 25:2. But this Prime Pair of accounts (Genesis1-2) would ONLY BETTER serve those concerns if these accounts do, in fact, ALREADY CONSTITUTE human-crafted, condensed, REPORTAGE built around what God said to Adam and Eve about His Creation Week. In fact, Genesis 1 far more sensibly reads as such reportage than as some first-person, chronologically unbroken self-report on the part of God. If we mistake this dimension of the account, then we grossly mistake the Account as being addressed to humans, BY GOD, in a NON-CONVERSATIONALLY 'authoritative', Tell-Us-So manner. Joshua 24:2-13 seems to make this clear by way of the opposite kind of case. It obviously IS a report, but one that UNMISTAKABLY is presented as being purely the First-person statements of God. So, each of Genesis 1, 2, and 3 can readily be seen to involve far more than they respectively merely spell-out-as-to-Complete-Idiots. Why, for example, does Genesis 3 insert into its own narrative flow the particular material that we label v. 20 ('the man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living')? I address this question in PART THREE, mainly by critiquing the explanation of this insertion given by the popular Mr. Feldick* *Les Feldick: Through the Bible with Les Feldick, Book 2, LESSON ONE * PART I * BOOK 2, Adam and Eve’s Faith and Salvation, Genesis 3:14-24 https://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk2.html ~~~ ~~~ Other general stuff ~~~ ~~~ Now, later in your long reply, you at one point argue that there are only three Items that the Bible means by 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek): Item 1: 'the presence of God' Item 2: 'the absence of light,' Item 3: 'non-existence.' How you arrive at Item's 1 and 3 I shall discuss further in this reply. But I must say one thing right away about Items 3 and 1. I agree that, in the Bible, there are cases in which such terms as 'darkness' are used for some sense of non-existence. But your whole argument seems to me to deny that such terms as 'darkness' EVER derive any meaning from anything ecological that normally is known to cause darkness in daylight: dense cloud. In other words, you seem to me to be saying that 'choshek' MORE PROPERLY means 'non-existence' WITHOUT implying ANY natural ecological human experience of anything that normally is known to cause darkness. So your Item 1 seems to imply nothing so much as that which may be referred to as mysteriophany of darkness: having no sensible source in the natural world, because it simply is sourced directly from God's special active 'presence' IN that natural world. So your notion of how 'darkness' means 'non-existence' is aligned with the infant's observation that closing his eyes can seem to make the world 'disappear'. That is, for such an infant, darkness can seem to mean non-existence by the fact that when his sight-hungry brain is seeing-with-his-close-eyes, he temporarily gets the sense that he is absent to the world, since he was focused on seeing, so that when he stops 'seeing' at will, he feels as if there is no longer any correspondence between his more 'inner' sense of himself and the fact that the world around him IS the world around him. But his sense of this is based in his having first had experience in the womb, and that his womb-time began even before he was conscious of an external world. Thus, your Item 1 ('darkness' means something about God's presence in our world) seems to me to be entirely without due sense that God is the Creator of the very ecology within which God sometimes shows up, such as when He specially acts to save His people from the Egyptian army in Joshua 24:7. But in regard to that very verse in Joshua, it does not say that God 'put Himself alone between them and that army', but rather that God put 'darkness' between them and that army'. Of course, in that case, the practical purpose for that darkness was to keep that army entirely at bay: that, in some manner, that army cannot dare go through whatever it is that that darkness seems to that army to be or to communicate. So God is not 'choshek' there, and there is no way to say that chosek IS God. So there only naturally is assumed to be something that God is using to cause the darkness IN RELATION to the natural source of light. But here is where we go most wrong in thinking that darkness was just some darkness per se: The single most powerful and mysterious phenomenon known to ancient man was a densely dark storm cloud. It is at once dark, cool, wet, and silent, and yet somehow warm, loud, and full of hot bright violent ribbons of charring bright fire, or 'lightnings' (light+ings). The lightings were well known, even then, to burn to a crisp anything biological it touched, such as a horse or tree. It this these lightings were bound to do simply by touching such a thing, unlike a camp fire flame that took minutes to fully burn up a tree or an animal once the flame caught on. The Egyptians worshiped various deities of nature. So if that army was facing such a storm cloud, they would NOT have been turned away as by God Himself telling them so. Rather, they would simply have assumed that their storm deity had wanted them to wait to continue their charge against the Children of Israel. Yet there is too much of God's glory lost if we opt for saying that God caused that darkness in a purely arbitrary way so as not to so much block any natural source of light as to constitute a direct, and silent, odd darkness unto itself. For, then, we are allowing that God was opting out of the glory against the nature-worshiping Egyptians. Their various Nature gods were exactly what God had spent so much trouble upon His own people in order to demonstrate, time and again, just what sort of God is the God of Israel: the true God, Master and Creator of the entire natural world (Genesis 14:17-24). The Egyptian population saw all this, by reports (Exodus 14:4), and saw how in ended in the utter destruction of their army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:27). I presume you like to relegate Item 1 (God's 'presence') to just some naturally unaccountable mysteriophany. But the book of Exodus and the book of Joshua do not explain what the 'darkness' was that God had put between the Egyptian army and His people. This alone begs the suggestion that any ancient Hebrews who read these books would know what that 'darkness' meant IN TERMS OF HOW it keep that army away from God's people. And we are talking about the Creator here, Most High God, Possessor of all the cosmos. He is not the kind of 'transcendently Deistic' version of a creator-that-unprecedently-acts-within-Its-creation. He is the Creator Who Cares for, and therefore Acts in relation to, His creation. The Children of Israel saw this, as did the Egyptian army. There was no mysteriophany of 'darkness', and you already admit, at least practically, that the Bible is no computer program that ever means only what it expressly defines beforehand. On a related note, ancient Hebrew likely is the most life- and terra-centric language in existence. In fact, there is much to this effect in the fact that ancient Hebrew does not have 'proper' or personal names for any of the luminaries, but instead refers to them as...luminaries (of various orders and descriptions). And this effect is compounded by the fact that Adam and Eve were created in the daytime, when the starry night sky was not in view until after Adam and Eve had been brought together. ~ ~ ~ Now, on to the part of the your rebuttal of my thesis in terms of the exact phrase of Genesis 2:1. My assumption in all this is that natural language, (all natural languages, and thus English, ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic) is more foundationally about things referenced than exact ways of referencing them. This is the basis of language: things referenced. Even the fact that there are multiple languages shows the referential flexibility of human linguistic interest. Thus, if, even in English alone, we want to refer to, say, a car race, there are a variety of ways of doing so in English, and not just with one exact phrase 'car race'. Moreover, the brain thrives on a balanced and growing relationship with the external world, so that it requires of that world a dynamic variety of input, as opposed to an UNRESPONSIVE sameness of input. This is why a young language naturally quickly develops variety of expression for that informationally and contextually rich and dynamic world, and also why even a developed language tends to grow further. So there is no good reason to think that the Bible does not, in part, constitute a record of the development of Hebrew. And, since Hebrew is at least comparably life-centric as is any other language, it is only normal to assume that it would, plenty enough times, use 'darkness' EFFICIENTLY without having to spell out what any native terrestrial human should find obvious as to the source of that darkness: dense cloud in daytime. And the simple, NORMAL fact is that dense cloud cover during daytime is, for life, about the resulting darkness MORE than it is about the fact that there is dense cloud during daytime. This does in no way remove the concern for the cloud, it even EMPHASIZES the cloud, and, MORE SO, the Sunlight that is blocked. So it is much more efficient phraseology to say simply 'darkness' than to explicitly-itemize-every-factor-of-the-condition-and-then-specify-how,-according-to-that-condition,-those-factors-are-coordinated,-and-thus-only-finally-stating-the-resulting-Main-Point-of-the-total-condition: 'darkness upon'. So, in regard to your claim that this phraseology is not EVER about dense cloud during daytime, I should think that not only does that claim have the burden of proof, but that it is a rather heavier burden than you seem to me to make it out to be. ~ Now, in your long reply, you early write that 'the word “darkness” is indeed used' in all the several verses that I referenced. But then you say that you don’t think that the term “darkness” 'is used' in those verses 'in the fashion in which' my thesis claims. Then you go on to identify for me as why you don't think “darkness” is used in that way even in Genesis 2:1. But you early first say something very crucial to my current reply. You say: 'Yes, in Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:19 and Psalm 18:11 the word חֹשֶׁךְ (choshek) is used for darkness.' ...And, within that, you say of me that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my 'comment'. I am surprised that you believe so. Because, just to begin with, I did NOT make any mistake in putting the Job reference as 38:9. So, your belief in that regard is mistaken: I DID NOT mean verse 19. I meant verse 9 (NINE), just as I wrote. THEREFORE I HAVE TO ASK YOU: Did you even looked at verse 9 of Job 38? Job 38:9 (not 38:19) explicitly associates a 'garment' of cloud (over a water-covered Earth from the previous verse) with 'thick darkness' as a 'swaddling band for it'. (I am here using the Amplified Bible, 1987 by Zondervan, for which all of Job chapter 38 is on pages 602-603.) By any terrestrially natural reading, it says, “When I made the clouds the garment of it, and” therefore, “thick darkness a swaddling band for it.” So 38:9 practically defines 'thick darkness' as that involving clouds. ~ But in your long and careful reply you go on to say: 'in Joshua 24:7 it’s actually the word מַאֲפֵל (ma’aphel). And it comes from the root word אָפֵל (‘aphel) meaning something opaque. Indeed, it’s the only time this Hebrew word is used in Scripture and as such I will eliminate it from the conversation here since it is different than the other verses you referenced. And actually, if the verses you referenced had used this term, then the idea of “something opaque” causing a darkness on the other side, like cloudiness, might make more sense.' To that I must answer: (1) You should you see Job 38:9, as I just covered. (2) I find your logic here entirely beside the point of human normal flexibility in choice of exact terms. (3) In Joshua 24:7, the context itself would seem to say that the means by which God put 'darkness' between (not upon) His people and the Egyptian army (Joshua 24:6) was that of dense cloud, not a material unto itself that NEVERTHELESS SOMEHOW CANNOT SIGNIFICANTLY block the light of the Sun! But, you point out that (1) Joshua 24:7 'uses the word מַאֲפֵל (ma’aphel)' rather than 'choshek'; (2) 'it comes from the root word אָפֵל (‘aphel) meaning something opaque;' and (3) that 'it’s the only time this Hebrew word is used in Scripture.' It should be obvious, at least in the most general sense, as to why this verse uses ma’aphel instead of choshek (assuming that (3) is true). It is the key verse, in all of Scripture, to bring attention to God's doings in saving fledgling Israel from the Egyptians. More closely informative reasons for using ma’aphel instead of choshek also are easily deduced, but I cannot demonstrate to you what I think these are, and why, until I have answered you regarding the wider issue of choshek. And that wider issue is what this entire reply, from start to finish, is critically about. So I shall not bother to try to further demonstrate to you about this ma’aphel-instead-of-choshek matter in this verse, until after you have replied to this long reply concerning choshek. And, what, in your view, was this darkness in Joshua 24:7? And what was its material cause, if any? You seem to say that it has no material cause, but is simply caused by God's presence. Yet God, it seems, is entirely free to opt NOT to cause EVEN THIS PARTICULAR darkness. ~ ~ ~ So, now, answer me this: Would it not be patently absurd if an ancient Hebrew person tackled modern English texts on such rigid standards as you are applying here? Suppose one of those modern English texts had a lot to say about a wide variety of things, and suppose that one of those things was car racing. And suppose that, by NORMAL human linguistic reading of this text, the authors of this text were all plainly car racing enthusiasts. If your rigid standard here were applied to that text by that ancient Hebrew person, can you not imagine the unjustified interpretations that he would be perpetrating upon that modern English text??? Yet in your long reply you continue by claiming that... 'Psalm 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Exodus 14:20 all refer to God’s presence and not' to “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”.' Here I would say that you are simply repeating your linguistically abnormally narrow and rigid standard of interpretation (almost as if you think the Bible is a computer program that must spell out every last one of its meanings in order for it to mean whatever it means). Then you just overlook the fact that God's active presence, within the natural ecology, during His general acts in favor of a people, is only rightly accompanied by ecologically perceivable glories. What, instead of such ecological glories, would yet be perceived to be so much LIKE such glories and yet not, in fact, be those very glories? And, if an actual dense natural cloud is to us, perceptually so much the same as your presumed “darkophany”, then what does God gain for us in the way of teaching us things by making His own supposed non-ecologically realized glory look so much like the ecological real cloud, such that there is no firm-and-easy way to say that the Bible does not really mean the ecologically realized glory??! After all, as I pointed out twice above, God is the Creator, and so it would seem entirely fitting that He would show the FACT of such active presence, on His part, by way of such ecological phenomenon. Such phenomenon is what even Psalm 104 says that He NORMALLY does. I mean, imagine if all your own official speaking and writing were as abnormally interpreted by scholars as you seem to think ought to be the way to interpret the Bible in this matter. If you were then informed of these scholars' resulting gross misinterpretations of your words, you would Not. Be. Pleased., to say the least. The Pharisees in Jesus's day were just such scholars of the Torah, the Prophets, and etc., on account of which Jesus had to correct them by teaching the Scriptures are NOT like some computer program, but, rather, and record of an actual, dynamic reality that God created to reflect Him. So I do not maintain, without looking, that every one of my referenced verses is surely a case of my thesis (much less that all Bible verses that use 'darkness', 'dark', etc., are). This should be obvious, because my purpose in providing so many references for that thesis would only normally, that is heuristically, simply be in hope of providing a wide number of sure one's. If some of the verses I reference turn out not to be as I thought, I surely cannot care about that, as long as I make it clear to you that my thesis is correct: that the Bible does, in fact, plenty enough use 'darkness' to imply dense-cloud-during-daylight. ----------------------------- PART TWO ----------------------------- -----------------------Verses on 'darkness'----------------------- All that said, I can now better answer you specifically on the verses with which you the most directly challenge my thesis. You bring up Psalm 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Exodus 14:20. I shall reply, in broad principle, for these four verses by replying just to one of them, say, 2 Samuel 22:12. I shall do this in two stages: Stage Y (general facts, and with my own general assumptions) and Stage X (what 2 Samuel 22:12 itself says). (Stage Y) Question: Is not 2 Samuel 22 self-evidently David's obviously historo-figurational song or chant of praise to God for God's Providential (and directly miraculous?) salvation of him from the afflictions from Saul and from David's other deep adversaries? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if my memory serves, David did not actually have all this song's descriptions literally happen to himself during his time of affliction from Saul and from those other adversaries. So I assume that David's use of so many of these descriptions here is mainly, if not solely, his BORROWING from Israel's cultural-historical salvation from the enemy nations that pertained to the decades prior to Israel's initial establishment within the Promised Land. Why David would so borrow from those National salvific decades is not hard to fathom, at least for normal people. So I am not here going to review any of those reasons, as I presume that you are fairly normal in that and other regards. So now... (Stage X) Question: If such borrowing IS what David is doing here, then WHAT is it that he is borrowing in regard to verse 12? Indeed, what is even the 'thick darkness; under God's 'feet' in verse 10? On what Scriptural basis (rather than purely abstract theological basis) is this 'darkness' to be understood as some mysteriously non-meteorological, non-Providential glory? Might you not, then, also say that the darkness in Genesis 1:2 is that same supposed non-meteorological, non-Providential glory? Does even this chapter in 2 Samuel, according to you, give precedent to think that its 'darkness' in v. 10 and 12 must be some such mysteriophany? So it seems to me that you are claiming some kind of neat and hard distinction here where I do not see how you can claim that there is sufficient degree of semantic distinction, if any, between 'darkness' in Genesis 1:2 and the appropriate terms in these other verses. In short, it seems to me that you are doing nothing more than employing specious logic. Was God happy to have Job afflicted undeservedly? No, but the Devil had called God a fool, in the court of holy angels, for God's praising a mere, fallen human (that is, for praising Job). Did God then use special reasoning to avoid having to let the Devil afflict Job? No, and God never uses specious, much less post hoc specious, logic, such as, 'Well, I am God, so I do not have to dignify your challenge with even a reply that you made the challenge, never mind a reply that the court might think makes me look to be subject to you, oh Devil.' No, God created living creatures for to have a genuine relationship to them, even when some of them go bad. I mean, is God Himself ever weak? God died, as a human, willingly, and that should be the standard for answering questions as to what-God-would-do-in-response to-x-just-because-He's-God. God does need to be defended in order for God to remain logically sound. But He does want for us to defend Him to fools, in that the fools need correcting, and we need the insight of searching out as much of the Unsearchable as needed to correct the fool. Thus this defense that we make of God is not to be the kind of crudely insecure logic, on our parts, by which we would simply like to say that God can do anything without asking permission from anyone, so that we think (foolishly) that He MUST, at least occasionally, have done things that would be unrighteous or arbitrary if done by any creature, but that, since such things 'were in fact' done by God, we are justified to so construe God as having, in fact, occasionally done such things: “Well, oh Devil, I am God, so I do not, in my own transcendent being, need to even consider your challenge.” If God had thought that way, then it would mean that God ultimately 'does not care' about the holy angels' need of evidence for God's so much as praising a fallen human. The angels do not doubt God, but they also are not brains in jars in some Mad Scientists lab. Rather, they are acting in RELATIONSHIP with God, in that THEY are NOT God, but merely are creaturely reflections of Him. So the condition of Holy Heaven at any time is not that in which the only two beings there are God and the devil. Also, God is Creator, so He already knows not only every possible logical 'field of battle', but every possible logical attack in a given logical 'field'. And yet it is entirely in His Good character to praise His Saints to any who will listen to it and will, both immediately and upon evidential proof of its righteousness, respond and work favorably, which is mainly the holy angels. Fallen humans partake of this privilege only in so much as we reflect God rather than our insecurities. ~~~ Now, in your reply, you go on to claim that: 'Job 38:19, 22:11, and 17:12 refer to darkness itself (absence of light; not daytime) and not “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”' Here again you treat the language of the Bible as somehow more rigid than, and thereby more authoritative than, natural normal language. So I shall explain the pair most of interest (Job 38:19 and 17:12), and shall leave 22:11 out of my reply for reasons that should be obvious at least by the time you've read by replies, below, concerning this pair. * * * * –------ON JOB 38:19-------- * * * * Despite the mere words, God's question to Job in 38:19 is NOT about the fact that Job lacks a particular advanced knowledge of the PHYSICS of light, and thus that of darkness. But IS about their physics. This verse, then, would have nothing to do with my thesis (which is why I did not include it in my verse references in regard to that thesis). Nevertheless, God, in this verse, is presupposing that Job understands that it is physics that God is asking about. Of course, then, God is asking Job, basically, as to what is the physical nature of light and dark, not about some literal abode, as if on some hill like a human, that these phenomenon could be imagined to have as their proper home. This physics interpretation of this verse is supported by the matter of the prior verse, which clearly is about the physical dimensions of the physical terrestrial world, planet Earth. The TRIVIAL fact is that Job, like all other persons until recently, did not know the exact circumference of the Earth on any humanly most practical measure, and knew they did not know it. But this trivial fact underlines the whole point of both these verses. The prior verse is about physical EXACTITUDES that ever are known only to the MASTER; And creatures, by definition, have no comprehensive master of ANYTHING, even when they DO gain some great practical mastery of physical things at some non-primitive level within the physics of that thing. So, in this prior verse (Job 38:18), God is NOT asking Job for some trivially exact details of the Earth's girth, but, rather, for Job to be able, EVEN AT THAT MOMENT, to know of its comprehensive girth ACCORDING TO ANY AND ALL MEASURES OR RELATIONS. It was not a question of Job's current primitive level of knowledge of this or that, but of Job's ADMITTED FINITE NATURE in face of ANY natural thing at all. So this, too, is what God was asking Job concerning light and darkness in the next verse (v. 19). And, in case you forgot, I expressly corrected you, earlier in this current long reply, that I DID NOT mistakenly say Job 38:9 when meaning Job 38:19. I did NOT mean verse 19. I meant verse 9. And it now should be clear to you why I did not mean verse 19, contrary to your seemingly confident statement that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my comment. I MEANT exactly that: 38:9, which says: “When I made the clouds the garment of it, and” therefore, “thick darkness a swaddling band for it.” -------ON JOB 17:12------- I shall presume that you have not missed what it is that Job 17:12 is about, and thus HOW this verse both is and is not about my thesis on the 'darkness' of Genesis 1:2. Job in 17:12 is expressing the fact that Job sees no hope for his affliction. In that sense, this verse does NOT have anything to do with my thesis. Nevertheless, let's look at what Job is saying here to that end. In the previous chapter, Job at one point says, 'O earth, do not cover my blood, as is the natural way of Nature, when I finally die of this affliction, so that my cry have no resting-place such that it ceases being heard' (Job 16:18). So in 16:18, Job essentially is begging that his cause, after his death from this affliction, not become dim in the minds of all who know of his affliction. This is confirmed in the very next verse (Job 16:19). But correct me if I'm wrong: I presume that you even bring up Job 17:12 by way of gleening any verses that use 'darkness' in any way at all, so that you may demonstrate to me that 'darkness' is not, in fact, EVER used in the Bible to imply dense-cloud-during-daylight. But Job 17:12 says the 'light is short because of darkness' which NORMALLY implies dense cloud as the means by which the duration of daylight is shortened. This is clearly Job's metaphor for his conviction that his affliction is going to cut his own life short! (Job 16:18) It is NOT some ODD insertion about some ODD fact about the physical nature of light and dark. So your entire argument seems to me to be aimed at showing that my thesis has no basis in the Bible, partly by so grossly over-simplifying that thesis (as that an absurd straw man that you think my thesis is) as to enable yourself no difficulty in showing it to be wrong. But you have utterly failed to know either my thesis or the particular Scriptures that you bring into the discussion. ~~~ But, in your reply, you continue with some points about Job 3:5. Specifically, you first quote Job 3:3-6... (3) May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ (4) That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. (5) May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. (6) That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months." ...and then you comment on v. 5: 'Darkness here is described as covering the day which he was born as “may a cloud settle over it.” However, in context of the rest of the passage, Job here also refers to the night of his conception and says that darkness should “seize it” (the night of his conception). And then further describes that night as being not “included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months”! He wishes for his conception to have never existed. So darkness in this context refers to a lack of ever existing. And of course if he so wishes for his conception to never have existed, then it makes sense that even the cloud covering the day of his birth would never have existed. Clearly, in this context, we’re talking some serious figurative language…like much of Job is written. So this is not a literal cloud of covering causing darkness in this case. We’re talking non-existence.' Non-existence of, say a horse, whether by a fictional horse or by the wished non-existence of a real horse, is still, in principle, a horse. Same for any cloud that is said to cause 'darkness upon the Day'. Its a cloud, and presumably the very thing that we normally see do just that. So, if the cloud is implied to cause the darkness, then it does not matter whether the cloud is fictional or real, it still is that very thing that naturally is known to 'cause darkness upon the day.' So here it seems to me that you are reaching far beyond all normal sense to demonstrate that the Bible does not have any normally cloud-based implication for 'darkness'. ~~~ But you continue, by first quoting me... “Many 'YEC''s insist that this verse, in combination with v. 3, does not even allow there to have been any light in the cosmos UNTIL v. 3.” ...and then by claiming three particular Items that 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek), used for darkness, can mean': Item 1: 'the presence of God' Item 2: 'the absence of light,' Item 3: 'non-existence.' Given all my current reply above, such as about Job 38:19, Job 17:12, and Job 3:5, I disagree with Items 1 and 3. Per Item 1, I disagree that 'choshek' can mean God's presence... ...if... ...by 'mean God's presence', we mean either (x) simply implying the SIMPLE presence of God (in the natural world!), or (y) otherwise simply constituting, by some mysteriophany, God's being and power (despite INVOLVING the natural world!). I also have argued, in the current reply, that darkness is simply the normal providentially phenomenal attendance of the direct special active presence of the God-the-Creator, and that even this darkness is NO MYSTERIOPHANY, but rather that which is caused by dense cloud cover in daytime. Thus, for the 'darkness' that God put between Israel and the Egyptian army, the only normal way to read that is that of very, very dense storm cloud that no sane person would walk into. In fact, in other various verses throughout the OT, such a storm cloud readily is seen to be implied, including by references to 'thunderings', 'lightnings', etc.. The fact that 'darkness' can well serve to imply such a complex storm cloud is the very kind of fact that, in its linguistic dynamic, is know in ALL languages. The basic dynamic is that semantic efficiency paired to that of a condensation of semantic power. But, of that PARTICULAR fact in such a case as the Egyptian/Israel chase, it also is of the sense of sheer CONDENSED POWER of such a storm cloud. In other words, the single word 'darkness', in Joshua 24:7 is not there as some kind of literary stunt to mystify the ignorant idiot, who ignorantly thinks, “Well, since the passage does not spell out for anyone as to what this 'darkness' was, it must have been a darkophany. Yes, that would make the best sense, since the passage does not explain what it was.” This presumes upon an ignorance of anything natural to which the ancient Hebrews could well have already been using 'darkness' to refer. --- --- --- Now, again, to Item 3: 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek), used for darkness, can mean' 'non-existence'. I have already answered this by saying that non-existence is not what Job is implying by 'darkness' in Job 3:5. He clearly is invoking cloud, and dark weather, as the cause of that 'darkness'. Otherwise, you are making an odd and specious case out of the first third of that verse. And, there is no OTHER reference there to its cause. So there is no basis within all of Job to say that Job there meant 'darkness' only as just another word for something's wished non-existence. Verse 6 simply amplifies the point that Job is making by way of EVEN MENTIONING cloud and other dark weather conditions. It was not, in Job's mind, to be a night for mere lack of the Sun in the sky. Rather, it was to be a night of “The Worst #@! Weather, in which no life can thrive!”. That was what Job was saying in vs. 4-6. This even is confirmed by what he says in v. 8! “Let those curse that night who see fit to curse the ordinary Day by being able and willing, for reckless sport, to rouse up Leviathan”. This was that huge creature that, as one of the 'dinosaurs', went extinct long before modern times. As I already pointed out in the current reply, I am not denying that Job may well have been using 'darkness', AT SOME POINT, for the idea of something's non-existence. But you seem to me to be claiming that he meant this WITHOUT reference to HOW darkness is caused ecologically (dense cloud blocking the Sunlight from reaching the earth). I find no Biblical precedent for such a claim, and I do not believe that you have given any reason to accept that the Bible ever uses 'darkness' in a terrestrial context WITHOUT implicit (that is, normal) reference to the only humanly experienced ecological cause of that darkness, namely dense cloud. But here is the thing: Your Item 3, 'non-existence is based on Job 3. How does Job have any sense to use 'darkness' to mean non-existence? Does he have that sense by how his own seeing that he seems here to mean 'non-existence' by 'darkness'. No, of course not. So the Bible is NOT a dictionary by which its own authors and speakers know what to mean by its various words and such. And if the Bible is NOT such a dictionary, then there MUST be something ELSE that we are wrongly presupposing by using it that way ourselves. The simple evidential fact is that natural language is a human providential practice, not some kind of Top-Down Arbitrary Dictionary of Usage that some Language Overlord has somehow imposed upon our minds. You may like to presume upon the fact of God's act regarding the rally around the tower of Babel, as if this is an EXAMPLE of God's NORMAL way in which to cause humans to have a language, as such, in the first place. But there is nothing in evidence to support that presumption, and EVERYTHING to DENY that presumption. If, after you have finished reading this long reply, you still do not see what any of that evidence is, then you can just as me, and I shall spell it out for you. But I want for you to have a fair chance to realize it on your own: without it being, instead, spelled out for you. ~ I shall now presume (and short of your telling me otherwise), that you yourself now admit that the Bible does, AT LEAST IN SOME FEW cases, use 'darkness' to imply dense cloud. Because, it is this terminology that underlies my argument, as found in Part Three below, regarding Genesis 1:2-18. ----------------------------- PART THREE --------------------------- ------------------------------Gen 1:2------------------------------- You finally directly address the 'darkness' in Genesis 1:2. Specifically, you make three points, against my thesis thereon, based on your three Items for the meaning of 'choshek': ...Point (A): 'Clearly God is present' in Genesis 1:2 ...Point (B): 'non-existence doesn’t make much sense, in Genesis 1:2, 'since God is present', and since God already had 'created volume and matter' in v. 1; ...Point (C) 'the absence of light makes sense as well' in v. 2, '…ESPECIALLY given' that 'verse 3' says that 'God then simply demanded for light to be there, and then there' it 'was'. And 'ESPECIALLY given that trees and animals and lands did not exist until God spoke them into existence. I'm sure you are aware that there is more than one way to explain vs. 1-3 even within a Plain Six Day reading of the account. There are two basic types of Plain Six Day (PSD) readings in regard to vs. 1-2, each with two basic subtypes. One PSD type is Earth-first (planet-first), which is most popular and obvious. The other PSD type is physics-first, such as mere volume and matter as you propose here, but can construe the explicit level of information of all first eight verses as exclusive to such mere physics. The basic sub-types of these two PSD types are action-first and non-action-first. This latter sub-type says that v. 1-2 are an introductory label or an introductory summary. But this sub-type has species types of its own: Strict Non-action (Grigg, 2001) and Non-action-Plus-Some-Action (Faulkner, 2016). Grigg, R. (2001). Morning has broken...but when? Creation 23(2):51–53, March 2001. https://creation.com/morning-has-broken-but-when. Faulkner, D. (2016). Thoughts on the rāqîa‘ and a Possible Explanation for the Cosmic Microwave Background, Answers Research Journal 9 (2016):57-65, https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/cosmology/thoughts-raqia-and-possible-explanation-cosmic-microwave-background/. But all these PSD types and sub-types are only the GENERAL categories of the PSD reading. They do not say what, at any given point in the Account, is to be interpreted as to any of its details not obviously pertaining strictly to a PSD reading. And not all PSD (Plain Six Day) readings arrive at that reading by exactly the same interpretation of the limited parts that DO obviously pertain expressly to such a reading. In fact, there is a profound difference between, on the one hand, how the Earth-first PSD type may interpret those parts and how, on the other hand, the fully-extended physics-first PSD type interprets those very same parts. I shall show some of those differences shortly, in a SPECIAL SECTION SO LABELED. But you, Mr. Pilliod do not consider the chapter according to such a rational due process. Instead you claim that when 'this first chapter of Genesis' is read 'sentence by sentence,' it cannot help but be found to say that which... ….'has been described by traditional YECs for quite some time.' You then say: 'Additionally, when one reads each sentence in the context of the chapter, this same' YEC 'narrative simply falls into place. And when one reads chapters 1 and 2 in the context of one another, clearly this' YEC narrative 'is what the Bible screams to us.' You thus conclude that 'There were no stars, there was no moon, and there was no sun until Day #4. Therefore, the light in verse 3 simply came from God Himself. He commanded it and it shone.' In this third and final part of my current reply, I shall demonstrate that some of your premises here are mistaken, and therefore that your conclusion, though validly build upon those premises, is mistaken. The first thing we MUST be clear on is that the Account is a NARRTIVE, NOT a jigsaw puzzle. Though that which we indeed have of the Account is in a static form (that is, in writing), it is NOT meant PRIMARILY as a semantic jigsaw puzzle. You even admit this truth by stating that, when 'this first chapter of Genesis' is read 'sentence by sentence,' it cannot help but be found to say that which...' Sentence by sentence. So, by ALL POSSIBLE means, PLEASE do keep this in mind at EVERY point that I make in this third and final part of my current reply. As you should recall that I said halfway through Part One, Hebrew is at least comparably life-centric as is any other language. The reason, of course, for why any human language would ever include a life-centric grammatical conceptual scheme is because humans are NOT GENERIC CREATURES. A Generic (living) creature is a hypothetical living CREATURE that, despite being a creature, has no need of any particular environmental supports. Real creatures come in at least four basic categories: plant, animal, mineral, and physical forces. Humans, as a case of the animal category, reflect God as a free agent in such terms as will, movement, awareness, mind, etc.. Nevertheless, the animal category of CREATURE IS NOT God. Instead, the animal category of creature is dependent on an ECOLOGY of created environment. So, even though the HUMAN instance of that creature category is paradigmatically FREE in terms of that environment, the human is STILL HELD TO that environment, and thus ESPECIALLY held to that part of that enviroemnt on which the human most directly, most locally, depends. For a baby in the womb, that locality IS the womb. But the womb is NOT the humans' prototypical locality. The Earth is. Did you get that? The Earth, NOT the mother's womb, is humans' NORMAL locality. So, despite how life in the womb may be akin to the weightless non-directionality of life in a space ship in outer space, the human linguistic sense is the MOST bound to living on Earth, not in some arbitrary abstract logical-linguistic space of 'Pure description'. In fact, this arbitrary linguistic space is the ONLY way to justify the false idea that the EXPLICIT level of the Account is exclusively about TRIVIALLY UNIVERSAL PHYSICS unto ALL first eight verses. This in no way means that humans are not semantically free. In fact, human space flight, and human efforts to engineer and track their spaceships from Earth, demands such semantic freedom. One might better call that level of freedom semantic 'mathematics'. It is what underlies computer programming, especially for that simulated computing device most descriptively is known as the Universally Programmable 'computer'. Yet, to paraphrase something Einstein said, 'pure mathematics cannot tell you anything about the world, but can only help you learn of that world in so far as that world, in any and all of its details, has a mathematical dimension.' For, that world is not arbitrary, but instead is about creaturely life, such that it is fine-tuned for such life even in terms of its trivially universal physics. Genesis 1 even is centered, textually, on that fine-tuning, in that the ONLY portion of the Account to mention the luminaries (vs. 14-18) is given strictly in terms of the Earth and its life. Sentence by sentence. In short, God is no Carl Sagan wannabe. Sagan had his original Cosmos TV show. God has Genesis 1. That TV show was all about how the trivially universal stuff was purely a coldly indifferent Cosmic Pure Democracy by the victimization from which life, the Earth, and humans, eventually came to be. But God did not create such a cosmos. His cosmos is entirely designed for life, and this centrally for terrestrial humans. Sagan's version is little more than a big bag of mutually unrelateable whatnots that just happened to coagulate, increasingly, into increasingly complex organizations, until some of those organizations attained mind, awareness, love, and, finally, human freedom. But humans are not God. And not even God 'plays God', as if He is still purely unto Himself despite having created animals and humans. God has power to have (1) created Adam and Eve, instead, inside a just-then-created Star Trek Enterprise type ship, complete with food synthesizer, artificial gravity generation, and air, and (2) left them in that ship wandering aimlessly and ignorant far out in some random locale of intergalactic space. God even could have left them there for any amount of time, only eventually returning to tell simply that there there is this thing called a planet, and that He has made one just for them, and left them without telling them where it is. They would be free to fly anywhere, just like Sagan did in his stupid fictional atheistic space ship in his Cosmos TV show. Sagan, the Objective, Mere Observer-Describer of Whatever Is. God did not create Adam and Eve this way, and so He did not intend for them to be like Sagan. They were not God's pets, but His children. Big difference. So, even though they had semantic freedom, this was not freedom Unhinged. Such freedom is no better than the brains-in-jars way in which the Pharisees interpreted Scripture. The Pharisees could SEE the words, and could claim that they knew what the words plainly meant. But they were fools that worshiped their insecurities instead of God. This is the problem with 'reading each verse at a time' by way of some kind of damn computer- program notion of What Each Verse Says'. So now let me challenge you. I ask that you image that you were the unfallen Adam the first time Adam was presented with this Prime General Account of Origins (Genesis 1:1-31). And, let's say that God presented it to Adam verbally, rather in writing. What would, you, Adam, think of just the first seven (Hebrew) words (we label it v. 1, but it had no such labeling, since it is just those seven words). Pretty plain unto itself, wouldn't you say? Would you, Adam, think it meant simply volume and matter? I do not mean for you to put yourself in Adam's place here. I mean for you to imagine what Adam must have perceived of his environment. But I do not believe that you presently can do so accurately. Here's why: you do not know of the most self-evident, over-arching logic about that environment. Do you know how I know that you do not know it? Because of your entire logic constitutes overlooking that other logic. Because here is that other logic: 1. The general, or overall, cosmos, and its special member, the Earth. 2. The overall Earth and its special member, the abiding maximal abundance of liquid water. 3. That overall abiding maximal abundance of liquid water and its special function, the water cycle. 4. The Earth's water cycle and its special constituent, life. 5. Life and its special category, animal life (plant/animal=animal). 6. Animal life and its special member, the human kind, or 'Man' (plant/animal/mineral=(Man=animal)). 7. Humankind, and its special constituent, Woman (Genesis 2:23). This Cosmic Seven-fold of nested pairings is so simple as to require of us an explanation of why anyone could ever miss it. It is like the best combination code to unlock the best treasure. So our failure to have already seen it implies everything for its existence. This gets to something Sarfati (1997, 2015) says as to what counts as justified demands for explanation of the cosmically improbable: “[A]lthough all combinations on a combination lock are equally improbable to obtain randomly, a bank manager does not think that anyone could open the [bank vault] lock by chance. [Similarly, [n]o-one would explain a Shakespearian sonnet [as that of] a chimp typing randomly, although any randomly typed letter sequence is equally improbable[. Thus,]‘I love you dearly’ surely requires more explanation than ‘asnhouyganpi;kvk klkjfl’[.]” What Sarfati says here is about the genuinely improbable of FREE coding. So it does NOT apply to what may be called NATURALLY GROUNDED coding. The Cosmic Seven-fold logic is OBVIOUSLY a case of naturally grounded coding. Only, it is not coding at all. It IS the cosmos. And Genesis 1 MUST teach it. Short and sweet, not a textbook. And its #1 pairing is that which Adam would have seen in v. 1, NOT some Carl Sagan wannabe trivia. If talk of that #1 paring already inherently suggests that trivia, then there is NO justification for the claim that v. 1 is EXPLICITLY and EXCLUSEIVELY about mere 'volume and matter.' For, the elected speaker for a wedding does not introduce the bride's specially made wedding dress to the guests by first pointing out that everything is made of the same trivial stuff as everything else. How are the guests to know, from such trivially obvious information, that the speaker even means to be telling of the dress? It is, therefore, inherently offensive to insist, with much backing from the YEC community, that Genesis 1:1-8 is NOT about Earth's water cycle, but INSTEAD about trivially universal physics. No Plain Six Day creationist living in the fallen world denies that the Account ultimately is about a wedding, both a literal one between Adam and Eve and a figurative one between Christ and His Church. So it would be odd to reject, out of hand, the idea that the very first statement in the Account sets a predictive theme that extends, by nested repetition, all the way to that literal wedding (Genesis 2:23). In fact, since Adam was made on the same day as Eve, and since the Divine Logos pre-existed the Earth, it only makes sense to say that the 'ha-shamayim' of v. 1 was created-and-completed on the same day, and just prior to, the Earth, not days after her. A terrestrial human, without having yet ever heard any bit of any controversy on origins, and without ever yet having known what any of the Account says, cannot help but take v. 1 as it NORMALLY means to terrestrial human sensibility. There is no m-billions of years here. There is no even any completion of a first day as one sees the Sun go further and further toward the horizon. And that Sun's apparent travel, relative to one's portion of sky, is not given to any arbitrary logic in ones mind, but simply to that of that direction of relative motion, and thus of promising to set below that horizon. When that happened first to Adam and Eve, as they watched it together, they were very aware of all phenomenon of light any sky that accompanied it. And they understood what they saw, by way of confirming what they already deduced prior that day: a mediative sheet of air that envelops the Earth, and that shines blue in the bright light of the Sun (Genesis 1:6-8). Later, the post-Flood Hebrews likened it to a tent, or to a window shade that is opened whenever the Sun's light is not directly into the opening. So why does Genesis 1 first call it a 'raqia'? Because it is all of (1) thin; (2) firmly held in place despite its most delicate and movable substance, and (3) it shines like pounded metal in the Sun's light; (4) it is shaped like a bowl of pounded metal; and, therefore, (5) such a bowl of metal is described by the sound of pounding it out: raqia, raqia, raqia. This suggests that the Account was edited to include this term, just as the self-evidence and simplicity of the Cosmic Seven suggests that the account is human-crafted reportage from the original conversation that Adam and Eve respectively had with God on that very Seven. Such human crafted reportage is in evidence in two main ways in the Account. One, the Account does NOT use the personal pronoun, I, in describing God's actions and utterances (unlike, say, what Joshua 24:3 shows). Two, the account reports exactly five names that God gave to a very particular five things, suggesting not only that these reports are parenthetical to the narrative, but that the five things are the five basic parts of the non-biological, or purely physical, 'half' of the water cycle. ~ ~ ~ Now, some today might, at first glance, consider the Cosmic Seven to be something that God placed arbitrarily upon what He had ALREADY created in Creation Week. But it is a presumption upon sheer ignorance to say that the reason why God created in six days instead of say, ten, is mainly or purely to give us humans a model to follow in our work. The most 'Scriptural' way to show that this is an ignorant presumption is by citing Leviticus 26:34-35. God was not being arbitrary in creating all things according to a number that He had already set for the entire cosmos at the FIRST moment of Creation Week. That bears repeating: God was not being arbitrary in creating all things according to a number that He had already set for the entire cosmos at the first moment of Creation Week. So it is a poor, if loyal, estimation of Scripture to think it is remotely sufficient to justify construing Exodus 20:11 as a direct answer to why God created in six units rather than in any other number of units. That verse talks of the epitome, not of the sole explanation. The epitome is likewise involved in the Creation Week, and thus of its Prime General (versus Prime Special) account, Genesis 1. This account does not imply nothing but what it spells out; Much less is it God's preemptive answer against atheistic notions of origins. Rather, the account implies the epitome within which we live every day: a functionally life-centric, and Divine-image affirming, cosmos. There is nothing in the pair of accounts (Genesis 1 and 2) that even suggests that humans' Divine image involves a passive, dull acceptance of 'what God says'. And there was nothing passively authoritative about God's telling Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain tree. It was not that 'God said so'. Rather, it was that God said as to what would most importantly adversely result for them if they did eat of it: they would enter a biologically fallen, and therefore overall biologically progressively degrading, condition, until they finally died ('you shall dying die', as the Hebrew is said to mean). And if God is about them, beforehand, of adverse results of partaking in something that's bad to His original perfect design of them, then how much more is He about His Creation Week making every providential sense to us whom He created in His practical image? The fact is that, despite God's forewarning, Adam and Eve, as humans designed to be able to live forever in perfect health, were not prepared for the adverse results of their partaking of the Bad Tree. In other words, they were not designed, biologically, to have expected the first existential biological results, which were simply that of suddenly becoming biologically fallen. So they were not prepared for how biologically horrible they felt in those first hours of falleneness, which was by comparison to their original, biologically unfallen condition. The sudden drop was more steep than that which any fallen person has ever experienced. So they then had worried that they were going to die that same day, despite having prior had naturally understood that God had meant only an ultimate biological death by way of entering a biologically compromised condition. This explains what otherwise would be an odd insertion of the material of Genesis 3:20. Feldick (1990) notes this, but Feldick seems to presume that God's forewarning had simply been the merest words as the English translations spell out: '“You shall die that same day” end of story.' In other words, Feldick seems to think that the only information, on the adverse results, that Adam and Eve had had from God were the mere words, themselves, as the English seems most simplistically to convey. But this thinking renders God as having been deliberately either (A) obscure in His warning them of what, exactly, would occur to them if they ate of that tree, or (B) misleading them so that He later could inform them that they were not, in fact, going to be dead that same day. Such thinking assumes that the fully-functional adults which were Adam and Eve in their UNFALLEN state were no more perceptive of biological reality than that of which the average young child readily can make out from a few mere words, to that end, on the part of the parent. In normal post-Flood human biology, the final full onset of puberty, involving the full sex drive, is no longer an occasional and minor concern. A similar, but far more urgent, principle was involved for Adam and Eve's initial hours of having become biologically fallen. And the point of Genesis 2:25 is to make abundantly clear that what they experienced in those initial fallen hours was at least as intense, and real, and dread, as is the average teenager's experience of a dread kind of shyness of the opposite sex. Part of the point, here, therefore, is that one rightly is far more aware of one's own biological flawed-hood than one is of that of some only ideally imagined love interest (unless, perhaps, one is 'stoned' on drugs). The biggest difference is that Adam and Eve each were facing the utterly Perfect Person of God. So their hiding from Him was not that from any mere Shame-from-having-disobeyed, as may a young child feel who has not yet developed a full Theory of Mind. It was a hiding driven by the most all-encompassing, biologically adverse reality, as no born-Fallen person has ever experienced. But we Fallen offspring of Adam and Eve are that to whom Genesis 1-2 is addressed, which is why Genesis 2 ends with that which comprises v. 25. In spite of the simple implicit reality of the Cosmic Seven, Genesis 1 commonly is seen not to tell of the establishment of the planet's water cycle itself, but merely, at best, of some of the parts of that cycle. It is this water cycle that best explains why, of all the six Days of the Creation Workweek, only of the second Day's work is there no report of the Divine esteem of 'good'. This also explains why only once in the account are the animals blessed (v. 22), even though an ignorant reading would see this as unfair to the land animals, which thereby seem not to be accorded any blessing. It even explains why 'bara', or create (v. 21a) is used seemingly only for the sea creatures (some deem this as polemic artifice per the 'sea monsters'), since to the land animals it says 'asah' or 'made. Some, such as DeRemer (2012), see 'bara' and asah' as critically different in usage. Grigg (1997), on the other hand, who, in an effort to defend the account from the Gap Theory, would reduce 'bara' and 'asah' to virtually a uselessly identical, or at least non-critically different, meaning in the account, therein overlooks the fact that v. 26 is clearly reporting on Divine deliberation of design, not either God's act of bringing them into being or the fact that He brought them into being. Such a report of Divine deliberation of design would be most fitting to a group of young children in a newly fallen world in which no humans had ever yet been known to be overall better, practically speaking, than so many of the animals. And, though God has no limits, it seems only right to us, in an everyday sense, that He actually would be more deliberative in designing humans than in designing either any of the animals or of the entire cosmos and Earth including Genesis 1:1-25. But in so far as the account is not self-evidently more than human reportage of interaction between God and an unfallen Adam-and-Eve, it is not God who is delivering an omnisciently 'level' account of all issues, but a unfallen man and woman, during their respective first conversation with God, who are recounting the humanly best parts of what he said. In any case, from a humanly universal reading of Genesis 1, the basic water cycle was not complete until the Earth's binary thermal surface (land and water) is formed (v. 9). The light energy of v. 3 would then be seen to have initialized that cycle. Many, including Grigg (2015), prefer to think of v. 3 in terms of the trivially universal instances of energy in some initial state of the cosmos. But if Adam had been made only shortly prior to when Eve was made, then it is fitting for the masculine, or general, cosmos to have been completed-unto-itself just shortly prior to when the actual planet Earth was established. Now I turn to show you some of the profound difference between, on the one hand, how the Earth-first PSD type may interpret parts of the Account and how, on the other hand, the fully-extended physics-first PSD type interprets those very same parts. –----- –----- –----- SPECIAL SECTION SO LABELED ------- ------- ------- DeRemer (2012) says that the belief that Genesis 1:1-26 'ultimately had to come from God' 'is likely unprovable' by direct evidence. It is good that DeRemer says 'likely' unprovable, because that shows that DeRemer is not willing to presume upon his own ignorance of this matter. But, DeRemer's model of the Account is thoroughly physics-first (DeRemer, 2005; DeRemer et. al., 2007). So the only solution DeRemer offers for his own admitted ignorance on evidential proof of God's ultimate authorship of the Account's information is a solution that seems essentially as Blank Slate as Morris's whole logic as to God's relation to the Unfallen Adam (my emphasis added): that the belief in God's ultimate authorship 'is not a naive view of inspiration', since: (i) God obviously was 'present during the task'; (ii) God 'had to communicate it to someone in words'; and (iii) 'It seems likely' 'that that someone would have been careful to record such important words.' In other words, DeRemer seems to focus on (ii) as the sole means of human knowledge of any critical dimension of the Account. This is Morris's own view. DeRemer (2012) implicitly allows the Account to have come by the God-given independent human craft of reportage. But he already reduced the Account (DeRemer, 2005; DeRemer et. al. 2007) to a purely chronologically word-for-word citation of God's own words: 'As we proceed through the text,' (2005) we should not miss the fact that God provides us with 'definitions' of His words (vv. 5, 8, 10). These reports of God's naming things can well be human-reportage insertions into the narrative from a conversation they had had with God, and a conversation in which the first human language was being developed by way of conversational scratch on the Cosmic Seven. This would certainly explain why, in the Account's own supposed unbroken chronology, God names only exactly five things, and that these things, within of a consistently Earth-first reading, would be the five basic parts of the non-biological, or General, 'half' of the Earth's water cycle. But DeRemer claims that that reading constitutes an error of 'presupposing' that very reading, so that we should rather simply 'allow' 'the text to define' as to what constitutes its opening objects---and by this he means we must approach the first verse as if we are strictly computers and it is a computer program. But this 'no-presuppositions' approach (DeRemer et. al. 2007) does not quite abide its own standard at the outset, since we still must presuppose a more general range of things about the nature and aim of the Account which the Account does not likewise 'define' or spell out. It does not define that which we translate as simply 'beginning' in v. 1. Rather, it relies on ancient Hebrew grammatical norms in order to make the case, and not as if “lest any doubt the God-given, human universally presupposed meaning” but simply to convey that meaning. The same applies, then, for the two objects of v. 1, which is confirmed, in order, in all following verses. This is not to say that a physics reading is informationally invalid. On the contrary, it simply is to put the God-given human terrestrial sense as the proper default sense (the proper priority sense) for the entire account, hence the Cosmic Seven. Even the account's central portion, (vs. 14-18), in being the only portion to specify luminaries, specifies them strictly in terms of the overall object of that Seven: Earth's life, and humans as Earth's ultimate children: born of God, for all life-favoring practical purposes unto all the cosmos. DeRemer et al. (2007) attempt to sufficiently explain why the Account does not report a Divine 'good' estimation for the Day Three work (low right of p. 69 in the issue of JoC). Their offering is that (emphases added), Begin Quote In modern scientific terminology, [we propose that the Day Two portion of the Account describes] God establishing the large-scale structure of the universe—not yet stars but their raw material, scattered as needed, from which to form galaxies.(...) [Thus, unlike the traditional status quo interpretation,] this (...) doesn’t have God calling into being a near finished universe, with Earth only needing its surface formed and creatures added, and stars needing to be created separately with Earth belatedly spun into orbit. Instead, it [has] God starting with [such things as atomically unstructured prematter] and making from [it] light and atoms, then distributing that throughout the cosmos for use in forming galaxies. Notice that God does not call this initial expanse ‘good’, which also seems to imply finished. It is not yet finished, as man will eventually perceive it, in that the stars are not yet formed and ignited. What God has done so far is to distribute matter to proper locations throughout the universe from which He is actively making heavenly bodies, including Planet Earth. End Quote In this offering, 'scientific' is exclusively that to the TRIVIALLY UNIVERSAL instances of physics, which is quite the physics-centric presumption upon this Biblical Prime Account of origins. The offering also, at the end, reduces planet Earth to just one of any number of bodies, so that there is left no room in the Account for any part of planet Earth's water cycle, and thus none for its atmosphere. The only thing left for her---the whole natural-physical terrestrial world, properly feminine to the Sun's masculine, per Psalm 19:5---is what can be made of her from vs. 9-10. In thereby having no proper terrestrial context from vs. 3-8, this final pair of verses can then do nothing so much as to render Earth akin to a woman-shaped plastic mannequin that a Mad Scientist version of God nevertheless intends somehow to 'impregnate' with a bio-ecological, or completely self-sustaining, water cycle. If Day Two is about the atmospheric sky (as would normally be seen by anyone born on Earth), then it is more so about the water cycle. The non-biological 'half' of this cycle is then completed with the thermally binary surface of water-and-land established first thing on Day Three (corresponding to #3 of the Cosmic Seven). The physics-centric model offered by DeRemer and his two colleagues (Dobberpuhl and Amunrud) does not find any fulfillment of the absent Divine esteem until Day Four. A consistently life-centric, and terrestrial-human-affirming, model readily allows all of the cosmological physics information that a physics-first reading finds. This is because God, the Creator, would never introduce a special wedding dress by not even mentioning the dress until after He had regaled us with how He had created and formed the trivially universal 'stuff' out of which everything is made. Instead, He would have so designed everything that even talk of the terrestrial world rightly would bring to mind such things as trivially universal matter. So, if, according to the model of the Account offered by DeRemer et. el., v. 9 is the only portion of the Account by which God means to tell us of His actions for the proper physical Earth', then there is no actual planet in the whole account despite supposedly being a lot of advanced cosmological physics in the account's explicit level of information. In fact, DeRemer et. al. (2007) argue exactly that for the planet: that the planet itself need not even be mentioned in the Account. They even bring in the fact that, when the Account was first translated into English, English had not yet acquired planetary usage of the word 'earth'. The fact that all this exclusivistic focus on 'physics' effects to preclude to the Account proper basic information even on the water cycle shows just how true it would be to describe this particular physics-first model as physics-chauvinistic. Other physics-first models, such as those of Faulkner (2016) and Humphreys (1994), despite likewise claiming all first eight verses exclusively for 'physics', do not seek to construe the Account itself as dissuading an Earth-first reading. For, DeRemer et. al. (2007) and Amunrud (2016b) so construe the later three of the Account's total five reports of God's supposed 'definitions' of His terms (vv. 8, 10). Why, they ask, would God spell out that He gave the particular names for things those names for which the Hebrew readers already knew? But this question presupposes that the Account is essentially Divine dictation, and this of each and every Divine utterance as these come during Creation Week. But there is nothing particularly reasonable in rejecting the idea that the Account was crafted by Adam as reportage that includes usefully inserted key bits of God's contribution to an initial conversation-cum-language-development, especially not that involving discussion on the Cosmic Seven. But the particular physics-first model of DeRemer, Dobberpuhl, and Amunrud allows the latter three names reported in the Account (vv. 8, 10) to instead be Divine hints, cleverly provided by God, to tell the dullard that God did not mean 'heaven' and 'earth' of v. 1 as that which our God-given universal terrestrial default finds them to be. This anti-terrestrial explanation for these latter three namings is reasoned despite the implicit admission that not only do the first two names (v. 5) readily confirm an Earth-first reading, but that everything from v. 1 onwards readily confirms an Earth-first reading. These authors' only answer to such confirmation is that, in order to get the 'real' meaning of the first eight verses, we must take extra effort to eliminate all 'preconceptions' of the text before attempting to 'devise scientific models of what might have occurred during God’s creative workweek'. But, given the fact and too-obviousness of the Cosmic Seven, there is a genuine problem if the Account is so obtuse or equivocal as to require such 'models' in order to be basically understood in the first place beyond its Plain Six Day measure and its most crudely obvious facts. The problem would be that it is a wonder that the Account has yet provided really anything useful beyond that measure and those obvious facts. But, given their implicit admission of the Account's ready confirmation of those terrestrial 'preconceptions', the ultimate complaint on the part of DeRemer et. al. is that the traditional status quo version of the Earth-first reading fails to find a properly physical explanation for the light of v. 3. Yet even that status quo version readily allows that that light serves to initialize the water cycle, something that a physics-centric reading from v. 1 onwards precludes. If cosmological physics is to be worthy of such a terrestrially affirming account, then in our focus on physics, we must allow to the Account the terrestrial default, else the Account is rendered absurdly lacking, given that the Bible more widely shows that the average ancient Hebrew reader had a basic awareness of that cycle, at least in terms of water (ex: Job 36:27). As Neller (2014) states, 'Perhaps the most common reference in the Bible to' any particular part of 'nature is' that to 'the hydrologic cycle'. So the Account's obviously very strong confirmation of the God-given universal terrestrial default of terrestrial humans begs for an explanation that does not reduce this confirmation to either Divine absence-of-mind or Divine mischieveousness. Therefore, imagine knowing nothing about anything except what, providentially, you know of the things involved in the Cosmic Seven. Accordingly, you then do not know (1) any account of origins, whether atheistic or otherwise, and (2) any controversy over origins. Thus, (X) upon your initial encounter ONLY with the statement we all 'Genesis 1:1', what shall you normally think of that statement v. 1, and, (Y) on the basis of what you shall think of that statement, what shall you think of that of v. 2? It does NO good to think to be approaching each verse genuinely in turn if we do so by allowing to that attempt ANY of our knowledge of the controversy about origins. Because if we allow ANY of that, then we are NOT, in fact, purely letting the account speak for itself. ---------------------------------------------------- ---------------REFERENCES----------------- Amunrud, M. (2016). Bible/Science Tensions Part 1 w/ Mark Amunrud. Youtube, CBMatrixChannel, @ video time 17:43-20:00+ https://youtu.be/igxmNvgPHFo?t=1091 DeRemer, F., with Amunrud, M., and Dobberpuhl, D. (2007). Days 1-4. JOURNAL OF CREATION 21(3) 2007. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j21_3/j21_3_69-76.pdf DeRemer, F. (2012). Viewpoint: Create and Make. JOURNAL OF CREATION. http://www.genesishistory.org/content/createandmake.pdf Quote: Some strict six-day creationists may have overreacted. Old-Earth creationists (OECs) try to leverage the distinction between “create” and “make” into an argument for an old planet. The real error of such OECs is not their exegesis but their insistence that “making” requires a long time, involving natural processes as we know them today. But God’s entire workweek of Genesis 1 was miraculous. It no doubt involved both instantaneous creations and supernaturally fast makings, all within six ordinary days. In my opinion, the text teaches ordinary days and the distinction between “make” and “create”. (…) Some strict six-day creationists claim that “create” and “make” are interchangeable in some key verses where I believe they are not. This seems to me to be an overreaction to OECs: “They [OECs] sometimes try to defend the acceptance of millions of years by saying that bara refers to [instant] supernatural creation ex nihilo (Latin for “out of nothing”) but that asah means to make [over ages] out of pre-existing material.” Just because OECs reach wrong conclusions does not mean that each of their exegetical steps is wrong. If we overreact by claiming that one of their correct steps is wrong, then we are the ones in the wrong on that particular issue. Being wrong on even one point damages our cause. It gives them an unnecessary, easy target, to say: “Here’s an example of where strict creationists err exegetically. Hence, their six-day conclusion is wrong.” Faulkner, D. (2015). Latest Discoveries in Cosmology'. Youtube, Creation Training Intitiative – CTI, @20:27-22:37 'process creation' ( https://youtu.be/jACHcax_ZoA?t=1230 ). Faulkner, D. (2016): 'Thoughts on the rāqîa‘ and a Possible Explanation for the Cosmic Microwave Background'. Answers Research Journal 9 (2016):57-65 www.answersingenesis.org/arj/v9/raqia-cosmic-microwave-background.pdf Feldick, L. (1990). LESSON ONE * PART IV * BOOK 2. Adam & Eve’s Faith and Salvation, Genesis 3:14-24 . https://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk2.html. Quote: Genesis 3:20 "And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Now all Adam has been told from the Scriptural account is, "in the day he would eat of that tree, he would surely die." But now Adam comes back and names his wife, Eve, which meant the mother of all living. Now what does Adam understand? That even though he has sinned, and lost fellowship with God, God must have told him something that he believed, and what was it? That he’s going to live, and have children, and the whole human race is going to come from him and his wife Eve. Now you have to study that and really think about it to get the whole picture. What’s really involved here is, God told Adam that this is the way it would be, and what did Adam do? He believed it. So here in verse 20 is the first instance of FAITH, which is taking God at his Word. By faith Adam believed what God said concerning him and the woman, so he named her "the mother of all living." Now then Adam’s faith promoted God to do something. Just like we saw with our "circles" the last few lessons, that when the Spirit of God prompted us to believe, then God moved in on our behalf and does everything that needs to be done for us to have eternal life. And God does the same thing back here with Adam! Adam shows that particle of faith that he believed what God said, and God moves in and does what needs to be done in verse 21. Keep in mind also that Hebrews chapter 9 says: Hebrews 9:22 "…and without shedding of blood is no remission." So there had to be a sacrifice for Adam and Eve’s sin. In the Old Testament animal sacrifices are merely a foretelling, a picture of that supreme sacrifice that was to come in Christ Himself. So right here with Adam and Eve God institutes animal sacrifice in verse 21. And the animal sacrifices would continue until the perfect sacrifices gave His life one the cross. Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make (Adam and Eve didn’t do this, but rather the LORD God make) coats of skins, and clothed them." Grigg, R. (1997). From the beginning of the creation. Creation magazine 19(2):35–38, March 1997. https://creation.com/from-the-beginning-of-the-creation. Quote: Genesis 1:26 quotes God as saying, ‘Let us make (asah) man in our image’, whereas the very next verse says, ‘So God created [bara] man in His own image.’ The same event is here described by both bara and asah, so the verbs are obviously used interchangeably—the passage is Hebrew parallelism. Furthermore Genesis 2:4 says, ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created (bara), in the day that the Lord God made (asah) the earth and the heavens’. Here bara and asah are again used together in synonymous parallelism, again showing that they are used interchangeably by Moses. Grigg, R. (2001). Morning has broken...but when? Creation 23(2):51–53, March 2001. https://creation.com/morning-has-broken-but-when. Quote: The phrase ‘heaven(s) and earth’ in Genesis 1:1 is an example of a Hebrew figure of speech called a merism, in which two opposites are combined into an all-encompassing single concept.6 Throughout the Bible (e.g. Genesis 14:19, 22; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 121:2) this means the totality of creation, not just the Earth and its atmosphere, or our solar system alone. It is used because Hebrew has no word for ‘the universe’ and can at best say ‘the all’. One of the words in this Hebrew figure of speech is the plural noun shamayim, which signifies the ‘upper regions’ and may be rendered ‘heaven’ or ‘heavens’, depending on the context.8 The essential meaning is everything in creation apart from the Earth. The word translated ‘the earth’ is erets, and here refers to the planet on which we now live. The opening sentence of the Bible (‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’) is thus a summary statement (the details follow) that God made everything in the universe. The rest of Genesis 1 gives the details of how this happened over a period of six days. Grigg, R. (2005). When God made something out of nothing—Day 1. Creation 27(4):24–27, 2005. https://creation.com/when-god-made-something-out-of-nothing-day-1. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/CFK/cfk27_4.pdf. Humphreys, D. R. (1994): Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Startlight in a Young Universe; Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 137 pages; pg. 55-63. Jordan, J. B. 1998. Dr. Waltke on Genesis One, Concluded. Biblical Chronology Vol. 10, No. 2, February 1998. Quote: if we read it sentence by sentence, absorbing each statement as it comes, this is the plain and obvious meaning of Genesis 1. The sun replaced the glory-light on the fourth day. The cycle of night and day was in place before the sun was made. Morris, H. M. (2000). Biblical Creationism: What Each Book of the Bible Teaches about Creation and the Flood. Quote p. 15: (...)“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This simple declarative statement can only have come by divine revelation. Its scope is comprehensively universal, embracing all space (heaven), all time (beginning), and all matter (earth) in our space/time/matter cosmos. It is the first and only statement of real creation in all the cosmogonies of all the nations of past or present. All other creation myths begin with the universe already in existence, in watery chaos, or in some other primordial form. Evidently man, [what about unfallen man?] with unaided reason, cannot conceive of true creation; he must begin with something. But Genesis 1:1 speaks of creation ex nihilo; only God could originate such a concept, and only an infinite, omnipotent God could create the universe. This revelation was given initially by God Himself to the very first man and woman and has been transmitted down through the ages to all their children. God either wrote it down with His own finger on a table of stone, as He later did the tablets of the law (Exod. 31:18), or else He revealed it verbally to Adam, who recorded it.

Daniel Pech says:
March 11, 2019 04:44 PM CST
Dear Mr. Pilliod, Thank you for your careful, readable, and kind reply. I can only hope to match it in carefulness and readability, never mind kindness, as mine, below, is very long, and I am frustrated by your logic on the matter. This current reply is divided into three parts, and each part has some of its own sections labeled according to those sections' respective content. PART ONE is for general things (including for some of your claims and observations regarding various verses); PART TWO is mainly for addressing your claims and observations regarding various verses; PART THREE is in reply to your take on Genesis 1:2, per three things for which you say that 'choshek' can mean in the Bible. This reply includes a list of References at the end. ----------------------------- PART ONE ----------------------------- ------------------- The Most General Things------------------ * * * * The Four Easiest-Resolved Real-And-Possible Problems * * * * P 1 In considering your reply, it occurred to me that you might be thinking that I am claiming that every instance of 'chosheck' in Scripture implies dense cloud. In case you think I am claiming, I am not. P 2 You early say of me that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my 'comment'. I am surprised that you believe so. Because, just to begin with, I did NOT make any mistake in putting the Job reference as 38:9. So, your belief in that regard is mistaken: I did not mean verse 19. I meant verse 9 (nine), just as I wrote. I address your real and possible thoughts on both these verses in PART TWO. P 3 I am arguing under the presumption that you believe that 'choshek', and possibly even ma’aphel, are typically used in Scripture for what I am going to call a Divine 'mysteriophany', or Divine 'darkophany'. You know, just some darkness that God causes directly, so that it appears to us simply as some darkness; that we SEE that it seems to have no natural cause such as a dense storm cloud during daytime. That is, I get the singular impression that you are thinking something like: “Well, since the passage here does not spell out for anyone as to what this 'darkness' was, it must have been a darkophany. Yes, that would make the best sense, since the passage does not explain what it was.” This thinking presumes that the Ancient Hebrews never used such terms for dense storm cloud. In fact, your entire reply seems to me to be SPECIOUSLY bent on denying that the Bible EVER so uses either of those terms. So I am assuming that you are, in fact, denying that the Bible ever so uses those terms. My current, below, is fairly thorough in offering a rational and Biblical counter that denial. P 4 You correctly say that the several verses that I referenced on “darkness” 'do not, in English, say “darkness upon”' at all; 'not even in the KJV;' and that 'only in Genesis 1:2 is that particular phrase used' anyway. But I did not mean that those verses, in the English, use the particular phrase as found in the English of Genesis 1:2. On the contrary, I mean simply that they use phrases SUCH AS that phrase. That is, I mean that they use the essential TOPICAL phraseology which allows for phrases such as that to be made in the first place: something is over or above the 'upon', and it is darkness caused by something else. And, since that thing upon is 'darkness', I would think that there normally is assumed to be some relation which the darkness has to something else. It's like if you go to a restaurant and order “the pie”. In ordering “the pie”, you did not specify a PIECE of pie, yet that does not NORMALLY mean you ordered a whole pie. You had simply said, “I'll have the pie” which was in response to the fact that the menu mentioned only “pie” and “Ask about our daily flavors, as our fruits are in or out of season.” Likewise, the fact that you did not specify that you wanted “the pie” on a plate, and this plate of pie placed on the table, does not mean that the wait(er/ess) can just as well instead drop the piece of pie on you, or throw it in your face. Similarly, though you also did not specify, say, that you did not want your foot purposely stomped on, that clearly does not mean that you would welcome the wait(er/ess) to do so. * * * * Why The 'earth' In Genesis 1:1 MUST Be The Planet, Not Mere Matter * * * * Now I address what I believe is the most important issue. I shall expressly return to this issue by the end of this very long reply. In the meantime, it is an issue that you should notice is threaded throughout this entire reply. The issue is that of one simple fact: --------------------------------------- FACT#1: GOD CREATED THE EARTH, THE MOST SPECIAL PLACE IN ALL THE COSMOS. -------------------------------------- That's the most important issue, in my view. I expect that you will wonder how the fact that God created the Earth could possibly be the most important issue. “After all”, you might say “isn't Salvation more important?” Well, let me ask you: What are we saved from? If you answer, “from Sin”, or from “the consequences of Sin”, then you have answered really nothing worth mentioning IN ITSELF. It is ENTIRELY TOO GENERAL to say “we are saved from Sin”, because then we can just go on happily assuming that whatever we find merely reasonable in interpreting various parts of Genesis 1 are basically the Divinely authoritative interpretations AS OPPOSED to some OTHER interpretations, of those parts, that we presume LIMITS the account's information on a more REALISTICALLY BROAD set of matters. But, would we all be better off, for Salvation issues, if we just threw FACT#1 under the Bus? This would be NO generic Bus. Rather, this would be that Trivially Obvious Atheistic Bus of “Origins begins with matter”. Is that Bus what Genesis 1 is most concerned to FIRST address?? I don't think so. I explain why in this long section. Many of my fellow YEC's---including yourself, it seems---seem convinced that that Bus of Mere-matter-comes-first is really all that. I think we, as fallen-humans-who-are-YEC's, are too inclined MAINLY to see how Genesis 1 can compete directly in terms of that which all the Carl Sagans of the world say about Genesis 1: ...“You Christians: Don't you know better than to leave out matter from your Creation account? Didn't God create matter? If He did, then you should be sure to have that spelled out, explicitly, in your Creation account. Otherwise, why should anyone think that that account is anything but superstitious myth?” So... ….Is the Salvation issue better served when we fail to notice that we misrepresent God by giving Sagan his atheistic preference in this regard? “No,” I can hear you replying, “The Account spells out that GOD created matter. And since God DID create matter, there cannot possibly be anything wrong with thinking that the Account explicitly and specially says so.” How, I ask you, does the Account being specially EXPLICIT on THAT topic make this obviously-short-account MORE true to God? What if, in its specially mentioning matter, its text is short on mention the Earth? In other words, God created a lot of things that this account does not specify, so what parts of the account may we justifiably claim are EXCLUSIVELY mentioning mere matter? Worse, if we think that God is best served for this account's EXPLICIT level of meaning to spell out that 'God created matter', then where does such thinking stop? Only to begin with, matter is made of things more specific than 'matter', and God indeed did do more things with matter than simply to create it. So, to allow that this account specially mentions mere matter is to beg for what more ABOUT matter might this account specially, exclusively spell out. In other words, we might find that, in allowing that the account spells out about matter ONLY that 'God created matter', we are prematurely limiting the account to how much of it we could find seems exclusively to spell out about matter. The point here is, AT WHAT POINT IN THE TEXT DO WE STOP DEEMING THE TEXT TO EXCLUSIVELY EXPLICATE ABOUT MATTER? In other words, how many verses into the text are we justified in claiming explicitly and exclusively address matter? To put this the other way, how much of the text are we justified in DENYING ADDRESSES THE EARTH??? Do you begin to see the cost-benefit problem here? But I expect that you still will miss the deeper issue: God created a functionally life-centered cosmos, not a bag of mutually exclusive what-nots. Thus, when we talk of the Earth and of normal outer space, we inherently allow suggestions of such things as mere matter and volume. In short, Genesis 1 need not be deemed to more address either Earth or matter, but simply which of these two comprises the explicit level of the Account. We already know that the Account IMPLICITLY involves theological typologies. But we must realize that these typologies do not obtain by way of any kind of artificial linguistic contortions of the Account's Plain-Main-Literal information. So I hope you agree that Saving Faith can be only just that, with no backing in God's Primary Glory of His Life-centered cosmos. Therefore, to discount THAT glory is to be far more atheistic and pagan than Christian and godly. “No,” you may reply, “We do not deny THAT glory by saying that Genesis 1:1 is about volume and matter INSTEAD of about the actual Earth and such.” I say that such a reply is, at best, a presumption upon a nearly senseless ignorance of just what God's Cosmic Primary Glory (that functionally centered on FACT#1) is all about. Consider (a) and (b), following, which are a pair of facts that you NORMALLY WOULD NOT consider to be mutually isolated facts: (a) It is obviously TRUE that a specially made wedding dress is made of matter. (b) It is obviously TRUE that the Specially Elected Speaker at a wedding does NOT introduce that dress to the guests by not even mentioning the dress until AFTER he has stated that 'matter was created, blah blah blah.' I presume that you can see that (a) is NOT to be taken as some kind of First Principle of Account of the Dress. For, NOT EVEN God is made of The Trivial. This implies the life-critical fine-tuning of even the trivial matter and physics. (I return to this implication, and to the wedding analogy, partway through PART THREE, specifically with something that I think you will agree can well be called the Seven-fold Logic of the Cosmos.) So your physics-chauvinistic take on Genesis 1:1 is like saying, “Oh, it's not atheistic to think that Genesis 1 opens with simply specifying that God created volume and matter, since I am not an atheist, and I DO abide the Plain Six Day reading.” The problem here, as already mentioned, is that, if we maintain that Genesis 1 opens with simply specifying that 'In the beginning, God created volume and matter', then we must ALSO allow that the account NEXT SIMPLY DETAILS what God did with that matter, and so on, until we finally get to some part of the account that readily seems to PRECLUDE this physics-chauvinistic reading. In fact, such a reading is happily espoused and defended by some very respected YEC's, who claim such a reading for the entire first eight verses (I get deeply into that claim in PART THREE). This is not to say that a Universal Physics consideration of these verses is, in itself, informationally invalid to the account. On the contrary, as I pointed out: even talk of the actual Earth ONLY RIGHTLY SUGGESTS such things as mere matter. But, if we ALSO are right to bring up a wedding in regard to this account, then a wedding is fitting typology for what sorts of information that the account actually bears. We ALREADY admit that it bears MUCH 'Theological' information by way of typology, but we tend to restrict such bearing to that 'theological' typology. Therefore, there is another analogy fitting to the physics-chauvinistic reading: The ability to tie one's own shoelaces into FIRM knots DOES NOT somehow preclude mistakenly tying the laces of each shoe to those of the other. In fact, by simply focusing on tying the laces into firm knots, we can end up tying the shoes together with those SAME FIRM KNOTS. Worse, as long as we STILL are so focused on the fact that we have “tied each pair of the laces firmly”, we can take for granted that our difficulty walking is simply how walking is supposed to be! Your idea about Genesis 1:1 is that it is about is mere matter and such, INSTEAD of about the actual planet Earth. But, in terms of the Semantic Patterning of the text, there is simply no justification in presuming such a mutual exclusion. The physics-chauvinistic reading sees, and admits to the fact of, this Patterning, but then demands that that Patterning MUST 'really' be meant for that reading, INSTEAD of for an Earth-first reading. The arrogance of this reading should be obvious to anyone with more language sense than that of a simulated computing device. So, despite the FACT that God created mere matter first, not the Earth first”... ...that fact DOES NOT justify itself as being used as the premise to the conclusion that “The explicit level of the Prime Short-and-Sweet Account of Origins begins, and maybe even proceeds, on the basis of that fact.” So we must reconsider the thinking that says,“Well, this admittedly short account of origins MUST begin in OUTRIGHT saying that God created matter, as such, for God DID create matter.” This thinking essentially renders God as some kind of Carl Sagan wannabe, Who is so concerned to state the trivially obvious things FIRST that He states The Main Thing only AFTER having stating the absurdly obvious. And it is ABSURDLY obvious FOR THAT VERY REASON: for being thought to need to be stated OUTRIGHT as the Account's very first statement. I think you are thinking just like Sagan thought, even while you correctly practice rejecting that thinking. That is, even while we YEC's DO TYPICALLY practice a genuine, Godly denial of that atheistic way of thinking, we still are fallen. This means that it is all too possible to fail to practice that Godly denial JUST WHEN IT MATTERS MOST. You see, unlike atheistic notions of objectivity-in-origins, God has the option to begin His Account WITHOUT having to EXPLICITLY inform on ANY trivia, either upfront or in ANY part of the Account. Indeed, the central portion of the account, which is the only portion to mention the luminaries, mentions the luminaries STRICTLY in terms of their purpose for life and the Earth. Sagan believed that the cosmos is just a big bag of randomly associated what-nots that randomly eventuated in the Earth, life, and humans. So Sagan would HAVE to AT LEAST specify SOME trivia SOMEWHERE in his own atheistic account of origins. So the mere fact that you reject Sagan's belief does not mean that you are thereby precluded treating Genesis 1 as if you are afraid that Sagan might have been right. There is so justifying playing the game of “my dad is bigger than your dad” with the world's Sagan-disciples. It should be OBVIOUS that our playing that game with him is IN NO WAY truly reminding us that Sagan's 'dad' of origins is not even typologically a dad in the first place. Sagan's entire implicit effort to get us to play that game is one big flop NO PART of which should EVER be taken at face value. Yes, is a fact that: (a) A specially made wedding dress is made of matter. So, what? So, what is a physics-first version of the Special Speaker at the wedding even talking about??! “Mere matter, mere matter, mere matter.” What is all that even ABOUT?? Why does he not even mention the dress yet? Why???!!! Doesn't it even count that talk of the actual planet ONLY NATURALLY SUGGESTS mere matter ALREADY? Yes, that counts for everything. In short, who do you really render as the primary addressee of Genesis 1? You render it no so much yourself as a Believer, but Yourself-as-a-Believer under the gun of committed skeptics and atheists. You really are saying, “Oh, we YEC's must remind ourselves how much God hates atheistic notions of origins. Therefore, we must believe that that's really what Genesis 1 is about: reminding Believers that God hates atheist notions of origins.” What? Did God first hate such notions, and ONLY THEN determine either how to create or what the Ideal Short Basic Account of that creating says??? No!!! Of course not, right? How much mere, if scientifically advanced, trivia do you think would be BETTER for such Account than what ever it is that you think we have already in the actual Genesis 1? Wouldn't more of that trivial detail be better, and this as the first part of the account? Is it not obvious that NO amount of that trivia is enough, by that standard? In other words, how LONG is the physics-first version of the Wedding Speaker justified in going on and on about the trivia before he ever first even mentions that this bloviating ultimately is about the dress??? And, how is such a wondrously 'advanced', physics-chauvinistic opening of Genesis 1 to add one iota of PROPER glory to God? Sagan, or at least Dawkins, would just say that such an Account either is a fraud perpetrated by modern Christians, or that some advanced Extraterrestrial race, for some reason, put JUST THAT advanced information in there: “Wow,” Dawkins would say, “the physics of matter and such, all so spelled out as the first twenty thousand words of the Christian's Creation Week account. So, where is this race now, and why have they not come back to help us anymore? They must have been up to no good, because they let the Account say that the earth and cosmos came to be in a mere six days.” You see. No amount of advanced physics information EXPLICITLY dedicated by any of the text would add one iota of proper glory to God. And, much of that glory would thereby be removed from that which the Short-and-Sweet Account does have. All because the Account would then be so burdened with the INFERIOR things as not even to mention the actual Earth until twenty thousand words in!!! Pure obscenely stupid, no? When you talk about a bike to your young son, do you really have to FIRST tell him all about metallurgy??? WHY would you ever do so??? You wouldn't. There is NO good reason to. What is the bike even for? You never say. “Oh, no, not the bike; Don't mention that thing first. It's too mundane, since we [supposedly] all know of bikes already. Metallurgy is really where all good things are at. A bike is just some cheap scrap that we can ignore until later.” So, in reasoning that “mere matter is the first thing that this most glorious account SPELLS OUT is created”, you in effect are just playing the 'bigger-dad” game with any skeptics of the account. In fact, the Sagans of the world can just keep adding levels of the trivia, as more and more trivial-cum-powerful levels of trivia and discovered. It used to be mere atomic elements. But few even recall that level of discovery for this ugly game, as this game was not remotely popular among YEC's then. So, perhaps, it must be repeated-and-expounded to you even more at this point: When we talk of the actual Earth, we INHERENTLY suggest mere matter. It does not work so well the other way, you see? Genesis 1 has all possible information anyone ever needs. But this is NOT as if all of that information is spelled out. Nor is this as if the account is meant to stand in place of explicit instruction. We are not Idiot-Savants whose only capacity of action and focus is on this account. Genesis 1 is only the most condensed form of all that, NOT the ONLY instance of all that. As Proverbs 25:2 implies, “It is the glory of God to put great things in the obvious, and it is the glory of His creaturely images, humans, to seek to know of it.” It is a fact, but a trivial one, that God has power to have (1) created Adam and Eve, instead, inside a just-then-created Star Trek Enterprise type ship, complete with food synthesizer, artificial gravity generation, and air, and (2) left them in that ship wandering aimlessly and ignorant far out in some random locale of intergalactic space. But are we humans God's pets? No, we are His children. In fact, He created Adam and Eve on a properly prepared ideal home base in the cosmos, and this in the daytime when “space” was not even in view. That part of Earth then, if it had been seen plainly from space at a distance equal to the Moon's, was not darkened, but bright. That is, you could have seen it, in its glory, against the backdrop of the starry host, like a meek-but-adorned bride at her wedding. There were no overwhelming flashes of light, no violently-loud booming sounds. Just the Earth. Not even God's evidential presence on Mt. Sinai could compare. On Mt. Sinai, God was angry at a deficient People. But the completed Earth was very good, exactly as God made her*. *What you miss, and, in effect, utterly neglect, of Earth, by a physics-chauvinistic reading. To me, THAT glorious Earth, in its awaiting your acknowledgement, is expressed by this Middle Eastern Ethereal Chant audition, Youtube title “The Voice - Best Blind Auditions Worldwide (№5)” @ video time 29:36-41:44 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB_3rUCqmFA&feature=youtu.be&t=2365 Sagan simply rejected both the 'pet' and 'children' options in favor of something worse: A presumption of objectivity in the trivially universal things, such as mere matter. Therefore: “Humans ever really progress in science only by constantly reminding themselves that humans do not matter in the cosmos. The best we can do is observe this while studying the cosmos, and abide by it religiously.” Yet there is much more in the fact that even the Sun warms the Earth than that the Sun TRIVIALLY does so. Sagan, in all his presumed 'objectivity', confidently asserted that the Earth is an average planet orbiting an average star. But no professional astronomer today thinks Sagan was right on that count. Creaturely life is its own best, truest instrument for learning of anything else, including whether the Sun is made specially for life. Sagan would have said, “Well, no, because, from the ground, the Sun is simply the nearest star, by far.” But Sagan likewise rejected the idea that God had designed this supposedly merely “subjective” relative perception so as to CONFIRM humans' deduction of that specialness of the Sun. Yes, the relative perception of the Sun's size compared to the stars is purely relative. But what Sagan did not know is that the Sun is by no means an average star in the cosmos. In other words, life is not simply alive. It is designed specifically, exquisitely, as a mutual relation with ever bit of the cosmos, beginning with the Earth. Lots of pitfalls, of course, have been fallen into in our conceiving of ourselves on the Earth as our own best instruments for studying the cosmos or any bit of it. But that is beside the basic point. God is a LIVING Creator, after all, and God is His own best source of everything. So the Earth is first in the Prime Account. It even is why God created Adam and Eve on the Earth, instead of on, at, or in, any place else. When Adam first began, did he not immediately have awareness of God and the Earth at once? Did Adam have to look around a bit before realizing that either God or the Earth was there? Was he blind, deaf, and otherwise senseless? Adam also did NOT begin in a womb, but instead was made a fully-functional, prototypical human. In fact, as human history went, only Adam and Eve were ever prototypically human. The rest of us were conceived fallen, and grew up in a fallen world. You see, I am presuming that you would have thought that talk of Salvation issues is ENTIRELY DISTINCT from the debate on whether 'earth' in Genesis 1:1 is or is not mere matter. For, Genesis 1 MUST begin with HOW Genesis 1 and 2 address the rightful normal concerns of fallen single young persons, BOTH as to their broad normal human concerns and to their concerns specifically as young people who were BORN in a fallen world. Of course, if creaturely life is its own best instrument, then there can be nothing better for to addressing those latter concerns than the ideally short and sweet account of the beginning, unfallen, stage of the prototypical humans. In other words, God made everything 'very good', so humans messed up at some point (hence Genesis 3), and now we have to keep in mind the principle which, for us who live in post-Flood times, can be seen in Proverbs 25:2. But this Prime Pair of accounts (Genesis1-2) would ONLY BETTER serve those concerns if these accounts do, in fact, ALREADY CONSTITUTE human-crafted, condensed, REPORTAGE built around what God said to Adam and Eve about His Creation Week. In fact, Genesis 1 far more sensibly reads as such reportage than as some first-person, chronologically unbroken self-report on the part of God. If we mistake this dimension of the account, then we grossly mistake the Account as being addressed to humans, BY GOD, in a NON-CONVERSATIONALLY 'authoritative', Tell-Us-So manner. Joshua 24:2-13 seems to make this clear by way of the opposite kind of case. It obviously IS a report, but one that UNMISTAKABLY is presented as being purely the First-person statements of God. So, each of Genesis 1, 2, and 3 can readily be seen to involve far more than they respectively merely spell-out-as-to-Complete-Idiots. Why, for example, does Genesis 3 insert into its own narrative flow the particular material that we label v. 20 ('the man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living')? I address this question in PART THREE, mainly by critiquing the explanation of this insertion given by the popular Mr. Feldick* *Les Feldick: Through the Bible with Les Feldick, Book 2, LESSON ONE * PART I * BOOK 2, Adam and Eve’s Faith and Salvation, Genesis 3:14-24 https://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk2.html ~~~ ~~~ Other general stuff ~~~ ~~~ Now, later in your long reply, you at one point argue that there are only three Items that the Bible means by 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek): Item 1: 'the presence of God' Item 2: 'the absence of light,' Item 3: 'non-existence.' How you arrive at Item's 1 and 3 I shall discuss further in this reply. But I must say one thing right away about Items 3 and 1. I agree that, in the Bible, there are cases in which such terms as 'darkness' are used for some sense of non-existence. But your whole argument seems to me to deny that such terms as 'darkness' EVER derive any meaning from anything ecological that normally is known to cause darkness in daylight: dense cloud. In other words, you seem to me to be saying that 'choshek' MORE PROPERLY means 'non-existence' WITHOUT implying ANY natural ecological human experience of anything that normally is known to cause darkness. So your Item 1 seems to imply nothing so much as that which may be referred to as mysteriophany of darkness: having no sensible source in the natural world, because it simply is sourced directly from God's special active 'presence' IN that natural world. So your notion of how 'darkness' means 'non-existence' is aligned with the infant's observation that closing his eyes can seem to make the world 'disappear'. That is, for such an infant, darkness can seem to mean non-existence by the fact that when his sight-hungry brain is seeing-with-his-close-eyes, he temporarily gets the sense that he is absent to the world, since he was focused on seeing, so that when he stops 'seeing' at will, he feels as if there is no longer any correspondence between his more 'inner' sense of himself and the fact that the world around him IS the world around him. But his sense of this is based in his having first had experience in the womb, and that his womb-time began even before he was conscious of an external world. Thus, your Item 1 ('darkness' means something about God's presence in our world) seems to me to be entirely without due sense that God is the Creator of the very ecology within which God sometimes shows up, such as when He specially acts to save His people from the Egyptian army in Joshua 24:7. But in regard to that very verse in Joshua, it does not say that God 'put Himself alone between them and that army', but rather that God put 'darkness' between them and that army'. Of course, in that case, the practical purpose for that darkness was to keep that army entirely at bay: that, in some manner, that army cannot dare go through whatever it is that that darkness seems to that army to be or to communicate. So God is not 'choshek' there, and there is no way to say that chosek IS God. So there only naturally is assumed to be something that God is using to cause the darkness IN RELATION to the natural source of light. But here is where we go most wrong in thinking that darkness was just some darkness per se: The single most powerful and mysterious phenomenon known to ancient man was a densely dark storm cloud. It is at once dark, cool, wet, and silent, and yet somehow warm, loud, and full of hot bright violent ribbons of charring bright fire, or 'lightnings' (light+ings). The lightings were well known, even then, to burn to a crisp anything biological it touched, such as a horse or tree. It this these lightings were bound to do simply by touching such a thing, unlike a camp fire flame that took minutes to fully burn up a tree or an animal once the flame caught on. The Egyptians worshiped various deities of nature. So if that army was facing such a storm cloud, they would NOT have been turned away as by God Himself telling them so. Rather, they would simply have assumed that their storm deity had wanted them to wait to continue their charge against the Children of Israel. Yet there is too much of God's glory lost if we opt for saying that God caused that darkness in a purely arbitrary way so as not to so much block any natural source of light as to constitute a direct, and silent, odd darkness unto itself. For, then, we are allowing that God was opting out of the glory against the nature-worshiping Egyptians. Their various Nature gods were exactly what God had spent so much trouble upon His own people in order to demonstrate, time and again, just what sort of God is the God of Israel: the true God, Master and Creator of the entire natural world (Genesis 14:17-24). The Egyptian population saw all this, by reports (Exodus 14:4), and saw how in ended in the utter destruction of their army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:27). I presume you like to relegate Item 1 (God's 'presence') to just some naturally unaccountable mysteriophany. But the book of Exodus and the book of Joshua do not explain what the 'darkness' was that God had put between the Egyptian army and His people. This alone begs the suggestion that any ancient Hebrews who read these books would know what that 'darkness' meant IN TERMS OF HOW it keep that army away from God's people. And we are talking about the Creator here, Most High God, Possessor of all the cosmos. He is not the kind of 'transcendently Deistic' version of a creator-that-unprecedently-acts-within-Its-creation. He is the Creator Who Cares for, and therefore Acts in relation to, His creation. The Children of Israel saw this, as did the Egyptian army. There was no mysteriophany of 'darkness', and you already admit, at least practically, that the Bible is no computer program that ever means only what it expressly defines beforehand. On a related note, ancient Hebrew likely is the most life- and terra-centric language in existence. In fact, there is much to this effect in the fact that ancient Hebrew does not have 'proper' or personal names for any of the luminaries, but instead refers to them as...luminaries (of various orders and descriptions). And this effect is compounded by the fact that Adam and Eve were created in the daytime, when the starry night sky was not in view until after Adam and Eve had been brought together. ~ ~ ~ Now, on to the part of the your rebuttal of my thesis in terms of the exact phrase of Genesis 2:1. My assumption in all this is that natural language, (all natural languages, and thus English, ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic) is more foundationally about things referenced than exact ways of referencing them. This is the basis of language: things referenced. Even the fact that there are multiple languages shows the referential flexibility of human linguistic interest. Thus, if, even in English alone, we want to refer to, say, a car race, there are a variety of ways of doing so in English, and not just with one exact phrase 'car race'. Moreover, the brain thrives on a balanced and growing relationship with the external world, so that it requires of that world a dynamic variety of input, as opposed to an UNRESPONSIVE sameness of input. This is why a young language naturally quickly develops variety of expression for that informationally and contextually rich and dynamic world, and also why even a developed language tends to grow further. So there is no good reason to think that the Bible does not, in part, constitute a record of the development of Hebrew. And, since Hebrew is at least comparably life-centric as is any other language, it is only normal to assume that it would, plenty enough times, use 'darkness' EFFICIENTLY without having to spell out what any native terrestrial human should find obvious as to the source of that darkness: dense cloud in daytime. And the simple, NORMAL fact is that dense cloud cover during daytime is, for life, about the resulting darkness MORE than it is about the fact that there is dense cloud during daytime. This does in no way remove the concern for the cloud, it even EMPHASIZES the cloud, and, MORE SO, the Sunlight that is blocked. So it is much more efficient phraseology to say simply 'darkness' than to explicitly-itemize-every-factor-of-the-condition-and-then-specify-how,-according-to-that-condition,-those-factors-are-coordinated,-and-thus-only-finally-stating-the-resulting-Main-Point-of-the-total-condition: 'darkness upon'. So, in regard to your claim that this phraseology is not EVER about dense cloud during daytime, I should think that not only does that claim have the burden of proof, but that it is a rather heavier burden than you seem to me to make it out to be. ~ Now, in your long reply, you early write that 'the word “darkness” is indeed used' in all the several verses that I referenced. But then you say that you don’t think that the term “darkness” 'is used' in those verses 'in the fashion in which' my thesis claims. Then you go on to identify for me as why you don't think “darkness” is used in that way even in Genesis 2:1. But you early first say something very crucial to my current reply. You say: 'Yes, in Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:19 and Psalm 18:11 the word חֹשֶׁךְ (choshek) is used for darkness.' ...And, within that, you say of me that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my 'comment'. I am surprised that you believe so. Because, just to begin with, I did NOT make any mistake in putting the Job reference as 38:9. So, your belief in that regard is mistaken: I DID NOT mean verse 19. I meant verse 9 (NINE), just as I wrote. THEREFORE I HAVE TO ASK YOU: Did you even looked at verse 9 of Job 38? Job 38:9 (not 38:19) explicitly associates a 'garment' of cloud (over a water-covered Earth from the previous verse) with 'thick darkness' as a 'swaddling band for it'. (I am here using the Amplified Bible, 1987 by Zondervan, for which all of Job chapter 38 is on pages 602-603.) By any terrestrially natural reading, it says, “When I made the clouds the garment of it, and” therefore, “thick darkness a swaddling band for it.” So 38:9 practically defines 'thick darkness' as that involving clouds. ~ But in your long and careful reply you go on to say: 'in Joshua 24:7 it’s actually the word מַאֲפֵל (ma’aphel). And it comes from the root word אָפֵל (‘aphel) meaning something opaque. Indeed, it’s the only time this Hebrew word is used in Scripture and as such I will eliminate it from the conversation here since it is different than the other verses you referenced. And actually, if the verses you referenced had used this term, then the idea of “something opaque” causing a darkness on the other side, like cloudiness, might make more sense.' To that I must answer: (1) You should you see Job 38:9, as I just covered. (2) I find your logic here entirely beside the point of human normal flexibility in choice of exact terms. (3) In Joshua 24:7, the context itself would seem to say that the means by which God put 'darkness' between (not upon) His people and the Egyptian army (Joshua 24:6) was that of dense cloud, not a material unto itself that NEVERTHELESS SOMEHOW CANNOT SIGNIFICANTLY block the light of the Sun! But, you point out that (1) Joshua 24:7 'uses the word מַאֲפֵל (ma’aphel)' rather than 'choshek'; (2) 'it comes from the root word אָפֵל (‘aphel) meaning something opaque;' and (3) that 'it’s the only time this Hebrew word is used in Scripture.' It should be obvious, at least in the most general sense, as to why this verse uses ma’aphel instead of choshek (assuming that (3) is true). It is the key verse, in all of Scripture, to bring attention to God's doings in saving fledgling Israel from the Egyptians. More closely informative reasons for using ma’aphel instead of choshek also are easily deduced, but I cannot demonstrate to you what I think these are, and why, until I have answered you regarding the wider issue of choshek. And that wider issue is what this entire reply, from start to finish, is critically about. So I shall not bother to try to further demonstrate to you about this ma’aphel-instead-of-choshek matter in this verse, until after you have replied to this long reply concerning choshek. And, what, in your view, was this darkness in Joshua 24:7? And what was its material cause, if any? You seem to say that it has no material cause, but is simply caused by God's presence. Yet God, it seems, is entirely free to opt NOT to cause EVEN THIS PARTICULAR darkness. ~ ~ ~ So, now, answer me this: Would it not be patently absurd if an ancient Hebrew person tackled modern English texts on such rigid standards as you are applying here? Suppose one of those modern English texts had a lot to say about a wide variety of things, and suppose that one of those things was car racing. And suppose that, by NORMAL human linguistic reading of this text, the authors of this text were all plainly car racing enthusiasts. If your rigid standard here were applied to that text by that ancient Hebrew person, can you not imagine the unjustified interpretations that he would be perpetrating upon that modern English text??? Yet in your long reply you continue by claiming that... 'Psalm 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Exodus 14:20 all refer to God’s presence and not' to “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”.' Here I would say that you are simply repeating your linguistically abnormally narrow and rigid standard of interpretation (almost as if you think the Bible is a computer program that must spell out every last one of its meanings in order for it to mean whatever it means). Then you just overlook the fact that God's active presence, within the natural ecology, during His general acts in favor of a people, is only rightly accompanied by ecologically perceivable glories. What, instead of such ecological glories, would yet be perceived to be so much LIKE such glories and yet not, in fact, be those very glories? And, if an actual dense natural cloud is to us, perceptually so much the same as your presumed “darkophany”, then what does God gain for us in the way of teaching us things by making His own supposed non-ecologically realized glory look so much like the ecological real cloud, such that there is no firm-and-easy way to say that the Bible does not really mean the ecologically realized glory??! After all, as I pointed out twice above, God is the Creator, and so it would seem entirely fitting that He would show the FACT of such active presence, on His part, by way of such ecological phenomenon. Such phenomenon is what even Psalm 104 says that He NORMALLY does. I mean, imagine if all your own official speaking and writing were as abnormally interpreted by scholars as you seem to think ought to be the way to interpret the Bible in this matter. If you were then informed of these scholars' resulting gross misinterpretations of your words, you would Not. Be. Pleased., to say the least. The Pharisees in Jesus's day were just such scholars of the Torah, the Prophets, and etc., on account of which Jesus had to correct them by teaching the Scriptures are NOT like some computer program, but, rather, and record of an actual, dynamic reality that God created to reflect Him. So I do not maintain, without looking, that every one of my referenced verses is surely a case of my thesis (much less that all Bible verses that use 'darkness', 'dark', etc., are). This should be obvious, because my purpose in providing so many references for that thesis would only normally, that is heuristically, simply be in hope of providing a wide number of sure one's. If some of the verses I reference turn out not to be as I thought, I surely cannot care about that, as long as I make it clear to you that my thesis is correct: that the Bible does, in fact, plenty enough use 'darkness' to imply dense-cloud-during-daylight. ----------------------------- PART TWO ----------------------------- -----------------------Verses on 'darkness'----------------------- All that said, I can now better answer you specifically on the verses with which you the most directly challenge my thesis. You bring up Psalm 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 4:11, and Exodus 14:20. I shall reply, in broad principle, for these four verses by replying just to one of them, say, 2 Samuel 22:12. I shall do this in two stages: Stage Y (general facts, and with my own general assumptions) and Stage X (what 2 Samuel 22:12 itself says). (Stage Y) Question: Is not 2 Samuel 22 self-evidently David's obviously historo-figurational song or chant of praise to God for God's Providential (and directly miraculous?) salvation of him from the afflictions from Saul and from David's other deep adversaries? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if my memory serves, David did not actually have all this song's descriptions literally happen to himself during his time of affliction from Saul and from those other adversaries. So I assume that David's use of so many of these descriptions here is mainly, if not solely, his BORROWING from Israel's cultural-historical salvation from the enemy nations that pertained to the decades prior to Israel's initial establishment within the Promised Land. Why David would so borrow from those National salvific decades is not hard to fathom, at least for normal people. So I am not here going to review any of those reasons, as I presume that you are fairly normal in that and other regards. So now... (Stage X) Question: If such borrowing IS what David is doing here, then WHAT is it that he is borrowing in regard to verse 12? Indeed, what is even the 'thick darkness; under God's 'feet' in verse 10? On what Scriptural basis (rather than purely abstract theological basis) is this 'darkness' to be understood as some mysteriously non-meteorological, non-Providential glory? Might you not, then, also say that the darkness in Genesis 1:2 is that same supposed non-meteorological, non-Providential glory? Does even this chapter in 2 Samuel, according to you, give precedent to think that its 'darkness' in v. 10 and 12 must be some such mysteriophany? So it seems to me that you are claiming some kind of neat and hard distinction here where I do not see how you can claim that there is sufficient degree of semantic distinction, if any, between 'darkness' in Genesis 1:2 and the appropriate terms in these other verses. In short, it seems to me that you are doing nothing more than employing specious logic. Was God happy to have Job afflicted undeservedly? No, but the Devil had called God a fool, in the court of holy angels, for God's praising a mere, fallen human (that is, for praising Job). Did God then use special reasoning to avoid having to let the Devil afflict Job? No, and God never uses specious, much less post hoc specious, logic, such as, 'Well, I am God, so I do not have to dignify your challenge with even a reply that you made the challenge, never mind a reply that the court might think makes me look to be subject to you, oh Devil.' No, God created living creatures for to have a genuine relationship to them, even when some of them go bad. I mean, is God Himself ever weak? God died, as a human, willingly, and that should be the standard for answering questions as to what-God-would-do-in-response to-x-just-because-He's-God. God does need to be defended in order for God to remain logically sound. But He does want for us to defend Him to fools, in that the fools need correcting, and we need the insight of searching out as much of the Unsearchable as needed to correct the fool. Thus this defense that we make of God is not to be the kind of crudely insecure logic, on our parts, by which we would simply like to say that God can do anything without asking permission from anyone, so that we think (foolishly) that He MUST, at least occasionally, have done things that would be unrighteous or arbitrary if done by any creature, but that, since such things 'were in fact' done by God, we are justified to so construe God as having, in fact, occasionally done such things: “Well, oh Devil, I am God, so I do not, in my own transcendent being, need to even consider your challenge.” If God had thought that way, then it would mean that God ultimately 'does not care' about the holy angels' need of evidence for God's so much as praising a fallen human. The angels do not doubt God, but they also are not brains in jars in some Mad Scientists lab. Rather, they are acting in RELATIONSHIP with God, in that THEY are NOT God, but merely are creaturely reflections of Him. So the condition of Holy Heaven at any time is not that in which the only two beings there are God and the devil. Also, God is Creator, so He already knows not only every possible logical 'field of battle', but every possible logical attack in a given logical 'field'. And yet it is entirely in His Good character to praise His Saints to any who will listen to it and will, both immediately and upon evidential proof of its righteousness, respond and work favorably, which is mainly the holy angels. Fallen humans partake of this privilege only in so much as we reflect God rather than our insecurities. ~~~ Now, in your reply, you go on to claim that: 'Job 38:19, 22:11, and 17:12 refer to darkness itself (absence of light; not daytime) and not “a thick cover of cloud and, or smoke, that blocks the light of the Sun from reaching Earth's inhabitants”' Here again you treat the language of the Bible as somehow more rigid than, and thereby more authoritative than, natural normal language. So I shall explain the pair most of interest (Job 38:19 and 17:12), and shall leave 22:11 out of my reply for reasons that should be obvious at least by the time you've read by replies, below, concerning this pair. * * * * –------ON JOB 38:19-------- * * * * Despite the mere words, God's question to Job in 38:19 is NOT about the fact that Job lacks a particular advanced knowledge of the PHYSICS of light, and thus that of darkness. But IS about their physics. This verse, then, would have nothing to do with my thesis (which is why I did not include it in my verse references in regard to that thesis). Nevertheless, God, in this verse, is presupposing that Job understands that it is physics that God is asking about. Of course, then, God is asking Job, basically, as to what is the physical nature of light and dark, not about some literal abode, as if on some hill like a human, that these phenomenon could be imagined to have as their proper home. This physics interpretation of this verse is supported by the matter of the prior verse, which clearly is about the physical dimensions of the physical terrestrial world, planet Earth. The TRIVIAL fact is that Job, like all other persons until recently, did not know the exact circumference of the Earth on any humanly most practical measure, and knew they did not know it. But this trivial fact underlines the whole point of both these verses. The prior verse is about physical EXACTITUDES that ever are known only to the MASTER; And creatures, by definition, have no comprehensive master of ANYTHING, even when they DO gain some great practical mastery of physical things at some non-primitive level within the physics of that thing. So, in this prior verse (Job 38:18), God is NOT asking Job for some trivially exact details of the Earth's girth, but, rather, for Job to be able, EVEN AT THAT MOMENT, to know of its comprehensive girth ACCORDING TO ANY AND ALL MEASURES OR RELATIONS. It was not a question of Job's current primitive level of knowledge of this or that, but of Job's ADMITTED FINITE NATURE in face of ANY natural thing at all. So this, too, is what God was asking Job concerning light and darkness in the next verse (v. 19). And, in case you forgot, I expressly corrected you, earlier in this current long reply, that I DID NOT mistakenly say Job 38:9 when meaning Job 38:19. I did NOT mean verse 19. I meant verse 9. And it now should be clear to you why I did not mean verse 19, contrary to your seemingly confident statement that you 'believe' that I 'mistakenly wrote 38:9 in' my comment. I MEANT exactly that: 38:9, which says: “When I made the clouds the garment of it, and” therefore, “thick darkness a swaddling band for it.” -------ON JOB 17:12------- I shall presume that you have not missed what it is that Job 17:12 is about, and thus HOW this verse both is and is not about my thesis on the 'darkness' of Genesis 1:2. Job in 17:12 is expressing the fact that Job sees no hope for his affliction. In that sense, this verse does NOT have anything to do with my thesis. Nevertheless, let's look at what Job is saying here to that end. In the previous chapter, Job at one point says, 'O earth, do not cover my blood, as is the natural way of Nature, when I finally die of this affliction, so that my cry have no resting-place such that it ceases being heard' (Job 16:18). So in 16:18, Job essentially is begging that his cause, after his death from this affliction, not become dim in the minds of all who know of his affliction. This is confirmed in the very next verse (Job 16:19). But correct me if I'm wrong: I presume that you even bring up Job 17:12 by way of gleening any verses that use 'darkness' in any way at all, so that you may demonstrate to me that 'darkness' is not, in fact, EVER used in the Bible to imply dense-cloud-during-daylight. But Job 17:12 says the 'light is short because of darkness' which NORMALLY implies dense cloud as the means by which the duration of daylight is shortened. This is clearly Job's metaphor for his conviction that his affliction is going to cut his own life short! (Job 16:18) It is NOT some ODD insertion about some ODD fact about the physical nature of light and dark. So your entire argument seems to me to be aimed at showing that my thesis has no basis in the Bible, partly by so grossly over-simplifying that thesis (as that an absurd straw man that you think my thesis is) as to enable yourself no difficulty in showing it to be wrong. But you have utterly failed to know either my thesis or the particular Scriptures that you bring into the discussion. ~~~ But, in your reply, you continue with some points about Job 3:5. Specifically, you first quote Job 3:3-6... (3) May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ (4) That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. (5) May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. (6) That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months." ...and then you comment on v. 5: 'Darkness here is described as covering the day which he was born as “may a cloud settle over it.” However, in context of the rest of the passage, Job here also refers to the night of his conception and says that darkness should “seize it” (the night of his conception). And then further describes that night as being not “included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months”! He wishes for his conception to have never existed. So darkness in this context refers to a lack of ever existing. And of course if he so wishes for his conception to never have existed, then it makes sense that even the cloud covering the day of his birth would never have existed. Clearly, in this context, we’re talking some serious figurative language…like much of Job is written. So this is not a literal cloud of covering causing darkness in this case. We’re talking non-existence.' Non-existence of, say a horse, whether by a fictional horse or by the wished non-existence of a real horse, is still, in principle, a horse. Same for any cloud that is said to cause 'darkness upon the Day'. Its a cloud, and presumably the very thing that we normally see do just that. So, if the cloud is implied to cause the darkness, then it does not matter whether the cloud is fictional or real, it still is that very thing that naturally is known to 'cause darkness upon the day.' So here it seems to me that you are reaching far beyond all normal sense to demonstrate that the Bible does not have any normally cloud-based implication for 'darkness'. ~~~ But you continue, by first quoting me... “Many 'YEC''s insist that this verse, in combination with v. 3, does not even allow there to have been any light in the cosmos UNTIL v. 3.” ...and then by claiming three particular Items that 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek), used for darkness, can mean': Item 1: 'the presence of God' Item 2: 'the absence of light,' Item 3: 'non-existence.' Given all my current reply above, such as about Job 38:19, Job 17:12, and Job 3:5, I disagree with Items 1 and 3. Per Item 1, I disagree that 'choshek' can mean God's presence... ...if... ...by 'mean God's presence', we mean either (x) simply implying the SIMPLE presence of God (in the natural world!), or (y) otherwise simply constituting, by some mysteriophany, God's being and power (despite INVOLVING the natural world!). I also have argued, in the current reply, that darkness is simply the normal providentially phenomenal attendance of the direct special active presence of the God-the-Creator, and that even this darkness is NO MYSTERIOPHANY, but rather that which is caused by dense cloud cover in daytime. Thus, for the 'darkness' that God put between Israel and the Egyptian army, the only normal way to read that is that of very, very dense storm cloud that no sane person would walk into. In fact, in other various verses throughout the OT, such a storm cloud readily is seen to be implied, including by references to 'thunderings', 'lightnings', etc.. The fact that 'darkness' can well serve to imply such a complex storm cloud is the very kind of fact that, in its linguistic dynamic, is know in ALL languages. The basic dynamic is that semantic efficiency paired to that of a condensation of semantic power. But, of that PARTICULAR fact in such a case as the Egyptian/Israel chase, it also is of the sense of sheer CONDENSED POWER of such a storm cloud. In other words, the single word 'darkness', in Joshua 24:7 is not there as some kind of literary stunt to mystify the ignorant idiot, who ignorantly thinks, “Well, since the passage does not spell out for anyone as to what this 'darkness' was, it must have been a darkophany. Yes, that would make the best sense, since the passage does not explain what it was.” This presumes upon an ignorance of anything natural to which the ancient Hebrews could well have already been using 'darkness' to refer. --- --- --- Now, again, to Item 3: 'חֹשֶׁך (choshek), used for darkness, can mean' 'non-existence'. I have already answered this by saying that non-existence is not what Job is implying by 'darkness' in Job 3:5. He clearly is invoking cloud, and dark weather, as the cause of that 'darkness'. Otherwise, you are making an odd and specious case out of the first third of that verse. And, there is no OTHER reference there to its cause. So there is no basis within all of Job to say that Job there meant 'darkness' only as just another word for something's wished non-existence. Verse 6 simply amplifies the point that Job is making by way of EVEN MENTIONING cloud and other dark weather conditions. It was not, in Job's mind, to be a night for mere lack of the Sun in the sky. Rather, it was to be a night of “The Worst #@! Weather, in which no life can thrive!”. That was what Job was saying in vs. 4-6. This even is confirmed by what he says in v. 8! “Let those curse that night who see fit to curse the ordinary Day by being able and willing, for reckless sport, to rouse up Leviathan”. This was that huge creature that, as one of the 'dinosaurs', went extinct long before modern times. As I already pointed out in the current reply, I am not denying that Job may well have been using 'darkness', AT SOME POINT, for the idea of something's non-existence. But you seem to me to be claiming that he meant this WITHOUT reference to HOW darkness is caused ecologically (dense cloud blocking the Sunlight from reaching the earth). I find no Biblical precedent for such a claim, and I do not believe that you have given any reason to accept that the Bible ever uses 'darkness' in a terrestrial context WITHOUT implicit (that is, normal) reference to the only humanly experienced ecological cause of that darkness, namely dense cloud. But here is the thing: Your Item 3, 'non-existence is based on Job 3. How does Job have any sense to use 'darkness' to mean non-existence? Does he have that sense by how his own seeing that he seems here to mean 'non-existence' by 'darkness'. No, of course not. So the Bible is NOT a dictionary by which its own authors and speakers know what to mean by its various words and such. And if the Bible is NOT such a dictionary, then there MUST be something ELSE that we are wrongly presupposing by using it that way ourselves. The simple evidential fact is that natural language is a human providential practice, not some kind of Top-Down Arbitrary Dictionary of Usage that some Language Overlord has somehow imposed upon our minds. You may like to presume upon the fact of God's act regarding the rally around the tower of Babel, as if this is an EXAMPLE of God's NORMAL way in which to cause humans to have a language, as such, in the first place. But there is nothing in evidence to support that presumption, and EVERYTHING to DENY that presumption. If, after you have finished reading this long reply, you still do not see what any of that evidence is, then you can just as me, and I shall spell it out for you. But I want for you to have a fair chance to realize it on your own: without it being, instead, spelled out for you. ~ I shall now presume (and short of your telling me otherwise), that you yourself now admit that the Bible does, AT LEAST IN SOME FEW cases, use 'darkness' to imply dense cloud. Because, it is this terminology that underlies my argument, as found in Part Three below, regarding Genesis 1:2-18. ----------------------------- PART THREE --------------------------- ------------------------------Gen 1:2------------------------------- You finally directly address the 'darkness' in Genesis 1:2. Specifically, you make three points, against my thesis thereon, based on your three Items for the meaning of 'choshek': ...Point (A): 'Clearly God is present' in Genesis 1:2 ...Point (B): 'non-existence doesn’t make much sense, in Genesis 1:2, 'since God is present', and since God already had 'created volume and matter' in v. 1; ...Point (C) 'the absence of light makes sense as well' in v. 2, '…ESPECIALLY given' that 'verse 3' says that 'God then simply demanded for light to be there, and then there' it 'was'. And 'ESPECIALLY given that trees and animals and lands did not exist until God spoke them into existence. I'm sure you are aware that there is more than one way to explain vs. 1-3 even within a Plain Six Day reading of the account. There are two basic types of Plain Six Day (PSD) readings in regard to vs. 1-2, each with two basic subtypes. One PSD type is Earth-first (planet-first), which is most popular and obvious. The other PSD type is physics-first, such as mere volume and matter as you propose here, but can construe the explicit level of information of all first eight verses as exclusive to such mere physics. The basic sub-types of these two PSD types are action-first and non-action-first. This latter sub-type says that v. 1-2 are an introductory label or an introductory summary. But this sub-type has species types of its own: Strict Non-action (Grigg, 2001) and Non-action-Plus-Some-Action (Faulkner, 2016). Grigg, R. (2001). Morning has broken...but when? Creation 23(2):51–53, March 2001. https://creation.com/morning-has-broken-but-when. Faulkner, D. (2016). Thoughts on the rāqîa‘ and a Possible Explanation for the Cosmic Microwave Background, Answers Research Journal 9 (2016):57-65, https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/cosmology/thoughts-raqia-and-possible-explanation-cosmic-microwave-background/. But all these PSD types and sub-types are only the GENERAL categories of the PSD reading. They do not say what, at any given point in the Account, is to be interpreted as to any of its details not obviously pertaining strictly to a PSD reading. And not all PSD (Plain Six Day) readings arrive at that reading by exactly the same interpretation of the limited parts that DO obviously pertain expressly to such a reading. In fact, there is a profound difference between, on the one hand, how the Earth-first PSD type may interpret those parts and how, on the other hand, the fully-extended physics-first PSD type interprets those very same parts. I shall show some of those differences shortly, in a SPECIAL SECTION SO LABELED. But you, Mr. Pilliod do not consider the chapter according to such a rational due process. Instead you claim that when 'this first chapter of Genesis' is read 'sentence by sentence,' it cannot help but be found to say that which... ….'has been described by traditional YECs for quite some time.' You then say: 'Additionally, when one reads each sentence in the context of the chapter, this same' YEC 'narrative simply falls into place. And when one reads chapters 1 and 2 in the context of one another, clearly this' YEC narrative 'is what the Bible screams to us.' You thus conclude that 'There were no stars, there was no moon, and there was no sun until Day #4. Therefore, the light in verse 3 simply came from God Himself. He commanded it and it shone.' In this third and final part of my current reply, I shall demonstrate that some of your premises here are mistaken, and therefore that your conclusion, though validly build upon those premises, is mistaken. The first thing we MUST be clear on is that the Account is a NARRTIVE, NOT a jigsaw puzzle. Though that which we indeed have of the Account is in a static form (that is, in writing), it is NOT meant PRIMARILY as a semantic jigsaw puzzle. You even admit this truth by stating that, when 'this first chapter of Genesis' is read 'sentence by sentence,' it cannot help but be found to say that which...' Sentence by sentence. So, by ALL POSSIBLE means, PLEASE do keep this in mind at EVERY point that I make in this third and final part of my current reply. As you should recall that I said halfway through Part One, Hebrew is at least comparably life-centric as is any other language. The reason, of course, for why any human language would ever include a life-centric grammatical conceptual scheme is because humans are NOT GENERIC CREATURES. A Generic (living) creature is a hypothetical living CREATURE that, despite being a creature, has no need of any particular environmental supports. Real creatures come in at least four basic categories: plant, animal, mineral, and physical forces. Humans, as a case of the animal category, reflect God as a free agent in such terms as will, movement, awareness, mind, etc.. Nevertheless, the animal category of CREATURE IS NOT God. Instead, the animal category of creature is dependent on an ECOLOGY of created environment. So, even though the HUMAN instance of that creature category is paradigmatically FREE in terms of that environment, the human is STILL HELD TO that environment, and thus ESPECIALLY held to that part of that enviroemnt on which the human most directly, most locally, depends. For a baby in the womb, that locality IS the womb. But the womb is NOT the humans' prototypical locality. The Earth is. Did you get that? The Earth, NOT the mother's womb, is humans' NORMAL locality. So, despite how life in the womb may be akin to the weightless non-directionality of life in a space ship in outer space, the human linguistic sense is the MOST bound to living on Earth, not in some arbitrary abstract logical-linguistic space of 'Pure description'. In fact, this arbitrary linguistic space is the ONLY way to justify the false idea that the EXPLICIT level of the Account is exclusively about TRIVIALLY UNIVERSAL PHYSICS unto ALL first eight verses. This in no way means that humans are not semantically free. In fact, human space flight, and human efforts to engineer and track their spaceships from Earth, demands such semantic freedom. One might better call that level of freedom semantic 'mathematics'. It is what underlies computer programming, especially for that simulated computing device most descriptively is known as the Universally Programmable 'computer'. Yet, to paraphrase something Einstein said, 'pure mathematics cannot tell you anything about the world, but can only help you learn of that world in so far as that world, in any and all of its details, has a mathematical dimension.' For, that world is not arbitrary, but instead is about creaturely life, such that it is fine-tuned for such life even in terms of its trivially universal physics. Genesis 1 even is centered, textually, on that fine-tuning, in that the ONLY portion of the Account to mention the luminaries (vs. 14-18) is given strictly in terms of the Earth and its life. Sentence by sentence. In short, God is no Carl Sagan wannabe. Sagan had his original Cosmos TV show. God has Genesis 1. That TV show was all about how the trivially universal stuff was purely a coldly indifferent Cosmic Pure Democracy by the victimization from which life, the Earth, and humans, eventually came to be. But God did not create such a cosmos. His cosmos is entirely designed for life, and this centrally for terrestrial humans. Sagan's version is little more than a big bag of mutually unrelateable whatnots that just happened to coagulate, increasingly, into increasingly complex organizations, until some of those organizations attained mind, awareness, love, and, finally, human freedom. But humans are not God. And not even God 'plays God', as if He is still purely unto Himself despite having created animals and humans. God has power to have (1) created Adam and Eve, instead, inside a just-then-created Star Trek Enterprise type ship, complete with food synthesizer, artificial gravity generation, and air, and (2) left them in that ship wandering aimlessly and ignorant far out in some random locale of intergalactic space. God even could have left them there for any amount of time, only eventually returning to tell simply that there there is this thing called a planet, and that He has made one just for them, and left them without telling them where it is. They would be free to fly anywhere, just like Sagan did in his stupid fictional atheistic space ship in his Cosmos TV show. Sagan, the Objective, Mere Observer-Describer of Whatever Is. God did not create Adam and Eve this way, and so He did not intend for them to be like Sagan. They were not God's pets, but His children. Big difference. So, even though they had semantic freedom, this was not freedom Unhinged. Such freedom is no better than the brains-in-jars way in which the Pharisees interpreted Scripture. The Pharisees could SEE the words, and could claim that they knew what the words plainly meant. But they were fools that worshiped their insecurities instead of God. This is the problem with 'reading each verse at a time' by way of some kind of damn computer- program notion of What Each Verse Says'. So now let me challenge you. I ask that you image that you were the unfallen Adam the first time Adam was presented with this Prime General Account of Origins (Genesis 1:1-31). And, let's say that God presented it to Adam verbally, rather in writing. What would, you, Adam, think of just the first seven (Hebrew) words (we label it v. 1, but it had no such labeling, since it is just those seven words). Pretty plain unto itself, wouldn't you say? Would you, Adam, think it meant simply volume and matter? I do not mean for you to put yourself in Adam's place here. I mean for you to imagine what Adam must have perceived of his environment. But I do not believe that you presently can do so accurately. Here's why: you do not know of the most self-evident, over-arching logic about that environment. Do you know how I know that you do not know it? Because of your entire logic constitutes overlooking that other logic. Because here is that other logic: 1. The general, or overall, cosmos, and its special member, the Earth. 2. The overall Earth and its special member, the abiding maximal abundance of liquid water. 3. That overall abiding maximal abundance of liquid water and its special function, the water cycle. 4. The Earth's water cycle and its special constituent, life. 5. Life and its special category, animal life (plant/animal=animal). 6. Animal life and its special member, the human kind, or 'Man' (plant/animal/mineral=(Man=animal)). 7. Humankind, and its special constituent, Woman (Genesis 2:23). This Cosmic Seven-fold of nested pairings is so simple as to require of us an explanation of why anyone could ever miss it. It is like the best combination code to unlock the best treasure. So our failure to have already seen it implies everything for its existence. This gets to something Sarfati (1997, 2015) says as to what counts as justified demands for explanation of the cosmically improbable: “[A]lthough all combinations on a combination lock are equally improbable to obtain randomly, a bank manager does not think that anyone could open the [bank vault] lock by chance. [Similarly, [n]o-one would explain a Shakespearian sonnet [as that of] a chimp typing randomly, although any randomly typed letter sequence is equally improbable[. Thus,]‘I love you dearly’ surely requires more explanation than ‘asnhouyganpi;kvk klkjfl’[.]” What Sarfati says here is about the genuinely improbable of FREE coding. So it does NOT apply to what may be called NATURALLY GROUNDED coding. The Cosmic Seven-fold logic is OBVIOUSLY a case of naturally grounded coding. Only, it is not coding at all. It IS the cosmos. And Genesis 1 MUST teach it. Short and sweet, not a textbook. And its #1 pairing is that which Adam would have seen in v. 1, NOT some Carl Sagan wannabe trivia. If talk of that #1 paring already inherently suggests that trivia, then there is NO justification for the claim that v. 1 is EXPLICITLY and EXCLUSEIVELY about mere 'volume and matter.' For, the elected speaker for a wedding does not introduce the bride's specially made wedding dress to the guests by first pointing out that everything is made of the same trivial stuff as everything else. How are the guests to know, from such trivially obvious information, that the speaker even means to be telling of the dress? It is, therefore, inherently offensive to insist, with much backing from the YEC community, that Genesis 1:1-8 is NOT about Earth's water cycle, but INSTEAD about trivially universal physics. No Plain Six Day creationist living in the fallen world denies that the Account ultimately is about a wedding, both a literal one between Adam and Eve and a figurative one between Christ and His Church. So it would be odd to reject, out of hand, the idea that the very first statement in the Account sets a predictive theme that extends, by nested repetition, all the way to that literal wedding (Genesis 2:23). In fact, since Adam was made on the same day as Eve, and since the Divine Logos pre-existed the Earth, it only makes sense to say that the 'ha-shamayim' of v. 1 was created-and-completed on the same day, and just prior to, the Earth, not days after her. A terrestrial human, without having yet ever heard any bit of any controversy on origins, and without ever yet having known what any of the Account says, cannot help but take v. 1 as it NORMALLY means to terrestrial human sensibility. There is no m-billions of years here. There is no even any completion of a first day as one sees the Sun go further and further toward the horizon. And that Sun's apparent travel, relative to one's portion of sky, is not given to any arbitrary logic in ones mind, but simply to that of that direction of relative motion, and thus of promising to set below that horizon. When that happened first to Adam and Eve, as they watched it together, they were very aware of all phenomenon of light any sky that accompanied it. And they understood what they saw, by way of confirming what they already deduced prior that day: a mediative sheet of air that envelops the Earth, and that shines blue in the bright light of the Sun (Genesis 1:6-8). Later, the post-Flood Hebrews likened it to a tent, or to a window shade that is opened whenever the Sun's light is not directly into the opening. So why does Genesis 1 first call it a 'raqia'? Because it is all of (1) thin; (2) firmly held in place despite its most delicate and movable substance, and (3) it shines like pounded metal in the Sun's light; (4) it is shaped like a bowl of pounded metal; and, therefore, (5) such a bowl of metal is described by the sound of pounding it out: raqia, raqia, raqia. This suggests that the Account was edited to include this term, just as the self-evidence and simplicity of the Cosmic Seven suggests that the account is human-crafted reportage from the original conversation that Adam and Eve respectively had with God on that very Seven. Such human crafted reportage is in evidence in two main ways in the Account. One, the Account does NOT use the personal pronoun, I, in describing God's actions and utterances (unlike, say, what Joshua 24:3 shows). Two, the account reports exactly five names that God gave to a very particular five things, suggesting not only that these reports are parenthetical to the narrative, but that the five things are the five basic parts of the non-biological, or purely physical, 'half' of the water cycle. ~ ~ ~ Now, some today might, at first glance, consider the Cosmic Seven to be something that God placed arbitrarily upon what He had ALREADY created in Creation Week. But it is a presumption upon sheer ignorance to say that the reason why God created in six days instead of say, ten, is mainly or purely to give us humans a model to follow in our work. The most 'Scriptural' way to show that this is an ignorant presumption is by citing Leviticus 26:34-35. God was not being arbitrary in creating all things according to a number that He had already set for the entire cosmos at the FIRST moment of Creation Week. That bears repeating: God was not being arbitrary in creating all things according to a number that He had already set for the entire cosmos at the first moment of Creation Week. So it is a poor, if loyal, estimation of Scripture to think it is remotely sufficient to justify construing Exodus 20:11 as a direct answer to why God created in six units rather than in any other number of units. That verse talks of the epitome, not of the sole explanation. The epitome is likewise involved in the Creation Week, and thus of its Prime General (versus Prime Special) account, Genesis 1. This account does not imply nothing but what it spells out; Much less is it God's preemptive answer against atheistic notions of origins. Rather, the account implies the epitome within which we live every day: a functionally life-centric, and Divine-image affirming, cosmos. There is nothing in the pair of accounts (Genesis 1 and 2) that even suggests that humans' Divine image involves a passive, dull acceptance of 'what God says'. And there was nothing passively authoritative about God's telling Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain tree. It was not that 'God said so'. Rather, it was that God said as to what would most importantly adversely result for them if they did eat of it: they would enter a biologically fallen, and therefore overall biologically progressively degrading, condition, until they finally died ('you shall dying die', as the Hebrew is said to mean). And if God is about them, beforehand, of adverse results of partaking in something that's bad to His original perfect design of them, then how much more is He about His Creation Week making every providential sense to us whom He created in His practical image? The fact is that, despite God's forewarning, Adam and Eve, as humans designed to be able to live forever in perfect health, were not prepared for the adverse results of their partaking of the Bad Tree. In other words, they were not designed, biologically, to have expected the first existential biological results, which were simply that of suddenly becoming biologically fallen. So they were not prepared for how biologically horrible they felt in those first hours of falleneness, which was by comparison to their original, biologically unfallen condition. The sudden drop was more steep than that which any fallen person has ever experienced. So they then had worried that they were going to die that same day, despite having prior had naturally understood that God had meant only an ultimate biological death by way of entering a biologically compromised condition. This explains what otherwise would be an odd insertion of the material of Genesis 3:20. Feldick (1990) notes this, but Feldick seems to presume that God's forewarning had simply been the merest words as the English translations spell out: '“You shall die that same day” end of story.' In other words, Feldick seems to think that the only information, on the adverse results, that Adam and Eve had had from God were the mere words, themselves, as the English seems most simplistically to convey. But this thinking renders God as having been deliberately either (A) obscure in His warning them of what, exactly, would occur to them if they ate of that tree, or (B) misleading them so that He later could inform them that they were not, in fact, going to be dead that same day. Such thinking assumes that the fully-functional adults which were Adam and Eve in their UNFALLEN state were no more perceptive of biological reality than that of which the average young child readily can make out from a few mere words, to that end, on the part of the parent. In normal post-Flood human biology, the final full onset of puberty, involving the full sex drive, is no longer an occasional and minor concern. A similar, but far more urgent, principle was involved for Adam and Eve's initial hours of having become biologically fallen. And the point of Genesis 2:25 is to make abundantly clear that what they experienced in those initial fallen hours was at least as intense, and real, and dread, as is the average teenager's experience of a dread kind of shyness of the opposite sex. Part of the point, here, therefore, is that one rightly is far more aware of one's own biological flawed-hood than one is of that of some only ideally imagined love interest (unless, perhaps, one is 'stoned' on drugs). The biggest difference is that Adam and Eve each were facing the utterly Perfect Person of God. So their hiding from Him was not that from any mere Shame-from-having-disobeyed, as may a young child feel who has not yet developed a full Theory of Mind. It was a hiding driven by the most all-encompassing, biologically adverse reality, as no born-Fallen person has ever experienced. But we Fallen offspring of Adam and Eve are that to whom Genesis 1-2 is addressed, which is why Genesis 2 ends with that which comprises v. 25. In spite of the simple implicit reality of the Cosmic Seven, Genesis 1 commonly is seen not to tell of the establishment of the planet's water cycle itself, but merely, at best, of some of the parts of that cycle. It is this water cycle that best explains why, of all the six Days of the Creation Workweek, only of the second Day's work is there no report of the Divine esteem of 'good'. This also explains why only once in the account are the animals blessed (v. 22), even though an ignorant reading would see this as unfair to the land animals, which thereby seem not to be accorded any blessing. It even explains why 'bara', or create (v. 21a) is used seemingly only for the sea creatures (some deem this as polemic artifice per the 'sea monsters'), since to the land animals it says 'asah' or 'made. Some, such as DeRemer (2012), see 'bara' and asah' as critically different in usage. Grigg (1997), on the other hand, who, in an effort to defend the account from the Gap Theory, would reduce 'bara' and 'asah' to virtually a uselessly identical, or at least non-critically different, meaning in the account, therein overlooks the fact that v. 26 is clearly reporting on Divine deliberation of design, not either God's act of bringing them into being or the fact that He brought them into being. Such a report of Divine deliberation of design would be most fitting to a group of young children in a newly fallen world in which no humans had ever yet been known to be overall better, practically speaking, than so many of the animals. And, though God has no limits, it seems only right to us, in an everyday sense, that He actually would be more deliberative in designing humans than in designing either any of the animals or of the entire cosmos and Earth including Genesis 1:1-25. But in so far as the account is not self-evidently more than human reportage of interaction between God and an unfallen Adam-and-Eve, it is not God who is delivering an omnisciently 'level' account of all issues, but a unfallen man and woman, during their respective first conversation with God, who are recounting the humanly best parts of what he said. In any case, from a humanly universal reading of Genesis 1, the basic water cycle was not complete until the Earth's binary thermal surface (land and water) is formed (v. 9). The light energy of v. 3 would then be seen to have initialized that cycle. Many, including Grigg (2015), prefer to think of v. 3 in terms of the trivially universal instances of energy in some initial state of the cosmos. But if Adam had been made only shortly prior to when Eve was made, then it is fitting for the masculine, or general, cosmos to have been completed-unto-itself just shortly prior to when the actual planet Earth was established. Now I turn to show you some of the profound difference between, on the one hand, how the Earth-first PSD type may interpret parts of the Account and how, on the other hand, the fully-extended physics-first PSD type interprets those very same parts. –----- –----- –----- SPECIAL SECTION SO LABELED ------- ------- ------- DeRemer (2012) says that the belief that Genesis 1:1-26 'ultimately had to come from God' 'is likely unprovable' by direct evidence. It is good that DeRemer says 'likely' unprovable, because that shows that DeRemer is not willing to presume upon his own ignorance of this matter. But, DeRemer's model of the Account is thoroughly physics-first (DeRemer, 2005; DeRemer et. al., 2007). So the only solution DeRemer offers for his own admitted ignorance on evidential proof of God's ultimate authorship of the Account's information is a solution that seems essentially as Blank Slate as Morris's whole logic as to God's relation to the Unfallen Adam (my emphasis added): that the belief in God's ultimate authorship 'is not a naive view of inspiration', since: (i) God obviously was 'present during the task'; (ii) God 'had to communicate it to someone in words'; and (iii) 'It seems likely' 'that that someone would have been careful to record such important words.' In other words, DeRemer seems to focus on (ii) as the sole means of human knowledge of any critical dimension of the Account. This is Morris's own view. DeRemer (2012) implicitly allows the Account to have come by the God-given independent human craft of reportage. But he already reduced the Account (DeRemer, 2005; DeRemer et. al. 2007) to a purely chronologically word-for-word citation of God's own words: 'As we proceed through the text,' (2005) we should not miss the fact that God provides us with 'definitions' of His words (vv. 5, 8, 10). These reports of God's naming things can well be human-reportage insertions into the narrative from a conversation they had had with God, and a conversation in which the first human language was being developed by way of conversational scratch on the Cosmic Seven. This would certainly explain why, in the Account's own supposed unbroken chronology, God names only exactly five things, and that these things, within of a consistently Earth-first reading, would be the five basic parts of the non-biological, or General, 'half' of the Earth's water cycle. But DeRemer claims that that reading constitutes an error of 'presupposing' that very reading, so that we should rather simply 'allow' 'the text to define' as to what constitutes its opening objects---and by this he means we must approach the first verse as if we are strictly computers and it is a computer program. But this 'no-presuppositions' approach (DeRemer et. al. 2007) does not quite abide its own standard at the outset, since we still must presuppose a more general range of things about the nature and aim of the Account which the Account does not likewise 'define' or spell out. It does not define that which we translate as simply 'beginning' in v. 1. Rather, it relies on ancient Hebrew grammatical norms in order to make the case, and not as if “lest any doubt the God-given, human universally presupposed meaning” but simply to convey that meaning. The same applies, then, for the two objects of v. 1, which is confirmed, in order, in all following verses. This is not to say that a physics reading is informationally invalid. On the contrary, it simply is to put the God-given human terrestrial sense as the proper default sense (the proper priority sense) for the entire account, hence the Cosmic Seven. Even the account's central portion, (vs. 14-18), in being the only portion to specify luminaries, specifies them strictly in terms of the overall object of that Seven: Earth's life, and humans as Earth's ultimate children: born of God, for all life-favoring practical purposes unto all the cosmos. DeRemer et al. (2007) attempt to sufficiently explain why the Account does not report a Divine 'good' estimation for the Day Three work (low right of p. 69 in the issue of JoC). Their offering is that (emphases added), Begin Quote In modern scientific terminology, [we propose that the Day Two portion of the Account describes] God establishing the large-scale structure of the universe—not yet stars but their raw material, scattered as needed, from which to form galaxies.(...) [Thus, unlike the traditional status quo interpretation,] this (...) doesn’t have God calling into being a near finished universe, with Earth only needing its surface formed and creatures added, and stars needing to be created separately with Earth belatedly spun into orbit. Instead, it [has] God starting with [such things as atomically unstructured prematter] and making from [it] light and atoms, then distributing that throughout the cosmos for use in forming galaxies. Notice that God does not call this initial expanse ‘good’, which also seems to imply finished. It is not yet finished, as man will eventually perceive it, in that the stars are not yet formed and ignited. What God has done so far is to distribute matter to proper locations throughout the universe from which He is actively making heavenly bodies, including Planet Earth. End Quote In this offering, 'scientific' is exclusively that to the TRIVIALLY UNIVERSAL instances of physics, which is quite the physics-centric presumption upon this Biblical Prime Account of origins. The offering also, at the end, reduces planet Earth to just one of any number of bodies, so that there is left no room in the Account for any part of planet Earth's water cycle, and thus none for its atmosphere. The only thing left for her---the whole natural-physical terrestrial world, properly feminine to the Sun's masculine, per Psalm 19:5---is what can be made of her from vs. 9-10. In thereby having no proper terrestrial context from vs. 3-8, this final pair of verses can then do nothing so much as to render Earth akin to a woman-shaped plastic mannequin that a Mad Scientist version of God nevertheless intends somehow to 'impregnate' with a bio-ecological, or completely self-sustaining, water cycle. If Day Two is about the atmospheric sky (as would normally be seen by anyone born on Earth), then it is more so about the water cycle. The non-biological 'half' of this cycle is then completed with the thermally binary surface of water-and-land established first thing on Day Three (corresponding to #3 of the Cosmic Seven). The physics-centric model offered by DeRemer and his two colleagues (Dobberpuhl and Amunrud) does not find any fulfillment of the absent Divine esteem until Day Four. A consistently life-centric, and terrestrial-human-affirming, model readily allows all of the cosmological physics information that a physics-first reading finds. This is because God, the Creator, would never introduce a special wedding dress by not even mentioning the dress until after He had regaled us with how He had created and formed the trivially universal 'stuff' out of which everything is made. Instead, He would have so designed everything that even talk of the terrestrial world rightly would bring to mind such things as trivially universal matter. So, if, according to the model of the Account offered by DeRemer et. el., v. 9 is the only portion of the Account by which God means to tell us of His actions for the proper physical Earth', then there is no actual planet in the whole account despite supposedly being a lot of advanced cosmological physics in the account's explicit level of information. In fact, DeRemer et. al. (2007) argue exactly that for the planet: that the planet itself need not even be mentioned in the Account. They even bring in the fact that, when the Account was first translated into English, English had not yet acquired planetary usage of the word 'earth'. The fact that all this exclusivistic focus on 'physics' effects to preclude to the Account proper basic information even on the water cycle shows just how true it would be to describe this particular physics-first model as physics-chauvinistic. Other physics-first models, such as those of Faulkner (2016) and Humphreys (1994), despite likewise claiming all first eight verses exclusively for 'physics', do not seek to construe the Account itself as dissuading an Earth-first reading. For, DeRemer et. al. (2007) and Amunrud (2016b) so construe the later three of the Account's total five reports of God's supposed 'definitions' of His terms (vv. 8, 10). Why, they ask, would God spell out that He gave the particular names for things those names for which the Hebrew readers already knew? But this question presupposes that the Account is essentially Divine dictation, and this of each and every Divine utterance as these come during Creation Week. But there is nothing particularly reasonable in rejecting the idea that the Account was crafted by Adam as reportage that includes usefully inserted key bits of God's contribution to an initial conversation-cum-language-development, especially not that involving discussion on the Cosmic Seven. But the particular physics-first model of DeRemer, Dobberpuhl, and Amunrud allows the latter three names reported in the Account (vv. 8, 10) to instead be Divine hints, cleverly provided by God, to tell the dullard that God did not mean 'heaven' and 'earth' of v. 1 as that which our God-given universal terrestrial default finds them to be. This anti-terrestrial explanation for these latter three namings is reasoned despite the implicit admission that not only do the first two names (v. 5) readily confirm an Earth-first reading, but that everything from v. 1 onwards readily confirms an Earth-first reading. These authors' only answer to such confirmation is that, in order to get the 'real' meaning of the first eight verses, we must take extra effort to eliminate all 'preconceptions' of the text before attempting to 'devise scientific models of what might have occurred during God’s creative workweek'. But, given the fact and too-obviousness of the Cosmic Seven, there is a genuine problem if the Account is so obtuse or equivocal as to require such 'models' in order to be basically understood in the first place beyond its Plain Six Day measure and its most crudely obvious facts. The problem would be that it is a wonder that the Account has yet provided really anything useful beyond that measure and those obvious facts. But, given their implicit admission of the Account's ready confirmation of those terrestrial 'preconceptions', the ultimate complaint on the part of DeRemer et. al. is that the traditional status quo version of the Earth-first reading fails to find a properly physical explanation for the light of v. 3. Yet even that status quo version readily allows that that light serves to initialize the water cycle, something that a physics-centric reading from v. 1 onwards precludes. If cosmological physics is to be worthy of such a terrestrially affirming account, then in our focus on physics, we must allow to the Account the terrestrial default, else the Account is rendered absurdly lacking, given that the Bible more widely shows that the average ancient Hebrew reader had a basic awareness of that cycle, at least in terms of water (ex: Job 36:27). As Neller (2014) states, 'Perhaps the most common reference in the Bible to' any particular part of 'nature is' that to 'the hydrologic cycle'. So the Account's obviously very strong confirmation of the God-given universal terrestrial default of terrestrial humans begs for an explanation that does not reduce this confirmation to either Divine absence-of-mind or Divine mischieveousness. Therefore, imagine knowing nothing about anything except what, providentially, you know of the things involved in the Cosmic Seven. Accordingly, you then do not know (1) any account of origins, whether atheistic or otherwise, and (2) any controversy over origins. Thus, (X) upon your initial encounter ONLY with the statement we all 'Genesis 1:1', what shall you normally think of that statement v. 1, and, (Y) on the basis of what you shall think of that statement, what shall you think of that of v. 2? It does NO good to think to be approaching each verse genuinely in turn if we do so by allowing to that attempt ANY of our knowledge of the controversy about origins. Because if we allow ANY of that, then we are NOT, in fact, purely letting the account speak for itself. ---------------------------------------------------- ---------------REFERENCES----------------- Amunrud, M. (2016). Bible/Science Tensions Part 1 w/ Mark Amunrud. Youtube, CBMatrixChannel, @ video time 17:43-20:00+ https://youtu.be/igxmNvgPHFo?t=1091 DeRemer, F., with Amunrud, M., and Dobberpuhl, D. (2007). Days 1-4. JOURNAL OF CREATION 21(3) 2007. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j21_3/j21_3_69-76.pdf DeRemer, F. (2012). Viewpoint: Create and Make. JOURNAL OF CREATION. http://www.genesishistory.org/content/createandmake.pdf Quote: Some strict six-day creationists may have overreacted. Old-Earth creationists (OECs) try to leverage the distinction between “create” and “make” into an argument for an old planet. The real error of such OECs is not their exegesis but their insistence that “making” requires a long time, involving natural processes as we know them today. But God’s entire workweek of Genesis 1 was miraculous. It no doubt involved both instantaneous creations and supernaturally fast makings, all within six ordinary days. In my opinion, the text teaches ordinary days and the distinction between “make” and “create”. (…) Some strict six-day creationists claim that “create” and “make” are interchangeable in some key verses where I believe they are not. This seems to me to be an overreaction to OECs: “They [OECs] sometimes try to defend the acceptance of millions of years by saying that bara refers to [instant] supernatural creation ex nihilo (Latin for “out of nothing”) but that asah means to make [over ages] out of pre-existing material.” Just because OECs reach wrong conclusions does not mean that each of their exegetical steps is wrong. If we overreact by claiming that one of their correct steps is wrong, then we are the ones in the wrong on that particular issue. Being wrong on even one point damages our cause. It gives them an unnecessary, easy target, to say: “Here’s an example of where strict creationists err exegetically. Hence, their six-day conclusion is wrong.” Faulkner, D. (2015). Latest Discoveries in Cosmology'. Youtube, Creation Training Intitiative – CTI, @20:27-22:37 'process creation' ( https://youtu.be/jACHcax_ZoA?t=1230 ). Faulkner, D. (2016): 'Thoughts on the rāqîa‘ and a Possible Explanation for the Cosmic Microwave Background'. Answers Research Journal 9 (2016):57-65 www.answersingenesis.org/arj/v9/raqia-cosmic-microwave-background.pdf Feldick, L. (1990). LESSON ONE * PART IV * BOOK 2. Adam & Eve’s Faith and Salvation, Genesis 3:14-24 . https://www.lesfeldick.org/lesbk2.html. Quote: Genesis 3:20 "And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Now all Adam has been told from the Scriptural account is, "in the day he would eat of that tree, he would surely die." But now Adam comes back and names his wife, Eve, which meant the mother of all living. Now what does Adam understand? That even though he has sinned, and lost fellowship with God, God must have told him something that he believed, and what was it? That he’s going to live, and have children, and the whole human race is going to come from him and his wife Eve. Now you have to study that and really think about it to get the whole picture. What’s really involved here is, God told Adam that this is the way it would be, and what did Adam do? He believed it. So here in verse 20 is the first instance of FAITH, which is taking God at his Word. By faith Adam believed what God said concerning him and the woman, so he named her "the mother of all living." Now then Adam’s faith promoted God to do something. Just like we saw with our "circles" the last few lessons, that when the Spirit of God prompted us to believe, then God moved in on our behalf and does everything that needs to be done for us to have eternal life. And God does the same thing back here with Adam! Adam shows that particle of faith that he believed what God said, and God moves in and does what needs to be done in verse 21. Keep in mind also that Hebrews chapter 9 says: Hebrews 9:22 "…and without shedding of blood is no remission." So there had to be a sacrifice for Adam and Eve’s sin. In the Old Testament animal sacrifices are merely a foretelling, a picture of that supreme sacrifice that was to come in Christ Himself. So right here with Adam and Eve God institutes animal sacrifice in verse 21. And the animal sacrifices would continue until the perfect sacrifices gave His life one the cross. Genesis 3:21 "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make (Adam and Eve didn’t do this, but rather the LORD God make) coats of skins, and clothed them." Grigg, R. (1997). From the beginning of the creation. Creation magazine 19(2):35–38, March 1997. https://creation.com/from-the-beginning-of-the-creation. Quote: Genesis 1:26 quotes God as saying, ‘Let us make (asah) man in our image’, whereas the very next verse says, ‘So God created [bara] man in His own image.’ The same event is here described by both bara and asah, so the verbs are obviously used interchangeably—the passage is Hebrew parallelism. Furthermore Genesis 2:4 says, ‘These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created (bara), in the day that the Lord God made (asah) the earth and the heavens’. Here bara and asah are again used together in synonymous parallelism, again showing that they are used interchangeably by Moses. Grigg, R. (2001). Morning has broken...but when? Creation 23(2):51–53, March 2001. https://creation.com/morning-has-broken-but-when. Quote: The phrase ‘heaven(s) and earth’ in Genesis 1:1 is an example of a Hebrew figure of speech called a merism, in which two opposites are combined into an all-encompassing single concept.6 Throughout the Bible (e.g. Genesis 14:19, 22; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 121:2) this means the totality of creation, not just the Earth and its atmosphere, or our solar system alone. It is used because Hebrew has no word for ‘the universe’ and can at best say ‘the all’. One of the words in this Hebrew figure of speech is the plural noun shamayim, which signifies the ‘upper regions’ and may be rendered ‘heaven’ or ‘heavens’, depending on the context.8 The essential meaning is everything in creation apart from the Earth. The word translated ‘the earth’ is erets, and here refers to the planet on which we now live. The opening sentence of the Bible (‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’) is thus a summary statement (the details follow) that God made everything in the universe. The rest of Genesis 1 gives the details of how this happened over a period of six days. Grigg, R. (2005). When God made something out of nothing—Day 1. Creation 27(4):24–27, 2005. https://creation.com/when-god-made-something-out-of-nothing-day-1. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/CFK/cfk27_4.pdf. Humphreys, D. R. (1994): Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Startlight in a Young Universe; Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 137 pages; pg. 55-63. Jordan, J. B. 1998. Dr. Waltke on Genesis One, Concluded. Biblical Chronology Vol. 10, No. 2, February 1998. Quote: if we read it sentence by sentence, absorbing each statement as it comes, this is the plain and obvious meaning of Genesis 1. The sun replaced the glory-light on the fourth day. The cycle of night and day was in place before the sun was made. Morris, H. M. (2000). Biblical Creationism: What Each Book of the Bible Teaches about Creation and the Flood. Quote p. 15: (...)“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This simple declarative statement can only have come by divine revelation. Its scope is comprehensively universal, embracing all space (heaven), all time (beginning), and all matter (earth) in our space/time/matter cosmos. It is the first and only statement of real creation in all the cosmogonies of all the nations of past or present. All other creation myths begin with the universe already in existence, in watery chaos, or in some other primordial form. Evidently man, [what about unfallen man?] with unaided reason, cannot conceive of true creation; he must begin with something. But Genesis 1:1 speaks of creation ex nihilo; only God could originate such a concept, and only an infinite, omnipotent God could create the universe. This revelation was given initially by God Himself to the very first man and woman and has been transmitted down through the ages to all their children. God either wrote it down with His own finger on a table of stone, as He later did the tablets of the law (Exod. 31:18), or else He revealed it verbally to Adam, who recorded it.