Creation By Intelligent Design

by Delmar Dobberpuhl


This article is an attempt to explain the first four days of creation that are described in the Bible (Gen. 1:1-19) [1] in physical concepts familiar to a person educated in modern science. It follows the example set by Henry Morris in his The Defenders Study Bible [2] by adding annotation to the verses in Genesis. The words God gave us to describe his acts of creation are the whole truth. But the interpretation of the words can change for better or worse by how men understand the world around themselves.

The annotations below attempt to provide insight into the words by relating them to terms and concepts scientists use today to describe the universe they have found with all their observations and analyses. The material in the annotations of reference 2 is used in part but more physical concepts are added, modifications are made, and there are also deletions. The annotation process cannot be complete because scientists are all human and their knowledge and understanding will always be deficient. No one but God knows all the intelligent design that is found in both the almost boundless expanse external to earth and the extensive complexity internal to the world in which humans live.

The main premise of this article is that everything humans have learned about this world was designed and integrated into it during creation week by an intelligent designer as reported in Genesis chapter 1 "from nothing that now exists" (Heb. 11:3). This is directly opposed to evolutionary theories (i.e. Big Bang, Steady State, Hyper-dimensional, etc.) which all include in their initial conditions something (in place of God) from which the universe as now known was formed by natural processes over long time periods. Evolutionary theories all miss the point that without God's action in creating the natural processes that any human can observe, these processes would never have existed. A physical process can neither think for itself nor can it naturally select its own characteristics but must blindly follow a law set down by the ultimate law giver and designer-the Creator God.

For each day of creation God reports the key actions he takes. Some of the stages of creation presented here will be speculative in that they are physical concepts added to God's words not commonly found in the theological literature. But the speculation is directed at what God does not specifically report and is intended to be consistent with what is in the Bible, both in Genesis and in other references to creation week.

What Is A Miracle?

Since creation week includes a series of miracles performed by the Intelligent Designer and Creator God, a physical definition of a miracle would be helpful. In the Bible many examples of miracles are reported. A look at a large sample of these reveals the fact that most of the miracles happen and are recognized as an instantaneous change in the physical world. In other words, no physical evidence on how the miracle was performed remains and there is no time progression reported leading to the result. A list of such miracles includes both Old and New Testament references (e.g. Ex. 7:1-9:35; Ex. 14:21; Ex. 15:25; 1 Kings 17:22; 1 Kings 18:38; Matt. 8:3,13,15; Mark 7:34-35; Luke 8:55; John 2:7-8; John 6:21, etc.).

In modern physical terms these miracles can be described as a discontinuity in the space-time continuum. They represent a step function in time but starting and ending in the physical world. It follows that the miracles during creation week may exhibit this almost universal characteristic.

The misunderstanding of, or failure to comprehend, this concept can lead physical scientists to postulate the almost infinite time line as apparent in most evolutionary cosmologies. It is a difficult task for humans to separate a miracle from the natural-process time line, especially when it happened during creation week. But the rule seems to be that when God gives a command himself or works his will through his prophets, a miracle happens (e.g. Mk. 7:34 and Ex. 4:3).

The important time line to follow is the one provided in Genesis by the Intelligent Designer. This implies that all physical concepts during creation week have to be explained within that time line. The point to remember is that God could have created the universe ready for human occupancy instantaneously. So if a physical process as is known to occur today does not fit his time line, he either used a miracle or an accelerated physical process. In the following annotations, both miracles and accelerated processes are used to fit modern physical concepts into God's time line.

Gen. 1:1 In The Beginning...

The words say.

The phrase in the beginning means time zero to a scientist. In other words, the time an experiment begins with all the initial conditions set to the baseline values of the start point. In this context the words of Gen.1:1 describe an Intelligent Designer starting the world time line when he created the heavens and the earth out of nothing that existed.

The initial condition is that only God existed before this time zero and he alone spoke or willed the basis for the design of the universe that now exists. The use of the Hebrew word "bara" (create) in this verse means he created something that didn't exist before in any detectable form. He uses "bara" only twice more during creation week on days five and six. This implies that he did not create anything else from nothing until after day four. In other words, the whole physical universe God made in the first four days of creation he transformed from the raw material included in his initial words heavens and earth. Such a Hebrew phrase is called a "merism" signifying in the case of Genesis 1:1 everything included in the two words and everything between them. The all-inclusive nature of this merism is confirmed by Col.1:16.

The word heavens as used here is an all-inclusive word until God narrows its meaning by calling the expanse above the earth "sky" (heavens) in verse 8. Here the word means the physical heavens including a finite three-dimensional space (Gen.1:2) and every other created heaven such as a spiritual heaven for angels (Neh.9:6). The word earth similarly is all-inclusive until God calls dry land "earth" in verse 10. Here the word means all the physical matter and energy in his creation.

Reasonable speculation says.

After this time-zero event there are three items or raw materials that exist and can be physically measured: time, three-dimensional finite space (heavens), and primordial matter-energy (earth). What didn't exist, because God had not made them yet, are the physical laws and finished substances that will be established in the next four days and are still observed in nature today.

A list of some of these items can be made by looking at the transformations that God used to change the initial creation into the known universe. This list includes at least, (1) separate matter (baryons) and energy (electromagnetic radiation or light), as opposed to the created primordial matter-energy (earth), (2) separate positive and negative charged particles (e.g. protons and electrons), (3) the four forces (electromagnetic, gravity, strong and weak nuclear), (4) matter induced into motion (relativity, inertia, linear and angular momentum), and (5) living matter (plants). None of these exist in their present form until God transforms the primordial earth with his miracles in the verses following Gen.1:2.

The annotations following the appropriate verses of Genesis chapter 1 attempt to explain when these physical laws and finished substances appear. They draw on the physical concepts described in the creation-account text and added material from scientific observations made on the final product - our universe.

Gen. 1:2 Now The Earth...

The words say.

This verse refers to what exists at the beginning of the created-world time line immediately after creation. The word "now" introduces the physical concept of a scene that a hypothetical observer could observe after the miracle of creation (if he could 'observe' without light). What it would look like is a formless (no structure or shape - blob, as yet unformed) and empty (not ready to support life - inert) body of primordial matter-energy (earth). The great blob of matter-energy is finite and three-dimensional because it has a surface and is deep. It is in the form of waters (liquid or fluid) residing in otherwise dark three-dimensional space.

The word waters as used here is all-inclusive and is used to describe the unknown or mysterious liquid or fluid that is transformed by God into all the matter and energy in the universe. The use of the word "waters" was never restricted by God since he called the gathered waters on Earth "seas" in verse 10. The content of the verses in which the word "waters" occurs will have to provide its meaning.

The word darkness is also all-inclusive and most likely is used here to describe the physical concept of a total absence of light or electromagnetic radiation since that has not been made yet. The use of the word "darkness" was not restricted by God since he calls the darkness "night" in verse 5. Its meaning will also have to be provided by verse content.

With the phrase the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters, God reports his presence within the physical creation at this time before he begins the transformations.

Reasonable speculation says.

The hovering over the waters may allude to the fact that at this stage of creation the surface could not maintain itself and required the presence of God. An additional concept could include God preparing the blob for the first step in his transformation process. The assumption can reasonably be made that natural forces do not exist inside or outside the blob to control the surface and keep it in one place.

Darkness exists over the waters, and therefore the surface is not emitting, transmitting, or reflecting light. The physical concept described could be the absence of all electromagnetic radiation. As we find out in verse 5 this makes up the darkness (night) half of the first day.

The absence of electromagnetic radiation could also imply that atomic (i.e. electromagnetic or nuclear) and chemical reactions did not yet exist in their present form within the fluid. Without electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic forces holding electrons to a nucleus in atoms could not exist. All this further implies that even the basic particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) did not exist in their present subatomic form at this time. However, the fluid contained the needed ingredients and God would transform the fluid in the next four days into his intelligently designed universe.

Gen. 1:3 And God Said, "Let There Be Light...

The words say.

Here is God's first command to the universe to bring forth something different from the basic three items he created. The phrase let there be light is a command for the primordial matter-energy fluid to produce at least electromagnetic radiation instantaneously (a miracle).

Reasonable speculation says.

The physical concept described is the release of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation throughout the entire blob of primordial earth. Ever since that first day, light has been associated with matter, being both produced and absorbed by it.

In addition to light appearing, this command could refer to the fact that the basic particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) and their anti-matter particles are formed. These basic particles called baryons today also have to be in motion to produce light. This implies electromagnetic forces, strong and weak nuclear forces, and possibly even gravity came into being at this time. With subatomic particles in motion, both linear and angular momentums most likely exist.

The Big Bang theory suggests all this took place naturally and would have taken about 17 minutes [3]. But at closer look this could only take place if everything followed a designer's direction. The universe was getting more complex from its initial state and complexity does not arise on its own. Inanimate matter doesn't create itself or put itself into motion. This of course is reflected in the two basic physical laws of thermodynamics.

Gen. 1:4 God Saw That The Light...

The words say.

God's first evaluation of what he has transformed from the primordial fluid is that the light was good. The word "good" as used in the creation account several times refers to the result of the transformations completed up to that point in time. Here it means that the light formed was complete and perfect and he did not need to modify it later. Man to this day has not found any way to improve on this part of creation nor does he fully understand it. Light as a form of energy has characteristics that are unique. It is the fastest moving quantity known in the universe. It exhibits both wave and particle characteristics. A lower or upper bound to its spectrum has not been reached.
Reasonable speculation says.

The presence of light here represents the separation of primordial matter-energy into the energy flow and atomic matter of the newly transformed creation. This would imply that everything he has transformed, both substances and forces are also "good". But they are not yet complete and therefore not mentioned here. But man has not modified or improved on any of this basic structure of energy and matter in the universe. Man has found the constants of nature still upholding the universe as it was created and transformed that first week.

The words say

Included in the first miracle most likely as a simultaneous action, he separated light from darkness. The physical concept of separation of two quantities (in this case light and the absence of light) is to divide one object into at least two parts and move each to a separate location in space.
Reasonable speculation says.

The division of light and darkness occurs in the universe today at what modern astronomers call the horizon of a black hole. In fact, astronomers have deduced there is a super-massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy [4]. A black hole is formed when gravity within it is strong enough to prevent light from escaping its volume. Some astronomers believe black holes are in the center of most galaxies.

This could enhance our interpretation of Job 38:19 and Isaiah 45:7 in that darkness is a created physical entity (black hole) and resides at some locations in our universe. If this scientific speculation on black holes is correct God has already begun the formation of galaxies like the Milky Way, which he completes on day four.

Gen. 1:5 God Called The Light "Day"...

The words say.

Following the separation of light from darkness in the transformation process God calls the presence of visible light day (i.e. daylight) and the darkness night. The words used here for day and night are all inclusive terms because he has not related them to our planet Earth at this time. He uses them here to define his universal time interval standard with the statement: "And there was evening and there was morning - the first day". "Evening and morning" is another merism and signifies an entire day. The NIV translation includes an implied number of the day (first) but the Hebrew just calls it "a day".

Reasonable speculation says.

The physical concept described here is nominally 12 hours of night (hereafter including invisible electromagnetic radiation) followed by nominally 12 hours of visible daylight. The earlier command for light to exist in the blob implies that the first dawn within the creation time line occurred at the midway point of the first day when the entire blob of fluid began radiating visible light. This perspective agrees with evening and morning denoting ever since an approximately 24-hour cycle of night followed by day.

It should be noted here that God did not define "day" and "night" relative to the Sun and the planet Earth since he has not made them yet. He will later synchronize the Earth's rotation on its axis in sunlight to this universal time standard, so that humans on the surface of the Earth have a means to keep this same time interval.

With the statement "and there was evening and there was morning - a day" God implies he has timed his transforming acts to fit into this basic unit of time where nighttime and daylight comprise a whole day. Other verses in the Bible (e.g. Exodus 20:11) confirm, by drawing a parallel between creation week and man's work week, that a day still remains the same amount of time.

This time interval is the basic time measurement unit used today although humans divide the day into smaller units (hours, minutes, seconds, etc.) or use grouped days in larger units (weeks, months, years, etc.) as directed by God later in creation week, when the heavens and earth are finished on day four.

Gen. 1:6 And God Said, "Let There Be An Expanse....

The words say.

Here is the second time God uses a miracle to transform the blob into something new from what he had created and transformed previously. The command let there be an expanse refers to putting distance between two objects here referred to as waters. The same concept of separation as described earlier is applied here. God divides up the great fluid blob into at least two, but most likely many more fluid blobs. He then moves them apart placing the expanse (i.e. space) between them.

Reasonable speculation says.

The physical concept here is that so far the blob of fluid is still together in one place but has been transformed to contain electromagnetic radiation, elementary particles and perhaps even black holes.

By defining "day" in verse 5 as consecutive time periods of invisible light (evening) and fully visible light (morning), the second day begins when visible light again turns to darkness. What causes the daylight to turn to night to start the second day is not stated or implied by the text. But it can be reasonably deduced based upon a contemporary understanding of electromagnetic radiation, which follows.

In physical terms the electromagnetic radiation still present in the blob would have to be invisible and therefore at too long or too short a wavelength for human eyes to see. Too long a wavelength could occur when the temperature of the matter in the blob dropped to 1500 degrees Kelvin or less. The light given off would have a wavelength longer than one micrometer and would be invisible to the human eye. A physical cause for a temperature drop in a gas (or fluid) is its expansion in volume.

The physical concept in this verse could have God dividing the great blob of fluid into many smaller blobs. He then separates these blobs in location by expanding the distance between these blobs so that they will now fill the whole volume of the created universe. This would cool the fluids sufficiently that they stop emitting visible light. In modern scientific terms this expansion process would be called inflation.

Logical speculation would have God using the radiation and matter plus the black holes formed earlier to divide the blob into galaxy-sized blobs governed by the law of gravity. The empty spaces between the galaxy-sized blobs (i.e. the galaxies when completed) will form with the blobs what is now called the large-scale structure of the universe. This is the spider-web-like structure of galaxies and galaxy clusters that make up the universe which astronomers observe today.

During the same time these galaxy-sized blobs are separated from each other, they themselves could separate into smaller blobs that later will become star systems (1 to 3 stars and/or planets, moons, etc.). Our solar system is made up of one star, at least nine planets, an asteroid belt, many moons, and planetary rings. At this time in creation week all of these remain in fluid form, are dark, and are not recognizable until God completes further transformations later in the week.

The physical concept just described includes all these smaller blobs forming their own gravity wells then being separated from each other by expanses governed by gravity. There are 13 references in the remainder of the bible confirming that God stretched (Job 9:8, Psa.104:2, Isa.40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 51:13, Jer.10:12, 51:15, Zec.12:1) the heavens or spread out (Job 26:7, 37:18, Isa.48:13) the heavens and/or the earth [5]. The stretching implies the expanding of the gravitational fields between the masses (blobs) as they are spread throughout the universe.

Logical speculation implies this stretching may have been recorded in the sky and may be observed by astronomers today. The evidence could include the cosmic microwave background radiation that is measured in every direction from earth and the redshifts measured on light coming from all the other galaxies. The microwave background radiation could have been caused by the stretching of radiation with the expanse.

The galactic redshifts could have been caused by a high separation velocity inducing a Doppler shift in wavelength of their light. The redshifts most likely occurring on day four after the stars light up and before they are fixed in position. Due to possible accelerated processes (God is not limited by the speed of light) and/or use of miracles during creation week, it may look like events are happening long ages ago, if present rates and no miracles are assumed.

Gen. 1:7 So God Made The Expanse.

The words say.

God formed the expanse, which term is all-inclusive and refers to all the expanded physical heavens. He separated water under from water above the expanse. Again, an all-inclusive action, that refers to the placing of space between all the blobs, each blob having formed their own gravity well (below the expanse). The expanse separates it from all the other blobs outside that gravity well (above the expanse). The phrase it was so refers to the fact that everything was transformed as God directed and the results established for all time, or until God decides to change them.

Reasonable speculation says.

God separated galaxy-sized blobs from the single original blob and formed the large-scale structure of the universe. He probably also separated all stellar system-sized blobs from each other within each galaxy. These stellar system-sized blobs were further separated into blobs that will form stars, planets, moons, etc. God's main purpose for creation is a place where humans can live.

It is logical then that he would turn his focus to the single small blob within the future Milky Way galaxy and our future solar system that will form the planet Earth.

Logically the physical processes involved in God's next transformation could be extended to all blobs smaller than those that form stars. But God has a special interest in one particular earth-sized blob.

The earth-sized blob of matter and energy remains in a fluid form for it is still called "waters", and in particular "the waters below the expanse". Reasonable speculation is used to fill in details of the remainder of day two in the following paragraphs. The speculation attempts to provide physical concepts not explicitly stated, but possibly implicit, in the text because the results exist in the universe today.

After a night of separating all the fluid blobs, God adds a new physical concept to the separated fluid blobs. Dawn of the second day could be explained by the visible light generating ability of controlled thermonuclear fusion and fission processes. The planet-sized blob, possibly still made up of some original fluid mixed in with the radiation, elementary particles, and some atomic elements, first separates from other blobs in the solar system. God then causes the blob's own gravity to compress what most likely is a gaseous fluid. During compression the temperature would quickly rise above 1500 degrees Kelvin, and the mass of fluid would begin to give off visible light.

The temperature of the blob has to reach extremes over 10 billion degrees in localized volumes to drive some fusion and fission processes for building atomic elements from which the earth is formed. By this process the Intelligent Designer could have built up the periodic table of elements at this time.

Logical speculation would predict that Earth is the only planet in the universe with the full spectrum of elements and in their unique proportions, just because God is taking such a special interest in this particular blob of matter. So far, no other planet has been found with the same mass and distance from a star like the Sun and Moon to duplicate Earth's gravitational environment that would have affected these formation processes.

A general description of such a thermonuclear process is given by Dr. Edward Boudreaux in his proposal titled "Origins of Chemical Elements" in an appendix to reference [6]. Dr. Boudreaux initializes his model with only the presence of hydrogen and oxygen nuclei at a high temperature from which all the other elements are formed. These two elements could have resulted from the initial separation of the original fluid into light and matter. These elements may not have been the only elements made at that time. If oxygen was formed in the initial separation most likely helium, lithium, carbon, and nitrogen and other elements of lesser atomic weight were also formed.

It should be noted here that, while this was happening on the blob that forms Earth it could be happening all over the universe to blobs that are too small to form stars including planets and some moons. These blobs would have had limited thermonuclear processes producing their atomic elements, but not identical to the future Earth.

Stars will take another miracle to complete due their large size and special function as light sources. The long distances for the light to escape from their on-going inner fusion reactions will prevent the stars from giving off light for a long time. Estimates based on evolutionary assumptions for Sun-sized stars say that the stars remain in proto-star form for 100,000 years before they become visible stars [7]. Planets and all other smaller heavenly bodies are illuminated by stars and reflect visible light only after their star provides that light and that does not happen until day four.

Gen. 1:8 God Called The Expanse "Sky"...

The words say.

This is the second time God names something new that he has just transformed from the original fluid. This expanse he has just established above the planet-sized blob separating it from the rest of the universe he calls sky (or heavens). Here he distinguishes this sky as different from the all-inclusive word heavens in Genesis 1:1 by not using it in the merism. God restricts the word to name the stretched and expanded heavens he has just transformed. These heavens now include all the masses and gravitational fields that form the large-scale structure of the universe.

Reasonable speculation says.

God doesn't tell us what the partially transformed earth looks like at the end of day two. This may be because he has not finished transforming it. Day two ends when the newly transformed blobs cool to 1500 degrees Kelvin or less again.

The words say.

God ends the second day by the naming of the heavens. This implies he has set up the physical structure of the heavens that man will be able to observe after the star-sized masses become luminaries. He doesn't evaluate them on day two because he has not completed them. He then reiterates the criteria for measuring the length of a day, numbering this a second day.

Reasonable speculation says.

The cooling of the earth-sized blob at the end of day two continues into day three until the planet now called Earth is formed. It is not stated explicitly in the text, but this would be the time that the foundations of the Earth are laid. That this event took place during creation week is confirmed by frequent references to it in the Bible (e.g. 1 Sam. 2:8, Job 38:4-6, Psa.102:25, 104:5, Pro.3:19, Isa.45:18, 48:13, 51:13, Jer.10:12, 33:2, Zec.12:1, Heb.1:10). Logically the foundations laid down during creation week are the same as found in the present day planet. This could mean that the core and mantle are completed at this time. It also would include the establishment of Earth's magnetic field.

The planet that has formed would have cooled rapidly to bring back darkness for the beginning of day three. Logical speculation implies this rapid cooling would leave evidence in the solids of the planet. Such evidence has been found in radiation halos in granite rock of the Earth's crust6. These halos are formed by radioactive decay of elements in the solid rock. These elements had to be present in the molten rock but could only produce the halos after the rock solidified. The short half-lives of some of these elements indicate how fast the molten rock must have solidified to leave the halo record.

Gen. 1:9 And God Said, "Let The Waters Under The Sky...

The words say.

God commands the waters under the sky to collect in one place. This command first collects the waters in one place and continues by separating the surface of the planet into seas and at least one area of dry land. The words "and it was so" are used again to signify that God's direction was followed and the results were established for all time.

Reasonable speculation says.

The physical concept described is the gathering together of water from multiple sources into one place. According to other references to this event in the Bible the place is the surface of the Earth (e.g. Psa.33:7, 104:6, Amos 5:8, 9:6) and the water even covers mountains. In order for this to take place as described in those passages, the word "waters" in this verse already means sea water as it is defined later in verse 10. The multiple sources for this water would be many places in the Earth's crust. A large number of springs and geysers pour out water from the places where the sea water was formed in the planet's crust during the transformation from the original fluid.

At some point during the nighttime portion of day three the surface of the planet is covered by actual water and at a temperature where it is liquid. The command goes further and makes the dry land appear above the surface of the water. The physical concept is at least one land mass rising out of the water. There is no record of how many continents of dry land were formed at this time because of the Flood (II Pet.3:6). A good description of the surface conditions on day three before and after the appearance of dry land can be found in Job 38:4-12.

The physical mechanisms in the transformation of the Earth's surface could involve processes such as volcanism, tectonic plate uplift and subduction, and could also result in giant tsunami wave action. All these processes could have been driven by the thermal energy stored in the crust during formation or created by accelerated radiogenic processes heating the crust. These radiogenic processes would give off large amounts of alpha and beta particles that could produce a tremendous amount of heat as discussed in chapters 6 and 7 of reference 6.

During the planet forming process, chemical elements (i.e. carbon, sulfur, etc.) could have been formed and retained in the atmosphere. The dark cloud surrounding the infant planet as a garment described in Job 38:9 may have been a chemical dust cloud (mainly carbon) rather than a water cloud. Many other planets and even some moons have this type of cloud cover. Gaseous hydrocarbons could also have been mixed into the atmosphere as they formed during the cooling period.

The physical concept for dawn of the third day could be the ignition and burning of these volatile elements with the oxygen and hydrogen also residing in the atmosphere. Chemical burning is a common source of light and it could take place at altitudes that would not reheat the surface. Logically the burning would continue and provide the visible light for the nominal twelve hours of daylight on Earth's surface. Some by-products of such chemical burning would have been carbon dioxide and water vapor, needed atmospheric molecules for sustaining plant life.

The giant tsunami waves caused by land mass uplift would have moved a lot of earth and rock, forming sedimentary layers over all the land surfaces. Rocks and dirt would also have been in the run-off water and settled to the bottom of the seas.

Gen. 1:10 God Called The Dry Ground "Land,"...

The words say.

Here God repeats for the third time his pattern of bringing forth something new and then giving it a name. He calls the dry ground just formed "land" (earth). It can now be distinguished from the word "earth" as used to describe the primordial matter-energy of the previous days. He calls the waters gathered together on the surface of the earth seas which signifies it is now understood that they are made of actual water and minerals like they are today.

Next God evaluates again what he has created and transformed so far and finds it to be good. This signifies that the Earth's surface is now a habitable place for plants and ready for the next step in God's grand design. Man is still not able to improve upon anything that God has established during creation week although God and man have changed the surface of the earth since then.

Gen. 1:11-13 Then God Said, "Let The Land Produce Vegetation..."

The words say.

God commands the dry land to bring forth vegetation. Here vegetation is all-inclusive and refers to all plant life. The physical concept here is a miracle where one moment the land is bare and the next mature plants cover the dry land. The variety of plant life he created was enormous and each reproduces its own kind with its seed.

Reasonable speculation says.

God's focus now, still on day three, narrows even further to the dry land. This most likely takes place sometime close to evening on the third day when light still illuminates the surface of the earth. Logically there would be a lot of water vapor, carbon dioxide and other molecules having been produced by the chemical burning in the atmosphere during the day. These could provide the correct mixture of gases in the atmosphere for the plants to thrive.

The plants will then prepare further the atmosphere for the animal life that will be created on days five and six. From the time it takes to grow mature trees and other vegetation today there is still the implication that God is controlling the transformation processes even of life to fit his daily time structure.

The words say.

In verse 12, he evaluates the plant life just transformed from the earth and finds it to be good. The third day ends with something on earth that man cannot duplicate much less improve upon, living cells and plant life of which each variety can reproduce its own kind.

In verse 13, God repeats the familiar phrase And there was evening and there was morning - the third day, as numbered by God.

Gen. 1:14-19 And God Said, "Let There Be Lights In The Expanse....

The words say.

God commands let there be lights in the expanse and the lights are in the sky. The word lights as used here is different from the all-inclusive word light used in verse three. Here the word means light source or provider. These light sources are all the lights observed in the sky including the Sun (greater light) and the Moon (lesser light) and the stars.

It should be noted here that the remainder of verse 14 through verse 18a is written in a special Hebrew construct. The construct is repetitive for emphasis while providing God's directions to man on how to make proper use of the heavens he has created. The purposes for the luminaries are: (1) to provide light (including heat), (2) to divide day and night on Earth (universal time standard), consistent with the original definition of "day" , (3) to serve as special signs from God, and (4) to serve as a calendar to mark events (grouped stars visible at different times of the year).

In verse 15, the phrase it was so is used for a third time to indicate the transformation was completed and is established for all time.

In verse 17, God sets all the lights in their locations in the sky.

Reasonable speculation says.

After transforming dry land into plant life on the Earth at the end of day three, God now focuses on sustaining this life with the continuous source of light and heat plants require even to this day. The physical concept here is transforming star-sized blobs of fluid not producing light into stars and especially the Sun to provide light on the planet Earth. Once the stars provide the light all the other objects in the universe such as planets, asteroids, and moons reflect that light and also become luminaries. This miracle is the final step in God's preparation of the universe for providing the optimum habitat for humans and all the other animals.

The sequence of events that took place on day four is not explicitly stated. The physical concept could be planet Earth illuminated on one side with light from the Sun (greater light) and the other half illuminated by the Moon (lesser light) plus at least some stars. This happens instantaneously, probably at the beginning of day four, and establishes a new method to separate daytime and nighttime into a day on the surface of the Earth.

God's universal time interval (day) is now duplicated by the rotation of the Earth on its axis in sunlight. The question of which side of the earth received the light of the Sun first is not relevant because there is neither any record nor any natural consequences involved. From the perspective of a man on the surface of Earth, night begins when the Sun sets and daytime begins when the Sun rises at his location. A change of reference for a day occurs when man moves from one location to another on the surface of the Earth. The length of time in a day changes for the day in which he moves. The standard is established again the next day at his new location.

The stars that result from the command are arranged in galaxies, clusters, and constellations for visual signs. Humans observe them to measure time (e.g. days, months, years). God uses them to announce special events (e.g. Christmas star) and set dates for seasonal rituals (spring and fall festivals). Different constellations are visible (at one particular location) at night depending on where the Earth is located in its orbit around the Sun. The Sun now governs the day and sets the universal time interval since night now includes the light of the Moon and stars.

Logically the light traveling greater distances would reach earth later in day four. A physical model based on a miracle and accelerated processes could possibly explain such a sequence of stellar appearance so that every star visible today would have been visible by the end of day four. The same model would have to explain all the other astronomical phenomena observed by astronomers in the heavens today.

The setting of the luminaries could explicitly refer to the positioning (including relativity and time dilation) of all the heavenly objects in their time and space and limiting their movement with respect to Earth. Most likely it also refers to the stopping of the stretching. Job 37:18 in the NIV translation captures both these concepts in one verse. Other references in the Bible confirm God's act of setting the luminaries in their locations in the sky (e.g. Psa.8:3, 148:6, Pro. 3:19, 8:27, Isa.51:16).

The words say.

In verse 18, God evaluates the newly created lights and pronounces them good. This signifies that God has completed the physical transformation of "the heavens and the earth" up to the point where they will provide a very good habitat for animals and man. Man still cannot improve on the things that God has created during days one through four.

God ends the fourth day reiterating again to emphasize the concept that the cycle of nighttime and daylight forms a day and numbers it a fourth day. The length of the time interval remains the same, but now it has been tied to a location on Earth and the periods the Sun is visible or not from that location.


The creation account in Genesis 1:1-19 is the only record humans have of physical events in the universe prior to creation of fish, birds, animals, and man. If close attention is paid to what God reports in those verses, the whole story of creation on days one through four unfolds.

The miracles that happen at God's command need to take their prominent place in man's concepts involving the origins of the universe. With use of a designed sequence of miracles and accelerated processes, God created the initial raw materials on day one and transformed them into the entire physical universe by the end of day four, except for animals and man.

Logical speculation has been added to fill in some details between miracles but the creation account provides the overall outline of God's design and actions. The design is consistent with physical concepts, logically sequenced, and timed to fit God's time line.

The creation of the raw materials and their transformation into the universe ready for man and animals, all within four days, could only have been accomplished by an omniscient Intelligent Designer and omnipotent Creator.


1. All biblical references are taken from the New International Version.

2. Morris, H. The Defender's Study Bible. World Publishing, Inc, Grand Rapids.

3. Silk, J. 1980. The Big Bang. W. H. Freeman and company, San Francisco.

4. Bower, G. et al. Detection of the Intrinsic Size of Sagittarius A* Through Closure Amplitude Imaging. Science 304(#5671): Pgs 704-708. 30 April 2004.

5. Humphreys, D. R. Starlight and Time. Pgs. 66-68. Master Books, Green Forest.

6. Vardiman, L. et al. 2000. Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth.. Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon and Creation Research Society, Chino Valley.

7. Green, T. P. Protostars. American Scientist Vol. 89: Pgs 316-325. Jul-Aug 2001.


The author is a retired laser physicist with a Master's Degree from University of Missouri-Rolla and an Optical Specialist Degree from the University of Arizona. I have been working part time at the Creation Research Society's Van Andel Research Center since February 1999. I have several book reviews published in CRSQ in the last 3 or 4 years. The topic of the books I've reviewed has mainly been cosmology and related material.

Del Dobberpuhl
Van Andel Creation Research Center
Chino Valley, AZ 86323

Posted 11/7/05. Corrections 11/8/05.

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