I did spend some years doing research, you know. Not the kind of research that produces new information. The kind that explores what’s already known -- tests the conclusions and consequent worldview. It occurs to me that I should present my own conclusions, en précis.
It starts with Evolution. I’ve mentioned it before, but that’s where I started. The creation account in Genesis is pretty clear. It’s not poetry, it’s not cave paintings -- it’s prose, and presents itself as a matter-of-fact record. Elsewhere I’ve presented the textual analysis, the remnant conventions of pictographs and cuneiform and hieroglyphs -- the evidence of a family archive having been edited together into a single accounting. Nothing illegitimate in that. It’s what historians do -- raw data formed into a narrative. Point is, there is no room for Evolution, in the Garden of Eden. It’s either sloppy allegory -- call it myth -- or it’s something like what actually occurred.
Well. I won’t argue about Evolution. I wrote a book dealing with its evidence. It’s a creation myth. If it’s true, it’s true without evidence. Could be. But now I’m talking about the Bible. How can it be valid, literal insofar as the word makes sense, given how the whole world knows about geologic time and continental drift and ice ages and the like? As I say, en précis.
God made the universe on the first day. He formed, refined the footstool of his kingdom in the following days. We need not concern ourselves with such silly objections as there being light without a sun. The sun of the forth day is a phenomenological event -- it existed from the first, but became discernible as a distinct orb from the murky surface of the Earth on the forth. And so on.
Adam was formed and inbreathed and alone for an unspecified length of time. When the time of his isolation was fulfilled, he was given a mate. It wasn’t bad planning on God’s part, it was good psychology. We value what we lack. The planet occupied by these humans was perfect, designed as an ideal habitation. There was no death. All lifeforms were, at most, vegetarian -- plants do not have the “breath of life”. The laws of nature were cooperative. Every living thing was graceful. Gravity conformed to need. Entropy existed only as a potentiality.
Upon Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the world. Satan had rebelled before, but his sin did not affect creation. Adam was the federal king not of Eden, but of the physical universe. With his fall, the universe became corrupt -- the way an abusive father ruins a family. Starting at whatever boundary the universe has, a collapsing event horizon rushed toward the center of the universe, Earth, with the appearance of a white hole. Einsteinian relativity is all about gravity and time. The far reaches of the universe are older than the center, not because they were created sooner, but because the center of a mass ages more slowly. The event horizon effect accelerated the aging of some parts of the universe, by a factor of millions. Upon contact with this entropic event horizon, everything was changed. Creation became radioactive. The universe became poisonous. The perpetual motion machine started to wobble. Eternal life gave way to potential heat death.
For something over 1500 years mankind spread across the still-ideal ecosystem of the planet, designed as it had been by God to meet the needs of mankind. But natural corruption and contact with fallen angels did their damage, and the judgment of the Flood was pronounced. Noah built an ark.
For reasons of his own, God had surrounded the planet in a “canopy” of liquid water, remembered now in the word and myth of the "firmament". Under the then-operational pre-Fall physical laws, in a universe filled not with darkness but with light, not with vacuum but with warmth, this to-us-miraculous canopy was liquid. At the Fall, it became vapor, a perpetual, stable daytime cloud cover that cleared always at night to reveal only the brightest stars, dimly. These stars were organized into the most ancient constellations by, as it were, forgotten prophets and used as a mnemonic device to remember and teach what had and what will happen. Prophecy.
For the length of the Antediluvian civilization, no rain fell, suppressed by the atmospheric effects of the decaying canopy. The downpour of the Flood was initiated by comets or asteroids striking the globe, disrupting stability, providing nucleogens around which the atmosphere canopy coalesced and fell. The torrential collapse lasted forty days. It would have contributed a global rise of only some 40 feet of liquid water. The rain of the Windows of Heaven is not the same as the Flood.
The planet had been formed with a single global mountainless continent, with small freshwater seas and such islands as there may have been. The waters that fed the Edenic rivers came from juvenile sources, placed within the crust of the earth when it was formed. They would have been closely linked to the “hydroplate” -- a world ocean upon which the continental plates floated -- a global cavernous sea. When the blasphemous world was pummeled by stone from the heavens, the crust cracked, and the indescribably pressurized waters of the deep burst out of the rent plates in an ever-growing fountain that blasted miles into the air. This is where the water of the oceans came from. We find the scar of this fountain in the oceanic mountain ranges that encircle the earth like the seam of a baseball. Those mountains rose with the release of pressure. The continents divided at this time, not as a drift but as a drive, propelled in a gravity slide away from the rising ranges and blasting power of the Fountains of the Deep.
On the ark, the land-based vertebrate genome was preserved. It was a vast floating storehouse and menagerie, designed to support the lives of juvenile breeding pairs of every true animal kind. Not lions and tigers and pumas and cats and lynxes. The cat kind, from which all such species differentiated. Likewise with dogs and wolves and foxes and coyotes, and cattle, and owls, and so on. Some thousands of pairs, not millions. Yes, dinosaurs, pre-adolescent, which later became extinct.
The entire world was destroyed. Drowned, and subject to unimaginably chaotic forces. The entire geologic column was formed by the Flood, down to the Precambrian. The geologic column itself is in no way as ordered as conventional wisdom pretends. Countless anomalies are known, and explained away. What actual order may be found is the result of the partial preservation of local Antediluvian ecosystems. Apparent order is the result of tidal and other random sifting/sorting forces.
When the continents slowed and the major tectonic upheavals subsided -- volcanism, orogeny -- Noah left the ark. In the following years the biosphere reasserted itself -- from seeds and floating log mats and branches taking root and so on. The barren, flood-ravaged interior of the northern continents became glaciated due to heavy rains from the now-hot oceans. Unable to retain heat -- barren as deserts, which are cold at night -- the interiors of northern Europe and North American became bound in ice, the single Ice Age.
During this era, disasters came periodically but a warm world-climate with ample rain ensured that almost all species thrived. Some did not, most obviously, dinosaurs -- when their nests and eggs and in situ environs are found, these are post-Flood survivors, not to be confused with the giants from before the Flood. It is at the end of this single Ice Age that the Grand Canyon, for example, was formed, in the catastrophic collapse of an ice-dam sea. Likewise, the catastrophic inundation of the paradoxically temperate Arctic coast, preserved now in permafrost, occurred only at the start of the modern weather system.
It took some 500 years for history to start. What is called 3000 BC is actually about 2000 BC. In the pre-historic centuries before the invention of cuneiform, and following, those cultures called paleo-, meso- and neo-lithic existed, coeval with the rising civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Modern understanding about the chronology of those civilization is desperately flawed, due to a faulty understanding of the order of the Egyptian dynasties, to which all other ancient history is correlated. In actually, the Middle Kingdom of Egypt precedes the Old Kingdom. The distortion is hidden by the so-called First and Second Intermediate Periods, which are invented ad hoc devices designed to explain away the flaws in the standard chronology. Similar dark ages are invented for Mesopotamia and Anatolia.
Thus, Sargon I was an older contemporary of Moses, who was a member of several royal Egyptian houses, but was persecuted by Pepi I of Dynasty VI. Hammurabi did not precede Moses, but followed him by 500 years, as a contemporary of King Saul. Likewise, Akhenaton could have had no influence whatsoever upon the Hebrews, living as he did after the reign of Solomon.
And so on. I’ve given only conclusions here, based on standard evidence but different assumptions and interpretations. I’ve written many hundreds of thousands of words on these topics, with thousands of citations for source material. But this is the gist of it. Make of it what you will. My own efforts were aimed at discovering the truth. We test claims, and settle on the most reasonable. With me, the creative power of God is required. Complexity does not arise from randomness. Never. Except with life itself, through Evolution? Seems unscientific. So, if God, then what kind of god? Again, we test the options. The God of the Bible seems best to me. His beautiful Son decides the issue. Once I got a little insight into it, the matter seemed clear.
Doubt is good. Quibbling about details seems foolish. Creation or Evolution isn’t the point. Geologic time or six days of creation aren’t essentials for saving faith. So I really don’t talk about these things much. I don’t talk about what’s really important though, either. Hardly at all.
So that’s it. It’s how I thought I’d spend an hour or so of my birthday -- hacking out this summary without notes or outlines. And today I’m 29, or so I keep insisting. I haven't wasted my life, have I?