This is Part 2 of this series for you to enjoy and ponder
All the geological and paleontological evidence PROVES beyond the slightest scintilla of a doubt that THERE WAS A WORLD BEFORE ADAM. Most of the dating techniques of scientists — uranium-argon, potassium-thorium, racemization and thermaluminescence — as well as observation and logic conclusively show that the rocks under our feet, the bones of ancient animals, and even the charcoal campfires of Paleo-Indians, Neanderthal man, and other ancient hominid remains, are MUCH OLDER than 6,000 years. There was a world before Adam. In fact, there were MANY ages before Adam, and these ages can be carefully distinguished through the study of paleontology, paleo-ecology, and related scientific disciplines.
The evidence is INDISPUTABLE. Many independent dating techniques demonstrate that various hominid creatures lived about 500,000 years ago. More primitive types lived as long ago as 1-2,000,000 years. Those creatures, in some cases, were FAMILIAR with fire, used crude chipped stone tools such as hand axes, notched and saw-toothed implements, scrapers, engravers. They were PRE-ADAMIC CREATURES living in a PRE-ADAMIC WORLD. A world which ended in a great catastrophe.
And before their time, OTHER worlds existed. The world of the dinosaurs ended about 70,000,000 years ago. That world, too, ended in a cosmic catastrophe.
The pre-Adamic world was a world of growth, change, and progress. It was a world where new life forms were introduced from time to time.
The fact that this world has been in existence for many millions of years is no longer a matter for debate. It is academic. Any serious author, today, must face squarely the many indications of time found in the geological record.
Neo-Creationists believe we must choose either the Bible or science, particularly scientific dating methods. One typical Neo-Creationist argues:
“The Bible-believing scientist must face squarely the question, In the area of natural science which shall supersede, the clear assertions of God’s inspired Book, or modern man’s interpretation of what he thinks he sees in nature?”
This particular author continues: “According to Bible chronology only a few thousand years have passed since the creation of the ancestors of our modern plants and animals…Contrariwise, if one accepts the assumption that the inorganic radioisotope clocks were reset wherever they became associated with fossil-bearing material, then apparently at least 600 million years have passed since plants and animals first appeared successively from that time over a duration of some 600 million years” (Frank Lewis Marsh, Life, Man and Time, pp. 67-68).
The truth is, there is NO CONTRADICTION between the Biblical record and scientific knowledge of the earth’s past. Those who wish to uphold the Bible in the face of new evidence regarding early hominids, homo erectus, homo habilis, or other discoveries of Primitive Man-like creatures, need not worry. There is NO EVIDENCE that such creatures evolved into Modern man. Rather, they lived long ago in a world BEFORE ADAM WAS CREATED — another world — another age — another time.
Such discoveries tell us much about the ancient history of the earth. They tell us nothing, one way or the other, about the Scriptures.
Creation and Recreation
In the pages of Genesis, as it relates to the original creation of the universe, we read the simple, matter-of-fact statement: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, King James Version). The Amplified Bible renders this verse: “In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned,) and created the heavens and the earth.” The Good News Bible states: “In the beginning, when God created the universe…” The Moffatt Translation: “When God began to form the universe…” The Goodspeed Translation: “When God began to create the heavens and the earth…”
What exactly does the book of Genesis tell us? That YEHOVAH God created the universe — the heavens and the earth — in a period of time called, simply, “the beginning.” How long ago that primeval creation occurred we are not told anywhere in the Scripture. To determine that, YEHOVAH God has given us brains and intellect!
That time of beginning could well have been six to ten billion years ago. Astronomers calculate that a “Big Bang” took place at that time, out of which the entire cosmos was created.
Verse two of Genesis, chapter one, continues:
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (King James Version).
Is this verse describing the ORIGINAL creation as being formless and void? If so, it would seem a contradiction. Verse one tells us YEHOVAH created the heavens and the earth. When YEHOVAH creates something, it is beautiful, grand, and majestic. In the 38th chapter of the book of Job, we read:
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof? When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (vs. 4-7).
If the original earth had been created a chaotic ruin, formless and void, the angels would not have “sang together” or have “shouted for joy.”
Isaiah 45:18 adds more light on this enigmatic passage. The prophet declares: “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else” (King James Version).
The Hebrew word translated “vain” here is tohu and means “to lie waste,” “a desolation,” “a desert.” It can also be translated “confusion,” “empty place,” “without form,” “nothing,” “wilderness.” It is the very same word used in Genesis 1:2, where we read the earth “was without form.”
One place says YEHOVAH God created the earth and it “was without form”; in another place we read YEHOVAH did not create the earth “without form.” Is this a contradiction? Not at all!
The KEY to understanding this apparently complex problem lies in the little word “was.” It can also be translated “BECAME.” In fact, in Genesis 19:16 it is translated “became.” We read: “And Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt.”
What happened, then, is this: When YEHOVAH God originally created the earth, it was indeed a lovely place. He created it with no waste, no wilderness, no desolation. It was inhabited. The angels leaped for joy, and shouted with admiration and enthusiasm when they beheld the primeval earth.
But then something happened. It became “tohu” — that is, waste, a ruin, a desolation. The original earth suffered a great cataclysm — a cosmic catastrophe. The Hebrew words translated “without form and void” in Genesis 1:2 literally mean a desolation, a wilderness, an empty, uninhabited ruin. These words, tohu and bohu are very strong words and denote CATASTROPHE. They strongly suggest that some sort of primeval cataclysm, or several such cataclysms, occurred.
Scripture gives no data for determining HOW LONG AGO the universe was created. And in the first chapter of Genesis, it only records THREE creative acts: 1) the heavens and the earth (verse 1); 2) new animal life (verses 20-21); and 3) human life, Adam and Eve (verses 26-27). The first creative act referred to the DATELESS PAST. The creation of NEW forms of animal life, and Adam and Eve, occurred approximately 6,000 YEARS AGO. Obviously, then, the first chapter of Genesis is not describing the original creation of the heavens and earth as occurring in seven consecutive days.
After the chaos and destruction which occurred, in verse two of Genesis one, YEHOVAH God began a process of re-creation, reconstruction, if you please, which lasted for seven days. Verse 16 of Genesis one does NOT describe the sun and moon and stars being created on the fourth day. How could light have been created on the first day, but the sun and stars which IMPART LIGHT not till the fourth day? The original Hebrew for “made” in verse 16 actually means “made to appear, made visible.” The sun and moon were created “in the beginning.” The light came from the sun, of course, but the VAPOR in the earth’s atmosphere diffused the light. After the great cataclysm, the earth was cut off from the light of the sun, moon and stars. Darkness prevailed everywhere. As verse two says: “And the earth was (BECAME) without form and void (TOHU and BOHU); and DARKNESS was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
What do we see then? An earth destroyed, in pitch darkness, covered by water, the continents submerged, due to some great cataclysm.
During the process of RECONSTRUCTION or RE-CREATION, YEHOVAH God first caused the light from the sun to penetrate the atmosphere once again, in a DIFFUSED manner (Genesis 1:3-5), allowing day and night to become discernible. He created order in the atmosphere (verses 6-8). He caused the dry land to appear once again (verse 10). He caused the earth to once again bring forth life, plants, vegetation, of all kinds. As the turgid clouds and atmospheric disturbances cleared away, He caused the sun, moon and stars to once again become visible from the earth’s surface (verses 14-18).
Then, having REFASHIONED the surface of the earth, and having prepared it, YEHOVAH created NEW living creatures — NEW animal life of all kinds, from great whales to small fish, from elephants to rodents, from flying birds to flying fish and insects — to REPOPULATE the earth, and to REPLENISH it (verses 20-25).
Something had happened to the Pre-Adamic earth. It had been overwhelmed in a MIGHTY CATASTROPHE, or a long series of catastrophes, which is briefly described in verse 2 of Genesis chapter 1.
But what happened?
The world before Adam came to an ABRUPT, screeching end. It was cut short by flooding and upheaval, stroke upon stroke of catastrophe. This one short enigmatic, much misunderstood verse of the Bible, contains within its cryptic message a story that will amaze you. This one little verse may hold a CLUE as to what happened to the earth, after the original time when it was created, beautiful, and to be “inhabited,” and before the time of Adam and Eve, when it had to be refashioned, reshaped, refurbished, and rebuilt.
This one verse, in essence, may cover a time span of MILLIONS of years. If YEHOVAH God originally created the earth six to ten billion years ago, and over millions of years created VARIOUS and sundry life forms, causing them to become buried in massive burials to form deposits of coal, peat, and oil and natural gas; if He spent millions of years preparing the world for the eventual time when He would create Man IN HIS OWN IMAGE [not some amorphous BLOB]; who are we to complain?