Do Plants Before Animals Mean Young Earth?

Then again you would also have to consider wether or not life can be sustained if everything wasn’t mature. For example could plants have survived without animals producing carbon dioxide?

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Ok. I’ve seen plenty of examples why people believe the earth is old, yet no one has answered the question that I asked earlier. Is it possible for plants to survive without animals producing carbon dioxide? Of course the answer currently is no, but even if early simpler plants could’ve survived without it, obviously they would’ve eventually had to develop a need for it. My point is if you believe both that the days in Genesis are long periods of time and that life came into existence in the order recorded then supposedly autotrophic plants came first because Genesis 1:11 in the Amplified Bible says, “So God said, ‘Let the earth sprout [tender] vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit according to (limited to, consistent with) their own kind, whose seed is in them upon the earth’; and it was so.” So it would seem to me that the only way this would be possible is if God miraculously sustained them until God had gone through the next step of creating animals. However, if you are willing to accept this, then there is no reason to deny the possibility that God sped up light so we can see stars from tens of thousands of light years away or farther. This might seem to add evidence to other forms of evolution (I’m not sure what kinds there are other than Darwinism or neo-Darwinism) because someone might claim that plants and animals started forming at the same time, but I have other issues with evolution.

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Great question @Faithdefender. It got lost in the lively discussion about appearance of age, so I moved it over here.

Plans before animals is not a problem at all when we realize that Genesis couldn’t possibly be told from a space-eye view of the earth and simultaneously be ordinary days. The reason why is that there is no mornings and nights in space. Perhaps more obviously, they had no concept of a space-eye view.

For this reason, many literalists understand Genesis 1 to be about the creation of a localized area in six ordinary days, told from the perspective of a man with feet on the ground. This localized area could be Canaan, or the Garden. In a literal interpretation, however, it is very hard to imagine how this could possibly be the creation of the universe, the globe, or anything other than a localized view of the land. Remember, before day 1, it depicts the Spirit of God hovering over the water, which means that the planet earth preexists day one.

If you take a figurative view of Genesis, perhaps it speaks to cosmic creation of the universe and the globe of the earth, but that is certainly not a literal view. There are no mornings and evenings in space.

I think one very good way to resolve this is with A Telling in Six Ordinary Days. Perhaps Genesis 1 tells the story of creation of the universe to Moses or Adam in six ordinary days. So they are both literal and figurative days at the same time. However, the concrete details are in reference to the telling, in the same way a play tells a story without giving all the details to the larger story to which it references.

Now, if the creation week is just a localized area of the earth, just as Genesis literally tells us it is, we can see there is no real problem. Even if there are no animals in this plot of land, there is still carbon dioxide from animals elsewhere that nourished the plants.

I still don’t understand how evolution fits into this. Even if you could prove with 100% certainty that the earth is old, I still don’t understand why that would involve evolution.

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Are we talking about Scripture, evidence in nature, or science?

Modern science does not teach Darwinism or neo-Darwinism. That was falsified a long time ago. We just call it “current understanding of evolutionary science” or “evolutionary science” or “common descent”.

Aren’t all three supposed to be tied together? If evolution were true wouldn’t it affect how we view Scripture, science, and evidence in nature?

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No they are not necessarily tied together.

In one approach, scripture appears to be silent about many things. If we are going to take it literally, for example, it appears to be silent about the mechanism by which God created things outside the view of the narrator. It just does not tell us how God made all that stuff. So evolution doesn’t fit into the Genesis account. Rather, it is just talking about something that Genesis 1 is not referring to.

In another approach, we look at the passage and it says that God said “let there be…”, and the “land” and “sea” responded by “bringing forth plants and animals of many kinds.” Notice that the land and sea are the subjects to the verb “bring forth”. Notice that the Hebrew does not include “reproducing according to their kinds.” It says of “many kinds.” So it teaches something very consistent with evolution if we relax the literalism of the days.

Either way, I would not say that Scripture teaches evolution. Rather, evolution appears not to contradict what Scripture clearly teaches.

I would consider that affecting how we view Scripture. In that case it would make the Bible seem incomplete in a way. It may contain everything about human history, but it can’t be referring to the beginning of all of creation.

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Genesis 1:1 appears to be referring to the beginning of all Creation.

Moreover, I’m making this case from the text alone, not because of evolution. So it is not evolution affecting my reading. I tis understanding the Hebrew and being consistent that is changing my view. That is a good thing, right?

Also, we already know Genesis leaves out important things. For example, look at Genesis 10 and 11, in the Table of Nations. Notice that Australia and America are not mentioned? That seems pretty important. Some how this gets left out. Why? Because Genesis clearly is not telling us the whole story. Like all good stories, it leaves out the parts of the story that are not important.

I’m sure you’ve met people who tell longwinded stories with lots of irrelevant details. It is annoying, right? Good story tellers are selective in what they share. Genesis is the same way. It is a good story, because it is selective. It does not tell us everything, just what is most important for the point.


Neither is Europe :wink: .

However, the text does imply the settlement of the rest of the world in Genesis 10:32:

These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood. (ESV)

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This question is based on the premise that animal-produced CO2 is the sole, or at least a very significant, source of CO2 on the planet. It’s not.

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I disagree. The text says “eretz” which cannot mean the globe of the earth. They did not have a concept of the planet earth. The term is better translated “land.” Moreover, the term “nations” is important, because “nations” do not even exist until very recent history.

This is not talking about the spread of biological humans across the globe, but of the spread of civilization in the region. That is literally what it is saying in Hebrew. Reading it literally in english does not make sense.

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I read this earlier, but after examining it closer I have something to say about it. Yes the earth did exist before day one, but it also says that the earth was formless and void. Here’s what my Amplified Bible says in Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void OR a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.” If I’m understanding you correctly, you were suggesting that there was already a carbon dioxide cycle in place before God started making the Garden of Eden, but this strongly suggests otherwise.

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Once again that term “earth” is tripping you up. It has to mean earth as in “land” not the planet earth. They did not have a concept of a planet earth.

With that in mind, it appears to be literally describing, from the perspective a person on the surface of the earth, , the spirit of the Lord over a body of water, which is over a land. It is describing the creation of this region, not of the planet earth.

I was, but also @evograd has a point. turns out that CO2 arises from geological sources too, not just animals. With the a careful literal reading of Genesis in hebrew, this is all beside the point. It is only talking about this region, unless you want to read it in an allegorical way. Is that what you are trying to do?

A literal reading is not the problem. If you are relying on the english text alone, without sensitivity to the underlying Hebrew, you are going to get a strange interpretation. This is particularly true if the translation is not good, and the people you have been learning are motivated to argue for a young earth for reasons other than Scripture.

@deuteroKJ thoughts?

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Ok. I think I understand what you’re saying now, but there’s another problem with plants and animals existing before day 1. God created the sun, moon, and stars on day 4, and without the sun plants can’t do photosynthesis.

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If there is a morning and evening, we know for a fact that the sun and moon exist. Therefore, a logically consistent reading would say that the “sun appeared” on day 4. This is well explained by a cloudy three days (Day 1,2 3), and than in Day 4, the clouds dissipate, and we see the sun, moon, and stars. They appear on Day 4, but the light of the sun is visible on Day 1,2, and 3, so we know the Sun exists on Day 1 too.

BUT there was no light before day 1. Light was the first thing God created.

There is no light at the beginning of Day 1, the beginning of this story. This tells nothing about light on Day -1, or Day -100. Scripture does not tell us about when the first light arrives.

The “beginning” is a relative term. Every story has a beginning. There is nothing in the text that claims that this was the first appearance of light ever. It is important not to read our preconceptions into Scripture. Take another look at Genesis, and see what it tells you.

It sounds like you’re saying there was light over all of the earth except in the Garden of Eden when the beginning of human history began. Yet then why would the Bible go on to explain that God separated the light from the darkness?