"Waters" and "Dust" of Genesis 1 and Proverbs 8: Thoughts?

So thanks to those who responded to my thread here: Non-Scientist Young Earth Creationist Has Theories for you to Test There’s still so much to go through. But this post has to do with my first hypothesis about Genesis 1:2. I take a fairly literal view of Genesis. So I became so curious - what are these waters that have no form and are void? Then they are divided in day 2.

Here’s the text: “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Also I just recently began studying Proverbs 8. I realized the end of the chapter is repeating the first 3 days of creation. Once to explain Wisdom was there before the first three days of creation, the second time to explain she was there during the first three days of creation. What piqued my scientific curiousity is verse 26b: “the first of the dust of the world.”

Why that specifically? Well, Genesis 1 explains that much of creation was created out of nothing. BUT, specifically plants, land animals, and humans are made of the dust. So I was watching this interview from Dr. Swamidass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQEinFT6gSY&t=1078s He was referring to the fact that it looks very obvious that there’s common descent between apes and humans. It got me thinking about the common descent Christians don’t talk about much, but would likely all agree on: creation from “dust” I thought, maybe this has something to do with genetics. What is DNA made of? I find a picture that it’s molecules made up of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus. I had to google the periodic table, lol, I even forgot what it was called. And I see these elements are the top of the Table. Well, that’s interesting for sure. What does it mean? I don’t know. I’m hoping to see if anyone else has any thoughts on that.

Then on the “waters” front, I thought, maybe Genesis 1:2 is talking about a mash of all the elements. What would that look like. Google gave me this: FYI: What Would Happen If Every Element On The Periodic Table Came Into Contact Simultaneously? | Popular Science

Of note: "Ramming the atoms together at 99.999 percent the speed of light—the top speed of particles in the Large Hadron Collider, at the CERN particlephysics lab near Geneva—might fuse a few nuclei, but it won’t make that cool Frankenstein element. More likely, they would meld into a quark-gluon plasma, the theoretical matter that existed right after the universe formed.

Cool! There’s already a theory for the “waters”! I will take it. :smiley:



There is no mention of dust except in the creation of Adam in Genesis 2. Where are you getting this dust from? “Let the earth bring forth…” doesn’t sound like dust to me.

It means that those are all very common elements. You may note, however, that one of the most common elements in dust, silicon, is missing from that list, and that any nitrogen in that dust almost certainly comes from decaying life, rather than the other way around.

Genesis 1 is a story. It has no necessary correspondence to anything real. It may not even have been intended to correspond to anything the authors thought was real, other than their conviction that God was the creator.


Can you explain where you are getting this?

This is not what it says in Hebrew or English. Rather it says that God called it forth, and the land and sea responded by bringing forth plants and animals of any kind. It is definitively not “created out of nothing.” Rather, the land and sea created, which is declared to be God’s creation. See in the NASB:

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after [ag]their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after [ah]their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after [ai]their kind, and the cattle after [aj]their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

So God’s creation is what the land brings forth, at least if a literal and plain reading of Genesis is important to you.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The word for earth there is “eretz” which means “the land” or “dirt.”

So I agree with @John_Harshman:

Rather, in Genesis 2, a different hebrew word “adamah” is translated as “dust”:

7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living [f]being.

In context, that “dust” is best understood as “mud from adamah, the area around the Garden,” because adamah refers to a specific place within eretz throughout the rest of Genesis 1-11.

@thoughtful, can you explain a bit more where you are getting this from Scripture?

This is God as potter, echoing other Near Eastern myths of the creation of humans and animals.

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That’s like you saying you have hydrogen and you got it from splitting up a water molecule. And I look at what’s leftover, and say, “All I see is oxygen. You’re wrong!”

Mud is definitely NOT the meaning Strong's Hebrew: 6083. עָפָר (aphar) -- dry earth, dust It’s dry earth. I believe the Quran also has “clay” and this is a lie the devil likes and God hates.

I was misleading there. I said Genesis 1, but I was conflating Genesis 2:7 and Proverbs 8:26 with Genesis 1. If you re-read what I wrote you’ll see I meant that it appears in the OTHER days of creation God created out of nothing. But after studying the passage closely, and the science, I believe the passage is actually silent on the others days besides the first day, God creating the heavens and the earth and light. It appears instead the rest of the days He’s possibly working with the “waters” and “light” created on the first day.

Yes, Genesis 1 has none of the “dust” and I understand you’d separate Genesis 1 from Genesis 2. I wouldn’t, but I won’t argue that point here. Instead I think you’ll find it interesting, that Genesis 2:7 has Strong's Hebrew: 6083. עָפָר (aphar) -- dry earth, dust

I checked out what Proverbs 8:26 has as the first “dust” of the world. Hebrew Concordance: ‘ā·p̄ə·rō·wṯ -- 1 Occurrence

Within this word family, there seems to be a middle-grade “dust” Hebrew Concordance: ‘ă·p̄ā·rōw -- 1 Occurrence

Especially, in the middle-grade use, I could see the word being translated as particles. It’s talking about Moses grinding the ashes of golden calf to powder as fine as ash dust, and then he threw the dust [particles] into the brook.

So it’s interesting looking at Proverbs 8:26, because the word “first” or in the KJV “primeval” is actually the “head of” or chief of the dust of the world. So the passage is saying that wisdom was established or brought forth before God created the most fundamental particles of the world. So far as we know those are quarks?

I’ve been watching quantum physics videos all day, and so now I do definitely think the “waters” described in Genesis 1:2 is quark soup. When God created the universe, he created all the subatomic particles of it He was going to use / all the subatomic particles of the universe. This is the all the material He’s working with, as well as “light” and he keeps dividing, separating it, or bringing it out of previous creation the rest of the days. That’s my hypothesis.

I do not understand what you were saying there. I thought your point was that certain elements are found in dust, and this is evidence for creation of organisms from dust. But my point is that those elements are found almost everywhere, and the abundance profile of elements in organisms doesn’t match well with their abundance profile in dust, notably regarding silicon and nitrogen.

Let us also recall that only Adam is made from dust.

Why should either of them care whether dust or dirt or clay is meant here? Incidentally, if “waters” means “quark soup”, why would you suppose that “dust” means “dust”?

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If that’s the case you have a big problem. Humans are mainly made up of water. But if we are made of dry dust, as you insist, where do the water come from?

As I understand it, mud is just dust with water added. Dust can’t really be formed either without water being added to it. Whether that dust was dry or not doesn’t seem to be the key point, but if that is how you want to understand, that’s fine by me.

My questions about geocentrism are still out there…

@thoughtful also consider this:

Adam (אדם) literally means “red”, and there is an etymological connection between adam and adamah, adamah designating “red clay” or “red ground” in a non-theological context. In traditional Jewish theology, a strong etymological connection between the two words is often assumed. Maimonides believed the word adam to be derived from the word adamah, analogous to the way in which mankind was created from the ground.

This important, and part of why many scholars teach the meaning of the name Adam is “red mud man” or “red earth man”.

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A little more on that dust from Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 (NIV):

19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

So humans and other animals are described as coming from dust and bound to return to dust.


But hey, it’s not that far off from the cores of dying and massive main-sequence stars!

Thanks. I’ll look at this later. Just on a quick lunch break.

I’m suggesting that the dry dust is particles, perhaps atoms or molecules. If looking at molecules individually, we’d call them particles, even though water is wet. :upside_down_face:

I’m sorry, I missed this. Could you restate the question? I looked back really quick but I didn’t see it.

No, no, sorry I wasn’t clear at all then. My point was that perhaps “dust” has the idea of particles - atoms and molecules. I had first thought “first of the dust” from Proverbs 8:26 perhaps means certain important atoms. Now I think it means the most fundamental particles, likely quarks.

this is awesome. Thanks! It explains some of what I was thinking about atoms being “dust.”

We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Notice that your chart isn’t about the distribution or frequencies of elements but about the distribution and frequency, for each element, of different sources.

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If dust isn’t dust, have you considered the possibility that the Flood isn’t a flood, the firmament isn’t a firmament, and so on?


A cloud of atoms is not dust though…it doesn’t look like dust, and it is invisible. It can’t possibly be what Genesis is taking about.

Right here: Do YEC days 1, 2 & 4 explain Dark Matter and Dark Energy? - #2 by swamidass.

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