Initial Posting: February, 2008.



These are lectures in an ongoing series on the subject, Science and the Bible. Each lecture is an annotated powerpoint presentation with accompanying audio. The presentations are available in PPT (powerpoint), PDF (Acrobat Reader) and HTM (Web) versions

Note: The lectures are given here as they were presented during Fall, 2007 through Spring, 2008. They should be considered as draft copy which will be revised and updated over the next few years. Corrections and comments are welcome: please email them to the address given at the bottom of this page.

Although you are welcome to browse these lectures, but please do not copy or distribute the illustrations without permission from the original authors.


Presentation (htmT)

• The lecture titles link to an web (htm) version of the powerpoint presentation.
• The pdf document is an Acrobat version of the powerpoint presentation.
• The audio is given under the mp3 link.
It is strongly recommended that you listen to the audio, which provides content that adds to the slides and notes. As the draft is refined, it is likely that much of the audio content will be put into the slides and notes.

An Introductory Look at Psalm 19: Figures of Speech
    This talk makes use of Dr. Robert C. Newman's Powerpoint,
    Interpreting Biblical Descriptions of Nature which
     is available on the web here.
Psalm 19:1-4

Introductory Remarks

Slide 1: The Book of God's Word and the Book of God's Works
Slide 2 (04:00: The Names of God Psalm 19 and Genesis
• Genesis 1 uses only the name El (Elohim) = God the Creator
• Ps. 19:1-6 refers to the Book of God's Works. It uses only the name El
• Genesis 2-3 uses the name Yahweh = God the Redeemer.
• Ps. 19:7-13 refers to the Book of God's Words. It uses the name Yahweh
        Genesis 2-3 is the beginning of God's redemption plan.
Slide 3: Newman's Powerpoint, Interpreting Biblical Descriptions of Nature (25 min.)
Slide 4 (38:25) The Milky Way Galsxy from Far Space.
<>• Most stars we see with a naked eye are in the Milky Way Galaxy. Only exceptions are: Andromeda Galaxy, and the Magellanic clouds (in the Southern Hemisphere)
Slide 5 (43:40)  Figures of speech in Ps. 19:1-4a -- Expressing the Inexpressible: often used of God.
• Vs. 1: declare, proclaim, hands,
• Vs. 2: pour forth, speech, display knowledge
• Vs. 3: Speech, language, voice, heard
• Vs. 4a: voice, words, ends of world
Slide 6: (47:15) The "Firmament" or "Sky Above"
Did the Bible assume a solid dome? (Discussed next week)
[Return to slide 5 momentarily]
• The details of the firmament probably more Greek than Hebrew. Trying to figure out what goes on behind the scenes. Hebrew mind not inclined to be so analytic. Practical people. If something is beyond comprehension, they tend to acknowledge that and let it go at that.
• Some work on analytic studies of nature: 1 Kings 4:33 - systematic study of plants birds, etc.
• No part of the BIble speculates about the cosmos in the way the Greeks did. Are we reading back into the Bible our Greek-influenced biases and assuming that they meant speculative constructions such as the Greeks would assume?
A general rule of thumb is that such observations are always expressed from the point of view of a person standing on the earth. In contrast to this, modern science and the Greek philosophers attempt to make observations from some "cosmic" position
[Brief reference to Slide 7 (57:30).]

A Closer Look at the "firmament"
    This talk makes use of Dr. Robert C. Newman's Powerpoint,
    Biblical Firmament: Vault or Vapor? which
     is available on the web here.
Psalm 19:1-4

Slide 2 (1:15) Review: The words El and Yahweh.
Slide 3 (3:15) Translations of Psalm 19:1
KJV "firmament" comes from the LXX (Septuagint)
Slide 4 (6:30) What is meant by the "firmament"?
Slide 5 (8:44) Newman powerpoint (35 min.)

The Silent Voice Part 1
Psalm 19:1-4

Slide 3 Review. Following Dr. Newman, we concluded that the word translated
        "firmament" to mean the atmosphere.  Now we will look further at verses 1-4a
Slide 4 (2:40) Remarks on Dr. Newman's translation of Job 37:18.  "Can you, with Him,
        spread out the mighty clouds, with an appearance of being poured out?"
Slide 5 (4:30) So why don't evangelical translations follow his conclusions? 3 possible reasons.
quote John Studenroth on intelligent design.
Slide 6 (11:40) No speech or words. Translation of verse 3.
• Perowne's commentary on Psalms. "there is no speech, there are no words, their voice is not heard" footnote "Lit: it is inaudible". Not where their voice is unheard.
• Ambiguity in ESV interpretation.
• NASB accurately reflects the hebrew.
Slide 7 (16:50) "voice" = "line"
• Lit: "stretched line" usual commentary takes  this to mean "meaurring line"
• Hebrew Lexicon on this verse: measuring-line = "their chord=music"
• I agree with the Lexicon. Anecdote: David and his harp. God's universe like a perfectly tuned harp.
Slide 8 (21:05)  The Silent Speech of God's Book of Works
• The voice is truthful because truthfulness is part of God's glory (v. 1).
Slide 9 (32:20) The silent Speech was a deliberate effort on God's part.
• God might have designed his creation so that it is impossible to probe into its
hidden treasures. He did not do this.
• God might have created the universe with deceptive false history. He did not!
• God's determination to display truth in his creation placed significant constraints on how he proceeded with his creation.
- St. Augustine's dilemma:
"Why did God create in time -- why not instantaneously?"
Answer (mine): God created in time so that his creation would truthfully record how he did it. He did this because he wants us to discover how he did it.  God did not have to do this. He might have created so that it is impossible to peel apart what he did.
- Example: the wavelength of light -- permits the discovery of microbes.
- Example: the nearly equal size of the moon and sun as viewed from earth.
- In his creation, God anticipated the time when man would be able to probe the secrets at the telescopic and microscopic levels. He did not have to do this.
- Example: in 1900 the protoplasm was thought to be no more detailed than jelly.
Slide 10 (43:45)   Einstein's quote.
• "coincidences in nature"
- Size of sun and moon -- the visible corona
- position of the earth in the milky way galaxy
Slide 11 (45:50) The Silent speech
• The deep universe can be seen
• Can learn about the star's chemical composition
• The planets reveal the secrets of physics -- law of gravity, speed of light, etc.
The spectrum of light and the characteristic lines of the elements.
Slide 12 (46:30) Position of earth in the Milky Way.
[return to slide 11]

The Silent Voice Part 2: God Speaks Through His Creation
Ref: Dr. Michael Denton. Evolution: a Theory in Crisis. and Nature's Destiny.


Slides 1-4: Review
Slide 5 (8:00) Slighting the Cause -- The Task by William Cowper
The triumphalism of science prior to 1905. "everything at root is simple." Life at root is simple. That notion destroyed in the 20th century.
Slide 6 (12:30) Einstein quote. Nature has been opened up in ways never imagined before.
Slide 7 (13:25) Ways God's Creation is comprehensible.
Discovery of the "big bang" is a powerful witness to the truth of God's Revelation that the universe had a beginning.
Slide 8 (17:00) The Comprehensible Creation
• Present everywhere throughout history (cf. Romans 1:20)
• Depth of the voice expands with understanding
• There is apparently no natural limit of mana to probe ever further into the details of God's creation.
Slide 9 (20:30) The role of Light Waves in the Silent Speech
Slide 10 (22:00) Wavelength of light and resolution.
Slide 11 (28:20)  Structure of the Cell's Cytoplasm
• The cytoskeleton and the kinesin motor.
** God did not have to design his creation so we could probe to this level. But he did it because he wants us to probe his creation. Dr. Michael Denton. Evolution: a Theory in Crisis. and Nature's Destiny.
Slide 12 (36:00) Reaching to the molecule level:
• The IBM research with a Cesium atom
• The Xenon Quantum Corral.
• How does water work?
- Expansion on freezing
-  A "universal" solvent
- Formation of membranes (hydrophilia and hydrophobia)
Slide 13 (39:10) The Spiral Structure of DNA, the Genetic Code, and the Central Dogma
Slide 14 (43:30) The Deep Universe.
Slide 15 (44:00)
• It can be seen!
• It had a beginning!
• It is expanding!
• The sky is black (Olber's paradox)
Slide 16 (46:00) The Andromeda cluster (Andromeda galaxy)
Slide 17,18 (52:00) The Orion Nebula (in the Milky Way)

The Silent Voice Part 3: The Comprehensible Creation


Continuing Astronomy
Slide 14, 15: (3:20) Review: The Milky Way and Orion Nebula.
Slide 17: (6:18)  Adromeda Galaxy -- only object outside of the Milky Way that is visible in the Northern Sky.
Slide 18: (11:31) The information content of starlight.
Slide 19: (12:25) Comte quote. Light spectrum.
Slide 20: (14:00) Hydrogen spectrum. Emission spectrum from hot hydrogen; absorption spectrum from hydrogen light passing through a cold gas. Balmer series.
Slide 21: (21:00) How far away are the stars? Gravitational lensing.
• Direct distance measurement to a Double Quasar. (over 2.7 billion lightyears)
(A quasar is a star-like object that emits radio waves.)
This illustrates what I mean by the statement that the book of God's Works is not deceptive, if correctly interpreted. The implication is that the light from the source is at least 2.7 billion years old -- unless God created the light "on the way."  Some evangelical Christians say that is the case, but I must then ask, why would God make it possible to read such detail in his creation, if it is essentially false information?
Slide 22: (39:00) What we can conclude from the planets.
• The law of gravity
If God hadn't included the planets in his creation, it is very likely that the Copernican revolution would never have occurred.
• The speed of light
Slide 23: (48:00) Romer's experiment with the moons of Jupiter
Slide 26: (53:00) Ice core sampling to determine age. Antarctica.
Ddirect counting of yearly ice core layers.
Slide 27:  Ice core sampling in Greenland
Age by physically counting the layers.  Ages up to 85,000 years by direct counting, and indirect counting up to 420,000 years.

Genesis 1 - First Look
   This talk makes use of Dr. Robert C. Newman's Powerpoints,
    Christianity and Science, Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth,
    and The Biblical View of Nature,  available on the web here.

Genesis 1. The Creation Account
Slide 3 Why does the Bible begin with the Creation Account?
What mattered to the people in that day?
The uncontrollable forces in their lives.
• Their gods -- because they can do them dirt.
- The Sun, The weather, the sky, the earth, fertility (the crops),
Genesis 1 says: everything you see in nature is created by God. The other gods are not gods, they are part of the creation that God has created.
=> Worship the Creator rather than the Creatures.
Moses was educated and aware of the cultures, myths and traditions of all the
neighboring nations.
Places in Genesis 1 that seem to poke at the superstitions: Genesis 1:21 the great sea creatures as representatives of uncontrollable forces. Life at sea was dangerous.
• Don't worship nature, worship God, and rule over nature.
• Maybe God thought: what he is putting into nature is so marvelous, so amazing, that there would be a great temptation to worship it rather than God.
• Scientists disparage inteligent design. John Studenroth comments: "We read about the Bablylonian myths, the Hindu myths,  and the Egyptian myths about creation, and laugh at them. But Scientists today have the most laughable thing of all. In 200 years people are going to look back and think, 'well at least these myths had something happening, some explanation of the mysteries of Nature. But these people in 2000 -- they think it was done by nothing! It just sort of happened!'"
• The issue of uncontrollable forces: verse 26 - what is man's role? God gives them rule over the fish and over the sea monsters, and over the livestock -- exact the opposite of what the pagan myths are saying -- that we are the victims of these gods stomping around, trying to keep out from underfoot, and we try to bribe them with our offerings. The exact opposite. We are in God's image, and have the responsibility to rule over nature, not be subject to its whims.
• That's the real purpose of Genesis 1. To set the groundrule that No, Nature is not a bunch of gods and godlets that need to be appeased. Instead, the transcendent  God has created the world about us, and morever he has given us as humans, created in his image, the responsibility to rule, to have dominion over the creation. Creation was created for man to have dominion over.
• The purpose of Genesis 1 is not to give a scientific account. But incidentally he tells us a lot about how he did his work, the order in which he did it,  and various things that touch on science, on how things happen, but that's not the main purpose of the account. By this I don't mean to excuse God if there's a mistake in it and say it's OK. It's not OK. But just understand the purpose is not to give us science.
Slide 4 (26:00)  The message of Genesis 1 is:
• God is not part of nature. It is all designed by God and under his control.
• The created world had a beginning
• Humans are created in God's image to rule over nature.
• The natural world is "good."
- An early church heresy said that the created world is evil: a dicotomy between the bad physical world and the good spirit world.
• The science in the creation account is incidental (but since the author is the creator, it is accurate when it does touch on science)
Slide 5 (33:40) Powerpoint "Christianity and Science"

Day 1  Preliminary Remarks
Genesis 1:1-5    pdf

Day 1, Preliminary Remarks

Slide 2 (02:00) Saint Augustine's (350-430 AD) Warnings about Science and the Bible
John Hammond Taylor, S.J., St. Augustine: The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Vol. I and II), Paulist Press, 1982
• Remarks on St. Augustine's works on the Genesis Creation accounts

Slide 3 (8:40) Augustine: Questions of Approach  to Interpretation
• Is Genesis 1:1 a summary statement of the whole creation process?
• Most translations leave a little wiggle-room with wording that can be taken more than one way.
• Moses was highly educated - knew the Babylonian Myths, etc. Perhaps one point to the creation account is to say that all of the nature gods are not gods at all.
Slide 4: (14:00) Augustine, continued.
Slide 5: (16:10) Augustine, continued.
• Augustine's view: He had a problem: Why did God create in time?  His view:
• Creation instantaneous
• Creation days are categories or topics, not periods of time.
Slide 6: Views of the Genesis "Day"
Slide 7: (28:00) Remarks by Dr. Allan A. MacRae regarding Harry Rimmer
• Some background on Dr. MacRae
Slide 8: (38:30) Dr. MacRae Remarks, continued.
Slide 9: (41:20) My View
Slide 10: (46:30) God used natural processes when they would do the job, but at all steps
he guided these processes and "took over" when natural processes would not get there.
A legitimate goal of science is to explore the question: what ARE the limits of natural processes?
Slide 11: Answers to St. Augustine's dilemma.
Why did God constrain himself to create in time when he could have done everything  instantaneously? 
• To leave a true record of his creative activity "in silent speech"
   so that as scientists learn to read that speech, it testifies to
   the glory and handiwork of the Creator, as a witness to those
   whom God has chosen for eternal life, and as a witness against
   those who have refused to heed it.
    "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" [Matt 11:15]
    "So that hearing they do not hear" [Matt. 13:13]
• So that the valid conclusions of scientists would speak truth.
I believe the answer to Augustine's puzzlement is that God intentionally placed a record of his creative activity in his creation as a truthful witness to himself. In order to be truthful, he could not, for example, "create light on the way", because that would give a false message to scientists who learned to read the details of the early history of the stars in that light.
• So that scientists could learn how natural processes work
    [and therefore emulate them in their own work]. 

Day 1 Part 2
    This talk makes use of  the parable Ariel,
    and Dr. Robert C. Newman's Powerpoint,
    The Biblical View of Nature which is available on the web here.
Genesis 1:1-5    pdf

Day 1,  Before Day One
Slide 2 (2:00) Genesis 1:1
• There was a beginning -- the universe and matter are not eternal
• Time had a beginning: Time is created; God is outside of time
• God existed before the universe existed
• The Nature "gods" are not gods at all.
Slide 3 (4:30) Is this a summary or does it refer to the initial creation of an "unformed" earth?
Slide 4 (5:40) Meaning of "formless and void"
Slide 5  (9:25) Illustration of the formation of the earth
Slide 6 (13:00) Dust cloud forming the solar system
Slide 7 (13:40) formation of the earth
Slide 8 (14:30) More on "formless and void"
• The Scofield Bible (2 editions) interpretation of Day 1
1st Edition: "Formless and void" = earth made waste by judgment (Gap view)
2nd Edition: "Original chaos" or "divine Judgment"
In early 1800's Gap Theory promoted by early geologists, but went into disfavor
by mid-1800s. See Geology texts at my website
• My view: "formless and void" = the primordial chaos of the early universe before the
earth or solar system were formed.
Slide 9 (19:10) Early earth covered with water.
Slide 10 (21:50) Genesis 1:3-5, Day One: What happens when God said "Let there be Light?"
• Augustine takes it in the sense of John 1:1 -- spiritual illumination
• Dr. Newman takes it to be the ignition of the Sun
• My view is that it is the original creation of energy at the very beginning
Slide 11 (23:40) What is the separation of lighe from darkness?
• Some take it to mean the earth begins to rotate. I have problems with this from physics.
• Dr. Newman takes it to be clearing of the cosmic dirt cloud from around the Sun
• I take it more physically -- the inflation period at the very beginning of the universe
    (Read the Ariel skit)
Slide 12 (29:00) The inflation as seen by modern physics.
Slide 13 (32:00) Plasma -- magnetic storms on the sun
Slide 14 (34:30) Summary of Day One
Let there be light - light appeared. It was not created at this point
"It was good" Occurs throughout the Creation Account.
Matter being evil was a heresy about time of New Testament
- Gnosticism, the monestary movement.

Day 2 to Day 3a
    This talk makes use of YouTube videos: Science on a Sphere,
     The Land We Live On,
and The Early Earth and Plate Tectonics.
These videos are in flv format.
   Reference: A Fit Place to Live audio
Genesis 1:6-11

Day 2,  Creation of the Atmosphere
Slide 2 (2:00). Firmament, Dome or the Atmosphere?
Slide 3 (6:10) Early Earth scene.
Slide 4 (8:40) How the atmosphere is made according to the currrent view of science
Slide 5 (11:30) Bombardment
Slide 6 (12:00) Earth formed by collision of earth with a Mars-sized object
Slide 7 (13:00) Moon and violent tidal action
Slide 8 (15:00) Outgassing of water vapor and formation of oceans.
Slide 9 (16:30) Day 3, part 1. Genesis 1: 9-11 Dry land
• Why would dry land appear? The answer is a subtle chemical process.
Slide 11 (19:00) Convection currents.
Slide 12 (25:00)  subduction - mountain formation.
• Melting crust as it drops lower into the mantle.
• Lower melting point materials melt first. They are lighter material. Volccanic activity sends this up to the surface and form granites which in turn form continents. They are lighter than the ocean floor, and in fact the continents float on top of the mantle, forming dry land.
Slide 13 (29:00) the ring of fire along the perimeter of the plates.

Day 3b Part 1: The Creation of land plants
Reference: IBRI Research Report Fit Place.
Genesis 1:11-13

Day 3,  Second Part. Continued.
Slide 2: Review remarks:
• The creation of darkness in Day 1. The inflation period of modern physics and the clearing of the universe when the first atoms were formed. Olber's paradox regarding the dark sky at night.  The location of the solar system in the Milky Way.
• The creation of atmosphere in Day 2.
• The creation of stable dry land in Day 3, first part. Tectonic Plate Movement. Fracturing of the Earth's crust due to tidal forces from a nearby moon. Separation of lighter from heavier matter causing continents to "float". Formation of the moon by a collision between the Earth and a Mars-sized object .
Slide 3 (18 min): The Creation of Life Gen. 1:11. three kinds: "grass", low shrubs (herbs), and trees.
Problem: plants need organic food. The creation of microscopic life in the crack between Gen 1:10 and Gen 1:11. Early atmosphere: little oxygen. Why? Effect of heat on oxidizing.
Slide 4,5. Vegetable needs: organic food, organic nitrogen and oxygen.
Remark on need of plants for oxygen. Complexity of advanced life.
Slide 5: Problem of available nitrogen.
Why explosives are nitrogen-based. Why atmospheric nitrogen is not useable by
vegetation.Sodium Nitrate and aluminum nitrate fertilizer.
Slide 6: God Created the First Life to Prepare organic food and oxygen for plants.
Creation of cyanobacteria-like early bacteria. Mars "fossil" discovery in Antarctica.  Conclusions of the 1998 NAS Symposium on "What is the smallest size of living bacteria": must have at least 500 different genes (500,000 codes in the DNA) working together to have life.  The Mars "fossils" were too small to hold this many molecules. How does evolution do this?
• Creation of the genetic code -- the central dogma of biology.
• Creation of photosynthesis -- a very complex process. "Advanced?"
• Creation of nitrogen-fixing cells
• Creation of oxygen (waste product)
Slide 7-9 (44 min.): Cyanobacteria.
• Form stromatolytes.
        Hamelin pool, Western Australia
        Grow in chains in shallow water (tidal pools).
        Heterocysts to produce Nitrogen. Akinetes
• Remark on Coronal Mass Ejections, sun spots and the ozone layer.
        Sterilization of the dry land.

Day 3b Part 2
    This talk makes use of YouTube videos: HIV Replication,
and The Wonders of a Tiny Cell.
These videos are in flv format.


Day 3, The Creation of Plant Life (Continued)
Slide 2: Review: Need of all plants for organic food. First creation of microscopic life. The Central Dogma
Slide 3: (4 min.) The Creation of Life -- topics.
What's involved in the Creation of Life.• The Central Dogma
        - how the genetic code becomes a working cell.
    • The (complex but) essential features of the very first life
        - Photosynthesis
            - Chlorophyll and the complex sugar cycle
        - Nitrogen fixing
            - Nitrogenase enzyme
            - The impossibility that a normal cell could do this!
        - Energy storage battery (TCP)
            - The first "motor"
            - Other motors in living cells.
    • The difference between bacteria and "proper" cells (Eukaryotes).
    • How cells protect their genetic code against variation
        - difference between bacteria and proper cells
    • The role of variation: The question of "kind" in the Bible.
        - role of variation in species --Difference between bacteria and eukaryotes
as regards variation --  the dark moths in England. The issue of "kind"
        - Example of how genetic code can change - Viruses
        - Benefical and harmful variation.
    • The difference between plants and animals (the ciliates)
        - Body Plans and Skeletal structures; development pathways
role of hox (homeobox) genes in animal body plans.
plant use of fractal-like design in plant branching.
    • Inter-dependence of plants and animals
(Fruit trees need bees). honey bees vs. bumblebees.
    • Different kinds of plants
        - Plant structure
        - Seeds & reproduction
        - Fruit trees
    • Comments about evolution
        - Built-in capability to "evolve"
        - Limits of evolution -- fossil record evidence of limits.
    • The Closed Cycle Principle of Ecology.
        - No un-renewable food.
        - No un-recycled waste.
            Every waste product of one life form must be food for another life form.
Slide 4 (18 min.) The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology: How the genetic code works.
[HIV Movie with commentary to illustrate the central dogma processes]
Slide 5 (20:22) Complexity of the Ribosome
Slide 6 (34:07) Nitrogen fixing; nitrogenase. Contrast industrial nitrogen fixing.
Only one biological enzyme
    -- nitrogenase can fix nitrogen naturally at room temp.
    -- very slow: 1 molecule per 1.2 seconds.
    -- takes a lot of energy.
    -- guano fertilizer
Only one manufacturing process -- the Haber process -- can fix nitrogen industrially.
Slide 7 (40:40) Complex nitrogenase enzyme 24,190 atoms.
The heterocyst cell in cyanobacterias
Oxygen is poison to nitrogenase process.
Legumes - symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria.
Slide 8 (48:00) Photosynthesis, chlorophyll amd the complex sugar cycle
Slide 9 (49:30) ATP synthesis. The first "motor"
Slide 10 (51:40) Difference between bacteria and proper cells.
protection of genetic code
cell transport  in proper cells
cell structure in proper cells
Slide 11 (54:10) Bacterial shapes (no internal structure)
osmotic pressure -- like a balloon -- determines shapes and rigidity.
Slide 12 (55:30) Ciliates -- eukaryotes. Illustrating varying structure possible with
internal structure,
Slide 13 (56:30) structures in the cell.
The kinesin molecule -- another molecular motor.
limitations of light microscopes -- apparent simplicity of the cell protoplasm.
Actual complexity of the protoplasm.
Slide 17 - Example of osmotic pressure -- swelling of fiddlehead fern
Slide 19 - The vegetated earth. God Saw that it was Good

Day 4
Genesis 1:14-19

Day 4,  Clearing the Atmosphere
Slide 1: Why are there no stars in the NASA picture?
Where, season, time of day was the picture taken?
Slide 2: Clearing of the Atmosphere.
Past, Present, Future in Hebrew Verbs: v. 16 - "made" or "had made?"
   Completed action and continuing action
   Difference between classic and modern Hebrew, which does have tenses.
   citations from   and
Slide 3 (17:15) Augustine Literal Meaning of Genesis (¶ I.11.23) on "What is the connection between the light of v. 3 and the lights of v. 14?
Luther on Augustine.
Slide 4 (24:00) Augustine Literal Meaning of Genesis (¶ II.14.28) on Lights in the firmament as signs.
Augustine's opposition to astrology.
The precision of the astronomical timekeepers.
Precession of the equinox "year". Measured by ancient astronomers Hipparchus, Ptolemy.
Estimate in time of Augustine: 36,000 years; Modern estimate: 25,768 years.
Slide 5 (33:30) The Moon as a "Lesser Light" Augustine Literal Meaning of Genesis (¶ II.15:30) on Lights in the firmament as signs.
"Greater" and "Lesser" lights as viewed from an observer on the earth
Slide 6 (40:10) The Acts of Forming and the Acts of Filling
A structured way to look at the 6 days of creation as two sets of 3 days.
Hugh Miller's view of "prophetic"or "revelation" creation days as an analogy to prophetic vision.
Slide 7 (51:33) Introduction to Day 5. The creation of animal life.
What distinguishes plants from animals? The role of body plan genes (hox or homeobox genes).
Role of hox genes: Left-right symmetry, 
embryo body segmentation,
plant symmetry: not determined by genes, but by physical requireents of balance or by logical (fractal-like) growth rules.

Day 5 Part 1
    This talk makes use of YouTube videos: Evolution's Genetic Tool Kit,
and Neo-Darwinism's Homology Problem.
These videos are in flv format.
Genesis 1:20-23

Day 5,  Creation of the first animal life.
Slide 2 (3:00) More on body plans.
Left-right symmetry. Trees symmetry determined by needs for balance, not a body plan.
hox genes turn on and off expression of DNA genes.
Slide 3 (9:14)
v. 20: "birds" is "flying creatures"-- such as insects -- not just birds.
v.21: "great sea creatures" -- Job
cf. monsters (dragons?) of Job 41 (see Job 7:12, Ps. 74:13, Job 3:8, Ps. 104:26, Isa 27:1)
The fearfulness of going out to sea.
Dragons and sea creatures as "gods"
The Phoenicians "The Sea people" -- First to circumnavigate Africa to India?
Slide 4 (16:00) Variety of animals and similarities between them.
To an evolutionist -- similarity implies common ancestor.
- The "Central Dogma"
- Similar gene groups.
Analogy to computer programming.
Prov. 1:7 "The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge."
Similiarity does not necessarily imply a common (natural) ancestor
The words for "createt" in Genesis 1 (preliminary comments)
Slide 5 (23:00)     Show videos.
Similarity means common ancestor (to evolutionists)
Or, could mean same creator who re-used genetic plans.
Similar packages of genes used over and over -- expressed by homeobox genes.
The "eyeless" gene
 -- confusion of wording: does this mean  the basic gene package or homeobox genes?
"evo-devo" evolutionary development -- experimentally-focussed evolution research.
chimpanzee skull vs human skull -- the ridge over the eye -- is the human development
arrested at an "immature stage?"
Human spinal cord vertebrae
homology - similarity of structure
Slide 6 (49:45) homology in development of leg, arm and wing.
evo-devo research: legs growing out of heads, etc.
whale flipper and human hand.

Day 5 Part 2
      Pictures: Bark of Lycopod (mire forest)


Day 5,  Creation of the first animal life (Cont.)
Slide 1
Review:  Past discussion == the commonality among species
• Complexity of earliest life - Central Dogma, ribosomes, photosynthesis,  nitrogen fixing -- nitrogenase, cyanobacteria, stromatolytes and the "Eozoon",
• Use of similar gene packages in widely different species; homeobox genes.
Today: differences between species
Slide 2 (11:30)
Slide 3 (13:00)
Slide 4 (13:40) Charts of Major plant and animal types
Slide 5 (15:00) Types of Plants
Major plant types: seeds, without seeds (spores), plants with flowers
• green algae -- green slime on seashore rocks.
• true mosses, liverworts (bryophytes) -- no vascula (veins -- xylem, phloem) or roots.
       -- must be small and in wet environments.
• ferns, horsetail, (veined) Lycophytes in coal veins. Woodlike  (lignin) strengthening of the cell walls. Water conservation -- breathing mechanism that preserves moisture.
Slide 6 (25:20) Lycopods - the Pennsylvania Coal Period; Pennsylvania mire forest.
Pictures of the fossil Lycopod bark.
Slide 7 (35:00) Types of Animals
Warning: More Complexity doesn't equal advancement!!
• Sponges - no gut. Rely on flowing water for food and remove wastes.
• Cnidaria - stinging. No through-gut. Colonial animals.
• Flatworms - left-right symmetry, no gut. Rely on diffusion  for food and waste.
• Roundworms, annelids - a full gut with mouth and anus; body segmentation.
• Chordates - central nerve bundle and segmented spine.

Slide 10 (51:30) Trilobite -- segmentation
• Segments grow with age (contrast, e.g. human spine which is fixed number of segments)
• Size not related to advancement: More advanced species tend to control size.
    The bigger the animal the more advanced? No.  later animals tend to have more restraint
         on growth.
    Exoskeleton requires molting.

Day 5 Part 3
      Handout: Types of Animals
      Figures: Tree of Life
     Reference: Abundant Life  (pdf);  slides  (pdf)
    This talk makes use of YouTube videos: Trilobite Preparation in Rissani Morocco,
and Preparation lab in Erfoud Morocco.
These videos are in flv format.


Body Plans and the Tree of Life.

Day 5,
Slide 1 Review: Major phyla of plant and animal life.
Body plans involve major innovations, not necessarily "advances"
innovations are just different construction methods which ALLOWED the plants and animals to perform certain things and also RULED OUT the ability to do certain things
Slide 2 (7:00) Genesis 1:20-23
Slide 3 (10:00) Handout: Body systems.
Homeobox genes. Discovery of deep water life -- HMS Challenger expedition. 1872-1876. Life in the Challenger Deep in Marianas trench.
• Digestive system
• Respiration
• Circulation, etc.
• Nervous system
• Support
Slide 4 (22:30) Cambrian Explosion -- most body plans appear suddenly in the fossil record.
• The Phanerozoic Era
Slide 5 (25:38) Most appear in Cambrian Era.
Major Cambrian sites: Burgess Shales (Canada) and the Chengjiang formation (China)
Slide 8 (28:00) Haeckel's Tree of Life -- Corresponding to Darwin's tree of life
Slide 6 (30:30) Modernization of  Darwin's Tree of Life
Slide 7 (33:30) Fossil Tree of Life
Slide 9 (36:15) Trilobites -- Videos on Trilobite formation in Morocco.
Remarks on what makes a fossil.
The "pickled" trilobite (Northern New York -- Elmira area?) interior parts outlined
     by iron pyrite (fools gold).
Slide 11 (49:30) Extinctions in the Fossil Record.
The Bridgewater Treatises
Compare Psalm 104:2-30.
IBRI Talk Abundant Life

Day 6 Part 2: Creation of Man
Genesis 1:26-27

Day 6 part 2, Creation of Man
Slide 2 (1:45): Genesis 1:26-27
Remarks on PETA
Slide 3 (4:15) Hebrew of Genesis 1:27
• "bara" = create
• "elohim" = God in his role as Creator
• "adam" = Man (or Adam)
The question is, What does "bara" mean or imply?
Slide 4 (8:40) On words "bara" and "asah" = make.
• TWOT quote and quote.
• Interplay between "bara" and "asah" in Genesis 1.
Slide 5 (14:30)  Hebrew words for "Create"
• Three uses of "bara" in Genesis 1: verses 1,21,27
• 1:1   Creation of Heavens and Earth
• 1:21 Creation of sea creatures and flying creatures (Day 5)
• 1:27 Creation of Man (Day 6).
• I believe that when the word "bara" is used, it denotes a never-before-seen thing that has happened. Not something that can happen by any natural process.
- Genesis 1:1 creation of universe
- But why is next use not until 1:21 in day 5? My answer: All of the intervening events described in days 2-4 are the working out of natural processes.
* The atmosphere (firmament) occurred with the natural outgassing from the molten earth as it cooled.
* The separation of waters above from waters below was a natural process
because of the chemistry and physics of the elements that God created in them.
* The appearance of dry land was a natural process in which, due to tidal effects from the moon, the earth crust cracked, violent volcanic activity, current in the mantle, collision between plates, fractionation of the magma into lighter elements which melted first and rose, forming the continents which float over the (denser) ocean floor and magma.
* The visibility of Sun, Moon, Stars from earth due to natural clearing of the atmosphere.
* Creation of plants is also "asah". Why?
      speculation: The real creation (bara) of life did not occur here but earlier,
      in the crack between Day 2 and Day 3, with the creation of microscopic
      life. That creation of life was not mentioned because it would not be
      understood by the readers at that time. Thus the creation of plants was a
      development that did not involve a "never before seen" innovation. The
      real "bara" creation was the creation of life.
- 1:21 Creation of sea creatures and flying animals is "bara". Why? It is the creation of animals. This is the difference between plants and animals. This is a radical change from plants -- never-before-seen. Hence a new thing, hence "bara".
- 1:27 Creation of man. Question: Is this the body or the soul? I argue 1:26 uses "asah" to refer to the creation of the body and 1:27 uses "bara" to refer to the creation of the soul -- something never before seen.
* Image is not the body but the soul -- whatever spiritual thing it is that we got as opposed to the body.
• Some additional places where "bara" is used -- to emphasize that "bara" means something never before seen.
- Exodus 34:10 "I will create a marvel" such as never has been seen.
- Num 16:30 "create something new" punishment of Korah's rebellion, to show nothing before seen "Why are you putting on airs; we are all equally blessed of God."
Ps 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart"  Don't take anything that I've got and mold it around for your purposes: I have got to have something radically new.

The question I ask, is, "Is there anything in land plants that is radically different from the microscopic plant life?" I think the answer is probably "no": the concept of photosynthesis is already done way back as soon as the earth was cool enough to have any kind of life; the complex central dogma is not different. Are there any essentially new processes going on? Without saying that Genesis 1 is a scientific document with every i dotted and t crossed, God was giving a message -- in just one chapter -- about his creation of life and especially of humans. If he had mentioned microscopic life, then perhaps he would be misunderstood to be talking about demons or something equally mysterious... Anyway, he didn't.

In Creation, God uses natural processes when natural processes will do the job. He uses fiat when natural processes are not able to do the job. This is not just theory, it is what the Silent Voice of God tells us when we carefully examine the Book of God's Works. Just as a complicated computer program doesn't just evolve, it uses pre-existing stuff in novel ways that require intelligence to get them there.

Day 6 Part 2


Day 6,

Day 6 Part 3


Day 6,

mailbox Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Please email:

Last updated: February 25, 2008