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Creation Week

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The divine comedy
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Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel
Light iron-age reading
The Bible
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Gabbin' with God

Creation Week is the week in which Biblical literalists believe God created all that exists. According to the first version, the work was done over six literal days, and began possibly on the evening before Oct 23, 4004 BCE with the seventh day being a day of rest. [1] No timescale is given for the second version. They are both described in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. As Biblical literalists have a fondness for the King James version, all references here are to that edition.

Perhaps owing to its placement at the beginning of the Book of Genesis and its role as a creation story for the Abrahamic religions, the account of God creating the world in a week is one of the most famous parts of the Bible. However, the story—if taken literally—is incompatible with a vast preponderance of paleontological findings, and this has led to considerable disagreement between Young Earth Creationists and scientists.

First version[edit]

  • Sunday: God creates light. The light is divided from the darkness, and "day" and "night" are named.[2]
  • Monday: God creates a firmament and divides the waters above it from the waters below. The firmament is named "heaven".[3]
  • Tuesday: God gathers the waters together, and dry land appears. "Earth" and "sea" are named. Then God brings forth grass, herbs and fruit-bearing trees on the Earth.[4]
  • Wednesday: God creates lights in the firmament of Heaven, to separate light from darkness and to mark days, seasons and years. Two great lights are made, as well as the stars.[5]
    • Note: God apparently wanted to make the most of humpday. The simple five-letter-word "stars" does not do justice to the monumental amount of work that must have been exerted to create the effectively countless numberWikipedia's W.svg of stars in the universe.
    • Note: "To be or not to be, that is the question."
  • Thursday: God creates birds and sea creatures, including "great sea serpents" or "great whales". They are commanded to be fruitful and multiply.[6]
  • Friday: God creates wild beasts (the goat came to be and there was much rejoicing), livestock and reptiles upon the Earth. He then creates Man and Woman in His "image" and "likeness". They are told to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [or shepherd it: God seems to have mumbled a little at this part]." Humans and animals are given plants to eat. The totality of creation is described by God as "very good".[7]
  • Saturday: God finishes his work of creation, and rests from His work he reaches into his cooler, grabs a cold one and says "this day shall be for the boys."[8]

Second version[edit]

To complicate things the second chapter of Genesis beginning in 2:4 has a different creation story. In this one the order goes as follows:

  • Earth and heavens[9]
  • Mist and water on the earth[10]
  • Adam, the first man on what seems to be an empty earth[11]
  • Plants[12]
  • Animals[13]
  • Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)[14]

Consequences of two contradictory creation stories[edit]

You would think that the existence of two contradictory creation stories would be a problem for believers in full biblical literalism and young-Earth creationists - it's practically the running joke of Biblical literalism. They seem to have no problem with it, as long as you accept at least one version. Those who take it allegorically clearly don't have this problem.

Apologists do exist who attempt to reconcile these two contradictory accounts. Since ancient Hebrew didn't distinguish between the simple past tense and the pluperfect tense, they choose to render Genesis 2:19 as "Now Yahweh God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky," implying that this act had already taken place before Adam was created, back in verse 7. This is kind of hard to swallow, considering that in verse 18 God said "I will make a helper suitable for him" and then Adam searched for a helper among the animals in verses 19 and 20, implying that God decided to create the animals after Adam already existed so that he'd have a pool of potential helpers to choose from. Also, the Bible does seem to have a certain form corresponding to pluperfect; notably used at the beginning of Genesis 39(40 in Hebrew), where "Joseph had been taken down to Egypt", but it seems to be absent in this case.

Meanwhile, legitimate Biblical scholars, i.e., the ones who aren't confined to asserting it as an accurate historical document, seem to view it as a curiosity that might show how the Bible was written. The addition of chapter and verse numbers to the Bible was a recent invention. While sections, chapters and divisions were often used, the standard version we see today didn't evolve outright until around 1590. Even then, it wasn't until the 19th Century that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were really considered "separate".

In terms of writing style, Genesis 1 is like a procedural framework while Genesis 2 is a more continuous narrative. When taken together some suggest that the second story is closer to an edited commentary on the first, rather than a complete revision — though the differing time sequences for the creation of Adam and Eve and everything else make this solution problematic.

In fact, in the original languages, the names used for God differed between the two contradictory stories (plural Elohim in Genesis 1, singular Yahweh in Genesis 2), indicating with near certainly different origins for the stories. Out of the two, the first one seems to be heavily influenced by Mesopotamian or Egyptian mythology, since these are the regions where life is connected to the annual overflow and receding of large rivers, and Genesis 1 describes a flooded earth from which the water recedes in order to make life possible. The second one, however, seems to be influenced by local mythology, since Genesis 2 states that the land was barren because there was no rain, and Canaan is the one place in the area where rain is important. In the so-called "framework interpretation", the second story may be considered as close to a literal narrative as necessary, while the first is a priestly account of creation used to emphasize the Sabbath and God's involvement with the creation of the world. The followers of this interpretation would claim that this resolves conflict with science because they claim the literal seven days are an allegorical account; young earth creationists reject this for precisely this reason.

The Sun-Day Paradox[edit]

The Sun-Day Paradox[15] is the name given to a serious question asked of creationists who take a literal view of the Bible - in particular, Genesis 1. The question, in its simplest form, is 'What would happen if the Sun were to go out?' Since the Sun was created on the fourth day of Creation Week to rule part of an already established light/dark cycle—rather than be the source of that light—creationists must be of the view that nothing will change: day and night should continue in the same way as before.

In the debate between science and creationism, rather than arguing from different and opposing premises, this question raises an issue from within the logical confines that a literal belief in the Biblical creation story places upon itself. Furthermore, it is a question that applies equally to different forms of creationism such as Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism and Day-Age Creationism.

Before Creation Week[edit]

There are a lot of things which predate Creation Week (6000 years ago). Items are given here, followed by when they were invented (In this case, animals and plants are listed when they were domesticated).

  • Stone tools (3 million years ago)
  • Fire (making it) (790,000 years ago)
  • Hafting (attaching handles to stone tools) (500,000 years ago)
  • Spear (400,000 years ago)
  • Mining (40,000 years ago)
  • Needle (40,000 years ago)
  • Drill (35,000 years ago)
  • Burin (35,000 years ago)
  • Fishhook (35,000 years ago)
  • Atlatl (spear thrower) (35,000 years ago)
  • Archery (30,000 years ago)
  • Paintbrush (30,000 years ago)
  • House (25,000 years ago)
  • Boomerang (20,000 years ago)
  • Pottery (15,000 years ago)
  • Dog (13,000 years ago)
  • Trepanning (12,000 years ago)
  • Whistle (12,000 years ago)
  • Agriculture (11,000 years ago)
  • Oven (11,000 years ago)
  • Goat (11,000 years ago)
  • Sheep (10,000 years ago)
  • Wheat (9,500 years ago)
  • Chisel (9,000 years ago)
  • Flax (9,000 years ago)
  • Mortise-tenon Joint (9,000 years ago)
  • Sickle (9,000 years ago)
  • Pig (9,000 years ago)
  • Drop spindle (tool for making thread or yarn) (~9,000 years ago)
  • Copper (8,500 years ago)
  • Lead (8,500 years ago)
  • Glue (8,200 years ago)
  • Cow (8,000 years ago)
  • Axe (8,000 years ago)
  • Drum (8,000 years ago)
  • Boat (8,000 years ago)
  • Weaving (7,500 years ago)
  • Quern (7,000 years ago)
  • Leather (7,000 years ago)
  • Irrigation (7,000 years ago)
  • Loom (7,000 years ago)
  • Plow (7,000 years ago)
  • Seal (as in the seal of a document, not the animal) (6,500 years ago)


See also[edit]