Part 2: The Genesis Account

Alan Feuerbacher

Let us now consider how Creation handles Genesis' description of creation. Chapter 3 explains the account. It gives details of each creative day, and assigns to them "long periods of time -- millenniums." Paragraph 32 draws the conclusion:

From what we have considered, the Genesis creation account emerges as a scientifically sound document.19

The trouble is, up to this point chapter 3 has considered nothing that leads to this conclusion. The only things it has covered are descriptions of Genesis' creative days and certain obvious facts, i.e., light exists, night and day exist, there is dry land, the sun and moon can be seen in the sky, there are seasons and there are many forms of life. Only in the discussion that follows paragraph 32 does the writer touch upon the idea that Genesis is scientifically sound. Paragraph 33 continues:

All the knowledge of the wise men of Egypt could not have furnished Moses, the writer of Genesis, any clue to the process of creation... Where, then, did Moses learn all these things? Apparently from someone who was there.

Note here that the writer has already assumed Genesis to have been proven scientifically sound, even though he has not yet done so, and he says explicitly he is about to prove such by his next argument, in paragraph 34, which states:

The science of mathematical probability offers striking proof that the Genesis creation account must have come from a source with knowledge of the events. The account lists 10 major stages in this order: (1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts, mammals; (10) man. Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order. What are the chances that the writer of Genesis just guessed this order? The same as if you picked at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and drew them in consecutive order. The chances of doing this on your first try are 1 in 3,628,800! So, to say the writer just happened to list the foregoing events in the right order without getting the facts from somewhere is not realistic.

The key point claimed is that science agrees that the stages of creation occurred in the general order stated in Genesis, and therefore God must have informed Moses of them.20 How does the writer show the order in which science says the stages occurred? He does not do so in the main text. However, in a side box not referenced in the main text he says the following:

A well-known geologist said this about the Genesis creation account:

"If I as a geologist were called upon to explain briefly our modern ideas of the origin of the earth and the development of life on it to a simple, pastoral people, such as the tribes to whom the Book of Genesis was addressed, I could hardly do better than follow rather closely much of the language of the first chapter of Genesis." This geologist, Wallace Pratt, also noted that the order of events -- from the origin of the oceans, to the emergence of land, to the appearance of marine life, and then to birds and mammals -- is essentially the sequence of the principle divisions of geologic time.

So Creation supports its key point with a quotation from a single geologist. It provides no geological data, and no references to geology texts or any other science reference material. The author apparently assumes the reader will read the sidebox, and from that single anecdotal reference draw the conclusion that geology supports Genesis. Likewise, from this one quotation and the list of ten creation events, the author draws the conclusion that there is next to no chance that the writer of Genesis just guessed the right order of creation. But is the key "fact" correct, namely, is it really true that science agrees that the stages of creation occurred in the same general order as presented in Genesis? The following is a summary of what most geology books say. Note that what science says concerning the early universe and earth is highly speculative because of the scarcity of data from those early periods. This is widely acknowledged by geology texts.

The most recent theory on the origin of the universe postulates that everything began in a sort of explosion called the "Big Bang." Science can make no statement about what existed prior to the Big Bang because the physics are not understood.20a So science and Genesis may agree that there was a beginning, but the details are radically different. This eliminates agreement with point (1) above.

What was the primitive earth like? Again science cannot say with any certainty. Many theories have been advanced, but almost all are acknowledged to be speculative because there is no conclusive evidence. One category of theory postulates that the early earth was extremely hot because of the gravitational energy released by matter falling onto it as it condensed from the primordial nebula from which the solar system formed. The earth then slowly cooled, releasing the gases that formed the atmosphere and the water vapor that eventually condensed to form the oceans. Another category of theory postulates that the early earth was relatively cool at first, and the interior gradually heated up to its current state because of radioactive elements it contained.21 The gradual heating released the various gases during volcanic eruptions. So the composition and evolution of the early atmosphere is poorly understood, as is the mode of formation of the oceans. What is agreed upon is that a solid surface existed before any oceans accumulated upon it. These things eliminate agreement with points (2), (3), (4), (5), and (7) above.

Creation's author is aware that science does not say anything conclusive about the early atmosphere, because on page 41 he says:

The fact is, any attempt to establish the nature of earth's primitive atmosphere can only be based on guesswork or assumption. No one knows for sure what it was like.

Apparently by page 41 he has forgotten the above points, because if no one knows for sure what the atmosphere was like there can be no real agreement on what it was like. It is evident the author claims that science and Genesis agree on the state of the primitive atmosphere when it suits his purpose, but later he claims science really knows nothing about the early atmosphere when it suits a different purpose. This choosing among "facts" to suit preexisting notions is inappropriate in a book published by an organization that claims to be interested in truth.

What about the order of creation of life? The geological record of the rocks is much clearer on this than on the early history of the earth. Due to the scarcity of evidence, much is speculative about early one-celled forms of life, but there is a great deal of evidence regarding life after hard-shelled forms appeared. According to most geological source references, first came one-celled organisms called prokaryotes, which do not contain a nucleus. They appeared at first in the form of anaerobic bacteria, then in the form of photosynthetic bacteria, next aerobic bacteria, and finally blue-green algae. Next came one celled organisms called eukaryotes, which contain a nucleus. Finally came multicellular organisms in great variety.

The multicellular organisms were at first marine invertebrates of various types. Then fish and higher marine plants appeared. Next came land plants, amphibians, and insects. Next reptiles, then birds and mammals, and finally man. Note especially that science says fish came before land plants, and some land animals such as amphibians and scorpions came before any flying creatures, including flying insects. If Genesis were correct, whales in particular would have come before dinosaurs, and so would birds, because the simple pastoral Israelites would have understood "the great sea monsters" to include whales, and the "flying creatures" to include birds. The fossil record shows there were both swimming and flying dinosaurs that often were built along the same lines as their mammalian and avian counterparts. But this was unknown to the Israelites. These things show that (6) above is out of order, and (6), (8), and (9) are mixed up. The only thing that is entirely in agreement with science in the above list is that man came last.

If one has to massage Genesis and mangle the scientific data, such as claiming some plants were created very early and others were created much later, when all of the plants mentioned by name in Genesis such as grass and fruit trees show up much later, one can hardly claim the two accounts agree with each other. Creation's statement that the Genesis stages of creation agree with science is true in only the loosest sense.

Furthermore, if you consider Genesis' saying that the universe had a beginning is significant, then other primitive creation stories must be just as significant, as virtually all of them say there was a beginning. So what is the extent of the agreement between science and Genesis?

After a beginning, life forms appeared, among which man was last.

That's it.

There is no agreement in the details. Therefore Creation's claim that the Genesis account came from a source with knowledge of the events has not been shown. In fact, where science makes a definite statement, it disagrees with the Genesis account in almost every detail.

It should be clear why the Creation book refers to no geological data to prove its point, because the data disprove it. Instead, it has to resort to quoting a single geologist, who, not surprisingly, was a creationist who believed the earth was created in six literal days. This is typical of the Society's arguments with respect to science and the Bible. When there is no support in scientific publications the Society quotes other religious or creationist writings without telling the reader the nature of the source.

So what is the probability that the Genesis writer got his knowledge of the order of creation from God, based on its "agreement" with what science says?


Note that this conclusion does not depend on whether the "facts" of science are correct. It depends only on the fact that science and the Genesis account do not agree. Whether the "facts" of science are correct is another matter entirely.

The Creation book's quotation of geologist Wallace Pratt, as mentioned above, is an example of how the Society fails to include significant points about a reference, even though the points left out can make a decisive difference in the reader's judgment of the subject. Wallace Pratt was a geologist and an executive for Humble Oil Company and Standard Oil Company (Exxon) at various times in his career. Here is the full context of Creation's quotation of him.22 Let the reader make his own judgment.

Pratt is as much at home in the worlds of literature and philosophy as he is in those of science and industry. He is intrigued by the power of poetic expression. In "Sermons in Stones," a lecture which he gave in 1928, he said, "If I as a geologist were called upon to explain briefly our modern ideas of the origin of the earth and the development of life on it to a simple, pastoral people, such as the tribes to whom the Book of Genesis was addressed, I could hardly do better than follow rather closely much of the language of the first chapter of Genesis." He noted that the order of events -- from the origin of the oceans, to the emergence of land, to the appearance of marine life and then of birds and mammals -- is essentially the sequence of the principle divisions of geologic time from the Cosmic Era to the Psychozoic. He was undisturbed by the way Genesis compresses millions of geologic years into six days, for "Are we not assured, indeed, that with the Creator, 'a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day?'"

Many of the theories of the origin of the earth to which scientists gave credence in 1928 have been sharply modified in the light of new discoveries in geology and astronomy, but not enough, Pratt feels, to disrupt the parallelism with Genesis. "Science is like that," he says. "No scientific theory is sacrosanct. Somebody has said that the great glory of science is that its truths of today are its absurdities of tomorrow. And that is so. New facts always inspire scientists to devise new hypotheses and to demolish old ones."

Note two important points from this: (1) Pratt was a creationist who believed the earth was created in six literal days, and (2) Creation's reference was to a lecture he gave in 1928. Creation is silent on these points because they deflate its argument, in spite of comments from Pratt. Here again the Society withholds information that could help a reader evaluate its argument.

An interesting point about Pratt was his religious belief that the earth was created in six literal days. Pratt was legendary for his ability to find oil fields based on the geology of an area. He regularly used the idea that oil bearing strata were laid down over a long period of time, so that the strata had a certain consistency he was able to discern so as to pick out likely oil fields with great success. How was he able to reconcile the two conflicting sets of beliefs?

The above information showing that Genesis and science do not agree on the order of creation of life is not new. An article in the column "This View of Life" in Natural History23 described a series of articles written in 1885-1896 by onetime British premier W. E. Gladstone and paleontologist T. H. Huxley concerning the Genesis creation account. Gladstone had

written an article on the scientific truth of the book of Genesis... Thomas Henry Huxley ... read Gladstone's effort with disgust and wrote a response to initiate one of the most raucous, if forgotten, free-for-alls of late nineteenth century rhetoric... [Concerning the Genesis account,] isn't the general order and story consistent with modern science, from the big bang to Darwinian theory? After all, plants come first in Genesis, then creatures of the sea, then land animals, and finally humans. Well, isn't this right? And, if so, then isn't Genesis true in the broad sense? And if true, especially since the scribes of Genesis could not have understood the geological evidence, must not the words be divinely inspired? This sequence of claims is the precise focus of Gladstone's article. Huxley's words therefore deserve a resurrection.

Huxley's rebuttal is no different from the argument that most intellectuals -- scientists and theologians alike -- make today. First, while the broadest brush of the Genesis sequence might be correct -- plants first, people last -- many details are dead wrong by the testimony of geological evidence from the fossil record. Second, this lack of correlation has nothing whatever negative to say about the power and purpose of religion or its relationship with the sciences. Genesis is not a treatise on natural history...

Gladstone... insisted that [the major acts of creation] conform precisely to the order best specified by modern science -- the cosmological events of the first four days to Laplace's "nebular hypothesis" for the origin of the sun and planets, and the biological events of "days" five and six to the geological record of fossils and Darwin's theory of evolution. He placed special emphasis on a fourfold sequence in the appearance of animals: the "water population" followed by the "air population" on the fifth day, and the "land population" and its "consummation in man" on the sixth day...

Gladstone then caps his argument with the claim still echoed by modern reconcilers: this order, too good to be guessed by writers ignorant of geological evidence, must have been revealed by God to the scribes of Genesis:

Then, I ask, how came ... the author of the first chapter of Genesis to know that order, to possess knowledge which natural science has only within the present century for the first time dug out of the bowels of the earth? It is surely impossible to avoid the conclusion, first, that either this writer was gifted with faculties passing all human experience, or else his knowledge was divine.

Huxley arranged his critique by citing four arguments against Gladstone's insistence that Genesis specified an accurate "fourfold order" of creation -- water population, air population, land population, and man. Huxley wrote:

If I know anything at all about the results attained by the natural sciences of our time, it is a demonstrated conclusion and established fact that the fourfold order given by Mr. Gladstone is not that in which the evidence at our disposal tends to show that the water, air and land populations of the globe have made their appearance... The facts which demolish his whole argument are of the commonest notoriety. [Huxley uses "notoriety" not in its current, pejorative meaning, but in the old sense of "easily and evidently known to all."]

He then presents his arguments in sequence:

1. Direct geological evidence shows that land animals arose before flying creatures. This reversal of biblical sequence is true whether we view the Genesis text as referring only to vertebrates (for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles long preceded birds) or to all animals (for such terrestrial arthropods as scorpions arise before flying insects).

2. Even if we didn't know, or chose not to trust, the geological sequence, we could deduce on purely anatomical grounds that flying creatures must have evolved from preexisting terrestrial ancestors. Structures used in flight are derived modifications of terrestrial features...

3. Whatever the order of first appearances, new species within all groups -- water, air, and land dwellers -- have continued to arise throughout subsequent time, whereas Genesis implies that God made all the sea creatures, then all the denizens of the air, and so on.

4. However we may wish to quibble about the order of animals, Gladstone should not so conveniently excise plants from his discussion. Genesis pushes the origin back to the third day, before the origin of any animal. But plants do not precede animals in the fossil record; and the terrestrial flowering plants specifically mentioned in Genesis (grass and fruit tree) arise very late, long after the first mammals...

(Much of the fun in reading through this debate lies not in the forcefulness of arguments or in the mastery of prose by both combatants, but in the sallying and posturing of two old gamecocks... pulling out every trick from the rhetorical bag -- the musty and almost shameful, the tried and true, and even a novel flourish here and there.) ...

... when Gladstone got down to business, he could muster only a feeble response to Huxley's particulars. He did effectively combat Huxley's one weak argument -- the third charge that all groups continue to generate new species, whatever the sequence of their initial appearance. Genesis, Gladstone replies, only discusses the order of origin, not the patterns of subsequent history:

If we arrange the schools of Greek philosophy in numerical order, according to the dates of their inception, we do not mean that one expired before another was founded. If the archaeologist describes to us as successive in time the ages of stone, bronze and iron, he certainly does not mean that no kinds of stone implement were invented after bronze began.

But Gladstone was stuck on his major claim, the veracity of the Genesis sequence: water population, air population, land population, and humans. So he took refuge in the oldest ploy of debate. He made an end run around his disproved argument and changed the terms of discussion. Genesis doesn't refer to all animals, but "only to the formation of the objects and creatures with which early man was conversant." Therefore, toss out all invertebrates (although I cannot believe that cockroaches had no foothold, even in the Garden of Eden) and redefine the sequence of water, air, land, and mentality as fish, bird, mammal, and man. At least this sequence is geologically correct. But every attempt at redefinition brings new problems. How can the land population of the sixth day -- "every living thing that creepeth upon the earth" -- refer to mammals alone and exclude the reptiles that not only arose long before birds but also provided the dinosaurian lineage of their ancestry. This problem backed Gladstone into a corner, and he responded with the weak rejoinder that reptiles are disgusting and degenerate things, destined only for our inattention (despite Eve and the serpent): "Reptiles are a family fallen from greatness; instead of stamping on a great period of life its leading character, they merely skulked upon the earth." Yet Gladstone sensed his difficulty and admitted that while reptiles didn't disprove his story, they certainly didn't help him either: "However this case may be regarded, of course I cannot draw from it any support to my general contention."

Huxley, smelling victory, moved in for the kill. He derided Gladstone's slithery argument about reptiles and continued to highlight the evident discrepancies of Genesis, read literally, with geology ("Mr. Gladstone and Genesis," The Nineteenth Century, 1896):

However reprehensible, and indeed contemptible, terrestrial reptiles may be, the only question which appears to me to be relevant to my argument is whether these creatures are or are not comprised under the denomination of "everything that creepeth upon the ground."

Contrasting the approved tactics of Parliament and science, Huxley obliquely suggested that Gladstone might emulate the wise cobbler and stick to his last. Invoking reptiles once again, he wrote:

Still, the wretched creatures stand there, importunately demanding notice; and, however different may be the practice in that contentious atmosphere with which Mr. Gladstone expresses and laments his familiarity, in the atmosphere of science it really is of no avail whatever to shut one's eyes to facts, or to try to bury them out of sight under a tumulus of rhetoric.

Gladstone's new sequence of fish, bird, mammal, and man performs no better than his first attempt in reconciling Genesis and geology. The entire enterprise, Huxley asserts, is misguided, wrong, and useless: "Natural science appears to me to decline to have anything to do with either [of Gladstone's two sequences]; they are as wrong in detail as they are mistaken in principle." Genesis is a great work of literature and morality, not a treatise on natural history.

There is nothing new under the sun. The old argument the Creation book revives is no better than it was one hundred years ago. The same mistakes of fact are made. Therefore, Creation's key argument in Chapter 3, that science and Genesis agree on the order of creation, which it bases on a statement by a geologist with six-literal-day creationist beliefs, is incorrect. When the details are examined, it is evident that Genesis cannot be reconciled with the fossil record, just as Thomas Huxley pointed out one hundred years ago.

Let us briefly touch on the validity of current scientist's interpretation of the fossil record. It is true that much of what is said is poorly understood, poorly known or speculative. However, there are some basic aspects of geology that are so close to simple observation and measurement that scientists can claim to be right:

In particular, geologic dating (both relative and absolute) is on extremely firm ground. To challenge the basic chronology of life forms would be like claiming that the sun is only ten thousand miles from the earth or that the earth is flat. In effect, we can "see" the geologic time scale.24

If the fossil record showed clear discrepancies -- such as the early appearance of fossils of animals or plants that, according to current scientific understanding, appeared late in the fossil record -- excellent arguments could be made that the fossil record is too poorly understood to make firm conclusions, and that there is no basis for questioning the Bible's statements that conflict with the fossil record. But there are no such anomalies. It is apparent therefore, that claims that the Bible is accurate when it touches on scientific matters such as the order of creation, rest almost entirely on rejection of evidence to the contrary, rather than an impartial examination of all evidence. In any case the bottom line is: science and Genesis do not agree on the order of creation.

The June 8, 1991 Awake! article, "Did Each Creative Day Always Finish What It Started?" is a good illustration of the Society's misunderstanding of geological information. The Awake! article, like the Creation book, contains many statements that the Genesis creation account is historical and agrees with science. The following discussion examines the article's viewpoint on this question.

First note that Creation and Awake! do not agree with each other on whether science and Genesis agree on the order of creation events. On page 37 Creation lists ten events of creation and says:

Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order.

However the Awake! article says on page 12:

From time to time, Jehovah's Witnesses receive questions about the order of creation as presented in [the Creation] book... Some of these questions point to a difference between the order in the book and the order claimed for these events by most geologists.

The last paragraph on page 14 says:

The geologic record is incomplete and subject to interpretation according to the theoretical leanings of those seeking to unravel its tangled skeins.

Following the Society's rule that the latest information it publishes is its official position, Awake!'s statements seem to mean that the basic theme of Creation's third chapter, namely, that science and Genesis agree on the order of creation, is no longer held by the Society. Is the Society admitting that science and Genesis do not actually agree on the order of creation?

Next note that Awake! is pointing out nothing not already known to a student of the fossil record when it argues that the creation of life was a gradual, progressive activity. The fossil record shows clearly that life has changed progressively through the ages, with species often appearing suddenly in rapid series of "explosions," and sometimes disappearing even more suddenly in massive extinctions. The dramatic disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and subsequent rapid appearance of a huge variety of mammals is the classic case. It has been estimated that more than 99% of all species that ever lived are extinct. What is new in the Awake! article is the Society's acknowledgment that new life forms have appeared from time to time, and especially that Genesis supports this notion. No other fundamentalist organization seems to take this position.

The Genesis account's statements regarding the order of creation raise the question of whether land animals or flying creatures came first. Awake! points out that Genesis does not speak of just birds when it uses the Hebrew word 'ohph, but that all kinds of flying creatures were created on the fifth day. Similarly it is clear that Genesis speaks of all kinds of land animals, not just mammals, as being created on the sixth day. Awake! makes a serious error by turning this general question into the narrow one of whether mammals came before birds or other flying creatures, and then ignoring the general question. The article is, in fact, an excellent illustration of the use of the "straw man" style of argument. The "straw man" is the question of whether birds or mammals were created first. This is discussed and then substituted for the real issue of whether flying creatures or land animals came first. The straw man is easily knocked down, leaving the real issue untouched and casual readers with the impression the question has been settled.

Why is the question of whether mammals or birds came first not important to this discussion? Simply because science has no clear answer to it. There are so many fossils that show a skeletal structure intermediate in form between reptiles and mammals that scientists are hard put to decide what was the first true mammal. The earliest fossil bird yet found, the famous Archaeopteryx, has skeletal features intermediate in form between reptiles and modern birds. Archaeopteryx appears in the fossil record about 140 to 150 million years ago, about the same time the first indisputable true mammals appear. It is not known if Archaeopteryx was truly early in the line of birds, or if it belonged to a peculiar side-family that existed alongside more conventional birds. There is simply too little fossil evidence. Traces of mammal-like creatures show up as far back as 215 million years ago, and one highly disputed fossil whose finder thinks it was a bird appears as much as 225 million years ago. Therefore, the argument about whether birds came before mammals is moot, and a discussion of Genesis focusing on birds and mammals misses the essential point about land animals versus flying creatures. The fossil record is unequivocal that land animals show up long before flying creatures of any sort. Sea creatures show up far earlier than either. But Awake! discusses none of this, nor does Creation. What is more, Creation and Awake! carefully avoid discussing any geological data, but speak only in sweeping generalities.

Not only does Awake! miss the point about land animals and flying creatures versus mammals and birds, it doesn't get its facts straight when referring to what scientists believe about mammals and birds. It says on page 12:

Interestingly, while many geologists feel that birds came after mammals, others believe that mammals appeared after birds. An example of the latter case is found in the book Evolution, by Colin Patterson, page 132. This indicates that the evidence from the fossil record is not conclusive.

It is certainly true that evidence from the fossil record is not conclusive on the origin of birds. It is also true that some paleontologists believe that mammals appeared after birds, but Colin Patterson is not one of them. The example from page 132 of Patterson's book is actually a chart showing his idea of the genealogical relationships of existing vertebrate groups. The chart is a typical evolutionary tree showing when various groups of vertebrates split from ancestral stock, but it is incomplete in that it does not explicitly show large groups of extinct animals such as the dinosaurs. These extinct groups are represented implicitly in the lines showing ancestral relationships. Unfortunately this chart cannot be reproduced here, but the relevant points are that it shows lines representing the ancestors of the group containing turtles, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and birds, and the ancestors of the group containing the egg-laying, marsupial and placental mammals, splitting apart about 315 million years ago. This is actually the split between two major subgroups of reptiles: the conventional reptiles known as diapsids, which included dinosaurs, lizards and snakes, and the less conventional synapsids (therapsids) or mammal-like reptiles.25 The chart shows the bird and crocodile lines splitting apart at 215 million years ago, but this is actually the split between dinosaurs and crocodile-like animals. Here Patterson implicitly includes birds among the dinosaur lineage. The chart also shows the egg-laying mammals splitting apart from the marsupials/placentals at 190 million years, which was about 25 million years after the first possible traces of mammals appear and shortly before the last of the synapsids appeared. In others words, the chart shows the line that led to mammals splitting at 315 million years from the line that led to reptiles, dinosaurs and birds. Awake! misinterprets the chart by comparing the point at which birds and crocodiles split, 215 million years, with the point at which egg-laying and marsupial/placental mammals split, 190 million years, and claiming that these points are when Patterson says that birds and mammals arose. The chart shows precisely the opposite of what Awake! claims.

With regard to the creation of plants, the Genesis account is straightforward. In the New World Translation, Genesis 1:11, 12 specifically states that grass and fruit trees were made before the end of the third creative day. However, many other translations say "vegetation" rather than "grass," as the original Hebrew word can be rendered either way. So if Genesis really means general vegetation, and not grass, there is no conflict. In any case, it was not until the fifth day that sea creatures began to be created, and animals like dinosaurs were not created until the sixth. However, the fossil record shows unequivocally that sea creatures and plants appeared long before land plants of any sort, at least 200 million years earlier. Fruit trees did not appear until about 110 million years ago in the middle of the age of dinosaurs, and grasses not until 60 million years ago at the beginning of the age of mammals, whereas the earliest land animals, including insects, appear in the fossil record about 450 million years ago. The fossil evidence for this sequence is extremely strong and has been known for at least 150 years. The appearance of flowering plants, including fruit trees, is, in fact, like the Cambrian explosion of life with hard parts, one of the striking "explosions" of new types of life forms that evolutionists have such difficulty explaining. Moreover, Genesis 1:21 clearly says that God proceeded to create every living soul in the sea and every winged flying creature according to its kind before the end of the fifth creative day. The language is unambiguous and leaves no room for Awake!'s speculation that the creation sequences spanned several creative days.

Awake! points to Genesis 2:19 as evidence that there may have been a progressive creation of flying creatures, as well as other animals, but does not discuss the fact that Genesis 1:21 explicitly states that every (Heb. kol every, every one, the whole, all, of all kinds, every sort) flying creature was created before the start of the sixth day. Many biblical scholars use this difference to show that Genesis is a compilation of two contradictory creation accounts. This argument is well known to the Society, but is not mentioned. Instead, Awake! uses a textual argument on verse 19 that attempts to show that creation was progressive. Keeping in mind Awake!'s claim that "Genesis chapter 1 indicates that creation involved ongoing activity by God," let us examine parts of Genesis, taking into account relevant aspects of the Hebrew language.

Typical of most translations, The New English Bible renders Genesis 2:19 as:

So God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them.

The New World Translation reads:

Now Jehovah God was forming from the ground every wild beast of the field and every flying creature of the heavens, and he began bringing them to the man to see what he would call each one.

The word translated above as "formed" or "was forming" is from the Hebrew wayuitser (root: yatsar; to form, fashion), which is composed of the conjunction waw (and, but, then, now, for, so, etc.) and the imperfect verb form of yatsar (Kal future [=imperfect] 3rd person singular masculine, defective & with conversive waw; p. 339, The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Benjamin Davidson, Samuel Bagster & Sons, 1967 reprint), which denotes incomplete action, past, present or future. The 3rd person imperfect form can be translated as "he forms, he will form, may form, was forming, might form, has been forming, had been forming, would have been forming," etc. The above lexicon mentions that the "conversive waw," "prefixed to the forms of the Future, gives to them the sense of the Imperfect; hence called by grammarians Conversive Vav, e.g., yiqtol he will slay, wa-yuiqtol he slew." Apparently, terminology is not entirely standard among grammarians, but what this means is that prefixing waw to a future (=imperfect) form can turn it into what looks like a past tense in English. So there is grammatical precedent for rendering Gen. 2:19 as "And God formed...," although the sense might be rendered in a number of other ways. So the Society's rendering "God was forming" probably more accurately depicts the thought of the verse, and translating it as "God formed" is grammatically acceptable but less accurate.

Awake! argues on page 13, paragraph 2, that "the imperfect state of the Hebrew verbs used in Genesis chapter 1 indicates that creation involved ongoing activity by God." It cited two Bible translations in support, which give the idea that "progressive creative activity is indicated by the use of the word 'gradually'," which was used in the translation by J. W. Watts. Watt's translation rendered Genesis 2:19 as:

Yahweh God continued to form from the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the heavens and to bring them to the man to see what he would call them.

(italics added in above scriptural citations).

This argument may be true, but the August 15, 1968 Watchtower, pp. 499-500, gives the real reason the Society makes a point of what the proper rendering for Genesis 2:19 should be. After admitting that Genesis contains two separate historical documents, The Watchtower said:

Hence we have two separate accounts of creation from slightly different points of view. In the second of these accounts, in Genesis 2:19, the original Hebrew verb translated "was forming" is in the progressive imperfect form. This does not mean that the animals and birds were created after Adam was created. Genesis 1:20-28 shows it does not mean that. So, in order to avoid contradiction between chapter one and chapter two, Genesis 2:19, 20 must be only a parenthetical remark thrown in to explain the need for creating a 'helper' for man. So the progressive Hebrew verb form could also be rendered as 'had been forming.' -- See Rotherham's translation (Ro), also Leeser's (Le).

The point is that the Society endeavors to translate in such a manner that the first two chapters of Genesis do not contradict each other. The textual evidence from the Hebrew is really not the point. Written Hebrew is an extremely vague language in a certain sense, because of the lack of verb forms indicating precise location in time. The original Hebrew was written in a terse manner, with no vowels. In the course of time, as Hebrew became a nearly dead language, the original pronunciations were lost, and about the sixth century the Masoretes added vowel points to help. It is certain, however, that not all of these were added correctly, and so it is not certain how some words are to be translated. Let's examine a few examples from Genesis to illustrate.

First, as shown above and contrary to what the Society claims, its rendering of Hebrew verbs in Genesis in the imperfect tense is not required by the structure of the language. There is no specific tense corresponding to past, present or future. Hebrew has a verb structure uniquely its own, and instead of the tenses of English, it has two major forms that can be rendered in various ways depending on the translator's understanding of the context. Either of these forms can refer to past, present or future. The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament avoided addressing these textual versus contextual issues, and in the introduction explained how it handled the renderings:

Because the two major tenses, or aspects -- perfect and imperfect -- overlap so greatly in both time orientation and function, they are not distinguished in [this] translation.26

The perfect tense expresses completed action, while the imperfect tense expresses incomplete or continuing action. Since either tense can refer to past, present or future, the appropriate English rendering must be derived from the context. The Society's reference Bible says:27

In Hebrew, action that took place in the past could be indicated by verbs in the imperfect state if that action is viewed as incomplete, while action taking place in the future could be indicated by verbs in the perfect state if that action is viewed as complete.

While this explanation is incomplete itself, note that it says the action could be indicated by the perfect or imperfect forms, not that there is anything inherent in the forms which requires indicating the quality of the action. Also, the one doing the "viewing" must be the translator. This is clearly seen by using an interlinear translation along with an analytical lexicon that lists all the verb forms used in the Hebrew scriptures.

Genesis 1 provides an excellent illustration of the way all this works. There are many sequences of the form "and [imperfect action verb]" followed by "[perfect action verb]". Here are rendered verses 3 through 5, with imperfect verbs in italics and perfect verbs in bold.

3 And God says, "there is light," and there is light. 4 And God is seeing the light, that [it is] good, and God is separating between the light and the darkness. 5 And God is calling the light Day and the darkness he called night, and there is evening and there is morning, a first day.

Note the flow in the narrative, which carries the reader quickly along. Also note that the verb "there is" is the same in all four places in the Hebrew. Finally, note the use of "God is calling" and "he called" in verse 5. The New World Translation renders these as "God began calling" and "he called," respectively. The original Hebrew in Genesis 1 mixes the tenses freely, and the NWT translates the whole verse as "And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night." If the original Hebrew was rendered "And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he began calling Night," it would still make perfect sense and its meaning would not be changed. Conversely, The New International Version renders it "God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night'," which still makes perfect sense and retains the same meaning. Apparently the writer of Genesis did not consider the exact word use important.

The same mixing of tenses in one verse can be seen with respect to the words "began calling" and "called" in Gen. 1:10. Further, Gen. 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, etc., use the imperfect tense for the word "saw," which the NWT renders in the past tense: "God saw that it was good." Would it make sense to say "God gradually saw that it was good"? Hardly, but it makes good sense in terms of the continuing narrative style of Genesis 1, i.e., "and God is seeing that [it is] good."

Is the New World Translation inconsistent when it sometimes renders the Hebrew imperfect tense as the English past tense, and sometimes uses a continuing sense? Not really. It merely illustrates that the rendering depends entirely on the translator's understanding of the context. Awake!'s argument about gradual creative activity is certainly allowed by the Hebrew text, but is not required and certainly is not a proof of anything at all. It is the same with respect to Gen. 2:19. This shows that Awake!'s statement on page 13, paragraph 2, is misleading.

Barnes Notes on the Old Testament attempted to explain the difficulty with Gen. 2:19. First it presented its own translation of the verse: "And Yahweh God molded out of the ground all the wild beasts of the field..." Then it commented:28

Without any emphasis on the sequence of acts the account here records the making of the various creatures and the bringing of them to man. That in reality they had been made prior to the creation of man is so entirely apparent from chapter one as not to require explanation. But the reminder that God had "molded" them makes obvious His power to bring them to man and so is quite appropriately mentioned here. It would not, in our estimation, be wrong to translate yatsar as a pluperfect in this instance: "He had molded."

Aside from the obvious fact that Barnes Notes' explanation relies on its prior assumption that the Bible is inspired to explain why there is no difficulty with Gen. 2:19, we have here an example where a translator decided that, based his understanding of the context, a Hebrew verb in the imperfect state should be rendered in the pluperfect tense: "had molded," rather than "molded" or "was molding." This further illustrates that Hebrew to English translation is inexact and depends upon the translator's understanding of the context.

The above information sheds light on why virtually all modern translations render passages such as Gen. 2:19 with the verb "formed," rather than "was forming." It is simply a matter of judgment and understanding of context among Hebrew scholars. The author of Genesis may well have had in mind a progressive creation, but there is no support in the original Hebrew language for conclusive statements either way. Therefore, the conclusions Awake! makes are conjectural, since they are neither supported nor refuted by the Hebrew text. Here again, the Society makes dogmatic statements to support its contentions, leaving out much information that might support a different view.

Based on the above discussion, it is easy to see that Awake!'s statements on page 12, to the effect that flying creatures began to be created before mammals appeared, misdirect the reader and do not address the real issues. The many arguments that Genesis is speaking of a gradual creation do not address the fact that specific life forms, such as fruit trees, are specifically stated by Genesis to have been created before the end of a particular creative day, and that every kind in a category was created before the end of the day. The only way to reconcile this is to claim that when Genesis says "every" it does not mean what it says.

Creation makes a point concerning the heavenly luminaries. On the fourth creative day Genesis says these luminaries, i.e., the sun, moon and stars, came to be in the heavens. Creation says on page 31:

On the first "day" diffused light evidently penetrated the swaddling bands, but the sources of that light could not have been seen by an earthly observer because of the cloud layers still enveloping the earth. Now, on this fourth "day," things apparently changed... Now, had there been an earthly observer, he would be able to discern the sun, moon and stars.

Later on the Bible describes the Flood of Noah's day, and implies that one source of the water was the "swaddling bands" mentioned here. This layer of water must have been thousands of feet thick to flood all the "high mountains" of the world, and it would have been an impediment to light reaching the surface of the earth. Is it reasonable believe that the stars would have been visible through a layer of water thousands of feet thick, or through the equivalent amount of water vapor? This is entirely apart from the difficulties related to the existence of such a layer28a in the first place.

Various dating methods show that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions of years. The Society has always objected to these findings, insisting that the Genesis account requires six creative days of 7,000 years each. Interestingly, to support the notion of fixity of species Creation is forced to admit that life has existed for much longer than the Society has so far been willing to admit. Under the subheading "Continued Sudden Appearances, Little Change" on pages 63-64, several interesting quotations appear:

"The record now reveals that species typically survive for a hundred thousand generations, or even a million or more, without evolving very much... After their origins, most species undergo little evolution before becoming extinct."

"In 40 million years of struggling up the evolutionary ladder, [insects] have made almost no discernible progress."

"The horseshoe crab... has existed on earth virtually unchanged for 200 million years."

Unfortunately, in using the above quotations, the author seems to have forgotten that he said on page 27 that these things are included in the Genesis creation account, and took place over "long periods of time -- millenniums." Using the word "millenniums" in this context is like saying that human life spans are many minutes long -- true, but completely misleading.

Interestingly, the Insight book,29 Vol. 1, under the subject "Creation," is not willing to assign a definite length to the creative days, but the January 1, 1987 Watchtower states that

a study of Bible prophecy and of our location in the stream of time strongly indicates that each of the creative days... is 7,000 [not 7,001 or 6,999] years long.

All of the above, plus the things I've said elsewhere in these essays about geologic dating methods, make it evident that the Society ought to rethink its position that the creative days were 7,000 years long. The seventh creative day may well be about 7,000 years long, but the others must surely be much longer.

Because Insight was published in 1988, after the above mentioned Watchtower article, it must be asked if the Society has already changed its official position on this matter, but decided not to made it generally known.

How does Genesis fit in with the creation myths of ancient peoples other than the Jews? The Creation book says the Genesis account is not drawn from the creation myths of ancient peoples. On page 35 a side box describes the

... Babylonian creation myth that is claimed by some to be a basis for the Genesis creation account: ... Does it seem to you that this type of tale bears any similarity to the Genesis creation narrative?

The side box uses information from the Aid30 book. The Aid book further points out some of the differences between the Babylonian and Genesis accounts, and says:

While some have pointed to what seemed to them to be similarities between the Babylonian epic and the Genesis account of creation, it is readily apparent from the preceding consideration of the Biblical creation narrative and the foregoing epitome of the Babylonian myth that they are not really similar. Therefore, a detailed analysis of them side by side is unnecessary.

The Aid book uses quotations from several sources who are obviously fundamentalists of the six-literal-day creationist school, who point out the obvious differences between the two accounts. It should be noted that six-literal-day creationists are notoriously loose with the truth when it comes to proving the Bible inspired. Aid further states:

The account preserved in the Scriptures was written down and originally possessed by Adam. By means of preservation by faithful patriarchs of ancient times it came into the possession of Moses, who, under divine inspiration, used it when compiling Genesis.30a

Upon further research it became clear that Aid's statements about the most ancient creation accounts are not proven facts, but are the Society's assumptions made only because there is no other evidence for its position.

The reader should check Aid's entire discussion of the subject of creation myths and Genesis, as well as a condensed version of this description in the Insight31 book, under the subject "Creation." The evident similarities between the Babylonian and Genesis creation accounts are not discussed; in fact, as shown above, Aid specifically discounts the necessity to do so and instead relies on the testimony of six-literal-day creationists that the accounts are not similar. In considering the merit of any argument that quotes from other source references it pays to go to those sources and see for yourself what they say. From the following, which contains a list of the similarities between the two accounts, it should be evident to the reader why Aid does not want to burden its readers with such unnecessary detail.

Concerning the origin of the Genesis account the book Genesis from The Anchor Bible series says:32

The practice of tracing history back to antediluvian times is at least as old as the Sumerian king list... Biblical tradition had ample reason to be familiar with Mesopotamian cultural norms. Indeed, the Primeval History is largely Mesopotamian in substance, implicitly for the most part, but also explicitly in such instances as the Garden of Eden or the Tower of Babel. Thus biblical authors were indebted to Mesopotamian models for these early chapters not only in matters of arrangement but also in some of the subject matter.

Is the treatment of creation in Genesis a case of such indebtedness? We have two separate accounts of this theme, the present section which stems from P, and the one following which goes back to J, as was indicated above. Yet neither source could have borrowed directly from the other, since each dwells on different details. Accordingly, both must derive from a body of antecedent traditions. It follows that the present version of P should have connections with old Mesopotamian material. This premise is borne out of actual facts.

The designations P and J refer to the so-called Priestly and Jahwist sources of Genesis, according to the so-called Documentary Theory of the origins of Genesis. Versions of this theory are widely held among non-fundamentalist biblical scholars. The Anchor Bible Genesis continues:

Mesopotamia's canonical version of cosmic origins is found in the so-called Babylonian Creation Epic, or Enuma elis "When on High"... The numerous points of contact between it and the opening section of Genesis have long been noted. There is not only a striking correspondence in various details, but -- what is even more significant -- the order of events is the same, which is enough to preclude any likelihood of coincidence. The relationship is duly recognized by all informed students, no matter how orthodox their personal beliefs may be. I cite as an example the tabulation given by Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis, p. 129:

Enuma elish Genesis
Divine spirit and cosmic matter are coexistent and coeternal Divine spirit creates cosmic matter and exists independently of it
Primeval chaos; Ti'amat enveloped in darkness The earth a desolate waste, with darkness covering the deep (tehom)
Light emanating from the gods Light created
The creation of the firmament The creation of the firmament
The creation of dry land The creation of dry land
The creation of luminaries The creation of luminaries
The creation of man The creation of man
The gods rest and celebrate The gods rest and celebrate

Except for incidental differences of opinion in regard to the exact meaning of the first entry in each column..., the validity of this listing is not open to question. What, then, are the conclusions that may be drawn from these and other relevant data?

It is ironic that the same probability argument the Creation book uses on pages 36-37 can be used with the above table to offer "striking proof" that the Genesis and Babylonian creation accounts must have a common origin. Because essentially the same eight events are listed in the same order in the above table, we may conclude that the chance these accounts are unrelated is one in 40,320.

The Anchor Bible Genesis continues:

It is clear that the biblical approach to creation as reflected in P is closely related to traditional Mesopotamian beliefs. It may be safely posited, moreover, that the Babylonians did not take over these views from the Hebrews, since the cuneiform accounts -- among which Enuma elis is but one, and a relatively stereotyped, formulation -- antedate in substance the biblical statements on the subject. Nor is there the slightest basis in fact for assuming some unidentified ultimate source from which both the Mesopotamian and the Hebrews could have derived their views about creation. It would thus appear that P's opening account goes back to Babylonian prototypes, and it is immaterial whether the transmission was accomplished directly or through some intermediate channel; in any case, J cannot have served as a link in this particular instance...

Derivation from Mesopotamia in this instance means no more and no less than that on the subject of creation biblical tradition aligned itself with the traditional tenets of Babylonian "science." The reasons should not be far to seek. For one thing, Mesopotamia's achievements in that field were highly advanced, respected, and influential. And for another, the patriarchs constituted a direct link between early Hebrews and Mesopotamia, and the cultural effects of that start persisted long thereafter.

In ancient times, however, science often blended into religion; and the two could not be separated in such issues as cosmogony and the origin of man. To that extent, therefore, "scientific" conclusions were bound to be guided by underlying religious beliefs. And since the religion of the Hebrews diverged sharply from Mesopotamian norms, we should expect a corresponding departure in regard to beliefs about creation. This expectation is fully borne out. While we have before us incontestable similarities in detail, the difference in over-all approach is no less prominent. The Babylonian creation story features a succession of various rival deities. The biblical version, on the other hand, is dominated by the monotheistic concept in the absolute sense of the term. Thus the two are both genetically related and yet poles apart. In common with other portions of the Primeval History, the biblical account of creation displays at one and the same time a recognition of pertinent Babylonian sources as well as a critical position toward them.

A book on the archaeology of the Bible presented material much the same as above, and commented:33

On the whole, however, it must be recognized that the differences between Enuma elish and the Old Testament are far more important than the similarities. The Babylonian creation story is mythological and polytheistic while the accounts in Genesis are elevated and strictly monotheistic. Doubtless certain features of the biblical narrative of creation are derived from the Babylonian myth, or at least back of both Israelite and Babylonian thought are certain common sources. But the dignity and exaltation of the words of the Bible are unparalleled.

The above discussions are the most reasonable I've read concerning the Babylonian and Genesis creation accounts' differences and similarities. It says nothing about whether the Bible is inspired. It merely shows what some of the differences and similarities are, and draws some conclusions. There is a big difference between this treatment, and that by the Society. The Society first assumes that Genesis is the true account, and then suppresses all evidence that might bear against that assumption. It should be emphasized that the question of the Bible's inspiration has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above. Moses or whoever wrote Genesis could have gotten his basic material from the same ancient sources as did the Babylonians, and then God put his stamp of approval on it.

All this is clear evidence that the Society is interested, not in presenting all the facts to its readers, but in promoting its own agenda.

In case the reader doubts that the above table comparing the Babylonian and Genesis creation accounts is a good summary of what the Babylonian account actually says, note the following comparison of the opening verses of Genesis with the Mesopotamian account:34

Though the parallel is not exact in every detail, these verses may be aptly compared with the opening lines of Enuma elish, the Sumero-Babylonian creation hymn that was ritually recited during the annual new year's festival in Mesopotamia:

When on high the heaven had not yet been named, firm ground below had not yet been called by name, naught but primordial Apsu,34a their begetter, and Mummu-Tiamat,34b she who bore them all, their waters commingling as a single body; no reed hut had been matted, no marsh land had appeared, when no gods whatever had been brought into being, uncalled by name, their destinies undetermined: then it was that the gods were formed within them...

The Babylonian hymn is a theogony, a recital of the birth of the gods, which has no counterpart in the Genesis story. First the gods, then the heavens and earth and underworld, and only at the end man, who is to serve the gods -- such is the structure of the Babylonian myth. The similarity to Genesis is nevertheless apparent, just as is its similarity to other ancient creation stories, Greek and Roman as well as Semitic. At the beginning of all there is a vision simply of unformed chaos, with no attempt made to account for its presence. The myth of creation, in other words, does not speculate about the origin of matter; it rather attempts to account for the emergence of an ordered, livable universe.

Clearly the Creation book's author has researched the question of the similarity of the Genesis and Babylonian accounts merely by looking into other Watchtower publications, and has again argued as a literary critic.


19 The Society has been making this claim for many years. The Dec. 1881 Zion's Watch Tower, page 1 (p. 299 Reprints) said: "Many suppose, that the history of creation as given in the first chapter of Genesis, is utterly at variance with the teachings of Geology. This is not the case. Some of the most eminent Geologists believe 'that the word of God, properly interpreted, is in harmony with the teachings of their science.'" The other material in this article shows how little the Society's views on creation have changed in over 100 years. The Dec. 1, 1912 Watch Tower, page 372 (p. 5140 Reprints) said: "We hold that the Genesis account is in full accord with all the facts known to science." It referred approvingly to "the Vailian Theory," which was originated by Isaac N. Vail in 1874 to account for the Flood. An interesting account of the theory ("supported by the Scriptures," of course) is given in the 1927 book Creation, pages 25-30, and in the 1943 book The Truth Shall Make You Free, pages 57-62. These books show that the theory is pure fantasy and has about as much merit as Immanuel Velikovsky's works. Anyone entertaining it as truth has no understanding of science or physics whatsoever. The Society promulgated the theory until the mid-1950s.

20 It is interesting to note that Creation says all this in the context of disproving evolution. The foregoing argument is able to prove scientists wrong about evolution only by assuming they are right about the sequence of life! The argument also does not inform the reader that most geologists do not agree with the Genesis sequence. It also assumes that none of the points could have been put into the correct sequence by informed guessing. If you had no knowledge of the Bible or science, and only knew what you had observed by living on the earth for 50 years, would you put item (1) "a beginning" someplace in the middle, or at the end? Would you put item (6) "land plants" ahead of item (5) "large areas of dry land"?

20a A number of physicists have questioned the Big Bang theory, because of its inability to explain certain types of observations. The theory has also been said to suffer from too many ad-hoc patches. However, other evidence strongly supports it, and the majority of scientists accept it.

21 Stephen G. Brush, "Finding the Age of the Earth by Physics or by Faith?," Journal of Geological Education, vol. 30, p. 40, 1982.

22 W. L. Copithorne, "The Worlds of Wallace Pratt," The Lamp, vol. 53, pp. 11-14, Standard Oil, Fall, 1971.

23 Stephen Jay Gould, "Genesis and Geology: Are you interested in the rock of ages, or the age of rocks?," Natural History, vol. 97, pp. 12-20, September, 1988.

24 Laurie R. Godfrey, Scientists Confront Creationism, pp. 161-162, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1983.

25 D. R. Selkirk and F. J. Burrows, editors, Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin, p. 82, New South Wales University Press, Kensington NSW Australia, 1988.

26 John R. Kohlenberger III, ed., The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, p. xxv, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1987.

27 New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures -- With References, p. 1572, 1984.

28 H. C. Leupold, Barnes Notes on the Old Testament: Exposition of Genesis, pp. 130-131, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960.

28a See the sub-section "Where Did the Water Come From?" in my essay on "The Flood" for a discussion of the physical difficulties. See the sub-section "The Circle of the Earth" in my essay on "The Society's View of Scientific Matters," for a discussion of Genesis' mention of the "firmament" or "expanse."

29 Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, p. 545, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 1988.

30 Aid to Bible Understanding, pp. 392-393, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 1971.

30a The Society vehemently denies the existence of several documentary threads running through Genesis, which is the contention of the Documentary Theory of the so-called higher critics of Genesis. How is this idea in conflict with the Society's contention that Moses compiled Genesis from several sources? For a good summary of these ideas, see Isaac Asimov's In The Beginning, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1981. The appendix contains the so-called P-document, extracted from Genesis and presented alone. This extracted story is far more coherent than Genesis itself. See also The Book of J, Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg, Grove Weidenfeld, New York, 1990; Genesis, in The Anchor Bible series, E. A. Speiser, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1981; The Noah's Ark Nonsense, Howard M. Teeple, Religion and Ethics Institute, Inc., Evanston, Illinois, 1978, pp. 41-52.

31 Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 545-546, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 1988.

32 E. A. Speiser, The Anchor Bible Genesis, pp. 9-10, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1981. Fourth Printing.

33 Jack Finegan, Light from the Ancient Past, p. 65, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1946, 1959.

34 Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading, pp. 37-38, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1977.

34a A personification of the primordial sea of sweet water.

34b Personification of the primordial salt-water ocean.