A Celebration of Creation
Part 1, (see part 2)
This year’s global celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s book, On the Origins of Species, and the 200th anniversary of his birth might seem like cause for alarm, but Reasons To Believe (RTB) scholars see the increasing focus on evolution as an opportunity for pastors. Congregations can be inspired to celebrate their Creator and share the good news with others.
RTB is a science-faith think tank where scientists and researchers show why science supplies much stronger support for biblical creation than for the theory of biological evolution. For more than 20 years RTB has used scientific evidence from various disciplines to equip believers for evangelism. Darwin-day events scheduled throughout 2009 (see http://www.darwinday.org/events/listing.php) make this an unprecedented opportunity for reaching out to the secular community.
Astronomer Hugh Ross, Ph.D., founder and president of RTB; biochemist Fazale (Fuz) Rana, Ph.D., vice president, research and apologetics; and philosopher/theologian Kenneth Samples, senior research scholar are leading authorities on science/faith issues and have written on related topics. Patti Townley-Covert, RTB’s executive editor, asked them questions with which many Christians struggle.
Is it true, as many Christians believe, that all scientists are atheists?
HR: No. Surveys conducted in 1914 and 1996 of scientists listed in American Men and Women of Science both revealed that about 40 percent of scientists believed in God and an afterlife. My experience speaking on hundreds of university campuses for more than 20 years convinces me that these findings are still true. Often, the higher the scientific caliber and productivity of the institution’s faculty, the more likely followers of Jesus Christ can be found among them.
One RTB board member, David Rogstad, is the astrophysicist who led the Jet Propulsion Laboratory effort that saved the Galileo mission to Jupiter and its moons from a communications disaster. Lynn Carta, a research biologist, hosted a seminar series on creation models for biology for Caltech faculty and graduate students. Today, she heads up one of the nation’s largest evolutionary biology labs. Michael Strauss, a particle physicist at the University of Oklahoma, speaks extensively on the scientific evidence for the Christian faith. Henry “Fritz” Schaeffer, a chemist who has been nominated for the Nobel Prize four times, has addressed audiences on more than 100 campuses concerning the scientific case for Christianity.
Atheistic scientists tend to be more publicly vocal about their beliefs than theistic scientists. However, hundreds of Ph.D. scientists take active roles, especially on secular university campuses (see http://www.jmtour.com/?page_id=17). Convinced by the scientific evidence that evolution had been dealt a deathblow, Chemistry Nobel laureate Richard Smalley, a pioneer of nanotechnology, embraced Christianity not long before he died, and encouraged other scientists to follow his lead.
Resource: Creation As Science: A Testable Model Approach To End the Creation/Evolution Wars, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2006.
Explain how the relationship between nature and the Bible can be so compelling that this connection can be used to lead science-minded people to faith in Jesus.
KS: In historic Christian theology, revelation refers to God’s personal self-disclosure to His creatures. He took the initiative to actively and decisively reveal himself in two ways: through general revelation (the knowledge of God that comes via the created order), and special revelation (the knowledge of God that comes via redemptive history). Christian theologians sometimes call this dual view of revelation the “two-books theory.” God is the author of both the figurative book of nature (God’s world) and the literal book of Scripture (God’s written Word).
These two forms of revelation from the same infinitely perfect God mutually reinforce and complement one another. The biblical worldview considers all truth to be God’s truth. Human interpretations of the two sources of revelation may indeed conflict, but not when properly understood and correctly applied. God’s truth always ultimately coheres.
Scripture instructs readers to take the message of general revelation seriously (Psalm 19; Romans 1). And the created order illustrates the need for the specificity and completeness of special revelation’s message (in the Bible). In other words, general revelation points toward special revelation and provides a rational context for accepting it. Ultimately divine revelation is one unity. It is appropriate to distinguish between its two forms, but they should never be separated.
Some critically important truths in general revelation are not explicitly spelled out in special revelation (including many mathematical, logical, and scientific principles). For instance, just because Neptune is not mentioned in the Bible does not mean it does not exist. However, in all matters addressed by the Bible (the essence of special revelation having been embodied in Scripture), this verbal revelation should be considered final and supreme. This revelatory priority is granted because of the Bible’s specificity and its unique propositional and self-authenticating nature.
One can, therefore, affirm Scripture as the supreme authority in the life of the Church and the individual believer (sola Scriptura), yet also hold a robust view of general revelation. The books of nature and Scripture clearly complement each other.
Resource: A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, see chapter 7 and Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, see chapter 3.
What happens when the book of nature and the book of Scripture seem to conflict?
KS: The historic Christian theological consensus asserts that because the “Two Books” come from the God of truth (who cannot lie), these two sources of revelation will ultimately cohere. However, it is necessary to distinguish between the revelation on one hand and human interpretation of that revelation on the other. Science (and other academic disciplines) represents the interpretation of the book of nature. Theology represents the interpretation of biblical revelation.
Human interpretation of these books may indeed conflict. In that case, the scientist or scholar may have to reconsider the data being drawn from the book of nature. Or the theologian or Bible-reader may need to reconsider his interpretation of Scripture. Data from either Scripture or the physical realm may mean something different from what an interpreter thinks. Science cannot correct Scripture, but it can help correct faulty interpretations of the biblical text.
How does one go about responsibly interpreting Scripture, especially as related to issues of creation?
KS: As a written propositional revelation, the Bible must be responsibly and objectively interpreted. Protestant evangelicals utilize what is known as the “historical-grammatical method.” Discovering a text’s original meaning and intent requires a credible interpreter to carefully (1) examine the grammar, (2) determine the genre of literature being used, (3) investigate the text’s cultural and historical setting, and (4) study both the immediate and wider contexts affecting the given passage.
Responsible biblical interpretation also involves allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. A passage must be analyzed in light of other passages on the same theme. Many sections in the Bible (both Old and New Testament) address the doctrine of creation, and all of them reveal important information.
What exegetical difficulties are there in interpreting the Genesis creation days as 24-hour periods?
KS: There are challenges with all of the proposed creation-day viewpoints. However, the view known as the calendar day, or 24-hour day view, has real exegetical weaknesses. Difficulties include:
1. The creation days (e.g., references to “evening and morning”) cannot be normal calendar (or solar) days if the Sun and Moon were not created until creation day four. Proposing that God supernaturally provided a light that preceded the creation of the Sun turns days one through three into abnormal days that are definitely unlike calendar days.
2. Evening and morning references are inconsistent with the strict rendering of a 24-hour day. (For example the biblical Sabbath is measured from sundown to sundown or evening to evening.)
3. The events of creation day six are too numerous and momentous to have reasonably transpired in a mere 24-hour day. Adam seems to have engaged in activities that involved more of a career-type devotion than a mere few hours work in the afternoon. Naming or classifying the animal kingdom could have occupied his time for decades. Maintaining the Garden and developing a loving relationship with his wife would also have transpired over a time.
4. Given the parallel structure of the creation days, if the seventh day is a long period of time, then so are the previous days. (The seventh day involves the consummation of history, which obviously has not yet taken place.)
5. The Hebrew word for “day” (yÃ´m) does not mean a 24-hour period in every context in Genesis (see Genesis 2:4).
All of these objections are exegetical in nature. In other words, they have nothing to do with one’s view of modern science. In fact, ancient Jews and Christians raised some of these points.
As an astronomer and a pastor of evangelism for more than 30 years, describe the importance of using science to help people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
HR: The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects. When what an individual knows to be true from the record of nature appears to contradict what he understands from Scripture, it will typically prevent him from making a personal commitment to Christ. This type of conflict stymies the motivation for some Christians to share their faith. They simply do not know how to reconcile what they see in nature with God’s Word, so they hesitate to tell people about their Creator.
A core doctrine of the Christian faith is that everything God reveals to us is true and, therefore, consistent. Article 2 of the Reformation Belgic Confession states that God has given us two books: the book of Scripture and the book of nature. Both are faithful and trustworthy in everything they communicate. Thus, as Ken mentioned, any conflict between science and theology must be due to either a misinterpretation of the record of nature, a misinterpretation of the words of the Bible, or both.
Christians must be diligent to integrate everything God reveals in the 66 books of the Bible and in scientific disciplines. Anomalies or apparent discrepancies should be opportunities to dig deeper and broader in the quest to learn more of the truth God wants to reveal.
Today, scientific knowledge is exploding. In some disciplines, the knowledge base doubles in less than 5 years. And it is not confirming naturalism, deism, or Darwinism. Such news fascinates people. It also provides opportunities to test the reliability of their belief systems. Whereas many non-Christians refuse to listen to the historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, they will listen to news about a recent scientific discovery.
Thanks to the pace of scientific research, every weekday our research team at Reasons To Believe is able to post a new reason to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior (see http://www.reasons.org/tnrtb/).
Resource: More Than a Theory: Revealing a Testable Model for Creation, Grand Rapids, Baker, 2009.
In scientific terms, is there anything that sets the Bible apart from other holy books?
HR: No other holy book is so specific and detailed in describing history, science, and geography. No other holy book is so perfectly accurate in setting forth the scientific details. And, no other holy book is filled with such an abundance of predictions about future historical events and scientific discoveries. Some holy books may offer a few predictions, with the expectation of a quick fulfillment, but the Bible made detailed predictions thousands of years in advance. Such abundant scientific detail and far-reaching predictions allow readers to rigorously and thoroughly test the Bible’s claims to be the inspired, inerrant communication from God, the Creator of the universe.
The Bible alone invites objective testing. The apostle Paul advised, “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Only the Bible explains how testing should be done. That approach gave birth to the scientific method, which in turn spawned the scientific revolution. Virtually all of our modern technology and affluence is based on the kind of testing advised in the Bible.
Resource: The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis, 2nd expanded edition, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2001.
In a society that claims everything is relative, is it still important to test everything?
HR: Testing guards our minds and spirits from deception. The Bible warns that there are legions of fallen angels who desire to lead us astray. And, many human beings also attempt to win converts in their rebellion against God. Rigorous, thorough, objective testing is a God-given tool that can help us discern truth from error.
The Bible states that people are “destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Testing is an important tool for gaining more knowledge. But, not all knowledge is from God. The apostle John warns, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Resource: A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2004.
How can the Christian worldview be tested for poor biblical interpretations?
HR: The Bible is not one book; it is 66. Many Christians pride themselves on taking the Bible literally, but they fail on taking it consistently. A great weakness of the modern American church is its failure to appreciate and practice systematic theology. The best way to check out and fine-tune an interpretation of a topic addressed by a particular Bible passage is to examine all the Scripture passages that pertain to that topic.
A correct interpretation must be consistent with all the passages. However, there may be more than one consistent interpretation. This range must be continually re-evaluated as an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the topic and relevant Bible passages grows. These interpretations also must be evaluated in light of other significant biblical topics and doctrines.
Another means for checking an interpretation are extrabiblical truths. Ken already mentioned God’s second book, the book of nature. The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy wrote in 1981, “We affirm that since God is the author of all truth, all truths, biblical and extrabiblical, are consistent and cohere, and that the Bible speaks truth when it touches on matters pertaining to nature, history, or anything else. We further affirm that in some cases extrabiblical data have value for clarifying what Scripture teaches, and for prompting correction of faulty interpretations.”
Resource: A Matter of Days
What strengths does the Christian worldview show when tested against its worldview competitors?
KS: Several worldview tests illustrate the strengths of the historic Christian worldview (see Enrichment journal, “Putting on the Glasses of Truth,” fall 2008, online article). These include tests for:
1. Coherence: Is a particular worldview logically consistent?
2. Explanatory power and scope: How well does a worldview explain the facts of reality (power), and how wide is the range of its explanation (scope)?
3. Correspondence: Does a particular worldview correspond with well-established, empirical facts and does it correspond to an individual’s personal experience?
4. Pragmatism: Does the worldview promote relevant, practical, and workable consequences?
5. Existentialism: Does the worldview address the internal needs of humanity?
Unlike any other religion, the Christian worldview passes this battery of critical tests and others. Historic Christianity is reasonable, testable, viable, workable, and livable.
Resource: A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007).
Can science also be tested for poor interpretations?
HR: Yes. Science is the study of the entire record of nature. Through millions of observations and experiments performed since the origin of humanity, scientists have noted that nature’s record is and always has been contradiction free. This rigid consistency throughout nature’s record yields a reliable test for any scientific interpretation.
A correct scientific interpretation must explain in a consistent and fully integrated manner the scientific data accumulated in all scientific disciplines. For example, an interpretation arising out of anthropological research must be consistent not only with that data, but also with relevant data from physics, geology, chemistry, biology, and other scientific disciplines. The quest for the best scientific interpretation is a quest for the model that provides the most extensive, detailed, and complete explanation of the phenomenon under consideration. Just as there is always more theologians can learn about a biblical topic, there is always more for scientists to learn about a scientific phenomenon.
Our inability to achieve total knowledge implies that every phenomenon under investigation will exhibit anomalies that do not quite fit. Such anomalies provide another means for evaluating scientific interpretations. With poor interpretations, anomalies will increase in number and degree of significance as scientists learn more. For good interpretations, anomalies will decrease in number and degree of significance.
The same is true for gaps in knowledge and understanding. If gaps get bigger as scientists learn more, the interpretation is unlikely to be correct. On the other hand, if the gaps get smaller, that’s a sign that a particular interpretation lies on the pathway toward truth.
Finally, a good scientific interpretation will be consistent with what the Bible teaches. Properly integrated, analyzed, and understood, the Bible can correct faulty interpretations of the record of nature.
Resource: More Than a Theory
Do the original biblical languages allow for creation epochs? Are they a valid scriptural interpretation?
HR: Yes. The Hebrew word for “day” used in Genesis 1 is yÃ´m. It has four different literal definitions: (1) part of the daylight hours, (2) all of the daylight hours, (3) a 24-hour period (one rotation of Earth), and (4) a long, but finite period of time. Unlike English, which has many words for a long-time period (for example, age, era, eon, epoch), biblical Hebrew has just one word, yÃ´m.
The challenge, then, for Bible interpreters is to determine which of the four alternatives foryÃ´m best fits the context for the creation days in Genesis 1 and also best explains references to God’s work of physical creation found in other creation accounts and passages.
Only yÃ´m defined as a long, but finite time period allows all 25 of the Bible’s creation accounts to be interpreted both literally and consistently. There is no closure (no evening and morning) for the seventh day in Genesis 1. Hebrews 4 refers to God’s seventh day (His rest period) as ongoing. The scientific record confirms that evidence for animal speciation events is limited to prehuman times (indicating that God’s rest from creation work continues). Genesis 1 places creation of both the human male and female on day six. Yet, Genesis 2 documents that a passage of time transpired between the creation of Adam and Eve.
Adam was created outside the Garden of Eden and then placed inside it where he watched the trees grow and tended the plants. Later, he gave names to all the species of birds and mammals there. Then God put Adam to sleep and removed part of his side which God, at least in part, used to fashion Eve. Upon awakening from his surgery and seeing Eve, Adam exclaims, “happa‛am.” That Hebrew word is translated in other Bible passages as “at last” or “at long last.” Obviously all these events required more than 24 hours.
Resource: A Matter of Days
What are some benefits to humans if the six creation days were long periods of time?
HR: The long duration of life on Earth previous to the creation of humans means that huge reserves of biodeposits could accumulate in Earth’s crust. Billions of years worth of biodeposits were critical for launching and sustaining a global high-tech civilization.
Without billions of years of sulfate-reducing bacteria, Earth would be filled with toxic metals (metals widely distributed in soluble form). Thanks to bacteria these metals have been converted into safe concentrated insoluble ores. The concentrated ores provide humans with easy-to-exploit metals.
Hundreds of millions of years of crustaceans and mollusks yielded widespread limestone and marble deposits. Other life-forms provided gypsum and phosphates. The oil, coal, and natural gas that drive much of modern civilization are gifts to humanity from tens of millions of years of previous life.
Humans arriving on the terrestrial scene some 4.57 billion years after Earth’s birth means that people get to enjoy a 24-hour rotation period of Earth rather than the much more rapid and deadly rotation (for humans) the planet experienced during its youth. A youthful Earth was unsafe for humans in other respects: deadly radiation from the decay of uranium and plutonium, solar instability and flaring, frequent, and destructive earthquakes and volcanoes, asteroid and comet collisions, and galactic hazards to name a few. God placed humans on Earth at the perfect time for their well-being and technological development. He also created humans at the only time in cosmic history when they can directly observe and analyze 99.9972 percent of the history of the universe. In fact, scientists can measure some features of the universe within 10-34 (0.0000000000000000000000000000000001) seconds after the cosmic creation event.
Resource: More Than a Theory
You mentioned the “cosmic creation event.” Describe some of the Scriptures that have been confirmed by cosmic scientific discoveries.
HR: The pantheist astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle wrote in 1952: “There is a good deal of cosmology in the Bible. … It is a remarkable conception.” Among other cosmological statements, the Bible claims that the universe arose from a singularity beginning — an actual beginning of matter, energy, space, and time (Genesis 1:1; 2:3,4; Psalm 148:5l; Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; 45:18; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15–17; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 11:3).
Scripture declares the universe has been and is continually expanding from the cosmic creation event (Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; 48:13; 51:13; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:13; Zechariah 12:1). It declares that the physical laws governing the universe and Earth have been fixed, that is, constant, throughout their existence (Genesis 1–3; Ecclesiastes 1:4–11; 3:15; Jeremiah 33:25; Romans 8:18–23; Revelation 21:1–22:5). The Bible states that the entire universe always has been and is subject to a physical law of decay (the second law of thermodynamics). This law, plus the continuous cosmic expansion under constant laws of physics, implies that the universe must get colder and colder as it gets older and older.
This biblical revelation about the universe was recorded in the Bible thousands of years before any scientist even conceived or outlined any of these cosmological concepts that now form the foundations for big bang cosmology. Albert Einstein was not the first human to consider the idea of a big bang universe. Ten Bible authors scooped him by more than 1,800 years. The detailed statements by Bible authors, of the essential physical features of the universe, ranks as one of the most spectacular examples of scientific discoveries predicted in advance.
Resource: The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God, 3rd ed., Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2001.
But, isn’t the big bang an atheistic explanation?
HR: Hardly. Atheistic and agnostic astronomers vigorously opposed the big bang theory from the moment the Catholic monk/astronomer Georges Lamaitre first proposed it in 1927. Nontheistic astronomers immediately recognized the strong theistic and especially Christian implications in big bang cosmology. Though the big bang theory was generally accepted by the 1960s, it was not until the mid-1990s that the physical evidence for this theory became so overwhelming that reasonable denial of it was no longer possible.
Big bang cosmology shows that the universe had a beginning, one that requires the existence of a Creator beyond space and time. God created the universe of matter, energy, space, and time. Furthermore, big bang cosmology confirms that everything the Bible stated thousands of years ago about the condition of the universe, especially its continuous expansion under constant laws of physics, including a ubiquitous law of decay that guarantees that the universe becomes colder as it gets older, is precisely accurate.
In his book, God and the Astronomers, agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow documents the history of unbelieving astronomers’ battle against the big bang. In the book’s final sentence Jastrow says of the unbelieving scientist, “He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak, as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Resource: The Fingerprint of God: Recent Scientific Discoveries Reveal the Unmistakable Identity of the Creator, rev. ed., New Kensington, PA: Whitaker, 2000.
What are biology’s big bangs?
FR: When new biological groups appear in the fossil record, they frequently burst upon the scene and then undergo little evolutionary change. Perhaps the chief example of these sudden appearances is the Cambrian explosion. This event refers to the dramatic appearance of complex marine life in the fossil record, about 540 million years ago. Instead of relatively simple organisms originating at the base of the Cambrian and then evolving toward increased complexity, animals appear early and suddenly.
Evolutionary biologists struggle to account for the explosive appearance of life forms during the Cambrian explosion because the expectation is that life should transition from simple to complex in a gradual branching tree-like fashion. Paleontologist Kevin Peterson and his colleagues pointed out this desperation. “Although the Cambrian explosion is of singular importance to our understanding of the history of life, it continues to defy explanation.”
If a Darwinian mechanism existed, in which evolution proceeded in small successive steps, the fossil record should display gradual transformations replete with corresponding transitional forms. Yet, the overall features of the fossil record do not match these expectations. Transitional forms are scarce.
On the other hand, a biological big bang like the Cambrian explosion is exactly what’s expected if a Creator orchestrated life’s history. Even atheists like Richard Dawkins acknowledge this perception. In The Blind Watchmaker he admits, “The Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest ones in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.”
Explosive appearances are not confined to the Cambrian event. They dominate the fossil record and life’s history. Every time biological innovation occurs throughout life’s history, it happens instantaneously. A big bang occurs when life first appears, when the first complex cells originate, and when animal body plans show up. Extensive biodiversification took place when fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals appeared.
Christians have every reason to celebrate the features of the fossil record because they corroborate a creation perspective.
Considering the fossil record, would animal death before Adam present a theological problem?
KS: The old-earth creationist (OEC) perspective affirms plenty of animal death prior to Adam’s relatively late creation on day six. However, this idea poses no problem for at least three reasons:
Â·The central New Testament passage addressing this topic is Romans 5:12–19. This text is best understood to mean that the Fall (Genesis 3) resulted in human death (first spiritual, then later physical), not all biological death. Verse 12 states that “death through sin” (of all life on Earth, only humans can sin) “came to all men” (not all life).
Â·Carnivorous activity, according to Psalm 104:19–28, was ordained by God (the lions “seek their food from God,” verse 21).
Â·If Adam and Eve knew nothing about physical death, the warning that their disobedience would result in death would mean little.
In Mark 10:6 Jesus states that Adam and Eve were made at the “beginning of creation” not billions of years after the beginning. Explain?
HR: Mark 10:6 says, “But, at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.” It does not specify exactly who he’s referring to when he says “God made them male and female.” This reference could be to all humanity not just Adam and Eve.
Notice that this verse does not say at “the beginning of the creation of the Earth” or “the beginning of the creation of the universe.” Mark 10:7–9 specifies only that marriage is being established: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” The larger context confirms this identification of marriage. Mark 10:2–12 simply sets the context for marriage and divorce.
A parallel passage (Matthew 19:4–8) validates this interpretation. There, Jesus declares, “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female,” and “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”
Resource: A Matter of Days
What role do mass extinction events play in RTB’s creation model?
HR: Multiple time-separated extinctions and subsequent creations are a biblical creation principle. Referring to animals Psalm 104:29,30 declares, “When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the Earth.”
Science helps explain why these repeated creations (and extinctions) were necessary. Earth’s rotation rate has slowed by a factor of about four. The sun’s luminosity has varied by more than 15 percent. Distribution of continents and radiation from radiometric isotopes and cosmic rays has also radically changed.
To appropriately compensate for these changes, as well as others, it was crucial for the just-right life-forms in the just-right diversity and just-right quantities to be present on Earth at the just-right times. Consequently, it was necessary for God to repeatedly remove life from Earth that could no longer compensate for the changing physical environment and replace that life with new and different forms which could. Such divine interventions explain the fossil record testimony of repeated mass extinction events followed almost immediately by mass speciation events.
This seemingly tortuous and unending process of extinction and speciation over 3.8 billion years actually transformed Earth’s surface from an environment toxic for advanced life and devoid of the biodeposits critical for the launch of human civilization into the best possible habitat for humanity. Preloaded with resources, Earth was ready to launch and sustain a global high-tech society.
Resource: More Than a Theory