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The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The order of events known from science is just the opposite

This question is about the cosmic events (stars, planets, etc). The current question is about the animals.

I checked the bible again

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So according to bible, birds are created before land animals (like reptiles). Science says that reptiles are are around before birds. Birds evolve out of reptiles.

How do we reconcile this?

I could match that ground animals mean mammals but that's pretty much stretching it. I could think that fish indeed show up first, and they are keep evolving even after the animals are being created. However, birds are descendants of ground reptiles.

So science says the sequence seems to be

  1. fishes
  2. reptiles (including ground reptiles)
  3. birds
  4. mammals

while Genesis says the sequence is

  1. fishes and birds (day 5)
  2. ground reptiles and mammals

Hmm... almost a match but not quite.

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This is not duplicate. I am not asking the discrepancy in general. I am asking the sequences of animals. –  Jim Thio Jan 27 '13 at 8:21
If you edit to make it more clearly about the animals, including in the title, we can reopen. (Also, you should cast this as why Genesis and science disagree, not why Genesis says something different than "what happened". Your wording implies that the torah account can't be what happened, but that's not a given here.) –  Monica Cellio Jan 27 '13 at 23:53
I am not saying that the torah account can't be what happened (it depends on how we interpret it). I am saying that the scientific theory is so strong there is no way it doesn't happen that way. –  Jim Thio Jan 28 '13 at 1:56
I think you presumed that I think "hence" the torah must be wrong. No. I am open minded here. I mean how do we reconcile literally. I am impressed that a 5k years old book can get something "almost correct". But we need to go more than almost for God claims right? –  Jim Thio Jan 28 '13 at 5:36
And Genesis 2 says the order is heaven & earth, rain, man, herbs and trees, land animals, birds, woman. –  A L Jul 18 '13 at 0:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The Rambam says that the details of the chapter of the Creation (I suppose, Gen. 1 and 2) should not be taught to the masses lest they misunderstand or twist what it means (Guide to the Perplexed, 2:17). An implication may perhaps be drawn that the literal reading is not all that there is to the story of Creation and that, perhaps, it should not be taken as literal 24 hour days. It may not be discussing chronological order of physical creation but rather a more mystical discussion of the order of potential for creation. Some commentators say that the potential for everything was created in the six days, but it wasn't until the events in Genesis 2 that their reality was realized. And that reality might have been realized in a nature-veiled setting of 4.5 billion years of Earth, from guiding conditions for the first life to form until the desired present-day beings exist, all from a seemingly natural history.

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When did Rabam lives? –  Jim Thio May 27 '13 at 1:55
@Jim Thio 12th century. –  Aaliyah May 27 '13 at 2:27
And he said that long before Darwin... Hmmm... Impressive. What's his reasoning? That it doesn't make sense? –  Jim Thio May 29 '13 at 7:29
@JimThio I doubt the Rambam believed in common descent. However his words could be understood to mean that he wouldn't rule it out either. –  Aaliyah Jul 25 '13 at 23:38
Nahmanides makes a similar point in the beginning of Genesis –  Baby Seal Feb 4 at 4:48

Who says they must be reconciled?

God can create a one day old tree with rings.

Or stars millions of light years away with the light reaching here immediately.

also, evolution is just a theory. in my opinion it takes ALOT of FAITH to believe that life forms can evolve from inorganic molecules.

consider a upgrading windows XP to windows 8, something far less complex than upgrading a fish to the simplest flying bird or a three chambered heart to a four chambered heart. now type some random letters in the windows XP code. Is it possible that through trial and error you can upgrade the code? remember evolution must be advantageous each tiny step. Big changes are not possible through random mutations due to complexity.

yet, you'd need big complex changes to upgrade things since lines of code are all interdependent. changes must be coordinated with lots of other changes. there's a limit to what trial and error can accomplish in something like this

I recommend you check out the book "Not by Chance" by MIT Physicist Dr.Spetner

UPDATE: I found an article which explains in more details this fatal flaw in evolution. see: http://theoligarch.com/richard-dawkins-aliens.htm

Regarding the below comment, Gravity is not theoretical, gravity is proven and actual. Nobody can doubt its existence. If you want to test it, try jumping off something. On the other hand, evolution even after 100 years of research remains theoretical - it has not been proven. On the contrary, the more research is done, the more doubt on its validity as the above link shows.

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Gravity is also just a theory. I recommend you check out all the works of Ivy League scientists who endorse evolution. –  Double AA Jan 26 '13 at 23:24
In any event, you just proposed a reconciliation. You suggested that the universe was created looking exactly as if it were billions of years old. So from a scientific perspective (ie figuring out how nature works) we are fully justified in treating the world as billions of years old, and making experiments and drawing conclusions based on that, because the world looks and behaves exactly as a billion year old world would. So who needs them to be reconciled? Apparently you do. –  Double AA Jan 26 '13 at 23:29
Look at free market. Imagine a government trying to create microsoft, apples. It won't work. But let to evolve by themselves under great system, great things happen. –  Jim Thio Jan 27 '13 at 8:18
see creation.com/not-by-chance I read the book. very worthwhile reading. I Also have a degree in physics so can appreciate his treatise –  ray Jan 28 '13 at 6:33
there's a clear distinction between the theory of gravity and the theory of evolution. gravity is actual and proven, evilution remains theoretical. you're using semantics to instigate trouble. –  ray Oct 23 '13 at 9:00

The verse's words read as follows:

And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.'

One could argue that there is an implication of the sea creatures finding their way on to land and eventually becoming birds. The only thing missing is the transitional species.

I don't think it is unreasonable to say that Gd only mentioned the species of creatures that were extant at the time of Adam's creation. So the transitional forms from amphibians to reptiles to birds, being extinct by the time of Adam's creeation, were not mentioned at all.

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