Proponents of this theory contend that the six days of Genesis 1 were actually long periods of time-ages-that correspond to the major periods of geological history, as defined by evolutionists. Day-Age Theory proponents apply the third definition of yowm (“an indefinite period of time”) to the days of Genesis 1, and support this with 2 Peter 3:8: “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” They also insist that too much activity took place on the sixth day (Genesis chapter 2) to fit into a single 24-hour day.
The passage 2 Peter 3:3-10 speaks of scoffers in the last days who belittle biblical predictions of the second coming of Christ. Verse 8 is not meant as a mathematical formula of 1 = 1000 or 1000 = 1, but rather to make the point that the Lord is not limited by time, that He can accomplish something in a day or in however long He wants to. 2 Peter 3:8 has nothing whatsoever to do with the length of the Creation Week. Genesis 1 needs to be interpreted in context, not by a verse written over 1,500 years later and taken out of context. Even if it were possible to apply this verse literally to the Creation Week, 6,000 years does not begin to accommodate the millions of years required by evolution.( 1 For more details on this subject, see “Theistic Evolution and the Day-Age Theory,” by Richard Niessen, published by the Institute for Creation Research.
Again, the Day-Age Theory satisfies neither the creationists nor the evolutionists.
God’s Checklist for Day Seven
* Take a break the flood
The next big issue with which evolutionists take exception to is the Genesis account in chapters 6-9 of the worldwide flood, commonly called Noah’s Flood. Did it cover the whole world? Is there any evidence today that such a flood ever occurred? How could all those animals fit in the Ark?
According to Genesis the Ark measured 300 x 50 x 30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), which is approximately 140 x 23 x 13.5 meters or 459 x 75 x 44 feet. The ratio of length to width to height is 30:5:3. Tests on models of the Ark made to exact specifications have shown that it could survive capsizing by waves of up to 200 feet high, and that even if it pitched to a near 90 degree angle it could then right itself. Because it wasn’t designed to go anywhere in particular, it needed no propulsion or steering system; it just needed to be seaworthy and provide accommodation for one year, and the design was perfect for that.
The total volume of the Ark was 43,500 cubic meters or about 1.5 million cubic feet-equal to that of 522 standard American railroad livestock cars, each of which can hold up to 240 sheep. That means the Ark could hold over 125,000 animals, if the average size were that of a sheep.
The Bible says that Noah took two of every “kind” of animal, bird and reptile, except when they were “clean” animals he took seven. (There is some debate as to whether it was seven pairs or just seven in total.)
So what is a “kind”? The best modern term for this is “genus” (plural is “genera”). This is a broader term than species. Animals within a species can mate and produce fertile offspring, whereas those within a genus can mate and produce offspring but they may or may not be fertile. For example, zebras, donkeys, and horses are all in the same genus, but if they interbreed, their offspring, such as mules, are infertile.
It is believed that each genus had an original parent from which the variety of species in the genus descended, through the process of microevolution. For example, all domestic cattle descended from aurochs, and the aurochs in turn may have descended from a common bovine ancestor that they share with bison and the many varieties of buffalo.
About 8,000 genera have been identified, including extinct ones. That would mean that there would have been about 16,000 animals, birds, and reptiles in the Ark. (The larger number-seven or seven pair-of clean animals would have had little bearing on this total because the number of clean animals fitting the criteria to be found in Deuteronomy chapter 14 would be quite small.)
[Callout:] There was plenty of room for all the animals on Noah’s Ark.
Noah did not need to take sea creatures or fish because enough of these would survive even in the tumultuous conditions of the Flood. He also wasn’t instructed to take insects, but his huge floating menagerie no doubt attracted copious quantities of insects, even as unwanted guests. More probably survived on floating vegetation. The Bible is clear that except for the ones in the Ark, all creatures that “breathed through their nostrils” perished in the Flood. Neither insects nor fish breathe through nostrils, so the implication is that some of these two types of creatures survived.
There is also the question of the very large animals, such as the dinosaurs or even elephants. How did they get in the Ark? There is no mention that Noah took fully developed adult animals onto the Ark. Most animal experts say that younger animals are much easier to handle, so it would seem sensible for Noah to take adolescent or even younger animals. If this was the case, then only about 10% of the animals would have been bigger than sheep. So since the Ark could theoretically hold over 125,000 animals the size of sheep and since as few as 16,000 creatures may have been on board, there was plenty of room for them and for enough food to feed them on the duration of their voyage-about 375 days.( 1 For a thorough study on Noah’s Ark, see John Woodmorappe’s Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, Institute for Creation Research (1996).
2 tectonic plate: a segment of Earth’s crust that moves relative to other plates and is characterized by volcanic and seismic activity around its edges)
Genesis 7 describes the Flood as follows:
[On that] day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. … And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the Ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the Ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. … And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:11-12,17-20,24 KJV.)
First, the fountains of the great deep were broken up. Whether there were immense amounts of water trapped below the earth’s surface that were released, or if a huge upward motion of the ocean floor caused much of the water in the ocean to spill onto the land, we don’t know. A recently developed scientific model called Catastrophic Plate Tectonics postulates that intense and violent movement in the tectonic plates2 resulted in the worldwide disaster of the Flood.
This model further postulates that global volcanic activity also occurred, especially under the ocean. That would have sent so much water into the atmosphere that it could have realistically resulted in the 40-day rain described in Genesis. Eventually all this movement would have caused the high mountains to be thrust up, the ocean floor to sink, and the waters that had first covered the highest mountains of the pre-Flood earth to recede and fill the new oceans created by the shift.
[Callout:] That Noah’s Flood was worldwide and occurred as Genesis states is scientifically feasible.
If the surface features of our present Earth were totally flattened, water would cover the globe to a depth of 2.7 km (1.7 miles). Obviously this would not have covered the high mountains that exist today, such as Mount Everest. The Himalayas, along with many other mountain ranges, show clear evidence of having been pushed up after layers of fossil-bearing sediments had been deposited, consistent with the catastrophic plate tectonics theory in regards to the Flood. It is conjectured that the seven continents we have now formed at this time. Future research may either prove or disprove this theory, but the catastrophic plate tectonics model comes the closest yet in accounting for all the evidence. ([Footnote:] Critical examinations of this theory can be found here)
So was the Flood possible? Science says it could have been.