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Author: coralville Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196895  
Subject: Interpreting Genesis 1 Date: 2/27/2001 1:34 PM
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For your entertainment pleasure. The following is an interpretation of Genesis 1 that I think is true to the bible and also consistent with science. It is not my idea (though I can't remember where I first read this perspective) and is only speculation, but I think it interesting and about as valid as more traditional "literal" accounts. Note that I am reconstructing this from memory so it may differ from the original proposal.

Genesis is traditionally thought to have been written by Moses. Assuming that Moses wasn't actually present at the original creation of the world, we can ask how could he have written what appears to be an eyewitness account of creation? One possibility is that he was shown a vision of creation and what we have in Genesis is his account of this vision. So let's assume that Moses was shown visions of the creation of earth and life stretched out over 6 days. Furthermore, we are assuming that Moses is seeing events from a point on the earth's surface.

Day 1. We begin with Moses seeing an earth covered in water with a dense, opaque cloud cover blocking light and a heavy mist/rain greatly limiting visibility. The world seems formless and dark. We fast-forward in time as atmospheric changes and the dissipation of volcanic dust cause the clouds to become less dense, allowing light to diffuse through. Moses now can see the day/night cycle. So ends the vision of the first day.

Day 2. Further atmospheric changes cause the rain to stop and the mist to thin. Moses can now see a cloud covered sky above and the oceans below. The waters of heaven and earth have become separated by the firmament. So ends the vision of the second day.

Day 3. In rapid succession Moses sees the rising of land, continental drift, and the formation of the oceans and seas. Through the wonder of time-lapse vision he sees the evolution of plants. So ends the vision of the third day.

Day 4. The oxygen produced by plants cause further atmospheric changes. The cloud cover breaks and for the first time, Moses can see the sun during the day and the moon and stars at night. So ends the vision of the fourth day.

Day 5. Moses is shown the evolution of sea animals and the evolution of flying animals. So ends the vision of the fifth day.

Day 6. Moses is shown the evolution of land animals and finally the evolution of humanity.

Day 7. The visions are complete. God tells Moses that the 7th day is a time of rest, thereby establishing the tradition of the sabbath.

In this interpretation, the 6 days of creation represents not the time required for creation, but the time taken to reveal creation to Moses. Moses himself may not recognize that he is seeing millions of years of creation condensed within each day's vision. The order of events reflects the order of the visions, which may not reflect the actual historical ordering. Moses then interprets these visions the best he can, from the perspective of a man trained in the school system of ancient Egypt.

Is this interpretation possible?
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