Creationism and the Fall 2
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Creationism and the Fall - A Limit to Our Knowledge
Creationism and the Fall - A Limit to Our Knowledge.
Creationism and the Fall - No Bloodshed.
But what about the predators? Surely they must have been present in paradise? The Bible does not mention any new creative activities by God after the fall of man. We cannot go any further than formulating a tentative answer to these questions. It is very well possible that "predatory" body structures were used differently prior to the fall. Even today this possibility seems very real. Consider the panda bear, some piranha species, bats, vultures, and bears; with their sharp teeth, claws or beaks they are still plant eaters. It is known that lions can survive on a vegetarian diet for long periods of time. These examples suggest that animals that we consider carnivorous, based on their teeth and skeletal characteristics, could have lived as herbivores under different conditions. Furthermore, it is possible that some animals degenerated genetically after the fall; this leaves the plausible possibility open that viruses, bacteria, and parasites did not cause diseases prior to the fall.
Furthermore, recent studies have shown that variability among plants and animals can be very high when climatological changes occur. This flexibility pertains both to physical structures and dietary preferences. A sponge, for example, can adapt very quickly and specialize to become carnivorous. Such a dietary specialization, including the accompanying changes in the physical structure, have also been observed in certain types of fish. This variability2 surfaces when animals are exposed to extreme changes in their environment, like temperature, air pressure, and chemical composition of their surroundings. Mice can develop a completely different set of teeth when stimulated by certain chemicals, while a chicken can developed teeth when a certain substance is injected into the egg.
These types of rapid changes in lifestyle and appearance are not at all related to macro-evolution, in which genetic material is supposed to change to a greater degree of complexity by merely chance and time. No mutations or changes in DNA occur, but these changes are solely triggered by existing genes being turned on or off in the DNA. This differential gene expression suggests that God has built in a large amount of potential latent variability in our genetic material; a built-in potential for rapid change if required by environmental conditions. After the flood (with its huge environmental changes), and possibly after the fall of man, such latent genetic possibilities may have been activated. This would have caused a change in the lifestyle and appearance of many organisms.
Creationism and the Fall - Conclusion.
The biblical data with regards to the creation in paradise and the shift in natural conditions after the fall paint a clear picture even without any additional data. God created the world very good, without natural disasters, suffering and struggles, death and extinction. When man fell into sin, the earth was cursed.
Some questions remain. What did God's very good creation look like? What exactly did change when man fell into sin? Two assumptions seem important to me when considering these questions. First there is the realization that limits have been imposed on us when it comes to questions of origins. The Bible only gives a summarized account, and the original conditions are not available to our research and our experience. Secondly I assume the historicity of God's good creation and the fall of man with its unique consequences, when formulating preliminary answers to such questions. In short, I do read Genesis as a reliable, historic account of God's great and mighty creative works, regardless of whether or not they are described poetically -- they are nevertheless factual. These are works that indeed transcend our understanding, but that gives us reason to sing to Him in praise and thanksgiving.
This conclusion has consequences for our attitude towards science. Our third article will deal with this topic. The first consequence is that we must reject the widely accepted worldview on origins, with its old age of the earth and its evolutionary development of all life forms. Is that possible? Or does this require that we ignore apparent and proven facts? The second consequence is the fact that orthodox Christians are facing a great challenge, if they want to maintain the biblical truths of a very good creation, the fall of man and a global flood. This challenge is to show how the layers of the earth with their fossilized contents came to be within the short biblical time-frame, namely during the period after the fall.
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 Batten D, Hrsg., K. Ham, J. Sarfati, C. Wieland, Fragen an den Anfang, Die Logik der Schöpfung, 2004. Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e.V. Bielefeld (translated from English).
 This variability is called differential gene expression. It is the new paradigm in biology, see for example the work of (non-creationists) M.W. Kirschner and J.C Gerhart, The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma (2005). Wood, a creationist, explains how different types of differential gene expression could have caused the rapid formation of new base groups of animals (baramins) after the flood.
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