Is Natural and Biological Diversity A Testament of God’s Creative Power or a Consequence of Sin? Reflections on “Is Genesis History?”

In my reflections on the recent film “Is Genesis History?” which appeared on the Biologos website yesterday I made the following observation:

“Recently I found myself in a theater taking in scenes of God’s creation through the documentary Is Genesis History? hosted by Del Tackett.  This beautifully produced film transported myself and the rest of a clearly awed audience to many natural wonders of this world. Even though my interpretation of Genesis is much different than his, I could share with the Tackett (and the audience) a great sense of wonder at these magnificent scenes.  So you can imagine my surprise as I watched the final scene which found Dr. Tackett looking out over a landscape similar to my mountain experience and proclaiming, “It’s glorious, but represents the judgement of God.”

As surprising as this statement may sound, Dr. Tackett was only stating the logical conclusion which flows from his young-earth creationism (YEC) worldview. For him, what you and I experience is not so much God’s good creation as it is the end-product of God’s judgement.” 

I was reacting to the very last scene in the film which presents a young-earth perspective on how Earth’s physical and biological history should be viewed in light of a literal-day interpretation of the Genesis text.   I left the theater with many thoughts but that last scene is what stuck with me the most.  When we look at mountains, waterfalls, deserts and glaciers are we reminded of God’s curse or his creative power?  Likewise, when we see the incredible adaptations that species display that allow them to live in nearly every environment on earth do we blame Adam’s sin for bringing this variation into the world?  The young-earth perspective on how sin corrupted the physical creation would suggest that these features of the world are judgment not creation.   But this view of natural and biological diversity does not fit with that of the authors of the Bible.

Please visit BioLogos.org to read the rest of my reflections  (Mountains, Meadows and Marmots:  Creation or Judgement?) on the final scene of the film “Is Genesis History?”

In that article I mention my own mountain top experience in contrast to that presented in the film.  Below are some additional pictures I took on my La Plata Peak hike in Colorado last summer that set the stage for my commentary.

Andrew (my oldest son) on top of La Plata Peak, Colorado (14350 feet)

Yours truly at about 1300 feet on the side of La Plata Peak, Colorado. July 2016 Photo: Andrew Duff

I enjoy relaxing on a ridge coming off of La Plata Peak. I was able to spend about 2 hours just hanging out taking pictures and interacting with the animals.

View from trail to La Plata Peak, Colorado Mountains

Trail down from La Plata Peak, Colorado

Comments

  1. johnscorner says:

    Wow! Thanks for the link! And thanks for writing your thought-provoking post on BioLogos in the first place. Question, however: Is your quote from Dr. Tackett exact . . . or is it a paraphrase?

    Like

    • That “quote” is the best memory of myself and two others who took notes during the movies. So I can’t be absolutely certain it is word for word correct but it should be and if it isn’t it should capture the sentiment of what was said.

      Like

  2. So,,, the YECcies think that a pre-sin Earth was all smooth and flat and warm and fuzzy? Lessee,,, that means diamonds (coming from deep in the Earth via volcanoes) are the result of sin; and, obviously, every other gem. That would mean all fossils, petroleum, sedimentary rocks, bodies of water, 90-plus percent of all species,,, you get my point I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is considerable diversity of opinion in this area among YECs. I get the feeling very few have spent any time really thinking about the pre-Fall Earth and what it would be like other than just saying no death of animals. Some think that that pre-Flood world would have been vastly more diverse than the world we have today. This is partly becuase there are so many different fossils represent extinct things that must have lived some time. But was all that diversity present before the Fall? That is more interesting but rarely written about. Even so I am sure that many YECs believe there was much biolgoical diversity but geologically speaking there was not likely as much diversity. Certainly all fossils, oil and coal, sedimentary rocks were formed after the Fall. Not doubt a very foreign world to us and yet the biblical authors seem to take the world they see around them as the world God created.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments or Questions?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: