The Genesis view of evolution and Darwinism compared and reconsidered. At least the ancients had the order approximately right—by the current view.
1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. So far so good. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. There is a tiny problem here in that there must be some water and this water is part of the earth but without the heat from the sun the earth would be frozen solid and we might better call it ice. But let that pass. 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Well maybe there is a little slip in the reported timing of God’s hand there in creating the earth some billions of years too soon. 13.8 billion minus 4.5 billion gives only a little 9.3 billion years too soon, but maybe there was something there our current testable science missed. And these days with trillion dollar bail out packages a mere billion doesn’t sound like much. So let’s continue. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. This is either a really great trick or totally mundane depending on how you define light. But God held up his hand and so there was light on one side and not on the other. Oh hum, let’s move on. 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. He could have named it día and noche but then being God he gets to name it anything he wants and night and day are okay. Then God does a bunch of other naming and dividing: firmament, water and some other water and then renames the firmament Heaven. Maybe there was a difference there between the water above and that below, it’s rather difficult keeping track and God makes some dry land and he called it a good day. Then God doesn’t mess around with evolution and a bunch of more primitive life forms but starts right off creating grass and some fruit trees and some seed bearing plants. 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. These fruit trees were getting rather chilly, being out in the absolute cold, so God made the sun to keep them warm in the day and the Moon and stars to light up the night. 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.These large moving creatures come about after there is something for them to eat, the large unmoving ones, but we leave unmentioned the little ones who have been moving about for a very long time, billions of years perhaps. 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. We skipped right past the little guys even though even today they make up the greatest bulk of living matter. We whip right through several more days but who’s counting? Well since God is talking to men he talks about things that are of interest to us so we shouldn’t quibble about the little things. 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. So now we are getting to some Malthusian and Darwinian suggestions and are instructed to go forth and do what all the little things have been doing right along or they wouldn’t be here. 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.This statement is a bit obscure because it seems as if the earth itself is bringing forth cattle, not cattle themselves bringing forth cattle. Or is this a potential reference to environments creating creatures to fill these environments? At least there is the possible suggestion that the environment is significant. 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. After God gets these cattle started they can make their own kind in the way we are familiar with. 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. God was singular up until now but now chose to use the more royal plurality even though God commands us occasionally that it’s a singular term. God gets to do these things but we shouldn’t, or else we suffer. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Well, we are just like God but not really, only a shadow, like God but not God. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Okay we can have dominion over all these things but with great power comes great responsibility. 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. So, God got it all going rather nicely and left it to us and now it’s our responsibility to take care of the earth. Yes, we are commanded to exploit it and to maximize its bounty but we are its guardians and caretakers. The evolution presented here in Genesis doesn’t give much to build on in a scientific sense being a general proclamation of its concept of reality but it is a fairly orderly list of the way things came into being and in that sense gives the evolutionary minded people a starting point. Now only two thousand years later we have a better understanding of how things work but we have been overdoing the command to be fruitful and multiply.
God and nature work in mysterious ways but we are trying to learn and to obey.