Common Misconceptions About Creation
Have you ever heard that men have fewer ribs than
women? Or that it never rained before the flood? What about
the increasingly popular argument that the earth is flat?
These and many other common misconceptions are often
based on inaccurate historical data, unsupported scientific
models, misinterpretation of Scripture, or mere speculation.
As Christians, we must be careful
to discern sound ideas from
falsehoods so that we may honor
Christ and proclaim the truth
of his Word—starting in Genesis.
As Christians, we must be careful to discern sound ideas
from falsehoods so that we may honor Christ and proclaim
the truth of his Word—starting in Genesis. Whether
responding to a misguided fellow believer or a hostile skeptic,
we must address these misconceptions by using good
judgment and appealing to reason, to observable science,
and ultimately to God’s Word.
The Animals We See Today Look the Same as the Animals at Creation
You’ve probably seen artistic renderings
of Noah’s ark and the garden
of Eden. They typically depict modern
animals that we see today—monkeys,
elephants, and giraffes. Such drawings
reveal the faulty assumption that
early creatures looked like the ones
we see today.
Many pictures show lions, tigers,
and leopards on the ark. But these
three cats came from a common ancestral
cat kind, represented on the ark by
a single pair (Genesis 7:2). These two
cats would have contained the genetic
information necessary for the various
combinations we see today; therefore,
they couldn’t have looked exactly like
any of the cats we see today.
Adam and Eve Had Light Hair, Fair Skin, and Blue Eyes
Since the Bible doesn’t describe
Adam and Eve’s appearance, we can’t
know what they looked like. This
lack of description has inspired many
different ethnic depictions of the first
couple. However, we can assume that
they didn’t express recessive traits
like light hair and blue eyes. As the
parents of all people, Adam and Eve
must have possessed DNA containing
vast genetic information needed for a
diverse human population. As such,
they probably had brown eyes and
dark hair—the dominant traits.
Adam and Eve likely had a middle-brown
skin shade. Although skin
shade is complex and the result of
multiple genes, it is determined in
part by the amount of a pigment
called melanin. A middle-brown
shade indicates that the person has
the genetic diversity to pass on either
light or dark tones to their children.
If Adam and Eve were both a middle-brown
shade, they could have had
children of all shades—from dark
Men Have Fewer Ribs
Than Women Have
God took one of Adam’s ribs to make Eve, so now men
have one fewer rib than women—right? Actually, no. We
can easily count the number of ribs in men and women
and see that they are the same.
While it is true that God took a rib from Adam to
fashion Eve (Genesis 2:21–22), he did not change Adam’s
DNA to do that. If a man lost a leg in an accident, would
we expect his future children to be born without a leg?
Of course not. Adam still had the genetic code for a full
set of ribs, and he passed on that complete information
to his sons and daughters alike.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics Did Not
Take Effect Until After the Fall
The second law of thermodynamics
states that closed systems tend toward
increased entropy, or disorder. This
law has led some to conclude that if
things are running down, the second
law of thermodynamics was not in
effect until after the fall. After all, we
can see the cumulative effects of the
increasing disorder caused by sin.
However, such a conclusion assumes
that all increased entropy is bad. In fact,
entropy is responsible for many good
things that happen every day—digestion,
sunlight, breathing, walking uphill,
warming cooled skin. The second law of
thermodynamics refers to the transfer
of heat and energy. Therefore, this law
has been in effect since creation.
The Bible Teaches Geocentricism and a Flat Earth
Is earth the center of the universe? Is it flat? Some say
that the Bible confirms both. But few biblical texts even
remotely address geocentricism or a flat earth. And those
references are examples of figurative language, poetic imagery,
and idiomatic expressions (e.g., Isaiah 11:12; Revelation
7:1; Psalm 93:1). Since the Bible is not a cosmology textbook,
we shouldn’t insist on drawing cosmological meaning from
these passages. We must read Scripture with discernment.
Flat-earth proponents claim that early church leaders
believed in a biblical flat earth. However, humans have
believed the earth is a sphere since at least the fifth century
BC. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that skeptics
claimed the Bible described a flat earth, blaming Christianity
for hampering progress by rejecting scientific enlightenment.
Likewise, some critics erroneously claim that the
Catholic church persecuted Galileo in the seventeenth
century for believing that the earth revolved around the
sun. (In reality, the circumstances were far more complex.)
This allowed them to describe Christians as unenlightened
geocentrists who opposed scientific discovery.
Modern technology allows us to see the globe and monitor
the movements of planets, and repeatable scientific
observation has consistently supported a spherical earth
that revolves around the sun. The Bible does not teach that
the earth is flat nor that it is the center of the universe, and
no historical or scientific evidence supports either idea.
Both the fall and the flood significantly
impacted the world, transforming
it from the perfect earth into
the “groaning” one we know today.
But the Bible does not support the
idea that the early atmosphere was
radically different from that of the
post-flood world. Many of these proposed
atmospheric changes are tied
to the canopy model, which places
a layer of water around the earth on
the second day of creation.
Many researchers have abandoned
the canopy model because of
its pitfalls. Scientifically, the model
can’t explain the greenhouse effect
of a vapor layer, the transparency of
the canopy, the harmful effects of
increased oxygen concentrations, or
the amount of water necessary for a
global flood. Biblically, the model is
inconsistent. To assert that Genesis
1:6–7 describes a canopy of water
above the expanse (earth’s atmosphere)
would mean that Genesis
1:14 places the stars, sun, and moon
beneath the canopy—within the
earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, the
canopy model seems to be a misinterpretation
The Created Earth Resembled What We See Today
Imagine what the globe looked like before the catastrophic
flood of Noah’s day. You likely think of continents
and oceans based on maps you’ve seen. But the
world today is not the same as the world prior to the flood.
The pre-flood world was destroyed by water, causing massive
shifts and broken foundations (2 Peter 3:6).
Genesis 1:9 implies that the original earth might have
had one landmass. If you look at the continents and
islands on the globe, you can see how all the land could fit
back together like pieces in a puzzle. The geologic evidence
is consistent with the biblical perspective of a single landmass
violently ripped apart by a cataclysmic global flood.
Not Exist Before
Although Genesis 2:5–6 describes
a period before rain fell, it refers
only to the time before the creation
of man. And Hebrews 11:7 states
that God warned Noah “concerning
events as yet unseen.” This is not
a reference to rain itself, but to a
global, catastrophic flood.
As for rainbows, Genesis 9:13 does
not teach that God created the first
colorful bow after the flood, only
that he assigned it as a symbol of his
faithfulness. No one can prove that
rain fell or rainbows graced the sky
before the flood, but to insist that
they did not stretches the meaning
God Created Things to Look Old
God’s creation was fully functional
from the beginning. After all, plants had
to bear fruit to provide sustenance. And
if Adam and Eve were to obey God’s
mandate to multiply, they had to be able
to reproduce (Genesis 1:28). But a fully
functional, mature universe is not the
same as a universe created to look old.
This misconception is based on two
faulty assumptions. First, the concept
of “appearance of age” is based on the
human experience of aging. Before
the first birth, humans had no frame
of reference for determining how old
someone looked. Likewise, we have
no way to know what an old earth
would look like since we don’t know
what a younger earth looked like.
Second, the misconception presupposes
that the earth looks old, based on
man’s ideas about fallible dating methods,
specifically in rock layers. Our
culture is entrenched in evolutionary
teaching that natural processes over
millions of years produced the earth
we see today. But Scripture clearly
teaches that the universe was created
in six literal days. God is not a deceiver
(Numbers 23:19), so why would he create
a world to appear older than it is?
SourceThis article originally appeared on answersingenesis.org