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“And God said…”

A journey into the Genesis creation account: part five

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This article is the fifth part of a series on the Genesis creation account. Here are parts one, two, three and four.

The interview above brings together three eminent scholars: mathematician and Christian apologist John Lennox, philosopher of science and intelligent design proponent Stephen Meyer, and biochemist Michael Behe, Uncommon Knowledge host Peter Robinson asks a question few intellectuals would even privately contemplate, let alone formulate publicly.  

While noting that Einstein’s special theory of relativity, published in 1905, has been repeatedly confirmed over the last century and has, therefore, become easier to believe, Robinson asks whether the same can be said of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published in 1859. 

All three scholars are surprisingly but unapologetically unanimous in their assessment of Darwin’s theory, which, in their opinion, did not age nearly as gracefully as Einstein’s.  

I will focus on the three major reasons offered to substantiate their assessment.  

The first relates to the fossil record itself and the scarcity of hard evidence supporting Darwin’s theory. 1 Despite the chorus of protests that erupts every time this simple fact is raised, the thousands of fossils that should reflect the minute and gradual transformations leading to a new species are conspicuously absent.  

The second reason is, in my opinion, even more damning, and it has to do with the origin of life itself. While Darwinism attempts to account for the diversity of species through a process of natural selection, it provides no rational explanation for the emergence of life itself.  

Is it necessary to point out that claiming the earth won some cosmic lottery does not qualify as a scientific explanation? According to world-renown chemist and nanotechnologist James Tour, this fact alone represents a major challenge to the very foundation of the theory of evolution.   

The third reason has to do with information. Organisms do not just spontaneously and haphazardly come into existence. Every plant, every insect, every animal is the result of a code that determines its development. This set of information is called the genome.  

The human genome, the information that guides the development of a human being and controls every aspect of his or her existence, is a word composed of about 3.2 billion letters. For this set of instructions to do its work, the letters must be organized according to a precise order. 

As John Lennox points out, information is not contingent on matter as such. He gives, for instance, the example of a restaurant menu on which we can read “Roast Chicken.” 2 He observes that a chemist could spend an entire lifetime studying the ink’s molecular structure without ever being able to extract the meaning of the food item.   

The meaning of these words does not derive from the ink’s physical characteristics. Meaning originates in the mind of an agent and is subsequently received by the mind of a reader. The medium, whether it be physical (a sheet of paper) or electronic (a computer screen), only serves to carry the information. Nothing more.  

The idea that information precedes matter was not first articulated by some clever IT experts who know better than anyone else that a computer is useless without a digital code to govern its processes.  

The great insight that information transcends matter was expressed over 3,500 years ago. It was already prescient in the Genesis creation account as evidenced by these words: “And God said,” used a total of ten times in Genesis chapter 1. 3

As disarmingly mundane as this phrase appears to be, we should not be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the two Hebrew words that make up this expression.   

Every major development in the creation process is preceded by God speaking. “And God said” is the prelude to information. Its repetition challenges the secular ideology that everything can be reduced to matter, and that matter is at the origin of everything.  

This simple expression suggests one more thing. In the very same way a word that is traced in the sand on a beach suggests the earlier presence and action of a mind, “And God said” not only points to information but also to the presence of a cosmic mind from which originates this information.  

The apostle John had fully understood the significance of what the Genesis text proclaims. This is why he opens his gospel with this earth-shattering proclamation: “In the beginning was the Word.”  

In the beginning was a mind, from that mind emerged information, and from that information the universe was born. 

And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:15-17). 


Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (1977)  

For a more detailed discussion of the creation narrative and its theological implications, see Pierre Gilbert, Demons, Lies & Shadows: A Plea for a Return to Text and Reason (Winnipeg, MB: Kindred, 2008). 

1 Meyer notes, for instance, that the rapid emergence of numerous and complex animal forms during the Cambrian period represents one of the greatest challenges to Darwin’s theory. For a detailed discussion, see Darwin’s Doubt (New York, NY): HarperOne, 2013.  

2 See also John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 174-177. 

3 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29. 

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