The challenge a lot people have in understanding the Genesis paradigm is seeing how all the topics fit together. In laying out the film, we tried to follow a specific path that may be helpful to consider.
For instance, we begin by looking at how history helps us interpret what we see around us. We take an initial look at the record of the global Flood, then introduce two views of history and how they relate to the text of Genesis. We return to the Flood to examine its impact on the earth and the fossils buried in the earth. We then focus on the complex design of living creatures as unique creations, especially man made in God’s image. We finally look at the stars as our primary timekeepers, ending with the growth of language and culture in light of Genesis.
The following are summaries of each section that can be used to remember what specific scientists communicated. [Note: These are also included in each DVD, Blu-Ray, and Streaming purchase as a “Guide to the Film.” You can also download the PDF here.]
1. Changing Our Perspective
Del Tackett, DM at Mount St. Helens
“Did God create the world in a few days or billions of years?” – Del Tackett
Many people look at the earth and assume uniform processes acted over long ages to form what we see around us. Yet Mount St. Helens reveals how major catastrophes can quickly create geological formations. It also shows how eyewitness accounts are necessary to understand what happened in the past. The book of Genesis lays out a clear history of the earth, although many people do not accept it as an accurate witness. Is it truly history?
2. What do the Rocks Tell Us?
Steven Austin, PhD (Geologist) at Grand Canyon
“It’s not a little water and a lot of time. It’s a lot of water and a little time.” – Steve Austin
The greatest catastrophe recorded in the Bible is the Flood. Such an event would have transformed everything on the earth’s surface and left an enormous amount of residue. That is what we see when we look at the layers of sedimentary rock that cover the planet. There are huge megasequences that stretch across continents stacked one on top of the other; there are countless marine fossils in those sedimentary rock layers; and there is evidence of major erosion on the earth from the advance and retreat of the flood waters. These evidences, and many more, point to a major catastrophe in the earth’s past just as the Bible records.
3. A Question of Paradigms
Paul Nelson, PhD (Philosopher of Science) at Computer History Museum
“We have a witness to those events, and that witness is telling us ‘this is what happened,’ and we have to take that into consideration when we evaluate the data.” – Paul Nelson
There are two paradigms, or interpretive frameworks, used to interpret the world around us: the conventional paradigm and the Genesis paradigm. Each has a different view of how long the earth has been here, including the origin of the rocks, animals, and stars. Each sees the same data, but interprets it according to different historical assumptions. The Genesis paradigm interprets everything in light of the timeline and events recorded in the first chapters of Genesis; the conventional paradigm interprets everything according to the timeline and events constructed over the past 200 years as a replacement for that Biblical history. The conflict is ultimately between these two competing histories of the world.
4. What Does the Text Say?
Steven Boyd, PhD (Hebraist) at Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion
“The first thing is that it’s an accurate historical account.” – Steven Boyd
What is the history of the world according to Genesis? The author presents his material in such a way he is clearly talking about real events. The word ‘day’ in Genesis 1 refers to six normal days; the creation of Adam and Eve refers to the creation of real people; the Fall was a real event; and the Flood was a global deluge. These events are situated within genealogies which form the structure of Genesis and affirm its historicity. Luke uses the same genealogies to measure the passage of time from Jesus Christ back to the creation of Adam; they show us our faith is founded on real historical people.
5. How Do You Measure Time?
Andrew Snelling, PhD (Geologist) at SP Crater & Sedona, Arizona
“The Bible would say that the past is the key to the present.” – Andrew Snelling
If the Bible presents a concise timeline of history, where does the idea of millions of years come from? Geologists like Charles Lyell wanted to replace the history recorded in Genesis with a naturalistic history of their own construction. They started with the idea of long ages, then interpreted the rocks in light of their new paradigm. Today, geologists rely on measuring radioisotope decay and interpret its results in terms of the conventional paradigm. Yet anomalies in these dating methods question their conclusions. Instead, one can look at geological formations to see evidence of a young earth transformed by a global catastrophe: the flat and enormous extent of sedimentary layers; a lack of deep and widespread erosion between most layers; and evidence that sediment was rapidly deposited by huge amounts of water.
6. A Brief History of the World
Kurt Wise, PhD (Paleontologist) at Pocket Wilderness, Dayton, TN
“The Bible lays out what I would call epochs of earth history.” – Kurt Wise
The first epoch was the Creation of the universe in six normal days. During that week, God rapidly created everything in a miraculous, unrepeatable fashion. The Edenian epoch followed with Adam and Eve living in the garden of Eden. It is impossible to understand the structure of the laws of the universe at that time since death and decay had not entered the world. With the Fall, God cursed His creation and changed those universal laws. This marked the start of the Ante-Diluvian epoch, a period with different animals, plants, and environments than we know today. The Flood destroyed those ecosystems, and the Post-Flood epoch included a series of recovering environments. With the close of the subsequent Ice Age, the world shifted into the Modern epoch which continues into the present. We can now only look to the Bible and the rocks to see evidence of those prior epochs.
7. The Origin of Fossils
Marcus Ross, PhD (Paleontologist) at Discovery Park of America
“Man and all of the animals over which we rule were judged at the time of the flood.” – Marcus Ross
There are billions of fossils in the earth. Most are from animals that lived in the Ante-Diluvian epoch before the Flood, but some are from the Post-Flood epoch when the world was recovering from the global catastrophe. During the Flood, as huge tidal waves pulsed back and forth over the existing continents, different types of sediment and ecosystems were picked up, carried, then deposited in massive layers on top of each other. The presence of marine fossils on the continents, the sudden appearance of complex fossils in the lowest Cambrian layers, the widespread extent of fossilization, and the pattern of trackways (footprints) below body fossils, all point to the record in Genesis where God said He was going to wipe out a violent earth with a global flood.
8. When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth
Arthur Chadwick, PhD (Taphonomist) at Hanson Ranch, Wyoming
“The big bones are all down at the bottom and when they start digging higher up they start to find smaller bones. So that condition requires a sorting process that only takes place during a catastrophic emplacement.” – Art Chadwick
An examination of an actual ‘bone bed’ reveals unique aspects that could only occur during a global flood. A layer of mudstone 3 to 4 feet thick is spread over a 100 acre area and contains the remains of 5,000 to 10,000 large dinosaurs. Millions of bones are disarticulated (broken apart) yet reveal a unique sorting process at the time of their burial: they are in a graded bed with larger, heavier bones at the bottom and smaller, lighter bones at the top. This unique situation could only occur through a catastrophic, rapid emplacement. Evidence for these kinds of burials appears throughout the fossil record, with animals suddenly appearing fully-formed, then disappearing from higher layers. A global flood is the best explanation for what we see in the rocks.
9. Soft Tissue in Dinosaur Bones
Kevin Anderson, PhD (Microbiologist) at Van Andel Creation Research Center
“Clearly this is in violation of the dating process. It challenges the entire dating process.” – Kevin Anderson
In 2005, soft tissue was discovered inside the femur of a dinosaur bone. More discoveries followed by other scientists. In 2012, Kevin Anderson and Mark Armitage dug out a large section of a triceratops brow horn in Montana. Although the normal process of finding soft tissue is through decalcification of the bone, when Mark opened up the horn in California, he discovered uncalcified soft tissue that was stretchy and pliable. Although surprising to everyone, the presence of these intact organic materials is better explained by the bones being only thousands rather than tens of millions of years old. These discoveries can be seen as a method of dating, but they challenge the concept of ‘deep time,’ a critical component for evolution.
10. The Genius of Design
Robert Carter, PhD (Marine Biologist) at Coral World, St. Thomas, USVI
“Life is so complex that small changes can’t explain it.” – Robert Carter
Although evolutionary theory says all creatures descended from a common ancestor, when one looks at animals today (or in the fossil record), they appear to be unique creations with the ability to change to fit their environments. That ability to live and change is programmed in at the deepest levels of the genome in ways we do not fully understand. What we do see is that the human genome works as a four-dimensional ‘computer’: our three billion letter sequence of DNA is able to turn sections of itself on and off; it is coiled into 3D fractal spheres where sections folded near each other combine to create new levels of information; it changes shape over time to expose different areas of DNA needed to create tens of thousands of different proteins. This level of complexity is not just limited to the genome, but can be seen in the interdependent relationships between living creatures throughout every ecosystem. Such highly-engineered structures and relationships can only exist if they are created simultaneously in a short space of time — which is exactly how Genesis says God created in six normal days.
11. The Potential of Created Kinds
Todd Wood, PhD (Biologist) at Memphis Zoo
“All we see are variations that happen within a created kind.” – Todd Wood
One of the assumptions of evolutionary theory is that natural selection working over millions of years formed all the diversity of life we see in the world. Genesis, however, says God created animals fully-formed “according to their kinds.” When one studies the genetic and family relationships of actual creatures, a better explanation is that each created kind possesses enormous potential for genetic change. These changes within kinds have often been pointed to as arguments for evolution, but changes between kinds have not been observed. Instead of a single tree of life growing from a common ancestor, each created kind has its own unique tree, forming an orchard of life. Humans have their own tree and include ancestors like Neanderthals, but not extinct primates like Australopithecus. God made Adam and Eve in His image, and gave them the unique role of stewarding His creation.
12. The Purpose of the Stars
Danny Faulkner, PhD (Astronomer) at Chino Valley, Arizona
“We have some purposes given for the stars…to mark time, to rule over the night, to be for signs and seasons.” – Danny Faulkner
Our sense of the passage of time is based on our relationship with the sun, moon, and stars. God put these celestial bodies in place on the fourth day of creation as providers of energy, sources of light, and consistent timekeepers. They are also a source of wonder for everyone who studies them, from the unique nature of solar eclipses, to the beauty of galaxies and nebulae, to the sheer immensity of space. The size of the universe and the distances between stars has led the conventional view to interpret the entire universe as very old, but scientists working within the Genesis paradigm have come up with different explanations for the presence of the stars, including rapidly bringing light to the earth on the fourth day. The truth is that no one theory seems to explain everything. Even the current cornerstone of the conventional view, the Big Bang cosmology, has changed greatly during its 60-year history. More recently it has been publicly rejected by hundreds of physicists and astronomers. The reality is that no scientific theory is able to penetrate exactly what happened during the six days of the Creation epoch.
13. Where was Babel?
Douglas Petrovich, PhD (Archeologist) at Oriental Institute Museum
“It gives you a feeling of putting your hands around the events that go on in the Biblical text.” – Doug Petrovich
Ancient architecture reveals that many cultures were extremely advanced in their tracking of celestial bodies. During the start of the Post-Flood epoch, one of them sought to build a high tower but was frustrated by God through the confusion of spoken language. Although there are several Mesopotamian cities called ‘Babel,’ only Eridu shows evidence of an enormous tower that was left unfinished and a mass dispersion of people in all directions —all just before the emergence of the written form of different languages in Southern Mesopotamia.
14. Genesis and Our Culture
George Grant, PhD (Pastor) at Bountiful Blessings Farm, Tennessee
“When you rid the book of Genesis of its historical moorings, you have suddenly decapitated the whole structure of the Bible.” – George Grant
The events recorded in Genesis continue to have an impact on our world today. At the beginning, God established our daily and weekly cycles of work and rest. He created a real man and woman to be married only to each other, setting the standard for marital and sexual relationships. A real Fall brought death into the world and the need for a real Redeemer. God judged the world with a real global flood but saved Noah and his family. All of the people and events of Genesis were considered history by Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the apostles. In spite of this, there is a movement among modern theologians and scientists to de-historicize sections of Genesis. This reverses the roles of science and history, and inevitably leads to relativism. After all, science is consistently changing; it can never be an ultimate authority. Historical events, on the other hand, do not change. The role of history is to tell us what happened in the past; the role of science is to try to understand how those things happened.
15. A Changed Perspective
Del Tackett, DM at Alpine Loop, Colorado
“Nothing in the world makes sense except in the light of Genesis.” – Del Tackett
Genesis is central to understanding everything around us. If we try to construct a history based on our own limited experiences, we will misinterpret what has happened and misunderstand our place in the world. Genesis, on the other hand, explains where we came from, who we are, what our problem is, and where we are headed. When looking at everything together, we can be confident that Genesis is history.