On 27 April 2004, Answers in Genesis hosted a live webcast featuring Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Ken Ham. Web visitors were encouraged to write in with their questions, which Dr Sarfati and Mr Ham answered during the broadcast. Although they responded to several dozen, there were simply too many questions to respond to them all. While we would like to give a detailed response to each one, it is simply not possible to do so.

However, we wanted to take the opportunity to respond to some of the typical questions that we received for two reasons:

  1. Part of our mission as an organization is “To provide answers from Genesis to make Jesus Christ, our Creator and Redeemer, relevant to the Church and world today.” Having you write in with your questions provides us a direct answer to our question, “What questions need answered to help us (and you) fulfill that mission?”

  2. Most of the questions submitted are already answered by articles on this website. To most questions, you will notice, we are responding with quick links to other areas of the site. We hope this will give you a better understanding of the respources that are available to you free of charge on this site.

Genesis as literal history

Listener in Central, Florida, USA

As you are no doubt aware, an accusatory finger is often pointed at Biblical Creationists with claims that we take the whole Bible literally. Would you please go into more depth regarding the difference between being a hyperliteralist, and being a Biblical Creationist who takes the context, culture, and Sola Scriptura into account?

Perhaps a more preferable word for the proper interpretation of Scripture would be “plainly,” meaning “as the author intended.” This incorporates a literal interpretation of a literal context, poetic interpretation of poetic context, etc. This is covered in-depth in the article Feedback: Why Do You Take the Bible Literally?


Geology and the fossil record

We had several questions on the order of burial during the flood. One example is:

M.A., Boise, Idaho, USA

Why are only certain species of fossils found in certain strata i.e. Dinos are never found with mammals; Only certain species of Dinos/Mammals are found only in certain strata. … Animals clinging on floating mats of plants/trees in the early stages of The Flood does not really answer the stratification question.

Questions about geology necessarily involve an understanding of what is really found (and not found) in the “geological record” (and not just what is reported to be found or not found), as well as an understanding of the sorting processes involved in Noah’s Flood. One point to consider is that there are many fossils which are “out of place” no matter what paradigm (evolutionary or biblical) one accepts. Evolutionists, for example, have to deal with discovering fossils of animals that supposedly died out millions of years ago right next to fossils of creatures that are still alive today (and aparently forgot to evolve.) These are called “living fossils.” Particularly relevant to the question above are the following two articles:

For much more information on this subject, please see our Q&A: Fossils, Q&A: Flood, and Q&A: Geology sections.


Life before sin

G.B., Nashville, Tennessee, USA

It is argued that death existed before sin because it is not reasonable to believe that bugs and such were not killed, by whatever means, including stepping on them. Therefore, death as a result of sin would refer only to the death of man. Such an interpretation allows for an old earth. How do we give an intelligent response to this argument?

Please see, Wouldn’t Adam have stepped on an ant in the Garden?


G.R., Austin, Texas, USA

If the world was is a perfect state at the beginning of Adam and Eve’s life and there was a vapor canopy protecting them from the effects of UV, why does AIG represent Adam and Eve as having dark skin? What would be the point of having dark skin in the Garden of Eden?

First of all, there are some serious biblical and scientific problems to consider before adopting a “vapor canopy” theory as a prima facie teaching of Scripture. Please see Was There Really a Noah’s Ark & Flood? for more information.

The primary reason AiG depicts Adam and Eve with middle-brown skin is that this makes the most sense in light of the genetic variability that would be necessary to generate the various skin colors we see today. Please see What Was Adam Like?


R.C., Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Is there a possibility that there was any considerable length of time between creation and the fall? How do we know the time span between when Adam was created and when God cursed the earth? I know Adam’s age is given, but is that his total age, or his age after the fall when his body ceased to be a perfect creation and began to die?

The command to “be fruitful and multiply” was given to Adam in Genesis 1:28 on the sixth day of creation, on which God called everything “very good”, i.e. before the Fall. That Adam’s firstborn son, Cain, was conceived after the Fall is undeniable. (This is indicated both by the position in which the birth account falls in Genesis [Chapter 4] as well as Cain’s evident sin nature.) Now, if there were any considerable length of time between Adam’s creation (and the command to “be fruitful and multiply” given the same day) and the conception of Cain, this means that Adam and Eve were ignoring the command to “be fruitful and multiply” during that entire time. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the Fall was relatively soon after Adam’s creation.


R.S., Caro, Michigan, USA

Where do you believe fire fits into pre-fall and post-fall? Fire of course has many uses but is generally destructive in nature. The question came to me as I thought about certain pine trees that depend on fire to allow their seed to be opened, therefore making forest fires necessary to propogate the species.

To generalize, there are all sorts of questions about the origins of things were generally consider “evil” because of their use in today's world, but which were not necesarily so in a pre-fall world. For example, poison-injecting fangs of snakes and an animal’s sharp teeth used for carnivory. This is covered in The New Answers Book

On this particular issue, fire, as you note, “has many uses”, only some of which would be considered incompatible with a pre-fall world. Even the issue you mention about pine trees would not pose any problems in a pre-fall world, as the Bible makes a distinction between “living” creatures (Hebrew nephesh, applied to humans and some animals) and non-living things, such as plants. Thus, the pine cone does not “die” in a biblical sense or suffer pain through the fire. Of course, the fire would not be allowed to harm any nephesh creature in a pre-fall world, but see the question above about Adam stepping on an any in the Garden for a discussion of God’s sustaining power.

We can't be dogmatic about the timing of the origin of fire. The pre-fall world may have had no need for it—the diet of fruits and plants would not necessarily need to be cooked, and the climate could have been temperate enough to not require fire for heat. But there's certainly nothing wrong with fire per se in a pre-flood world.


J.C., Casper, Wyoming, USA

Why do you believe that “Death” is a physical death? I believe that the “Death” Adam experienced was a spiritual death, separation from God, and physical death resulted from God removing Adam from access to the Tree of Life in the Garden.

While spiritual death was certainly a consequence of the curse, we believe that physical death entered the world at that time as well because:

  1. This is the plainest meaning of the text in Genesis
  2. This is consistent with known aspects of the pre-fall world (such as the fact that man and animals were forbidden to eat meat, thus making death unnessessary)
  3. This is consistent with, and even taught by, other passages of Scripture that comment on the relationship between Adam’s sin and the entrance of death in the world.

For more information, please see Special Feature: Hugh Ross Exposé, particulaly the responses to points 15 through 17 under “Biblical evidence.”


Evidence for creation

We received many questions asking for the “best” evidence for Creation, or the “best” arguments against evolution

While there are many good arguments that are worth presenting (many of which are on this website), it is important to understand the distinction between the “evidence” and how that evidence is interpreted. Please see the following articles:


Distant starlight

Several listeners wrote in with questions about distant starlight and time. For example,

A.G., Newton, Iowa, USA

Is there a prevailing view within Creationism concerning the issue of distant starlight and time, or are there several creationist cosmologies that are considered viable possibilities?

This is covered in The New Answers Book


Framework hypothesis

A.G., Newton, Iowa, USA

I’ve read Henri Blocher and his view of the creation narrative, which is commonly referred to as the “framework hypothesis.” Does this view have much of a following?

Please see our section on the framework hypothesis in our Q&A: Genesis.


Progessive creationism

J.P., Huntsville, Alabama, USA

What is the “10 creation accounts” spoken of by Hugh Ross, Reasons to believe? He says that a literal 6 day creation isn’t true because it doesn’t agree with the other creation accounts. Where are these other creation accounts?


Kinds

Y.D., Portland, Maine, USA

I have often been hit with the following request: define “kind”. I have to date been unable to do so. Could you give me a formal definition that I could provide?

This is covered in our Q&A on Created Kinds


Noah’s Flood

A.D., Plainwell, Michigan, USA

What are your thoughts on survival of insects during Noah’s Flood?

This is covered in 14782 as well as our Q&A: Flood.


D.A., Burns, Oregon, USA

Why is Australia populated with marsupials and not placental mammals. They at least at one time filled all the niches including top predator. Evolution explains this. How does a dispersion after the flood explain it?

Please see How Did Animals Spread All Over the World from Where the Ark Landed?


Curricula

K.P., Pottsville, Pennsylvania, USA

I teach a high school Sunday school class. These teens have been through the public school system. Can you recommend any Sunday school material that would be age appropriate and also counter the evolutionary material they’ve be taught.

We currently sell the following curricula, all of which are appropriate for use in a Sunday School setting:

  • It all begins with Genesis Curriculum (Junior High)
  • Firm Foundations: Children’s Edition (Children and Junior High)
  • Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ (High School and adult)
  • Precept upon Precept: Genesis Part 1 Creation (High School and adult)
  • The Seven C’s of History Curriculum (Children)

If you have the ability to show videos, you may also consider the Creation Mini-Series with Ken Ham.


Evangelism

It was exciting to have several listeners asking questions about how to use Genesis in evanglism. We would encourage you to read the many articles under the section “What is “Creation Evangelism”, and why is it so effective in reaching today’s evolutionistic, humanistic world with the Gospel?” in our Q&A: Creation: Why it matters.

One listener asked advice for a specific situation:

Listener in Salem, New Hampshire, USA

How do you reach out to someone who knows all the bible “stories", and knows who Jesus is & what He did for us, but says they don’t want to live for Him now (for whatever reason), and he’ll be there in the future, when they finally do decide to live for Him?

The book of Hebrews warns against this type of delay. Particularly in chapters 3 through 6, the writer warns what the opportunity to enter the rest of salvation is being offered “today” (Hebrews 3:7,13; 4:7), and to “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin,” so that “while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 6:4-6 is particularly pointed at those who know all the Bible stories but fail to submit to Christ’s authrity:

“For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”

Your friend is in a very dangerous position. None of us know our time or hour. The day for which he’s waiting to make his decision may never come. Pray earnestly for his salvation, and make sure he understands the precarious nature of his position. Be available to help him make the connection between the “Bible stories” and the real world. For example, Noah’s ark is more than a neat story—it’s a testimony of God’s very real wrath poured out against a rebellious world and about his provision for salvation through the ark. This is not only a historical event, it’s also a picture of his current reality—God’s very real wrath is upon him, and he is still outside the provided “ark of salvation”, Jesus Christ.


Another listener asked,

A.L., Archdale, North Carolina, USA

How can you reach parents who are athiest and use the “if i can’t see him how can i know he exist” argument.

There are many arguments for the existence of God in our Q&A: God.


Water on Mars

Listener in Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Does the discovery of water on Mars bring up any issues that creationists need to be equipped to refute? And how do non-believing scientists readily accept a global flood on Mars but not on Earth?

Please see NASA Announces Evidence for Water on Mars

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