(See Part I here.)
From this point on, past Epoch Day One, we turn our perspective, the Torah's perspective, to a view from Earth.
Epoch 2/3: We know from Rashi days two and three, or Epochs two and three, are connected. God started a project during Epoch 2 which culminated during Epoch 3. A planet has formed. The atmosphere is changing, in, as Rabbi Scroll says, a "state of flux." Quite likely, at first, the atmosphere was probably thin, unbreathable. Over time, it changed. Meanwhile, water cover the land for a long period. In time, the waters begin to recede and land, which of course God created during that first Epoch and has, until now been under water, begins to show. Continents begin to form. And the waters formed "el makom echad," in one place. Originally, geologically, we know there was but one continent, which pretty much meant there was one ocean - "Makom Echad." During this Epoch, things begin to grow. Vegetation begins to crop up. Then trees, some of which produce fruit. During this time, there is light and dark, but no sun. Likely, there was a cloud cover, but photosynthesis could certainly take place, allowing vegetation to grow and flourish. End of Epoch 2/3.
Epoch 4: The atmosphere begins to clear, the cloud cover to dissipate, revealing a great gift from God: The sun and the moon. Life-giving light, tide causing moon, and a beautiful night sky to look at and explore. Ok, so now attack me about there being two suns and God making one smaller. WHATEVER! It says there were two Me'oros, one large and one small. The Gemara gives a very nice lesson in humility, one I don't think is meant to be taken as God literally shrinking one sun and turning it into the moon. In any case, once the cloud cover has dissipated. Sun and moon are shining down, and it's now possible to start keeping time (not that there's anyone around to keep time...). End of Epoch 4.
Epoch 5: Animals. The next logical step in the formation of life. First food (vegetation) evolves, then come animals. And where do they start? The water, then the skies. And God creates the "Taninim" - the Behemoths. Say what you will about them - they were VERY LARGE animals. Also known as Dinosaurs. and with them came the birds, prehistoric ones. And it seems one of the prevailing theories currently about dinosaurs is they were very closely related to birds and may have even had feathers. Cool, huh? Epoch number 5, we know, lasted a very long time, until the next evolutionary step took place...
Epoch 6: Mammals and Man (and Woman...). For whatever reason, the dinosaurs died out, or evolved, or both. We finally get more familiar mammalian life. Here's where one might think things get dicey. God has created a world and caused it to evolve. Perhaps He even had the thought that Man would evolve as well. But something was missing. There are all sorts of theories of our relationship to all the non-Sapien species. What probably happened is they did exist, but they were unsuccessful. God then decided He needed to create Humans from scratch, Humans who needed a bit the "chelek Eloka Mi'Ma'al." So He created Adam and breathed into him "Nishmas Chayim" - a living soul - a part of Hashem Himself. And so, starts recorded history in all it forms.
So, why COULDN'T it have happened this way? Nothing here is Apikorsus in any way at all and it explains a WHOLE LOT OF THINGS!
Anyway, those are my insights to creation. Yes God did it all. But who said Yom LITERALLY mean a twenty-four day?! Remember, God was in no hurry. He's got eternity and beyond! What's a 13.7 billion years to Him? I think this is a beautiful way to reconcile a whole lot of questions. Don't you?
Monday, October 15, 2007
(See Part I here.)