Geoscience Research Institute


Origins 5(1):3-4 (1978).

Brief summaries of the main conclusions of the leading presentations are given below for those who may find the complete articles too long or technical.


    Using the principles of biblical criticism, scholars since the past century have determined the first two chapters of the book of Genesis to be two different — even antithetical — accounts of creation, supposedly separated in source by several centuries. If indeed their assumption is correct, then the creation accounts do not necessarily represent a historically accurate record of God's creative acts.
    In this article, Dr. Shea examines the literary structure of Genesis 1 and 2. He concludes that the formulaic language and striking parallelism of subject matter in Genesis 1 are characteristic of poetry, although its meter is non-poetic. Genesis 2 resembles the structure of normal prose. The themes are unified, and the description of an event using the pattern of poetry/prose is common, not only in other portions of the Old Testament, but also in literature of Israel's neighbors. Furthermore, the composition of these combinations of poetry/prose is considered to be essentially contemporaneous.
    From the thematic unity between the two chapters in Genesis, from the many form features they share in common, and from the intricate and detailed nature of some of these formal relationships, Dr. Shea concludes that Genesis 1 and 2, written by one author, are complementary halves of a unified account of God's creative acts.
    To further support his case for the single authorship, Dr. Shea turns his attention to the different names for the deity in the two chapters. Scholars have used the different names to prove separate authorships — centuries apart. After examining the names in both accounts, he finds that the names change only at the creation of man. He concludes that a "name" theology was involved in this distribution of names, because the author of the account wanted to say something about the personal involvement of the Creator God.


    Megabreccias are transported rock deposits in which some of the angular fragments exceed one meter in diameter. The forces needed to move such rock masses are extraordinary and imply catastrophic conditions. Dr. Chadwick considers three different conditions which may produce these megabreccias. 1) Turbidity currents which are rapidly deposited underwater mud flows; 2) debris flows which result in the transport of large blocks in a mud and clay matrix; and 3) slides and slumps when masses of loosened material move down a slope. Rock fragments and blocks several meters to several kilometers in size have been moved several hundred kilometers from their source. The data suggest that rapid depositional processes were involved in the formation of these megabreccias.


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