Was Geologic Work Done on Creation Week?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
At ICR we spend much time researching the geologic effects of the great Flood of Noah's day, but we should not neglect the great global geological events which occurred during Creation Week.
It was on Day One that God created "the earth," but it was still "without form and void," shapeless and unfilled. It was either in a fluid state or covered with water as darkness engulfed "the deep" (vv.1-2). The geologic effects which occurred are uncertain, but certainly earth materials were created and energized when the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
On the second day the earth's water mass was separated into "the waters above" and those separated from the ocean by a firmament (vv.6-8). The evaporation of water from liquid into gas implies uncertain water movements which may have produced sedimentary deposits. These would, of course, be fossil-free since life had not yet been created.
On Day Three the continents were uplifted to form dry land. Assuming gravity and other processes were operating, this uplift and worldwide drainage of the waters from the uplands into the ocean basins would have been accomplished with tremendous amounts of erosion and redeposition of surface materials in the form of wide-spread but fossil-free sedimentary rocks.
During the second part of day three, God created plant life (vv.11-12). This necessitates an active, root-penetrated top soil which could support plants as well as topographic highs and lows which would allow waters to nourish them and then drain off. Additional information in Genesis 2:5-6 implies that a completely different hydrologic system was in place with the rivers fed from underground springs rather than the system of evaporation and rainfall that we now know.
On Day Four the sun and moon were created. Today the sun is the source of most of the earth's energy, with daily warming and cooling cycles producing small but steady effects. The moon's gravity produces the ocean tides with rising and falling waters continually refreshing the ocean. Geologic effects are implied but uncertain.
Days five and six in Scripture are primarily involved with the creation of life, life in the oceans, life in the atmosphere, life on land; nothing geologic is mentioned but much can be inferred.
For instance, many of the ocean creatures are rooted to an underwater surface. Many other animals, both on land and in the sea burrow under the ground and can even chew their way through rock. Today this bio-turbation continually recycles soil and sand and must have done so in the beginning as well.
On Day Seven God rested from His creative work but the forces of nature are never at rest. For instance gravity never stops. As breezes move particles around gravity pulls them back to the earth. As water comes to the surface, it flows downhill to the ocean. These would have occurred even before the Curse. Thus much was accomplished during Creation Week as God prepared the earth for human habitation. At the end of creation He pronounced it all "very good" (v.31).