Sunlight Before the Sun | The Institute for Creation Research
Sunlight Before the Sun

According to Scripture, God "created the heaven and the earth" on Day One of Creation Week (Genesis 1:1). Initially all was dark, until God said, "Let there be light" (v. 3). Days Two and Three saw the oceans, firmament (or atmosphere), continents, and plants formed, as the earth was being progressively prepared for man's habitation. It was on Day Four that God created the sun, moon, and stars, proclaiming, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven" (v. 14), one purpose of which was "to give light upon the earth" (v. 15).

This light was directional, coming from a particular source. The earth was evidently rotating underneath it, causing alternating periods of light and dark. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night" (v. 5).

Skeptics have long ridiculed the science of biblical creation over this point. How could there be light bathing the earth before the sun was created? Obviously the Bible must be in error. But as always, this apparent error drives us to look more closely at the relevant data, both scientific and biblical.

Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun.

Furthermore, we have important data given by the Hebrew words used in the creation account. When God created "light" in verse 3, the word used connotes the presence of light only, while the word used for "lights" on Day Four is best translated "light bearers," or permanent light sources. Their purpose was not only to give light, but to serve as timekeepers for man once he was created. According to the best stellar creation theory now available, light from stars created anywhere in the universe on Day Four would reach earth in two earth days, and would be useful to Adam on Day Six. (For more information, see Dr. Russell Humphrey's cosmology articles on www.icr.org.)

Keep in mind that the Creation Week was a uniquely miraculous time, and we are justified in speculating that miraculous events may have been taking place outside of today's natural laws. Especially when we realize that "God is light" (1 John 1:5) Himself, thus no outside natural source is necessarily mandated.

For semi-creationists who claim that the "days" of Genesis 1 must have been long periods of time, a more serious problem arises. Genesis plainly teaches that plants appeared on Day Three, and the sun on Day Four. But plants need sunlight for photosynthesis and cannot wait in darkness for millions of years. If the days were long epochs, as demanded by critics of a literal Creation Week, plants could not survive.

How much better and more satisfying it is to accept Scripture as it stands. It doesn't need to be fully understood and explained by modern scientific thought; it just needs to be believed and obeyed.

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 2008. Sunlight Before the Sun. Acts & Facts. 37 (1): 14.

The Latest
NEWS
Saturn’s Moons Continue to Challenge Secular Theorists
A recent article in Sky & Telescope magazine explains why secular theorists have difficulty agreeing on the ages of Saturn’s moons.1...

NEWS
Support Creation Ministry in Texas and Beyond
ICR scientists and support staff recently completed a two-week science expedition through the Great Plains and western mountain states to conduct scientific...

NEWS
Great Unconformity Best Solved by Global Flood
The Great Unconformity is one of the most baffling mysteries in the geological sciences.1 It is marked by a massive surface of erosion that...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...