A key point I made, as always, is that no one (even if they call themselves literalists) takes the dome literally. To single out evolutionary biology as though it were more at odds with Christian faith than other realms of scientific explanation is likewise unjustified.Also mentioned was the fact that the text of Genesis 1 depicts God commanding the earth to bring forth life, rather than creating in some more direct manner. Although we did not get to talk about it in the class, this presumably reflects the ancient understanding of the origin of life in terms of spontaneous generation. Ironically, while some creationists actually appeal to Pasteur as an ally against evolution, in fact, Pasteur’s conclusion is at odds with Genesis 1, while evolution explains currently existing life forms as deriving from earlier ones. If the reference is not to spontaneous generation, then one has to imagine God imbuing the earth with creative potency, only to revoke the gift at some later point for no obvious reason.
The question of authorship came up briefly. Next time we’ll discuss whether there is more than one creation story in these early chapters of Genesis.