Problem: Plants couldn't survive before the sun
Verses: Genesis 1:11, Genesis 1:16; Status: Serious / "Minor"

Just how difficult this problem is depends on whether you think the Bible's "creation days" are literal 24-hour periods or not. On the third day, God is said to have created plants. This is Genesis 1:11:

And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. (ESV)

The sun did not yet exist, we are told, but was created later, on the fourth day. This is Genesis 1:14-16:

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights - the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night - and the stars. (ESV)

The problem is Minor if you believe the days are 24-hour periods. Obviously plants can survive for a short time without the sun (assuming, that is, that the temperature is kept high enough through other means).

On the other hand, there are inerrantists who believe that the "days" are metaphors for much longer periods of time. In this case, there is a much more difficult problem, since this would put the creation of the sun millions or even billions of years after plants, which is ridiculous.

(Both views are incorrect, of course: the sun actually formed about 4.5 billion years ago, whereas land plants arose about 450 million years ago, give or take. This problem is completely fatal to inerrancy if you believe scientists have a clue.)

Updated: 2009-03-15

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