Observations Always Involves Theory Part 1: Gap Theory

The definition of a theory is the following: a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

There are many theories people come up with to try and explain things we have no clue about. This blog post is all about exploring different theories and how they interact with Scripture. Obviously we can’t cover ALL the different theories out there but we are going to cover some of interest to the Christian.

The difference between a theory and a law.

A theory is a proposed suggestion or explanation of how something works.

A law is a theory proven true. There is a theory of relativity. There is a law of gravity.

First I need to throw out a disclaimer and a warning:

So this post is supposed to be a fun post about difficult subjects within scripture. IT DOES NOT reflect any personal beliefs of mine unless stated. IT IS NOT intended to sway any opinions toward the topic nor confuse the reader about their faith. This post is not intended to be a stumbling block for you. I realize in the grand scheme of things that discussing such theories has NO weight on a persons eternal salvation. Please understand, this is STRICKLY for fun.


Let’s get started.

Theory 1: The Gap Theory

The gap theory suggests that there was section of time in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void, darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The gap theory brings into question whether or not God would have created something that was without form and void from the very beginning. IF that was the only leg this theory had to stand on then it would be easy…EASY to debug this idea. If God wanted to create a primordial earth that was without form and void then guess what…WHO ARE WE TO TELL HIM HE CAN’T?

Thankfully there is just a little more to this theory that makes it a little more sturdy. There is no doubt science is a part of our everyday lives. And certain fields of science make claims that the earth is billions of years old if not more. If we are honest with ourselves then we would EASILY say that we aren’t smart enough to say whether they are right or wrong. I am not qualified enough to look at a discolored rock and say, “Hey this rock line looks like its from the aoieawow period which makes it 4.56999 million years old.” I just ain’t that smart…hehe. But I can say there is a POSSIBLE explanation for this interesting science.

Question: If there is a gap theory, what in the world happened in it?

OK I need to be completely honest. I have been working on this blog for two days and at every corner I find more puzzles without answers…SO I am going to leave what I have wrote here below and then I am going to write a section at the end challenging pretty much everything here…so again this is about having fun and this is about asking questions, challenging your thoughts.

THIS IS ALL….ALL….ALL….ALL Speculation. That’s what makes it fun.

Luke 10:18 “…I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening!”

Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shinning star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.”

I know what most people will say when confronted with the text in Isaiah. The context would suggest Isaiah was talking about a pagan king of Babylon instead of Satan. But what we must remember is that SOMETIMES God uses scriptures to not only talk about something on THIS existence but also on another one as well. So while this WAS a message for a wicked earthly ruler, this was ALSO a message about the “son of the morning”.

Anyways the point of using these two scriptures was to ask the question. We all know scripturally that Satan rebelled against heaven and was cast out. The only time he can now return to his former home is when he is summoned by God. See Job Chapter 1 and 2.

But WHEN in the narrative of creation did Satan get cast down to earth? When did Jesus behold Satan fall from heaven like lightening? When did this take place. Obviously chronologically we don’t start Genesis out with the rebellion of Satan, thus the first time we see him is in the form of a serpent. So we have an interesting question to explore. WHEN DID SATAN FALL TO EARTH?? Gap theory provides an opportunity to explain this. It would make since that it happened in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. It would certainly fit there. It could possibly explain how the earth went from creation to nothingness. It would also provide some clear explanation behind Dinosaurs and Evolution.

So in the case of Dinosaurs we need to answer a few basic questions.

  1. What does the Bible say about dinosaurs?

    There are many running theories about whether dinosaurs are in the Bible. A general understanding of the most popular range from:

    1. Dinosaurs are merely made up to support the theory of evolution.
    2. Dinosaurs were animals that had become corrupted, weren’t taken into the ark, and died in the flood.
    3. Dinosaurs were created by God, possibly even taken onto the ark, but died thereafter.


    Those who have collected dinosaur remains in the Midwest plains of Canada and the United States or in the Colorado Plateau region have no lingering doubt concerning their reality. Thousands of specimens have been found and excavated, thereby debunking the first theory mentioned. However, simply because we acknowledge the existence of dinosaurs does not mean we must accept that it took millions of years for their appearance/disappearance. The second theory comes from those who see the dinosaur bones, but feel there is no direct Biblical supporting evidence for their creation. Theory number three, is one that is rather plausible and even supported in the Bible.

    Did God create dinosaurs?

    Would God have created dinosaurs? Why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the Bible, especially the creation account? In Creation, there are many creatures that were not mentioned by name that do exist. When thinking of dinosaurs, most first thoughts are of gargantuan, ferocious lizards. It makes it hard to believe that God would create something so monstrous for the Garden of Eden.

    Actually, the fossil remains indicate that they were indeed a highly diversified group, ranging in size from that of a rabbit to tremendous beasts 20 feet high, 85 feet long, and weighing up to 50 tons. It appears that some were relatively light-footed and had bipedal locomotion, while others were quadrupedal and moved about in a slow and cumbersome manner. Some were carnivores and others herbivores. Certain types were well suited for aquatic habitat while others remained on land. However, most dinosaurs were relatively the size of humans.

    Not only that, something to be considered is that humans at the time of Adam up until Noah lived hundreds of years. Adam died at 930 years, Methuselah died at 969, Noah lived 950 years. With such longevity, isn’t it only logical to believe that mankind grew larger and taller? True, it might not be the size of a 20-foot dinosaur, but perhaps proportional to how one experiences the grandiose size of a blue whale compared to the modern average human.

    What about the large ferocious teeth? How would a “T-Rex” fit into the picture of paradise? If one can imagine a lion in heaven eating grass like a cow, perhaps a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Garden of Eden is no longer a stretch of the imagination.

    Isaiah 11:6-7 shares this picture of heaven:

    “ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,       The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,       The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;       And a little child shall lead them.       The cow and the bear shall graze;       Their young ones shall lie down together;       And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. ”       Predators of our world today were not predators at the start of Creation. Lions used to eat straw and wolves didn’t eat lambs. It was not until sin came in and corrupted animals, bringing in death, predation, and “survival of the fittest.” Is it also possible that dinosaurs once were peaceful creatures?

    Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

    There has been much discussion on the topic specifically involving verses in Job 40-41. Job is considered to be the oldest book of the Bible. Scholars, in studying Job’s longevity (he lived up to 140 years), descriptions of his wealth and household, believe he was most likely alive after the time of Noah, but before the time of Abraham.

    Behemoth: Job 40

    Job 40:15-24 speaks of a “behemoth.” No one is really sure what it is, but read its description.

    15 “Look now at the behemoth,which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. 16 See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. 17 He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18 His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. 19 He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. 20 Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there.  21 He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. 22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. 23 Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, 24 Though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare.”

    The way the “behemoth” is described, doesn’t it almost sound like a dinosaur? Perhaps one of the sauropods? Some will argue these verses are referring to the hippopotamus or elephant. However, they run into the problem of explaining verse 17, since the tails of both animals are…well, far from looking like a cedar tree (let alone moving like one). Their tails more resemble switches.

    Leviathan: Job 41

    In Job 41:1-2,7,12-32, the “Leviathan” is another creature described that has been hard to find a modern equivalent.

    1“Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?   2 Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?…   7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?…  12 “I will not conceal his limbs, his mighty power, or his graceful proportions.  13 Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle?  14 Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around?  15 His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal;  16 One is so near another that no air can come between them;  17 They are joined one to another, they stick together and cannot be parted.  18 His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.  19 Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out.  20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.  21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.  22 Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him.  23 The folds of his flesh are joined together; they are firm on him and cannot be moved.  24 His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone.  25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; because of his crashings they are beside themselves.  26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; nor does spear, dart, or javelin.  27 He regards iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.  28 The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones become like stubble to him.  29 Darts are regarded as straw; he laughs at the threat of javelins.  30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire.  31 He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.  32 He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.

    Some have translated the Leviathan to be a “crocodile,” because of the large number currently present in the region. However, the crocodile pales in comparison to the description given to the Leviathan. Do crocodiles really raise themselves? Aren’t the underbellies of crocodiles smooth rather than “sharp potsherds?” Does the crocodile really move fast enough and graceful enough to leave a “shining wake”? The Leviathan is also mentioned in the following verses: Psalms 74:14, 104:25-26, Isaiah 27:1.

    Why are dinosaurs not alive today?

    The sudden extinction of the dinosaurs, as shown by the geological record, is a mystery that evolutionary paleontologists have considerable difficulty explaining. What happened to wipe out the dinosaurs so quickly? A change of temperature? A change in the plants? Blasts of heat from a meteor? Mammals eating dinosaur eggs? A change in oxygen concentration? Overspecialization? Senility? All these have been offered as explanations by evolutionary scientists. The dominant theory at present is that a large object from space hit Earth and blasted up so much dust that the sun was obscured for months. Plants and animals died. However there are problems with this theory. If this happened, why was the extinction selective? Why did some plants and animals, including some more fragile than dinosaurs, not become extinct?

    Were dinosaurs on the ark?

    From a biblical perspective, the most likely explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs is the worldwide Flood described in Genesis 6 and 7. Soon after the flood mankind began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years. There was a class of very large animals which perished at the flood. God knew that the strength of man would decrease, and these mammoth animals could not be controlled by feeble man.

    Dinosaurs and the Bible

    Ironically enough, by trusting the Bible, Christians have no need to “explain away” dinosaurs and do mental gymnastics to try and disprove their existence. The Bible even leaves the door open for Christians to discover dinosaurs alive today. Should a dinosaur exist today and ever be discovered roaming around deep in some jungle, it would not really affect our understanding of the Bible or our faith. On the other hand, evolutionists would have to restructure their entire system of thought if a dinosaur appeared alive on today’s scene.

    read more at http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/are-dinosaurs-mentioned-bible

  2. How do we know whether or not dinosaurs are as old as paleontologist claim? 

    How do paleontologists figure out a fossil’s age?

    It can be difficult to determine the age of fossils (date the fossils). Because fossil bones aren’t made from the right kind of rocks, you can’t really run scientific tests on fossils to determine their age. Scientists can use scientific tests to determine the age of rocks near the fossils. The types of tests are called radiometric dating. There are certain types of elements that are radioactive. Radioactive elements fall apart overtime and slowly change into another element that is not radioactive. We know how fast radioactive elements fall apart. We know what radioactive elements turn into after they have fallen apart. We can compare the amount of radioactive elements in a rock to the amount of specific non-radioactive elements in a rock, do some math and determine how old the rock is. For example, uranium falls apart into lead. So, if we find a rock that has uranium in it, we can compare it to the amount of lead in the rock to find out how old the rock is. If you have the right kind of rocks, this method is very accurate. The trouble with using this method to date fossils is: Radioactive elements are only found in ingenious rocks, and you can’t find fossils in igneous rocks.





    So, if you can’t date the fossil directly with scientific tests, how do you date the fossil? You have to use what scientists call relative dating. The relative dating method most commonly used by paleontologists and geologists is called stratigraphy. Stratigraphic dating works like this. Rocks are formed in horizontal (flat, not up and down) beds or layers. These layers are called strata. The oldest layers are on the bottom and the youngest layers are on the top. So, the oldest fossils are on the bottom layer and the newest fossils are on the top layers. If you find a layer of the right kind of igneous rocks you can use the exact dating method to determine and exact date of that layer.




    Paleontologists have found certain fossils that are different from all other fossils. These organisms lived for a relatively short amount of time, and they know when these animals lived. Paleontologists call these fossils index fossils. Index fossils can be used to determine approximately how old an unknown fossil is. For example, if you find an unknown fossil in the same layer of rock as one of the index fossils, you know your fossil is the same age as the index fossil.

    Geologists and paleontologists have used a combination of dating techniques, which are radiometric dating, stratigraphic dating, and index fossils, to determine the approximate age of rocks all over the world. Once you know the approximate age of rocks, you can determine the approximate age of the fossil.

Read more at http://www.kidsdinos.com/how-old-are-fossils/

So in light of the above information, I must admit that I am in NO way smart enough to say one way or the other whether or not they are correct in assuming the earth is so many millions of years old. Honestly if God wanted me to know for a fact he would have spoken the facts in his word…HOWEVER, this is not the case.

BUT, IF the earth IS “millions” of years old and IF the dinosaurs lived in a pre-man time, then the Gap Theory gives us plenty of room for incorporation. Let’s think about this logically.

Let’s deal with the age of the earth now.

Hubble Telescope has been extremely beneficial in helping us understand more about the universe. If we are going to claim that the earth is “millions” of years old we need to figure out how the earth was created. Unfortunately, in our solar system we are looking at planets that have ALREADY formed. But within the universe, there are plenty of planets being form as we speak. Here is some information on how planets and solar systems are formed.

How Do Planets Form?



For centuries, astronomers and philosophers wondered how our solar system and its planets came to be. As telescopes advanced and space probes were sent out to explore, we learned more and more about our solar system, which gave us clues to how it might have taken shape.

But were our ideas right?

We could only see the end result of planet formation, not the process itself. And we had no other examples to study. Even with the knowledge gained about our solar system, we were left to wonder, are there other planetary systems out there, and did they form like ours? Discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope are helping us fill in key pieces to the puzzle of how planets form.

Current Understanding

Cloud Collapse

A cloud collapses to form a star and disk. Planets form from this disk.

According to our current understanding, a star and its planets form out of a collapsing cloud of dust and gas within a larger cloud called a nebula. As gravity pulls material in the collapsing cloud closer together, the center of the cloud gets more and more compressed and, in turn, gets hotter. This dense, hot core becomes the kernel of a new star.

Meanwhile, inherent motions within the collapsing cloud cause it to churn. As the cloud gets exceedingly compressed, much of the cloud begins rotating in the same direction. The rotating cloud eventually flattens into a disk that gets thinner as it spins, kind of like a spinning clump of dough flattening into the shape of a pizza. These “circumstellar” or “protoplanetary” disks, as astronomers call them, are the birthplaces of planets.

Particles MergingSmall clumps of material within a disk stick together to form larger clumps. Eventually these clumps grow to become planets.

As a disk spins, the material within it travels around the star in the same direction. Eventually, the material in the disk will begin to stick together, somewhat like household dust sticking together to form dust bunnies. As these small clumps orbit within the disk, they sweep up surrounding material, growing bigger and bigger. The modest gravity of boulder-sized and larger chunks starts to pull in dust and other clumps. The bigger these conglomerates become, the more material they attract, and the bigger they get. Soon, the beginnings of planets — “planetesimals,” as they are called — are taking shape.

Why do the planets in our solar system circle the Sun?

When the Sun was young, it was encircled by a rotating disk of gas and dust. From this disk formed the planets.

The planets inherited their motion from the disk and today act like cars on a racetrack, all orbiting the Sun in the same direction and in roughly the same flat plane.

In the inner part of the disk, most of the material at this point is rocky, as much of the original gas has likely been gobbled up and cleared out by the developing star. This leads to the formation of smaller, rocky planetesimals close to the star. In the outer part of the disk, though, more gas remains, as well as ices that haven’t yet been vaporized by the growing star. This additional material allows planetesimals farther from the star to gather more material and evolve into giants of ice and gas.

As each planetesimal grows bigger, it starts clearing out the material in its path, snatching up nearby, slow-moving rubble and gas while gravitationally tossing other material out of its way. Eventually, the debris in its path thins out and the planetesimal has a relatively clear lane of traffic around its star.

Protoplanetary Origins

Hundreds of these planetesimals are forming at the same time, and inevitably they meet up. If their paths cross at just the right time and they’re moving fast enough relative to each other, SMASH! — they collide, sending debris everywhere. But if they slowly meander toward one other, gravity can gently draw them together. They form a union, merging into a larger object. If the participants are farther apart, they might not physically interact but their gravitational encounter can pull each body off course. These wayward objects start to cross other lanes of traffic, setting the stage for additional collisions and other meetings of the rocky kind.

After millions of years, countless encounters between these planetesimals have cleared out much of the disk’s debris and have built up much larger — and many fewer — objects that now dominate their regions. A planetary system is reaching maturity.

Read more at: http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/discovering_planets_beyond/how-do-planets-form

The issue with all this planetary formation stuff is that it clearly contradicts scripture. But it is necessary if we are to assume the planet could be billions of years old. So I guess now it’s time to evaluate the gap theory in light of science and scripture.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.

Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Genesis 1:1-5,13-19

So science says that a star must form BEFORE the planets. But scripture says God created the EARTH first BEFORE he created the SUN. This presents a GREAT challenge, for neither science nor scripture will easily budge on this topic. So is there a way to reconcile this void? Can Gap Theory account for this contradiction.

The answer is: I have no idea…

My suggestion would be that scientific methods are scientific methods; God’s methods are God’s. I have no trouble believing that planets form in the universe in this way. I have no trouble believing stars form first. I also have NO trouble believing that God CREATED the Earth on day one and the sun, moon and stars on day 4. It is how those two facts coexist that I am not certain. There is just not enough evidence to suggest something definitive either way. All I can say is God said it happened…so it happened.

A little disclaimer here: God has the ability, without any effort, to create the earth first and then the sun later. I mean we ARE talking about the God of this entire universe. We are talking about the God that would have CREATED the scientific method.

The creation suggests that God went in his own order in creating the universe. Do I understand what the “Light” of verse 3 is? NOPE!! I struggle understanding and explaining how God created a light that wasn’t the sun, wasn’t the Son and wasn’t electricity. But the beautiful thing is I don’t HAVE to explain it, I just have to believe in the one who says he did it. I can’t argue with astronomers cause I don’t, in any way, have an astronomy degree. But what I do have is a working salvation and a faith that needs no explanation.

So here is my conclusion on the gap theory:

IF Dinosaurs existed “millions” of years ago, it was in the gap theory. The meteor that supposedly wiped the dinosaurs out COULD have been what took the earth from Genesis 1:1 creation to Genesis 1:2 void and dark.

IF Satan fell to the earth before man was created, it was in the gap theory. [Some even suggest that Satan was the one who attempted creation himself and created the dinosaurs and maybe even the Neanderthals.]

Make up your own mind when it comes to Gap theory, but remember, it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you can back it up with Scripture.


OK so we have reached the portion of our show where I pretty much destroy everything I have written in a section called:

Unsolved Mysteries: Gap Theory

Ok so problem number 1. According to the creation account, the Sun wasn’t created until day 4. How was it that the Dinosaurs could have survived WITHOUT the sun. Were they 100% nocturnal? Did they not need heat? What about the herbivores? They eat plants. Plants need the Sun for photosynthesis. THERE WAS NO SUN TILL DAY 4!! Even further, there was no LIGHT until AFTER the theorized GAP THEORY. Well you could say that the Lord fed them, but the problem is to what end? What would be his purpose in feeding the dinosaurs who have NO soul only to destroy them with a meteor?

Problem number 2. In the book of Job, mentioned earlier, God describes the behemoth as having a tail that swings like the cedar. No animal today can boast of that. I believe God was being 100% honest with him about the behemoth and the leviathan just like he was about the ocean and the rain. So it’s interesting to note that the Lord talked about these massive creatures as if they were still around. He certainly didn’t talk about them in past tense. So that would suggest that there were dinosaurs after the flood. Most scholars say there is enough evidence to date the book of Job around the same time as Abraham.

Problem number 3. As much as there are tons of opportunity for Science and Creation to meet, there are also tons of problems. If the earlier suggestion of how planets are formed is the true method, then how is it that the earth was formed BEFORE the star which is the center of our solar system? How is it that there were plants and vegetation BEFORE there was a sun for Photosynthesis. Science would probably say this would be impossible. Thankfully I serve a God who makes all things possible.

So to recap all this, its all about theories…these theories haven’t been made a law because they have yet to be proven true. God’s Word however needs no man’s validation. Heaven and Earth will pass away before one jot or tittle will fade.

As for me, the more I think about Scripture and Science the more I find too many gaps in the gap theory. So IN MY OPINION, I call the gap theory BUSTED!!

P.S. This is a freebee. Don’t cost you nothing.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

What if we have been looking at verses 1 and 2 all wrong. What if verse 1 isn’t the start of the actual creation, but really just an introduction. What if the creation account actually starts in verse 2. The prepositional phrase, “in the beginning”, COULD be Moses’ way of introducing the narrative account by summing it up into one sentence.

If this is true, then verse two would lend itself almost seamlessly to science’s planetary formation theory. If the earth was formed by the smashing together of rocks dust and gas from the birth of the sun, it would explain how it was “formless”, it would also explain how it was dark because the sun had yet to finish it’s formation. We know there is a growth process for a star:


So what if our sun was in a “protostar” phase until we reached day 4. Then all of a sudden with the word of the Lord, our sun was born. Still wouldn’t explain the light in verse three but it would make science and the bible come closer together AND it also doesn’t make verse one any less true. Considering in the beginning the Lord DID make the Heavens and the Earth.

Tell me what you think…it’s been fun writing this!!

Remember its just a theory. What the bible says trumps all and as long as you remember this, it doesn’t hurt to speculate and discuss.

Next time on Observation Always Involves Theory Part 2: The Multiverse


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