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The Genesis Record: A Scientific And Devotional Commentary On The Book Of Beginnings Hardcover – 1976
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Henry Madison Morris, Ph.D.1918 -2006 was an American young earth creationist and Christian apologist. He was one of the founders of the Creation Research Society and the Institute for Creation Research. He is considered by many to be the father of modern creation science.He wrote numerous creationist and devotional books, and made regular television and radio appearances. He grew up in Texas in the 1920s and 1930s and graduated from Rice University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.He married Mary Louise and they had six children. After his graduation in 1939, he was a hydraulic engineer working with the International Boundary and Water Commission. He returned to Rice, teaching civil engineering from 1942-1946. In 1946 he wrote a short book entitled That You Might Believe, in which he made an effort to attack evolution. From 1946 through 1951, he studied at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded a master's degree in hydraulics and a Ph.D. in hydraulic engineering. In 1951 he became a professor and chair of civil engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and served as a professor of applied science at Southern Illinois University,subsequently as professor of hydraulic engineering and in civil engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, again serving as the department chair. In 1963 Morris and nine others founded the Creation Research Society. After a dispute with the administration of the university Morris resigned from his position at Virginia Tech in 1969. In 1970, he co-founded the Christian Heritage College in Santee, California which spawned Institute for Creation Research (ICR) in 1972. His son, John D. Morris, took over the presidency of ICR when his father retired. On February 1, 2006, Morris suffered a minor stroke and was hospitalized. Morris was moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility near his son's home (and ICR) in Santee, California where he died
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He wrote in the Introduction to this 1976 book, "Returning to ... teach at Rice gave the opportunity of trying to witness to college students... I quickly discovered that the same old questions that had troubled me... were also hindering many others from believing. Central to all these problems was the question of the reliability of Scripture, especially the Book of Genesis. If Genesis was not historically trustworthy, then ... neither was the rest of the Bible, including its testimony about Christ. Thus began a study of the scientific and historical accuracy of Genesis---a study which has engaged much of my interest for the past thirty years and more... The Book of Genesis is no mere collection of myths and legends; it is the actual, factual record of real events and real people at the beginning of history... Furthermore, all of its scientific and theological inferences are profoundly important and literally true... [My] treatment also deals with all the important critical questions and problems. In particular, the scientific difficulties usually associated with Genesis have been discussed, and, I trust, completely resolved in favor of the literal accuracy of the Genesis record." (Pg. xii-xiii)
He admits, "The vital question as to exactly WHEN the uniquely significant event of Genesis 1:1 took place cannot be completely settled in the present state of the art of the study of Bible chronology. Although a great number of men have labored diligently in the attempt to formulate a complete chronology of the Bible, the very fact that they all disagree with each other demonstrates that the problems are serious and the issue still unsettled." (Pg. 42-43)
He suggests, "Although not mentioned in Genesis 1, it is probable that another act of creation took place on this first day. Sometime prior to the third day of creation, a multitude of angels had been created, since they were present when `the foundations of the earth' were laid---probably a reference to the establishment of solid land surfaces on the earth (Job 38:4-7). It is impossible that they could have existed before the creation of the physical universe itself, since their sphere of operation is in this universe and their very purpose is to minister to the `heirs of salvation' (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are called the `host of heaven,' and so could not have been created before the existence of heaven." (Pg. 57)
He states, "light rays were impinging on the earth as it rotated on its axis during the first three days of essentially the same intensities and directions as those which would later emanate from the heavenly bodies to be emplaced on the fourth day. Light was coming during the day as though from the sun and during the night as though from the moon and stars, even though they had not yet been made... It therefore did not take a billion years for the light from a star which is a billion light-years distant from the earth to reach the earth after the star was created. The light-trail from the star was created in transit, as it were, all the way from the star to the earth, three days before the star itself was created! ... the universe was created `full-grown' from the beginning... there is no assurance of the uniformity of the speed of light at such tremendous distances... Finally, there is no reason why God could not... [have] created `pulses' in the trails of some of the light waves traversing space in the beginning... Though the reason for God doing such a thing is not yet clear, that in itself is no argument against it... our ignorance is no reason for questioning His purposes." (Pg. 65-66) He asserts that "This one verse [Gen 1:31; "it was very good"] is itself sufficient to refute any theory which tries to accommodate the geological ages concept in the Genesis record of creation. Everything in the universe (the next verse specifically includes all the host of heaven in its scope) was still at this time exceedingly good... Even Satan was still good at this point; his rebellion and fall must have come later." (Pg. 79)
He speculates, "It is further possible that all these animals (other than the birds) were quadrupeds except the serpent, who had the remarkable ability with a strong vertebral skeleton supported by small limbs, to rear and hold himself erect when talking with Adam or Eve. After the temptation and fall, God altered the vocal equipment of the animals, including the structure of the speech centers in their brains... The body of the serpent, in addition, was altered even further by eliminating his ability to stand erect, eye-to-eye with man as it were." (Pg. 109-110)
Of the "sons of god" and "daughters of men" in 6:1-2, he says, "When Jesus said that the angels of God IN HEAVEN do not marry, this does not necessarily mean that those who have been cast OUT OF HEAVEN were incapable of doing so... a grave question would have to be posed relative to the nature of the progeny that would result from their sexual intercourse with human women... Fallen angels have no possibility of salvation, but fallen men and women do have at least this possibility. What, then, would be the case with `people' who were half-angel, half-men?... A solution seems to consist in recognizing that the children were true human children of truly human fathers and mothers, but that all were possessed and controlled by evil spirits... by something equivalent to demon possession... Thus, the `sons of God' controlled not only the men whose bodies they had acquired for their own exploitation, but also the women they took to themselves in this way, and then all the children they bore." (Pg. 166-169) Later, he suggests about Gen 14:5-12, "Although it is well not to be dogmatic on this subject, it seems possible to infer from the above references that, soon after the Flood, another unusually intense demonic invasion of earth took place, probably in connection with the rebellion at Babel, and that certain Canaanite tribes in particular subsequently became so demon controlled that a race of monsters was again produced, as in the days after the Flood." (Pg. 314)
He contends, "The sharp change in temperatures following the Flood, occasioned by the precipitation of the vapor canopy that had maintained the greenhouse effect over the world, led to the buildup of great thicknesses of snow and ice near the polar regions. These eventually radiated out in the form of tremendous ice sheets, covering northern Europe and reaching down into the northern third of the United States in this hemisphere. The Ice Age probably lasted several hundred or a thousand years ... and undoubtedly had a profound effect on the earth's animal kingdom." (Pg. 215-216)
Controversially, he says of Gen 9:25, "Sometimes the Hamites... have even become actual slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane, practical matters, they have often eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japethites and the religious zeal of the Semites... [No] Hamitic people is intended to be forcibly subjugated on the basis of this Noahic declaration. The prophecy would be fulfilled because of innate genetics and divine leading, not by virtue of any artificial constraints imposed by men." (Pg. 241-242)
Dr. Morris is to be commended for not "backing away" from difficult questions in this commentary; on the other hand, the highly speculative nature of many of his suggestions in this book should suggest a cautious approach, even by "young earth" creationists highly sympathetic to his critiques of evolutionary theory, etc.