A Christian is able to take both Genesis 1-3 and science seriously due to the interpretations that are open for readings of the book. Christian can read Genesis in multiple ways which can lead to a belief in both science and Genesis these are a young Earth creationism reading , a day age reading and a literary reading. Scientific theories that may conflict with Genesis or Christianity as a whole, however Christians can instead use different readings to justify the harmony between Christianity and science. The authors initial audience must also be taken into account when considering the extent between the conflict of Genesis and science as it was written more simplistic.
Genesis has three main ways of reading, this includes a young Earth creationism reading, a day age reading and a literary reading which explain the similarities between Genesis and science. A young Earth creationism stance is the idea that what is said in Genesis should be taken literally as they feel that it is god’s word and it should not be disobeyed. Whereas a day age reading of Genesis means that the period in which God created the universe may be indefinite “yom, which can mean a twelve hour period of time, a twenty-four hour period of time, or a long, indefinite period of time” meaning there would be little in conflict with scientific theories, however the idea that all living organisms evolved from a common ancestor is inconsistent with a day age theory. A literary reading does not come into conflict with any scientific theories as it is read in the genre in which it is intended for, such as a poetic reading if a segment of the book seems to feature heavily in metaphors. An example of a literary reading would be in chapter three where a snake talks to Eve that the fruit should be eaten this most likely means that a snake is not physically talking to her however it is a metaphor for evil and Eve is considering wickedness. As a result a literary reading allows a Christian to take both genesis and modern day scientific theories seriously.
At its time of writing Genesis was intended for a non scientific audience, as a result it is difficult to identify conflict between science and Genesis as Genesis doesn’t make scientific clear and defined claims but rather a basic understanding. For instance the big bang theory does not come into conflict with Genesis as Genesis does not say that the universe was always in existence. “With a better understanding of what the original audience heard, we have insight into God’s message for them and thus for us” . However hypotheses such as that of the theory of evolution can be interoperated as Adam and Eve being the first humans to evolve from apes, alternatively it could be said that this stage of evolution was progressive and as a result there were no ‘first humans’, only progressive genetic mutations with the human gene. However most of the things that the bible says do not come into conflict with Christianity as the bible does not give clear exact answers that can conflict with science due to the simplistic language that was intended for the audience. In addition Genesis more tries to answer basic questions about the origins of the universe and it can be said that science then answers the more advanced questions such as how humans specifically came into existence as it would have been far more difficult to explain elements of evolution such as mutations and DNA.
The author of genesis is more trying to display the glory of god rather than exact events for the Christian audience, this is seen with the use of metaphors that help to add depth to gods power in a poetic sense. This is written in this way to attempt to demonstrate Gods power rather than show it by explaining what he did on an historical time period. “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” this