The famous ‘Eden on bones’ illustration has a new stable mate, ‘Thorns before sin’, doubling the impact

by David Catchpoole

Fifteen years ago, I attended a weekend seminar on the creation/evolution issue addressed by two presenters from a Christian organisation now known as Creation Ministries International. Little did I know beforehand that it would change my life.

I was already a Christian, having converted from atheism 12 years previously, when I was in my mid-20s. But my views on origins certainly did not match CMI’s. Instead I held a nebulous personally-concocted hybrid of views that I now know more formally as ‘theistic evolution’, ‘day-age theory’ and ‘gap theory’. I confess that I went along to the seminar to tell the presenters, Dr Carl Wieland and Dr Don Batten, where they were wrong.

Well, I never got around to doing that. Because I soon realised that I was the one in the wrong! It was at that seminar that I let go of my long-age and evolutionary views, realising instead that the earth could be no older than about 6,000 years. And I can point to the exact moment in the five-session seminar when it happened. It was when a simple drawing of Eden was put up. It was the simple features of the illustration (also evident in the recently-drawn version shown below left) which turned my thinking around.

It’s important to note that the illustration did not portray the actual Garden of Eden (which instead might be represented by the strip illustration shown earlier at the top of this article) but rather my ‘Garden of Eden’ (and that of any other long-age Christians attending the seminar). The top of the picture showed Adam and Eve in the garden at the end of Day 6 when God looked at everything He had made, and declared it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But the illustration showed that underneathmy ‘Eden’ were layers of sedimentary rock chock-full of fossils…..


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