A LINE IN THE SAND
Often the natural rate of erosion of land by the sea is accelerated by the activities of human beings however it is a natural process apart from human activity. There is land being eaten by waves, tides, wind and rain so that where there was dry land there is sea. There is also new land being deposited and seashores built up by wind, wave and the tides. Volcanoes and tectonic forces add more land, either to land already present or to where there was only sea. This waxing and waning of sea and land is an overt process at times. A volcano arising from the ocean throwing up ash and lava and becoming an island where there had not been one is an explicit occurrence. In a storm when ground, which has houses upon it, is washed out to sea, there is no denying the process.
The flux of sea to land and land to sea is also an extremely slow one and is not happening at a startling rate except for its slowness. The drift of continental plates thrusting up mountain ranges or disappearing under another plate may only be in a few centimeters a year. The hour hand of a watch moves a hundred times quicker. Scientific instruments, precise and sensitive can ascertain the amount of movement of the land. The interchange of earth beneath the sea and the ground above the sea has the fossils of sea creatures miles inland and sometimes on tops of mountains.
There are ice ages when a lot more of the earth's water is bound up as ice and so the level of the sea is less and hence there is more land surface, however more of the land is covered in ice! Dry hot deserts become lush, subtropical becomes temperate, temperate becomes sub-polar and sub-polar becomes locked in ice.
Genesis records that God caused dry land to appear from what was all sea.
"And God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let dry land appear.' And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good." Gen.1:9-10.
Elsewhere in the bible also speaks of God establishing the dry land from an all water earth. Jeremiah 5:22 "Do you not fear me? Says the Lord: Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the bound for the sea, a perpetual barrier for which it can not pass; though the waves toss they can not prevail, though they roar, they can not pass over it."
The boundary of land and sea is constantly changing, some of this is very slow, and sometimes the shore changes quickly and dramatically. This can readily be seen and is not just a scientific theory. The manner of the boundary of land and sea is one of change; the limit of the sea is not perpetually fixed at an exact position. The nature of this boundary God has fixed for the sea is that it varies with time. It is a line drawn in the sand, an arbitrary line in the sand; God's ordained limit is dynamic. The establishment of the edict is at a higher dimension than just a plain and simple boundary. It is known in the bible this way of nature; "But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place; the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth…" Job 14:18-19.
There are other places though in the first chapter of Genesis by which people dispute the findings of science saying the bible says this so science can't be right. Notably verses 11, 12, 21, 24 and 25. Genesis 1:24 "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.' And it was so." This verse and the others are often used to disclaim the concept of evolution. The emphasis is put upon the fact that God made each kind of creature or plant unique and separate breeding true to their type and therefore there is no change of one species into another.
Attention again is drawn to the manner of the establishment of God's command for the boundary of the sea and dry land to become. That there is a constant change of the sea shore between water and land is not usually a point of controversy with people wielding the bible blindly saying "No! There can't be, the bible says the boundary is fixed forever!" Using their same way of reasoning and stance taken regarding the different kinds of life forms, a parallel case, they should be thus protesting. Jesus often used absurdly blatant examples to demonstrate less concrete matters; "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than…"
Again the manner of expression for God's command for there to be plants, birds, fish, and animals is a dynamic one at the earthly level, like the seashore. In between the command to the earth to bring forth the various plants and creatures according to their kinds and the "And it was so" is a complexity just like that mentioned about the comma between Is.61:2(a) and Is.61:2(b), a pause of two thousand years and counting. The order to the earth predicates to the earth what the earth is to give rise to. The earth's first living thing would have been the most simple only to proceed to the more and more complex. The predication in time is continually changing as the needs of the predication are met and further predication is unmet in the upward travel to meet what is ultimately predicated. The earth is in the process of bringing forth toward the fulfilling of God's command, it is in the upward call of God to meet the "And it was so." The ultimate establishment of the directive given by God is at higher level of existence. The different epochs of life on earth make way for the next, the environment is altered by this very life so that this very life is no longer sustainable and it has its eventide. There is an inherent law in nature of succession. At one time there were dinosaurs that fulfilled their roles for that time and made way for the animals and ecosystems of that which was to follow after the demise of these dinosaurs, for whatever reason. If it were not for the dinosaurs the animal kinds and ecosystems that came after would not have been able to come, in their time under the sun the dinosaurs were beautiful. In actual fact no species ever bares another type, (tinkering by man aside), just like a tree though a branch grows of its own self and branches out, but the wood which arises is always one wood with the original. So too the lineage of differing species are always immediately connected to their same kind right back even to when there is sameness from where the two different ones emerged. On earth there are related species that are clearly different from their either extreme but merge into each other, for example the mid range gulls can breed on either side but taking gulls from either side there can not be any crossing. So comparing the western and the eastern gulls there a different species but compared to midrange gulls the eastern ones are the same species as too the western ones are with the midrange gulls. So where is/are the line/lines drawn, are there two types or three types, or is there only one? Here is seen the emerging of separate species from subspecies with an intermediate species compared to the eastern and western ones.
The zoological way of classification is based differently from the system in the bible. In the bible the bats are classified as birds, however zoology types bats in the order of mammals which are separate from the bird species. The typing of animals in the bible depends on what its form is under predetermined forms or archetypes. Take for example cars made by the Honda motor company and cars made by the Ford motor company. A Ford racing rally car is going to be more closely alike to a Honda rally car than a golf cart made by Ford, like wise a Honda golf cart is going to be more alike to the Ford golf cart than the Honda rally car. So what classification is correct and should be used, manufacturer or class of vehicle? - Zoological or biblical? It depends on the context but not to realize the use of different contexts wrongly pits things at loggerheads with one another.