In an interesting article in the Christian Post, Allan J. Epling proposes that the Bible is indeed a divine text, but that a different interpretation will remove the conflict between the religious right and the scientific community.
Eplings proposes three assumptions to resolve the debate:
Assumption number one: There is a GodAssumption two implies that after the creation of a primitive man, much later on Adam received the 'the breath of life' from God:
Assumption number two: The first two books of Genesis describe two different events that we interpreted in the past as one event that we call "The Creation".
Assumption number three: The Flood of Noah was a catastrophic regional flood, not a global one.
Now imagine another timeline that began about 6000 years ago in the area around the present Black Sea, somewhere in modern Turkey. God came back to Earth and began creating some new creatures in a place the Bible calls "The Garden of Eden". One of these was a genetically superior form of man, named Adam in the Bible, that lived 930 years, was immune to all disease, didn't bear children until past 100 years of age, communicated with God daily, and, according to ancient legends outside the Bible, his body didn't decay at death like present man's does. This was a genetically different man to modern man, separate in species to the "primitive man" that had "evolved" outside the Garden. Both co-existed on the earth in separate locations.Apparently the idea that the flood was global stems from a mistranslation from the Hebrew bible:
The ancient Hebrew word used for world was "erets" which also means "land", "country", and "ground". Because the ancient Hebrew scribes in the first millennium BC didn't understand the meaning of the statement "All that God created..." they asssumed the word meant world. The word "erets" is used elsewhere throughout the Bible to refer only to land or country, and is only used to mean world in the flood description. Because they didn't know of the two separate creations, they could only assume it meant the original creation and not just the things created in the Garden of Eden. It would be more accurate to substitute the words "land" or "ground" in every case where the word "world" is used in modern translations. This was the "world", the land of Eden, that was destroyed in the flood and now is probably under 600 feet of water in the present Black Sea.Then, in Epling's scenario, Noah's "divine" line and those primitive humans from outside the 'land of eden' that survived the flood interbred and we are the result of that.
I doubt many are going to be happy with this new interpretation. The Christian fundamentalists won't like this last part, because it implies we are somewhat less than what God intended in the second creation:
It would mean that genetically we all have the DNA of both the man that came out of Evolution, with God's help, and the man Adam that was created in the Garden of Eden.On the other side of the fence, the atheists will of course never agree to Epling's first assumption, and will continue to interpret everything in the Bible as words of men about God, and not the other way around.
But I do think 'Encore creationism' deserves its own mention among the other types of Christian creationisms. It sounds somewhat like Progressive creationism, but is distinct in the thinking of Genesis 1 and 2 as different events.