This argument is simple. It comes from Genesis 3: 17-18 –
“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”
God curses the ground. Creationists believe this is the instance that changed the previous perfect creation into a gradually declining environment stricken with suffering, disease, and death. The problem for those who believe in a God-initiated evolutionary process is the fact that thorns are found in the fossil record supposedly millions of years before man “evolved”. Well, it seems you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have thorn come after man’s sin, but already be around in the fossil record.
Creationists believe thorns in the fossil record are proof that the fossil record, and therefore earth is young, and that the fossils were laid down primarily in the flood, not before man came on the scene. I searched the internet for theistic evolutionary responses to this and the best I found was that creationists have assumed that the whole world was like the Garden of Eden, a lush and perfect paradise. Perhaps the rest of the world was like our world today and the Garden of Eden was a special perfect place?
My response to that accusation would be – where do you get that information? The Bible does say that God planted a Garden east in Eden, but it doesn’t mention that the landscape and topography of the Garden was anything separate from the rest of the world. This is also an assumption on the old-earthers part. It’s an assumption to allow for thorns, to allow for a fossil record, and to eventually allow for billions of years of history and evolution.
They have their interpretation and we have ours. The only problem is their interpretation of the Bible stems from man’s authority on how the world was created, and our interpretation stems on the Bible’s authority on how the world was created. Their interpretation still has God sitting back on day seven and calling a world full of death, disease, and suffering “very good”.
There is no reason Biblically for God to create the world in this way, and then separate out Adam and Eve. The position is not Biblical. It is bowing to man’s interpretations and working them into scripture. It takes outside influence to read into scripture that the Garden was a separate topography from the rest of the world. A straight-forward, simple reading of Genesis is that thorns did not exist prior to man’s sin. Period. Their interpretation is the hard one to defend scripturally.