Day 4 is part of a six part series in Bible science.
Genesis 1:14-19

[14] Then God said: “Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night, and they will serve as signs for seasons and for days and years. [15] They will serve as luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth.” And it was so. [16] And God went on to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars. [17] Thus God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth [18] and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that it was good. [19] And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Day 4 likely concerns the abrupt climate change that the Earth experienced during the Permian period, after the assembly of supercontinent Gondwana[fn 1] in Day 3. The Permian was a time of great changes, and life on Earth was never the same again afterwards. Interior regions of the supercontinents were probably dry, with great seasonal fluctuations. There are indications that the climate of the Earth shifted during the Permian, with decreasing glaciation as the interiors of at least three continents became drier.[3] The series of Permian extinction events, that occurred during this period, is considered to have been attributed to a runaway greenhouse effect that can be explained by the Clathrate gun hypothesis.

Karoo Glaciation

Approximate extent of the Karoo Glaciation (in blue), over the Gondwana supercontinent during the Carboniferous and Permian periods

Permian seasonsEdit

Permian Earth

As the Permian opened, the Earth was still in the grip of an ice age, so the polar regions were covered with deep layers of ice. Glaciers continued to cover much of Gondwana (578 Ma – 96 Ma), as they had during the late Carboniferous. At the same time the tropics were covered in swampy forests. Towards the middle of the period the climate became warmer and milder as the glaciers receded, and the continental interiors became drier. Much of the interior of Pangea was probably arid, with great seasonal fluctuations (wet and dry seasons),[fn 2] This drying tendency continued through to the late Permian, along with alternating warming and cooling periods.[fn 3] The climatic fluctuations affected giant Carboniferous insects that had continued for a while, before disappearing during the Guadalupian.[fn 4] However, important new groups of insects like beetles and flies, with more complex life cycles, appeared.[5]

Tilt, seasons and climate changeEdit

Planet axis comparison

The positive pole of a planet is defined by the right-hand rule: if the fingers of the right hand are curled in the direction of the rotation then the thumb points to the positive pole. The axial tilt is defined as the angle between the direction of the positive pole and the normal to the orbital plane. The angles for Earth, Uranus and Venus are approximately 23°, 97°, and 177° respectively.

Earth's axis remains tilted in the same direction with reference to the background stars throughout a year (regardless of where it is in its orbit). This means that one pole (and the associated hemisphere of Earth) will be directed away from the Sun at one side of the orbit, and half an orbit later (half a year later) this pole will be directed towards the Sun. This is the cause of Earth's seasons. Summer occurs in the Northern hemisphere when the north pole is directed toward the Sun. Variations in Earth's axial tilt can influence the seasons and is likely a factor in long-term climate change (also see Milankovitch cycles).


Figure 3
This is a diagram of the seasons. Regardless of the time of day (i.e. the Earth's rotation on its axis), the North Pole will be dark, and the South Pole will be illuminated; see also arctic winter.

Bible theoryEdit

Significant notes for further research

The placement of events in Genesis 1:14-19, after the establishment of Heaven and Earth in Genesis 1:1, suggests the Earth was not experiencing seasons, the way we presently do today. The seasons that we experience today are as a result of the Earth being on an axial tilt of 23.5 degrees. Genesis 1:14's mention of luminaries "to serve as signs for seasons", suggests that (by whatever means necessary) God titled the Earth to the approximation of 23.5 degrees (since the Earth wobbles within 2 degrees). The placement of Genesis 1:14-19 occurs after Day 3 where God brings forth land, and vegetation. In geological scientific terms, Day 3 points to the Paleozoic era (541 Ma) where vegetation proliferates in the Carboniferous period (359 Ma).

Day 4 subsequently follows Day 3's introduction of vegetation, pointing to the Permian period (299 Ma) where historically—abrupt climate change causes a series of Permian mass extinctions, P-T being the worst in all of Earth's history in 252 Ma.[bn 1] For the great luminaries "to shine upon the earth" (vrs. 17), it is quite possible that the drastic Permian events were as a result of the Earth being tilted into its present position at that particular time. However, this theory of timing, for the event of the tilting of the Earth, is in sharp contrast to modern scientists who believe that the Earth experienced its tilt sometime after the accretion of the Solar System nearly 4.6 billion years ago. Even if the Earth was tilted at the time of the Solar System's founding (as scientists say), the fourth day in Genesis 1:14-19 subtly reveals that previously, Earth did not always have the same seasons, nor was aligned with the luminaries.[bn 2] As it is today—the north pole points to Polaris, and the south pole points to Sigma Octantis.

  1. It may be argued: How could the worst mass extinction in Earth's history be something that God could say—and "God saw that it was good"? A counter-argument could be: Following the P—T extinction, put the Earth in position (23.5⁰) for Day 5—where a "swarm", or proliferation, of biodiversity became the Age of Dinosaurs, and then following birds of flight throughout three following periods: from Triassic to Cretaceous (Compare Genesis 1:20—23).
  2. The bible writer of Genesis 1:14-19 described, in the best way he knew how, something quite significant regarding Earth's relationship with the luminaries in Day 4—even if this passage was interpreted as God creating the stars, the Sun, and the Moon, even after the Earth had already been established. (See also Earth as the center of the Universe)

To support concepts for Bible theory

See alsoEdit


  1. The supercontinent Gondwana formed from the unification of several cratons in the Late Neoproterozoic. Over time, it merged with Laurussia, in the Carboniferous, to form Pangaea,[1][2] the last supercontinent to have stabilized around 335 mya (See also Day 3).
  2. The lack of moderating effects of nearby bodies of water, likely contributed to intense seasonal fluctuations.
  3. Cooling in the mid-Permian is indicated by Carbon isotopes in marine Capitanian limestone showing an increase in δ13C values. The change in carbon isotopes in the sea water reflects cooling of global climates.[4] This climatic cooling may have contributed to the end-Cap extinction event in 262 Ma (See also: Emeishan Traps). Among the species that were affected, were warm water marine life: like larger fusulinids (Verbeekninidae), large bivalves (Alatoconchidae) and Rugosa corals, and Waagenophyllidae.
  4. Olson's Extinction took effect in 273 Ma kicking off the Guadalupian epoch.


  1. "Gondwana". Lexico Publishing Group. 
  2. "Gondwanaland". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 
  3. "The Permian Period". University of California Museum of Paleontology. 
  4. Isozaki, Yukio. "A Unique Carbon Isotope Record across the Guadalupian-Lopingian (Middle-Upper Permian) Boundary in Mid-oceanic Paleo-atoll Carbonates: The High-productivity "Kamura Event" and Its Collapse in Panthalassa." ScienceDirect (2006): 21-38. Web.
  5. Palaeos, Life Through Deep Time, The Permian Period: 1