Comments in response to the post A California Ruling reminded me that hostile critiques frequently overlook nuances inherent to the object of the hostility. Teacher James Corbett's harsh depiction of creationism is not fully conveyed by the Times article. Critical analysis demands an understanding of the object of the criticism.
Alister McGrath authored Augustine's Origin of Species. The author delves into the beliefs of an early prominent Christian named Augustine. The fact that his analysis of Genesis took place well before the time of Darwin removes from consideration the idea that related apologetics were fashioned in response to empirical data. Among the commentary was this:
Augustine also argues that Scripture teaches that time is also part of the created order, that God created space and time together. For some, however, the idea of time as a created thing seemed ridiculous. Again, Augustine counters that the biblical narrative is not open to alternative interpretations. Time must therefore be thought of as one of God's creatures and servants. For Augustine, time itself is an element of the created order. Timelessness, on the other hand, is the essential feature of eternity.
So what was God doing before he created the universe? Augustine undermines the question by pointing out that God did not bring creation into being at a certain definite moment in time, because time did not exist prior to creation. For Augustine, eternity is a realm without space or time. Interestingly, this is precisely the state of existence many scientists posit existed before the big bang.