One of the stock objections to creationism is that it carries with it the notion that some natural objects have illusory histories. When we see a supernova, we see a nonevent. We see something that never really happened. And that, in turn, imputes deception to God.
But while this objection is superficially plausible, it fails to think very deeply about the basic nature of creativity. Indeed, it fails to take into consideration the nature of human creativity, much less divine creativity.
For example, in James Cameron’s Avatar there’s a Hometree that looks older than a Sequoia. To judge by the sheer size of the tree, it would have taken longer to grow than a Sequoia.
In Avatar, the Hometree has an implied history. And this is true of fiction in general. A novelist or playwright usually begins his story at some point within the ongoing history of the world. His characters have implied parents, implied grandparents, implied great-grandparents, and so on, even if those ancestors never actually figure in the timeline of the narrative.
Same thing with their surroundings. Say you place the characters in New York City around 2000 or 1965 or 1940. Whatever decade you place them in, that cityscape still has an implicit history which antedates the timeline of the story.
Yet, within the world of the story itself, the story doesn’t begin at the beginning. Rather, the story begins as if New York City came into being a moment before, in 1940–complete with all those period buildings from decades earlier.
And that’s because what a creative artist like Cameron does is to objectify his idea of the Hometree. Cameron created the Hometree, not by putting the entire history of the Hometree on film, from the time it was a little seed in the ground, but by putting his idea of a grown tree on film. And that’s because Cameron is only interested in just a part of Pandora’s history. Although Pandora has a beginning, he doesn’t begin at the beginning. Rather, he begins at that stage in Pandoran history where he wants to tell his story. He skips ahead to his favorite part of the story. But to tell that part of the story, he gives that timeline the temporal effects of an earlier phase in the same continuous storyline. An implicit past. For the present has an implicit past.
This is something we take for granted when we read a novel or see a movie. We understand that an artist instantiates his full-orbed concept of the plot, characters, and so on. It existed in his mind as a complete, finely-detailed idea. But when a creationist proposes that God’s creativity is similar in this respect, eyes roll and fingers wag.
Yet that's how Gen 1 depicts creation. Creation is a series of speech-acts. God is an oral storyteller. A cosmic bard. He makes the world by telling a story. By verbalizing the story of the world. The world is the spoken word of God.
Now, you might say that this is nothing but a metaphor. Sure. But it’s a creative metaphor. And creativity literally instantiates an idea rather than a process.
Of course, human creativity must employ some preexisting medium to objectify a concept. But divine creativity is making the medium itself.
Mind you, this is not a full-blown argument for creationism. My point is simply that the charge of deception is oddly obtuse.