Concerning the moon’s origin, the Los Angeles Times today tells the basic scientific story with admirable clarity:
The Earth and moon formed after the proto-Earth collided with another huge planetary body, sometimes referred to as Theia. […] Two planets, one Earth-sized and one Mars-sized, slammed together. The smaller body, Theia, was obliterated completely, its materials flung asunder to form a disk around the Earth that before long coalesced to form the moon.
Scientists have pieced this scenario together from the available evidence. And it carries with it a disturbing implication for fundamentalist religion: because of the great energies released on collision, the surface of the Earth would have turned molten (if it was not already).
This means that if the scientific story is correct, Genesis 1 cannot reasonably be reconciled with it.
Because Genesis 1 says the moon was created on the fourth day of creation week. But if the moon was created in the manner described by scientists, the collision of Theia and Earth would have wiped out what was done by God on the second and third creation days. On day two, the rain and oceans are said to have appeared (“the waters above and below”); and on day three, the land and its plants are said to have appeared.
2500 years ago, when the psalmist looked up into the night sky on a cloudless evening, it wasn’t unreasonable of him to infer from what he saw that the heavens declare the existence and glory of God. Perhaps it’s still not unreasonable to believe that today. But in the 21st century, it’s also not unreasonable to look at the heavens and conclude that the cold and weary moon, once hot with the passion of its collision with Earth and having moved from innocence to blistering experience, now also declares that the author of Genesis 1 is, quite simply, wrong.
I can imagine, if one were to put giant reading glasses on the ashen and old grandpa face of the moon, and gave him Genesis 1 to read, he would wince with ill memories, then frown and exclaim, “Oh, dear! That is not how it happened! That’s not how it happened at all!”