Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the third day. (Genesis 1:11-13)
The English word translated “vegetation” in the above passage comes from the Hebrew word deshe’, which refers to small plants, such as grasses and herbs.4 The other word, ‛eśeb, translated “plants” is even more generic, referring to any kind of green plant.5 Although the passage refers to trees that bear fruit with seed, the term “seed” in Hebrew refers to any kind of offspring,6 and not just the seeds of angiosperms. The Bible’s claim that plants appeared on the land before animals has been mocked for decades, but now appears to be true. The Bible predicts that scientists will likely find evidence of more complex plants as they examine more Precambrian rocks. Stay tuned for future updates.
Conclusion: The Bible’s creation account has been subject to much derision due to apparent contradictions with the record of nature. However, recently discovered fossil evidence shows that the Bible is correct in claiming that land plants appeared before animals in the oceans. The recently discovered evidence is a surprising confirmation of the biblical creation account to secular scientists. However, as believers, we should expect that scientists will find more evidence of even more complex plant life as more Precambrian rocks are studied.