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While all very interesting, this is really nothing terribly new. What was "new" was the idea of creation ex nihilo, driven by the medieval philosophers, who couldn't imagine God needing anything but God's intellect/imagination to create. The early Rabbis had no problem understanding that God used the stuff of chaos -- tohu va-vahu -- as the raw material of creation, even as human beings (adam) were made out of the earth (adamah), and the woman was fashioned out of the raw material of the body of the first human.