Evolution vs. Creation

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Boris, May 30, 1999.

  1. RedCat Registered Member

    1) God is there to provide us with hope, for as long as we have faith in him.
    2) God lays out paths for us to chose from, and will guide us if we lose our way.
    3) He is there to welcome us at the gates of heaven.

    and if you're next question is how does he guide us, through our spirits(which you don't believe in, but you see my point of view of spirits in the board about souls.) though he cannot force us to take a path he can let us see reasoning to chose his path, and let us come to our own conclusion.

    "God could have simply chosen them from what was already abundantly available."

    Ahh, but then again where did everything come from, I am not willing to accept that there has always been matter floating in space whithout a point of origin and something to have created it. And I am not saying that he only chose THIS solar system to create.

    What is Time?

    [This message has been edited by RedCat (edited January 31, 2001).]
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    I’ll try to cover some basics for you. And I’m certain that Boris would not ask your expected question.

    How does god provide you with hope? Why do you need to be given hope?

    Do you realize that faith is nothing special; it is simply a belief in something where there is no evidence? You will find that Christianity is forced to stress this requirement because they have no substance to support their claims, only mythology.

    You will also see that Christianity will stress all the negatives, e.g. hopelessness, evil, sin. Christianity also uses terror and threats to make you follow its path of illusion. I.e. if you do not do what the Christian god says then you will suffer eternal damnation in hell. This was the fundamental technique used over most of the past 2000 years to maintain a political hold on the world. The aim of Christianity is to make you feel hopeless, inferior, a sinner, guilty, and unworthy. And then stress that a god will love you. Once you have accepted this conditioning you will have given up your freedom to think for yourself.

    This proves my last point. You will be encouraged to doubt your own abilities or to make your own decisions. Making your own decisions, which includes making mistakes, is the way we learn and gain strength. If we lose our way then the effort to find it again helps us to learn and grow.

    This is the ultimate promise and the fundamental reason for the existence of all religions; to gain immortality, to survive death, to live beyond the known end of life. Man has dreamed of this since he was able to reason.

    The promise relies on your fear that one day you will face your own personal non-existence, and here is the solution for you, an afterlife in paradise. Perfection right? What a wonderful end to a dreadful existence on this miserable planet.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG. There is no evidence that supports that there is anything beyond physical death. The promise is nothing more than a terrible and truly evil false hope.

    What is more likely is the less exciting and real prospect that when you die you will indeed cease to exist. Do you wonder that so many do not want to face this reality and are prepared to believe any shaman that promises a paradise instead.

    Follow these religious illusions if you wish but the real courage comes from facing the real world, thinking for yourself, and making your own decisions. All this requires knowledge and an understanding of yourself and your surroundings. There is no easy way, it requires effort and hard work. And without Christianity or other religions you can do all this without feelings of inadequacy or guilt, and enjoy life.

    Have fun
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  5. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    The problem of origin is much deeper than merely the question of where matter came from. The real problem is that of existence: what <u>is</u> matter, what <u>is</u> space, what is reality, and what is the universe? Origin is only half of the problem; the ultimate nature of everything is the other half. God doesn't solve either half of the problem, because God carries its own questions of nature and origin.

    Now, I wasn't going to slam you on the head with it, but you seem to be asking for it. The sequence and chronology of Genesis are not in even remote agreement with observed reality. I'm going to make a special case of this, so that I can quote this message again elsewhere, if the need arises. The quotations below are from the KJV bible, Book of Genesis, Chapter 1.

    Heaven undoubtedly refers to the sky, and earth to the ground. Clearly, our planet was not how the universe began. The duality between heaven and earth is also curious, in that later on there is talk of "firmament" which could, conceivably, also denote the sky. But let's just suppose that heaven encompasses the sky and also includes everything "beyond" the sky (as in the place where the souls of the dead go.) Interesting, though, that the "firmament" is later referred to as "Heaven" with capital 'H'. Perhaps "heaven" with small 'h' is only a placeholder for the latter Heaven to come...

    You could claim that "heaven" refers to space and "earth" refers to matter/energy, but such an interpretation is ridiculous. If such were indeed to be the meanings of these words, then instead of "earth" the word should have been "matter", and instead of "heaven" the word should have been "void".

    The obvious picture here is of a level, barren surface of the ground. The "face of the deep" refers to the "the face of the waters"; waters presumably cover the featureless ground (oceanic floor) in a "deep" layer.

    Following the bang, the universe was populated overwhelmingly with hydrogen and helium. Oxygen was not present in any perceptible amounts, and there was certainly no water to speak of -- not to mention enough water to present a "face" or to form "the deep". Oxygen (and other heavy elements) were manufactured in stars, and were not present in large enough amounts to form large concentrations of complex chemicals (such as water) until the universe was at quite a fraction of its current age. And even then, there were no rocky planets to form a notion of the "earth" for quite some time; early celestial bodies were mere balls of gas.

    Of course, you could claim that the "earth" refers to the universe, while the "heaven" refers to the supernatural realm beyond the physical universe. The "deep", then, becomes the dark empty space of the physical universe. However, under this context it is unclear what is meant by "waters". Furthermore, the universe's "deep" did not emerge as an empty and dark void; it emerged as a tiny point crammed with energy at unimaginable densities. The dark void only came about much later, when the universe expanded sufficiently for the light permeating it to fade beyond the visible spectrum. However, even now the "dark" space is aglow with the microwave background, as well as many other forms of radiation including visible light from celestial sources. Certainly, the "dark void" did not exist prior to light, as appears to be the meaning of this and the next verse.

    On the other hand, you could suppose that the entire Genesis story is not concerned with the universe at large, but only with the planet Earth in particular. This, however, restricts the story of Genesis to only the last 4.5 billion years and therefore under such an interpretation Genesis has no parallel or indeed no meaningful relationship to the Big Bang theory. That Earth in itself did not exist and then came together is clearly not evidence of creation, under such an interpretation; planets and stars are forming and being destroyed purely under physical laws even as we speak.

    At the start, there was no matter or energy as we know it. However, when the temperatures fell enough for the electromagnetic field to come into existence, there was light right then and there. There was certainly light way before there was any "earth" or "waters"; matter condensed out of energy, not the other way around. At a certain point in that condensation process, the universe became transparent to light, and we still see that primordial light in the form of the microwave background radiation that permeates the universe.

    On the other hand, even as the Earth was condensing out of the solar accretion disk, it was likely bathed with light. The Sun's radiation cooked off most of the gas and light elements in the vicinity of the star, pushing them into the outer solar system. The remaining dust and ices clumped into meteoroids and asteroids, then into planetoids. By the time there was enough matter in the Earth's bulk to make it an identifiable planet, the nearby stellar space was already quite "clean" and transparent. And so, even as the early Earth was forming there already was light.

    There is no meaning in the latter half of that phrase. "Light" is either emission or reflection of photons, darkness is a dearth of photon emission or reflection. To "divide" light from darkness makes no sense at all. Of course, this probably derives from a simplistic anscient concept of light and darkness as two separate entities with independent existence and substance. Yet another primitive theory that by now has been so invalidated that it almost sounds nonsensical. Of course, there should be little surprise that the Torah is inundated with such anscient theories -- that is, if one accepts that it is nothing other than a cultural artifact.

    This implies that the light and the darkness alternate, forming days. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the "light" referred to in Genesis is that of the day, while the darkness is that of the night. Now, it makes sense to divide light from darkness, since day and night are "separate" from each other.

    Of course, the universe did not begin with the creation of a sun orbited by a rotating planet made primarily of mineral and containing water. So, is the "first day" the first day of the Universe, or is it the first day of the solar system? Clearly, it already doesn't make sense for it to be a day of the universe, since the universe predates the solar system by anywhere from 5.5 to 10.5 billion years -- and outside of the context of the solar system, there is no source of alternating light and darkness to form "days". But it can't be a day of the solar system either, since seven earth days are clearly not the time span between the formation of the solar system and the present. If anything, the Earth's spin has been slowing down all this time, due to gravitational tugs from the moon and the sun. Moreover, I find it hard to define the exact moment when the Earth as we know it today was formed; our planet formed from multiple collisions between planetoids large and small, and even after the bulk of the Earth was formed, such collisions continued to add mass. The Moon appears to be a product of debris formed in a collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized planetoid, for example.

    If the "days" are not days but merely periods of creation, then they cannot be equal periods as will become apparent soon. If the days are arbitrary intervals of time, then their very presense as a means of installing chronology makes no sense -- especially when viewed in the context of the alleged correspondence between Genesis and natural history; the boundaries of the "days" under such a context do not fall on any significant milestones in the evolution of life on Earth or the planet itself. Moreover, the "evening and the morning" do not make any sense under such an interpretation. It is an incredible stretch to claim that the "evening" and "morning" are merely the beginning and end of the "day", without any reference to the rise and fall of the sun in the sky -- while they appear right in the same verse that defines "light" as "Day" and "darkness" as "Night". Obviously, since "light" is the "Day", and that same "day" is made up of the "evening and morning", then the evening and morning must acquire the meaning that is in accordance with the connotation of daylight.

    According to modern theory, the early Earth was little more than a ball of magma; it had very little water content. The water was brought in later on by icy objects such as comets and planetoids formed at a greater distance from the sun. So, the "firmament" was there before the "waters", not the other way around. It's true that subsequently the "waters" mixed into the crust, and later had to be re-expelled by volcanoes to finally form the earth's atmosphere and then to condence into sizable bodies of water on the ground (once the ground was cool enough).

    On the other hand, if the "firmament" refers to the sky, then the "waters" are divided into the atmospheric vs. ground-level moisture. Of course, the atmosphere was there long before any significant moisture had a chance to accumulate on the ground.

    Here it is, the "firmament" that is "Heaven" -- arriving quite a time after the "heaven and earth" were created...

    So, it seems that between formation of the solar system and the appearance of water-encircled continents on earth, two full days had passed. (whatever "day" means...)

    Emergence of continents? But the Earth's surface was riddled with irregularities and volcanoes long before enough water was disgorged by these volcanoes to saturate the atmosphere, and long before the Earth's surface was no longer too hot for water to condense into large bodies. It seems, by all logic, that the "firmament" existed long before the appearance of the "waters".

    One saving grace here might be that the "dry land" is implied to be a single land mass, since all the "waters" are "gathered together onto one place"; this might remind one of Pangea, <a href="http://www.platetectonics.com/book/pangea.htm">the apparent mother-continent from which the current continents split away later</a>. But Pangea itself was not a unitary landmass, even though it is spoken of as such. And, it only formed some 320 million years ago, while the Earth is some 4.5 billion years old; this clearly doesn't tie into the Genesis chronology.

    So, if the solar system and the earth with continents and water were formed in two days, then how can fruit trees emerge in a mere "day"? Judging by paleobiological record, it took over 3 billion years for sophisticated land-based plants like grass and trees to develop (or even for the first, 'primitive' land-dwelling plants to emerge); the solar system and the Earth did not take twice that long (6 billion years!) to form.

    Clearly, here we're talking about stars. Of course, stars were there long before the solar system even began to form, much less produce Earth with its water and plantlife, so the chronology is just flat wrong.

    Now that's a little out of sequence, and altogether out of the chain of causality. The "two great lights" are, presumably, the sun and the moon. How this is out of sequence with what happened so far, should be pretty obvious. (There's no way plants can arise before the sun forms, not to mention the fact that the sun was formed at the same time as the earth, etc.) Yet, how can the two be created <u>after</u> the "separation" of light and dark that made day and night? After all, it is the sun that is responsible for that alteration of evening and morning. Though I guess the anscient priests who came up with this fable didn't even so much as comprehend the connection between the sun and the sunlight.

    Of course, one way to save face here is to assert that God served the function of the sun until the sun was created. Of course, there's little grace in such a "solution", at least if you are trying to reconcile the story of Genesis with the natural history of the universe.

    Another possible 'solution' is to assert that the atmosphere of Earth was not clear enough to permit visible outlines of the sun and moon until after the first land-dwelling plans evolved. Of course, that is downright ridiculous; the atmosphere 500 million years ago was not any less transparent than it is today. For an excellent yet concise timeline of Earth's natural history as pertains to evolution of life, see http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/geo_timeline.html

    So now, it seems the sun and the moon only appear on the fourth day. Which means that the "days" are not related to the solar system either. Now, there is absolutely no explanation whatsoever for all "the evening and the morning"s before the fourth day. Of course, to the anscients this probably was not a paradox, since they thought of the sun as merely participating ("ruling over") the daylight, so they had no problem imagining a day without the sun (eclipses must have scared the living yahweh out of them.)

    Again, out of sequence. Fish and other marine animals, as well as reptiles and insects, arose way before the "trees bearing fruit". The modern grasses are also a late-comer, they did not exist even at the time of the dinosaurs. Not to mention that "winged fowl" and "great whales" were not "created"; they evolved out of other life-forms which Genesis, of course, doesn't mention. And of course, how can it? After all, the anscient priests were not aware of evolution and all of its empirical underpinnings, were they?

    Once more, out of sequence. At least the "creeping thing" came way before the "winged fowl".

    In addition, somewhere in this account we are missing the gigantic extinctions and proliferations of various lifeforms that have happened before Homo Sapiens. We are also missing the microbial flora and fauna. Of course, the anscients did not know about extinct life, nor did they know about microbial life. Certainly explains why such concepts are not present in their creation myths.

    And now we come to Homo Sapiens and all the animals, created on the fifth and sixth days. Provided the entire kingdom of animalia is probably not more than about 1 billion years old (and provided also that God subsequently "rested" on the seventh day), then one "day" cannot be longer than some 300 million years. Which means the other 4 preceeding days add up to no more than 1.2 billion years, compared to the 4.5 billion year age of the solar system. Go figure, huh?

    And naturally, we have the wonderful statements authorizing mankind to multiply out of control and consume the Earth's resources at will. Think of all the evil that has been authorized and justified by these wonderful religious platitudes. Why, even now they guide our enlightened Republicans in their endeavors.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 22, 2001).]
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  7. RedCat Registered Member

    I can see where you are comming from, but the Bible doesn't always have to be taken literally, and also I do myself believe that it is somewhat out of sequence. But I don't have the time right now to explain every detail about genesis that I think is out of sequence and what I take it all to mean, so if you would like to hear my explainations would be glad to at a later date if asked.

    What is Time?
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    While you may believe that, and I may believe that, such an idea is a very difficult one to argue at Exosci.

    First and foremost are the apparent contradictions of the Bible. For a recent Exosci take on this, I recommend portions of Shana's thread, Question 4 those who follow and know the Bible.

    * http://www.exosci.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000486-2.html

    I've been poking through old threads, and found that Emerald is much more suited to pull out the odd references of contradictory Biblical literalism; I'm simply too impatient to swim through as much material as I've already seen.

    The thread cited above merely pertains to the idea that God is directly and willfully dishonest. There is, in the It's ba-ack post, a citation regarding source ambiguity in the Bible.

    Once upon a time we debated Genesis amid some topic or another. Why are there two separate versions of the creation of man (Gen. 1 and 2)?

    And so forth. Many, many little contradictions, yet the literalists insist they don't exist; the more liberated readers of the Bible want to move past that to the deeper issues; the non-Christians generally seem to be confused by the display of diversity, and also somewhat willing to exploit it rhetorically. (Yes, I am a pain about that.)

    I, for one, agree with the above-cited approach to the Bible. It won't necessarily play on this stage, though. So 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round we go ....

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    Two PostScripts on edit:

    1) Emerald, I do, actually, realize that you are not my personal research secretary. Please accept my apologies for constantly referring to you when I'm too lazy to find it myself.

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    2) Another fun thread can be found here: http://www.exosci.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000363.html , in a topic entitled, Yaweh, the baby-killing God. Again we find questions toward literalism and, if my editorial two cents are worth anything right now, we also find people backing desperately away from literalism.

    Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet. (Khaavren of Castlerock)

    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited February 02, 2001).]
  9. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    There is a weird line people draw across the Bible. On the one hand, they are willing to accept that taken literally it makes no sense -- and the more time passes, the less sense it makes. So, we have all these allusions to metaphor and allegory. But strangely enough, even while accepting, for example, that the concept of a "day" must be meaningless and abstract -- people insist that the concepts of God and Creation must be taken literally. Who is to say that Creation is not abstract and metaphorical? Who is to say that God is not abstract and metaphorical? Why is it that only the parts of the Bible that either contradict each other or clash with observations must be metaphorical, while the other parts must be taken literally? How the heck do you draw that arbitrary line, and yet be so content with yourself?

    Another question: do you really think that the anscient Jews were so enlightened and intelligent that they ended up peppering their Torah with metaphor upon allegory? I find it much easier to imagine that they read their holy book quite literally, and understood it to mean exactly what it says. After all, this religion was for the masses, not for a few select high priests.

    Yet another thing that is ridiculous, is the stubborn refusal to even so much as consider at least the possibility that the Torah is nothing more than a cultural artifact, that it contains no absolute truths, that it does not derive from a superhuman source. I have met very few people (and most of them were on exosci) who have actually started unbiased, browsed through a variety of religions in depth, and finally selected one for themselves through some consideration which they believe was reasoned. The majority of religious people were born with their religion, were fed their religion from birth, and are now regurgitating that religion as if it is the only thing they could have been indoctrinated with. It has always puzzled me that the Christians never seem to ask themselves how come they are not Hindu, and vice versa.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 02, 2001).]
  10. Doc Brown Registered Member

    I believe very strongly in evolution. However, I do think our universe was created by a greater being. Everything is too orderly to have arisen at random.

    535 million years ago was the Cambrian explosion, which created all 34 animal phyla. (I do not know the data on non-animal phyla) This happened within 5 million years. Nothing like it has happened since. But I think it was after the Cambrian explosion that God stopped interfering with the Earth's affairs. I believe in deism, which is the belief that God created the universe and has not interfered since, sort of like Star Trek's prime directive. Everything after the Cambrian explosion is just as we evolutionists say.

    Many creationists believe that the universe was created about 6,000 years ago. This can be disproven with the fact that we can see galaxies that are more than 12 billion light-years away. Those of you who point to experiments done in the 18th century that reveal that light is slowing down are unaware of the fact that the expriments were done with instruments too imprecise to come up with conclusive evidence for c-decay.

    And there is so much evidence for evolution, but no evidence that everything was created exactly as it is today.
  11. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    A belated welcome to the board. You'll have to forgive me for jumping straight to the point; that's my way of doing things.

    One of the most common mistakes made when people fail to grasp the concept of abiogenesis. The exact time and space occurrence of the particular life-precursor process may have been random, but the circumstances and physics that led to it probably made it almost inevitable (we'll probably know that for sure in a few decades). In other words, if it weren't right then and there, then it would have been next and over.

    From the point of abiogenesis onward, the development of life was again not exactly random. The mutations and other evolutionary events may have been, but they are also an inevitable thing -- if not then and there, then next and over. The general direction of evolution was dictated by the environment within which life evolved -- and so life's various adaptations to that environment cannot be called chance or coincidental.

    True, the "explosion" was a unique event. And we don't know (yet) why exactly it happened or how. Some even claim, based on genetic studies, it didn't happen as quickly as the geological record seems to indicate (some even go so far as to say that the "explosion" never even occurred, that it is rather a mirage created by some geological or biological oddity.) I don't know what the explanations here are, and I'd be the first to admit it. However, shoving the mystery under the rug of "Creation" is not an acceptable solution. Experience has shown that everything in the universe is causal. Therefore, the "Cambrian explosion" must have had its causes, and they will be known with time.

    You are making another classical mistake here. You don't understand a phenomenon in mundane terms, and therefore you assume that it must have a supernatural explanation. It is an anscient mistake, and without it there would be no religions in the world. Furthermore, if your mistake was committed uniformly by all humans, we would still all live in caves.

    I am; therefore I think.
  12. Doc Brown Registered Member

    I believe in both creation and evolution, but I consider myself an evolutionist.

    Let me explain: If the energy of the Big Bang were changed even by one part in 10^120, life could not exist. All 34 animal phyla were created 535 million years ago, within five million years. There is no way this could happen on its own. I think our universe was made by an intelligent creator.

    But the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that there is no way everything could have been created as it is today, 6,000 years ago.
  13. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    You seem to be assuming that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe. I think more precisely it is simply the current limit to further observation.

    Consider those men in earlier times who looked out at the ocean and the horizon and declared that they could see the edge of the world. That was then a perceived limit, and our modern scientific discoveries would have been beyond their understanding. I suspect once our science develops further we will be able to see beyond this big bang.

    I think it is too early to conclude that there is or isn't a creator.

  14. ilgwamh Fallen Angel Registered Senior Member

    "You seem to be assuming that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe."

    That is a correct assumption

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    "I'm going to make a special case of this, so that I can quote this message again elsewhere, if the need arises."

    Your case would get picked apart by an informed Old-Earth Creationist.

    Commenting in Genesis 1:1 you say, "Heaven undoubtedly refers to the sky, and earth to the ground."

    That in itself shows a lack of research. Yes, the very fistst argument you set fourth in your post is far from a bull's eye. If you want to find places where Scripture and science clash, do so on exegetical rather than eisegetical grounds. Verse 1:1 refers to the entire universe. Everything that there is.

    Heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1 is similar to a compound noun. When put together, Hashamayim we ha'erets ("heavens and earth") refer consistently to the entire universe.

    Moses wrote of the universe being created long before the advent of general relativity, hubble's redshift, Cobe and the CBR et cetera.

    Your interpretation of Genesi 1:2, "The obvious picture here is of a level, barren surface of the ground. The "face of the deep" refers to the "the face of the waters"; waters presumably cover the featureless ground (oceanic floor) in a "deep" layer."

    Clearly, you lack training in Bibilical hermeneutics. I personally prefer the historical-critical method when examining scripture? What methodology do you employ?

    Genesis 1:2 is crucial for Old-Earth Creationism! Genesis 1:2 switches our perspective. Our reference frame is now on the earth's surface not in the starry realm. The text says "darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Ross in the Genesis Question on pg 24, (figure 3.1) tells us that ,"The events of the six Genesis creation days are described from the point of view of the surface of the ocean, underneath the cloud layer, as the second verse of Genesis clearly states." This is a crucial shift as we will soon see.

    You also say, "Following the bang, the universe was populated overwhelmingly with hydrogen and helium. Oxygen was not present in any perceptible amounts, and there was certainly no water to speak of -- not to mention enough water to present a "face" or to form "the deep". Oxygen (and other heavy elements) were manufactured in stars, and were not present in large enough amounts to form large concentrations of complex chemicals (such as water) until the universe was at quite a fraction of its current age. And even then, there were no rocky planets to form a notion of the "earth" for quite some time; early celestial bodies were mere balls of gas."

    The account doesn't mention quark confinement and galaxy formation. It goes from God creating everything right to His creative activity on earth. It has a specific purpose. It was not intended to be a science book. The entire creation account builds up and builds up until it climaxes with the coming of human beings.

    To requote you interpretation: "The obvious picture here is of a level, barren surface of the ground. The "face of the deep" refers to the "the face of the waters"; waters presumably cover the featureless ground (oceanic floor) in a "deep" layer."

    Your interpretation clearly lacks proper context. You also do not show signs of understanding the rudiments of special revelation.

    "At the start, there was no matter or energy as we know it. However, when the temperatures fell enough for the electromagnetic field to come into existence, there was light right then and there. There was certainly light way before there was any "earth" or "waters"; matter condensed out of energy, not the other way around. At a certain point in that condensation process, the universe became transparent to light, and we still see that primordial light in the form of the microwave background radiation that permeates the universe."

    You show poor scholarship here in failing to take into account our reference fram as verse 2 delineates. We are on the earth now. Everything is being described from a reference from on the earths surface. The bible is not speaking of electromagnetic radiation being created for the first time. Its not even speaking about the first time electrons jumped up and fell back down orbitals (visible light). This verse does have to do with visible light but not its creation. The Bible teaching electromagnetic radiation being created here would be entirely inconsistent with the nature of Biblical revelation.

    Is this the creation of electromagnetic radiation? The first appearance of light? According to science it cannot be as the sun was around before the earth. Light was created in the beginning. The initial conditions of the earth's surface was darkeness. There were still planetesimals and all kinds of debris from our original solar nebula surrounding the earth. New evidence in planetary formation shows that all planets start off with thick layers of gases surrounding them. (info from Astronomer Hugh Ross) Planetary debris and these gases keep sunlight from reaching the surface of new planets. Planets start off with opaque atmospheres and this makes the surface dark. This is what the bible is describing. It is only referring to one small part of the electromagnetic spectrum: visible light. It is also not saying that electrons went up an orbital and came back down for the very first time. As verse 1:2 shows, our perspective is on the earth's surface and light appeared (aka sunlight was starting to break through the debris and gas).

    The Hebrew supports this. "The Hebrew verb used in God's opening statement, "Let there be light," is haya, meaning "to exist; to be; to happen; or to come to pass." The verbs bara, asa, and yasar, meaning "create," "make," and "form," respectively are not used, and this word choice makes sense." (Ross, The Genesis Question pg 30-31)

    Gravity would have over time cleared up some debis and stuff. Genesis 1:3 when understood properly accurately describes the early state of our atmosphere and its transition from opaque to translucent.

    All rright, I'm done for know. I wouldn't deny your intelligence Boris, but I don't think Biblical interpretation is your gig

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  15. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    Of course I expected nothing less from you. But let's see if my case can really be picked apart so easily by anyone, "informed" or not.

    Funny you mention exegetical vs. eisegetical "grounds", because personally I have some trouble understanding the difference between the two. If exegesis is a critical examination and eisegesis is an examination tinged with personal perspective, then they are one and the same thing. No examination can be made of anything from an "absolute" perspective, because no such perspective exists. So you may call me on the grounds of eisegesis, but I can turn right around and do the same to you. Personally, I think my assumptions were quite transparent; I was examining both hypotheses simultaneously: that the Genesis might be describing the natural history of the universe or the natural history of the solar system.

    Apparently, your personal interpretation is that while the first verse refers to the universe at large, everything that follows refers to the solar system. Granted, such a bizarre split did not occur to me at the outset; thank you for surprising me. Then again, I'm not surprised.

    Regardless, I find it astonishing that you can equate the phrase "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" to Big Bang and everything that came after, up to the point of solar system's formation. That's a helluva load for one sentence to carry. Not only that, but Big Bang cosmology absolutely does not claim that the Bang was the beginning of anything. No physicist will resign to an idea that something can come out of nothing. Clearly since the Big Bang occurred it was caused by something else, and the products of the Bang used to be contents of something else. The Big Bang was not THE beginning, it was merely A beginning -- a beginning only in the context of our presently observable universe, not in the context of whatever produced it.

    Then, your inexplicable problem with my "interpretation" of the 1:2 verse:

    Curious. First you disparage my "interpretation", and then proceed to reproduce it from your sources. So what, exactly, was wrong with my interpretation?

    Following that, you proceed at length to deny the universe-wide interpretation of Genesis. Fine by me; I obviously do not buy into either perspective. So, since you've made your particular position so clear, let's examine it further in-depth.

    You claim that the Genesis from 1:2 onward refers specifically to the formation and evolution of the planet Earth. Let's pin down a few of your assumptions, shall we?

    At what point in time do the above statements hold true? When was there enough debris around the fledgling Earth to block out sunlight?

    As my source here, I'm using Encyclopedia Britannica online; the URL of the relevant article is: http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/8/0,5716,128008 1,00.html Being an encyclopedia article on a scientific topic, it has to have been peer-reviewed by experts in the field, so I suppose it's safe to assume that it reflects the general scientific consensus. And so, let's see what we can glean...

    The planetoid that was to become Earth experienced a period of intense bombardment that tapered off to virtual insignificance 3.9 billion years ago. Therefore, as early as about 4 billion years ago, the inner solar system was pretty much clear of significant debris. Therefore, your statements above must refer to the period between around 4.6 and 4.0 billion years ago.

    Now, the early earth atmosphere of the period apparently consisted predominantly of carbon dioxide and monoxide, water vapor and methane -- all transparent gases except for water vapor. So, it's probably safe to assume that it was pretty dark at the surface, at least until all that water vapor had a chance to condence and precipitate out of the atmosphere. Apparently, photosynthetic life (blue-green algae) already existed by 3.5 billion years ago, so certainly by that time sunlight reached the Earth's surface in abundance. Of course, the evidence for the algae comes from oceanic sediment which could hardly be there if there were no oceans, so it's safe to assume that the oceans formed way before then, which means the moisture precipitated out of the atmosphere quickly. Yep, everything ties together to indicate that as early as about 3.5 billion years ago, the skies were as clear as they are today.

    Up to this point, the "planetesimals and all kinds of debris" portion of your claim has turned out to be utterly false. The opaque atmosphere claim holds up somewhat, but alone is not sufficient to explain the simultaneous presence of the oceans and absense of sunlight at their surface (as further expounded below).

    A couple strange things so far:

    First, 1:2 says the earth was without form. Clear bullshit since volcanoes were how the secondary atmosphere and oceans were formed in the first place. As a matter of fact, back then the Earth was a very hot ball of magma not unlike Io, and must have been crisscrossed by gigantic mountain ranges and deep gorges that resulted from thermic stresses and crust collapse.

    Second, the "deep" as you interpret it (that is, the ocean) did not form until moisture precipitated out of the atmosphere. Which means that there could not have been darkness upon the face of the deep, because the very existence of the deep means the atmosphere was certainly clear enough to admit sunlight, even in the visible spectrum. Quite simply, the "deep" and the "darkness" are mutually contradictory since existence of one implies absense of the other.

    Next, 1:3 and 1:4 pretty much establish that:

    a) there came light
    b) light became separated from darkness (utterly bizarre, especially in face of the fact that darkness already existed before on the face of the deep, and darkness is merely absense of light, and thus they are clearly separate by virtue of being logical negations of each other.)
    c) the first dawn and sunset formed the first day (slippery at best, since the atmosphere cleared gradually and there is no single point in time when you can mark the first occurrence of mornings and evenings on Earth's surface.)

    With regard to c), I've seen you claim the following:

    So, out of all possible meanings for "ereb", you choose "closing, ending or completion", and out of all possible meanings for "boqer", you choose "beginning or origin", and the second usage of the word day in that verse you suggest denotes a period of indefinable length. Let's substitute them into 1:5, and see what we've got:

    "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the beginning and the ending formed the first period of creation."

    Does the result of such substitution make any sense to you? Color me strange, but it sounds like nonsense. The "beginning" may refer to 1:1, since it's the only other time it's used so far. Of course, that would make the first "day" something like over 10 billion years in duration (and in that case, strangely enough, we get detailed accounts of only the latter 500 million years or so, or the equivalent of under 3 hours of a 24-hour day.) On the other hand, if the "beginning" doesn't refer to 1:1, then what does it refer to? Regardless, the meaning of the "ending" is nowhere to be found. Altogether the sentence as you translate it is a malformed, out of context, incongruous excuse for a typo.

    Well, now that we've gotten through the first five verses and exposed at least 6 incongruities and falsehoods in your efforts, by my count, having meanwhile established your chosen cant -- I am trembling in anticipation for your perusal of the rest of my preceeding post dealing with verses 1:6 through 1:31, from the Earth-centric perspective.

    You know, actually, I find the gig rather amusing.

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