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blogger; programmer; science fan
04:10 PM on 06/08/2012
Young earth creationism in inescapably biblical. If you doubt that, read the first eleven chapters again of Genesis. At what point can you say it switches from metaphor to history? During one of the generation listings? Or are the patriarchs metaphors also?

Young earth creationism is also inescapably wrong.
Leave No Trace, Just a Good Impression
03:59 PM on 06/08/2012
the young earth creationists argue the earth is only 6-7 thousand years old. But evidence suggests man lived and created communities far earlier than that. As for genesis, a neat telling of a history meant to define a people with their religion. Not accurate, just symbolic. And they got alot right given their limited science of the time: created from dust (star dust in science terms) and disintegrate back to dust when dead. As for the rest, either adam and eve had sex with their kids, or somebody else was alive and breeding (at least one other woman) so that their sons had someone to marry. parables are nice, some fact, mostly imagination and fantasy.
05:04 AM on 06/09/2012
If life was created from dust, how come it's carbon based, not silicon based?
05:56 AM on 06/09/2012
Just who grants you permission to conclude that "created from dust" is literal and not figurative??
Leave No Trace, Just a Good Impression
01:45 PM on 06/09/2012
?? I was just saying, in their limited scientific knowledge of how things work, they describe what actually happens. Figurative, perhaps. Literal, who knows. As for the other comment on silicon, I said star dust--which includes all substances found on our planet, including water, which is only a combination of elements, all of which came from outer space. They probably observed bodies decaying, they knew they put seeds into the ground to grow them-so this makes sense. and we all are entitled to a reasoned opinion, no permission needed.
I'm a pessimist - an optimist with experience!
03:36 PM on 06/08/2012
Is Young-Earth Creationism Biblical?

The question should have been "Is Young-Earth Creationism Sensical?".
03:22 PM on 06/08/2012
This tired argument skirts an essential question: WHY be symbolic about the timespan of creation?

The concept of "years" wasn't some scientific term the writers of Genesis couldn't yet comprehend. Nor were long passages of time incomprehensible; the "everlasting" is referenced again and again.

In other words, the claim is: they got the exact story of what God created, in what order; all sorts of details. But then they said, "this took millions of years, making God seem even more eternal and impressive. But we'll symbolically say 'day' and use the terms 'morning and evening' because..." why?

It's ridiculous to contend they couldn't have expressed the time or didn't know it. They KNEW Adam was exactly 930 when he died. They KNEW Methuselah hit 969, Noah 950, etc. Even if they were worried about expressing large numbers, they could've said: "For many years, God created the heavens and the earth. Then, for many years...etc." But no - let's just symbolically use "day." Absurd!

This is always the result of trying to square mythology with scientific fact. You have to relentlessly torture logic to do so - and ultimately paint yourself into a corner that is only escapable with the argument: "I just believe it to be so!"

In other words, your "Christian conversion" from "see, then believe" to "believe, then see."

BTW, you are entirely correct that "No rule requires that an entire book must consist of the same genre" - for works of fiction.
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04:29 PM on 06/08/2012
You are absolutely right and fanned!
09:18 PM on 06/08/2012
"No rule requires that an entire book must consist of the same genre"

Or be written by the same author, chapter by chapter.

"According to Rabbinic tradition the five books of the Torah were written by Moses, with the exception of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy which describe his death. Today, the majority of secular scholars agree that the Pentateuch does not have a single author, and that its composition took place over centuries."

Regarding Genesis:

" ... although the Book of Genesis is quoted from or alluded to at least two hundred times in the New Testament, as we have already noted, in none of these references is it ever stated that Moses was the actual author. This is especially significant in view of the fact that Moses is mentioned by name at least eighty times in the New Testament, approximately twenty-five of which refer to specific passages attributed to Moses in the other books of the Pentateuch."

And finally,

• Genesis is somewhat varied in parlance (multiple writers), and
• “Tablet Theory” suggests that portions of Genesis were originally written on clay tablets by men who personally experienced the events described. The tablets were later compiled by Moses.
01:01 AM on 06/10/2012
None of this explains - or really has much to do with - the obscure use of the term "day" in the creation myth. It's just a collection of links to creationist hooey.

Forgetting the TENS OF THOUSANDS of things that disprove the ridiculous young Earth beliefs you link, there are plants living today that are older than you believe the earth to be:

Until you accept facts, there's no reason to argue about fictions.
03:21 PM on 06/08/2012
As a Theist I feel that the 7 "days" of creation are not Earth days, but potentially another system or referential dialog. Earth days didn't exist until the sun and earth are created, thus it makes sense that it is of figurative language. The letter 7 (yes I said letter) is zayin or zion or w/e, and can mean perfection or completion symbolically. Thus the creation of the earth and everything took 6 days, and on the 7th they partook of the fruit and got kicked out. Maybe the 7th day is still occurring? Maybe not. Something to think about though.
04:03 PM on 06/08/2012
See my comment to AfterSomeThought above. Doesn't matter what you think "day" means the text is still wrong.
07:33 PM on 06/08/2012
I cannot see your comment to that poster atm. But if your barking at me about my faith, you're doing it at the wrong tree.
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04:32 PM on 06/08/2012
Zayin only means what you say according to certain mystical traditions of European Judaism, and Zion does not mean Zayin. I am a native Hewbrew speaker so let me give you a lesson. Zion uses Tsadic (or Tsadi if you are a non-Israeli Hebrew speaker), not the letter Zayin. You just dont have a Ts sound and amalgamated it with the Z, but we say Tsee'on no Zion
07:15 PM on 06/08/2012
Good to know, sorry for that mistake, I am amateur when it comes to Hebrew.
01:45 PM on 06/08/2012
It it's interesting how some "scholars" have no problem with the definition of the word "day" in Genesis 2 and throughout the rest of the Bible, but according to them the word "day" in Genesis 1 means something else...

When I read it, it's crystal clear.

At the end of the account of the events of the first day and every other day in Genesis 1 it says, "...and there was evening, and there was morning-the first day".
That's deliberate language.


Or the alternative interpretation: evening doesn't mean evening, morning doesn't mean morning, and day doesn't mean day, which throws every historical account of time in the Bible into complete chaos.

The Israelites marched around Jericho for 7 days, no wait, maybe it was 7000 days?
Jesus was dead for 3 days or was it 3000 days?

If you can't believe the creation account in Genesis 1 is true, because the science of man can't prove it, you might as well toss your entire Bible out.

Science can't prove Jesus rose from the grave either. Why do you believe that?
Politics is weird. And creepy.
08:51 PM on 06/08/2012
Even the "three days" bit is hard to figure. He died on Friday afternoon and they had to bury him before sunset. Apparently when they next looked, at sunrise on Sunday, he wasn't there any more.

A cruise line might call that "three days and two nights", but I wouldn't.
Bones Rhodes
01:53 AM on 06/09/2012
---they also conveniently ignore that Jesus claimed he would be in the tomb for 3 days AND 3 nights. Takes some real serious spine breaking contortionism to get that to work from sundown Friday to sun-up ( or pre-sun-up depending on which infallible inerrant account you use ) Sunday.
Freedom and equality.
01:41 PM on 06/08/2012
Saying that Genesis 1 is a different genre from the rest of Genesis does not work. There are many scientific errors in many other chapters of Genesis. For example the flood story is full of errors.
03:57 PM on 06/08/2012
Actually, if you would take the time to read Peter Enns book, The Evolution of Adam, some of those concerns might be alleviated. Genesis 1-11 is what is called the primeval or primordial history, whereas Genesis 12-50 begins the Abrahamic narrative. These two sections are very different types of material.
Freedom and equality.
05:35 PM on 06/08/2012
Genesis 12-50 also has several clear errors, like Abraham coming from Ur of the Chaldees, even though the Chaldees did not control Ur until many centuries later, then Abraham talking to Phoenicians, even though they did not arrive in that land until many centuries later, then Abraham talking to the Pharaoh, even though the Egyptian kings were not called Pharaohs until much later. Or Abraham pursuing enemies up to Dan, even though that town was not named Dan until the tribe of Dan arrived there much later. Genesis implies that the tribe of Dan did not exist yet, it was allegedly named for Jacob's son Dan. And Jacob was allegedly a grandson of Abraham. And he was renamed Israel twice, so how did his name revert to being Jacob? Likewise Luz was renamed Bethel twice, very weird. Good evidence for the theory of multiple authors of Genesis, at least 2 authors.
Politics is weird. And creepy.
08:47 PM on 06/08/2012
Not to mention the rest of the books.

How exactly do you get the Sun to stand still in the sky when it is the 'sky' and not "the Sun" that moves? Wouldn't things fly around a little? What about the other planets and the mathematical intricacies of gravity...did they ALL stop? Why do the 8,000-year-old walls of Jericho show no sign of "tumbling down"?

Turn a few pages, and ask: What's all this about Caesar Augustus and a census? Why didn't the Romans record the numbers or even its existence? Why would you have to go to the hometown of one your dozen-generations removed ancestors to be counted? Why would your pregnant girlfriend from Galilee go to the same town? Why didn't the Bethlehemites go to their ancestors' town? How would a first-century handyman even KNOW who his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was? I certainly don't, and I have the Google!

It's ALL pretty much made up. I can see why a medieval German might convert, or a defeated Aztec, but a 21st-century American. That's hard to understand.
Freedom and equality.
11:50 PM on 06/08/2012
You got good points here about the Bible. But I can see how some Americans can convert to Bible-oriented Christianity, they might not know very much about science and history, and they figure that God would not leave us without some messages, so we can get guidance. So they are told the guidance is the Bible, and so they accept that idea. Of course different churches have different Bibles, Catholics have the Deuterocanonical books, the Eastern Orthodox can't even agree with each other on what books belong in the Bible, the Church of the East has a smaller New Testament than other churches. The Mormons use the KJV but with various notes and some of the notes have Joseph Smith's inspired translation. And a note at the beginning of the Song of Solomon says that book is not inspired. The Community of Christ uses the Joseph Smith's inspired translation rather than the traditional KJV, and the Song of Solomon is simply deleted. Some churches insist the KJV is inspired and so every English word there is inerrant, in contrast to modern translations. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a very extensive canon, with more books in its Bibles than other churches. Jehovah's Witnesses have the traditional 66 books like Protestants, but in a translation guided by angels, and the word Jehovah is common even in the New Testament. So how can a Christian know what Bible books to trust? They just ask their preacher.
01:40 PM on 06/08/2012
this is called convenient re-interpretation. I like the practice, but it inherently rejects that the Bible is the express revelation at Sinai. If God wanted it ti say several billion years he would have said so.
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04:34 PM on 06/08/2012
Of course we reject that, most of the Bible was written after Sinai and talks about events after Sinai.
Always learning
11:14 PM on 06/11/2012
Not to mention the death of Moses, who (under a creationist interpretation) presumably would have written his own death down and known to avoid it...
The world is run by cats; we just feed them.
12:43 PM on 06/08/2012
I am not defending the Bible. It seems to find truths only by accident, but it does talk about six days for the process of creation. If believers can turn the six days into 13.7 billion years, what in the Bible is accurate? There are two quite different creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2. There are four different visitor groups or individuals at Jesus' tomb, and there are four different individuals who greet them. Was the tomb visited only by Mary? Yes, in John, but not in the other three Gospels.
founder walnut tree congregation
12:27 PM on 06/08/2012
To try to read any science at all into the Bible is absurd. There aren't even any data tables, graphs, equations or illustrations in it.
12:21 PM on 06/08/2012
I think, unfortunately, Keener is focused on the wrong part of Genesis, though this is understandable given common rhetoric. Some (though not most) YECs agree with Keener that Genesis 1 is not a literal rendering - but this impacts YEC very little. The debate between the youth vs the age of the earth is actually focused around the interpretation of Genesis 6-9. Was the flood real? Universal? Year-long? If it was a real, year-long, universal flood, then the YEC method of interpreting the majority of the geologic column as coming from Noah's flood is correct. If it wasn't, it is incorrect. Arguing over the literary type of Genesis 1 is missing the boat.
04:10 PM on 06/08/2012
"If it was a real, year-long, universal flood, then the YEC method of interpreting the majority of the geologic column as coming from Noah's flood is correct."

Are you out of your mind?

Hydrologic sorting *could not* create the geologic column. Period. Impossible. There are zero scenarios in which creationist claims that the geologic column is the result of Noah's flood could even hypothetically be called "correct".

When hydrologic sorting occurs it sorts the layers *by density/weight/composition of material*. Heavy dense layers settle to the bottom of the water first and form the lower layers, lighter less dense material on top.

That bears ZERO resemblance to the geologic column. The column is not the result of sorting by any flood and there is no debate to be had on the subject. They can claim there was a global flood at the top of their lungs for as long as they want, it will never ever ever account for the available data. Ever.
06:12 PM on 06/08/2012
Well, first of all, that wasn't the question being discussed. The question is whether the Bible is for YEC or OEC, not the evidence. My primary point was that it is not the text of Genesis 1 that this is determined by, but the text of Genesis 6-9.

Now, as to your issues with YEC geology, I think you misunderstand what flood geologists think happen during the flood. Your description could roughly be called the "giant bathtub" model in which stationary water just sits there until everything precipitates out. I also don't know any YEC geologists who hold to that view. With the waters in motion, with the continents disappearing and reappearing with the moon's orbit, and a variety of other factors, a very different geology emerges. Is it correct? I don't know. But it is not as easily dismissable as its critics contend.

A good book on modern creation geology is Snelling's 2-volume "Earth's Catastrophic Past". For a more general introduction to all parts of YEC thinking, a good introduction is Paul Garner's "The New Creationism".
12:05 PM on 06/08/2012
The article seems to say people over the years have had different interpretions of evolution & religion. Is that a recent relevation? What's the point?
ran away to be a cowboy
11:47 AM on 06/08/2012
But But But But it says so in the Bible, the words are as clear as the nose on your face. 6 DAYS! that's pretty darn clear! none of this "figurative" stuff. Inerrant,clear direct and complete. !

A parody, I guess, perhaps recognizable?

If the "evangelical" stereotype did not have such impact on the lives of those who don;t share that interpretation of the world. It's be easy to ignore. But, until they leave the rest of us alone..... sarcasm, disrespect, and ridicule are fair responses to being called inferior evil and damned.
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is a Bible verse † † †
11:09 AM on 06/08/2012
An excellent article Craig. Sometimes I wonder if it wasn't God's plan to give us just enough science to force us to make a decision, one way or another.

Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
02:47 PM on 06/08/2012
"Sometimes I wonder if it wasn't God's plan to give us just enough science to force us to make a decision, one way or another."

Hm - sounds like your god is Loki the trickster. Why confuse us?
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is a Bible verse † † †
08:39 PM on 06/08/2012
John 8:44
Politics is weird. And creepy.
09:02 PM on 06/08/2012
For real. Take some brand-new people, without even the experience of a two-year old, and tell them "You can touch anything but this...don't touch this thing!!" What do you EXPECT to happen? You can try this at home!

They had never even had the experience of doing something they had been told not to, and being reprimanded or punished. They certainly didn't know what Death was, plus God rigged the game further by not even giving them the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

It wasn't "No, Adam, you must have a time-out and learn to obey Father-God" was one strike and you're OUT!! Eternally doomed!! Toil!! Pain!! Guilt!!!

Death will be the lot of ALL CREATURES FOREVER and it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!

Even Loki wasn't so cruel.
10:50 AM on 06/08/2012
Whether "young earth" belief is "biblical" or not, it is simply not true. Many things in the Bible are not true. Pretending that they are is not "faith" it is contrarianism: Deliberately taking a position counter to the facts to "prove" how special and "holy" you are. It is pride and arrogance, and nothing but.