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Featured Genesis Creation

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by rrobs, Apr 3, 2021.

  1. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    The creation story of Genesis is often used as "proof" that the Bible is false. Of course it is true that the universe is constructed in a way that is not even close to what is said in Genesis. But is it reasonable to think that God should have told the people about atoms, leptons, quarks, space-time continuum, conservation of energy, etc.? Personally, I think it highly unreasonable to think that way.

    The structure of the universe as described in Genesis is much the same as all other ancient Near East concepts of the universe.

    ane_cosmology.jpg

    Looking at this image, it is obvious that it is not an accurate representation of the actual universe. That can not be denied. But, few consider the effect this has on the overall message of the scriptures. That would be none, zero, zip, nada!

    Very few people, and I mean VERY few, even know what the scriptures are about. Just Google, "what is the Bible about" for many different answers. But if one want to really know what it is about, they need read nothing more than the Gospel Luke or John.

    Luke 24:27,

    And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

    John 5:39,

    Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
    The scriptures are about Jesus Christ. They are not meant to be a science book. God's only goal in life after Adam and Eve screwed up was to send a redeemer. He had to convince humans to believe the things He said about the coming Messiah. That was all He cared to communicate. He didn't care if Israel knew and understood the intricacies of cosmology as we know them today. Such knowledge was totally irrelevant to the message He wanted to proclaim.

    Since Israel was surrounded by the other ancient Near East people, there was no reason to complicate the message by introducing our modern concepts of cosmology. It didn't detract from the message one bit to just let Israel think the same way as the rest of the ancient Near East people. There is simply no way they could have understood what we know today. Why gum up the message with irrelevant information that they never could have understood anyway?

    Since God could not really explain the truth of cosmology, and since it didn't matter one whit anyway, He just wisely let them believe what they believed concerning the structure of the universe. It was a moot point.

    To those who insist that Genesis must conform to our modern science, I would issue a challenge to come up with the curriculum that would have "enlightened" the ancient Near East on how the world came to be and the structure of the universe.

    On a related note, lately I've been seeing a lot of scientific news about radically new ideas on how the universe came to be. Old universally accepted ideas of cosmology and cosmogony are being questioned in light of these new observations. Could it be that 3,000 years from now our image of the universe will appear as quaint and gullible to the then modern scientist as that of the ancient Near East appears to the scientists of today?
     
    #1 rrobs, Apr 3, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  2. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Literal reading of Genesis or a great deal
    of the rest of the Bible is not very sensible.

    Once you get into free form "god inspired"
    Infallible reading it says anything you want.

    Super useful book, that.
     
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  3. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    Don't blame God, Israelite Holy men wrote and rewrote the Old Testament books. They wrote in "preacher speak", as if God were speaking. It was for public consumption by the child like mind of Bronze age sheep herders in the wake of the devastating loss of Jerusalem and a second enslavement of the Jewish people in Babylon.

    When they created the creation story they didn't know that the earth was already populated when Adam and Eve incarnate. But the editors left tell tale signs of the older stories. Cain feared people out in the world, in the narrative God even agrees and puts a "mark" on Cain for protection.
     
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  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    This is very much what most mainstream Christian denominations teach regarding the interpretation of Genesis.

    It is allegorical, not literal. Christian scholars since the time of Origen, in about 200AD, have realised this.
     
  5. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Only for those who confuse it with science.
     
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  6. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Why is it not reasonable? The god of the bible is after all said to be omni everything. He would obviously know how to teach quantum mechanics to bronze age people, particularly as it seems they believed everything he is said to have said and done. Such teaching would be simple to such a being would it not?
     
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  7. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

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    Indeed, one can go back even earlier to Philo of Alexandria for that (a Jew in the early first century).
     
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  8. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    So it says anything you want? OK, so what do you want this to say?

    John 11:35,

    Jesus wept.
    I know what the word "Jesus" means and I know what the word "wept means" so to me John 11:35 means that Jesus wept.

    What do you think it means? It'd be interesting to see how this simple assertion can be mangled.
     
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  9. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    Is God really omni everything? I understand that to be the prevailing sentiment among those who haven't bothered to study the scriptures themselves or to go beyond pop-religion, but it is not at all what the book actually says.

    You can find many scriptures that show God does not know everything or that He can do whatever He wants. He does not know exactly how any one individual will behave. He often is shown to not be certain about the outcome of a certain event. He is shown to be disappointed by the outcome of certain events. He is shown to regret His decisions. He is shown to change His mind on many things.

    Have you ever noticed that God gave dominion over the world to humans?

    Gen 1:28,

    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill - the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
    If you don't read anything into this verse, it clearly shows humans are in charge of this earth, not God. God does the best He can to tell people how to best run things. That would be the scriptures, but many stubbornly refuse to accept them. People have done a pretty bad job in fulfilling their God given responsibility. Just look at all the animals we are killing today. Our leadership over them certainly needs a bit of work.
     
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  10. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I'm going to be more generous than you. To me, these stories are teaching stories. I've read a number of them from India where the protagonists are different but the message is a teaching about what honesty means when literal and complete honesty leads to a woman getting raped/murdered.

    So when I look at Genesis, I read it as fully conscious humans are the end product of evolution. And I read it as being fully conscious is especially meaningful.

    I read the apple bit as creatures operating on instinct developing intelligence and developing a morality based on right and wrong. Leaving the garden means a loss of instinctual innocence. And so forth.

    Of course this is my own way of looking at it, but I do find it helpful.

    I can't see any way that humans 3000 years from now won't have a much fuller view of the material universe than we do today.
     
  11. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    You did not ask me but I'll presume to give an opinion.

    The Christ, being fully human and fully divine, cannot help but respond to the suffering he sees. He voluntarily takes on suffering in order to lift the burden, demonstrate what compassion means in action and lead humanity forward.
     
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  12. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    And then when they 'sinned' he caused the Earth to flood; wiped out Sodom & Gomorrah - hardly a full hand over to humans.
     
  13. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Jesus is said to be just like the rest of us (I trust you know the verses that say that. If not I'll get them to you). So of course he was affected by the death of a dear friend.
     
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  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    A few omnis from the scriptures
    1 Corinthians 6:14
    Revelation 21:3
    Hebrews 4:14-16

    And the strawman is ignored
     
  15. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    The scriptures say that Jesus fully revealed God. Can you picture Jesus wiping out entire cities? Not me, so something is going on here for which we need to dig a bit deeper. It's a bit involved, so I won't get into it unless you are really interested in an alternate view. If so let me know, but don't ask unless you have an open mind.
     
  16. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Well JC was much later, in a separate book. But unless you are saying the Old Testament is false, what I said stands.
     
  17. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Christianity has been a pick and choose religion for quite some time. In fact the First Council of Nicaea was the first "official" attempt at that. That was roughly when the Bible as we know it was formed. They picked and chose which books to keep and which ones to reject. The next big change were the splintering of Christianity in what is not called the Reformation. Countless Protestant sects had their birth their. Now all sorts of Christians pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe and which parts to reject. One can believe almost anything and find a Christian sect where God amazingly agrees with you.
     
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  18. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'll bite.

    1Cor 6:14,

    By His - power - God - raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.
    Yes, God raised Jesus from the dead, but how does that say He can do anything He wants? Just because someone can do one thing or another, doesn't mean they can do anything at all they want to do. I can drink water, but that doesn't mean I can fly like a bird.

    Rev 21:3,

    And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place - of God is with - man, and He will dwell with them. - They will be His people, and - God Himself will be with them as their God.
    It's a good verse, but I'm not really seeing how it says God can know and do anything He wants. It just says God will dwell with humans in the new heaven and earth that will set up when Jesus returns as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

    Heb 4:14-16,

    14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son - of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess.

    15 For - we do not have a high priest - who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.

    16 - Let us then approach the throne - of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
    Where's the omniscience, all knowing, all powerful, doing whatever He wants, God here? It's talking about one very specific thing and it's not any of those things.

    Here's just one verse that makes my point:

    Gen 6:6,

    And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.​

    Why, if God can do anything and everything, would He have done something He regretted and grieves His heart? Makes way more sense that the creatures He created with FREE WILL went against His wishes and there was nothing He could do about it. Well, there actually was. That would be Jesus, but it took God 6,000 years to convince some human (Jesus) to actually obey God, not because they were forced to do so by God's "omniscient power," but because that person voluntarily obeyed God's wishes.

    An honest reading of the scriptures will clearly show that God did not have the power to simply wave a magic wand over the earth and make everything like He originally intended in the Garden of Eden. No, He had to work with humans and that is certainly a huge limitation. It might be like herding a million cats across the desert with a million hungry coyotes in hot pursuit! The fact He was able to convince a man like Jesus to willingly obey is a real testament to His true ability.

    BTW, at least with me, it is probably best to avoid the straw man accusation. I immediately get the feeling that nothing more substantial could have been said by the poster. I see the well worn accusation as the actual straw man in the discussion.
     
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  19. rrobs

    rrobs Well-Known Member

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    OK. I'll take that as you being fully convinced of your position. Glad I checked, because I would have wasted a lot of time. I appreciate your honesty.
     
  20. Left Coast

    Left Coast Happy Spring!
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    Question: if you admit that the Genesis account is "not an accurate representation of the actual universe," what convinces you that there was an actual Adam an Eve who "screwed up" and required Jesus to come fix it?
     
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