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How Old Is the World

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Pah, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Source and arcticle with links From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Dating the Biblical Creation
    The Bible begins with the Book of Genesis, in which God creates the world, including the first human, a man named Adam, in a period of six days. Genesis goes on to list many of Adam's descendants, in many cases giving the ages at which they had children and died. By interpreting these ages literally, and adding them up, it is possible to build up a chronology, in which many of the events of the Old Testament are dated to an estimated number of years after the Creation.

    Some scholars have gone further, and have attempted to tie in this Biblical chronology with that of recorded history, thus establishing a date for the Creation in a modern calendar. Since there are periods in the Biblical story where dates are not given, the chronology has been subject to interpretation in many different ways, resulting in a variety of estimates of the date of Creation.

    Two dominant dates for Biblical Creation exist, about 5500 BC and about 4000 BC. These were calculated from the genealogies in two versions of the Bible, with most of the difference arising from two versions of Genesis. The oldest was translated into Greek from the Hebrew Torah during the third century BC as the first book of the Septuagint. It was used by Jews until about 100, then by all Christians until 405, then by the Byzantines until 1453, and is still used by the various Orthodox churches. The newest was due to a revision of the Torah by Jews about 100, which was slightly modified about 900 (though not affected this genealogy), and is still used by all Jews. Jerome translated it into Latin as the first book of the Vulgate in 405, then it was used by all Western Christians, who split into Roman Catholics and Protestants beginning in 1517. Basically, the patriarchs from Adam to the father of Abraham were often 100 years older when they begat their named son in the Septuagint than they were in the Vulgate (Genesis 5, 11). The net difference between the two genealogies was 1436 years (ignoring the "second year after the flood" ambiguity), which is virtually all of the 1500-year difference between 5500 BC and 4000 BC.

    Jewish scholars give two dates for Creation according to the Talmud. They state that the first day of Creation week was either Elul 25, AM 1 or Adar 25, AM 1, almost twelve or six months, respectively, after the modern epoch of the Hebrew calendar. Most prefer Elul 25 whereas a few prefer Adar 25. These place the sixth day of Creation week, when Adam was created, on the first day of the following month, either Tishri or Nisan, the first month of either the civil or biblical year, respectively. In both cases, the epoch of the modern calendar was called the molad tohu or mean new moon of chaos, because it occurred before Creation. This epoch was Tishri 1, AM 1 or October 7, 3761 BCE, the latter being the corresponding tabular date (same daylight period) in the proleptic Julian calendar. Thus the majority place the first day of Creation week on September 25, 3760 BCE, while a minority place it on March 29, 3760 BCE, both in the proleptic Julian calendar.

    According to the Byzantine calendar, the world was created on September 1, 5509 BC

    One of the best known estimates in modern times is that of Bishop James Ussher (1581–1656), who proposed a date of Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC, in the Julian calendar. It is a common belief that he also gave an exact time of Creation, but this is not found in Ussher's work [1] (http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm). Andrew D. White, in his book A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, attributes the following statement to Dr. John Lightfoot (1602–1675), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, who was a contemporary of Ussher, but who published his own calculations before Ussher's were completed:

    "[T]his work took place and man was created by the Trinity on October 23, 4004 B.C., at nine o'clock in the morning."

    Further reading
    Edgar Frank, Talmudic and Rabbinical Chronology (New York, 1956)
    J. Ussher, The Annals of the World iv (1658)

    Date of Creation according to Hindu Scripture
    According to Hindu scripture, the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, existence in four yugas (ages) totalling exactly 4,320,000 years, and dissolution. The current universe is believed to have been created around the 3889th millennium BC and is expected to dissolve during the 431st millennium AD.

    Date of Creation according to the Mayan calendar
    The Mayan calendar dates the creation of the Earth to August 11 or August 13, 3114 BC (establishing that date as first day of the Long Count 0.0.0.0.0).

    Date of Creation according to modern astrophysics
    According to the Big Bang theory, our universe came into being from a gravitational singularity 13.7 ± 0.2 billion years ago. Those who hold to the hybrid theory of creative evolution view this as the beginning of the Creation event. Atheists who hold to the Big Bang theory see this as the moment when the universe originated, but it is not proper to say that they date creation here, for in the atheistic view this is not a creation event, as the word creation implies a creator, but merely a moment at which natural processes brought the universe into being.
     
  2. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    "[T]his work took place and man was created by the Trinity on October 23, 4004 B.C., at nine o'clock in the morning."

    *laughs* You know, I was going to quote the Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaimann version here, but apparently it's not something they made up. How funny :p
     
  3. YawgmothsAvatar

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    Such an awesome book...

    Anyway... I am (obviously) going for the last one. Seems to me like age of the universe is squarely in science's part of the court.
     
  4. Druidus

    Druidus Keeper of the Grove

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    The funny thing is, one bishop just arbitrarily decided that date, and everyone took it to be "set in stone". :sarcastic
     
  5. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    What I want to know is how he got the Nine o'clock in the morning! :D

    wa:do
     
  6. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    It's because God liked to get work done early in the morning while He was feeling fresh...

    Wonderful book, really. I recommend Good Omens to about everyone here.
     
  7. Hirohito18200

    Hirohito18200 Member

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    what timezone would he be in, that of the Garden of Eden, or Byzantium, or what? :)
     
  8. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    1. The first thing to remember is that the Bible is not a science book. Yet, when it does make statements that are of a "scientific" nature, it is correct. That has proven to be the case time and again and regardless of with which branch of science the debate deals. For many centuries now the Bible has proven itself to be a truthful and reliable source of information.

    2. The perceived conflicts between the Bible and science arise primarily when one side or the other of the debate dogmatically adheres to a position that is not supported by the demonstrable facts. In a supposed attempt to uphold the Bible, the “creationists”—mostly allied with fundamentalist Protestants—have insisted that the earth and the universe are less than 10,000 years old. This extreme view has invited the ridicule of geologists, astronomers, and physicists, for it contradicts their findings. Some fundamentalists insist that the creative “days” are literal, restricting earthly creation to a period of 144 hours. This provokes skepticism in scientists, for they feel that this claim conflicts with clear scientific observations. I respectfully submit that it is the fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible—not the Bible itself—that is at odds with science. The Bible does not say that each creative “day” was 24 hours long; indeed, it includes all these ‘days’ in the much longer “day” showing that not all Biblical ‘days’ contained just 24 hours (Genesis 2:4). There is a very strong argument that can be made that these days, at the very least, are thousands of years in length. The idea of “creation” has been given a bad name by creationists and fundamentalists. Their dogmatic teachings on the age of the universe and the length of the creative ‘days’ are in harmony neither with reasonable and true science nor with the Bible. Science also has scientist who have extreme positions that are held to just as “religiously” and that are not supported by the demonstrable facts. In other words, these conflicts arise due to the failings of men rather than from any real failings found within the Bible.

    3. Set aside, just for the moment, the question of time line. And then consider the information presented in the creation accounts recorded in the Bible. Even though they are very brief and simple we are informed of many significant events. And among the sacred writings of the world’s major religions only the Bible relates that God created something out of nothing, this being one of the meanings of the Hebrew word, ba·ra´´, rendered “create”, and some scientists now agree that is what happened. Also, based on demonstrable facts, scientists have now provided us with the order in which life appeared on earth and it is the same order recorded in the Bible over 3500 years ago. There are many scientists who have postulated the steps or significant events that would be required to get from "the beginning point" (again, some scientist now believe that the universe had a beginning point, some even believe that the universe around us demonstrates “design” and “intelligence” and in a form of “creation” but still reject a personal Creator) to an inhabitable earth; those postulations, when boiled down to their most basic elements, are remarkably similar to what we find recorded in Genesis.

    4. Now to the question of time line. On one extreme you find the “six 24-hour days” camp and a time line that goes something like this: 6 days (144 hours) + the amount of time between Adam's creation and today = 6000 years give or take. On the other extreme you find many camps that postulate time lines of many billions of years where our sun, solar system and earth are generally thought to be about half the age of the physical universe (I have read recent estimates for the age of the physical universe ranging from 8 – 20 billion years). Interestingly, the positions taken by the camps on either extreme of this question are based on a misreading and a misinterpretation of the record that requires one to exercise a “religious faith” to be able to accept it. No doubt the truth of the matter will not be found in either of the extremes.

    5. Let me say this to the ‘six days’ camp. The question is not “Could God create everything in six days (144 hours)?” The answer to that question is: yes, absolutely! Followed up by this question, “What took you so long?” For I firmly believe that if God had chosen to do so He could have created everything instantly and in a fully completed and perfectly livable condition. However, the actual question we are dealing with here is “DID God create everything in six days (144 hours)?” Or did He, being the timeless One, feel no “urgency” and therefore worked within the laws of the physical universe that He Himself established and which may have required the passage of some considerable time (more than 144 hours and less than many billions of years)? If God chooses not to directly reveal the answer then it may require us to live long enough to observe the answer firsthand as we exit the ‘seventh day of rest from creative works’ (which we are still within) and again enter into another period (day) when God produces “creative works”.

    6. Let me say this to the “billions of years” camp. Why are there so many different and so widely varied ages given for the earth and the universe if those ages are actually being determined based on a set of demonstrable facts? The obvious answer is that they are not. That puts those “ages” into the realm of theory. And theories must be accepted, not based on demonstrable facts rather, on “belief” or “faith”, isn't that right? Consider this: encyclopedias from around the turn of the last century speak of the ‘scientific estimates’ of the age of the earth and of the time required for ‘evolution’ to do its work as being many millions of years. But now, only a century later, we find that the ‘scientific estimates’ have lengthened by a thousandfold and stretch into the billions of years. Could it be that as men discover how truly complex the universe and the life it contains actually is that more and more time becomes required for their theories to appear believable? I once read a quotation, as best I remember, that was attributed to Louis Pasteur, and the gist of it was that the problem with scientists is that they only get the results they WANT to get. For quite a long time now the vast majority of scientist have been devout atheist/evolutionist. (See #2 above.) Could it be that man does not yet have information accurate enough to be able to come up with the answers? Quite likely. Could it be that one of the major unknowns not accounted for within the scientific calculations is God and his creative activities? No doubt. Now I realize that it is hard to say yes to that last question when you do not even believe in God, therefore, how can you ever hope to find the answer to that question?

    I really got into this and my answer had to be divided in half to be able to post it. I will watch that in the future. There is more good stuff in the second post.
     
  9. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    This is a continuation of my post above. Enjoy!



    7. Now to the question at hand: “How old is the world?” “World” is the usual English term for translating the Greek word ko´smos in most of its occurrences in the Bible. The term “world” can mean (1) humankind as a whole, apart from their moral condition or course of life, (2) the framework of human circumstances into which a person is born and in which he lives (and in this sense it is at times quite similar to the Greek ai·on´), or (3) the mass of mankind apart from God’s approved servants. The King James Version used the word “world” to render not only ko´smos but also three other Greek words in some of its renderings of them (ge; ai·on´; oi·kou·me´ne) and five different Hebrew words (´e´rets; che´dhel; che´ledh; `oh·lam´; te·vel´). This produced a blurring or confused blending of meanings that made it difficult to obtain correct understanding of the scriptures involved and may account for its use in this question instead of terms such as “the earth” or “the universe”. The age of “the universe” or “the earth” is not to be confused with “the founding or foundation (Greek, ka·ta·bo·les´) of the world” that is to say the age of “the world”. From Jesus’ words at Luke 11:48-51, it is evident that Abel was tied to the “foundation of the world”, which has reference to mankind and not to the act of creation of the physical universe. The foundations of the universe and, by extension, of the earth had been laid at a point previous to the “foundation of the world”. In other words, the question I am answering is: How old is the physical universe, the physical creation?

    8. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Neither starting date nor duration (short or long) is specified and yet this simple statement provides us much information. First, God did not use preexistent material when creating the physical heavens and earth. This is made clear by using the term “beginning”, if this material (matter) preexisted or had always existed, it would have been inappropriate to use that term. Combine that with the use of the term “created” (from the Hebrew ba·ra´´) used exclusively with reference to divine creation, and as mentioned above, this term means to bring something or someone into existence or to making something from nothing and the message is unmistakable and clear. Interestingly, after creating the earth, the Bible does state that God formed or made “from the ground” beasts and birds (Genesis 2:19). He also “formed man of dust from the ground” (Genesis 2:7). However, Genesis 1:1 stands by itself and is not included in the events of the “first day” which begins in verse three. Therefore, could the heavens and the earth be billions of years old, as scientists claim? They may very well be. Verse one neither requires nor precludes such. But do not forget that many “scientific” claims are based on the quicksand of “theory” rather than the firm foundation of demonstrable fact. The final result of the “beginning” made at Genesis 1:1 is beneath our feet and over our heads.

    9. Genesis 1:2 as rendered in the GNB – “the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water.” Living Bible – “the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding [Rotherham also uses “brooding”] over the dark vapors.” New Revised Standard with Apocrypha – “the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God {Or [while the spirit of God] or [while a mighty wind]} swept over the face of the waters.” What a beautiful word picture! Remember Moses is only hitting the high points for us, so what is going on here that is noteworthy? Opinions vary widely. But at a minimum we can get a sense that “care” is being exercised and that “work” is being done by the “breath” or “wind” of God (see Genesis 3:8). When Moses comes back in the resurrection we will have to ask him what he thinks this verse is all about. In the mean time, we again find no time references. How much time had past since verse 1 and how long did this interim step or period last? The Bible simply does not specify the time covered. Interestingly, this point/period is referred to by other scriptures such as the first half of Job 38 and Proverbs 8:22-31 and many others besides.

    10. The events of the “first day” begin with the first recorded creative declarative, “Let there be light”. Remember that “the heavens and the earth” already existed when that statement was made. But the creationist would have us believe that light was not created along with the “heavens” but was created at this point. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? To them this is a record of light’s creation as if someone flipped a switch and there was a flash of light. But what does the Bible really say? Verse 2 informed us that the surface of the earth was in “total darkness”. At that early point, something—perhaps a mixture of water vapor, other gases, and volcanic dust—must have prevented sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth (Job 8:9). Then in verse three the Bible describes the first creative period this way: “God proceeded to say, ‘Let there be light’; and gradually light came into existence”—Genesis 1:3, A Distinctive Translation of Genesis by J. W. Watts. Where? Not in the universe as a whole but at the surface of the earth that had been in total darkness. Therefore, the case must be that by the close of day one in verse five we find the earth is in its orbit around the sun (providing the light though not yet visible, that doesn’t happen till day four) and rotating on its axis (producing alternating periods of day and night). The expression “gradually . . . came” accurately reflects a form of the Hebrew verb involved, denoting a progressive action that takes time to complete. This verb form can be found some 40 times in Genesis chapter 1, and it is a key to its proper understanding. What God began in the figurative evening of a creative period, age or epoch, became progressively clear, or apparent, in the morning of that “day.” Also, what was started in one period did not have to be fully completed when the next period began. For we find that light gradually began to appear on the first “day,” yet it was not until the fourth creative period that the sun, moon, and stars could be discerned (Genesis 1:14-19).

    11. Genesis 1:3-5 from CEV reads: God said, "I command light to shine!" And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness and named the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Evening came and then morning--that was the first day. Let’s take a tongue-in-cheek look at the use of the word “day” in the above verses and consider where a truly consistent, strictly literal reading and interpretation will take us: The first use of the term “day” is for the 12-hour period of “light” alternating with the 12-hour period of “darkness” called “night”. Why God himself named that 12-hour period “day”. Therefore, why is it then that when we get to the last word in verse five the term “day” just assigned by God to designate a 12-hour period then suddenly becomes a 24-hour period? And not only that but also this literal 24-hour period begins at evening and ends at morning, a literal 12-hour period? Whoa doggies, am I getting confused or what? Also, that makes it seem that God is a ‘night owl’ who only works at night! Now that makes a lot a sense, doesn’t it? How much more reasonable and sensible it is to accept that “day” can mean something more than just 24 literal hours.

    12. I will stop here because this is already much to long and I have already made my point. You say that you missed it. I am not surprised; I hear that often. Therefore, let me summarize for you. The point was/is that the Bible does not give us a time line that can be followed backwards to arrive at a “date” for the beginning of creation. Any effort to do so is an exercise in speculation. The oldest event that can be directly dated from the Bible record with anything near reasonable accuracy is Adam’s creation. Anything beyond that does not find direct scriptural support but must be arrived at by deduction and inference. One final point, a close reading of Job 38 and Proverbs 8:22-31 will reveal that there were ‘creatures’ present at the time of Genesis 1:1. Therefore, creation actually began even earlier than that.
     
  10. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    Only in the non-scientific sense of the word. In the scientific sense, if it's a theory, it's got a good deal of evidence behind it and has repeatedly withstood test. A real theory would be based very little on faith (besides the faith that people will try to be accurate, the universe is the way it appears to us, etc., etc.) And yes, the dates do vary. There's only so accurate a measurement we can get, and quite honestly, being a few billion years off is reasonable when we're talking this huge an amount of time. These ages are based on facts. Our understanding, interpretation, etc, may change, of course...will change, it seems likely, as new information comes up. But it's not just scientists sitting down together saying, "Well, heck, I like the number 15 billion. Does 15 billion sound good to you? Sounds good to me!"

    Those were scientific estimates, based on the information and understanding available at the time. That has since changed. Could it be that new information has come to light, that's led people to change their estimates? New and better ways to measure and calculate? It seems much more likely than some...I don't know, big scientific conspiracy to fool people to get "proof" for evolution, or whatever. The point of science is not to back up some "theories" you've made. You don't go messing with data to get some result you want. Takes away the whole point.

    Well, of course. Any scientist will tell you we don't know everything. We just make do with what information we have, and try to correct what's false and find what's true. That's what science is, after all.
     
  11. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, you mean like the heliocentric universe theory and the flat earth theory? Did you know that both of those theories came from the bible? Given the fact that they've both been disproven as ridiculous, I would say that your claim of 'truthful and reliable source of information' is in the same category.



    I would be a bit careful here. When scientists are experimenting on something or observing something, they don't care what the final results are, in the respect of them being one thing over another. In truth, it would be career suicide for any scientist to 'create' a claim from nowhere, because new theories are rigorously tested by that scientist's peers.

    I could say the same thing for creationists, and in my opinion it would be much more relevent because a creationist actually has motive to change an experiment's results--they want their results to back up the bible.

    This is why real science is so much more reliable--they aren't trying to prove anything or make anybody happy, they just want to figure out how the world works.



    Hey, I'll admit it. I agree--it could very well be god. Although, from my perspective, it could just as easily be invisible pink unicorns. Way back in the day, cavemen thought that god created lightening. Now, we have knowledge of charged electrons, etc., which scientifically explain the cause of lightening to us. Science certainly does not have all the answers, but that's the beauty of it--it's constantly changing and growing as we learn more. Religion, on the other hand, cannot 'change' with the introduction of new knowledge. Just because we don't know something, doesn't mean it's god at work. It very well could, but following the laws of probability, it is much more probable that it is a natural explanation that we simply haven't discovered yet. We don't know everything, after all. :)
     
  12. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    Please I beg you, show me where the bible says the earth is flat, or that the universe revolves around the earth. The truth is you won't.
     
  13. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    Well, let’s see...apparently, there was water before there was light or anything else, which doesn’t quite fit with the scientific explaination. And then the water moves away and dry land is revealed, which doesn’t seem to fit right (although I’m perfectly happy to be convinced by some good arguments on this point, as I think there might be ways to explain it). And then the sun and stars are created after the Earth (and after plant life), which certainly doesn’t fit. And then there’s the fact that you have sea life and birds *before* any land life, which doesn’t match the order of things (although if you don’t believe in evolution this point won’t matter much). Oh, and it doesn’t rain until after humankind appears, which seems a bit unlikely. So really, I’m not convinced it’s very accurate from a scientific point of view.

    Note: there are actually a couple translations of the first sentence: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” and “When God began to create the heavens and the earth...” (ah, the joys of having no vowels or punctuation in the Torah...makes for lots of interpretations) The second makes more sense to me, as the portion then goes on to describe God creating the heavens and the earth, which is indeed in the whole order of the days thing, you’ll notice, so to say that Genesis 1:1 stands alone doesn’t really work for me, personally.

    All in all, I reckon the whole thing is very cool and poetic and does, indeed, have an important meaning to it, but is not a literal description of what happened according to our understanding of the universe.
     
  14. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    When Jesus was tempted by Satan, they stood on a high place and could see the entire world. Now we know that if it were as round as we have it, you could only see a radius of about 26 miles and the whole world would not be visible.

    The sun was said to have stopped moving across the sky not that the earth stopped spinning

    The earth and its domed firmament is between two sets of waters. the stars are affixed to the firmament.

    -pah-
     
  15. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    standing_on_one_foot, Here is a definition of theory:



    the·o·ry (th¶"…-r¶, thîr"¶) n., pl. the·o·ries. 1.a. Systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, especially a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena. b. Such knowledge or such a system. 2. Abstract reasoning; speculation. 3. A belief that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: rose early, on the theory that morning efforts are best; the modern architectural theory that less is more. 4. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture. [Late Latin the½ria, from Greek, from the½ros, spectator : probably thea, a viewing + -oros, seeing.]



    Not every theory is false. Pythagoras' theory has stood the test of time. But the overwhelmingly vast majority of scientific theories have not. You know as well as I do that it is not an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of scientific theories have been discarded because they simply were flat-out wrong. Let's be generous and say that one out of a hundred theories is correct (I really think is more like one out of a thousand) but either way it's a very poor batting average. And yet scientific devotees still cling to their beloved science just as devoutly as did the followers of Jim Jones. And, just as not everything done in the name of Jesus/Christianity is really Christian so not everything that calls itself science is actual science.



    As I have already stated, if the "ages" were actually based on facts then we would see some consistency. But we do not! Every few years a new theory comes along and we get a new "age", isn't that correct? Your protestations don't change those facts.



    I am not a conspiracy buff, at least where humans are concerned. I agree with you, scientists probably are not maliciously sitting around cooking up all these bad ideas. But someone is!



    As I said earlier: The first thing to remember is that the Bible is not a science book. Yet, when it does make statements that are of a "scientific" nature, it is correct. That has proven to be the case time and again and regardless of with which branch of science the debate deals. For many centuries now the Bible has proven itself to be a truthful and reliable source of information. You yourself admit such is not the case with science.



    Ceridwen018, I don't get to read the Bible nearly as much as I need to and certainly not as much as I would like, so perhaps you can help me out by pointing out the Scriptures that support your claim: "Oh, you mean like the heliocentric universe theory and the flat earth theory? Did you know that both of those theories came from the bible? Given the fact that they've both been disproven as ridiculous, I would say that your claim of 'truthful and reliable source of information' is in the same category." I'm not saying the Scriptures are not there, just that I've never read them.



    As I said earlier: Their dogmatic teachings on the age of the universe and the length of the creative ‘days’ are in harmony neither with reasonable and true science nor with the Bible. Science also has its crackpots, excuse me, scientists who have extreme positions that are held to just as “religiously” and that are not supported by the demonstrable facts. In other words, these conflicts arise due to the failings of men rather than from any real failings found within the Bible. Do not make the mistake of thinking the Bible actually says everything that has been claimed in its name by those who claim to be highly educated in its verses. Just because the Catholic Church may have at onetime claimed such things does not mean that it came from the Bible. To this very day a great deal of what they claim is in the Bible can't actually be found there.



    As for scientists they are no better or no worse than priests and popes at being able to see past their own preconceptions to the truth. At least Louis Pasteur was honest enough to admit it.



    I too have no problem with true science and true religion, but one is just as hard to find as the other.



    Back to standing_on_one_foot.



    You obviously didn't read or at least need to reread what I said. Or the very least explain to me what you're talking about because it didn't come from what I said.



    Genesis 1:1 “stands alone” in the sense that it is not part of “day one” as is claimed by the creationist. It is a complete and full thought that expresses the beginning of the creation process and is not tied to “day one” by timeline, making it impossible to date the universe and the earth based on the Bible.

















     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    HOGCALLER-- Please give a few examples of scientific theories that were flat out wrong. You may want to keep in mind that science itself did not exist until the time of Galileo, and therefore nothing before the development of the heliocentric universe can be called scientific.
     
  17. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    HOGCALLER, I totally agree! I don't see what you're point is though. Why wouldn't I want to put trust in a system that corrects it's errors?



    Why do you think that?


    First of all, I would like it if you could provide at least one example of a scientific statement found within the bible that is accepted as correct in the scientific world today. Nextly, I would like to point out that for what it is--a system of objective analysis of the natural world--science is highly reliable.



    I'll try to find the exact verses on this one, but keep in mind--in the Middle Ages, this is what the Church believed about the world, and they got it all from the bible. They even went so far as to KILL people who went against them.



    Again, be very careful here. This is only one man's opinion, and it is of other people no less.









     
  18. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    A pretty good definition of the scientific use of the word theory can be found at http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Scientific

    The age is based on facts as we understand them now. These change. Science changes. That's rather the point, really. I'm in complete agreement that it changes. I'm not sure I see why you point this out, except to show that there's the possibility that I'm wrong (and I'm quite aware of that by myself, I'm wrong often enough).

    I must admit, though, I'm a bit confused as to how the scientific community is both discarding theories like crazy while at the same time clinging to them...

    Now, this just begs the question of why someone's cooking up this stuff. I mean...why bother? And why do none of the scientists seem to care, moreover, if it's true it's just being made up?

    No, no, I read it. Perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote? Apologies, I'll try to be a bit clearer. My point was that, on the second day the sky is formed, on the third day the Earth is formed, and on the fourth day the various heavenly bodies were formed. I take this to be talking about the creation of the Earth and the heavens (if it's not, I'm curious as to why not). It's my own interpretation that the creation mentioned in Genesis 1:1 is the same being mentioned in the order of the days, and that the Hebrew is such that that interpretation is perfectly possible. It was in fact a pretty minor point, and more something I found interesting than crucial to this discussion.

    And as for the other stuff I was talking about, I was pointing out that the order in which things are created in Genesis does not appear to be the order in which they came into being from a scientific point of view. I think the biggest point is that the Earth and various forms of life come into existence before the sun and stars in the Bible, which seems something of a big contradiction. An explaination, if you would be so kind?
     
  19. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Mr_Spinkles

    The first thing that jumps to mind is ‘Alchemy’. If nothing else, Alchemy highlights the true motive of many men of science. Next I think of “spontaneous generation”. A leading theory in Newton’s day was that the universe was filled with fluid—a cosmic “soup”—and that whirlpools in the fluid made the planets revolve.



    My comments were made based on my many years of reading articles on history that discuss the “advancements in thinking/learning” which is just a nice way of saying that we discard the wrong/mistaken thinking of the past. Absolutely nothing wrong with that other than modern man has a real knack for throwing the baby out with the bath water. I have also read books and magazines that talk about this or that flavor of evolution or physics or cosmology, etc., etc. coming into and then falling out of favor and general acceptance and the debates, sometimes very heated debates, in which one side says very unflattering things about the other side and that seem to always included a denial of the validity/truthfulness of the other side’s viewpoint or a declaration that it is wrong.



    I will have to do some research to provide you with a better and, hopefully, more specific examples. Unlike the writers of the Bible, scientists and their chroniclers cover up and hide their mistakes and historians most often sweep such things under the rug; it will take some real ‘unearthing’.



    I have read several Encyclopedias and other articles about the history of science and none of them start out with Galileo, so neither will I. Nice try though.



    The writing of the Bible was completed 1900 years ago with a large amount of it having been written between 2500 – 3500 years ago. If we make allowances for the errors of scientist because of their ignorance, then in all fairness the same allowances should be allowed for the mistaken interpretations of the Bible, don’t you think? I say it again the problem is not with the Bible but with mistaken interpretations of it. Do you or any other promoter of science (almost always a Bible bashers also) make such allowances? Rarely. Why is that? (Do not misunderstand my comments here. I do not yet know enough about you to call you a ‘Bible basher’ and I had the comments others in mind also. It may be that you, and they, just like to play devil's advocate as do I, sometimes, even thought I am really, or mostly, in agreement with the other party. Time will tell.)



    In the meantime consider this:



    Fraud in Science—It Makes the Headlines
    The image of scientists as invariably dedicated to truth has been tarnished, as these items show.
    “Ethics in Science”
    “A fight is building in the U.S. House of Representatives over fraud, misconduct, and conflict of interest in science.”—Science, July 7, 1989.
    “Do Scientists Cheat?”
    “After the initial inquiry by this [congressional] committee into this subject, the committee has had growing reason to believe that we are only seeing the tip of a very unfortunate, dangerous, and important iceberg.”—NOVA broadcast on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) on October 25, 1988.
    “Two New Studies Ask Why Scientists Cheat”
    “It was an innocent enough question: how do scientists behave when no one is looking? But it has produced an incendiary answer: not too well, reports a paper this month in the British journal Nature.”—Newsweek, February 2, 1987.
    “A Nation of Liars? Scientists Falsify Research”
    “A study published last month accused 47 scientists at the Harvard and Emory University medical schools of producing misleading papers.”—U.S.News & World Report, February 23, 1987.
    “NIH Sees Plagiarism in Vision Paper”
    "Panel says researcher took data from paper he peer-reviewed and used it for his own work; . . . NIH [National Institutes of Health] recommends debarment proceedings.”—Science, July 14, 1989.
    “‘Permissive Behaviour’ Breeds Fraud in the Laboratory”
    “Biomedical scientists in America are performing sloppy and sometimes fraudulent research in an effort to publish more papers and make more money.”—New Scientist, February 25, 1989.
    “Researchers Roll Back the Frontiers of Fraud”
    “Scientific fraud and carelessness among researchers could be widespread, warns a study in last week’s issue of Nature.”—New Scientist, January 22, 1987.
    “Researcher Accused of Plagiarism Resigns”
    “A biochemist accused of plagiarizing a National Academy of Sciences report for a book on nutrition and cancer resigned from his position at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.”—Science, September 4, 1987.
    “Research ‘Fraud’ Puts Poison Into the Ivy League”
    “A prominent Bostonian psychiatrist resigned as head of a mental hospital affiliated to Harvard University, following charges of plagiarism.”—New Scientist, December 10, 1988.
    “The Case of the ‘Misplaced’ Fossils”
    “A prominent Australian scientist has examined two decades of work on ancient Himalayan geology and alleges it may be the greatest paleontological fraud of all time.”—Science, April 21, 1989.
    “Now It’s the Journals’ Turn on the Firing Line”
    “[He was speaking] specifically about how poorly many [science] journals have handled scientific fraud. . . . The same message previously dispatched to other members of the scientific community has now been addressed to the journals: clean up your act or you may find legislators getting into it.”—The AAAS Observer, July 7, 1989.


    “Kickbacks, fraud and misconduct are rife among American medical researchers, according to a scathing critique published by a US Congressional committee this week. The report says that the National Institutes of Health has ‘endangered public health’ by failing to police the scientists it supports.”—New Scientist, September 15, 1990.

    Dr. Thereza Imanishi-Kari and her five coauthors of a paper that “described the indirect insertion of a foreign gene into the immune cells of mice. The authors claimed that the mouse’s natural gene then began to mimic the inserted gene, producing a special antibody.” (Science News, May 11, 1991) This would have been an important step in immune research, except for the fact that it apparently never happened.

    In the early 90’s the American Association for the Advancement of Science sent out surveys on the subject of scientific fraud to 1,500 members. Of the 469 scientists who responded, 27 percent “believe they have encountered or witnessed fabricated, falsified, or plagiarized research over the past 10 years,” according to Science magazine. Only 2 percent believe that fraud is on the decline; 37 percent feel that it is on the rise. Of those who had encountered fraud, 27 percent said they had done nothing about it, and only 2 percent had publicly challenged the data they suspected as phony. As to the causes of all the fraud, the scientists listed many, such as the fierce competition to publish findings first and obtain government grants and public recognition.
     
  20. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Ceridwen 18



    The point is: why put your trust in quicksand?



    Every honest description of science, including your own, tells that there is very little in science that can be called ‘fixed, solid or absolutely trustworthy’, yet so many promote it over what has proved itself to be trustworthy for many centuries. Please remember that I agree with and join you in criticizing those who have misinterpreted and even worse misrepresented the Bible both in word and deed. Should I reject any and everything to do with science because of the mistaken “facts” or “theories” of scientists? Then why should you or anyone else reject any and everything to do with the Bible due to the failings of imperfect men? That is the point!



    This is a quote that I could not fit into my reply to Mr_Spinkles but that applies here also:



    ‘Prejudiced Thinking’

    Scientists who accept the theory of evolution often belittle the intelligence of those who do not. In this regard, Dr. William F. Duerfeldt of Ohio University writes, in the magazine “Hospital Practice,” that people have “been duped into believing that any intelligent person could not seriously consider creation as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution. . . . As an ex-geologist and a physician, I believe I speak with some knowledge when I say that the concept of evolution, both in the geologic development of the earth and in the biologic development of life, is fraught with multiple problems. Many of its precepts are based on very weak or, as yet, unfounded assumptions. Any honest geologist will admit that other concepts, such as the age of geologic strata or the dating of fossils, are frequently the result of ‘circular thinking’ and, as such, have an inherent potential for significant error.” He added: “Science has always prided itself upon its objectivity, but I’m afraid that we scientists are rapidly becoming victims of the prejudiced, closed-minded thinking that we have so long abhorred.”



    You ask: “Why do I think that?” First, please be a little more specific. And, second, the answer to all of the possible things you could be asking there will come from what I read in the Bible. Do you mind if I use the Bible to answer your questions?



    Does The Bible Agree With Science?

    Religion has not always viewed science as its friend. In previous centuries some theologians resisted scientific discoveries when they felt that these endangered their dogmatic, mistaken interpretation of the Bible. But is science really the Bible’s enemy?

    If the Bible writers had endorsed the most widely held ‘scientific’ views of their day, the result would be a book of many glaring scientific inaccuracies. Yet these writers did not promote such unscientific misconceptions. On the contrary, they penned a number of statements that not only are scientifically sound but also directly contradicted the most widely accepted opinions of their day. For example:

    What Is the Shape of the Earth?

    The general view in ancient times was that the earth was flat. The Babylonians, for example, believed that the universe was a box or a chamber with the earth as its floor. Vedic priests of India imagined that the earth was flat and that only one side of it was inhabited.

    As early as the sixth century B.C.E., Greek philosopher Pythagoras theorized that since the moon and the sun are spherical, the earth must also be a sphere. Aristotle (fourth century B.C.E.) later agreed, explaining that lunar eclipses prove the sphericity of the earth as the earth’s shadow on the moon is curved. And yet both of these men held other ideas that could be described as flat out wrong. In just a minute I will show you where reading the Bible would have helped these men correct some of there “wrong” ideas.

    However, the notion of a flat earth (with only its upper side inhabited) did not disappear completely. Some could not accept the logical implication of a round earth—the concept of antipodes. (“Antipodes . . . are two places that are exactly opposite each other on the globe. A straight line between them would pass through the center of the earth. The word antipodes means foot to foot in Greek. Two persons standing at antipodes would be closest together at the soles of their feet.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.) Lactantius, a Christian apologist of the fourth century C.E., ridiculed the very idea. He reasoned: “Is there any one so senseless as to believe that there are men whose footsteps are higher than their heads? . . . that the crops and trees grow downwards? that the rains, and snow, and hail fall upwards?”

    The concept of antipodes posed a dilemma for a few theologians. Certain theories held that if there were antipodeans, they could have no possible connection with known humans either because the sea was too wide to navigate or because an impassable torrid zone surrounded the equator. So where could any antipodeans have come from? Perplexed, some theologians preferred to believe that there could be no antipodeans, or even, as Lactantius argued, that the earth could not be a sphere in the first place!

    Nonetheless, the concept of a spherical earth prevailed, and eventually it was widely accepted. Only with the dawn of the space age in the 20th century, however, has it been possible for humans to travel far enough into space to verify by direct observation that the earth is a globe.

    And where did the Bible stand on this issue? In the eighth century B.C.E., when the prevailing view was that the earth was flat, centuries before Greek philosophers theorized that the earth likely was spherical, and thousands of years before humans saw the earth as a globe from space, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah stated with remarkable simplicity: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word chugh, here translated “circle,” may also be rendered “sphere.” Other Bible translations read, “the globe of the earth” (Douay Version) and “the round earth.” (Moffatt) The Bible writer Isaiah avoided the common myths about the earth. Instead, he penned a statement that was not threatened by the advances of scientific discovery.

    The Bible is not a science book; therefore, the subject was not a ‘scientific’ one. Yet the statement is accurate, even from a “scientific” viewpoint. (Technically speaking, the earth is an oblate spheroid; it is slightly flattened at the poles or bulges at the equator. Additionally, only a spherical object appears as a circle from every point of view. A flat disk would most often appear as an ellipse, not a circle.)
     
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