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Why not deep time?

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  • Why not deep time?

    Apparently, YECs take Genesis 1:3-5 as a description of what God did in the first day of the universe, "day" being literally 24 hours, even though the Sun did not exist then. And so on until the first Sabbath (the seventh day, Genesis 2:2), when God was finished with his work. If that statement is correct, we have an apparently irreconcilable conflict with the findings of modern science, which claims evidence for deep time (billions of years).

    Could that exegesis by YECs be wrong? If so, what is the correct exegesis?


    Is there any argument against regarding Genesis 1:1-2 as a summary (or, if you like, executive summary)?

    One argument against the YEC exegesis is that God is timeless (forever and ever; if you like, out of time). The universe's creation had to occur in an infinitesimal instant. Any planning, any decision for the universe, had to be done in that instant.

    [I think that's enough of a start for now. I may have more argument later.]
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • #2
    FYI, St. Augustine believe in an instantaneous creation which unfolded under Elohim's guidance.

    Originally posted by Article by Alister McGrath;Christianity Today, May 8, 2009
    ...
    Augustine wrestled with Genesis 1–2 throughout his career. There are at least four points in his writings at which he attempts to develop a detailed, systematic account of how these chapters are to be understood. Each is subtly different. Here I shall consider Augustine's The Literal Meaning of Genesis, which was written between 401 and 415. Augustine intended this to be a "literal" commentary (meaning "in the sense intended by the author").

    Augustine draws out the following core themes: God brought everything into existence in a single moment of creation. Yet the created order is not static. God endowed it with the capacity to develop. Augustine uses the image of a dormant seed to help his readers grasp this point. God creates seeds, which will grow and develop at the right time. Using more technical language, Augustine asks his readers to think of the created order as containing divinely embedded causalities that emerge or evolve at a later stage. Yet Augustine has no time for any notion of random or arbitrary changes within creation. The development of God's creation is always subject to God's sovereign providence. The God who planted the seeds at the moment of creation also governs and directs the time and place of their growth.

    ...
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/may/22.39.html?paging=off

    K54

    Comment


    • #3
      The natural reading from Genesis 1:5 and on, when Genesis 1 is taken in isolation, shows solar days. Genesis 2:4 throws a spanner in the works: all of creation is said to occur in one day, which allows that the day of chapter 1 might be an era rather than a solar day. However, that is still quite a reach.
      The structure of the two chapters allows for two basic processes,
      a: two very rough accounts with neither being intended to be interpreted as particularly accurate
      b: one account, organised very much in the way that a recipe is laid out. First the ingredients, then the method.

      The account "let there be light and there was light" and the corresponding statements, can be interpreted two ways - light immediately came into being, or, light in due course came into being.

      If b is the proper explanation.
      A decision being made and the sequence set in motion that would, in due course, result in the desired outcomes. To use an analogy, setting up dominoes in a train that will ultimately trip a light switch. Tip the first in the chain, and let the plan follow its course. Taking this as an acceptable interpretation, even life itself would develop in accordance with the plan - and the development of each species would be one of the dominoes falling at the proper time. There is a lot of leeway available in the "let there be" statement. In this system, day 1: set up the physical rules for light to become possible. day 2: set up the rules for light light propagation. and so on down the line.
      The additional factor, that Genesis 2 shows the immediate acts of creation occurring in Eden (aka Paradise), and not on Earth, needs to be taken into consideration. What is happening in the observable universe is not mentioned anywhere in the Genesis 2 account. The creation of Adam creates no real difficulty, and doesn't preclude man from developing independently on Earth. There are difficulties arising from this scenario, but nothing insurmountable.

      EDIT
      In short - Augustine's concept (as indicated by Klaus54) would be essentially correct.
      Last edited by tabibito; 07-25-2014, 09:44 PM.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tabibito View Post
        Genesis 2:4 throws a spanner in the works: all of creation is said to occur in one day
        I don't see it that way.

        __________________________

        God is not only timeless, it is unchanging, at least from a human perspective. However, he does make provision at the moment of creation, including Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, which both do change, being parts of the universe's past, present and future.
        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

        [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
          I don't see it that way.

          __________________________

          God is not only timeless, it is unchanging, at least from a human perspective. However, he does make provision at the moment of creation, including Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, which both do change, being parts of the universe's past, present and future.
          I confess I don't see the endless fascination with finding ways to interpret this or any other creation myth to try to square it with modern understandings. There are at least thousands of creation myths, every culture seems to have had one, and all of them might be profoundly meaningful within the culture that confected them, but I know of no other myths that are subjected to these sorts of contortions to try to make them scientific - which none of them were ever intended to be in the first place.

          Genesis is important within the ancient Hebrew culture because it explained where we came from, it exalted the Hebrew god, it created a context (original sin) which tied moral obedience to that god (or at least the middleman priesthood), and it help to unify the Good Guy Tribes against the Bad Guy Tribes. I'm sure any sociologist could do much better. But trying to force-fit a tale of social utility into any modern understanding of cosmology seems confused and misguided.

          Why do this? What is to be gained? I get this strange image of a group of learned theologians proposing that Aesop's convention of mice (deciding to bell the cat) were real mice, except that maybe mice were more articulate in those days, and we see whole groups of mice together, so maybe those are actually mouse conventions, and mice DO make sounds, which could conceivably be a language not yet translated, etc. etc. etc. Meanwhile, the entire point of the fable is lost amidst a misguided effort to take it literally.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm sure any sociologist could do much better. But trying to force-fit a tale of social utility into any modern understanding of cosmology seems confused and misguided.
            I'm inclined to agree. Whether or not Genesis is wholly a fable or somewhat accurate or points between doesn't have any real impact on anything. However, people do make an issue of it, and that is the part needing to be addressed. However, this news about Augustine (early 5th century) is interesting. He certainly didn't have any "modern understanding of cosmology" to force fit Genesis into. As for me, my interest was in trying to work out how far wide of modern cosmology the text really is. In the event, Genesis 1 and 2 pose far less difficulty than does the account of the flood.
            sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a nice website on the issue of Genesis one

              And here is another article by the same author on a similar tangent.
              -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
              Sir James Jeans

              -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
              Sir Isaac Newton

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                Apparently, YECs take Genesis 1:3-5 as a description of what God did in the first day of the universe, "day" being literally 24 hours, even though the Sun did not exist then. And so on until the first Sabbath (the seventh day, Genesis 2:2), when God was finished with his work. If that statement is correct, we have an apparently irreconcilable conflict with the findings of modern science, which claims evidence for deep time (billions of years).

                Could that exegesis by YECs be wrong? If so, what is the correct exegesis?


                Is there any argument against regarding Genesis 1:1-2 as a summary (or, if you like, executive summary)?

                One argument against the YEC exegesis is that God is timeless (forever and ever; if you like, out of time). The universe's creation had to occur in an infinitesimal instant. Any planning, any decision for the universe, had to be done in that instant.

                [I think that's enough of a start for now. I may have more argument later.]
                I've provided hundreds of details over the last ten-plus years, so I'll just summarize:

                Why not deep time? Simple: there cannot (cannot!) be deep time when we integrate three things: (1) the direct meaning of the narrative in Genesis; (2) the other Books of Scripture and; (3) the theological implications to Christianity if millions/billions of years (with its associated 'Evolution') actually did occur. When this integration is done in an honest manner, deep time becomes an impossibility if orthodox Christianity is to be retained. When this integration is not done properly or honestly, the result is a version of "Christianity" which is anything but orthodox and is often a different 'gospel' than that given by Christ. In spite of the desires/attempts of many, they cannot have it both ways.

                That's it - it really is that simple. The rest are the details.

                Jorge

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                  I've provided hundreds of details over the last ten-plus years, so I'll just summarize:

                  Why not deep time? Simple: there cannot (cannot!) be deep time when we integrate three things: (1) the direct meaning of the narrative in Genesis; (2) the other Books of Scripture and; (3) the theological implications to Christianity if millions/billions of years (with its associated 'Evolution') actually did occur. When this integration is done in an honest manner, deep time becomes an impossibility if orthodox Christianity is to be retained. When this integration is not done properly or honestly, the result is a version of "Christianity" which is anything but orthodox and is often a different 'gospel' than that given by Christ. In spite of the desires/attempts of many, they cannot have it both ways.

                  That's it - it really is that simple. The rest are the details.

                  Jorge
                  Jorge admits yet again that he has no scientific reasons to doubt deep time, only his personal interpretations of religious writings.

                  Keep that in mind the next time he starts yapping about how his "creation science" shows a <10K year old Earth.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                    When this integration is done in an honest manner, deep time becomes an impossibility if orthodox Christianity is to be retained.
                    Therefore either deep time or orthodox Christianity should be discarded.
                    When this integration is not done properly or honestly, the result is a version of "Christianity" which is anything but orthodox and is often a different 'gospel' than that given by Christ.
                    That's what you get by doing the integration in an honest manner and choosing to discard orthodox Christianity. The result of doing the integration improperly or dishonestly would be retaining deep time and orthodox Christianity.

                    Roy
                    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

                    mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

                    Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
                    Mountain Man: this is how liberals argue these days, with labels instead of ideas.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                      Jorge admits yet again that he has no scientific reasons to doubt deep time, only his personal interpretations of religious writings.

                      Keep that in mind the next time he starts yapping about how his "creation science" shows a <10K year old Earth.
                      Why is it that you insist on speaking of things of which you are utterly clueless?
                      Why, also, do you distort what other people say?

                      You are without any doubt THE most intellectually dishonest person that I have ever 'met' online.
                      In case you're wondering, that's not a distinction to be proud of.
                      Your only consolation is that others are actively seeking to strip you of that title.

                      Jorge

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roy View Post
                        Therefore either deep time or orthodox Christianity should be discarded.That's what you get by doing the integration in an honest manner and choosing to discard orthodox Christianity. The result of doing the integration improperly or dishonestly would be retaining deep time and orthodox Christianity.

                        Roy
                        If all else is excluded then (and only then) you would have an argument. Here's the problem you face: honesty compels us to include what some would arbitrarily exclude in order to fulfill an agenda.

                        What are those things that need to be included? For starters try historically-recorded events including eyewitness testimony. If that isn't enough then consider also the many verifiable scientific observations and logical deductions that support orthodox Biblical Creationism while opposing Materialism and all other religions.

                        When the entire picture is included -- not just the parts of the picture that people wish to include while trashing the rest -- it's orthodox Biblical Christianity hands down every day and twice on Sundays.

                        Pay the lady a buck and do try again, Roy.

                        Jorge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                          I've provided hundreds of details over the last ten-plus years, so I'll just summarize:

                          Why not deep time? Simple: there cannot (cannot!) be deep time when we integrate three things: (1) the direct meaning of the narrative in Genesis; (2) the other Books of Scripture and; (3) the theological implications to Christianity if millions/billions of years (with its associated 'Evolution') actually did occur. When this integration is done in an honest manner, deep time becomes an impossibility if orthodox Christianity is to be retained. When this integration is not done properly or honestly, the result is a version of "Christianity" which is anything but orthodox and is often a different 'gospel' than that given by Christ. In spite of the desires/attempts of many, they cannot have it both ways.

                          That's it - it really is that simple. The rest are the details.

                          Jorge
                          I've been trying to get you to barf this up for several months now, and all I've gotten is avoidance and insults.

                          What's the plain, simple, straightforward, obvious, direct "reading" (note to be polite [lol] I avoided the interpretation word) for the first Genesis story that is SO clear that it obviates all of modern science.

                          Are you ready now?

                          K54

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                            Why is it that you insist on speaking of things of which you are utterly clueless?
                            Why, also, do you distort what other people say?

                            You are without any doubt THE most intellectually dishonest person that I have ever 'met' online.
                            In case you're wondering, that's not a distinction to be proud of.
                            Your only consolation is that others are actively seeking to strip you of that title.

                            Jorge
                            He's NOT utterly clueless - you are. You dispose of the tremendous body of evidence for Deep Time and History, while avoiding explaining the specifics of the first Genesis story -- which BTW is the ONLY reason you reject obvious truth.

                            Gates of Heaven Open --> Truth Seekers --> Jorge --> Door snaps shut in light of reason.

                            BTW, your YEC "apologist" shtick is boring and worthless and way past potential usefulness for reasonable people.

                            K54

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                              Here is a nice website on the issue of Genesis one

                              And here is another article by the same author on a similar tangent.
                              1) These interpretations are not unique.

                              2) They don't take into account the ANE culture's understanding of the Cosmos -- which is VASTLY different from ours.

                              3) They contradict what creation itself tell us.

                              4) They don't take into account various ideas about the purpose of the stories.

                              K54

                              Comment

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