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Does science support Genisis, chapter one

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posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 12:40 PM
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Which is why I agree with Dawkins that NOMA is a load of bull. The idea that science and religion are separate 'magisteria' is a one way street - science should not invalidate religious claims, but religious claims shall be validated by science (as you are attempting to do).

No that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm simply pointing out that belief in one doesn't preclude belief in the other. Science doesn't validate religion, and I'm not saying that science proves Genesis is true. IOW, I'm not using science to validate Genesis, I'm saying that a belief in the Bible and a belief in science are not mutually exclusive.


We see this all the time with prayer studies,

Prayer studies are not science in that they reveal nothing of mechanism, they're a pseudoscientific waste of.... someone's money.


the recent speaking in tongues imaging experiment,

An interesting example indeed. I wouldn't say they support religion though. No scripture makes predictions re: what brain imaging results of people speaking in tongues would look like. So it doesn't support anything 'religious' per se.


and when the big-bang theory was developed.

I would imagine an argument could be made either way, but I do know that the scientific community reacted by scoffing at the idea for implying the universe had a beginning, and the associated philosophical implications, hence Hoyle's derisive but catchy description of the idea, but I don't think that Pope rejoiced when the original papers were published.


If we find positive evidence of religious claims, NOMA will fall faster than Paris Hilton's draws.

That's just it, science doesn't validate religious claims. Simply finding a city destroyed by some catastrophe in the proximity of where the Bible says Sodom and Gommorah should be doesn't make it one of those cities.


I generally see myself as more agnostic rather than atheist, probably agnostic-atheist (or weak atheist). I'm an atheist for the biblical god though.

Gotcha... I used to be there myself... I was an atheist for most of my life... I was agnostic for some time before coming to my current set of beliefs... which I would describe as Theistic and Biblically based... Christian I suppose, but I don't get along with many 'Christians' so I hesitate to attach that label to myself. In any case... I must admit that it was science that led me to my agnosticism, but more.... like philosophy, logic, and theology, that brought me to my current beliefs.




posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 01:48 PM
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Hmmm, well I'm confused now.

Your earlier posts seemed to be attempting to get that square peg (genesis 1) into the round hole of scientific evidence. I understand it is about interpretation, but words have got to mean something sometimes.

As for the imaging and prayer studies. They are generally undertaken by people with a religious angle in an attempt to validate their beliefs. The imaging one was an interesting example. Speaking in tongues is apparently mentioned in the bible numerous times and is a part of some christian denominations (pentecostals/charismatics).

The study was undertaken by a scientist who follows one of these versions of christianity and she even took part in the experiment. Other people capable of this phenomena were also tested. They found certian neural activity that they have interpreted as showing that speaking in tongues is not under conscious cognitive control. It has now morphed in the non-science arena to show how god controls this phenomena. In fact, the evidence shows something rather uninteresting but with a lot of spin away from actual science journals, it has become a validation of this supposed 'god-given' gift. Imaging is almost the new phrenology.

As I said to someone on here about the study, it says nothing about the involvement of the supernatural, just that babbling nonsense has a different neural correlate than speaking/singing meaningful language.

For the big bang, any new scientific theory that questions the existing paradigm is going to get a hard time, especially when it was being pushed in religious circles without good supporting evidence. It was first proposed by a catholic preist (Lemaitre) and readily accepted by many theists, including pope Pius XII (he thought it 'proved' the existence of god, he still had issues with ToE though), before there was well-established scientific acceptance - I doubt the pope had enough understanding of Einstein's theory to understand the derivation of the supporting maths. Eventually with scientific evidence, it became widely accepted within science.

I doubt we'll see the catholic church throwing its weight behind Turok and Steinhardt's cyclic model or Lee Strobel's ideas.

[edit on 9-12-2006 by melatonin]



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin
Hmmm, well I'm confused now.

Your earlier posts seemed to be attempting to get that square peg (genesis 1) into the round hole of scientific evidence. I understand it is about interpretation, but words have got to mean something sometimes.

No... only that a belief in the Biblical God is not incompatible with modern knowledge... for two reasons, firstly because, the Bible isn't meant to be a scientific history of the Earth, it's the History of YHWH's interaction with humanity. Further there is nothing, IMO, in the Bible that precludes a belief in scientific finding. I threw out some specifics to better illustrate my point.


As for the imaging and prayer studies. They are generally undertaken by people with a religious angle in an attempt to validate their beliefs.

And therein lies the difficulty. Scientific undertakings meant to validate religious beliefs are oxymoronic and doomed to failure.


The imaging one was an interesting example. Speaking in tongues is apparently mentioned in the bible numerous times and is a part of some christian denominations (pentecostals/charismatics).

Perhaps, but the Bible makes no predictions with respect to this issue. That is the Bible doesn't say anything that can be tested about speaking in tongues. That the people speaking in tongues utilize a different portion of the brain than do people speaking is an interesting result, but shouldn't lead to the supposition that one's religion is true.

Lots of other relevant studies that show similar phenomenon are documented. For example it has been shown that Ramtha aka JZ Knight exhibits abnormal brain activity patterns when channeling, but it's doubtful that those same Christians in the SIT tongues study would accept this as evidence that JZ is actually channeling Ramtha.


The study was undertaken by a scientist who follows one of these versions of christianity and she even took part in the experiment. Other people capable of this phenomena were also tested. They found certian neural activity that they have interpreted as showing that speaking in tongues is not under conscious cognitive control.

I am familiar with the study.



It has now morphed in the non-science arena to show how god controls this phenomena. In fact, the evidence shows something rather uninteresting but with a lot of spin away from actual science journals, it has become a validation of this supposed 'god-given' gift. Imaging is almost the new phrenology.

But that's just the point, saying it's God controlling it is entirely untestable. It could in fact be Satan, Zeus, Bhuda, or Richard Dawkins, the point is it's untestable, and in fact the most parsimonious assumption is that since one isn't speaking in any known language, it's not controlled by that part of the brain.



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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Yes, relating to that last point. Just because the physical body is out of control / in the control of another doesn't mean it's in God's control. It could be a demon. I'm not saying that it is, but there's a lot of possibilities.



posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Well, I have no issue with the idea that belief in deities is not conflciting with science. But if these faiths make specific real-world claims, then science can answer, and it generally does so to the detriment of faith. Thus, any attempt to reconcile Genesis with real-world evidence is doomed - literal and logical gymnastics just look silly.

As for the speaking in tongues experiment, risking going off-topic again, I guess you'd be interested it what one the researchers in Newberg's lab has to say on one of the neuro blogs I frequent...


You’ll find a complete description of the speaking in tongues study in Newberg’s new book "Why We Believe What We Believe," Since I’m one of the authors of the study, let me add some notes to this intriguing discussion. First, speaking in tongues is essentially an altered state of consciousness in which the person deliberately changes the overall neural functioning of his or her brain. Chanting, drumming, and shamanic trance states probably would show similar brain states, with decreases in frontal lobes and unusual changes in other areas. Interestingly, in Newberg's other brainscan studies, nuns praying and Buddhists meditating had similar altered brain patterns to each other, but were almost the opposite of the Pentecostals, who never lost sense of themselves and thus do not feel "at one" with the universe or God. Instead they stay present, in dialogue with the Holy Spirit. Is God just an imaginative construct in the brain? Obviously yes (even if God does exist, the brain has to conceive of God to experience it). But what is most interesting about intense meditations is that they can permanently change the neural structure of the brain. All of Newberg's subjects, including the nuns, Buddhists, and one atheist who attempted to pray to God (see the book, "Why We Believe What We Believe" for a full description of all of these studies) had assymetric activity in the thalamus when they weren't even meditating. The longer you focus on any concept, other parts of the brain will respond as if that idea was objectively real. Focus on peace, you become more peaceful; focus on your anger, and your anger will feel justified and real. If you believe in God, God eventually becomes real. So be careful about what you believe!

neurocritic.blogspot.com...

There are issues with SPECT experiments, they are pretty low resolution, nowhere near as useful as fMRI and they tend to show different results. I would take SPECT with a pinch of salt.

But, in my opinion, the results are not that interesting at all. All they say are that babbling nonsense does not require conscious control. I think an additional control group should have been babbling nonsense without the trance state - maybe they could have got Dembski to talk about CSI or something...



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin

I doubt we'll see the catholic church throwing its weight behind Turok and Steinhardt's cyclic model or Lee Strobel's ideas.


Bad mistake, that should be Lee Smolin, Strobel is a chrisitian apologist...



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 01:13 PM
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even the bible doesn't support genesis chapter 1
why do i say this?
just read genesis chapter 2, it's 1 more story of creation

so here we have 2 conflicting views on the story of creation within the same relgious text



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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Also, it's not a good argument to say that scientific research by Christians is skewed because they're attempting to validate their claims. The same is true for anyone that makes a hypothesis about anything. You can't say that a scientist who wholeheartedly believes in the theory of human evolution would go about research on the subject without a bias in his or her own favor.

Everyone naturally wants to find things that support what they believe.



EDIT: What are you talking about? Genesis 2 fully supports Genesis 1. It provides some different details but nothing is conflictual.

[edit on 12/11/2006 by southern_cross3]



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by southern_cross3
Also, it's not a good argument to say that scientific research by Christians is skewed because they're attempting to validate their claims.


I don't think I said the research was skewed...

Anyway, such research is not always motivated by pre-existing theistic beliefs but the Templeton foundation has a finger in many of these pies.

Any research should be assessed on its merits, whether it be normal agency funded or even a tobacco company funded grant.



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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It's likely that this passage refers to removal of some other superficial atmospheric phenomenon that was contributing to the opacity of the atmosphere and obscuring the visible form of both the sun and moon.


If man was not on earth in those days who would be there to see the sun and moon from the earth?

It seems to me your are trying to insert opinions to account for the inconsistencies in the genesis storey.


[edit on 11-12-2006 by etshrtslr]



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by southern_cross3
What are you talking about? Genesis 2 fully supports Genesis 1. It provides some different details but nothing is conflictual.

[edit on 12/11/2006 by southern_cross3]


ok, here are the 2 main contradictions between the creation accounts

contradiction #1
genesis 1: animals come first, then humans
genesis 2: people come first, then animals

contradiction #2
genesis 1: man and woman created simultaneously
genesis 2: man created, then animals, THEN woman



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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Originally posted by southern_cross3
Also, it's not a good argument to say that scientific research by Christians is skewed because they're attempting to validate their claims. The same is true for anyone that makes a hypothesis about anything. You can't say that a scientist who wholeheartedly believes in the theory of human evolution would go about research on the subject without a bias in his or her own favor.


in reference to this

christians trying to confirm their beliefs with science don't start with a hypothesis
they start with a conclusion and claim it is their hypothesis

why do i say this?
because they aren't willing to have science contradict their beliefs

in real science, the hypothesis doesn't always match the conclusion
when christians try to confirm their beliefs scientifically the hypothesis and conclusion always match



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
even the bible doesn't support genesis chapter 1
why do i say this?
just read genesis chapter 2, it's 1 more story of creation

so here we have 2 conflicting views on the story of creation within the same relgious text

Genesis 1 and 2 are in fact not in conflict. They're different stories altogether. Genesis 1 refers to the creation of the Earth, cosmos, and all life on Earth. Genesis 2 is a different account, and begins with God planting a Garden in a place called Eden, the location of which is described in the text following this. Three other names are mentioned along with four rivers (Genesis 10-14). In addition to Eden the second name provided is Havilah, a place believed to be near the Caspian Sea. The next is Cush, thought to be in Southern Egypt or Ethiopia. Finally Assyria is mentioned, and is believed to comprise modern Iraq and Iran. Of the four rivers described in the text, only two are known and identifiable - the Tigris and Euphrates. Indeed the events of Genesis 2 occur in Eden, which based on the descriptions in the Bible is located within the Mesopotamian flood plain.

Genesis continues with descriptions of creation events, placing Adam in the garden to cultivate it. God then brought Adam the animals He had already created for him to name. No suitable companion was not found for Adam, hence God created Eve. The narrative concludes with the initiation of the first marriage. Genesis 2 isn't a conflicting account of Creation relative to Genesis 1. Genesis 2 is simply an elaboration of the events that occurred at the end of the sixth creation day when God created humans. Genesis 1 provides scant detail about the creation of human beings simply stating that humans were created in the image of God. Given that the Bible is a text dedicated to the relationship between humans and God, the description of Man's Creation described in Genesis 1 seems pathetically lacking in detail. Genesis 2 simply further develops the account of mankind's creation at the end of the 'sixth day.'



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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Sorry double post. Please delete

[edit on 11-12-2006 by kallikak]



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by etshrtslr
If man was not on earth in those days who would be there to see the sun and moon from the earth?

How is this even relevant? The sun and moon exist irrespective of whether or not man was here to see them. They existed for billions of years before man, what's your point?


It seems to me your are trying to insert opinions to account for the inconsistencies in the genesis storey.

No. The Bible clearly states that the Earth was shrouded in clouds when it was created, as I've clearly indicated above with the quote from Job. It's not an opinion, it's information contained in the World's number one bestseller. Pick it up and read it for yourself.



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 09:29 PM
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According to G.H. Pember in his book entitled Earth's Earliest Ages, Genesis 1:1 is the ENTIRE account of creation. "In the beginning YHWH created the heavens and the earth." It doesn't say how long or in what way-just that He did it. Genesis 1:2 states "and the earth was void and without form..." The word "was" is also translated "became". The earth BECAME void and without form. Whatever happened to the earth after it was created caused it to become void and without form, and the so-called "creation account" (first day, this, second day, that, etc.) is more a story of restoration, not creation.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 10:07 AM
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kallikak,

I guess you missed my point.

You stated the earth was covered in clouds and obscured the light and resulted in the sun and moon not being visible from earth.

If no one was on earth to see the sun and the moon why does the bible give an explanation as to why the sun and the moon could not be seen from earth?

And yes I have read the bible every day for ten years. It just got to the point where I could not ignore all the inconsistencies, contradictions and hypocrocies anymore.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by etshrtslr
kallikak,

I guess you missed my point.

You stated the earth was covered in clouds and obscured the light and resulted in the sun and moon not being visible from earth.

If no one was on earth to see the sun and the moon why does the bible give an explanation as to why the sun and the moon could not be seen from earth?

Why? Who knows. The point is that it is there. Maybe it was put there specifically to further elaborate on the Creation story. But since I didn't write the Bible, I can't really say why it's there. I can only point out that it is.


And yes I have read the bible every day for ten years. It just got to the point where I could not ignore all the inconsistencies, contradictions and hypocrocies anymore.






posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by kallikak
Genesis 1:1 clearly states the Heavens and Earth were created before the first day. That is the sun and Earth were already in existence prior to the first day.

Just because 'the heavens' exist as a realm does not mean that the sun, as an object within that realm, exists. Also, the very idea that ther eare a 'heavens', seperate from an 'earth', when in fact the earth is just one other thing within the 'heavens', ie, the universe, demonstrates that the writers of genesis had no idea about the world around them.


The English text is "let the earth bring forth," how does this imply a separate creation event,

Because its saying god create fish, THEN land animals, etc etc.


from my reading, it doesn't

And thats the problem, its a text that is open to all sorts of interpretations. It has no 'real' or 'objective' meaning, and thus we can't look at is as a chronological account of the formation of the universe and how it works. Its not a science book, its a religious book.


The scientific method may lead us closer to truth, but science does not have a monopoly on truth and isn't the only source of truth.

It is the only way we can rationally distinguish between competing ideas about what is 'the truth'. The faithful can beleive that their religion is 'the truth', but they have no way of knowing it or demonstrating it. Indeed, their 'faith' isn't just unverifiable, its utterly useless, you can't use 'faith' to split the atom or make an airplane fly, despite the fact that peopel on the plane are certainly praying that it flys.


Furthermore, there's nothing saying that science is correct.

Except for a rational consideration of the evidence, sure.

Theories change.

And faith changes. At least theories change based on rational examinations of the evidence, and can be put to use. Faith, on the other hand, changes for utterly irrational reasons.


However, Gen1 doesn't necessarily contradict science as many would have us believe.

Genesis can be interpreted as refering to our actual scientific understanding of the world, sure. But what you can't do is look at genesis only, and then having anything like the scientific understanding of the universe. THe only reason we think we see the scientific events in genesis, is because science has made us aware of them and because we back-project them into genesis.





The problem here of course is that there is no mention of a cloud or anything covering earth, and blocking sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth.

Wrong. Sure Genesis Ch1 doesn't say this, but you're not considering the Bible as a coherent whole.
Since it wasn't a whole when genesis was written, it wouldn't make much sense to consider it as such. As far as being coherent, the cosmogenic beleifs of bronze age goat herders are rarely coherent.


The idea that Earth was covered in thick clouds is supported both

scientifically, and biblically

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding... Or who enclosed the sea with doors, When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; when I made a cloud its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band Job 38:4-9


Are we also supposed to beleive then that god and satan were hanging out in heaven and afflicted job with boils, massacered his family, and destroyed his home? As literal, actual, real world events? Or as parables and stories of faith???


The Bible in fact quite explicitly states this.

There is no where where it says 'after the formation of earth from the initial accretionary disc, I created thick clouds over the earth, for no particular reason'.


Because light is obscured from my vantage point doesn't make light not exist.

The problem is, you are adding this idea of a light obscuring cover of clouds, that god had to remove before all the plants in the world could grow, and that he didn't mention at all in that context.


No, not a detailed description as you've provided, but plate tectonics and a hydrologic cycle would make things more orderly, undeniably.

The fact that it occurs in reality hardly means that the bible is talking about it.
You can't look at the bible, on its own, and then say 'ahah! The earth is divided into a crust, mantle, and core, with the crust being composed of disjointed plates, each of which move about its surface, creating mountains and trenches when colliding or rifts and ridges where seperating'. We can look back and sortof kindof interpret things as 'really' referencing these things that science has discovered for us. BUt whats the point? We could re-interpret any religious text as such, or even re-interpret children's fairy tales as such. Its meaningless.


I think you'd realize that Bible wasn't written in English

Of course I am. I'd think that you'd realize that the bible isn't a scientific text. That its a text that can only be subjectively interpreted.

In the context of 'bearing fruit or seed' to interpret yom as a 24 hour period is foolish.

Why? Its foolish to interpret as saying that god took peices of dust, molded into a man-shape, and then blew on it to magically bring it to life.
Its a poetic text, not a literal one. They that on one day the plants came forth. This, of course, shoudln't be taken literally. It doesn't do any better to say that 'day' simply means 'a period of time' and then say 'see, its jiving with science, plants would come into existence, over a period of time'. While true, its not saying much.

It doesn't say he created them de novo it simply refers to the fact that the lights are now visible and capable of providing information about seasons and years

When god creates the heavenly bodies, its saying they were created ex nihilo
. He made them, where before they hadn't existed at all. He created light first, illuminating the abyss, later, he creates the luminaries.

To interpret Genesis otherwise appears to be an attempt to discredit it for personal reasons.

I didn't say that they thought that light didn't come from the sun. Not all light comes from the sun, clearly. They recognized that light was seperate from any one individual source. They thought light was important, and felt that it was the first thing that god brought into existence. After all, what can really 'exist' in an absolutely dark, completely formless, utterly cold and chaotic 'void'? God creates light, through his will, and it illuminates the world and begins to bring it into being. They are not saying that 'approximately 12 billion years agoas the universe came into being, there was an Inflationary episode associated with a great production of photons'


In any case, one shouldn't look to science to support the Bible, nor should one look to the Bible uphold science.

Well, we can agree on that.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 07:07 PM
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Again, Genesis 2 does not in any way contradict Genesis 1. Someone else already explained it. If you're still confused, I'd be glad to expound on it.



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