posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 07:07 PM
Newsflash, People !
The Creation Myths in the Bible were not compiled to answer "modern scientific" questions, but was concerned more with moral / Israelite political
It is DANGEROUS to look for purely modern scientific answers in a book which could not cope with such a modern scientific approach. It was written by
pre-scientific hands who had little idea of the earth's true place in a rather obscure solar system of a galaxy consisting of more than 450 billion
suns each with planets/planetoids surrounding them.
The Scientific Method as we know today is a development of the Age of Enlightenment (post 1700). Even the ancient Greeks had problems dealing with
many of the scientific facts we today take for granted (i.e. that the earth rotates around its sun, or even the practical acceptance of the friendly
use of electricity).
The people that wrote that book were "pre-scientific" and believed things like the world (lit. Eretz, "land") was flat and rested on 7 pillars
(e.g. Proverbs 8 and 9) surrounded by a Solid Dome, or that Donkeys can speak fluent paleo-Hebrew (Balaam's Ass in the Book of Numbers), or that the
"Sky" is Blue because there is "waters above the Firmament Dome" or that YHWH can cause the "sun and the moon to stand still" so that Joshua son
of Nun can finish a battle "and be avenged on his enemies", or that miracle angels can appear and disappear at will, or that daemons are the cause
of mental depression (King Saul), or that 90 year old women can get pregnant (Sarah), or that Elijah was lifted up into heaven by a firey chariot or
that men can live to be 969 years (Methusaleh) or all the animals, birds and insects on the planet can be carted into a single boat (Noach) etc.
With regards to Genesis, please note that there are TWO Creation Myths in the book (Bere#h or "Genesis") both of them are mutully exclusive and
Take some time to read them very carefully if you never noticed this fact.
The first Myth was written by the "School of Hezekiel" (labelled P for priestly writer) some time after 480BC (Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a). The writer uses
the same vocabulary, syntax and grammar as the writer of the Prophet Hezekiel in the OT.
In this Creation Myth the "god" who does the "creating" (bara) is called in Hebrew "Elohim", ("gods" but governing a singluar verb !) and he
"creates" by dividing things up. Things below from things above, light from darkness, water from land, etc. later things are made "after their
kind", a favourite phrase of Hezekiel.
There are some problems with the Hezekielite writer's "scientific" facts however in the Book of Genesis:
The Six Days of Creation plus a Day of Rest are of course liturgical (the "7 eyes of YHWH" are the Sun, Moon + the five visible planets which seemed
to move over the bacgkround of fixed stars as viewed from the earth--e.g. Sun, Moon, Venus Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn --so the number 7 became
a magic number in ancient cosmology). No telescopes to see planets like Uranus or Pluto or Neptune.
Note also the writer things that Vegetation was "created" before the Sun, and the Stars erroneously appear even later in the order of Creation
according to this "P" writer) = very bad Science to the modern reader.
The writer also believes in a solid Reqiaq ("Inverted Bowl" "dome") called the Heavens, which are covering a presumably Flat earth at the center
of it all----so his astronomy echoes Babylonian and Egyptian world views (the prophet Hezekiel was deported into Babylon around 550 BC where his
"school" picked up a couple of Babylonian loan words, such as Tehomah (Watery Chaos, from the babylonian chaos monster Tiahamat).
In the first Creation Myth, Male and Female are created together and are called Adam (the same writer re-appears in Genesis 5:1-4
(And Elohim created Adam in his own Image, Male and Female created he them...and he called THEIR name Adam). This was done on the "6th day".
The 2nd Creation Myth (Genesis 2:4b through the end of chapter 4) is more conversational was written by a group of priests whose style is Hebronite
Hebrew from around 700 BC and fuses the two gods YHWH ("the LORD") and ELOHIM (lit. Gods) into one single god "The LORD God" = YHWH-Elohim (the
socalled JE writer) to do the "forming" (not "creating") of the world, and Adam is made first from mud and the animals later so that a mate could
be found for the man. The order of Creation in Myth # 2 is reversed.
Notice in myth #2 there is an Adam "formed" first then an Eve or Hayyah who if formed from his "side" (and not just a single Adam with two sexes
like the P writer!) also there are no 7 days of creation, and no divine fiat ("let there be...and there was...") and the god is anthropropmorphic
(i.e. like a man) where YHWH Elohim literally walks around the Garden of Eden crunching leaves "in the cool of the afternoon" where Adam can "hear
him walking" in the Garden.
Note the difference in the writer's style between the two myths. In the 2nd myth, there is a lighter hand at work where ee see a talking snake who
stands upright (only later to be cursed to crawl on his belly) and miraculous trees (Tree of Life; Tree of Knowlege etc.) and YHWH talking like a man.
In the 1st myth, Elohim is transcendant, aloof, and merely says, Let there be!
None of this is any kind of "science" in the modern sense of the word it is more of a moral story telling which seeks to answer such questions as:
How did we get here, why is there evil in the world, why does mommy scream during childbirth, why do men have to sweat for a living, why do we die and
return to dust, why do serpents slink on their stomachs, and basically, why are people the way they are...?
The kinds of questions these writers are grappling with are not the kind of questions most scientists have a vocabulary for, and vice versa.
To take the "bible" as any kind of repository for science in the modern sense is to look in the wrong place. You WON'T find it.