Monday, January 13, 2020

Genesis, Evolution, and the Flood

Image result for God and evolution are compatible



I am continuing the discussion with my old friend Weekend Fisher on the the problem of historical unturth in the Bible. This is a good-natured friendly discussion it's being and between both our blogs. Here is a quotation from the comment section of her blog:


Joe: "you want to believe that most of the Bible is historical" 

WF: a) what I want to believe is what's true b) As far as I can tell, there's a lot of history in the Bible where I'd say "close enough" if not "inerrant". c) When we get to the New Testament especially the 4 canonical gospels, we get to higher-quality sources for historical purposes. 

Joe: "You also seem to punted on the OT" 

WF: I have no intentions of punting on the topic in general, but I wanted you to be more involved in the conversation. I wonder if you got your impression either from me trying to draw you into the conversation OR from the plain fact that I'm less interested in the OT than the NT. E.g. If someone throws down a challenge on the historicity of the resurrection I'm likely to answer; if someone throws down a challenge on the historicity of some event affecting Solomon's grandson, I'm not likely to be interested in it 

Me:To me the conversation is about Genesis and the flood, maybe because I had dealt with them recently with a poster on my blog asking about my ideas on it. But that's where I have the  main problem with historicity in the Bible. I have no problem with The Gospels I think they are 90% historical.Not mythological at all. I only say 90% as a theoretical margin of error. I only question small stuff like the exact chronological order of pericopes.[1]
With that said I am going to play the Genesis and flood card and discuss my major issues and I   hope Weekend will allow the discussion to move in that direction.

Genesis and Evolution:

Sorry to rudely awaken some (no not you Anne)  but denying evolution is no longer an option for apologists. Moreover,this realization  is about 50 years behind the times. Many christians have a barrage, an array of anti-evolutionary arguments, they are wasting their time.No one listens, you can think it's so well  documented and rationalize about the scientific knowledge  of hydraulic  engineers and reflect upon how all non Christians and many Christians are just ignoring the truth, that wont make them listen. You are on;y ranking yourself among flat earthers. Such apologists are not making strong bold proclamations of God's word the are making God's word look silly.

Moreover, science does work. It does tell truth, Science is not a hoax, not opinion, It;s not, don't make  say it, "fake News." Science does have limitations it can't tell us right from wrong morally or the nature of ultimate reality it can't rule out God-- not ever. But it does tell us facts about the physical nature of the world.  We know factually the world is several billion years old. The universe is much older, It was not created in seven days. That is fact, To deny that is to deny truth, The mighty arsenal of creationist propaganda is just that the more studies it honestly the  more obvious that becomes.

One major tactic Christians have used to sort of allow for the age and evolution in some limited way  and still keep the basic content of Genesis is the day-age idea. By extension to glamorize the language of the text. I accept that as a valid view, I do find it sens to require a lot more effort  to harmonize and general verbal acrobatics that accepting the account as mythology just seems more parsimonious. That assumes the things I've already said about mythology as not a lie.

The major caveat is that really accepting evolution is not just changing a couple of things.It;s going to blow things wide open. You have to be re thinking everything. That is possible there are Christian thinkers to whom one can turn.(Francis Collins for one) [2] But you have to be willow to open up theological problems.   Such problems include:  does God guide evolution and if so to what extent? What about the fall? No six days  mean no fall? I think I;v solved these things but one must consider for oneself.

There is no option now. Atheists are trying to use evolution as disprove God but it's not going to change their minds to try and debunk evolution. That will only result  in making   up their minds even more. We have to undermine their view by showing it  up; it can't disprove God for God to have used evolution.[3]

Genesis and Flood

The most  basic problem with Genesis flood accost is the fact that there is no geological evidence for a world wide flood. If such a flood had occurred there would be evidence. Aside from the logistical issues-- food for the animals,waste disposal,and gathering animals from places like China, Australia, and America, the real manor issue is the morality or lack thereof  of  it all.

Would God realty wipe everyone out save seven people only, because they were all so evil?  Then God got  sorry he did it and promised not to do it again (at leas  not that way). Next time it will be fire. So he's really not sorry hes just sorry he didn't do it worse. This all  strikes me as commentary rather than history. Let's not forget that the flood was not original with the Hebrews, They took it from the Sumerians and they got it form still older cultures. 

This was something people had always believed going way back rivers flood. They had to accept it and then explain it in a way that cut their God into the  picture.  Giving it a moral reason was a step up, pagan cultures's attributed the flood to petty reasons their gods were easily angered. At least Bible God had a nobel easonm.

In reality I don't believe that  God is unjust or that God perpetuates injustices nor do  I believe he would wipe out humanly for being evil when humanity has always been evil. We have  been fallen and sinful for a long time. It seems more like commentary, borrowing myth from other cultures to make a point.



Notes

[1]Joe and WF comment section "History, Myth, and Genesis' "Page One" Problem," Heart. Mind. Soul, and Strength blog (SUNDAY, JANUARY 05, 2020)
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=15860677&postID=7580062063168228356

[2]Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute.  Faith + Execution, "Topics  Theistic Evolution"
https://faithandevolution.org/topics/theistic-evolution/

Francis Sellers Collins "(born April 14, 1950) is an American physician-geneticist who discovered the genes associated with a number of diseases and led the Human Genome Project. He is director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, United States."



[3]Joseph Hinman, "Is Evolution Indicative of No God?" Metacrock's Blog (SEPTEMBER 15, 2019)
http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2019/09/is-evolution-indicative-of-no-god.html?m=0





17 comments:

The Pixie said...

With regards to the flood, there were eight on the ark, not seven. Also, there is no reason to suppose animals lived in the same areas before the flood and after it, so it may not have been necessary for Noah to go that far to get all those animals.

If your friend is a young Earth creationist, it is worth looking at this graphic from Answer in Genesis, which shows a time line of a supposed ice age after the flood. Take a look at how the elephant-kind evolved during that time to see what sort of nonsense these people peddle.

https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/am/v8/n2/ice-age-map.pdf

Mastodons first appear after two generations (around 2285 BC I guess), evolved from the elephant-kind on the ark, and woolly mammoths just two generations after that. That is some fast evolution!

Just think about the numbers involved here. Elephants are long-lived, so we can say a generation is about the same as it is for us (and that is being generous to the theory). There were two on the ark. How many kids did those two elephant-kind have? After two generations, when the mastodons have evolved, there will only be twenty to thirty elephant-kind altogether.

Just two generations later and woolly mammoths appear (by now there might be 600 or so elephant-kind all across the globe, now divided into numerous species), and one generation after that they have made it to North America.

Two to three generations after that, and the mammoths seem to have gone. They were around just four generations, and then extinct.

However, elsewhere AiG assure us: "Millions of woolly mammoths roamed the grassy steppes of Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon by the middle of the Ice Age."

The middle of the Ice Age is just two generations after the woolly mammoth appeared, and yet already there were millions of them. These things must breed like flies!

How can anyone believe this idiocy? Creationist believe what they are told to believe, I suppose, but someone at AiG must have realised how little time there was for mammoths to exist, and still choice to make the chart.

Hard to imagine why anyone would do that...
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danthropology/2015/12/answers-in-genesis-pays-ken-ham-and-family-nearly-500000-a-year/

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

It is amazing. i could give you horror stories of fndie churches I've dealt with.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hey Pix & Joe

No, I'm not a YEC -- though I have several times been mistaken for one because I don't join in bashing them. In some circles the way people identify as being "the right sort" is by bashing those who are "the wrong sort", and those who don't bash YEC's are fairly likely to be taken for one. Honestly, that kind of paradigm-shift is going to leave some breakage and fallout that doesn't resolve quickly, and I see us as living in the era where we're working through that.

Joe - thanks for keeping the conversation going, & I'll put together a response when I get a chance.

Take care & God bless
WF

Weekend Fisher said...

Say, Joe, when you say you have "horror stories of fundie churches" ... may I ask: when is the last time you personally darkened the doorstep of a conservative church? How long did you attend / how many years of regular attendance there? Just wondering if you're counting websites & internet trolls, y'know.

Take care & God bless
WF

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Hey Pix & Joe

No, I'm not a YEC -- though I have several times been mistaken for one because I don't join in bashing them. In some circles the way people identify as being "the right sort" is by bashing those who are "the wrong sort", and those who don't bash YEC's are fairly likely to be taken for one. Honestly, that kind of paradigm-shift is going to leave some breakage and fallout that doesn't resolve quickly, and I see us as living in the era where we're working through that.

I used to be in a group like that it was called high school. ;-)

Joe - thanks for keeping the conversation going, & I'll put together a response when I get a chance.

you bet

Say, Joe, when you say you have "horror stories of fundie churches" ... may I ask: when is the last time you personally darkened the doorstep of a conservative church? How long did you attend / how many years of regular attendance there? Just wondering if you're counting websites & internet trolls, y'know.

That would be a church that ironically was considered liberal within its own milieu but was Church of Christ which is very conservative anyway, when I was in doctoral work at UTD the chruch was in Richardson,Tx about 2006. That was nice place.":lake highlands" The real horror stories come from my time in New Mexico in the 80s.

Jesse said...

I am not a young earth guy myself, nor do I follow Answers in Genesis around. "Horror stories of fundie churches...You should check out some of those King James only Independent Fundamental Baptist churches if you are not already familiar with them. Now, those types (not all, but many do) have some radical and extreme issues on pity issues such as facial hair, whether a man wears a suit and tie, etc. Things that do not even matter. How about the instances of these folks burning Bible translations just because they are not the King James? Now, that kind of stuff is horrifying!

Weekend Fisher said...

Hey Jess

I've never heard of a church with issues on facial hair or suit & tie, but I suppose it's a big world and there are a lot of views out there. I've never heard of Christians burning Bibles either. Like, ever. Though my own favorite thing to do with a KJV-only type is go to Psalm 22 where the KJV translated one word as "unicorns". Now that's a mistranslation, sure ... but that's kinda the point.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Weekend Fisher said...

Hey Joe

Next installment is up:
https://weekendfisher.blogspot.com/2020/01/genesis-evolution-and-entrenched-battle.html

My hope for the conversation is based on how much you've proved that you're able to do deep work and the difficult position-building work. I'm genuinely hoping that we can hash through at least a little of the ground to articulate views that a YEC could respect enough to seriously consider. I've posted on some reasons why I think we're not there yet, and some things I expect it would require.

Thanks much for the in-depth conversation.
Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"My hope for the conversation is based on how much you've proved that you're able to do deep work and the difficult position-building work."


I was Ph.D. candidate in history of ideas for 12 years, had 4.0 for seven years.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...


"I'm genuinely hoping that we can hash through at least a little of the ground to articulate views that a YEC could respect enough to seriously consider. I've posted on some reasons why I think we're not there yet, and some things I expect it would require."

I respect you and I kike talking with you,I want good conversation.That's why i blog. I couldn't care less about what Yec's respect. I do not respect them

Jesse said...

Here is the article on burning Bibles:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/pastor-to-host-halloween-bible-burning-event

Jesse said...

And yes, IFB KJVOs are known for their extreme views. See this article:

https://rationalchristiandiscernment.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-independent-baptist-mindset.html

There is even a nutty IFB website called "Jesus is Savior" that is totally off the rails. Its got over a hundred million views. There is even a certain "pastor" Steven Anderson, who advocates the killing of homosexuals.

Like I said before, this is not true of every IFB congregation. But many of them are wacky beyond all measure. Some of them even believe they have the right to control the books that attendees read because that is somehow a part of "church autonomy."

There are a lot of nut cases out there!

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

yes there are nutty ideas out there even among churches that seem otherwise normal.

Jesse said...

YEP!

Mark said...

Joe, with regards to the flood: I've often wondered if it occurred as well. I think it is possible (after all, anything is possible with God), but I don't think it happened at the time generally accepted (~4200 years ago). I do think the story of Noah has the same source as the Sumerian and Assyrian flood stories. I think the flood happened much much farther back in history (tens of thousands of years if not more). The story in Genesis may be revelation of the actual account long after the true memory of it had been replaced with mythical stories based on some factual event. As to whether God would destroy all of those people and then regret it: I think the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, or even God's use of Israel to purge Canaan, is evidence enough that God will only tolerate so much evil before he is compelled to end it. Remorse may not be for the action, but for the necessity of the action. The promise isn't for Himself, but to us (or our ancestors) so that when the flood waters inevitably come again our ancestors would know it is not God punishing them as He once did, and they would know that it is not the end of the world.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

thanks for your comment man!

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

stick around Mark comment more.