- Religion and Philosophy
Are the bible and science compatible?
It’s very odd, but some Christians insist god created mankind and everything else just as Genesis says, about 6000 years ago. They don’t believe the science that says different.
Other Christians tell us that what science found is just the way god did it. The OT is metaphor, not to be taken literally.
One might think those two polar opposite views can’t be merged. But then comes the idea that the bible lines up with the findings of modern science. That’s what I’m here to explore. Can it be true?
It is true according to at least one Hub Pages Writer who I’ve had many arguments with over the last few months. I’m not naming names in case he doesn’t want me to. But if wants to be known for his words, or correct me on his stand, he is most welcome to comment and introduce himself.
Gen 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
First off, my friend insists that this is literal. The heavens and the planet earth are already created when this story begins. The rest of the story is from the perspective of god on the earth’s surface. So let’s start there.
“It says God was on the surface when He said "let there be light".
Not exactly: “2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.”
So he thinks this was from the surface of earth even though earth was unformed and void of everything. Then what’s the water doing here? When earth was a dust cloud there was no ocean of liquid water around it. And the people who wrote this had a completely wrong, though understandable, idea of the universe. There was no universe, just infinite sea with a patch of land, and a hard dome over it all separating one half of the ocean from the other on top.
What really happened is: an earlier star went nova leaving debris. That debris condensed and when it reached critical mass it became our sun. The action of nuclear activity caused solar winds which blew a great deal of debris away. That’s what eventually formed planets instead of stars because the amounts of debris were too small to reach critical mass. No overlap of reality with the story here at all. Sorry.
The first problem is an ocean of water over a dust cloud which isn’t what this is saying. The second and most pressing problem is there is no surface yet. Earth had no form so how could it have a surface? Then there is the problem that he’s not on something, he’s hovering over the “deep.” He’s above the entire thing.
That’s when he says let there be light. What light? Light in general? He doesn’t create our sun till later. Then he divides day and night. But that’s absurd. Day is sunlight, dark is when the earth rotates away from the sun. But again, no sun yet. So you saying this is where he created photons? Again, he’s talking light which requires a source like a star. But no mention of stars yet.
Next he divides the waters from the waters. He creates a solid dome between the waters. The argument is that this dome is atmosphere, not the universe as every scholar since the book was written and before has assumed. Yet it is here that he places the stars and moon and sun after earth is created, and after heaven is created. Those objects are not in our atmosphere, are they? No. That doesn’t line up at all.
Granted again that these people considered this small space between the land and the ocean above the land which they could see in the daytime because the sky is blue, as being all there is. You can say all you like about them misinterpreting the info they got, but this is what the book says. The one that is supposed to line up with science but obviously doesn’t.
“ So the point of view of the account is from the surface.”
Who was on the surface to see it? Not god, he was fluttering above it all. And again, there was no surface till god created the dry land on day three.
“ If you look at the actual formation of the Earth from the surface it does actually line up quite well with what you would see. For example, the sun/moon/stars on day 4, right after plant life, well after plant life the atmosphere became transparent, so for the first time in Earth's history the sun/moon/stars were visible from the surface.”
Right, lets say that’s perhaps what someone might see. But why would god hovering above the waters see it that way or describe it from that point of view? No one was there 4 billion years ago to see it. What would be the advantage for god to tell this to whoever he told, from a perspective no one ever saw? Why not say: “I created heaven, put stars in it, then created earth and a breathable space, (which isn’t even mentioned) then I spun the earth so you would have night and day. Oh, by the way, as hard as it is to believe you live on a ball.”’ That part would have lined up, and would have been information they couldn’t have guessed.
Instead, here, we see guessing going on. A pre-existing cosmic ocean, and around it? Nothing. God outside of it, sheds light on the subject, divides the water, and creates a bubble. Then he puts stars and the moon and sun in the bubble. They aren’t even guessing, they are describing what they see and understand from their perspective.
“Gen 14: And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so.”
This is day 4, not one. After earth is dredged up from the deep. Yet god said let there be light, light itself, on day one, and called that the first light the first day and night. So this is a second creation of light sources for earth specifically. It shows the minds of these people plainly. But doesn’t look good for a god that doesn’t know how light works. Again, why confuse these people by talking from a perspective they never saw? Day one couldn’t be the first earth day or night because there was no earth yet. He created earth/dry land, not a planet, on the third day, not the first. The so the first and second day and night were in heaven or something with no relation to a rotating planet.
And you can’t say they were already created in the first line where it says In the begging god created heaven and earth, because it’s clear that he creates heaven on the second day by parting the ocean, creating a dome between, that he calls heaven.
Gen 7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven.
And he creates dry land on the third day which he calls earth. Dry land, not a planet.
“Gen 9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas.”
Clearly, demonstrably, indisputably, the first line tells what he did, and those after tell how he did it. There is no other rational or credible alternative interpretation of the story.
“And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.”
The moon is not a light, and it certainly does not rule the stars, most of which are bigger than our sun. This is at the end of day 4. Nothing here implies or suggests that this is due to our view from earth. This is him creating these things on day 4 in “real time”.
And all of these lights were under a dome, in heaven. No idea. These people had no idea how big the universe is. They thought it consisted of what they could see and above that the dome holds back an ocean from crashing down on us. Well that certainly doesn’t line up with anything.
Right, so day six he creates birds and fish and all things that live in the sea. Cool. Birds came from water? Never mind.
Ok, so the argument is god told things to be fruitful and multiply. So that would take time. Hence evolution. The problem is, day five he creates fish and birds.... not single celled bacteria. He doesn’t tell that to multiply and eventually form cows and sheep, does he? No, he’s telling already formed pigs and goats to multiply.
Sorry, didn’t happen. Lines up with nothing. 3.5 billion years ago RNA cells formed. Bacteria and viruses, which are still RNA based as opposed to DNA based. (viruses that is) It took a long time indeed before anything even resembled a fish, let alone a rabbit.
Why not be straight with these people? Why not say we evolved? No, he forms clay into a human form and breaths into it. That really matches nothing.
You might want to say well sure, we evolved from inanimate matter which he brought to life by putting a bit of himself in us. But a god has no need to make things evolve. He creates people and animals fully formed. That’s what the story says and it didn’t happen that way according to modern science. Doesn’t line up with anything.
So, let’s see... God hovers over some primal ocean, divides it and slips a dome between so the bubble will hold back the other part of the ocean. He then moves the rest of the ocean below to one side bringing up land. He then puts the sun moon and stars in the bubble. Then he creates plants and animals and humans. Don’t know how he created animals, but he created just one male human, who couldn’t find a mate from among all the animals, not surprisingly, and so instead of just forming a clay girl and breathing life into her he creates a woman from his rib? Even though he created all other things with mates of the same kind?
All of it in 6 days.
Or, the universe was once in a compressed state called a singularity. That singularity expanded. Decompressing energy formed quarks and gluons, which formed protons. Electrons are elementary particles like photons but with a small amount of mass. Elementary particles were also a consequence of decompression. Together they formed the first atoms, mostly hydrogen.
These hydrogen clouds grew massive and reached critical mass forming the first giant hydrogen stars. Due to temp and pressure in different strata of the star hydrogen atoms were fused together with neutrons forming more complex atoms and most of the ones we see today. Iron formed near the core.
When these giants went nova, the implosions created the right conditions for the even heavier atoms to be formed, accounting for all the atoms that currently exist.
The dust from these stars started to condense again and again reached a critical mass. This time they blew off some the cloud that was around it. Being much smaller clouds they failed to reach critical mass and became planets, planetoids, moons and asteroids.
All the new atoms, including carbon which is the real star of the show, started interacting with each other creating new things like liquid water as the planet cooled on the outside. Amino acids were formed, proteins were formed from them. Cells formed creating the first plants, blue green alga then transformed the world by creating oxygen from carbon dioxide. That made larger organisms possible, leading to you and me, with appropriate human mates, none of which were fashioned from a rib or bits of clay and dog breath... sorry, god breath..
9 billion years from expansion to Earth. Another 4 billion to mankind.
How in the world do those two stories match up? They simply don’t.
There is obviously a lot more to this hypothesis, but if it already fails after the first line, what’s the point of looking at the rest?
I think it’s obvious we are stuck with our first two choice: The bible is true, science is false, or the idea I favour: bible is metaphor and myth, science is correct. It really can’t be both when it comes to origin.