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  #1  
Old 12-27-2004, 10:11 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Creation of the universe according to the bible

Let's start with my first question. In the bible, it says that god created the earth and said "let there be light". Ok. Later, he creates our sun and the rest of the universe. Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?

Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?

And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2004, 10:15 PM
Logicalkitten Logicalkitten is offline
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On making all this but putting life on only one; Heck, He wanted to give us something to look at!
As to your first question, I don't know, it makes no sense to me, but then again, I wasn't there.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:18 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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I'm not sure there's a factual answer to your question, but since the idea of a universe that was NOT earth-centric didn't really take hold until the Renaissance, I'm quite willing to accept that the scribes who wrote Genesis were trying to explain the mysteries of the universe based on what they knew.

As for your second question, we still haven't found anyone else out there, have we?
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:26 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Floyd13, let's clarify what sort of answer you are seeking.

If you're looking to debunk Genesis, Chapter 1 or if you are looking to debate with people who believe that those verses occurred as written, then we might want to move your thread to Great Debates. (Doing a search on "genesis AND creation" will turn up the last several hundred threads on the topic.)

If you are looking for a factual answer to the intent of the author(s), then we can provide some responses, here.

For example, a person who accepts those verses as literal may point out that the Light emanated from God or that the light existed without any need for the sun until the sun was created to be a vessel for the light.

On the other hand, a great many people believe that the first chapter of Genesis was never written to depict literal events, but to demonstrate God creating the cosmos in an orderly fashion, expressed poetically. (So your GD inclined question regarding whether people "ever think about it" has a factual answer: "Yes. Many people have thought about it.")
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:40 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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tomndebb, I've been a lurker here for quite awhile and now that I'm actually posting, I'm never exactly sure where to put stuff. Kinda like moving into a new house. I guess my last question is more appropriate for GD, but I figured we'd just let the discussion dictate the final resting place of this thread.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2004, 12:14 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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This GD thread was started less than 2 weeks ago:

What if the Big Bang and Genesis are compatible explanations?
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2004, 12:19 AM
hammerbach hammerbach is offline
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Originally Posted by Floyd13
...
And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?

I'll take this (rather loaded) question. My answer: I've given it a good two hours' thought. I don't take the story at face value. And if you think it's laughable and simplistic, I invite you to describe the universe using only knowledge available to the Bronze age. (Or to put it another way: just because a writer's been dead a couple score of centuries, don't assume he was stupid. There is allegorical depth in there that you may not have considered.)
The question of origins is one that is almost always near the top of my pile of things to think about. I think the creation story in Genesis was the author's best effort at explaining the world's existence and humanity's place in it with knowledge in hand at the time. If you look at the story with this in mind, you may find that the story of the creation and particularly of the fall is at least as descriptive of human nature as it is of divine nature.
In conclusion, I would encourage you to view these accounts not as discredited science, but as cultural artifacts which (as human nature has not changed much or at all since then) still have relevance today.
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Old 12-28-2004, 01:04 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one.
Genesis presents a story focusing on how God created life on earth. However, nowhere does it say that God created life only on earth.
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Old 12-28-2004, 03:25 AM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Thanks for giving me some possible answers to my questions, though I still feel like the explanations are nothing more than excuses and WAG's. We have no evidence to support anything like light just magically emanating from nothing, yet some contend that this is a reasonable theory. More succinctly, god always seems to work in mysterious ways. This leads me to another question.

If you explain everything in the world around you using that kind of logic, what does that make the world look like? Couldn't it be almost anything? How could one use science for anything?

Now there's one other thing bothering me. Please correct me if I'm wrong. A christian believes in jesus/god and denies the existence of all other gods. A muslim worships allah and denies the existence of jesus or any other god. An athiest denies the existence of all gods. Simply stated, aren't they all doing the same thing to each other? How is it acceptable for one group to condemn another group when they are all dolng the same thing? i.e. denying the existence of some particular god.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2004, 04:35 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
A muslim worships allah and denies the existence of jesus or any other god.
Actually, Muslims recognise Jesus as a prophet, just not the son of God.
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How is it acceptable for one group to condemn another group when they are all dolng the same thing?
It's "acceptable" if you are convinced that your God is the true one. You might find the following aphorism interesting, though: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2004, 06:09 AM
Asteroide Asteroide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Let's start with my first question. In the bible, it says that god created the earth and said "let there be light". Ok. Later, he creates our sun and the rest of the universe. Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?
Well, it could be argued that God postulated the phenomenon of light before creating light sources. God may in fact have been referring to the speed of light rather than the presence of light. Maybe Genesis could be re-written to say "be there waves/particles !"

It could also be argued that the creation is not chronological, but the order of exposition is chosen to reflect complexity or proximity or some other scale (a classic argument is to ask how could there be 'days' before the creation of the Sun).

What would you propose as the fundamental building block ? Light seems like a good place to start.

Alternatively you could start with the book of John - where "the Word" shows up before "the light".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?
This is interesting too - do you know of any biblical citations which point in this direction ?
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:03 AM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Let's start with my first question. In the bible, it says that god created the earth and said "let there be light". Ok. Later, he creates our sun and the rest of the universe. Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?
See http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1203.asp
Also, note that creationists see Revelation as talking about a restoration to a paradise somewhat like Eden.
Revelation 21:23 talks about how it could have been in the beginning
"The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."

Quote:
Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v...extrasolar.asp
"Certainly God did create many, many more objects in space than could be seen by the people in the ancient world. It would not be surprising for God to create (in the beginning) more in space than what human beings can see and measure today. The vastness of the heavens is often mentioned in the Bible to help us see our own limitations in contrast to God's unlimited nature and power. It may also be appropriate to say that some of the great variety God created was made just for God's own pleasure."
I don't think the Bible says God *only* cares about the earth... I think it just says he really loves people.

Quote:
And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?
Creationists do... and I used to be one... It's surprising how they can have pretty water-tight answers to common objections such as yours - and they even have lots of pretty convincing responses to scientific-type objections.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2004, 08:44 AM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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The problem of light before sun comes from the repetitive writing style of Genesis. The writer/writers often describe the same event twice, in slightly different words. It's awfully confusing.
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2004, 09:02 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
We have no evidence to support anything like light just magically emanating from nothing, yet some contend that this is a reasonable theory.
You're demanding that a supernatural event follow the laws of physics? You're insisting that the creator of the universe must obey rules?
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:11 AM
muttrox muttrox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Let's start with my first question. In the bible, it says that god created the earth and said "let there be light". Ok. Later, he creates our sun and the rest of the universe. Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?

Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?

And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?
If you want respectful answer, you should ask respectful questions. Asking "how the hell" twice in a question addressed to "you religious people" is just wrong. If you post in GQ, ask a specific question, presented as neutrally and objectively as possible, in a way that allows for a factual answer.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:36 AM
Humble Servant Humble Servant is offline
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My current mission is to give John Milton's take (from Paradise Lost) in every thread that asks a creation question. (PL is mainstrean Christian theologically and Milton is careful not to directly contradict anything biblical, so he is a good touchstone for how Christian culture has often answered such questions.) An obsession, yes, but one I can embrace.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?
There is nothing biblical that says there are not other worlds with other created beings out there. Here is what Milton says (about unformed matter/chaos):
Quote:
Into this wild Abyss,
The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds--
Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage;
The bolded words are the source of Philip Pullman's title of his alternate universes book series. CSLewis' Perelandra series also looked to Milton on this point.

There ya have it--the sci fi age has no monopoly on speculatin' about life on other planets.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:49 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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How is it acceptable for one group to condemn another group when they are all dolng the same thing? i.e. denying the existence of some particular god.
Actually, the number of people condemning others for their beliefs is probably smaller than you believe. Muslims, for example, recognize Christians and Jews as "people of the book" (the book being what Christians call the Old Testament and Jews refer to as the Tanakh) and believe that Christians and Jews are following Allah (simply the Arabic word for God) imperfectly. Similarly, such fuddy-duddy organizations as the Catholic Church officially recognize that people of other faiths are following God "imperfectly," (not just Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists, but even Protestants). Finally, Atheists as a group generally do not condemn believers for their beliefs (athough they may think them foolish or deluded).

Of course, if one has a truly profound belief regarding a Deity (or its lack), one may feel that it is truly unfortunate that others do not recognize the truth one holds, but that is true of most beliefs in all areas of life.

I would agree that condemnation is not appropriate, but where it occurs, it is a typically human response to seeing one's own beliefs challenged or ignored.
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Old 12-28-2004, 11:05 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
I figured we'd just let the discussion dictate the final resting place of this thread.
hmmmm
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Originally Posted by Floyd13
though I still feel like the explanations are nothing more than excuses and WAG's. We have no evidence to support anything like light just magically emanating from nothing, yet some contend that this is a reasonable theory. More succinctly, god always seems to work in mysterious ways.
On re-reading this whole thread, it seems that the "discussion" is not really a search for factual answers.

I think we'll just nudge this over to GD.

[ /Moderator Mode ]
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2004, 11:33 AM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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Originally Posted by Walloon
Genesis presents a story focusing on how God created life on earth. However, nowhere does it say that God created life only on earth.
Somewhere out there in the Galaxy there is a planet where people worship Jesus' sister, the Daughter of God.
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Old 12-28-2004, 02:18 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Originally Posted by Walloon
You're demanding that a supernatural event follow the laws of physics? You're insisting that the creator of the universe must obey rules?
Well....then why don't you worship a supernatural purple donkey that flies around the moon? I mean, who needs physics? I just have a hard time accepting something on a purely supernatural premise. Plus, how far would you like to take this. Who created the creator? The game never ends.

I appreciate everyone's attempt at explaining this, and if I offended someone by saying hell, I'm sorry.

tomndebb, your point is well taken regarding the condemning of religions. I agree that not everyone is Jerry Falwell, but to some degree, each side is claiming to be the ultimate truth. I myself am neither a theist or athiest. I guess that would make me an agnostic, and I only feel this way because of one little thing. Who am I to make these kind of claims about the universe one way or another? I always felt like religion of any kind is a somewhat arrogant position considering our minimal knowledge of the world. See, if you claim jesus is the only way, then you're making an incredible statement, regardless of whether you see it this way or not. Einstein didn't know, but somehow Jerry Falwell does? To me, there is ample evidence showing many errors and flaws with the bible and religion in general, yet people still hold this to be more truthful than any other possibility.
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  #21  
Old 12-28-2004, 03:35 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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Originally Posted by tomndebb
hmmmm On re-reading this whole thread, it seems that the "discussion" is not really a search for factual answers.

I think we'll just nudge this over to GD.

[ /Moderator Mode ]
Is this your first official act as a moderator?
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2004, 03:56 PM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
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Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?

Well, the book says God is light, so I imagine He was the light source. He's God. He made the sun, but He can have light without it in an infinite number of ways.

Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?

One, God never told the universe to stop creating. He said "let there be light" but He never said "ok, lights, you can stop now." Same with the stars, etc. That's why the universe is expanding.

Another reason is that God is an artist. Look at Hubble pictures sometime, are they not beautiful? It's not like God is limited to just dealing with people here on Earth. He can do an infinite number of things in an instant. Artists make stuff. The book says that the universe declares His glory, so why shouldn't it be big and gorgeous?

And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?

I'll ignore your cheap shot and say that yes, I think about it a lot. The first few chapters of Genesis are some of my favorites because there is so much crammed into such a small space, and there's so much we don't know.
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:21 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Originally Posted by Abbie Carmichael
I'll ignore your cheap shot and say that yes, I think about it a lot. The first few chapters of Genesis are some of my favorites because there is so much crammed into such a small space, and there's so much we don't know.
So you think about this stuff a lot, yet still feel that these stories are the undeniable truth? They completely go against everything that science has discovered, but somehow it's rational to make statements like, god is light? And what about my who created the creator question? With no evidence supporting religion, how can you claim such wonderful and advanced knowledge? I'm not trying to be snarky here, but I'm really having trouble understanding how a person can be so sure when in reality they have no idea whatsoever. It's like me claiming that my purple donkey is the master of the universe. Should you take me seriously?
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:38 PM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
Let's start with my first question. In the bible, it says that god created the earth and said "let there be light". Ok. Later, he creates our sun and the rest of the universe. Now I'm no scientist here, but how in the hell is there light without the presence of our sun?
Well, first of all, you can certainly have light without the presence of our sun. Go look at the night sky sometime. Every object you see (with a few exceptions) are the result of light forming without the presence of our sun.

"Ah, but Zev," you will say "those are from other stars. How was light created without them?"

The answer to your question is very simple. Not all light comes from stars. As others have pointed out, you are seeking a natural explanation for a supernatural event. Why not just come out and ask "How could God have created the universe when matter/energy can't be created or destroyed?"

Quote:
Now onto question number two. He creates this vast universe filled with billions of stars and planets, but chooses to place life on only one. What the hell was the point of creating all this other stuff if all he cared about was earth?
Two answers to your questions, one a real answer and one a rebuttal to your question:

1. Who says that God only created life on Earth? Just because this is the only place we've observed it doesn't mean that it exists only here. God could just as easily have created it elsewhere.

2. In the event that we are the only ones in the universe, I present you with this answer: God created the universe and all it's wonders to show us how special humanity is to Him. God created an unimaginably vast universe, full of wonders seen and unseen, occupying a space of billions of light years across, and yet He chose to focus on us, occupying one little speck of dust in all the cosmos, and give us the gifts of life, intelligence and sentience. It shows how important humanity is to God in that of all the places He could choose to focus His attention, He chose to give it to us.

Quote:
And lastly, do you religious people think about this or do you take the story at face value, regardless of how laughable or simplistic it is?
As I've stated on these boards before, how I view creation is that it really doesn't matter all that much whether God created the world in six literal days or over millions of years. It doesn't affect my life one way or the other if He created chickens as we see them today or if they evolved from lesser creatures. If no other lesson is learned from Genesis, learn this: the world was created by an Intelligent Being and that the world has Purpose and that therefore each and every person has a reason and a purpose in creation.

Zev Steinhardt
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:51 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by hammerbach
I'll take this (rather loaded) question. My answer: I've given it a good two hours' thought. I don't take the story at face value. And if you think it's laughable and simplistic, I invite you to describe the universe using only knowledge available to the Bronze age. (Or to put it another way: just because a writer's been dead a couple score of centuries, don't assume he was stupid. There is allegorical depth in there that you may not have considered.)
The question of origins is one that is almost always near the top of my pile of things to think about. I think the creation story in Genesis was the author's best effort at explaining the world's existence and humanity's place in it with knowledge in hand at the time. If you look at the story with this in mind, you may find that the story of the creation and particularly of the fall is at least as descriptive of human nature as it is of divine nature.
In conclusion, I would encourage you to view these accounts not as discredited science, but as cultural artifacts which (as human nature has not changed much or at all since then) still have relevance today.

Not to belabor the obvious, but I assume that you do not believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God? For if it were, the limits of Bronze Age knowledge would surely have no effect on the transcription.
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:54 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by zev_steinhardt



As I've stated on these boards before, how I view creation is that it really doesn't matter all that much whether God created the world in six literal days or over millions of years. It doesn't affect my life one way or the other if He created chickens as we see them today or if they evolved from lesser creatures. If no other lesson is learned from Genesis, learn this: the world was created by an Intelligent Being and that the world has Purpose and that therefore each and every person has a reason and a purpose in creation.

Zev Steinhardt
With all due respect, under what definition of "learn" are we to do this?
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2004, 04:58 PM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Originally Posted by trandallt
With all due respect, under what definition of "learn" are we to do this?
Poor wording on my part. My point, oddly enough, was really addressed to believers. If you don't believe in God, then there's really not much point, is there.

The point of my sentence is that it doesn't pay to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of the sun being made on the fourth day but light on the first. While it certainly makes for interesting discussion and there may be lessons to be learned from it, it misses the forest for the trees. The real point is, as I stated, that there is a Purpose to creation.

Zev Steinhardt
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:15 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by zev_steinhardt
Poor wording on my part. My point, oddly enough, was really addressed to believers. If you don't believe in God, then there's really not much point, is there.
Zev Steinhardt

Fair enough. I don't believe in God. Just to be clear, "there's really not much point" in what, exactly. Studying Genesis?


Thanks

TRT
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2004, 06:33 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Not to belabor the obvious, but I assume that you do not believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God? For if it were, the limits of Bronze Age knowledge would surely have no effect on the transcription.
Only if one limits their concept of inspiration to setting forth scientific data to people who are not prepared to receive it.

There are a number of views regarding the manner in which (or purpose for which) God inspired the creation of Scripture. In one view, for example, God is inspiring people with limited knowledge and a circumscribed culture to recognize certain aspects of His love and intentions. They would, in that case, convey His moral lessons in ways that they would understand (and, in some ways, limited by their own cultures). Later people would then be able to study the message in its original context and draw conclusions relevant to their more advanced scientific knowledge and in their different social context.

Only those (whether theistic or atheistic) who insist on the literal nature of scripture are confined by the approach you have outlined in your question.

God may not exist, of course, or may exist but have nothing to do with Jewish scripture, but your objection is only valid if one agrees ahead of time to limit the perception of how and why scripture was written.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:16 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Originally Posted by Floyd13
And what about my who created the creator question?
By definition, the Supreme Being exists outside time; indeed, created time and matter.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:33 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Gosh, I'm not going to try to defend anything like a literal interpetation of the Genesis creation account, however, just after the Big Bang, there was lots of energy, but no matter. Not sure if any of that energy could properly be called 'light', but it's probably worth remembering that stars are only able to emit energy because they are made of matter, which was energy before it was matter.
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Old 12-28-2004, 09:47 PM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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Originally Posted by Floyd13
....but somehow it's rational to make statements like, god is light?...
There is Biblical support for the idea that God is light. Often it is supposed to be metaphorical - e.g. "Jesus is the light of the world"
Also, like I said in my previous post, Revelation 21:23 says:
"The city [the New Jerusalm] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."

Quote:
And what about my who created the creator question?
You could have started a different topic for that because you're just making this thread into a disorganised mess...
Anyway, read
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v12/i1/universe.asp
and
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/197.asp
if you're serious about finding what the educated creationist answer is rather than what people here can think of off the top of their head. Of course, on the internet there would be writings by Christians and other theists (god-believers).

Quote:
With no evidence supporting religion, how can you claim such wonderful and advanced knowledge?
You are saying that there exists absolutely NO evidence supporting religion. You sound very dogmatic and not open-minded - as if you know it all. I don't think Christians would be very willing to debate with you.

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I'm not trying to be snarky here, but I'm really having trouble understanding how a person can be so sure when in reality they have no idea whatsoever. It's like me claiming that my purple donkey is the master of the universe. Should you take me seriously?
Creationists and other Christians can sometimes go on for days or months about the reasons in which the Bible matches up with archaeology and science. If your purple donkey comparison is the same as their belief, are you able to argue for long amounts of time giving a lot of somewhat convincing reasons that the purple donkey explanation is true? I mean creationists can be quite convincing since former-evolutionists who even had doctorates had become creationists - even some who were atheists. Maybe you're right about the purple donkey thing. But anyway, if you don't take the creationists very seriously you're probably not going to learn much about them - and I thought that was the point of the OP.
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  #33  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:01 PM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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For in depth information about combining the Bible with the belief in an old universe see:
http://www.reasons.org/index.shtml

So if you want to see what the best explanations are, check out links like that, rather than assume that whatever people who post here is the full explanation that Christians have thought of. As far as all the errors you say exist in the Bible,
see http://www.tektonics.org/
It is a huge site. I mean just how objections to evolution have counter-arguments, so do objections to Bible verses. And those counter-arguments have counter-arguments, etc. It's not like there are Bible errors that exist that everyone agrees on. But anyway, I'm an agnostic atheist - because I think the earth is old, and don't really think an old earth is compatible with the Bible, including the gospel message and restoration.
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  #34  
Old 12-28-2004, 10:43 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnClay
You are saying that there exists absolutely NO evidence supporting religion. You sound very dogmatic and not open-minded - as if you know it all. I don't think Christians would be very willing to debate with you.
You must have missed the part where I said that I'm an agnostic because I don't claim to know whether there is or isn't a god. My contention is that claiming absolute truth about our origins and the universe is rather silly and arrogant. And regarding the evidence supporting religion, where is it? The bible talks about all kinds of miracles, yet we haven't seen miracle 1? The only evidence is that of stories. And questionable ones at that, hence the OP. Anyone can write stories, show me some dude parting a sea and then I'll believe. How about a good ole resurrectio, or did these things only happen thousands of years ago? I'm sorry but I have yet to see 1 piece of evidence. I consider myself to be very open minded, but as far as I can tell, the evidence for god and santa claus are equal.
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  #35  
Old 12-29-2004, 01:23 AM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
So you think about this stuff a lot, yet still feel that these stories are the undeniable truth?
Yep.

They completely go against everything that science has discovered, but somehow it's rational to make statements like, god is light?

Science once encouraged putting leeches on people to suck out diseases. God doesn't change. Science is a good thing, but it can be wrong. I'm gonna go with whoever has the better track record.

And what about my who created the creator question?

I didn't see it, but to answer, nobody created the creator. I can't wrap my head around the concept of God having always existed, either.

It's like me claiming that my purple donkey is the master of the universe. Should you take me seriously?

I'll take you seriously as soon as you, say, calm a storm with your voice, raise someone from the dead, come back from the dead yourself, walk on water, and create a galaxy with your voice.

Anyone can write stories, show me some dude parting a sea and then I'll believe.

That's the thing, Floyd, and I mean no disrespect here, but no, you wouldn't believe. Jesus ran around raising the dead and still people didn't believe him. How are you any different from them?

How about a good ole resurrection, or did these things only happen thousands of years ago?

Resurrections have happened in present day, mostly in Africa. Those who believe it's possible believe it, those who don't wouldn't believe it even if they were in the same room when it happened. No amount of evidence would convince you, so there'd be no point.
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  #36  
Old 12-29-2004, 02:24 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbie Carmichael

Science once encouraged putting leeches on people to suck out diseases. God doesn't change. Science is a good thing, but it can be wrong. I'm gonna go with whoever has the better track record.
God doesn't change??? You're keeping kosher then, right? You're waiting for the Messiah that was described in the Bible? You're doing ritual baths? Christians changed all the rules, said that God used to be a meany but now is nice (except for the condemning to hell bit, of course) and you say God doesn't change?

As for not trusting science, I'm sure that when you get sick you find someone to cast out your demons, just like Jesus did. Science has made us live longer. Science saved my daughter's life when she had a fever as a baby. Science fixed my mother-in-laws hip when she fell. If you lived your words, you'd have the life expectancy of a Christian Scientist with appendicitis. When religion ruled 1/3 of Europe died of the plague.

And if you knew anything about science, anything at all, youi wouldn't think that telling us that science made mistakes and improves is telling us anything at all. Religious people change their story all the time, but pretend it is all exactly the same. (Or that the inquisitors, slavers, and witch killers weren't true Christians (TM). Scientists know we're all imperfect, and don't pretend otherwise, and if you comprehended any of the discussions around here you'd know that.

Quote:
I'll take you seriously as soon as you, say, calm a storm with your voice, raise someone from the dead, come back from the dead yourself, walk on water, and create a galaxy with your voice.
Damn shame you believe in fairy tales. Do you believe Paul Bunyon made the Great Plains? It's in a book, you know.

Quote:
Anyone can write stories, show me some dude parting a sea and then I'll believe.

That's the thing, Floyd, and I mean no disrespect here, but no, you wouldn't believe. Jesus ran around raising the dead and still people didn't believe him. How are you any different from them?

How about a good ole resurrection, or did these things only happen thousands of years ago?

Resurrections have happened in present day, mostly in Africa. Those who believe it's possible believe it, those who don't wouldn't believe it even if they were in the same room when it happened. No amount of evidence would convince you, so there'd be no point.
Cite? You believe in psychic healing also.

Here's a clue for you. The reason that few people living there converted when seeing these miracles, when the ground opened up and the saints arose, was that it didn't happen. Is is a coincidence that the story got better the further away you were from the events? My ancestors were there, and saw no reason to abandon the god they believed in for another false Messiah. A lot of people supposedly saw these miracles, and you'd think at least someone would have written them down at the time - even as a FOAF. But no... And because my ancestors stubbornly gave the lie to your god story, some Christians have been slaughtering us ever since.

tomndebb - I think you are calling my ancestors stupid. Given that God wouldn't give a course on cosmology in the Bible, saying that the creation happened a very long time ago wouldn't be that hard for them to grasp. I wrote a correct Genesis story, no more advanced than the one in the Bible, a while ago. Getting the order of the the animals wouldn't be that hard. Saying that the Moon is not a light in the sky like the Sun wouldn't be that hard. So, either God decided to lie to us, or some priests wrote down the creation as best they could imagine it, not forgetting to justify the Sabbath, 2700 years ago. Saying that God couldn't get it right is not putting much faith in your deity. is it?
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  #37  
Old 12-29-2004, 02:42 AM
Abbie Carmichael Abbie Carmichael is offline
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I knew this was pointless.
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  #38  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:08 AM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbie Carmichael
It's like me claiming that my purple donkey is the master of the universe. Should you take me seriously?

I'll take you seriously as soon as you, say, calm a storm with your voice, raise someone from the dead, come back from the dead yourself, walk on water, and create a galaxy with your voice.

Anyone can write stories, show me some dude parting a sea and then I'll believe.

That's the thing, Floyd, and I mean no disrespect here, but no, you wouldn't believe. Jesus ran around raising the dead and still people didn't believe him. How are you any different from them?

How about a good ole resurrection, or did these things only happen thousands of years ago?

Resurrections have happened in present day, mostly in Africa. Those who believe it's possible believe it, those who don't wouldn't believe it even if they were in the same room when it happened. No amount of evidence would convince you, so there'd be no point.
This is what I'm talking about. How come this crazy stuff used to happen, but now it doesn't because?? Wouldn't the bible have more credibility if it discussed events that actually happen right now? The bible seems to paint a very different view of the world than what we see for ourselves. Something doesn't jive and this only leads me to more and more questions. And regarding these resurrections in Africa, why do you assume I would refuse to believe it if I were to witness it? I wouldn't be asking these questions if I didn't care about finding the truth, whatever that may be....I'm sure I can only imagine.
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  #39  
Old 12-29-2004, 04:15 AM
SolGrundy SolGrundy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
This is what I'm talking about. How come this crazy stuff used to happen, but now it doesn't because?? Wouldn't the bible have more credibility if it discussed events that actually happen right now? The bible seems to paint a very different view of the world than what we see for ourselves. Something doesn't jive and this only leads me to more and more questions.
It depends on what kind of "credibility" you're looking for from The Bible. Obviously, the book doesn't work for you as a shot-by-shot account of the creation of the universe and the history of the world up until a couple of thousand years ago. It's a religious document. You can't apply scientific reasoning to it. That's why self-described creation scientists fail, and that's why atheists who try to dismiss the entire religion based on scientific criteria fail.

But saying it's not scientific doesn't mean it's laughable or dismissable as a religious document. Your purple donkey example and comparing God to Santa Claus are insulting because you've obviously pulled them out of your ass, and because you're completely failing to take into account what it is that people get from their belief in God.

As for your questions, here's one guy-who-still-calls-himself-Christian-but-has-been-told-by-many-he's-not's opinion:

1) "Let there be light" is a higher-level declaration. In other words, let there be the concept of "light", from a void in which nothing existed previously. When you're talking about the creation of everything, you're talking about the creation of ideas as well as physical objects; you can have "light" without a light source. In short, it's God's way of saying, "Let's get this whole thing started, shall we?"

2) Who knows whether God created life on other planets than Earth? The Bible is mankind's attempt to put concepts into words; at the time of its writing, mankind didn't have the understanding of the universe that we do today. To them, Earth was the universe, and the idea of other "earths" was as foreign to them as the concept of alternate dimensions and multiple universes is to most of us in practical everyday life.

As for "Who created God?", no one did. You say that every question just leads to more questions; that's the whole point of religion, to provide a stopping point for the questions. To me, "God" is not a single specific being, but some kind of entity that is unfathomable for humans to even comprehend without simplifying Him and giving Him a human face. He is the being that created the universe as well as the concept of creation. He has no starting point or creation date, he simply exists. Asking who created God is as meaningless as asking "What does blue taste like?"
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  #40  
Old 12-29-2004, 05:13 AM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
....I'm sorry but I have yet to see 1 piece of evidence. I consider myself to be very open minded, but as far as I can tell, the evidence for god and santa claus are equal.
Just because you don't believe you've come across any evidence that supports religion it doesn't prove that no evidence exists. I mean it's not accurate to say "With no evidence supporting religion....". I later read you're an agnostic though (like you said), so I guess you don't really agree with that statement about "no evidence" anyway.
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  #41  
Old 12-29-2004, 08:28 AM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
God doesn't change??? You're keeping kosher then, right? You're waiting for the Messiah that was described in the Bible? You're doing ritual baths?
*ahem*


Zev Steinhardt
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  #42  
Old 12-29-2004, 12:13 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by tomndebb
Only if one limits their concept of inspiration to setting forth scientific data to people who are not prepared to receive it.

There are a number of views regarding the manner in which (or purpose for which) God inspired the creation of Scripture. In one view, for example, God is inspiring people with limited knowledge and a circumscribed culture to recognize certain aspects of His love and intentions. They would, in that case, convey His moral lessons in ways that they would understand (and, in some ways, limited by their own cultures). Later people would then be able to study the message in its original context and draw conclusions relevant to their more advanced scientific knowledge and in their different social context.

Only those (whether theistic or atheistic) who insist on the literal nature of scripture are confined by the approach you have outlined in your question.

God may not exist, of course, or may exist but have nothing to do with Jewish scripture, but your objection is only valid if one agrees ahead of time to limit the perception of how and why scripture was written.

I'm sorry, but I am going to disagree with almost all of the above, or at the very least express great confusion as to your meaning. Either God directed the writings in the Bible or he did not. If he is attempting to convey lessons in ways they would understand, why in the world would he introduce concepts beyond their understanding? Is he incapable of dumbing it down for them? Is he limited to just this one shot at communication? Why not feed information to his subjects as one would a child, in kind and quantity sufficient to its understanding?

I am not trying to force a literal interpretation of the Bible, merely trying to discover its source. My objection, such as it was, was to hammerbach's implication that the writer of Genesis was the source of the material, not God. To me, the assertion that God spoke to man but man was incapable of understanding is an exercise in twisted logic. I would think by definition if God desired full understanding from man, it would be so.
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  #43  
Old 12-29-2004, 02:07 PM
Floyd13 Floyd13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolGrundy
Your purple donkey example and comparing God to Santa Claus are insulting because you've obviously pulled them out of your ass, and because you're completely failing to take into account what it is that people get from their belief in God.
Whatever people "get" from god is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with whether or not the whole thing is real. Using that logic, if I really "got" something from my purple donkey then he'd be as real as a god. When I was a little kid, I "got" things from santa claus and really believed he existed. Eventually, I grew out of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnClay
I later read you're an agnostic though (like you said), so I guess you don't really agree with that statement about "no evidence" anyway.
How does a lack of evidence force me into being an athiest? I've already stated several times that my feeble mind cannot comphrehend the nature of the universe and our origins. Guess what, I've also not crossed out the possibility of a matrix like simulation that we are living in. There's no evidence for this, but I'm not gonna sit here and say, no it isn't possible. Same thing for religion. I see no evidence, but my 99% sure will NOT become 100% sure that there is no god. This is one of the problems I have with the fundies. They are 100% sure.

Also, if the bible is not the word of god, why do people take it so seriously? I mean, if some dude who has less of an understanding of the universe than we do wrote it, what are we wasting our time for? And if god wrote it, then it's explained that god didn't really mean days or he was using metaphors. That's like me defending nostradamus by twisting his quatrains into something that seems more believable. I can take any text and somehow relate it to our lives. Are you going to accept it as truth then? Didn't think so.
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  #44  
Old 12-29-2004, 03:47 PM
The Asbestos Mango The Asbestos Mango is offline
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Originally Posted by Floyd13
Well....then why don't you worship a supernatural purple donkey that flies around the moon?
Um, actually, I think there are a couple of folks around here who worship an Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Of course, nobody has ever adequately explained how she can be both invisible and pink.
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  #45  
Old 12-29-2004, 04:03 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
Either God directed the writings in the Bible or he did not. If he is attempting to convey lessons in ways they would understand, why in the world would he introduce concepts beyond their understanding? Is he incapable of dumbing it down for them? Is he limited to just this one shot at communication? Why not feed information to his subjects as one would a child, in kind and quantity sufficient to its understanding?
Why do you restate what I said, then claim that you disagree?

I realize that there are differences between our statements, but they are pretty close. For one thing, unlike Floyd13, I don't think God cared a whit about scientific explanations of the formation of the world. (I also think that, unlike a few--rather more in the U.S.--Christians, today, the original audience knew that the descriptions were not scientific or factual history.) God was conveying a message of love and morality, not a description of the mechanisms of the universe.

I would say that he did a pretty good job of getting the message across, using the tools (men with their own free wills rather than automatons) to do just that.
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  #46  
Old 12-29-2004, 07:16 PM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd13
How does a lack of evidence force me into being an atheist?
Well atheists sometimes divide atheism into the "strong" and "weak" forms. "Strong atheism" is an explicit belief that no gods exist and "weak atheism" is the lack of belief in all gods.

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Same thing for religion. I see no evidence,
"I see no evidence" doesn't imply "there is no evidence"...

Quote:
but my 99% sure will NOT become 100% sure that there is no god.
Atheists aren't necessarily 100% sure that there is no god. BTW, are you 100% sure that the Christian God doesn't exist? If not, then you'd have to revise your earlier assertion that there is "no evidence for religion" since surely there would exist some evidence somewhere if most of the things mentioned in the Bible happened. Or maybe you're just 99% sure that some gods that didn't interact with humans and lead to major religions existed.

Quote:
This is one of the problems I have with the fundies. They are 100% sure.
Not necessarily... I was questioning creationism when I was a creationist and wasn't certain sure it was true. And Christians sometimes talk about "struggling with their faith" or "questioning their faith"... and their faith could become weaker - their fundy beliefs wouldn't be any more liberal, they'd just be less certain.
As far as the Matrix goes, yeah it could exist...
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  #47  
Old 12-29-2004, 07:26 PM
JohnClay JohnClay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
.....the original audience knew that the descriptions were not scientific or factual history....
http://webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-jewish.html
"The current definition of the Jewish calendar is generally said to have been set down by the Sanhedrin president Hillel II in approximately C.E. 359. The original details of his calendar are, however, uncertain."
"The Jewish calendar is used for religious purposes by Jews all over the world, and it is the official calendar of Israel."
"Years are counted since the creation of the world, which is assumed to have taken place in 3761 B.C.E. [this agrees with the creationist date] In that year, AM 1 started (AM = Anno Mundi = year of the world)."

Though the most calendar was most recently updated in 359 CE, it seems like there's a lot of tradition behind it. The Jewish people who use it today had oral traditions and surely the question about whether early Genesis is meant to be historical or not what have been covered. Of course now, most Jewish people today probably believe in an old earth.
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  #48  
Old 12-29-2004, 10:28 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Hillel was not among the original audience.

Beyond that, using some method to fix a calendar may imply, but does not compel, a belief that the origin myth is a scientific rendering.
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  #49  
Old 12-29-2004, 10:55 PM
Loopydude Loopydude is offline
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It's a story. You may as well ask about how Pinnochio managed such rapid cartilagenous hypertrophy in his nose upon speaking untruths. It may be a fun exercise, but you're not going to get any "correct" answers, because the events in Genesis, as described, are not factual accounts of the "creation" of the universe. Some moderates may derive meaning from them as allegory or metaphor, but only the literalists consider the Genesis account accurate, and do so only by denying the enormous body of evidence contradicting the Biblical account of Creation. To them, then, explanations that appeal to the laws of physics as we know them, however twisted, are superfluous, as God is not bound by those laws in His actions. It's a pointless exercise to tease anything more form the issue, because there really isn't anything more to it.
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  #50  
Old 12-29-2004, 11:04 PM
jimpatro jimpatro is offline
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Anything can be rationalized Floyd13. Let it go.
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