Are Creationists Ignoring What the Bible Really Says?

I brought up this point on another thread a while back. Someone asked me a question about it too. So here is the question by itself. And, also, if that same person is still on the boards, I hope this answers his question.

It seems difficult at times to debate Creationists. Since they feel that no less than their religion itself is at stake, they refuse any evidence given to them by the so-called Evolutionists. I certainly don’t fully understand the Theory of Evolution myself. But I have heard credible people support it. And as I understand it, all of our biological and medical sciences depend on it to a certain degree.

Anyways, there is something that I understand a little better than the Theory of Evolution–and that’s the Bible. When I was in high school–Roman Catholic parochial high school in fact–a religion teacher told us something very interesting. It was about the world–and how some of the ancients viewed it.

Most of us view outer space as a near vacuum. Some ancients took a different view. They felt that there was water, water everywhere. And they thought that what we considered to be the earth was a transparent bowl, submerged upside down in this tremendous pool of water.

The Bible supports this view.

Biblical scholars know this to be true. You can find evidence for it in the Bible too. For example, in Gen 1:7 (I knew someone would insist I corroborate with Bible verses), we read:

This firmament (literally a “sky”), as I pointed out, was the bowl they believed separated the extraterrestrial waters from us.

There is more that this. The story of Noah and the flood speaks of God causing the flood by opening up the “flood gates” (mine says “windows of heaven”–cf. Gen 7:11).

(And I know from other credible sources that the Bible makes alot of mistakes–in science, in history, in chronology. CSICOP.ORG sells a book on Biblical errancy. I also found This link while surfing on the web. I haven’t had a chance to look it over too closely though.)

MY QUESTION: So is this what Creationist believe–that the world is flat. And is this what they want to force the rest of us to believe. And, are any of them aware of this–that the Bible make these glaring mistakes and contradictions? I wonder…

(From Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”–but compare Matthew 4:4.)

TTFN:D

Well, refuting Creationism from the edifice of scientific evidence as it now stands is pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course if you don’t accept the existence of any authority other than your own understanding of your own favorite translation of your own choices of books included in “The Bible,” it really doesn’t matter much.

From the point of view of faithful Christian believers, it is not so uniformly clear as many would like to believe that Creationism has any bearing on Christian Faith. I have unqualified faith in the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ. He has not mentioned any opinions on vertebrate paleontology that I have read. He has never made it clear to me that He disagrees with the conclusions of modern microbiologists, and biochemists on the implications of Protein Homology with respect to the origin of species.

I personally do not find it less noble to consider my self to be an improved version of the progenitors of apes, than to be an improved version of animated mud. It does seem to be a bit presumptuous to critique the Creator of Universe on technique, but then, go figure Cosmologists, anyway.

I think that a lot of what is passed off as Creation Science is the willful work of knowing minions of Satan, telling lies and perverting faith to aggrandize themselves, and lead the faithful into the sin of pride in self. That’s a personal assessment, though, and I won’t defend it in religious terms.

Tris

There is actually this lady at work that I got into a brief conversation about religion with last Friday. She told me she didn’t believe in evolution.

I looked at her like, “they still make you?”

That bowl in water theory is interesting, I never knew that. But yeah, I’m sure there are dozens of scientific “errors” like that, simply because of how long ago all that shit was written.

And yeah, it is dumb for people to believe in some weird pseudo-science that people thouht up thousands of years ago despite the fact that there is a lot of modern day “evidence” that says otherwise.

But, creationists usually speak of Darwin and evolution and even science as kind of a dirty word. YOu can tell them all about the scientific evidence for the big bang, for evolution, etc… and they just dismiss it, because they already have dismissed scientific authority.

I doubt they believe the world is flat (there are pictures for Christ’s sake) -no pun intended. Some creationists believe silly things though, like that Satan planted fossils so that we would be mislead into thinking evolution existed.

Anyway…a nice little tidbit: Hindus have believed in evolution as early as 4000 years ago. I forget all the terms b/c I’m not into hinduism anymore, but they believe that the universe is born and dies within some period of time (some # of billions of years) and then it is reborn. When it is (re)born, Brahmaa (creator god) creates single-celled organisms that eventually evolve into humans.

colin

For a detailed review of the Biblical conception of the Earth, see Asimov’s article, “The Circle of the Earth,” published in “X” Stands for Unknown and also in Asimov on Science. He reviews the references to the firmament, floodgates, and other descriptive passages and concludes that the Biblical view of the physical nature of the Earth is simply wrong.

I typically avoid the creationist v. evolutionist debate, because it is always a completely black v. white, I’m right your wrong debate, where no progress is ever made between the debaters. The threads seem like a waste of time to read.

What I am going to say is going to paint a huge target on my back-for both sides. I personally believe that it is possible for creation and evolution to co-exist. This requires a figurative rather than a literal read of the bible, though. I personally think it is impossible for all that was created to have been done within 6 human days, given known science. The Bible does make mention (if you want a cite, say so, I’ll look it up) that 1000 human years is but a blink of an eye for God. So why is it unreasonble to think that creation was done over 6 Godly days, using laws of physics and nature that we do not even fully grasp yet? I really don’t think there are a lot of people out there willing to subscribe to this, because it won’t fit neatly into there narrow little theories of creation or evolution. I guess I shall soon see.

Now that I read it, I hope that wasn’t a small hijack. I’m actually not fully prepared to debate the “bowl” theory, although I was familiar with it.

**Jim B. wrote:

So is this what Creationist believe–that the world is flat. And is this what they want to force the rest of us to believe. And, are any of them aware of this–that the Bible make these glaring mistakes and contradictions? **

I’m not a Fundamentalist or Creationist Christian but I’ve had several conversations with them and read some of their literature. This is what I believe they believe:

The Bible (most often the KJV Bible) is the absolute word of God. It is the text version of the actual events it describes. It was dictated to humanity from the Ultimate Source, God, Himself.

Because it was dictated by the One, omnipotent, omniscent Being it is utterly accurate and true. Any perceived errors are simply our own human failings trying to perceive His greatness.

Therefore, the Bible is an accurate and factual account of how the Universe was created and how history proceed from that point. This is based on the idea that God is the ultime, unimpeachable source of information.

That is what they believe. I, of course, totally disagree. But that’s another topic altogether.

What you will find if you search back through the couple of thousand other threads on this subject is that there are a lot of us Christians who do believe God created all, but that his method involved the natural science that we can see and examine. (Many (most?) of us don’t even mess around with the “day is a thousand years” metaphor because we view it as simply poetic description of other aspects of our belief.)

The technical name for the general belief that God is the creator but that the Big Bang and abiogenisis and evolution are probably factually, scientifically, historically correct is theistic evolution. (Not every theistic evolutionist believes exactly the same thing, but there is a general acceptance of God’s primacy and the accuracy of science not being incompatible.) And, of course, you can probably find a few deistic evolutionists out there, as well.

Old Testament cosmology (with a big pretty picture):
http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm

A webpage written by a Creationist who believes the Earth is at the center of the solar system, but that the Earth is round and not flat:
http://www.geocentricity.com/flatearth.htm

tracer, that second link is incredible. How ever did you happen upon it?

I’m not a creationist. I also think it is amply shown by scholars that the Bible is a collection of folklore, history, literature and so on that was assembled over a period of many centuries and finally written down. But, the literalists objection to your idea of “figurative” reading is that it makes you the source of Biblical authority. After all, you decide what figurative meaning to give to passages that the literalists regard as the unalterable and everlasting, inspired Word of God.

The leaders of the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon, CA (ICR) regard Bible “figuritivists” with even more disdain than they do evolutionists, if that is possible. Check out their book Scientific Creationism and their refutations of your various suppositions in the chapter “Creation According to Scripture.”

Incidently, it is hilarious that, although it condemns figuative reading of the Bible, the ICR uses a figurative reading to account for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the above mentioned chapter of their book they cite the New Testament Romans 8:20-22 which contains the phrase “bondage of corruption.” This, the ICR maintains obviously refers to the conversion of part of the entropy into entropy in all thermodynamic processes in accord with the second law. Talk about figurative reading!

And, by the way, no reputable evolutionary biologist insists that the present state of knowledge about biology and evolution is the be-all and end-all for all time. So the creation-evolution debate isn’t black v. white from the evolutionists point of view. It is whatever we can learn using the scientific method v. the bogus claims of “creation science.”

erislover wrote:

An early (and now broken) version of that second link used to be on Donald Simanek’s page. (It’s now been relegated to Donald Simanek’s Back Page, and is still broken.)

I know about Simanek because he has a link to my Dark Sucker Theory webpage on his science-humor page. :wink:

And by the way, the flat earthers don’t go nearly far enough. I have Biblical proof that the Earth is square.

Classic. :smiley:

Mangetout’s thread on the subject.

Satan tempts the Straight Dopers to post on the Left Behind board. (A classic thread.)

Poly,

I’m sitting here watching the past roll by my eyes. That was just before the board wars. ah… memories.