Is there anything inconsistent with the idea of "creative evolution"

I started this so as not to hijack the other thread.

As a Christian, it seems to me that there doesn’t need to be a debate against evolution. Isn’t it possible that the creation story in Genesis referred to 7 days as in periods of time?

And that the story of the creation of Adam was meant to be a figurative creation of how God created man to be special? Even if he technically descended from other life forms, couldn’t that be a story of God injecting a spark, or a soul into humans?

Do the things that God did on each day correspond to the order that science says that they happened?

It could, but the order of the events is all wrong too: Earth comes before “light” when in fact there had been light for around 8 billion years before Earth formed. Water comes before dry land, when in fact Earth was too hot to support liquid water in the Hadean. Best of all, plants come before the sun!

As discussed in this thread, such a ‘spark’ would have to be dim indeed since all the evidence we have is of gradual development of anything ‘sparky’.

No. They don’t even correspond to the order that other parts of Genesis say they happened.

Yes, many Christian denominations take this tack. On your last question

For anything but the creation of the species I think that the description of what was created does not correspond closely enough with a specific scientific phenomenon to even know what we are supposed to be placing in order, let alone see if they are indeed in order.

For the creation of the various species, I seem to recall that it is not entirely inaccurate, but roughly as accurate as one might expect simply due to the fact that there is a rough correspondence between beings that look primitive and those that have not changed very much in a long time. So one would not necessarly need divine inspiration to be slightly more correct than pure random chance simply by looking around you.

Verse-by-verse deconstruction.

The story in Genesis 1-2:3 is a myth. It would be a myth even if God had made the universe out of nothingness on six days in October 4004 BC. That’s the style of writing it is, not a judgment on its supposed truth value. It’s not historical reportage, it’s not news writing, it’s not a scientific account, it’s the way the Jewish people understood things to have come about, defined in simple, easy-to-understand terms. That makes it a myth.

Work with that, and you get a logical answer. The details don’t have to correspond exactly to scientific norms. The point is: God created, not a demiurge or emanation but God Himself, He did it by His Word, by calling things into being: He spoke, and they came to be. He did it sequentially. And He called all things good. And it’s in the six-day framework to emphasize – remember it’s a Jewish story – that the Sabbath was an integral part of Creation, that the last thing He created was the Sabbath day, when He rested from creation.

Simple as that. Trying to turn it into a modernist historical-scientific narrative is where people get into trouble with it. The Jews understood story – look at the haggadah in the Talmud. look at the fables in Judges, look at Jesus’s parables. Genesis 1 is story, not reportage. The old joke about Aaron telling Moses, “But we only have six sheets of papyrus!” isn’t far from the truth – it’s The Truth About Crreation boiled down to something a small child or a nomad sheepherder can grasp intuitively. Plate tectonics, microcontinental agglutination, cytoevolution, phylogenesis – they’re for scientists to study. This is the simple “God did it, step by step, by His Word, and called it Good, finishing off with the Sabbath” precis, boiled down and put into the same sort of repetitive phrasing one finds in children’s stories (“And the Baby Bear’s [chair/porridge/bed] was just right”) for ease pf remembrance.

There’s also the problem that Genesis is contradicted by Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 tells the story of how God created things in this order:

  1. Heaven and Earth
  2. Light, which was then divided into darkness
  3. Water and dry land
  4. Plants
  5. Stars, sun, and moon
  6. Birds and sealife
  7. Land animals
  8. People

Then in Genesis 2:4 through 2:23, the story is told again. It says God created things in this order:

  1. Heaven and Earth
  2. Plants
  3. Water
  4. Man
  5. Animals
  6. Woman

This is, of course, because “Genesis” (and other books of the Bible) are redacted from multiple sources (at least four in the Torah), representing different traditions, written at different times, and with arbitrary book, chapter, and verse separations added much later.

I know a number of people who hold the view that directed evolution happened. They do this by picking and choosing which bits of the bible should be taken literally and which should be taken metaphorically/allegorically, and ignoring anything that is too inconvenient. Which things are which changes whenever it’s convenient for them to do so.

What if Earth = Matter? Did light come before matter?

Also, this is where I become skeptical, when people claim to know what happened early on in the process of the Big Bang. I know it’s considered an acceptable scientific answer, but I just don’t trust that anyone actually knows as much about the origins of the universe as they like to claim. Thus arguing about it is kind of silly, because really I think the common factor that we all share is that NONE of us really knows. Trying to speak so authoritatively from either a scientific standpoint or a religious one seems to me to lack humility. Your version might be the best explanation thus far, I am just very skeptical about it. But then again I have the luxury of skepticism, as I am not any kind of physicist. So I am comfortable with my lack of knowledge, and I can accept that you might know, but I also think you might not, as I lack the tools to judge adequately. shrugs It’s all beyond my pay grade.

It’s very telling, that you expect reality to conform to your beliefs, rather than vice versa.

So your default assumption is that when scientists opine about the early moments of the Big Bang, that they’re just making it up? For thrills, perhaps?

Presumably the other scientists let them get away with this to stay in compliance with the membership charter for the Lying Atheist Statanic Conspiracy Cabal. Because, as you note, physicists do not have the luxury of skepticism.

Are you a centaur? I’m just asking because I don’t want to be racist and assume it’s possible for you to get down off of your high horse.

It’s funny how real actual skepticism to you is the same as religious fanaticism. You are saying that I should simply accept it on authority. “Scientists are subject to peer review, therefore they must know!”

When they can do something as simple as cure HIV, then we’ll talk about more complex things like the origins of the universe.

I read studies on nutrition and every month there is something new, something that conflicts with the study from a year ago and so on and so forth, then something comes out saying, “No no, we were right before.”, and I am simply supposed to just accept the ‘Big Bang’, something that is incredibly remote and inaccessible to our meager tools on the faith that scientists really do know?

But of course your argument by ridicule is the real critical way of doing things.

Like I said, may be wrong, may be right, I just don’t know, but I’m skeptical. What part of that do you see as confirmation bias?

As I said very clearly in the post you responded to. I lack the toolkit to adequately explain it myself, so I simply reserve judgment and remain skeptical.

And no, I do not believe in a literalist interpretation of Genesis, to head that false binary accusation off at the pass.

Basically to put it simply. It’s not that I don’t believe the Big Bang happened. It’s that I don’t believe it was the origin of the universe. I do not believe that the universe ever began. But as I said, I lack the understanding of cosmology to verify either way.

Curing HIV and nutrition studes don’t have anything to do with the Big Bang Theory or cosmology, though. The people trying to cure AIDS or come up with scientific guidelines to healthy nutrition are not the same people who are trying to explain the origins of the Universe, and they don’t use the same tools or methods to do so, except in the most general sense that they’re all doing “science”. (Medical researchers and nutritionists don’t use radio telescopes; cosmologists don’t use bomb calorimeters.) If the nutritionists can’t get their stories straight–and I agree, it often does seem like they just come up with new, totally contradictory guidelines every week–that’s an argument against trusting nutritionists; it says nothing about the credibility of cosmologists, or paleontologists, planetologists, or climatologists. It’s also an assumption that curing HIV is less “complex” than explaining the origins of the Universe. Living things are probably the most complex things in the Universe; it’s entirely possible that cosmology and physics are fundamentally pretty simple compared to biology. (Note that things can be, to our ape-brains, very weird, like relativity or quantum theory, but still be in some sense be pretty simple. E = mc[sup]2[/sup] isn’t really a very complicated equation, compared to, say, all the information contained in the total sequence of the human genome and all the interworkings of DNA, RNA, enzymes, etc.).

That’s the best you can do?

I didn’t think they were the same people or that it was the same pursuit. My point was regarding how little we know about things that are not so impossibly remote as the beginning of time. Things that are right there in front of us that we can dissect, that our optics can perceive with clarity, mechanisms that we can manipulate.

You’re mistaking what I am saying. I am not calling into question the credibility of scientists as a profession. I am calling into question the ability for the human mind to comprehend the vastness of the cosmos.

I chuckled. :smiley:

But really, we can do that with the Big Bang, to a degree. Because back then when the universe was so hot and dense, everything was about particle physics; something we can study right now. It’s actually harder to figure out what came later because it was less generic than the early universe; more determined by the history of events instead of particle physics. And even then, they are less certain than you seem to think.

Chuckling is good.

Why? No seriously, why? Why is the consciousness more ineffeable than the atomic interactions that make up chemistry? Than the the sweeping morass of electrical and chemical reactions that were studied and learned and used to assemble the computer you’re using. (Seriously: LCDs? Fricking chemically rotated polarized light! What the hoo-ha?!) Why, out of all the things you don’t disbelieve, do you find the idea that people could make observations about the universe implausible?

I have two theories about what your answer might be:

  1. There is concrete evidence that they’re right about the chemistry and electronics, evidence that you can’t ignore. It’s hard do deny they understand chemistry when you’re pouring the draino, and it’s hard to deny they understand electronics when the denial is done on a message board. Though the evidence about the first moments of the universe could be equally as solid as the evidence for the other fields, there’s nothing in your life that forces you to admit it.

  2. Your religious beliefs say little about chemistry and nothing about laptops, so you got no beef with them; creation on the other hand, you feel to be the realm of god and therefore are overly and arbitrarily skeptical of the science on principle, to try and keep what’s god’s god’s and out of the hands of rome.

Is there a third option I’m missing?