The Book of Genesis vs. modern science

:confused: In the Bibel it says that the birds came first, than the reptiles, but after what scientists have found out is that the life started in the sea, then got on land and then some creatures got wings and could fly (since all of the living organisms in the world cant live without water), so what to believe?? I know it might be hopeless to find an answer on this but what do you think about it?? this is defently a place were science and the Bibel is on very different sides…

This is headed right for Great Debates, I’m sure, but I’ll say this: the Bible is spiritual truth. It is not scientific truth as we understand it.

Here you will find a more rationale approach wherein you can still be respected for believing in the bible/god/God, but the more literally you take it, the more flack you will get.

There are factual errors in the bible that can be traced directly to the various writer’s lack of knowledge at that time. Don’t apologize for going with science over the bible for facts.

If you believe in the bible as God’s word, you can still understand that he used man to pen those words, and man is fallible.
And yet, I am an atheist.

off to Great Debates.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

The Bible is wrong; science is right.

Please try also at least to spell “Bible” right! If that’s what you really believe in, at least have enough respect for your own beliefs to express them properly.

Moderator’s Note: Gave thread new title for clarity.

In a related vein, this week’s episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (available on the Showtime cable channel) is devoted to debunking the Bible. Ought to be a real interesting episode.

marie, welcome to the SDMB. Please allow me to apologize for some of my friends who were obviously raised in barns and do not know how to treat guests.

That’s not the only sequence that Genesis asserts as different from all of the observable data; I had a really lengthy and wearing debate with a fellow on another board, who was trying to force a fit by arguing that when the Bible says ‘plants and trees’, it actually means waxy-coated single-celled algae and when it says birds, it might actually mean some kind of flying insects - not that these arguments help one bit, because, as this graphic of the sequence differences that I made shows (biology only - ignoring the cosmological elements, which are also cause for concern), you just can’t alter the order in which things happened (or were reported to have happened) by blurring the edges of the definitions.

Actually, the Bible does not say this. “Reptiles” as such aren’t even mentioned in Genesis.

Courtesy of the Bible Gateway:

If you are looking for an absolute answer you will probably be disappointed because none of us were there at the beginning and so we don’t know for certain.

That being said, taking a closer look we have:

1 Modern science which has gone to great lengths to examin all of the known evidence and pain stakingly go through possibilty after possibility to come up with the best fit answer to your question. Modern science is constantly trying to prove itself wrong in order to come up with a better answer.

2 The Bible which has umm… itself to back it up. (I know there are historical documents that back up parts of the New Testament but we are talking Genesis here.) In a logical arguement it is not permitted that you use some thing to back itself up so basically you are left to go on faith alone.
That leaves it up to you to decide which you believe. The fact that you have asked this question leads me to believe that you are not just blindly following suit of your religion and that is a good thing. Even if you choose to believe the Bible you have lost nothing by questioning it. I would recommend that you read as much as you can on both sides before you decide. There are better people here than me to get reading suggestions from especially the religious side. You may want to try some thing by Stephen Hawking or Brian Greene for the Physics side. I’m guessing you are fairly young so these may be a little intense so better to get more opinions.

By the welcome to the Dope and good luck in your search.

Didn’t the Bible say snakes originally had legs, and they were taken away as punishment for tempting Adam and Eve? This one turned out to be true (coincidentally), I think, in as much as snakes evolved from legged creatures.

Despite the troubles with its ordering of creation, I think the authors of Genesis deserve major kudos for even recognizing that there was an order to the appearance of the plants and beasts. The book was written a loong time before anyone had heard of either science or formal logic.

It does, however, strongly imply it, what with the fifth-day creation of birds and swimming things, and the sixth-day creation of all the other critters. Whether it specifcally mentions reptiles or not, Genesis still has the order incorrect with respect to the order in which organisms are thought to have evolved – “creatures that move along the ground” came before birds no matter how you slice it.

It doesn’t necessarily say they had legs initially, but it does say

It doesn’t really say what the serpent did before it was cursed to “crawl on [its] belly”. And, of course, there can probably be some debate as to whether snakes specifically are implied by the use of “serpent”. See this thread for a discussion of the “snakes had feet” thing, though.

From the Anglican side:

There are two stories of creation (Gen 1:1 to Gen 2:3 and Gen 2:4 to 2:25) that are a bit different if read on their own. If you read them as stand-alone texts (heretic!) and use lit-crit to analyze them (blasphemer!) you’ll find that the styles are different, and that the second story blends into the story of Cain and Abel. Notice, too, how Cain, the son of the first people in creation, suddenly has a wife in Gen 4:17. This is because the second story of creation is part of a much larger work of prose that is scattered throughout the OT from Genesis to 2Kings. The first story of creation is a separate story that comes from a more formal, priestly tradition and was added to Genesis long after it had been written. The second story of creation sets the stage on which the stories in the later parts of Genesis and beginnings of Exodus play out. Neither was written as an explanation for How We Got Here, but rather as the beginnig of the Jewish faith… ;j


A couple things to consider. First try reading Genesis 1 and write down the order in which things occured. Then do the same thing with Genesis 2. There are inconsistencies in the order of creation. How can both be literally true?
Also think about the current analyses and theories in archeology. Before the days of agriculture people lived by hunting and gathering. They harvested wild wheat where it grew, picked apples, hunted game, etc. The evidence indicates that they lived longer, ate better, and were healthier than their descendants who practiced agriculture. They also could provide for their needs by working fewer hours than their descendants. It sounds like the Garden of Eden existed in time if not in place.
Eventually population pressures forced people to settle in one place and adopt agriculture. Once the agricultural people outnumbered the hunters and gathers, the agriculturalists drove off, absorbed, or killed off the hunters and gatherers. Makes you think of Cain and Abel.

Conflating the Bible and truth is a bad idea.

Yeah, it should be interesting…I find that a 1/2 isn’t enough of P&T. :slight_smile:

As many have pointed out, the Bible’s order of events is different in chapter one then it is in chapter two. Personally I’d go with science, as it’s got the evidence behind it. That’s not to say that Genesis is completely false, mind you, it does hold some very good metaphorical truths. I just don’t think it’s literally true, because even if we discount the creation, Genesis still has a number of problems with it. The one that immediately pops into my head is about Jacob and reeds, where Jacob (IIRC, I think it’s somewhere between Gen 30-35) influences the genetics of his livestock by placing striped sticks in the river where the livestock mated.

No, the Bible says that one particular being called the Nakhash (the ‘Serpent’, literally, the Whisperer) which caused Adam & Eve to distrust God was sentenced by God to crawl on its belly & eat dust for its crime.