Good discussion - let's take these one at a time: "This is false. The Creation starts with the Primordial Ocean - common to Creation Myths in the Ancient Near East, and the cosmology reflects that. It is at odds with science in many ways, which you have so far refused to discuss even when the issue has been raised."
I believe Genesis 1:1-3 is a very good description of what happened before, during and after the big bang. "n the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light"
I see no alignment, other than wildly coincidental, with any of the creation myths of the near east. They are typically structured around individual gods vying for power with other gods. In these the earth and sky are already created.
I challenge you to put together a cohesive argumnet similar to what I put together that clearly demonstrates that Genesis is based on any of these.
I have to say, I find your starting assumptions problematic, even taking into account that they are aimed at a primarily Christian audience (rather than atheists such as myself).
G1 - the Bible is the word of God (the current 66 books)
Okay. I understand that you see it that way. Still, this seems a little sparse; is every word supposed to be the perfect unfiltered, inerrant word of God? Could the fallibility of the human messengers not have skewed the message? Not even a little? This seems like an awfully large assumption to takes as one's starting point.
G2 - any scripture must be interpreted in light of all scripture, no scripture may be "privately interpreted"
This is just a flat-out terrible assumption. I can hardly imagine a notion more likely to lead to misunderstandings of these texts. The books of the Bible were written by different people, at different times and in disparate cultures. Treating them otherwise is a guaranteed route to error.
E8: A lack of archaeological evidence does not prove that something did not exist (e.g. both King David and the city of Troy were thought to be myths until evidence of their existence was uncovered)
I can't help but note that this is less a piece of evidence and more an excuse for why you can't produce certain pieces of evidence.
Whilst this argument is true in principle, in practice, it doesn't hold true with all examples. Not being able to find a needle in a haystack does not necessarily mean that there is no needle. Failure to find an elephant in that same haystack is pretty darn good evidence that there is no elephant. I can only agree with PaulK in seeing the flood as being an area where we should expect to see evidence (spoiler alert! - there isn't any).
D3: The creation described in Genesis 1 is not contradictory to our understanding of the evolutionary process.
That... just ain't true. The account in Gen 1 has plants as the first created life. The fossil record shows us that this is far from the case, with plants only appearing much later. This claim falls at the first hurdle.
I sympathise with where you're coming from. It must be galling to see your fellow Christians reject what you see as valid science. I just don't think that you have quite thought this through. I don't think that you appreciate the width of the gulf between the Biblical accounts and what science tells us of our past and I think that you have perhaps failed to appreciate the extent to which the notion of a vast supernatural power invalidates the scientific method.
Mutate and Survive
On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question. - Charles Babbage
quote: I believe Genesis 1:1-3 is a very good description of what happened before, during and after the big bang. "n the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light"
Did you not notice "darkness was over the face of the deep" or "the face of the waters" ? There is the Primordial Ocean right there. The same waters are moved to uncover dry land in verses 9-10.
Now, the presence of large amounts of water - or any ordinary matter prior to the Big Bang would be rather a surprise to science, wouldn't you agree ? And isn't the implied geocentrism - the failure to recognise that the Earth is even a planet entirely consistent with an ANE worldview and not at all with what we know now ?
The Memphis Creation stories centering around Ptah have some rather obvious parallels:
...Ptah is the primal creator, the first of all the gods, creator of the world and all that is in it. He is not created, but simply is. In some stories he is the personification of the primal matter, Ta-Tenen, which rose out of Nun, the fundamental seas.
My goal is aligned with your goal, let the Bible be the Bible and let science be science. The Bible is not science and science is not faith. The reason I wrote my book (Genesis and Evolution) was that too many Christians were rejecting science, this is evident is many people thinking climate change is a hoax or fake news.
I agree with you completely that there is no reason to reject Christianity because of a perceived conflict with science. I think however that you are going about it the wrong way. You are arguing for a harmonious reading of Genesis and our scientific understanding of creation, which implies that the Bible is scientifically accurate. As a Christian I contend that misses the point. Genesis is a mythical account that tells us that good and evil exist, and that we are to choose that which is good. It tells us that there is one God and that He cares for us. It tells us we are stewards of our created world and that we have responsibility for it, and that is just the highlights.
What I see you doing is to twist yourself up in knots trying to show that the Biblical account of creation is accurate scientifically so that it consistent with an inerrant understanding of scripture in all aspects. The problem is after you have made your case you then have to contend with the much bigger issues of trying to reconcile the vast gulf between the understanding of God being able to order his people to commit genocide or public stoning for adultery and picking up firewood on the Sabbath ,with the God as we see the Word made flesh in Jesus, who tells us to love our enemy etc.
So yes, let the Bible be the Bible and science be science. You are trying to use science to make a case for your understanding of how God wants us to use the scriptures. I’d suggest that the Bible is God inspired but not God dictated. There is a huge difference between those two understandings of how God reaches us through the Scriptures, in that they present a very different view of the nature of God and how that is to impact how we live our lives.
He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Where are the dates? The genealogies and histories given in the Bible enable reasonably precise dating up to where they can be matched to historical events.
If you study history, the word father has been used to represent a family line. They were not direct descendants in every scenario. The genealogy does represent a period of over a hundred thousand years.
Where does it say 24hrs? The numbering and morning-evening is consistent with normal solar days. Of course Adam wasn't around to witness anything before the 6th day.
Genesis 1:1 is where the universe was created. It does represent billions of years. Genesis 1:2 goes into a sequence using evenings and mornings, and maybe it does represent 24 hr periods, but maybe not. I would argue the cloud layer in vs 2 was cleared out that occurred in the early earth history. I believe some people discuss a collision with the earth, etc...
The bible's author Moses knew about these steps because he knew God.
Where are the dates? The genealogies and histories given in the Bible enable reasonably precise dating up to where they can be matched to historical events. See http://creation.com/6000-years
This is an abuse of ancient near eastern genealogies. Their function was to establish lineage. They were commonly "telescoped" and were NOT intended to be comprehensive to establish history.
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein
“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger
It doesn't say otherwise. When somebody says "day" it means 24 hours unless he specifies otherwise. You have to go through a lot of mental gymnastics to get anything but 24-hour days from Genesis - and those gymnastics are all your own fiction, not derived from the text.
All you have to do is ref a concordence and you will see grandfather is a definition. And the text tells you God created the heaven i.e. space, and then focused on the earth in next part. Then it comes down to earth in vs 2, discussing what was done.