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Author Topic:   Does the Bible say the Earth was created in 6 days, 6000 years ago?
Integral
Junior Member (Idle past 5670 days)
Posts: 8
Joined: 11-28-2008


Message 1 of 319 (489603)
11-28-2008 2:46 PM


I have come to realise that a major argument against the idea of an intelligent creation, is the fact that there is evidence that the world is very much older than 6000 years.
It has been explained to me however that there are common misconceptions to what the first chapter of Genesis actually means, when you look at the hebrew translations of the words, and what they really mean, the first two verses actually read that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth" then vs2 "The Earth became without form or void". The key aspect of this is the word "became", this actually show that there was a period of time, maybe millions of years, between vs 1 and 2, where the Earth became desolate. And therefore the "creation" described was actually a recreation or a renewal of the face of the Earth.
Id just like to know what you think of this argument, that seems to explain the age of the Earth, and the idea that there were dinosaurs etc.

Replies to this message:
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Message 2 of 319 (489606)
11-28-2008 2:55 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

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Peg
Member (Idle past 5006 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 3 of 319 (489612)
11-28-2008 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
11-28-2008 2:55 PM


hi integral,
Yes i've also come to appreciate this point about genesis
those opening words are merely a title..the title being 'in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth' (basically Moses is identifying his God as the creator of all things)
then vs two suggests that the earth was standing as part of the universe for it says
genesis vs2 writes:
'Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters
so clearly, water deep was already there, as was the darkness upon its surface so the account is not describing God as actually making the planet, rather its describing him preparing the planet for habitation.

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kuresu
Member (Idle past 2589 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 4 of 319 (489617)
11-28-2008 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Peg
11-28-2008 4:20 PM


Of course, the people who wrote the bible did not understand the world in the same way we do.
So it's best to not try and twist the words to support an artificial conclusion about what the bible is saying.
You need to learn how the people in the middle east concieved of the world in order to understand the creation myth provided in genesis.

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Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 5 of 319 (489623)
11-28-2008 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Integral
11-28-2008 2:46 PM


Post Hoc Rationalisation
Hi Integral and welcome to EvC,
I have come to realise that a major argument against the idea of an intelligent creation, is the fact that there is evidence that the world is very much older than 6000 years.
Whilst it is tempting to encourage you in that idea that a young Earth is integral to creationism, that isn't really true. To be as fair as possible to creationism, there is no reason why an old Earth or an old cosmos could not have been created by an intelligence. The earth could be both old and created.
What an old Earth contradicts is any version of creationism that is based on a literal interpretation of Genesis or the 6000 year chronology. Curiously, your interpretation is not literal.
The key aspect of this is the word "became", this actually show that there was a period of time, maybe millions of years, between vs 1 and 2, where the Earth became desolate. And therefore the "creation" described was actually a recreation or a renewal of the face of the Earth.
There is no literal reference to a gap of millions of years. Interpreting verses 1 and 2 as involving such gaps seems a bit tenuous, a bit of a stretch. Note that in Genesis 1:5 it says;
quote:
And the evening and the morning were the first day.
which pretty clearly implies a literal day.
Why would God even leave a gap? It makes no sense. It is merely a rationalisation, concocted after the fact, to explain why the Bible appears to disagree with modern discoveries about the age of the Earth.
Id just like to know what you think of this argument, that seems to explain the age of the Earth
"Gap Creationism" is not about explaining the age of the Earth, it's about explaining away the fact that science has shown the world to be much, much older than the Bible authors dreamed.
Mutate and Survive

"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Integral, posted 11-28-2008 2:46 PM Integral has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Integral, posted 11-28-2008 6:33 PM Granny Magda has replied
 Message 12 by jaywill, posted 11-29-2008 9:58 AM Granny Magda has replied
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Integral
Junior Member (Idle past 5670 days)
Posts: 8
Joined: 11-28-2008


Message 6 of 319 (489627)
11-28-2008 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Granny Magda
11-28-2008 5:43 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
hi,
yes it does seem a bit of a stretch, but when you think about it if there wasnt a time gap, it wouldn't make sense, literally. God created everything verse 1, it wouldn't instantaneously become desolate, without form and void. And it says in Isaiah 45 also that whatever God creates is good and perfect, so the verse 1 creation we must assume would not have been desolate.
The first day reference could simply mean the literal first day of the "new world" that God was reestablishing.
And the mystery of the gap leads therefore to a completely new topic, and just how did the first creation become desolate, covered with sea and having no atmosphere?
The Bible also tells us that before this recreation, there were angels that had already been created, and also Satan who "fell from grace". The theory has been explained to me that the earth was orignally entrusted to angels lead by Lucifer, who then turned against God creating a war where the Earth was destroyed, became without form or void. Satan is then cast down to Earth and is there during the recreation, and manifests himself as the serpent that appears to Eve.
This is all pretty farfetched stuff, but is all backed up by scripture. Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...

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 Message 5 by Granny Magda, posted 11-28-2008 5:43 PM Granny Magda has replied

Replies to this message:
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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4266 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 7 of 319 (489634)
11-28-2008 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
This is all pretty farfetched stuff, but is all backed up by scripture. Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...
Why not, there is a lot of "far-fetched stuff" written 3000+ years ago and told over 4000-5000 years ago.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

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kuresu
Member (Idle past 2589 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 8 of 319 (489635)
11-28-2008 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
This is all pretty farfetched stuff, but is all backed up by scripture. Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...
You're right. Only delusional people desparate to hold onto a falsified myth would twist the words of the bible so.

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 Message 6 by Integral, posted 11-28-2008 6:33 PM Integral has not replied

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 9 of 319 (489636)
11-28-2008 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
Thanks for your reply Integral,
yes it does seem a bit of a stretch, but when you think about it if there wasnt a time gap, it wouldn't make sense, literally.
To be clear, a literal reading of "day" would be "day". Inserting a gap that is not mentioned in the text is not a literal reading.
God created everything verse 1, it wouldn't instantaneously become desolate, without form and void.
Why not? God is omnipotent isn't he? If he wants to create instant desolation, he can.
And it says in Isaiah 45 also that whatever God creates is good and perfect, so the verse 1 creation we must assume would not have been desolate.
Perhaps it was perfectly desolate. Isaiah was written by someone else completely. Also, you seem to be assuming that the Bible cannot contradict itself. That is a doomed argument. The Bible contradicts itself many times.
And the mystery of the gap leads therefore to a completely new topic, and just how did the first creation become desolate, covered with sea and having no atmosphere?
Even if we accept the "became" translation, this does not imply a long period of time. Something can "become" in a short period of time. You are trying to stretch the text to say more than it really does.
The Bible also tells us that before this recreation, there were angels that had already been created, and also Satan who "fell from grace". The theory has been explained to me that the earth was orignally entrusted to angels lead by Lucifer, who then turned against God creating a war where the Earth was destroyed, became without form or void. Satan is then cast down to Earth and is there during the recreation, and manifests himself as the serpent that appears to Eve.
This is all pretty farfetched stuff, but is all backed up by scripture. Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...
To me, this sounds like exactly the sort of thing that someone might have thought 4000 years ago. The creation of the Earth is described in terms of magical events and the actions of fantastical beings.
If a 4000 year old man had written that the Earth was created by the action of gravity upon rocky debris that orbited a star, now that would be impressive.
This is exactly the kind of information that the the Bible does not provide. Gap creationism is just a post hoc way of explaining away all the the problems created by the Genesis authors lack of a true understanding of the universe.
Mutate and survive

"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 10 of 319 (489641)
11-28-2008 7:51 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
Hi, Integral. Welcome to EvC!
Integral writes:
And it says in Isaiah 45 also that whatever God creates is good and perfect, so the verse 1 creation we must assume would not have been desolate.
What really upsets me about scripture study is that it always degenerates to arguments about semantics. For instance, you have no evidence that Isaiah 45's "good" and "perfect" referred to Genesis 1:1 creation or Genesis 1:2 creation: you assumed that. Nor do you have any reason to believe that "perfect" and "good" cannot coexist with "desolate" and "void," unless you impregnate the words with a preconception that empty space cannot be "perfect."
Bible scholars spend aeons arguing till their hearts fibrillate about what the word "day" or "perfect" or "beginning" or "desolate" means, and never once think that it might not matter a damn bit what it means. For all you know, Moses (or whoever the writer actually is) is up there in Heaven right now wishing he had used a different word, anyway. I know I feel like that when reading some of my older manuscripts.
If Moses had chosen a different word, that would have profoundly influenced the theologies of countless Christian scholars around the world. Yet, no scholar ever considers the possibility that Moses might not have chosen the right words, even though Moses is described in the Bible as “slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Doesn't that bother you even a little bit?
In the end, you’re just going to have to rely on your own understanding and interpretation anyway. So, why not just accept that from the beginning instead of trying to torture some personal validation out of the Scriptures?

-Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

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Brian
Member (Idle past 5035 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 11 of 319 (489689)
11-29-2008 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
This is all pretty farfetched stuff, but is all backed up by scripture.
Backing up a fairytale by using a fairytale book isn't really that impressive.
If the young Earth was backed up by anything external to the Bible then that would be a different quality of evidence.
Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...
Then you are obviously not a student of ancient history.
Also, where do you get the idea that Genesis was written 4000 years ago?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Integral, posted 11-28-2008 6:33 PM Integral has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2017 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 12 of 319 (489693)
11-29-2008 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Granny Magda
11-28-2008 5:43 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
"Gap Creationism" is not about explaining the age of the Earth, it's about explaining away the fact that science has shown the world to be much, much older than the Bible authors dreamed.
The understanding of a interval of unspecified time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 far predates the invention of Geology as a science.
Ancient Hebrew readers had this view with no particular pressing reason to "accomodate" the Scriptures to geological theories of the 19th century or evolutionary theories that had not yet been proposed.
Critics of your so-called "Gap Theory" should keep this in mind. It is a very old interpretation. Some second century AD rabbis held to it. And it probably was older than that as a tradition.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 3177 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 13 of 319 (489700)
11-29-2008 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Integral
11-28-2008 6:33 PM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
Not something i could imagine a middle eastern man 4000 years ago could make up...
Creation stories can be found in abundance from all over the world.
Here is one from Sumeria, Abraham's home land:
In the first days when everything needed was brought into being,
In the first days when everything needed was properly nourished,
When bread was baked in the shrines of the land,
And bread was tasted in the homes of the land,
When heaven had moved away from the earth,
And earth had separated from heaven,
And the name of man was fixed;
When the Sky God, An, had carried off the heavens,
And the Air God, Enlil, had carried off the earth.
Here it describes the creation of man from a Summerian myth about the birth of humanity:
The gods were dredging the rivers,
were piling up their silt
on projecting bends--
and the gods lugging the clay
began complaining
and from the Old-Babylonian Atrahasis Creation Epic predating Moses penning his creation story:
Create a human to bear the yoke.
Let him bear the yoke, the task of Enlil,
Let man carry the load of the gods.
Let them slaughter one god,
So that all the gods may be purified by dipping.
With his flesh and blood
Let Nintu mix clay.
So let god and man be mingled
Together in the clay.
does not the ancient Babylonian Enma Eli creation story not sound earily familiar to Genesis 1
When on high heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Aps, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both,
Their waters were mingled together,
And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
I think the main difference between the ancient Sumerian/Babylonian creation myths and that of Moses is a paradime shift from polytheism to monotheism.
Thus it is not that hard to see how Moses could have derived and expounded on more ancienct creation myths passed down from generation to generation from Abraham's originial homeland in Sumeria (Babylonia).

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan

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jaywill
Member (Idle past 2017 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 14 of 319 (489741)
11-29-2008 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by DevilsAdvocate
11-29-2008 11:23 AM


Re: Post Hoc Rationalisation
Interesting. But I want to know if you can find any ancient account of creation that says the gods or thier god created the world out of nothing.
ie. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ..." (Gen. 1:1)
"By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not come into being out of things which appear." (Hebrews 11:3)
"By the word of Jehovah the heavens were made, And all thier hosts by the breath of His mouth ...For He spoke, and it was; He commanded, and it stood." (See Psalm 33:6-9)
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

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 Message 15 by Rrhain, posted 11-29-2008 7:18 PM jaywill has replied

Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 15 of 319 (489754)
11-29-2008 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by jaywill
11-29-2008 4:38 PM


jaywill writes:
quote:
But I want to know if you can find any ancient account of creation that says the gods or thier god created the world out of nothing.
Greek: In the beginning, there was Chaos, the gaping void of nothingness.
Norse: In the beginning, there was Ginnungagap, the void that separated Muspelheim and Niflheim.
Chinese: In the beginning, all was Tao, the nameless void, the mother of Ten Thousand Things.
So there you go. The Bible is hardly unique in claiming that in the beginning, there was nothing. Of course, if there were nothing, how could there be god? But, that's another question.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

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