Mike, I'm slightly confused by your arguments. I'm not trying to prove the age of the world. The question I was answering was how can light from 15 billion light years away reach the earth if it's only 6,000 years old. The question was how creationists can reconcile this dilemma with their beliefs. As a creationist, I have thought through this problem so I gave my perspective. I am not accepting or rejecting the scientific evidence, so there is no need for me to give scientific proofs. I'm not trying to further the knowledge of science, I'm trying to further the knowledge of this particular Biblical passage.
I am examing traditional creationist views (i.e. the universe is only 6,000 yrs old) and comparing them to the views of cosmology (i.e. the universe is 15 billion yrs old). I'm not supporting either position. I'm merely pointing out that a literal understanding of this passage does not conflict with accepted cosmological views.
So your observation that I chose biased information is correct. I chose suitable evidence, literary proofs for literary content and not scientific proofs for literary content. I have not heard your evidence on why the Genesis 1 passage conflicts with cosmology. If you have a literary interpretation of this passage that is more accurate than the one I have presented, I'm all ears. Use evidence. Use logic and literary criticism. This is a literary passage, not a scientific law.
Furthermore, the my biblical rejection of biological 'Evolution' does not affect my views on cosmic 'evolution'. Cosmology is a separate discipline from biology; they rely on different methodology and logic. And the logic of modern cosmology is alot better than modern biology. Cosmology fits the criteria for science (i.e. not self-refuting), unlike evolutionary biological theories which do not. If you would like to hear my proofs for this statement, I will be happy to share them with you. But perhaps we should move to a different forum since this area deals exclusively with cosmology.
P.S. Again I wish to reiterate that I do not believe that Biblical creationism has any conflict with modern cosmology. That is why most creationist's arguments center around biology, and why most of their arguments regarding cosmology are ludicrous.
There's a little "reply" icon at the bottom of each message, and if you use it instead of the general "reply" icon that appears at the top and bottom of each page then your message gets a link back to the message you're replying to, and the list of your messages that you get by clicking on your name will tell you who you've replied to and who has replied to you.
quote:Furthermore, the my biblical rejection of biological 'Evolution' does not affect my views on cosmic 'evolution'. Cosmology is a separate discipline from biology; they rely on different methodology and logic.
So let me get this straight: humankind has existed for 6000 years or so, while the Solar System has been around for 4.5 billion years, as evinced by the many measurements of radioisotopes that have been conducted on meteorites, moon rocks, and the Isua Formation from Greenland. But these identical physical measurements somehow don't apply to hominid/human fossil strata from Hadar, or Olduvai Gorge, or the cave paintings in France. Are you saying that the normal laws of physics apply only outside Earth's biosphere? Or am I reading you wrong? If you want to discuss this in a new thread in a biology forum, feel free to start one.
quote:I'm merely pointing out that a literal understanding of this passage does not conflict with accepted cosmological views.
Somewhere you said that the heavens and earth, in your interpretation of Genesis, were around long long before people, who were created 6000 years ago. You conclude that this passage does not conflict with modern cosmology. It doesn't, but only if you ignore a number of details.
1) Modern cosmology does not have the the heavens and earth 'in the beginning.' There are billions of years and quite a few stages to the process. And earth didn't show up until two-thirds of the way through. That is a lot of cosmology to skip, and it wouldn't have taken more than a few verses to get it right in general outline. This suggests that the authors just didn't know what they were talking about. While it isn't really in conflict, I won't call it in accord either.
2) Genesis has some very odd cosmology, such as days and nights having been invented prior to the creation of the sun. Further suggesting that the authors didn't know what they were talking about. This is in direct contradiction to modern cosmology.
3) The chain of creation in Genesis, from the creation of the heavens to that of man, is tied together with a chain of days. The Hebrew is YOWM and it means a literal day, not a fuzzy length of time. This is in direct contradiction to cosmology due to the problems with the timeline.
quote:Cosmology is a separate discipline from biology; they rely on different methodology and logic.
"The Hebrew is YOWM and it means a literal day, not a fuzzy length of time. This is in direct contradiction to cosmology due to the problems with the timeline." --I don't like to tumble with the linguistics, and semantics games of interpreting scripture, though I would point out that Yowm isn't restricted to a literal earth day.
--Strong's Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary extract for 3117 "yowm":
Note that there can be two uses of the word, as a literal day, or as a figurative day for a period of time to be defined by associated words.
--The "Lexical Aids for the Old Testament" edited by Spiros Zodhiates for yowm:
Note that this author expands on Strong's comments and repeatedly emphasizes that yowm can be a period of time.
Also: --We look at some of the places early in the Old Testament at which yowm has been translated as time in Fig 3 below. (Over 40 times depending upon the translation.):
As early as Genesis 2:4 we see yowm in the singular with an attached infinitive used to indicate an extended period of time. Strong's does not show this since the King James Versions retain the translation of day...
quote:--I don't like to tumble with the linguistics, and semantics games of interpreting scripture, though I would point out that Yowm isn't restricted to a literal earth day.
I asked this question of a Rabbi fluent in Hebrew and he looked at me as I were insane.
quote:Note that there can be two uses of the word, as a literal day, or as a figurative day for a period of time to be defined by associated words.
Associated words eh? Further down you mention something about a modifier. Yes, indeed. English does this too. You could say "during the day" or "during the days" or "many a day" but the three are not the same. Use some common sense here. Look up "day" in a dictionary of English and you'll find similar things about figurative meaning. This does not mean that you can interpret it figuratively in every case. There are modifiers that come into play.
quote:--We look at some of the places early in the Old Testament at which yowm has been translated as time in Fig 3 below. (Over 40 times depending upon the translation.)
I've looked through a few of these.
Gen. 4:3 does not contain the word YOWM in the Hebrew (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgardensia).
Nor does Gen. 17:21.
Nor does Gen 18:30.
Nor does Gen. 22:15.
Someone is not being honest with you. Just for kicks, I also checked the Massoretic-- same results.
quote:As early as Genesis 2:4 we see yowm in the singular with an attached infinitive used to indicate an extended period of time. Strong's does not show this since the King James Versions retain the translation of day...
In Hebrew, the letter BET is attatched as a prefix to a word to mean "in" or "on". It has got to be one of the most common grammatical structures in Hebrew. As far as I can tell, your source just made up the part about "in order to indicate an extended period of time." The same word is used for "on the day" or "in the day" throughout the OT. My search gave me 552 results. The results I've looked up-- about twenty-- are all pretty literal days, as "Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day."
quote:--Just thought I would point that out.
Thanks, but maybe you shouldn't depend upon a site devoted to biblical apologetics.
First I wanna thank Percy for his help using the forum. Thank you so much, and I'll reply to your letter on the other thread when I get the chance.
I would like to clear up some confusion. I am -not- saying that 'yowm' means an indefinite length of time. I don't think that the 6 days of Genesis are eras. Yes, they're real days. What I'm surmising is that the action on these days may signify modifications to the Earth and it's atmosphere, not the entire universe.
This interpretation would say that Genesis 1:1 is the record of the creation of the universe outside of the earth's biosphere (but there wasn't one at the time because there wasn't any life!). But this didn't necessarily occur on the first day or all at the same time. It merely means that God created the universe first at the beginning of time, before the rest of the chapter. Between verse 1 and verse 2 there may be some time. Who knows how much, 6 hrs, a billion years, or 15 billion years. The text doesn't say.
It may also be that the entire universe was created in 6 days, there is that possibility in the text. And if God did, would he be decieving us? No, how do we know what a 15 billion year old universe looks like? If God really did create the universe in 6 days, we don't know that it looks identical to a 15 billion year old universe, because we've never seen one!
But until we hear from God on the correct interpretation of this text, there's no reason to alienate modern cosmology.
P.S. Coragyps, good question. Give me some time to think about it, I haven't thought about this interpretation from that angle. Preliminarily, I would say that this is not a problem. The Bible doesn't give specific dates for the dawn of humanity. Some guy in the 15th century thought up a 6000 year old age for the earth. I don't think that the Bible demands this age, but let me check on it.
P.S.S. John, one consequence of this theory would be that there would be normal days on Days 1,2,&3, because the sun was already there (it was created in verse 1). I can explain some of the problems with my interpretation (like the meaning of day 4) later. However, to do them right I have alot of passages to cover, it may take me awhile to write it all out :-)
P.S.S.S. Wanted to clarify something that slipped through my edits. When I said that cosmology and biology had different methodologies, what I meant to say was that cosmology and evolution (only interspecies) have different methodologies & logic. Cosmology starts with a principle (General Relativity, Quantum mechanics, etc.) and speculates what the past would be like. Evolution starts with how the world is today (i.e. species have similarities) and tries to find principles that would make this happen. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you can accept cosmic 'evolution' without accepting biological interspecies 'evolution'. Sorry for the confusion, my mistake.
quote:Cosmology starts with a principle (General Relativity, Quantum mechanics, etc.) and speculates what the past would be like. Evolution starts with how the world is today (i.e. species have similarities) and tries to find principles that would make this happen.
I would have to disagree. Cosmology starts with observations of how the universe is today - galaxies with redshifts, the microwave background radiation, neutrinos coming out of the Sun, the interactions of protons colliding - and tries to find principles that would make this happen. It and evolutionary biology use the same methodology, except that it's much easier to do experiments on E. coli than on omega Centauri.
Well, I guess your questiion to me has been answered by now. But just to put it in my own words, you are trying to accept the evidence for an old universe (based on evidence such as redshifts and measurements of the distances of stars and galaxies, the time light would take to reach us, the physics of stars) and reject evidence for humanity and life having been around for hundreds of thousand years or millions of years respectively (based on evidence such as geological strata, radiometric dating, genetics, morphology). What is your reason for accepting one set of evidence and rejecting the other? They are all based on the same rules of observation, experimentation, inference, theory-building. Mike
Mark I am new here.This is my first post. I am browsing at the moment and will dig in to something in a little bit. However, you tagline caught my attention and wondered if you can explain a little what you mean?
Coragyps, Good observation. I need to further clarify what I mean (gee, this is harder than it looks!). Yes, some cosmology starts from the current state of the universe and then invents laws to explain how we got to our current state. But not any that influence the age of the earth.
The only cosmolgical law that would influence the age of the universe, to my knowledge, is Hubble's Law. If you take Hubble's Law, that the universe is expanding, and reverse it, you end up with the Big Bang. This is a present principle attempting to prove the state of the past.
Science must find it's scientific principles in the present. You must find your laws or principles first, with physical expermental data. Then you may apply these principles to the past or future. Any other way contradicts the scientific method.
Evolution is a case in point. The evolutionary theories regarding the emergence of life have not been experimentally proven. As of yet, no life has emerged from our scientists' test tubes. Until life is produced in the laboratory, evolution will be very different from ideas like the Big Bang. This does not necessarily mean that life could not emerge from test tubes, but it does mean that until expermental data is acquired such ideas are unscientific.
As an end to all this, I feel that this particular branch of the thread's tree has gone off topic. We could move it to another thread? I think it would help this discussion by not allowing the thread's other discussions to interfere.
P.S. Howdy Mark!
P.S.S. Mike, your latest letter is even more confusing than the one before. I have no idea what you're talking about. I didn't ask you any question, I answered Darwin Storm's question. I am -not- trying to accept the evidence of an old universe. It has no relation to what I was talking about. I would be happy to discuss any topic you want, including the one you suggested. But, as I have said before, I think we should do it on a separate thread, since your topic is unrelated to the current topic & forum (see my previous letters).
Can you explain the difference between abiogenesis and the Big Bang in terms of experimental evidence ? We haven't produced a Big Bang - or even a star in a test tube so far as I know.
And I would point out that the formation of life (abiogenesis) is not strictly speaking part of evolutionary theory. It cannot be since a key stage (the formation of the initial replicators) and everything prior to that cannot be explained by evolution at all. It is all in the domain of chemistry.
PaulK, The Big Bang does have experimental data. The universe appears to be receding (redshifts) away from itself. So it may have been closer last year, or a decade ago, or a millenium ago, or a million years back, or a billion. If you go as far back as possible, you eventually come to a place where everything is at the same spot. This is the essential part of the Big Bang, everything used to be alot closer, maybe even as close as a singularity!
Albiogenesis, on the other hand, does not have any observable data. Some people have made amino acids in test tubes, but no life.
Also, Darwinian Evolution doesn't have any experimental data for macrospecies evolution (actually neither does the 'Hopeful Monster' approach). Yes, some fruitflies have been turned into a different breeding group of fruitflies. But no apes into humans or fish into frogs, at least not yet.
I disagree. There is only observational data for the BB - redshifts, the cosmic background radiation, etc., but not nearly as much as there is for abiogenesis and particularly for "macroevolution." Far more fancy molecules and aggregates than amino acids have been prepared (experiment!) under plausible early-Earth conditions in the lab, and observed in meteorites. Paleontology and molecular biology provide many observations every week that point to common descent of all life on earth.