Astro-centrism, and God outright *told* Adam to name the animals? (respectively Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 2:19b)


(Daniel Pech) #1

I have various disagreements both with (a) the status quo among YEC (such as Morris, Ham, Sarfati), and (b) with OEC (such as Hugh Ross). For the most part, both are markedly astro-centric in their interpretation of any portion of Scripture than blindly can be so construed.

And so many in YEC also do one worse: they commit a Rationalistic kind of language-centric, nowhere-centrism upon Genesis 1. In fact, this particular centrism seems to me to bear the prime fault for anyone ever having the impression that Genesis 2 materially contradicts Genesis 1. If G1 must be viewed as being so mindlessly ‘straight forward’ that only the more roundly informed readers can possibly misunderstand any of it, then the way in which G2 presents its topics constitutes a most extremely rude cessation of such ‘straight forwardness’.

I’m a YEC myself, but not status quo.

Both Ross and Morris assert (claiming something without offering any kind of evidence that particularly supports the claim) that God rather explicitly told Adam to name the animals (Genesis 2:19). Ross actually uses the word ‘told’, and Morris uses both the word ‘told’ and the word ‘commanded’.

See:

Hugh Ross: ‘How long are the “creation” days of Genesis 1?’ (2008) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-syxid39kg (at time 03:35-03:52)

and

Henry Morris: Biblical Creationism: What Each Book of the Bible Teaches about Creation and the Flood. http://intelmin.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/BiblicalCreationismLO727.pdf pg. 22 bottom (‘told’) and pg. 20 bottom (‘commanded’).

The way I read Genesis 2:19, there is no normal suggestion of any outright dedicated specification, on God’s part, that Adam name anything: ‘Adam, name the animals’, or, ‘Adam, now, thou shalt name the animals’, much less, ‘Adam, command I thee to name these animals’, or ‘Adam, by my own Authority, I COMMAND you to name these animals!’ (i. e. accompanied by booming thunder).

The way I read it, the only normal implication of the wording and phrasing of Genesis 2:19b is that Adam had, in a very practical sense of conversation with God, already been naming other things. Thus is this part of this verse merely implying the pinnacle of that ‘naming’ effort, and this allows the account to be compact while being readily unpacked.

In fact, this compactness of a richer detail is suggested by the fact that Genesis 1 reports only five names that God called anything. In regard to the things that G1 reports that God named, the account itself first references these things by its author’s own more general terms, and then relates that God ‘called’ these things particular names (Genesis 1:5, 8, 10).

So my view is that:

(X) both Genesis 1 and 2 bear every likeness of actual reports, by a human author(s), of a variety of items, and some of which to which that human(s) was direct witness,

and

(Y) Therefore, the pair of accounts actually are such reports.

Morris and Ross, on the other hand, represent a very simplistic notion that the pair of accounts are more ‘authoritative’ than those accounts are normal compositions in normal language. Thus, both Ross and the status quo among YEC see at least Genesis 1 as being comprised of nothing more than a single simple narrative self-report, on the part of God, which God dictated, word-for-word, to the account’s transcriber. On this simplistic view, the account is God’s alone, by which He has expressed every one of His actions and utterances in the exact sequence in which He did and said them.

If (contrary to both Ross and his critics of the merely status quo stripe of YEC) these accounts are normal compositions in normal language, then that would strongly suggest that there is far more information implicitly meant in them for us to know than what they seem simply to ‘spell out’. Even Ross should admit that there is some implicitness to the phrase, in Genesis 1:2, of ‘darkness upon’. This phrase, when found elsewhere in Scripture to be referencing a terrestrial condition, normally and clearly is seen to imply the condition of dense cloud that blocks the light from the Sun reaching the surface of Earth----a surface where, normally, life exists.


(Phil) #2

We were discussing Genesis 1 today, and when pointed out that according to Genisis 1, that the animals were created, Adam was created, Adam names the animals, Eve was created, and they were tasked with being fruitful, all between dawn and dusk… Busy , busy day. Some were a little taken aback to realize that is what it said, taken a literal reading.


(James McKay) #3

Even if you assume a YEC point of view, is there any reason why we should consider Genesis 2 to be an expanded account of what happened on Day 6?

When I read Genesis 2, it makes a whole lot more sense (and resolves a lot of problems) if you assume that (a) it is local in scope rather than global, referring only to the Garden of Eden and the lands in the vicinity of it; and (b) it refers to events that happened some time after the Creation Week.


(Christy Hemphill) #4

Welcome to the forum:

Huh?

Why is this a problem?[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:1, topic:35941”]
In fact, this compactness of a richer detail is suggested by the fact that Genesis 1 reports only five names that God called anything. Of the things that G1 reports that God named, the account itself first references these things by its author’s own more general terms, and then relates that God ‘called’ those things particular names (Genesis 1:5, 8, 10).
[/quote]

What is the relationship in your mind between God “naming” things and Adam naming things?[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:1, topic:35941”]
both Genesis 1 and 2 bear every likeness of actual reports, by a human author(s), of a variety of items, and some of which to which that human(s) was direct witness,
[/quote]

How does this follow from anything you said?[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:1, topic:35941”]

Therefore, the pair of accounts actually are such reports.
[/quote]

The conclusion doesn’t follow if you haven’t established the premise.[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:1, topic:35941”]
Morris and Ross, on the other hand, represent a very simplistic notion that the pair of accounts are more ‘authoritative’ than those accounts are normal compositions in normal language.
[/quote]

Huh?[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:1, topic:35941”]
Thus, both Ross and the status quo among YEC see at least Genesis 1 as being comprised of nothing more than a single simple narrative self-report, on the part of God, which God dictated, word-for-word, to the account’s transcriber. On this simplistic view, the account is God’s alone, by which He has expressed every one of His actions and utterances in the exact sequence in which He did and said them.
[/quote]

Most people here think that is a silly notion. But how does God dictating something make the product not a normal composition in normal language? Are only humans capable of composing something “normally”? If it’s composed by humans but inspired by God, is it normal?

The whole beginning part of Genesis 1 implies an existing material creation. Hence John Walton’s argument that Genesis 1 is about assigning roles and functions to creation, not bringing matter into existence.

I’m having a hard time figuring out what it is you are asserting or asking us to discuss in your post.


(Daniel Pech) #5

My whole post implicitly challenges the common presupposition that “there ought to be little or no difference for how the account ought to be to interpreted if either (a) it was composed by Adam and Eve, or (b) dictated, word-for-word, by God.”

My own presupposition about that presupposition is that it is premature, at best. I should think this would apply regardless what position one maintains as to ages and manners of the origins of the physical, terrestrial, and biological realms.

But, especially, I think it applies to the YEC position, since that is the position that the most deeply must assume exactly one of two possibilities within its framework:

i) God created Adam and Eve complete and mature even in possessing a complete basic ready-made language, ex-nihilo ‘front-loaded’ into their minds.

or

ii) God created Adam and Eve complete and mature even in the human capacity to develop a first language.

Of course, the easiest answer is to claim that God did both i) and ii).

But that all-inclusive answer is a mere convenient ‘out’ that fails to address the fact that ii) may well be both sufficient in general and historiographically most productive. Amy Orr-Ewing shows that historically genuine human authorship of the New Testament texts is a key to the apologetics of their authenticity. How much more productive, then, would be the same for Genesis 1 per ii).

That’s why I say that Genesis 1 may well be far richer, more dense, in information than that to which any mere ‘God dictated it’ position can properly claim. We are, are we not, made in God’s image?

YEC Kenneth Gentry, like most moderns, argue in support of the idea that the reason why Genesis 1 does not specify proper names for the two ‘great’ luminaries is because its author thereby was engaging in polemic avoidance against the pagan worship of these luminaries that existed in the time of Moses and earlier. But this polemic avoidance idea does not seem so readily to explain why the account does not specify any proper names for any of the ‘stars’ or constellations. To my mind, both these cases of ‘no proper names’ is best explained by ii).


(Daniel Pech) #6

In my view, this is a reasonable interpretation only if it is not the case that Adam and Eve were created complete and mature as to the common human capacity to develop a first language: developed from human bio-semantic, enviro-semantic conversational scratch.


(Christy Hemphill) #7

What if it was composed by someone other than Adam and Eve or God? That is going to be the majority view around here.

It wouldn’t have been OT Hebrew, so there’s that. OT Hebrew is a language of about the 10th century B.C.[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:5, topic:35941”]
But this polemic avoidance idea does not seem so readily to explain why the account does not specify any proper names for any of the ‘stars’ or constellations.
[/quote]

Because the stars and constellations weren’t deities. The sun and the moon were in the ANE context, and naming them would have been using the names for deities. Or so the argument goes.


(Jay Nelsestuen) #8

Prithee, define “astro-centric” for us lay-fellows.


(Daniel Pech) #9

I don’t know how anyone determines either what constitutes OT Hebrew or how old such Hebrew is. And I don’t take anyone’s opinion for much, no matter their credentials or etc… But, you didn’t know that about me in advance, which is why you have to at least offer the view. I appreciate it.

Yep. That makes a whole a lot of sense. I by no means personally favor it, however. But it’s an excellent point to keep in mind. Thanks!


#10

Well the archeologists have found written paleo-Hebrew that dates to around the time of Abraham. Of course there is no record of any spoken language so when it developed is anybody’s guess. The problem is if A&E composed and/or took dictation from God to create Genesis how did it get recorded with no written language?


(Daniel Pech) #11

Right. I shall make three points to explain this. The third one may be of the most interest to this forum.

One,

I assume you are aware that YEC Henry Morris the 1st helped YEC’s welcome the idea that Genesis 1:1 can well be little or nothing but the creation of the life-indifferent trio of ‘fundamental’ physics known as space, matter, and time.

Two,

My personal ‘in’ into the various debates and differences both within YEC and between YEC and all other camps (atheist included) has been by way of my deep criticisms of, and encouragements toward, one human trio of YEC authors: Frank DeRemer, Mark Amunrud, and Delmar Dobberpulh. Their co-authored model of Genesis 1 (see link below) says that not only is v. 1 exactly that universally trivial physical trio, but that the entire first eight verses makes no explicit description of any part of planet Earth. Such a model, therefore, leaves the only verse in the entire account to be describing God’s acts of forming the planet to be verse 9. From the point of a view of a specially created first human couple in a specially created completed living world, such a limit on its description of that world would render the account to say nothing more of how the physical planet supports life than that it is akin to a woman-shaped mannequin (vs. 9-10) that God therefore arbitrarily impregnated (vv. 11-12, 20-28). No one knowingly would tell a normal bride-to-be that her wedding dress was burned in a fire by first expounding to her on the fabric used in the suits worn by the fire fighters.

(DeRemer, F., M. Amunrud, and D. Dobberpuhl. 2007. Days 1-4. Journal of Creation 21, no.3:69-76, pg. 69 (Abstract) https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j21_3/j21_3_69-76.pdf)

So, as I said to that YEC trio of authors, “Of course there is a legitimate Christian concern for the creation and formation of the various non-terrestrial things such as matter, energy, and the spatial dimension. But the best simple account of the creation and formation of everything is one that both focused and short.” (This would be true, it seems to me, regardless if such an account describes God acts of physical creation or, instead, is a merely a Jewish ‘theological’ employment of many of the themes of Ancient Near East creation myths.)

Three,

Danny Faulkner (see link below), of the YEC Answers in Genesis (headed by Ken Ham), is in pursuit to find that ‘raqia’ in Genesis 1:8 is at least some portion of outer space. But in that pursuit, his bias is both (a) astro-centric and (b) modern centric:

(a) he conceives of the sensible, pressurized substance which is breath and breeze as little more than at once invisible and an obstacle to observation…

therefore…

(b) he asserts that ‘our concept of the atmosphere and space beyond is’ strictly ‘modern’, so the notion that the air does not simply extend to all the luminaries is 'not a ‘concept that ancient people, including the Hebrews, would recognize.’

He then seems to have employed that astro-centrism in having missed the final two of nine total instances in Genesis 1 of the word ‘shamayim’:

The word šāmayim appears only seven times in Genesis 1 [Faulkner presumably counts only those each in vv. 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, and 20. There are two more: vv. 26 and 28]. The first three appearances are in Genesis 1:1, 8, and 9. The first verse is part of the encapsulatory introduction. Verse 8 is God’s equation of the rāqîaʿ with the šāmayim. Verse 9 involves God’s command for the waters under the heavens to be gathered into one place and that dry land appear. Since this immediately follows God’s equation of the rāqîaʿ and the šāmayim and the conclusion of Day Two, it ought to be abundantly clear that the rāqîaʿ ought to be equated with šāmayim in verse 9. The four times that šāmayim is used in the remainder of Genesis 1, it always appears in construct with the word rāqîaʿ, as it is translated “firmament of heaven” in the KJV. Three of these uses are in the context of the Day Four account (verses 14, 15, and 17), with the fourth appearance in the Day Five account (verse 20). The implication seems to be, lest there be any confusion, that this entity mentioned is the same thing that God made on Day Two.

(((( Danny Faulkner: Thoughts on the rāqîa‘ and a Possible Explanation for the Cosmic Microwave Background. Answers Research Journal 9 (2016):57-65, https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/pdf-versions/arj/v9/raqia-cosmic-microwave-background.pdf , https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/cosmology/thoughts-raqia-and-possible-explanation-cosmic-microwave-background/. ))))


(Christy Hemphill) #12

That doesn’t mean nobody knows how, or there aren’t established ways of determining an approximate date of a languages emergence. Historical linguistics is an academic discipline: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/276/1668/2703

This is relevant, because there is no evidence that Hebrew existed as a language during the proposed young earth time frame for Adam and Eve. Plus, who ever claims Adam and Eve wrote Genesis? They say Moses wrote Genesis and it was revealed to him by God.


(Jay Nelsestuen) #13

I’m not entirely certain you’ve even answered my question. You lost me somewhere in part 2.


(Christy Hemphill) #14

Huh?

You still have not explained what the heck astro-centrism is or why we should care someone made up this word.

All this becomes so much easier if you just ditch concordism altogether and read Genesis in its ancient context. At which point all of these subtle distinctions you are making seem rather pointless. You have not established that it is appropriate to approach Scripture the way you are approaching it in the first place. Congratulations if you can score a point against a YEC apologist using their text-torturing rules of exegesis. But you are still playing by their text-torturing rules, and there really is no call for that.


(Daniel Pech) #15

First, if life generally evolved, from lower to higher; simpler to more complex, then there well may be no prosthetic storage of memory, such as writing, as far back as an actual A&E may have to be dated. But I’m YEC, so I see no problem: I assume that humans, in general, have never been mental ‘brutes’.

Second, there must be kept in mind the hard distinction between (a) any mediums and forms of prosthetic storage of (human) memory, and (b) a given spoken-language-tradition. What today simply is conceived as ‘written Hebrew’ is not actually Hebrew prime, but merely a particular form in which the prime is, itself, prosthetically coded-represented.

For a merely trivial kind of example, one would never claim, today, that ‘OMG’ and ‘IMHO’ are not English. LOL :slight_smile:

…and that’s still using the common/standard English letters of the past many centuries. So there’s a whole nuanced set of things that deeply and directly justifies my topic and my position on it: To begin with, the medium, and its mode of use, fairly dictates the range and kinds forms in which record is kept:

The normal facts are two:

(A) for any prosthetic form of information-storage commonly available at a given place and time, that technology normally is used by anyone who has a compelling need to use it, and a ready access to the medium, and

(B) only as much truths are set to record as its authors can afford on the total set of measures. Only one of these measures is the medium, and its normal costs within a given economy in which it is used.

So, while cord and fabric mediums may have been used briefly, one other medium easy surpassed it, at least in the post-Flood world, if not in the world prior to the Flood. Clay.

Clay was far more abundant, cheaper, and had a certain kind of permanence over a record in cloth or knotted cord. Soft clay also is easy to inscribe, and this far more quickly per data bit than that for knotting cord or weaving fabric. Clay also either naturally dries to a most ready hardness, or is fire-hardened to a more durable hardness. Durable clay record therefore is hard to change, unlike an angle on a cross-stitch panel or a sleeve on a knitted sweater. Also, unlike fabric, hardened inscribed tablets of clay readily are used as stamp molds for the carefully handled convex copies that serve as stamps for quickly making any number of concave copies of the original. Finally, unlike fire-hardened clay, fabric is vulnerable to rot.

But, the problems unique to inscribed clay are many. The inscriptions are delicate relative to information density, are difficult to read in low light, and best practices of the originals of sacred record include avoiding the tactile mode of reading that is necessary in particular darkness. Unlike fabric, clay also is bulky and heavy per the amount of imprints it can take relative to a basically durable-handle-able maximum volume. Dried or fired clay is prone to break or shatter, and is heavy for the amount of data that durably can be put on a given size tablet. So the tablets must be small enough to maximally balance the need of information against the need of the handling-durability of the tablet, and this balanced against such things as the size of inscriptions per their vulnerability to breaking or wearing.

Only upon the invention of flexible, thin, paper or vellum, and this invention mass-produced, could clay be abandoned as a normal medium for prosthetic storage of information. The vast advantages of handling, communication, and storage capacity which large amounts of paper and vellum has over clay are immediately appreciated. This drove the innovation of paper production processes that use great economy of scale. Guttenberg (sp?) finally made his printing press, and the ‘rest is history’ until such things as the transistor, the expanded electric utility grid, the internet, and Steve Jobs.

SWCYUMHP? LOL


(Christy Hemphill) #16

Huh? Could you please try a little harder to write things in plain English? I am a reasonably intelligent person with excellent reading comprehension, but I have no clue what half your paragraphs are trying to say.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is unclear on what your topic is, let alone your position on said topic.[quote=“Daniel_Pech, post:15, topic:35941”]
only as much truths are set to record as its authors can afford on the total set of measures.
[/quote]

Seriously. This is word salad. We like discussing things here, but you have to help us out and say things people can have some success interpreting.

Are you suggesting no records of human language exist prior to the YEC global flood date?

Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘orality’ in the ancient world and that the role of written records in maintaining histories was significantly different than its modern role?


(Daniel Pech) #17

[quote=“Christy, post:12, topic:35941”]
That doesn’t mean (…) there aren’t established ways of determining an approximate date of a languages emergence. Historical linguistics is an academic discipline

[quote]

I cannot generally disagree. But not all of the ever-sometime established ways have always been in agreement. How ‘established’ does something have to be to be purely reliable? Even in Philosophy of Science, there has been not only many overturns, but many more finer disagreements. And I see no sign of either having come to an utterly reliable end. On the contrary.

I cannot be so sure, myself. Plus, ‘absence of evidence’ often is partly a matter of whose evidences are even recognized by the ‘established’…Whomevers.

I personally find no rounded evidence that could possibly begin to establish that God dictated the book of Genesis to Moses, and I find much too much evidence to the contrary. In my view, it is far easier for humans, who are humble, and free of ‘agendas’, actually to keep true and reliable record of the most world-forming events than it is for such humans to fail thereto by some ‘forces of chaos’. To begin with, the ‘Telephone’ game is not even a pretence of keeping an accurate record.


(Christy Hemphill) #18

Agreed. But that doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that Adam and Eve wrote it. There are a whole bunch of much more likely options.


(George Brooks) #19

@Christy,

By the time of the Enoch traditions, bubbling up prior to the birth of Jesus, stars were becoming Sanctified holy ones… the Essenes placed their most righteous into the sky, and the primitive Christian church was inclined to follow suit.


(Daniel Pech) #20

On that we disagree.

But, in reply to your 'huh?'s, I’m sorry I lost you in my ‘word salad.’

I thought I was being very clear. And now I’m not sure how this can go unless somehow I can explain many of the things that I already thought were clearly stated.

My brain’s own most efficient, most natural, way of saying things is often far from simple and clear to ,most people. But I rarely am aware of this in advance. Like, never.

So, again, I’m sorry I lost you.

It may take me a whole day or two before I’ve rewritten any of the 'huh?'ed portions of my words into a form that I might feel kind of confident that you’ll easily understand.