Folded rocks question

The Galileo affair is an interesting one. It’s not the simple ‘science versus religion’ story. It has a lot to do with politics, pride, envy, and a clash of personalities. But don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself. You asked me if I believe it was a mistake to believe Galileo instead of the bible. Why do I have to choose between the two? Did Galileo say something that contradicts God’s word?

Hi Christy, Thank you for what you do. I know what it’s like doing the job of moderator. It’s not easy keeping an eye on all that’s going on, and you can never please everybody. I will leave it to your judgement as to whether the post should remain.

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According to respected theologians of that day … yes; …or sort of. Ted Davis provides a good resource about this that includes mention of Cardinal Bellarmine who recognized this as a biblical issue, but also seemed to leave the door open that if science could actually demonstrate heliocentrism (it couldn’t at the time), then … and only then would he be open to re-interpreting various passages.

But for my purposes here … note that Bellarmine already considered the obvious and primary scriptural interpretation to be a settled issue: the earth doesn’t move. They saw it as a plain scriptural assertion (even if a peripheral one, which on Bellarmine’s view did not lessen its import as a matter of scriptural integrity), and it is difficult to tease apart how this would in any way be different from how some creationists handle scriptures today on the origins issue.


Readers also raised theological objections. In a number of places the Bible seems to speak of the motion of the sun or the immobility of the earth. (For example, take a look at Joshua 10:12-14, Psalm 19:4-6, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 104:5, Isaiah 38:8, or Ecclesiastes 1:5.) When they interpreted texts like these, most Protestant and Catholic theologians quite naturally assumed that the Scriptures bore witness to the plain and obvious fact (as they regarded it at the time) that the sun goes around the earth, not vice versa<

Yes, to quote–here are verses from the text that people believed implied the Sun moved around the earth–Joshua causing the Sun to stand still, the earth can not be moved, etc.

Good resource, @TedDavis. Thanks.

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Why yes he did. But everyone now accepts that he was right and have adjusted their interpretation of the Bible to agree. Even YEC have adjusted their “literal” interpretation so it doesn’t conflict.


Hello Boscopup,

In response to my statement, “Do you think they are afraid of admitting the earth is old? Fear of man’s punishment is not the way the work of God is done,” you said,

But part of God’s work is also to make sure nothing gets in the way to distort the message of God’s plan. The guys doing the work are scientists with hearts to serve God by countering falsehoods with correct Biblical knowledge. Have I not often heard implications that “science” supposedly has the “last say?” These guys counter false “last says.”

You say that God’s plan of redemption is not affected by the age of the earth or whether God used evolution or not? Then how is God’s plan of redemption properly communicated when the hearer’s knowledge of the fall is compromised or completely suppressed? What would be the apparent need for redemption without this knowledge? Is there a better way to communicate this knowledge with other than that of the six literal days scenario?

If you have not seen them already, these two links should be helpful in the effort to determine whether God used evolution or not:

In response to my statement, “Please show me “scientific proof” that you are without sin.” you said,

In response to my defense, “You know what I meant” you said,

OK. Instead of asking for confirmation whether you were without sin or not, maybe I should have concluded that you are without sin and that I should be shaking in my boots for fear of Samaritans - uh - I mean YECs including myself being cast into hell that’s prepared for the devil and his angels at your “sinless” command. I’m scared! I’m scared!

Oops! I almost forgot! “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one (Roman 3:10).” (Phew! What a relief!)

In response to my statement, "But what about the genealogies in the Bible that give us a close approximation of the earth’s age and Jesus asking, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (Matthew 19:4)?” You said,

There are a plenty of explanations that Genesis chapter 1:27 and Genesis 2:7 are in agreement because they speak of the same event.

In response to, “May I then ask why is the word, “day” in Genesis treated differently from the same word in later scriptures?” You said,

How do I shove science into the Bible when the Bible is the chief inspiration for the attainment of scientific knowledge? Scientism is the thing that’s often shoved into it. God gives His simple word for obedience by which He greatly opens up the understanding of the obedient that avoids unnecessary additions to it. Of course creation was not materially done. It was done by His spoken word. Shouldn’t we be careful how we handle the words of the Big Boss of big bosses?

In response to, “Study of the Bible is like the study of math.”, You said,

Thank you for your deeper description of the correct study of the Bible. Well said! But the problem is that you jumped from my point. Why? We both know that to learn Biblical truth fully in the depth you described, shouldn’t our study be clear of misleading influence of man’s opinions as I illustrated in my point?

I hope you wont be angry if I say that study of the Bible is like that of math in another way. As an accountant or engineer does his job by “doing his math,” so does the believer serves God by doing his biblical “math” that guides him through his daily prayers and the path that he takes as he applies the “math” from the Bible. Failure to do such often leads to the greatest of bloopers even to the most “intelligent” and “spiritual.”

In response to, “But yet much argument occurs over long settled Biblical truth. Although true that no one knows 100% of it, is fighting over it necessary? What causes the fights over its settled knowledge?”

By saying that God is your authority, you said in effect that you trust His word as settled. Right? I only spoke of Biblical truth itself as settled, not manmade side issues over this truth such as denominational issues and the like. Is it not?

Biblical arguments take place because of incomplete understanding, misunderstanding, spurious additions to, or outright rejection of its truth. Isn’t it settled that an individual or even a government official should not rob and steal from you? Or no? If the Bible is not settled, then how are our rights unalienable?

Am I fighting you in your thread? As I said earlier, the fight is not between me and you, but subtly over ultimate authority whether human or divine. I was only defending someone. When we talk about “YECs” versus those without the label, we argue about millions of years versus the Biblical time frame of which only one can be true.

I tend to be most critical to those I respect the most. - SO! - I am not attacking or fighting you because these are acts of hostility. Be ready instead for me to whip you for flies found in your ointment of the Apothecary.


Hello Bill_II

In response to my statement, “God used “very good” things like pestilences to punish?”, you said,

I only know that the general message we receive from the Bible is that things were very good prior to the fall and because of the fall, things were cursed.

In response to, “The word of God only has one interpretation,” you said,

Think of Luther that brought about the reformation to address years of deviation. Please remember the scripture, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).”

Why are there many denominations? That brings us back to 1 Corintians 1:12-17 where Paul addressed the “I am of So and So” issue. Besides deviating groups that pull off the gospel path altogether, denominational differences are usually man-made even though each claim to hold on to the faith as described but are yet separated. It’s unfortunate that too many depend more on prominent practices of their denomination or group than on the finished work of Jesus. One of my pet peeves is ministers that tend to condemn other ministers only because they do or don’t do the things they do. Paul says he preaches Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:12) and admonishes us to follow him only as he followed Christ. Let’s also remember Jesus’ statement,

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).”

The scripture thus explains that those that will be in His church are those that follow Him to do His will that bears His expected fruit. But there are of course denominations working together in conformance to the Biblical “one faith” doctrine that keep them together. Divisive pride divides the church to destroy its effectiveness.

We all have our unique calling of God for a purpose He has gifted us for and It behooves us to seek and to know that purpose and to carry it out under His directions.

As I said earlier, there’s a difference between mere interpretation and knowledge as spiritually revealed.

In response to my statement, “Although we are thankful for the tool of science, it only confirms Biblical knowledge already revealed.”, you said,

The Bible would probably be as big as the orbit of Jupiter if all scientific knowledge including that which is yet discovered is included in it. Take that under your arm as you enter church, please. Isn’t that the reason that God gave us scientists to discover and reveal these things to us? As you and Boscopup said, the Bible reveals only the knowledge we need for our salvation.


Which implies that when scientists discover something that is not in the Bible we should consider it carefully.

@Ecerotops, you continually argue against viewpoints that I don’t actually hold. Maybe before arguing with EC’ers about Biblical things, you should find out what they believe first. I’ll give you a hint: we aren’t all the same! :wink:

I believe the stories in Genesis 1-11 are real people and real events, not fables (I know some EC’ers do believe they’re fables, but many of us don’t). I believe the Fall happened - Adam and Eve sinned and were separated from God. Because of that, we needed a Savior.

You and I will still differ on some interpretation, but none of it will be salvation issues. I think Genesis 1 is talking about a temple inauguration/functional creation, not a material creation (creating material things that don’t yet exist - you seemed to not understand the definition of material creation in your response). God absolutely materially created everything (made material objects exist when prior to the universe there was nothing). He materially created things prior to assigning them function. Hence the days are 24 hour days, but they’re not actually creating those particular items materially at that moment. In fact, I think Job 38:4-7 would be a conflict if Genesis 1 were talking about a material creation, since it says the stars sang for joy when the earth was created. That’s God speaking there, not Job or his misguided friends. Stars can’t sing for joy at earth’s creation if they don’t exist for 3 more days! :slight_smile: But instead of reading both of those passages as plain reading, I look at the cultural context of Genesis 1 and see there is no conflict. God made the stars first (and they didn’t literally sing). There is no theological reason that plants must be materially created prior to the sun. So believing they weren’t made in that order really doesn’t affect a Christian.

What DOES affect Christians is telling them that they must adhere to one particular interpretation of Genesis when they can clearly see from nature that that’s not how God did it. I was affected by that, and I’ve seen many atheists created by it. We should not put such stumbling blocks in front of people. If the theological conclusion is the same as yours - that sin entered the world through Adam and we all need a Savior, there is no problem.

Now if you want to argue specific theological concerns, go make your own thread and do so. But don’t assume that every EC’er believes xyz interpretation. I will happily join your side against the fable version of Genesis in a civil discussion. :slight_smile:

Now, do you have any input on the geology of the rock formation in the Grand Canyon? Because we’ve gone ridiculously off topic.


I appreciate your concern here Christy, and I would agree that we should assume good faith wherever possible in the interests of gracious dialogue. For that reason, I tend to view most of the examples on the TalkOrigins Quote Mine Project as mere misunderstandings than actual deliberate misrepresentations – certainly, half of them look to me like that is even the most likely explanation.

However, some cases are clear cut. I don’t think that lying is entirely a state of mind. Rather, lying is making claims that you know, or should reasonably be expected to know, to be untrue.

Teachers, subject matter experts, academics and researchers need to be held to a higher standard of accountability in this respect. James 3:1 tells us that teachers will be judged more strictly, and with good reason. They have a responsibility and a duty to fact-check what they are teaching carefully and diligently. They are in a position of trust certifying that they know what they are talking about and that they are conducting the necessary due diligence in fact-checking their claims. Making demonstrably false claims may just be ignorance on the part of the lay person, but for teachers it is an abrogation of their professional responsibilities – and as such, a breach of trust.

Andrew Snelling is a PhD geologist. He conducts professional geological research and has published in mainstream scientific journals on the subject. He is also acting professionally as a teacher and communicator of geology. He has visited this particular rock formation on numerous occasions. Any suggestion that he was unaware of those fractures stretches credibility to breaking point. For him to claim that they do not exist – and to fail to provide a satisfactory account for why he made such a claim – is simply inexcusable. In any other area of science, such a claim would result in a career change to flipping burgers in McDonald’s at best.

I agree with your assessment of the facts of the situation. But as you have just demonstrated, there are ways to represent those facts so that it comes across more as accountability than an attack or an accusation. I don’t think that in this case accusations of dishonesty are unwarranted or unfair. They just don’t promote dialogue, which would be the official aim of BioLogos and I was asked about their “view.”