Historical/scientific reading of Genesis 1

@gbob it seems that upon looking into the Proclamation Day view it seems to make a lot more sense and seems to align to the view I had when I was young and when I discovered EC and before I was briefly a YEC. I still feel there is some ANE arch types in the story but seems to make a lot more sense. Hope you have a wonderful day and God bless.

Thank you sealkin (finally got autocorrect to stop changing your name). lol

Yes, I feel the same way about Days of Proclamation. It matches what I think is the one thing YECs have correct, Genesis 1 needs to be true.

I was a YEC for years and published in CRSQ before tossing the whole idea in what became my crisis of faith. Even lost a great job because I was a YEC. I doubted God at that time, but God was trying to get my attention, and he eventually gave me a better career path than I would have had at that old company anyway.

One has a choice here, one can have a false Bible or a true Bible, I always chose the true Bible.

When I told my oldest son, when he could understand, that Santa was coming soon, and the Easter Bunny, and tooth fairy, I knew in my heart that I had just lied to my eldest and someday he would awaken to that knowledge. And even though it was small lies all for fun, it would tell him (maybe a valuable lesson. lol) that ya can’t always trust dear old dad and mom! That is the way I feel about accommodationalism. And my frustration with that view is that it paralyzes Christians into never even looking for solutions to the problems they tout about as proof of their view, which is why I have said, they prefer their Bible false. I don’t prefer my bible false, but that is what you get automatically with the supposed ANE cosmology which from what I can tell may never have existed… And like my lie about Santa, God’s white lies, all for a good cause, make me think, ya can’t always trust dear old God!

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But…you have dealt with this, but what about the Galileo controversy? Wasn’t the church right to believe that the Bible taught a geocentric universe? Thanks. (note the verses they used to argue against Galileo–sun standing still, etc; Since the sun didn’t move, it couldn’t stand still. Isn’t that biblical accommodation?).

I have a lot to learn; and Biologos is a good place to discuss different viewpoints. Reading different ones, like yours, helps me understand the whole problem better. Thanks.

the Bible is the Word of God, it is not the word of Moses or any other human, although it has been [mis]interpreted by many humans. So, we can assume that God knew everything that science knows today about the universe when He started inspiring men to write the Bible.

I think of the books of Moses as first grade textbooks and the beginning of the spiritual education of humanity. The NT is mostly high school and college, whereas Revelations is doctoral level education. Just like your children, you start by teaching them rules followed by moral stories. It is not until much later that they are ready to learn the reason for the rules and the true meaning behind them.

Frankly, when Copernicus and before him poor Giordano Bruno, said the earth went round the sun, there was not a shred of evidence that that was correct. The earth going round the sun would create parallax and no one could detect any until Bessell did in 1838. Everyone tells Gallileo’s story as if it was science against religion but at that time, observational science didn’t support the Copernican view, and everyone forgets that little fact in their rush to condemn Christiantiy.

That said, I have never thought Jesus would have approved of putting people to death, like Bruno, for disagreeing with someone’s idea of Christian theology. Jesus’s only intolerance was for the Pharisees. He gently told the Samaritan woman at the well that they were wrong. The Church made a great mistake in insisting that everyone march in total ideological lockstep or die…

I have a lot to learn; and Biologos is a good place to discuss different viewpoints. Reading different ones, like yours, helps me understand the whole problem better. Thanks.

But Shawn, if kid’s first grade school books were a pile of nonsensical garbage, what kind of education do you think they would get? In plain words, first grade doesn’t mean or equate to, falsehood. This view is something I will never understand–accommodationalism. it is totally illogical from bottom up. and by the way, started with Calmet’s preface to Galileo’s book. In my opinion, the Church screwed up both ends of that candle.

Edited to add: I don’t know why the quality of being true is considered by some to be worse than the quality of being definitely false.

I am not saying that first grade textbooks are garbage, but they are written for that particular level of development. Just keep that in mind when reading the images that are given there.

I meant ‘continually’ expanding.

I think I am doing that. When Genesis 1:24 says: “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind”., this is a perfectly simple statement of what evolution did. It isn’t Darwin’s Origin of Species, but it is absolutely true that the earth brought forth living creatures. Thus, I’m not sure where you think I am not doing that.

Ok, let’s go with that. I don’t see anywhere that it says raqiya isn’t continued expansion. There is no time limit upon the expansion of raqa, the root of raqiya. Just like the English word expansion, there is no limit to how long expansion can go on. Drop an open tank of welder’s acetyline in interstellar space and you will find that the resulting cloud of gas will expand for a very long time since gravity will be insufficient to keep the cloud together. I see nothing different for the Hebrew word expansion, raqa. I think they would describe that cloud of gas in interstellar space with the word raqa. If I am missing some limitation on the length of time, please present your data. If this is just what you believe to be the case, then I see no reason to favor any belief or the other in this regard. As I said to Sealkin our beliefs don’t matter facts do, but lack of factual limitations on the usage of a word needs to be backed up with examples of that usage in that language.

The point of the question is the Church taught, based on the Bible, a geocentric universe. Did the Church not understand what the Bible was saying (since the Bible is scientifically correct) or was the Bible written based on the incorrect assumptions of the original author?

I still see nothing which determines it ‘has’ to be still expanding. That’s has to be read on to the text

Dear Bill,
Why is it then that Democritus taught this 2,500 years ago? This truth has existed for a long time, it was only until Galileo could demonstrate it visually.

That was gbob’s comment. Not mine.

Some of the Bible is just recording what people believed, and thus isn’t per se approved by God. Some is the inability of even early renaissance people to understand relativity. Magellan’s crew caused a big stir as they had lost a day going around the world, and when they returned argued with the port authorities about what day it was. The mistake the Church made was to incorporate Ptolemaic system with scripture. Thus they viewed the Greek idea that the sun went round the earth as true and imposed that belief on the Bible. And when Church officials give imprimatur to something wrong, bad things happen.

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I don’t quite know what your point is. There is nothing that REQUIRES things to still be expanding, and nothing that requires it to stop. So what? What is the big deal about this ‘still expanding’ bee that is under your bonnet?

Group think answers your question quite well. You think truth wins out all the time. It doesn’t. I know from personal experience and from the experience of many other people who had great discoveries. Think about Barry Marshall, the poor doctor who tried to convince the world that H. pylori caused ulcers. An interview with him said:

I presented that work at the annual meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Perth. That was my first experience of people being totally skeptical. To gastroenterologists, the concept of a germ causing ulcers was like saying that the Earth is flat. After that I realized my paper was going to have difficulty being accepted. You think, “It’s science; it’s got to be accepted.” But it’s not an absolute given. The idea was too weird.

GRM:He wrote a letter to a journal and then to drug companies he said:
“It didn’t. In fact, our letters were so weird that they almost didn’t get published. By then I was working at a hospital in Fremantle, biopsying every patient who came through the door. I was getting all these patients and couldn’t keep tabs on them, so I tapped all the drug companies to request research funding for a computer. They all wrote back saying how difficult times were and they didn’t have any research money. But they were making a billion dollars a year for the antacid drug Zantac and another billion for Tagamet. You could make a patient feel better by removing the acid. Treated, most patients didn’t die from their ulcer and didn’t need surgery, so it was worth $100 a month per patient, a hell of a lot of money in those days. In America in the 1980s, 2 to 4 percent of the population had Tagamet tablets in their pocket. There was no incentive to find a cure.”

The interviewer asked:

You published a synthesis of this work in The Medical Journal of Australia in 1985. Then did people change their thinking?
No, it sat there as a hypothesis for another 10 years. Some patients heard about it, but gastroenterologists still would not treat them with antibiotics. Instead, they would focus on the possible complications of antibiotics. By 1985 I could cure just about everybody, and patients were coming to me in secret—for instance, airline pilots who didn’t want to let anyone know that they had an ulcer.

Every new idea has huge problems getting accepted: Think about Feigenbaum who discovered a universal constant, something we would all like to do.

Feigenbaum graduated in 1964 and got a Ph. D from MIT in particle physics in 1970. Then he did nothing at VPI and Cornell (Gleick, Chaos, p. 159). Those years were

“_…fruitless, that is, in terms of the steady publication of work on manageable problems that is essential for a young university scientist. Postdocs were supposed to produce papers. Occasionally an advisor would ask Feigenbaum what had happened to some problem, and he would say, 'Oh, I understood it.”_James Gleick, Chaos, (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), p. 159-160

No tenure for this guy!

Feigenbaum moved to Los Alamos, where he didn’t produce anything either, but became a great consultant for everyone else. By this time he had exactly one paper with his name on it–pretty rotten for a 29 year old postdoc. Yet somehow the guy was hired in 1973 to be the head of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, where his first act was to fire the department and hire new people. Then progress seemed to stop.

James Gleick, Chaos, (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), p. 2 “Even Feigenbaum’s friends were wondering whether he was ever going to produce any work of his own. As willing as he was to do impromptu magic with their questions, he did not seem interested in devoting his own research to any problem that might pay off. he thought about turbulence in liquids and gases. He thought about time–did it glide smoothly forward or hop discretely like a sequence of cosmic motion-picture frames? The thought about the eye’s ability to see consistent colors and forms in a universe that physicists knew to be a shifting quantum kaleidoscope. He thought about clouds, watching them from airplane windows (until in 1975, his scientific travel privileges were officially suspended on grounds of overuse) or from the hiking trails above the laboratory.”

Even the bosses were getting worried.

But Feigenbaum started studying nonlinear equations. He focused on the period doubling of oscillations in the equation. He would calculate the point in the parameter space where the period doubled. and then calculate the next one. Because he didn’t have good computers he had to write down the output of the computations by hand, think about them and wait for the next number. He started a game of guessing what would be the next number out of the computer. Then he realized that the periods were doubling at a constant rate. He came up with a number 4.669

Then he worked on another nonlinear equation. He found that this second equation engaged in the period doubling with the same rate–4.669! That number worked for lots of nonlinear equations. He then asked a guy to teach him Fortran and came up with the constant 4.66920 by the end of the day. The next day he had calculated the rate as 4.6692016090. Every system was governed by this number. Stream turbulence, electrical oscillation, pendulums etc. He had found something incredible in nonlinear equations. The constant was universal.

James Gleick, Chaos, (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), p. 180But what made universality useful also made it hard for physicists to believe. Universality meant that different systems would behave identically. Of course, Feigenbaum was only studying simple numerical functions. But he believed that his theory expressed a natural law about systems at the point of transition between orderly and turbulent. Everyone knew that turbulence meant a continuous spectrum of different frequencies, and everyone had wondered where the different frequencies came from. “Suddenly you could see the frequencies coming in sequentially. The physical implications was that real-world systems would behave in the same, recognizable way, and that furthermore it would be measurably the same. Feigenbaum’s universality was not just qualitative, it was quantitative; not just structural, but metrical. It extended not just to patterns, but to precise numbers. To a physicist that strained credibility.
Years later Feigenbaum still kept in a desk drawer, where he could get at them quickly, his rejection letters. By then he had all the recognition he needed. His Los Alamos work had won him prizes and awards that brought prestige and money. But it still rankled that editors of the top academic journals had deemed his work unfit for publication for two years after he began submitting it. The notion of a scientific breakthrough so original and unexpected that it cannot be published seems a slightly tarnished myth. Modern science, with its vast flow of information and its impartial system of peer review is not supposed to be a matter of taste. One editor who sent back a Feigenbaum manuscript recognized years later that he had rejected a paper that was a turning point for the field; yet he still argued that the paper had been unsuited to his journal’s audience of applied mathematicians”

But importance doesn’t matter, when the consensus credibility is strained, you get no publications through the process.

Why did VHS win the tape war when everyone knew Beta-max was a better system? Good doesn’t win over bad and truth can be stilled for a long time.

Edited to add more examples of truth being suppressed by group think consensus Frank Tipler writes:

"In an article for Twentieth-Century Physics, a book commissioned by the American Physical Society (the professional organization for U.S. physicists) to describe the great achievements of twentieth-century physics, the inventor of chaos theory, Mitchell J. Feigenbaum, described the reception that his revolutionary papers on chaos theory received:
‘Both papers were rejected, the first after a half-year delay. But then, in 1977, over a thousand copies of the first preprint had been shipped. This has been my full experience. Papers on established subjects are immediately accepted. Every novel paper of mine, without exception, has been rejected by the refereeing process. The reader can easily gather that I regard this entire process as a false guardian and wastefully dishonest.’

"Earlier in the same volume, in a history on the development of optical physics, the invention of hte laser by Theodore Maiman was described. The result was so important that it was announced in the New York Times on July 7, 1960. But the leading American physics journal, Physical Review Letters rejected Maiman’s paper on how to make a laser.

“Scientific eminence is no protection from a peer review system gone wild. John Bardeen, the only man to every have won two Nobel Prizes in physics, had difficulty publishing a theory in low-temperature solid state physics(the area of one of his Prizes) that went against the established view. But rank hath its privileges. Bardeen appealed to his friend David Lazarus, who was editor in chief for the American Physical Society. Lazarus investigated and found that the referee was totally out of line, I couldn’t believe it. John really did have a hard time with [his] last few papers and it was not his fault at all. They were important papers, they did get published, but they gave him a harder time than he should have had.”

“Stephen W. Hawking is the world’s most famous physicist. According to his first wife Jane, when Hawking submitted to Nature was is generally regarded as his most important paper, the paper on black hole evaporation, the paper was initially rejected. I have heard from colleagues who must remain nameless that when Hawking submitted to Physical Review what I personally regard as his most important paper, his paper showing that a most fundamental law of physics called ‘unitarity’ would be violated in black hole evaporation, it, too, was initially rejected. (The word on the street is that the initial referee was the Institute for Advanced Study physicist Freeman Dyson.)”

"Today it is known that the Hawaiian Islands were formed sequentially as the Pacific plate moved over a hot spot deep inside the Earth. The theory was first developed in the paper by an eminent Princeton geophysicist, Tuzo Wilson:

'I…sent [my paper] to the Journal of Geophysical Research, They turned it down…They said my paper had no mathematics in it, no new data, and that it didn’t agree with the current views. Therefore, it must be no good. Apparently, whether one gets turned down or not depends largely on the reviewer. The editors, too, if they don’t see it your way, or if they think it’s something unusual, may turn it down. Well this annoyed me, and instead of keeping the rejection letter, I threw it into the wastepaper basket. I sent the manuscript to the newly founded Canadian Journal of Physics. That was not a very obvious place to send it, but I was a Canadian physicist. I thought they would publish almost anything I wrote so I sent it there and they published it!"

"The most important development in cloning after the original breakthrough of Dolly the Sheep was the cloning of mice. The result was once again described on the front page of the New York Times, where it was also mentioned that the paper was rejected for publication by the leading American science journal, Science." Frank Tipler, “Refereed Journals,” in William Dembski editor, Uncommon Dissent, (Wilmington Delaware: ISI Books, 2004), p. 118-120

The lessen boys and girls, don’t be too original. You must believe the consensus view or they will get you.

Edited again to provide another example, theBelousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. This chemical reaction has nothing to do with medicine. The reaction to it was so bad that this happened:

“Sir—In the obituary of Anatol Zhabotinsky, Irving Epsteind ment ions Boris Belousov, with whom Zhabotinsky shared the Lenin Prize in 1980 for their contributions to the Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillatory chemical reaction system
“Epstein says “Belousov tried to publish his results in peer-reviewed journals, but eventually gave up after referees and editors insisted that such behaviour contradicted the Second Law of Thermodynamics. He instead published a one-page description of his observations in an obscure conference proceedings on radiation medicine.” That paper, ‘A periodic reaction and its mechanism’, gained little attention at the time.” Min-Liang Wong, “What Other Treasures Could Be Hidden in Conference papers?” Nature 456(2008), p. 443.

This guy lost his job over his discovery:

" In the early 1980s, Shechtman was firing beams of electrons at metal alloys at the then National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He analysed the interference patterns formed as the beams reflected off layers of the material, and this allowed him to determine the packing of the atoms inside.
A pattern of sharply defined interference spots is a sign of regular crystalline order. But among the alloys Shechtman studied, a beautifully sharp pattern from a blend of aluminium and manganese made no sense. It suggested a crystal with fivefold symmetry, like that of a pentagon. Crystallographic rules dictate, however, that atoms can’t be packed into a regular, repeating arrangement with this sort of symmetry, just as pentagons can’t tile a floor in a periodic way with no gaps.
Pauling was not the only fierce critic. When Shechtman persisted with his claim, he was asked to leave the research group, and had great difficulty getting the result published.
In fact, the answer to the riddle was already out there. In the 1970s, mathematician Roger Penrose had discovered that two rhombus-shaped tiles could cover a flat plane without leaving gaps and without the pattern ever repeating. In 1981, crystallographer Alan Mackay at Birkbeck College in London found that atoms sitting at every corner of such a Penrose tiling would produce a diffraction pattern with fivefold symmetry, even though the arrangement was not perfectly periodic. The atomic packing in Shechtman’s alloy was analogous to a three-dimensional Penrose tiling. It never repeated exactly, and so did not make a perfect crystal; it was a “quasicrystal”. Phillip Ball, “Impossible Chemistry: Crystal Paradox” New Scientist, Jan 23, 2012, p.31

Im going to get this thread back on track. I have presented a completely concordistic view of Genesis 1. I can do it for Genesis 2 and for Genesis 7 and 8. All of them match the facts of science, exactly, but people would prefer to believe that God accommodated (allowed fibs) the truth about nature to be contaminated by Neolithic cultures. Does anyone want to say my science is wrong in my early posts in this thread? Saying you don’t believe my approach is fine, but you can’t say a literal interpretation doesn’t exist.

I understand your group think argument, but when it came to structure of the solar system, group think 2,500 years ago was correct among the enlightened Greeks. This is why none of Aristotle’s contemporaries read his false work. It was only 700 years later that the church adopted Aristotle to support their claim that Rome was the center of the universe. This is the group think that Copernicus and then Galileo were fighting against.

gbob, I appreciate your work, and in some ways it is not that different than what Walton presents in his Lost World book. As least there are some common threads. While I may not agree totally with him or you, there are a lot of good ideas to consider.
I would pose a couple of questions, however. Why is it important to you that Genesis 1 be concordant? Does the truth on the scripture rest on it? Second; Why is it important that it be scientifically correct? My understanding is that science as we know it did not exist at that time, so scientific correctness is not part of the message of Genesis (or the rest of the Bible, for that matter.)