Historical/scientific reading of Genesis 1

Agreed. From my perspective, accommodation has the group think view that not only is the Bible not to be considered scientifically correct, it couldn’t ever be done anyway. Why did they believe this? Because they never tried to solve any of these problems.

When I was 19 years old, I read a book on Creation evolution by A. E. Wilder-Smith. I saw problems in his book but was convinced theologically that Genesis needs to be viewed scientifically and historically. I told my roommate, Wayne Sparkman, that I was going to solve this problem. And over the next 50 years (yeah, it has been that long), I worked on these issues most of my off time, reading books on geology, biology, anthropology, physics, philosophy, math, general relativity, quantum and collected a personal library with 4000 volumes of scientific books, and probably 10,000 xeroxes of articles from various topics. (sadly its gone now, with my health problems it was time to get rid of it).

I became a YEC and my first paper eventually caused yec leaders to drop the vapor canopy. I used atmospheric radiation theory to show that such a canopy would heat the earth up to 1000 degrees or so. Another paper showed that the sedimentary distributions are wrong for a global flood. All of these were published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, then about 1984 I seriously began to doubt that YEC was the answer, and CRSQ had chosen an editor to stop me from getting papers published. After that guy became editor not a single other paper was accepted.

So I spent the next 6 years away from publishing and learning programming and general relativity. Then in the 1990s, I conceived of my view of the flood (the time of it is supported by genetics), and then wrote two books and published lots in the Perspectives on Science and Christian faith. I always argued for literal interpretations but as you can imagine the reception to my articles was not good, but they did have an openminded editor at that time. That eventually changed. And around 2010 I was kicked out of the ASA because I asked questions they didn’t want to answer. They actually shut down their forum like this because of me and turned it into a stodgy peer reviewed boring set of approved papers. No different ideas were allowed there.

So, what I have posted above is the result of my life’s work. Now that I have only a couple of years left, (hopefully). I think I can tell my roommate, I did it.

But I am not stupid enough to think that people will like what I have presented above. Sadly I have become convinced that too many Christians in Science are far too comfortable with a false Bible, because their colleagues at work would think they are nuts if they said Genesis was real. I lost one job because of my views, so I know the threat—But God honored me by giving me opportunities in my career that I would never have had at that old company. I lived on 3 continents, went to 34 countries, manager for 18 years, went to Antarctica, Tibet (on business). God was very good to me and still is as my health is failing and I have trouble walking now. Life is to be lived and enjoyed.

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This is a very good and very important question JPM. I have read the religious documents of all the major religions, from the Koran, to Bhagavad-Gita, The Dhammapada, the Kitab-I-Iqan, Iching (hard to read), etc. I did this during my crisis of faith. What I was looking for was what God knew the truth about the natural world.

Look, the only being at the creation was God. Only he can tell us what happened. My philosophy of science grad school work compels me to put it in a syllogism

Assumption 1 If we believe that the Scripture is divinely inspired and
Assumption 2 God is all powerful
Assumption 3. God tell no lies (stated several places in Scripture)
Asummption 4 God wants to communicate his message to man

Conclusion, his omnipotence means that he is able to communicate the truth to us
Conclusion 2 given the above, If the Bible is divinely inspired, then at least parts where it says “God said…” must be true by assumption 3.

So, no,Christianity doesn’t ‘rely’ on Genesis 1 in some senses, but it does in others. But God being who he claims to be DOES depend on Genesis 1.

Let’s run this line of logic:
Assumption Genesis 1 is false scientifically,
Conclusion 1 God either told fibs and violates assumption 3 or this God isn’t who he claims to be (violating all the assumptions above)
If God isn’t who he claims to be, that calls into question every statement about God in the Bible–like ‘This is my son in whom I am well pleased’.
Can I think that is true if God is clueless about how the universe formed?
And after that, the dominoes fall quickly one after another.

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You are the one who insists that the Raqia has to be expanding

Ok, Again, raqiya’s root is expansion. But let’s take your claim here, that it just means a static expanse. Fine, I can claim it is the expanse between the earth and the cloud base and still be literal. I would take out the secondary suggestion of the expansion in space time, and not much would have changed. In my post I said my preferred interpretation was that it was the expanse between the clouds and the earth.

But I might point out that just because you say it doesn’t mean continuing expansion doesn’t make you right. You might be right or you might be wrong, but I can live with what you suggest and nothing much is changed.

I can agree to that, and that line of thought is why I find young earth arguments most lacking, but I suppose where we part is that I do think Scripture is addressing scientific type issues, thus the question of scientific inerrancy is a non sequitur.

I have missed something. If you can agree with the line of logic, then why is it lacking?

The argument gets close to Lactantius’ argument for atheism only changed to communication.

If God wants to communicate with us and he is able to then Genesis 1 is true (assuming we can find the right interpretation)

If God wants to communicate with us but is unable to, then He is not omnipotent

If God doesn’t want to communicate with us but is able, then he isn’t the god of the Bible

If God doesn’t want to communicate with us and is unable, then again, he isn’t the god of the Bible.

Simply because my position is that God is not talking about science, so to apply it to science or natural history is not a good argument.

God does not lie.
The Bible talks of the earth being fixed and the sun traveling across the sky.
The earth revolves around the sun.
Therefore, the Bible is not describing the physical structure of the solar system in those verses.

Perhaps my view is simplistic, and self serving to conform to my beliefs. I will certainly agree with that, but I also think it is correct😉

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Don’t we all? :wink:

Here we have a case of two different assumptions and that always leads to different conclusions. I think God better talk about naturemeaning science- when the passage is about the creation, otherwise it is like me explaining how to find oil; how to use seismic or well logs, and then you saying I had no intention of talking about finding oil. lol At least that is my view.

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This thread has died down so I will leave again. Do me a favor, next time a guy like lost&found says he is on the slippery slope and is worried that the Bible might not be true, don’t try to convince him your non-literal interpretation is true because that won’t help him!!! That is throwing anchors to a drowning man and I find that unconscionable. Please point them at least to this thread first, then you can tell him how false the Bible is. Take care. Im off again to contemplate whatever comes up.

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