'Rogue' YEC reads Genesis 1:1-18

(Daniel Pech) #21

The Day Four separation is clearly directly about the luminaries’ job relative to the rotation of the Earth.

The Day One separation, on the other hand, is about nothing more, nor less, than that relative to the implied cloud in v. 2’s ‘darkness upon’. The Earth was already rotating, so that when it says that God says ‘Let there be light’, it is implying that God is implying nothing more nor less than the partial thinning of this cloud’s density. It is about the location of the wind/spirit of God invoked at the end of v. 2.

Thus, when the implied cloud is thinned, the light from the Sun which is implicated in v. 1’s ‘heavens’ begins the day-night cycle.

God did not necessarily, nor mainly, act to separate the day-light and night-dark. Rather, He distinguished between them, and this so as to name them. That is, the account is describing the fact that God distinguishes between them, implying that the distinction is crucial for the following formation of the hydrological cycle.

The only way to miss any of this to keep rejecting the idea that the account from v. 2 to v. 10 is about the formation of that cycle.

(Daniel Pech) #22

Are claiming that it is logically impossible for humans who do not have the modern institutional form of ‘science’ to get the impression that the substance of the blue sky of daylight may well not extend even to the Moon?

Are you saying that all such humans are inherently ‘backwards’ when it comes to observing any parts of the physical world in its own terms???

(Phil) #23

Interesting illustration, as I was just looking at the moon, and thinking that since the moon is not blue, and the background is, then the blue background must be behind the moon.

(George Brooks) #24


I think my conclusion is warranted. Your scenario requires that only Jewish people can make these distinctions.

(Daniel Pech) #25


The sky is not a photo of the sky. Much less is the sky the words of a single static description of the sky.

The sky perceivably changes both color and lightness.

And its Sun can be deduced to go round even while the Sun’s light can be deduced to be upon the Moon at night. Yet the blue of daylight is not there round the moon at night.

All that’s required is to infer about the lightness of the sky by analogy to the haze we discussed in another (now mercifully closed) thread.

(Daniel Pech) #26

So we disagree. I’ve had my say. But it seems not all of you here are thinking of the sky in its own perceivable terms. Some of you are thinking of it as if it can just as well be a single photo of a single condition of the sky.

(George Brooks) #27


You’ll have to explain why only the Jewish priests could see the sky the way you describe it.

(Daniel Pech) #28

No. You’ll have to explain how humans, without x, are incapable of getting the impression of the air’s cosmic preciousness. And in this case, you’ll have to define x to me as something that moderns have which non-moderns do not.

And if x is some technology and a particular use of that tech, then all you’ll be doing is condescending yourself and everyone else.

The obvious fact that humans can have wrong impressions of the sky in no way proves that they are doomed to have those wrong impressions. Moreover, even if every non-modern culture included models of the sky that match any wrong impression of it, that does not mean either that their impressions of the sky were limited to wrong ones, or that the bulk of persons within a given culture perceived the sky mainly or purely in terms of that wrong model.

By way of analogy, despite that the North Korean Communist regime has the hegemony there in terms of durable signs of that regime, a significant percentage of North Koreans have always. understood things in ways that are not approved by that regime. Human individuals’ economic instinct is here being compared to the rather complex informative phenomenon of the sky.

So, even if most ancient cultures were dominated by wrong models of economics, or of the sky, an entire world of either kind of ‘North Koreas’ does nothing to prove either that that world is 100% backwards, or that every last culture in that world originated in a backwards state.

Of course, you can just throw out all this reasoning by appealing to your biogenetic evolutionary convictions as to the origins of humans. But then that would just be part of why we seem to disagree over this matter of humans who lack x.

(Daniel Pech) #29

Do I correctly presume that you think all the same kinds of things about whether pre-moderns had the concept of a spheroid Earth? Are you going to say that, since you yourself do not possess, off the top of your head, the direct perception that the Earth is a spheroid, then humans have no natural ready capacity to deduce that it is?

(George Brooks) #30


I only have to do that if you can show that the Babylonians, and/or the Assyrians, and/or the Egyptians, and/or the Sumerians and/or the Guti came to the same insights about the sky as you say the Hebrew have.

(James McKay) #31

No, I’m saying that they’re interpretations. They are things that the Bible doesn’t spell out, but details that we fill in.

You’ve said several things about cloud in your several posts in response to me (it would have helped if you’d combined them all into one, by the way) but where in Genesis 1 does it talk about cloud? You’re saying it’s “implied,” but that just proves my point — you’re adding a whole lot of interpretation on top of Genesis 1.

Yes, but here’s the thing — Genesis 1 isn’t addressed to humans’ universal normal desire to have a physical and biological terrestrial cosmology. That misses the whole point of the chapter. It isn’t about the mechanisms and timescale of creation, but about the purpose and meaning of creation.

If you want to properly understand what I mean here, here’s a little exercise for you. Go away and prayerfully re-read Genesis 1-3 again. Forget all the questions about the age of the earth and evolution completely, and just ask the following questions instead:

  1. Why did God make man? More specifically, why did God make you?
  2. How far do you see man today — i.e. yourself — doing what God made you for?
  3. What did God intend for man, and how did man lose it?
  4. How do we still lose God’s best for us today?

(Albert Leo) #32

Not quite 5 yrs. old, on my first day in parochial kindergarten, I was handed a copy of the Baltimore Catechism which answered that question better than anything I’ve read in the 86 yrs. since then: “Who made you? God made me. Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this life and be happy with Him in the next.” At the college level, I was taught that we humans were created through a process that depended mainly on chance, and that we were nothing special–just a random outcome of a million rolls of the genetic dice. But science, especially evolutionary science, cannot DIS-prove the existence of God. And science has not found on earth, in our solar system, or (as yet) on any other planets, within a radius of many light years, any life forms capable of knowing a Creator. So that in itself could be God’s motivation and what makes us special.

Adding the second clause to this question destroys its value–at least to those of us willing to question to validity of Original Sin. To those believing in YEC and that everything was created ‘poof’ some 6,000 yrs. ago, it seems reasonable that a perfect God would have made sure his creation was perfect to begin with (by our definition of perfection). I cannot discount the evidence that creation is a process ongoing for at least 13 billion years, and that the process which produced the species, Homo sapiens, from which modern humans sprung, had some instincts (some selfish, ‘unlikable’ components) that needed to be overcome, if human spirituality was ever to be achieved.

It was by asking the question: “Why did God make me?” that eventually drove me to abandon the concept of Original Sin. I’ll wager that I am not the only one that followed this path to UN-orthodoxy.
Al Leo

(Larry Bunce) #33

I find it interesting that the Big Bang theory says that in the beginning, all the matter in the universe existed as photons (let there be light.) In time, slight variations in density led to matter forming clumps (separating light from darkness.) All of this happened before the first stars began to form. We have long observed that the light we see today comes from the sun and the distant suns we call stars, so that creating light on day one and the sun on day four represents a contradiction. Science also says that our sun is a third-generation star, so that if the first stars formed on day two, the sun would have formed on day four.
I know this is force-fitting modern knowledge onto ANE myth, but I find it intriguing. If an ancient civilization had developed science to the level we now have, some fragments of their knowledge might have survived in myth.

(George Brooks) #34


I too have pondered that nice bit of serendipity … and then Genesis says God makes birds before he makes the land creatures … and that just ruins my happy little “buzz”…

(Ray Bailey) #35

FINALLY somebody gets us back to the grounding point. Genesis as an ANE document that is written as a functional relationship primer!

If we spend more time struggling with that, then the interpretation of the YEC becomes irrelevant!
I’m signing out of reading this discussion. Tilting at windmills again.

But please, keep at it!


(Daniel Pech) #36

[quote=“jammycakes, post:31, topic:36238”]
where in Genesis 1 does it talk about cloud? You’re saying it’s “implied,” but that just proves my point — you’re adding a whole lot of interpretation on top of Genesis 1.[/quote]

Not so, and I stated how already: the term ‘darkness’, when applied to a physical terrestrial condition, implies dense cloud. This is uncontroversial. See, for example, Luke 23:44, Exodus 14:20, Deuteronomy 4:11, Joshua 24:7, 2Samuel 22:12, Job 3:5, Job 17:12, Job 22:11, Job 38:9, Psalm 18:11.

I thought I listed those verses already! Didn’t I?

Anyway, the point is, according to the Bible, ANE language/thought is far more terrestrially-life oriented than is English. At least this is what the Bible implies for ancient Hebrew.

That’s what I’m trying to get to, but you all keep messing up my arrows (of logic) after I’ve released them! Here’s an anaIogy of my view: A car is for getting from point A to point B, but it’s also for containing persons during the trip. And its also for keeping them comfortable. Is a car for only one of these three? No. So while I do not disagree that Genesis 1 is about human beings, my aim here has always been to use real material things for more rounded purposes. I just keep failing to put that upfront, since I find it so obvious as not to need mentioning upfront. But I see, now, that you’ve mistaken my intent by my having not set that out to begin with.

But I’ve just been trying to establish the validity of the car, so to speak. And you all have been, as it were, denying cars. The analogy holds, in my view, and I just hope that you see the analogy that I am making here. We are real human beings, in a real physical and terrestrial world, not omni-located disembodied minds. Jesus fed ‘The Five Thousand’ not merely as a means to an end, but literally partly because they were bodies that needed food.

In order to answer those last two questions, we need to know what it is that we lost, and what it is that God gave us ‘in the beginning’. Part of that is the actual car, so to speak. And my entire purpose in this whole thread is to get to the point where I can establish in others’ minds the profundity of the relationship between all three of

(a) the metaphorical car,

(b) the relationship between humans

© the relationship between God and humans.

I am here trying to set the stage for how Genesis 1 does that. I am trying to establish, for anyone who cares (but especially for my in-certain-crucial-ways thick-headed YEC fellows), just how all-around profound, how all-around relevant and meaningful, is Genesis 1.

Let me try to summarize one angle on all this:

**Seven Hebrew words. That’s v. 1. The entire account is comprised of seven stages, and each stage predicts the final seventh (and what’s the seventh word in v. 1?.

Genesis 2 is the elaboration on the implied seventh stage of Genesis 1. The first six stages are**

  1. The General universe and his Special Earth,
  2. The Earth and her special liquid water in abundance,
  3. The Water and is special cycle,
  4. The water cycle and its life,
  5. Life and its special, animal life,
  6. Animal life and its special, human life,

I shall presume that you can see, from this, as to what is the seventh.

Now, with that, it becomes clear that the account’s implicit model of how the physical cosmos basically coheres is a model that the literal Adam would have seen as promising not only THAT he was to have a mate, but the source matter FROM WHICH she was to be made.

Status quo YEC defender Henry Morris Sr., in his considering that the second account spells out only THAT Adam knew that she had been made from part of himself (Genesis 2:23), reasons that the pair of accounts MUST BE IMPLYING that God spelled this out for Adam:

[In Genesis 2:22,] Adam(…) describe[s] how God formed his own body and, later, that of Eve. (This particular information, of course, must have been imparted to Adam by God in later discourse with Adam.)

(Morris, H. M. 2000. Biblical Creationism: What Each Book of the Bible Teaches about Creation and the Flood. http://intelmin.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/BiblicalCreationismLO727.pdf page 22)

Morris also deduces, or else misreads, Genesis 2 as saying that God outright ‘commanded’ Adam to name the animals (Morris, pg. 20, bottom).

Yet Morris (pg. 20-21) states that Adam

had come directly from the Creator’s hand and was “in his image” — thus surely capable of accurate, rapid analytical reasoning and precise verbal and written communication. Therefore, we can regard this “book of Adam” as being a precisely accurate account of the events it describes.

So it seems that Morris is reducing this made-in-God’s image Adam to the level of a robot who is given no opportunity for any greater expression of that image than to carry out commands, and these commands all delivered in the most explicit, School Marm manner, or worse: "Adam, I command you, obey me! (with booming voice).

In fact, this reduction is well reflected in how Morris reasons upon Genesis 1:1:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

This simple declarative statement can only have come by divine revelation. Its scope is comprehensively universal, embracing all space (heaven), all time (beginning), and all matter (earth) in our space/time/matter cosmos. It is the first and only statement of real creation in all the cosmogonies of all the nations of past or present. All other creation myths begin with the universe already in existence, in watery chaos, or in some other primordial form. Evidently man, [what about unfallen man?] with unaided reason, cannot conceive of true creation; he must begin with something. But Genesis 1:1 speaks of creation ex nihilo; only God could originate such a concept, and only an infinite, omnipotent God could create the universe.

This revelation was given initially by God Himself to the very first man and woman and has been transmitted down through the ages to all their children. God either wrote it down with His own finger on a table of stone, as He later did the tablets of the law (Exod. 31:18), or else He revealed it verbally to Adam, who recorded it.

Here Morris deduces that the account implies that God designed humans deficient in terms of conceiving of creation ex nihilo. But that would mean that, despite what the Scripture says, humans have no normal, God-given capacity to recognize even that a Creator must exist!

(Daniel Pech) #37

I’m not saying that the Hebrews came to these insights about the sky. I’m saying they inherited them, and that only through a biologically fallen human history have any humans ever come to erroneous impressions about what ‘raqia’ properly implies about the sky (shiny in the light, and firmly held round the Earth, and thin relative to the Earth and to the wider cosmos).

FYT, I’m not in line with your view that the Hebrews were just one of many ‘primitive’ peoples. Rather, I’m implying (partly given my YEC position) that the Hebrew language (and thus Genesis 1) is humans’ first, and most life-centric, language/account. Specifically, I am saying that the Hebrew language, and thus Genesis 1, was developed, by a literal Adam and Eve, beginning with conversation with God, from their bio-semantic, and enviro-semantic, scratch.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #38

@gbrooks9 already pointed this out, but the whole thing seems quite strange to me. What do you mean the Earth was already rotating? Do you honestly believe that the Genesis writers wrote that secretly into the text using Hebrew magic? Nobody knew or thought the Earth was rotating–there’d be no reason to think that as the Earth is an approximately inertial reference frame that appears locally flat. Basically, you are reading lots of stuff into the text with all of your modern knowledge. The great irony is that you reject much of modern knowledge on Cosmology/Astronomy while picking bits and pieces to support your ideas (one being the notion of ‘hydrological cycles’ hidden in the Genesis text.)

Very strange. Almost like the Hebrew writers thought of it like a dome or something and that is perfectly okay as God was communicating to them in a way they could understand about the world. Or maybe the whole thing was just made up. Maybe they thought it looked something like this:

Nice of you to restrict your definition to a-theistic ones, in particular that would be cosmologies like a perfect quantum cosmological bounce. In the Cosmological bounce idea at the beginning, the universe is eternal and repeats in cycles (similar to the Hindu creation myths that had cycles of 8.6 billion years). So I suppose that’s not even necessarily a-theistic what Sagan was saying. And then to write off all of modern Cosmology thanks to a Carl Sagan quote, how YEC-esque of you. I used to do the same.

I came across this article recently and it seemed appropriate given the word choice of ‘atheistic cosmologies’–

(George Brooks) #39

I believe someone else wrote that quote…

(Ray Bailey) #40

Excuse me, George, not sure what happened there.