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For Rize - the evidence

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by Jerry Smith, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    I'm at work & only had time to glance at the epistles of Peter, but I could not see them as making a compelling case for a global flood over a local one.

    So basically you are saying that you are better at interpreting the Bible than the best scientists are at interpreting the evidence... That's saying something.
     
  2. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    Okay. But if you want to see how Christians can reconcile scripture with modern knowledge about the world, you should probably look at the policy statements/theology of Christians that do.

    Okay, but have you even looked at their viewpoints? Have you listened and asked constructive questions about the theology of Christian Evolutionists here?

    And what exactly leads you to believe that this is the context? It appears that that is your default assumption. But is it a valid one?

    Well Genesis describes the sky as a dome that protects the Earth from "upper water" complete with floodgates that open so that rain can fall. Needless to say, such a dome has never been found. But you don't see biblical literalists arguing against the space program do you?

    Yes the Bible describes a global flood. But what was "global" to the Ancient Hebews? That is at least one question you should ask yourself.
     
  3. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    Where does the "must" come from? More on this later... 

    The Bible could have been more clear by choosing a Hebrew word that meant "the earth" exclusively (there is one, from what I understand) instead of a word that is usually used to mean "the country," or the "land"

    But would they be right? 

    Has it occurred to you that you can have a basis for making decisions about what the Bible says, but that the one you are using now might not be the best basis?

     
    That doesn't work. Circles can be flat, there are no clear passages that say the earth is round, and there are passages that are clear that the earth is flat. When you are shown a flat earth passage and you respond with a spherical earth passage, you are just pointing out an apparent contradiction in the Bible, that stems from a literal reading of it.

    And why is your mind closed to an interpretation of scripture that is no more "liberal" than many evangelical Christians accept? What is it about that "liberal" interpretation that is so repugnant to you? 

    As to the clarity of what the scripture is saying --- You described your objection to the local flood this way:

    But really, The passages I pointed out from 1 Chronicles 21 & 2 Samuel 24 are both complex narratives set in a historical context. If both are interpreted literally, according to the plain text and their respective context, then one of them is "false".

    The flood story is likewise "false" when interpreted literally as a factual retelling of history. Yet, you think that the non-literal interpretation of one of the census stories keeps it from being "false". Why not a non-literal interpertation of the flood, to keep it from being "false"?
     
  4. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    Possibly.  Considering that my interpretation of scriptures isn't based exclusively on my own ability.
     
  5. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    *considers removing windows keys from keyboard*
     
  6. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    The floodgate thing is used in a poetic manner to describe just how much rain was falling (you'd imagine that in 40 days and nights of rain, it wouldn't be drizzling).  The story itself is in an entirely historical context.  As for "upper water".  There certainly would be water up there somewhere if it were going to fall as rain.  I think we call them clouds today.

    Are there any other locations where the floodgate thing appears?

    The days of Genesis may well be poetic and not actually referring to days.  This still doesn't mean that they can be reconciled with evolution and the nonexistence of Noah's flood (and whatever else scientists and historians contradict).
     
  7. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    So the descriptions of the flood are metaphorical but the story is historical. Sorry but you can't have it both ways. Noah's tale is either history or poetry. You can't assert that it must be litterally true if you allow it to be poetic. It is easy for you to sit here in the 21st century AD and say that the language is metaphorical and it would be if we wrote it. But the fact exists that we didn't write it. It was composed over 2500 years ago by middle easter goat herders. Such people didn't know that clouds were condensed water vapor. Such people didn't know about cultures far from theirs and definately didn't know that the wanderers in the sky were other worlds. Yet you expect them to know that the description of the sky as a dam complete with floodgates was metaphorical. Right. . . .
     
  8. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +7
    Christian
    Just because you don't agree with it Rufus, doesn't mean much.

    Remember, what were you like as a child?

    A child's faith is beautiful, but more beautiful is the adult that can believe like a child.

    take care

    FOW
     
  9. Praxiteles

    Praxiteles PraxAce

    +268
    Agnostic
    I can't speak for Rufus, but to answer this question as me:  assuming by child you mean aged 10 and below, as a child I was completely credulous, and in need of education and skills.  As a parent it has become even more obvious to me that children are very accepting and very easily tricked.

    You seem to be arguing that to be thus is a virtue!  Astonishing!

    And gullible, ignorant, unreasonable, incapable of rational thought and difficult to relate to.

    You too.  ;)

    Cheers,

    Prax
     
  10. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +7
    Christian
    thanks for your time!

    Oh, and as long as the child has the right Father, then he really doesn't have to worry does he? Sometimes irrationality isn't that bad of a thing anyways--depending upon what the current standard for rationality is.


    FOW
     
  11. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    No.  For all Noah knew, rain merely fell from the sky.  And he certainly had no direct knowledge (neither did the readers) of the "fountains of the great deep" and so these simplistic metaphors were used.  That is why I don't think that the creation days are very specific.  They merely list what was created in a very general sense.  Yet this cannot be reconciled with evolution.

    For example, the Bible says that God created thorns on plants after the fall of man.  Are there no thorns in the evolutionary record?  And there is the literal history of people leading until Noah (and from there onward with the geneologies of Christ going back to meet him).
     
  12. Praxiteles

    Praxiteles PraxAce

    +268
    Agnostic
    You are completely welcome.  *low bow*  :) 

    Thanks for the opportunity!
     
  13. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +7
    Christian
    returned--but we usually shake hands over here!
     
  14. Praxiteles

    Praxiteles PraxAce

    +268
    Agnostic
    :)
     
  15. RufusAtticus

    RufusAtticus PopGen Grad Student

    +9
    What does this matter? The bible was written after Noah? How can he interpret scripture that didn't exist yet? My point is that the ancient Hebews, who composed the myth of Noah and the flood, and the later ones who read about it in scripture did not have the information that you have about the world. So to say that "floodgates" is meant as metaphorical because we know it is false is a whigish view. You can't say that passages from ancient writings are meant to be metaphorical by appealing to current knowledge. You can only use the culture and the knowledge they had at the time.

    So your interpretation cannot be reconciled with the real world. Sounds like you should seek to find one that does not confilict.

    Thorns predate humans by over 60 million years.

    Yeah so what? Fictional geneologies are very common. Many families in rome claimed to be descended from heroes and gods. Now the question you need to ask your self is if the doctrine of salvation requires you to believe that Kenan existed and that he produced a son, Mahalalel? I don't remember any N.T. verses about that.
     
  16. Rize

    Rize Well-Known Member

    +13
    Atheist
    US-Libertarian
    I thought as much (about the thorns).

    So perhaps you can see why I don't believe that evolution can be reconciled with scripture (or as you would say, scripture can be reconciled with evolution).

    I'm not going to respond (in much substance at least) to creation/evolution debates anymore.

    If only to end this debate, my new position on evolution is that I don't know for certain and it doesn't matter to me.
     
  17. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    For all Noah knew, the flood that covered everything he knew was "worldwide". And he certainly had no knowledge of the size of the world (nor did his readers), so this simple "metaphor" was used. You are willing to let Noah (in actuality not Noah, but the author of the passage) speak with his own voice and oversimply the event until it is no longer strictly a "true" account, but you are not willing to extend the same principle to the rest of his story.

    It is never a matter of reconciling scripture with nature - it is a matter of understanding both correctly. We have strong empirical evidence about matter, and scientists working hard with a tried and true methodology to understand it correctly as possible. Nature is (relative to scripture) unambiguous and readily understood with the right tools.

    Scripture is a theological account, and may also be very easy to understand on the subject matter it was written to address (guidance about spiritual things), but it is apparently very difficult to understand when one tries to derive an understanding of nature from it. That may have to do with the simple fact that "nature" (as we use the term here) is not the subject of scripture, and was never intended to be.

    No one changes position "just to end a debate". It is possible to bow out of a debate without changing positions, and it is possible to be convinced to change your position on some point. If the debate exhausts you, I don't blame you for giving it up. I get exhausted by it too, and enjoy taking long breaks from it. If you don't want to debate more because you see the direction the questions are leading you, my simple statement is this: "God is not afraid of the data. Why should you be?" Whichever it is, I'm glad we had the time to discuss. I hope that if you stay in the debate you will eventually see that you were incorrect on some points and change your mind. If you do not, at least I hope you will see that the Creationist position is "unscientific", based entirely on faith that the Bible is more reliable than (and unamenable to) science, and treat the matter as such when you are voting for local school board members and when someone from your church explains that she is a working biologist and that she doesn't share your view of evolution.

    If you don't even post another reply in this debate, we have both learned a lot. Even though we are just scratching the surface where it comes to evidence for evolution, and we haven't even begun to talk about the science, you have begun to see that there is a reason that scientists feel so certain about evolution. I have seen that there are somewhat open-minded, and very intelligent people on the "other side", and just how important a view of scripture can be to a person of faith.

    I am going to follow through with my plan to post a segment on genetic evidence - even if you don't want to debate it, it will be there for you to read if you want to. (It's a slam dunk :) ) It really has been a pleasure (so far?) discussing this with you.
     
  18. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +7
    Christian
    Rize, you know what the word says--believe it. Trust Him. You are believing evidence--God never said, "blessed are those who believe after they have seen a pile of evidence."

    I know you will prevail in the end.

    FOW
     
  19. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Christian evangelicals disagree with you from long before Darwin published Origin.

    "If sound science appears to contradict the Bible, we may be sure that it is our interpretation of the Bible that is at fault."  Christian Observer, 1832, pg. 437; quoted by Stephen Neill in Anglicanism, Penguin Books, 1960, pg. 240.

    If you insist on apostasy, then there's nothing anyone can do to help you.  Good luck when you face judgement.  From everything I've seen on Christian theology, you're going to need it!
     
  20. Jerry Smith

    Jerry Smith Fish out of water

    +9
    Lucaspa: apostasy? Isn't that a little over the top? Mainstream Christian thinking is accepting of evolution, as is much evangelical (conservative) Christian thinking. That doesn't mean you have to accept evolution to be a Christian. Evolution is not a religious doctrine, and its rejection merely leaves ignorance of the natural world, not apostacy of faith.
     
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