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The Gap Theory

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by cleon, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +4
    Christian
    Shouldn't it be "The Gap Fact"?
     
  2. cleon

    cleon New Member

    59
    +0
    Julie, What "Facts" do you have to support your Gap"
     
  3. Matthew

    Matthew Member

    154
    +0
    It would not be a "gap fact" even if true. You have to remember that there is a distinction between theories and facts, and it has nothing to do with truth.

    Fact: an item of knowledge obtained as a result of testing, measuring, experimentation, research.

    Theory: an explanation that ties various facts together. It will often predict that certain other facts should be true.
     
  4. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Your points are valid if and only if you are using extrabiblical knowledge to interpret the Bible.  I don't disagree with your interpretation, I just say that it is inconsistent to apply a metaphorical interpretation here and a literal interpretation to Genesis 1 and 2.  

    Also, think it through.  As far as the Bible was concerned, the earth did not rotate. Remember, the sun went around it.   A rotating earth is part of heliocentrism, not geocentrism.  An earthquake doesn't apply to the whole earth.  Part of it shakes, but the earth as a whole planet doesn't move.  Your attempts to apply a metaphorical interpretation by the people at the time doesn't work if you are also applying a literal interpretation.  Also, using earthquakes is applying extrabiblical knowledge, isn't it? Yet our more radical Biblical literalists say that the Bible is correct and all other evidence must fit it, not use other evidence to interpret the Bible.
     
  5. Anthony

    Anthony Generic Christian

    +42
    Christian
    The Bible says the earth doesn't rotate, and that the sun rotates around the earth?

    Where does it say that in the Bible, I must have missed that? Could you point this out?

     
     
  6. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    I really wish people would look at the references first before disagreeing.  James Hutton (Theory of the Earth, 1795) introduced an old earth based on discontinuities betweeh grouping of strata the inferred periodic interruptions by uplifts and deposition by causes other than a flood.  Antonio Vallisneiri had reached a similar conclusion in 1721 based on his studies of Alpine strata.  Richard Kirwan in a 1797 publication also had an old earth with most of the rocks being formed by Neptunism during long ages of creation.  He did maintain that a Flood had happened to make the superficial layers containing mammalian fossils.

    By 1800 "virtually no established geologist thought that the thick sequences of stratified sedimenjtary rocks so evident in quarries, cliffs, and mountains had anything to do with the flood. ... Great thicknesses of strata, many evidently deposited on the sea bottom, strongly implied that the earth's prehuman history history extended far beyond a few thousand years. ... Discoveries of several unconformities within thick stacks of sedimentary rocks and various other observational and experimental finding accumulated to suggest that the earth was really quite ancient"  The Biblical Flood, pg 98. 

    John Fleming (a Calvinist minister) argued for an old earth in a series of articles in the 1820s.  Lyell didn't publish his Principle of Geology until 1833, two years after Sedgwick had pronounced the Flood completely dead.  Part of Sedgwick's recantation was that, although "paroxyms of internal energy accompanied by the elevation of mountain chains, and followed by mighty waves desolating whole regions of the earth, were a part of the mechanism of nature" and had occurred throughout the earth's history, a history that Sedgwick already, as noted above, reckoned in the tens of millions of years to accomodate the changes to the rocks.
     
  7. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Julie, not even within Christianity can it be called a "gap fact".  First, it is obvious that large sections of Christians don't agree.  There are the young-earthers on one extreme that have a young earth and no gap. On the other extreme are the intelligent designers who accept a 4.5 billion year age of the earth without any "gap". 

    To be a "fact" it has to be a repeatable observation, and it is obvious that, even among Christians, the Gap Theory of interpretation of Genesis is not universally accepted.
     
  8. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Deduction from the flat earth and immovable earth passages.  If you read the Bible literally, then there are passages that mean the earth must be flat and immovable. I've posted some of the immovable earth passages.  If the earth doesn't move and is flat, it can't rotate.

    As to the sun moving, remember Joshua 10:13 "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.  Is not this written in the book of Jasher?  So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."

    It doesn't say the earth stopped rotating.  Taken literally, this says plainly that the sun is moving, not an illusion because the earth is rotating. 

    Now, before you tell me I am being silly and misrepresenting the Bible or creationists, let me add that this isn't my interpretation.  However, it is the interpretation of many Biblical literalists. For a full study of the move to restore geocentrism within Christian fundamentalism, see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/2/part1.html 

    and the succeeding pages. 

    Also remember that the cosmology of the Bible is the Babylonian cosmology.  That's OK, Babylonian cosmology was the best science of its day.  The passages on the "firmament of heaven" and "waters above" and "waters below" reflect how Babylonian science viewed the universe.  There was  flat earth with a crystal shell above to keep the "waters above" up there and large caverns with the "waters below" under the earth.  Both of these were released to get Noah's Flood, remember?  The sun goes about the earth.

    What puzzles a lot of us is why so many Christians are willing to modify a literalistic interpretation of the Bible (including the implications) when the extrabiblical evidence shows it to be wrong but are unwilling to modify a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 when the extrabiblical evidence shows that interpretation to be wrong.

    While the extreme Biblical literalists are terribly wrong, at least they are consistent in their interpretation.
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Generic Christian

    +42
    Christian
    Could you give me where in the Bible, one would find your "Immovable earth passages", Also what about the Sun rotating around the Earth verses? Do you have those as well?

     
     
  10. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    :) Anthony, you jumped in before I had a chance to edit my post. Go up to the post before yours.

    Some of the immovable earth passages are:

    Job 26:7, I Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and Psalm 104:5

    Also be sure to read the article at TalkOrigins.

    What I am arguing against is the revisionism of a subset of Biblical literalists.  While still wanting to be literalists, they don't want a literal interpretation of those passages where extrabiblical evidence has clearly shown that a literal interpretation is wrong.  Therefore they have to re-write both history and the Bible to get the Bible not to say what everyone knows is wrong and somehow retain the infallibility of Biblical literalism.  Because they want to use Biblical literalism on the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 and, perhaps, the Flood in Genesis 7 and 8.

    The conflict is not between science and the Bible, as such, but between science and Biblical literalism.  If you insist that a literal intepretation is correct and/or that the Bible is infallible not only in theology but everywhere else, then science will contradict that position. 
     
  11. Matthew

    Matthew Member

    154
    +0
    No. Those passages are from the Psalms (poetic material), while Genesis 1&2 are narrative material.

    It appears that you are a few decades out of date. Missed the theory of relativity did you? It is quite acceptable for the Bible to use the earth as its reference frame. If that is done, then the statements that the sun sets and rises are literally true. So are those that describe the sun moving around the earth.

    Perhaps you wouldn't mind providing these flat earth passages.
     
  12. Anthony

    Anthony Generic Christian

    +42
    Christian
    Take one example Psalm 96

    PS 96:1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
    sing to the LORD, all the earth.
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means the earth sings


    PS 96:9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth.
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means the earth tremble before God, is this an earthquake?


    PS 96:10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means the earth is cemented into postion?


    PS 96:12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
    Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means that the trees will sing sometime in the future?


    PS 96:13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
    he comes to judge the earth.
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means that God is coming to judge planet earth?


    He will judge the world in righteousness
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means God will use righteouness to judge the rock we call planet earth?

    and the peoples in his truth.
    Taking the "literal" approach, this means the people separate and apart from planet earth with be judged base on Gods' truth?

    Doesn't make much sense to me, when one applies the quote "Literal" approach to the entire verse. There has to be more understanding to what the person wrote and what he is trying to convey.

     
     
  13. Gerry

    Gerry Jesus Paid It All

    +12
    No you are NOT talking "literal interpretation here" You are talking non sense and about things of which you have no idea obviously.

    If you are going to tell us what the Bible says as though you are a Scholar, then at least tell us the Scripture upon which you base your claims.
     
  14. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +43
    Jehovahs Witness
    Almost everyone on the planet implies the earth does not move including yourself when you say the Sun rises in the east and sets in the West. Why criticise Joshua for saying the same, this smacks of double standards and betrays a biased and over critical attitude.
     
  15. cleon

    cleon New Member

    59
    +0
    lucaspa: you said "As far as the Bible was concerned, the earth did not rotate. Remember, the sun went around it." and quoted Joshua 10:13 "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed..." to support this idea. I believe that this is how the observers percieved this in relation to the earth and themselves. I see the sun rise in the east and set in the west. In relation to my position the sun is moving while I am standing still, and this is it's appearance when the earth is rotating on its axis.

    Lets face it, the earth sits on a 23 degee axis. If the sun rotated around the earth there would be no seasons.

    As for your immovable earth verses, when it mentions that the "earth shall not be moved", this is not talking of the earths rotation, this is speaking of the eternal plan of God for the earth in the ages to come. This earth shall perish. "The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly." Isaiah 24:19 But God's plan for the earth to exist for eternity and have His eternal kingdom established upon it is what I see He has in mind here.
     
  16. sampo

    sampo Think for yourself!!

    409
    +4
    Atheist
    Gerry
    Did you read the thread? I did provide the passages. I further explained how I came to that conclusion using literal interpretation.
     
  17. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    Utter nonsense. There have only been 3 infallible statements by Popes, and this was not one of them.

    -Chris
     
  18. fragmentsofdreams

    fragmentsofdreams Critical loyalist

    +410
    Catholic
    This is irrelevent to what a literal interpretation of the Bible says. One can incorporate this information into one's interpretation of the Bible, but this causes the interpretation to be not literal.
     
  19. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Originally posted by Matthew No. Those passages are from the Psalms (poetic material), while Genesis 1&2 are narrative material.

    Why would you think God would lie about factual material in a poem?  If God says the earth is "immovable", why, if you are assuming this is all God's word and all accurate, that this is only poetic?

    Genesis 1 and 2 are poems in Hebrew.  Did you know that Jews still sing the Torah?  All the Torah is a song.  Also, didn't you notice the tight poetic structure of creation in Genesis 1?  Two three-day subgroups of creation with exactly 3 creation events each day?  Do you really think that God had exactly 3 major creations each day?  Of course not. It's poetic construction. Also designed to give the magical number 3 and end up with the magical number 7 at the end.

    It appears that you are a few decades out of date. Missed the theory of relativity did you? It is quite acceptable for the Bible to use the earth as its reference frame. If that is done, then the statements that the sun sets and rises are literally true. So are those that describe the sun moving around the earth.

    Relativity has nothing to do with this.  It doesn't refer to the type of reference frames you are using. Yes, from just the crude observations of humans, the sun seems move across the sky. But we know this is an illusion, don't we? That the motion really comes from the revolution of the earth.  So the "sun sets and rises" are not "literally true".  Since they are not, why did God deceive the author(s) of Genesis 1 if it is supposed to be literally true?

    Perhaps you wouldn't mind providing these flat earth passages.

    Oh sure. Be advised  that these are the ones quoted by the Flat Earth Society and by early Christians, particularly Cosmas Indocopleutes when he wrote Christian Topography in 550 AD advocating a flat earth.

    Genesis 1:2-8, Genesis 7:12, Isaiah 40:21-22, Job 22:14, Job 37:18, and finally Daniel 4:11.  The passage in Daniel can only be literally true if the earth is flat, otherwise the view is impossible on a spherical earth.  There is another passage in Isaiah that refers to the earth as a circle, but I remind you that a circle still lies all in one plane and is flat.  Finally, there are astronomical sections in the noncanonical but influential Book of Enoch that refer to the earth as flat.  These last were also used by Indocopleutes.
     
  20. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    Lighbearer, please remember we are talking about a literal interpretation here.  Biblical literalists claim the Bible is without error of any kind.  The Bible is even to be taken over what our senses tell us and science is supposed to fit the Bible.

    I'm not criticizing Joshua.  I'm saying that you, and every other Christian, accepts extrabiblical evidence in interpreting scripture. Including you here. You are taking what has been discovered by science concerning the rotation of the earth to decide that the passage in Joshua doesn't mean that the sun is moving.  You are making a non-literal interpretation.  That's OK.

    What I am saying is that if you don't use extrabiblical evidence and insist on a literal interpretation, then this passage says the sun moves.

    You are thinking I'm attacking the Bible.  I'm not. I'm arguing against Biblical literalism and showing that Biblical literalists are not consistent in their position.  They insist on a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 and reject any extrabiblical evidence that indicates such an interpretation is wrong.  Yet they accept extrabiblical evidence that a literal interpretation of passages indicating a flat or immovable earth is wrong.

    Only Matthew has attempted to address this issue. And that by saying that Psalms are poetry but Genesis 1 is "narrative".  His explanation doesn't stand testing. 

    I am still trying to get Biblical literalists to look at their motives for accepting extrabiblical evidence to revise interpretation of some passages but rejecting extrabiblical evidence and refusing to revise their interpretation of other verses.
     
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