Answer to…Science, Religion Definately Don’t Mix

Hi empy, Thank you for your reply.

I hope you don’t mind if I made a column for my answer to your reply :-} Better writing tools and more room here.

You wrote:
>>As a Bible believer I have absolutely no difficulty to believe that the Universe is millions of years old. After all. where does the Bible give a date to creation? The word ‘day’ in Genesis can not mean twenty four hour day as our Sun came into the scene on the forth day of creation.<<

Would you believe BILLIONS of years? The Universe is probably at least 14 billion years old, and the earth 4 billion or so. Some theists think that the Biblical creation “days” refer to periods of million of our years’

You wrote”
>>According to the Bible the univers came first, then only on the forth stage of creation our Sun and Moon come into existence(Gen.1:16). Then came plant life and later animals came into existence. My Bible says that man came to the scene only at the end. To me this is basically agreement between modern science and the ancient piece of writing which the Bible is.<<

Excerpt from KJV, Genesis 1: 9-19

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Plants came before the Sun in the Bible, and in the real world, the sun came before earth. I’ve often wondered about that. If these “days” were millions of years, how did the plants survive until the sun was created? If the creation time were actual 24-hour days that would make more sense, at least the plants would make it. But then, that would make the Geological evidence WAY off.

You wrote:
>>The date of Adam and Eve can not be traced from genealogy in Genesis as the Bible often skips generations when it comes to genealogy , as Christ is called ‘son of David’, and the age of man on earth is surely much more than 6000 years. But it can not be millions of years as no trace of modern civilized man is there on the face of the earth going back to that time.<<

Allegorical reference to Jesus as the “son of David” The Bible lists in two places the genealogy that comes from David and leads to Jesus…They don’t agree on the lineage by the way.

Yes, there are traces of modern humans going back well over 100,000 years. In a cave on Mount Carmel, (Kebara cave) in the holy land, there are bones and artifacts of modern humans as well as Neanderthals. The human traces go back at least 50,000 years, the Neanderthal 100,000 years.

Many bones and artifacts have been found in Africa, and indeed over a lot of the earth, of intermediate humanoid forms that walked upright, made and used tools, and had social groups. They weren’t quite human, but they weren’t apes either. These date back at least 2 million years, although some argue for at least 3.5 million years.

IBM and the National Geographic Society teamed up a few years ago and started taking DNA samples from people around the word. Early findings are showing that ALL modern humans alive today can trace their ancestors to Africa, primarily Ethiopia and Namibia, and most all the lines go back about 200,000 years.

You wrote:
>>The Bible says that Cain built the first city (Gen.4:7). He was the second generation of modern civilized man. Tell us where is the earliest trace of human settlement on the face of the earth? <<

Well Cain was kicked out of Adam and Eve’s cave at a time when there were no other humans on the earth; according to the Bible. He married soon. Who did he marry? Some believe it was one of his many sisters. He went on to build a city…with whom? Maybe the Neanderthal’s, or most probably the other Homo-Sapiens roaming around then. There were human settlements everywhere 4000 years ago or 10,000 years ago, or longer.

There is tremendous information lying around on the earth to witness humans inhabiting the whole planet tens of thousands of years ago. Not a year goes by without at least one or two new archaeological finds pushing these dates back many years.

You wrote:
>>It may be of interest to you that the Bible does not concern itself withn pre-Adamic human race/s. The Bible only concerns itself with modern civilized man who occupies the present earth.<<

Yeah, that always bothered me. Was God denying his Neanderthal creations back then? They go back 250,00 years. There were plenty of them. They were spread all over Europe and the Mediterranean. They buried there dead, often with grave goods, flowers, personal artifacts, etc., so I’m thinking—they were thinking. That is they were reasoning, tool making, fire making, family grouping, humanoids …What’s up with God denying them?

Now if you are a conservative evangelical type person, you will of course deny that we can date old stuff, or they are lies. Nothing I can do about that, but if your books or ministers are telling you science lies…I think I would look a little further. Most conservative evangelical types I know, and I know at least 50, ignore evidence, because to read and cogitate on it would make themselves question their faith, and I think that is sad.

Anyway, I thank you kindly for taking your time to reply to me, and I wish you all the best.

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Christian or Scientist…yes / no

Would you answer these questions if given to you by a friend?

Do you expect your children to go to a regular secular colleges?

Would you like all schools to teach creationist/Christian beliefs in science classes; i.e. Evolution didn’t happen?

Do you think that our government should be Christian based and run from a theological perspective?

Do you think our government should be able to tell its citizens how to live, love, marry, raise their children, etc?

Should our government be able to follow the Biblical principles of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?”

Do you believe that evolution is “bad science?”

Do you accept the geological column as described by scientists as real?

How old do you think the earth/world is?

How old would you guess the universe to be?

How old do you think humanity is?

Describe briefly how you think our world began.

Do you think that men/women lived at the same time as dinosaurs.

Do you think the whole world was flooded at one time (Noah’s Flood) about 4000 to 4300 years ago.

Do you think intelligent design (ID) is about science or religion?

If you believe it is science; who or what is the intelligence behind it?

If you believe it is religion; why would you want it taught in public schools? Separation of church/state issues here.

Have you heard about Neanderthals?

Do believe that were real?

Do you know how long ago they lived?

Describe where you think they came from.

Do you think that scientists commonly lie about what they find, or the truths they uncover.

Do you think there are magical forces in the universe?

How big a part of your life does religion play?

Do you think non-religious people are ‘bad?’

Do you think people of ‘other’ religions are bad or mislead?

Have you seen proof of a Christian God, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Brahman, etc.?

If yes; please describe.

Do you always follow Biblical teachings?

Do you think the Bible is literally true in all ways?

Do you think men/women are inherently good or bad?

Do you think Adam and Eve were created 6000 years ago in the “Garden of Eden?”

Since Neanderthals were alive at that time; where did they come from?

Did Cain marry a Neanderthal, or his sister?

Do you believe that scientists can accurately date artifacts from thousands of years ago?

Do you know how many methods there are of dating prehistoric artifacts?

If you are a Biblical literalist; do you believe all methods of dating artifacts are lies/wrong?

I have a few overtly Christian friends I am going to ask to answer these questions. In a proper non-confrontational, friendly manner of course. Some times the different thoughts they express are very confusing. It’s like they mix and match world views. Might be fun, or I might lose some friends. Hope not.

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Neanderthals and the Bible

I’ve been doing some research on the Neanderthal race, or sub species, and following links, I ended up on a page of the answersingenesis website. They have quite a few pages of links to articles on Neanderthals so I chose one at random. The article that I chose was a fairly simple story with descriptions of their bodily form and probable habits, including the fact that they buried their dead, and often with flowers or personal bits of property. So far that pretty much follows the commonly accepted view.

Then I came to the end. What follows is the last paragraph of the story:
” None of this is surprising when we consider that they were not primitive evolutionary ‘links’. They were people, forced to live in harsh conditions, after the dispersal of humanity at Babel, during the great post-Flood Ice Age.

What was that? Did I miss something here? Where was I when that little tidbit of info was being passed around in the newspapers and journals??

So let me get this straight. The Neanderthals, who have different DNA than present day humans, were evolved from Noah or one of his sons? And there was another, post 12,000 BCE, ice age that nobody but the answersingenesis people knew about?

I have never run across any literature that supports, or even mentions the notion that there was a post ‘flood’…during the Bronze Age…ice age. Has anyone out there in the ‘ether’ heard of this? 🙂

That got me to thinking about the Bronze Age, which is a very well researched and documented period in the history of the earth and humanity(also, accurately dated) from about 6,000 BCE to maybe 1,400 BCE. Earths inhabitants were smelting and making use of this metal as tools, art objects, and weapons, and there are LOTS of remnants in the archaeological record. This is a fact that I don’t believe ANY proper scientist rejects, or seriously doubts. By proper scientist I mean one who doesn’t have a Doctorate of Divinity.

I wonder when ‘answersingenesis’ is going to publish this new scientific theory? I would look forward to reading and researching this fascinating, hereto unknown subject. I would also look forward to reading about how the human DNA was changed and which son, or perhaps it was Noah, was the father of the Neanderthal race.

I wonder how they reconcile the fact that all remnants of Neanderthals were found to be in strata that is far below Biblical times? Oh, that’s right, I forgot…they don’t believe in stratigraphy…it’s all the results of the ‘flood.’

You know, I think that just maybe, ‘answersingenesis’ is trying to pull the wool over my eyes, and maybe even yours.

If they believe this little bit of ‘history’ I wonder what else is in their minds?

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Answers to Life Redux

Hi Phil, Hope you don’t mind that I am using the main column to answer you instead of leave-a-reply area.

Last things first.
Phil: Also, forgive my ignorance, but you have me confused on your last statement. I couldn’t figure out what naturalists questioning the flood in the 1700’s has to do with Christians giving evidence for said flood in present time. Any objection on any topic is directly or indirectly related one to another, right? Only the evidence (or lack there of in an objection) matters in validating said objection or debunking the original claim.

I only mentioned the Naturalists in the 1700’s because they were the scientists of the day. From what I can gather in histories, they were mostly religious, and yet they were coming across evidence that did not support a Biblical, pre-historic, worldwide flood.

At the time I don’t believe they thought much of it, but as more and more of their brethren naturalists noticed some of the same things, or supporting evidence of same, the word spread. I am not saying that this proves the matter…just that real doubt was happening early on, in the scientific fields.

I believe that Darwin himself was schooled in a religious college (University of Cambridge), but when he got out in the real world and started to practice his trade, he too started to see the incongruity of his beliefs vs. reality, in the physical world.

Phil: You said “Whitcomb and Morris wrote the book nearly 50 years ago, did they not?” It is rather unreasonable to render a document or piece of work invalid based on age. For example, the Constitution is still valid (when actually applied…). Also, saying Darwin’s Theory is wrong because it is old would hardly be accepted (there are enough errors to take care of that for me though).

The constitution is not a relevant comparison because it is not a scientific document that is subject to experimentation, or peer review. It is a political statement. (Yes, Bush does have a lot of trouble with honoring or upholding the constitution). I haven’t read the book yet….thank you for your kind offer, but I will decline…however we have a great used bookstore and library system here, and I will be on the lookout for it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that because the book was published in 1961 or so, the science has greatly improved since then, and that is has been discredited because it’s wrong. Following is a quote from talk origins that is related to the book in question:

*Strata in the geological column are sometimes out of order. The mechanisms geophysicists use to account for them are problematic. Thrust faulting would have produced great amounts of debris, which geologists do not see; folding would require great forces for which geophysicists have trouble accounting.
*Whitcomb, J. C. and H. M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 180-211.
Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 120.

Response

  1. Folds account for out-of-order strata with sequences such as A-B-C-B-A. Faults create sequences such as B-C-A-B-C. The evidence is so overwhelming that these conclusions should be obvious. In many cases, the folds and faults can easily be seen in cross-sections of the strata. In other cases, further geological mapping verifies the presence of the fold or fault. Features such as ripple marks and mud cracks show that the strata were originally horizontal.
  2. Great forces are not a problem in geophysics. First, great forces exist. Earthquakes can move many miles of crust by several feet at a time. Second, the forces act over a long period of time. Rocks, which would fracture, if bent suddenly will deform gradually under hundreds of millions of years of heat and constant pressure. Faults do, in fact, produce a layer of debris along the fault line. Sometimes this layer is fairly thin. There is no reason to expect great amounts of debris along all faults.
  3. The geologic column is never out of order in areas that have not been greatly disturbed.

Sources
1. Numbers, Ronald L., 1992.
The Creationists. New York: Knopf.

2. Ross, C. P. and Richard Rezak, 1959. The rocks and fossils of Glacier National Park: The story of their origin and history. U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K.

3. Strahler, Arthur N., 1987. Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.

4. Weber, C. G., 1980. Common creationist attacks on geology. Creation/Evolution 2: 10-25.

5. Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co..

6. Wise, K. P., 1986. The way geologists date! In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh, C. L. Brooks and R. S. Crowell (eds.), Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 1: 135-138.

Now I know that the above will not change your mind one iota, but my ramblings thru these minefields of science and religion have shown me enough evidence that some of your brethren, Creation Research Institute and answersingenesis, come immediately to mind, though they are not the only ones, bend the truth, just a little. I can almost sympathize with them, because they truly are losing the argument, as far as the science goes. But I really expected more from religious leaders.

As far as the reference to Mr. Darwin’s theory goes, it only gets stronger as the years go on. The body of evidence has only grown to support him, not detract. Practically every true scientific organization in the world has issued statements concerning Science, Religion, Darwin, and they all support evolution. They support it because the preponderance of evidence is there. Their statements are also available on the Internet if you should choose to inquire.

Phil: In all seriousness, you mentioned advances in radiocarbon to the advantage of an old earth. However, there are many problems with this dating method (amidst the other methods you spoke of) and typically very generous assumptions of a very old earth are made before testing even begins.

I suspect you are a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) by your doubting the old ages found in the earth record. So I know from the get go where you stand on the radiocarbon dating issue, so I will be short on the answer for my position. Like Darwin’s theory; the evidence for the reliability and rightness..?..of radiocarbon dating, stratigraphy, dendrochronology, and other scientific methods of dating grow stronger every year. Creationist, of course, deny it even more…What to do?

Oh, almost forgot to mention. The University town that I live in houses one of the premier radiocarbon dating laboratories and Dendrocronology labs in the country. Have connections.

I suppose the argument will go on…and on…..and on:)

Seriously, I hope all goes well with you in your new position, and arguments aside…Peace to you, and thank you for your reply.

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“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself (or herself) in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.” A. Einstein