The Genesis of Genesis

“I caught a fish THIS big.”

People lie.  Sometimes they do it on purpose because it has some benefit to them, either for fame or money or simply pride.  Sometimes they do it accidentally because time has helped them forget or they heard a rumor and believe it was true.

The book of Genesis in the Christian Bible is unique because the author(s) didn’t witness the events.  It was written thousands of years past the start of it (at least according to its pages) and clearly nobody witnessed the events of Chapter 1 (the creation of the universe up to the advent of man).

The stories are fantastic and hard to believe, probably because they didn’t happen.  When stories are told time and time again to generation after generation, they change.  Remember that kids’ game “Telephone”?  Even a whispered message rarely survives intact when passed on – someone along the line wants to change it or hears it wrong, but either way it changes.

Christians don’t believe this is how the stories found their way into the Bible, though.  Scripture is “God-inspired”.  What does that mean, exactly?  Does God stand over the writer’s shoulder and speak it while the writer simply transcribes it?  Why bother with a middleman in the first place?

Man is fallible and doesn’t always do God’s will, so therefore if man is placed in charge of writing the Bible (even with God playing Telephone in his ear) then the Bible’s writing is fallible.   Let’s take the story of Noah, for instance – the Earth was not covered in 1000 feet of water (covering the highest of mountains, including Everest) for 7 months.  All the plant life (none was taken onto the ark) would die, either from the salt caused by mixing with ocean water or water pressure or lack of sunlight/CO2 or all of the above.  The world would be one big desert.  That’s just the start of it…

Consider keeping penguins alive for 7 months (or even 1 month!) aboard the ark.  They need salt water, but can’t live in open water (particularly after it has 40 days and 40 nights of fresh water either sitting on it or mixed in with it).  They need fish, and it has to be caught fresh because there’s no method to preserve it, nor is there anyone available to tend to their dietary needs alone.  They need a cold environment (in the same ship that requires a hot environment for all reptiles aboard).

It took many years to figure out how to keep penguins alive in a confined space without them dying, and dying would mean they wouldn’t be alive today.  Even now it would be impossible to tend to thousands of animals per day among a small team of people (it wouldn’t even be possible simply to feed them in time, let alone clean up their droppings).

It would be hard to collect them from the south pole, and it’s unlikely they returned there after waddling down off of Mount Ararat.

To believe the story of Noah’s ark is to believe fantastical science, and if you believe God simply filled in the unscientific gaps with his divine magic then no amount of science will ever cause you to disbelieve the Bible’s words…  even though they were written by a fallible man who never witnessed them.

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About starcrashx

I love statistics. They drive my poker playing, my reasoning, and my research. As Penn Gillete said "Luck is probability taken personally". There's no such thing as luck... but I wish you positive chance. View all posts by starcrashx

2 responses to “The Genesis of Genesis

  • Mike

    A good argument, but, probably wasted on deaf ears of believers. You see, believers accept it all, hook, line, and sinker…the truth is in science, not religion, people who know this, are enlightened. When or if we get to the point where the enlightened rule, we have a chance as a species, otherwise, humankind will fade as the sun fades in the west, until darkness prevails upon our existence.

  • A Suspicious Tale « Don't Censor Me

    […] in divine inspiration, then you’ve never tried to define it literally. I’ve already painted that picture… there’s no need to do it […]

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