Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The God and Science Discussions pt 3

So...finally we are coming around to the meat of the question. Creation. Well, first I think we need to brush up on the creation stories. First, the 7 day creation story. And second, the Adam's rib creation story. ok, did you read them? Cuz' it will sure help with this conversation if you did.

Having read the stories you will notice that they are two distinct stories. The first one has God creating the heavens, earth, plants, creatures etc, and then he creates man and woman together from the clay of the earth. His piece de resistance (sorry I don't know where my accent marks are). In the second story, God creates the earth and heavens and then Adam. But "it is not good for man to be alone." so, he creates all the creatures of the earth and brings them to him but alas, none of them fit the bill. Then, God creates woman from the flesh of Adam.

So, my question to Creationists has always been, "Which story?" Which one is the story of creation? The second story makes no reference to time at all. The first assumes God's days are our 24 hour days. Who knows how long a day of God's is? It could be a million years! In many ways the story of evolution follows the first creation story. But (science nerd alert!) did anyone notice that God created the plants on the third day, but not the sun until the fourth day? seems a little backwards to me.

Yes, I believe that the earth is millions of years old. Yes, I believe that life forms evolved and changed and adapted throughout this time. Do I believe that there is some magic line connecting man to chimpanzees? I don't know. maybe. But, the evidence is just not all there, yet. It is still a theory. A compelling theory. A theory that is constantly evolving and adapting itself as new discoveries are made. And anyone who says there is ample evidence to declare this linear idea of evolution a certainty, is not...well, is not a scientist. Do I understand when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being?" (holy cow I love that image!) No, I don't have any clear idea of when God set us apart. But, I do believe that he did. That we are all a part of his image. Just as I can't tell you at what point the soul enters the human, but I know that is does.

If there is one thing I have figured out about God, it's that he is bigger than that. whatever that is. He is bigger. And just as I don't understand what he is doing with my pesky little life sometimes, I can't begin to wrap my brain around The Creation. and that is exactly why I love these stories so much. They attempt to make it understandable for me. and even if they fall way short (uh. Cain and Abel. Abel is killed. that leaves one male offspring to reproduce with who?), they are still the story of my creation.

As for Noah...there is plenty of evidence that a great flood actually occurred. And we can't expect the people of Noah's time to understand the vastness of this earth (heck! it was 1492 before we knew it was round!) So, to them the entire world did flood. I believe Noah could have built an ark big enough to house the animals of his "world." I do not believe there were dinosaurs on the ark, obviously.

And what if Noah didn't exist? or Adam and Eve? Does that shake something essential in my faith? absolutely not. Does that make the stories less true? no way. I am Noah. I am Dinah. I am Ezekiel. I am Miriam.


shaz said...

interesting Cakes - you explained your view well.

We have one story of creation, it's explained in a fair amount of detail. It's a long one, so I won't get into it here, but it might be an interesting read for you. The story of Noah is also done in a fair amount of detail.

I hope you find your answers. :)

annie said...

not to get too far off the subject here - but, as a Christian, what is your scientific view on dinosaurs? If they were around well before man - why isn't this in the creation story of the bible? I'm really clueless on this one and want to try and understand more before my dinosaur-obsessed four year old asks deeper questions.

Cakes said...

ok Shazia, it looks like I need to hit the books!

Annie~Dinosaurs are never mentioned in the bible. I know some people explain Behemoth to be a dinosaur, but many biblical scholars do not think this is the case.

The first creation story says that land animals were created before man and woman. And I do not take the term "day" to mean our 24 hour day. So, there could have been millions of years between "days."

but again, I don't take the creation story literally.