July 21, 2013
Let’s look at what Genesis 1 says today, shall we? Anyone with a decent background in science who looks at this critically will recognize that the creation account here is at best an allegory for the creation of the universe, and at worst a total fabrication.
Early in the creation, God separated the waters into two distinct bodies so that the land could appear between them. He called the water below “seas” and the water above “sky”, which he held aloft using a “firmament”, which is a solid body. This is verified by the Hebrew word for it, raki’a, which means a solid body, despite the NIV’s translation of it into “expansion”.
Why is the KJV translation more in line with the author’s intent? First, it’s the primary use of the word. Second, it reinforces the aforementioned idea of the sky ocean, which would need a solid protective layer to suspend the water if there truly were an ocean in the sky as the Bible suggests. Third, it compliments the known widespread primitive beliefs. Take the mindset of an ancient Hebrew for a moment by ignoring any contemporary understanding of the world that you may have. You glance at the sky above and observe it’s blue, like the color of water, while periodically water falls down from the sky. With no further evidence, it’s perfectly logical to conclude that there is a mass of water in the sky. If this is true, then a solid object would be required to hold that water up. Perhaps windows even open in the firmament to allow rainfall (Genesis 8:2).
God created the sun and moon on the fourth day of the creation, but this causes a plethora of troubles since God’s first creation was light, to divide the day in light and the night in darkness. How can there be night and day without the sun, the major source of light on Earth? Again, we must take the probable mindset of the author to understand his position. Look into the sky away from the sun. It’s unreasonable to assume that the earth is bright at it’s distal boundaries because the sun is shining. On the contrary, the light shining from the giant ball of fire appears to stop at its edges. There’s no reason to assume that the sun is the source of the light. In fact, the Bible explicitly states that the sun and moon are merely symbols “to divide the day from the night”. In addition to the sun gaffe, the author also makes the mistake of counting the moon as a source of light. If we were to be rigidly technical about the Bible’s claims, this is yet another scientific error. But we’ll let it slide on it being a colloquialism.
Another problem with the sun not appearing on the fourth day is that the plants appeared on the third. While it’s extremely likely that plants could survive a day without sunlight, it causes problems for people who like to argue that a day in Genesis is a vast expanse of time, usually in the order of millions of years. Another problem with this interpretation is that a morning and evening are described for these days, making a million year day seem quite dubious.
God created the stars on the fourth day, but what were they and what were their purpose? Biblical authors believed that stars were small sources of light contained within the imaginary firmament covering the earth. In other words, they got no divine inspiration telling them that they were actually many many unfathomably enormous gaseous spheres just very far off. In short, the author’s celestial hypothesis was wrong on location, number and size. Verification of the location of stars can be demonstrated quite easily. After God made the sun, moon and stars, he “set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” (17).
So a reading of Genesis 1 makes much more sense if we see it as a primitive people trying to explain the creation of the world as they saw it, not as how it actually occurred and was then dictated by God to Moses. At this point, we can safely say that anyone trying to safely harmonize science with the book of Genesis is veraciously wasting his or her time