ABC:Genesis 1

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Verse 16

ThinkingAtheist claims the Bible is wrong about "A young earth" and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

Genesis 1:16-17 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. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

The stars gave light to the earth immediately, although the closest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away. So the very first star light would have taken 4.3 years to reach earth. The light we see from the Andromeda Galaxy takes 2.2 million years to reach earth, which also debunks the argument that the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old.

The term "young earth creationism" isn't really adequate since Ussher's chronologies did not examine the age of the Earth, but the age of mankind on Earth, or at best the age of life on Earth. They rely on passages like Genesis 5 which state how much time passed for each human generation. Thus, while they reveal how long humans should have been on Earth, they do not necessarily show how long Earth or the universe were around.

In fact, verse 2 of Genesis seems to show the Earth was already created as an oceanic world. The deep (Heb. tahowm[2]) is a term constantly used to refer to the ocean depths. Both the earth and the depths of the ocean are referred to before God's creation ever began, thus it is logical that the earth had already been created.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Even apart from that fact, the sun and moon were not created until the fourth day, so prior days were not necessarily solar days of 24 hours each. (See the note on Genesis 1, Order of Creation, for what such a light source might have been before this.)

Furthermore, the thesis itself is incorrect in claiming "The stars gave light to the earth immediately." Where is this stated? To make all of those calculations, one must first show where exactly the Bible definitively states the stars gave such light in the first 4.3 years of Earth's creation. However, light had somehow pre-existed the sun, moon, and stars (Genesis 1:3), with Jesus arguably the first light source even as He will be the last (Revelation 21:23), so there is no reason to assume any light in the Garden of Eden came from the sun, moon, or stars unless definitely stated.

Ultimately the argument rests upon several assumptions that do not hold up, (1) that the stars gave light immediately, and (2) that Genesis records the original creation of the Earth rather than a creation of life on it specifically.

Furthermore, we discovered in the 1990s that the universe does not meet the qualifications it should if conventional thinking about its structure is correct, nor is the structure even remotely what it should have been. Expansion of the universe was supposed to be slowing down, but observations showed that instead it was actually speeding up. Roughly 95% of the universe consists of hypothetical unexplained constructs referred to as 'Dark Energy' and 'Dark Matter.' As NASA concludes, a likely possibility is that the very theory of gravity which predicted the universe's slowing and the speed of light in space used to estimate the universe's age is itself incorrect:[3]

"More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the Universe's expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery. It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe...

A last possibility is that Einstein's theory of gravity is not correct. That would not only affect the expansion of the Universe, but it would also affect the way that normal matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies behaved. This fact would provide a way to decide if the solution to the dark energy problem is a new gravity theory or not: we could observe how galaxies come together in clusters. But if it does turn out that a new theory of gravity is needed, what kind of theory would it be? How could it correctly describe the motion of the bodies in the Solar System, as Einstein's theory is known to do, and still give us the different prediction for the Universe that we need? There are candidate theories, but none are compelling. So the mystery continues."

-NASA[3]

Ultimately the very calculations of light speed rest upon conventional scientific thinking that has thus far been unable to explain why 95% of the universe is the way it is, or even where it is, and why its expansion is accelerating rather than slowing down. Furthermore, given the unexplained acceleration of the universe's expansion, why assume the light took that long to travel? The universe itself is accelerating outward faster and faster contrary to conventional thinking, so what may not be getting accounted for is the increasing speed of the stars in the opposite direction, which logically were originally much closer to begin with. You must, in other words, not only consider the speed of light for such calculations, but the mysterious accelerating expansion of the universe that isn't even supposed to exist.

Verses 20-21

Infidels suggests the Bible contradicts itself in saying fowl came from both water and the ground, and quote the following Scriptures:[4]

Genesis 1:20-21 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

This as further detailed on this page is not a contradiction, since the Genesis 1 and 2 passages are of course not accounts of the same event with contradicting details. Rather, Genesis 1:1-2:3 is God's account of creation, and 2:4-4:27 is Adam's account of the Garden of Eden. Thus, birds were originally created over the water, and recreated later in the Garden of Eden to see what Adam would name them.

Verse 25

Infidels claims Genesis 1 contradicts Genesis 2, asking the question, "Which first--beasts or man?"[4] The EvilBible also makes this claim.[5] The ReasonProject also lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "The two contradictory creation accounts."[6]

This of course rests upon a rather silly presumption when you think about it, that Genesis 1 and 2 would relate duplicate accounts, with both chapters repeating the same story repetitively, yet with conflicting material; a completely illogical thought process.

Genesis 1:25-26 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 2:18-19 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

The simple and straightforward answer here is that Genesis 1:1-2:3 (1:1, an account of "In the beginning") is not the same account as Genesis 2:4-4:26 (2:4, "generations of the heavens and the Earth") - Genesis 1 relates God's account of how the Earth and creation were made, Genesis 2-4 relates Adam's account of God creating individual life in the Garden of Eden, including himself. Genesis 2:19 does not relate the original creation of cattle and birds, but recreation of more animals of the types already created to see what Adam will name them. Genesis 2 does not show an additional account of the original creation, which would make no sense, rather it starts with Day 6 and Adam's creation as told from his point of view, and relates God recreating animals already made in the Garden of Eden to see what Adam will name them.

Genesis is actually subdivided into different accounts with the Hebrew word "towl@dah" meaning "generations" or "genealogy."[7] For more on this, see the Wiseman Hypothesis, aka the Tablet Theory, the competing theory to the Documentary Hypothesis.[8] This word marks the start of a new account in Genesis 2:4 just like it marks the beginning of accounts throughout the book of Genesis. Genesis appears to be a collation of different accounts by patriarchs like Adam, Noah, and Abraham that are each comprised of a genealogy and a narrative the same way ancient Mesopotamian family tablets are, with Moses the one who likely combined them.

Verse 26

Don Morgan of Infidels asserts a contradiction exists among these passages while making the following comments (italicized):[9]

Man is to have dominion over fish, birds, cattle, and all wild animals, yet--

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

It is wrong to be able to tell good from evil, right from wrong.

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 ¶ And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The key verse is 3:22. Eating of the tree meant learning what evil was, and thus becoming corrupted. Unlike God, man has physical lusts that tempt to do evil, and once corrupted with that knowledge would ultimately succumb.

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Until this time man had coexisted with the angels in the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 28, 31), creations of God who knew only good and not evil. However, Satan perverted the human race with this knowledge of evil to gain control of them as part of Satan's rebellion against God.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

One cannot distinguish between two things unless one is familiar with them both. It was not knowing good that was wrong and against God's will, but knowing evil.

Verses 26-27

Don Morgan of Infidels asserts a contradiction exists among these passages while making the following comments (italicized):[9]

Man and woman were created at the same time.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man was created first, woman sometime later.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Genesis 1 never says man and woman were created at the same time, just the same day. The chronology of the Genesis 1:1-2:3 account is a day-by-day basis, so Genesis 1 just mentions both being made. It never says they were made at the exact same time, the exact details of when they were made during that day are clarified in chapter 2.

Verse 28

Don Morgan of Infidels asserts a contradiction exists among these passages while making the following comments (italicized):[9]

God encourages reproduction.

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God requires purification rites following childbirth which, in effect, makes childbirth a sin. (Note: The period for purification following the birth of a daughter is twice that for a son.)

Leviticus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
6 ¶ And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:
7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

The critic neglects to mention the following, even longer chapter in Leviticus 13 addressing diseases in men. As seen from Leviticus 15, the Mosaic Law provided regulations for both men (vv. 1-18) and women (vv. 19-33) to follow in case of sickness.

The fact is that heavy bleeding can be evident of disease after childbirth according to the CDC and other sources.[10] Furthermore, since bleeding among baby girls immediately after pregnancy can occur (what is known as lochia) additional measures of cleanliness can be required for their safety to avoid disease.[11]

The critic sees discrimination because they want to see it, not because it's there. If they actually cared about whether this is a serious medical concern for women they would have bothered doing the research per the above. This isn't just a case of the Bible providing pregnancy-related rules for women because it doesn't like women, but because those rules are as necessary today as they were then for female medical safety; preventive care.

Verse 31

ThinkingAtheist claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1] The EvilBible also makes this claim.[5] Don Morgan of Infidels also claims there is a contradiction here.[9]

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

God was pleased with his creation.

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

God was not pleased with his creation.

Apparently the critic skipped the whole "Garden of Eden" part of the Bible. God originally was pleased with creation, then Satan and mankind rebelled to do evil, corrupting His creation. So God wasn't pleased. Logically if God was pleased and then stopped being pleased you would assume something changed with those involved, just as a parent may be pleased with their children when they are born, but can become displeased when they act naughty. There's no contradiction here, just a critic who can't think critically.

Order of Creation

Meritt of Infidels suggests the order of creation in Genesis 1 is illogical, as does TheThinkingAtheist.com.[12] Meritt makes the following comments:[4]

Note that there are "days," "evenings," and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim," which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods." In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good..."

How orderly were things created?

  1. 1: Step-by-step. The only discrepancy is that there is no Sun or Moon or stars on the first three "days."
  2. 2: God fixes things up as he goes. The first man is lonely, and is not satisfied with animals. God finally creates a woman for him. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

How satisfied with creation was he?

  1. 1: God says "it was good" after each of his labors, and rests on the seventh day, evidently very satisfied.
  2. 2: God has to fix up his creation as he goes, and he would certainly not be very satisfied with the disobedience of that primordial couple. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

First of all, the fact that days, evenings, and mornings existed before the sun's creation means only that another light source was present. The Bible even states such a pattern will exist once more at the end of creation. Jesus Himself is said to be all the light the New Jerusalem requires.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Therefore, not only is there a logical explanation for a light source prior to the sun, but it is clearly detailed in Scripture. Since Jesus claimed to have existed from the beginning of Creation (John 17:35) there is no reason at all to think Jesus Himself could not have been the original light source, and thus giving special relevance to His title "the Light of the world." (John 8:12, 9:5)

Secondly, Meritt claims it a "funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things." However, since Meritt is quoting the KJV, he ought to be aware that not once in the entire KJV are the words "omniscient" or "omniscience" ever used, although "omnipotent" is used once. (Revelation 19:6) Omniscience is an arbitrary concept that's been attached to God by philosophers to explain the Bible's repeated references to God's absolute knowledge. However, to assume God knows everything the future holds does not necessarily follow from what the Bible says.

For more on this, see Epicurus' Trilemma.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. Hebrew Lexicon entry for T@howm. The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/tehowm.html.
  3. 3.0 3.1 NASA Science Astrophysics. Dark Energy, Dark Matter. Retrieved from http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions. EvilBible.com.
  6. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  7. Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. "Hebrew Lexicon entry for Towl@dah." "The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon". Retrieved from http://m.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/towledah.html.
  8. Curt Sewell (1998-2001). The Tablet Theory of Genesis Authorship. Retrieved from http://www.trueorigin.org/tablet.asp.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Morgan, Donald. Bible Inconsistencies: Bible Contradictions? Internet Infidels.
  10. What Should You Know About Blood Disorders in Women? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    James, A.H., & Jamison, M.C. (2007, June). Bleeding Events and Other Complications During Pregnancy and Childbirth in Women with Von Willebrand Disease. J Thromb Haemost 5(6):1165-9.
    Committees on Adolescent Health Care and Gynecologic Practice (2013, December). Von Willebrand Disease in Women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  11. Your Newborn Girl's Genitals and Bleeding. WebMD.
    Saluja, Staish (2008, December 2). Is Vaginal Bleeding Normal in Newborn Girls? Doctor NDTV.
  12. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.