Monday, January 16, 2017

Is Faith and Science compatible? What Genesis really says! (Secrets of Genesis part 1)

Oh the hogwash on this subject. Few things irritate me more than such 'debates'. How can science and the Creator of Science be on opposing sides? The trouble with all this is that both sides of this discussion approach the topic in a flawed way.

Most people who use science to debunk God aren't scientists and don't even understand the essence of science. Yes, there are a few very notable and outspoken scientists and thinkers who use their platform to denigrate those who believe by using science. Of course, there's a host Christians who are top scientists and see no conflict whatsoever and work to bring the two together (e.g. Biologos and Francis Collins).

Most Christians who are opposed to scientific findings also don't understand science! Not only do they misuse Scripture (not purposely though) they also judge those who actually think science is true. It's the medieval reaction to science all over again!

Science is the study of the universe and can't say anything about why the laws of the universe are the way they are. That is, it makes no judgment on the divine, period. We don't know why gravity exists the way it does, just that it does and things accelerate when free falling at 9.8m/sec2. You see, science describes and experiments. We then hypothesize, test hypothesis and create theories to explain our findings. It's constantly changing because we are discovering so much.

I've always told my science students that we figure out the "how" of the universe and ask God the "whys"! 

Quite frankly, Science is a divine art and those who are best at it know they are studying the marvels of God.

To the point! Here are X things most people get wrong about Genesis 1 and creation.

1. There was darkness and then light.

Folks, I don't know how any one can describe the Big Bang in such a beautiful, concise and truthful manner than:

"Light, exist!" And there was light.
The tragedy is that most translations make out God saying a long-winded sentence just to create light. But it was not that way. God - who calls what is not as if it is (see Romans 4) - simply called light into existence. Before there was only darkness, then Light.  That's the Big Bang theory in language people from today and 4000 years ago can understand.

2. The Bible does not say that God created the world in 144 hours!

It says 6 days. The Middle Eastern concept of 'yom', that is the Semitic word for day, is not... well, so punctual. In the ME if someone tells you tomorrow, well you can just forget it! As far as your concerned it might mean next week, next year or possibly never. Yom in Genesis 1 is a period of time, an age and notice how there was a morning and evening for each yom or day. In other words, each age had a dawn and dusk, a beginning and an end.

Now let me ask those who think a day means a 24 hour period of time. How in the world can there be such a 24 h day when there is no sun? Bottom line: it's not our definition of a day; it's an eon.

3. Science corroborates the creation of life - water before land, plants before animals.

Here is the amazing thing about this ancient legend of creation which I hold to be divinely inspired. It says exactly the order of life in which it appeared according to both the fossil record and genetic analysis.

Life began in water. Both agree. Plants arose before animals. Both agree. Life is, as you know, water based and as you always know, requires oxygen (plants presumably created oxygen rich environments before the rest of the creatures were created).

photo credit:
Another amazing thing that baffles scientists - evolution is, after all, one of the least understood theories of science and it's getting even more gloriously complex - is that life arose in huge explosions of creativity! The fossil record shows a sudden emergence of a huge variety of plants and animals in many instances of earth's history. It's really incredible and to me, these bursts coincide with the words of our Father.

4. Evolution is an example of intelligent design and is described in Genesis 1

You bet! If you don't understand evolution you'll think its just a random mess.

A confession: as a scientist, I held to the idea of creation without evolution. However, after reading the Bible more sensibly and understanding evolution, I realized evolution was far more crazy (in a good way) to believe than creation. In other words, God created the laws of nature to make the evolution of plants and animals possible (I differentiate the human body from the human spirit; clearly our species are on a completely different level scientifically and biblically and that is a book for another day).

My pet dog. ;)
Here's what evolution says - it says that genetic components of life, the blueprints of how to build cells and bodies and so forth, can change with time. How can we explain that life forms are so genetically similar and we can even track the changes? Mammals, like my pet dog shown here, share maybe 60% of our genes with plants! This is one of the most complex aspects of science that many people who use evolution to debunk God don't have a clue what it means.That's right, when people ask how faith is possible with evolution, I totally fail to see how they could even say that? Instead, I ask them "How can you not believe with such a glorious thing as evolution!?"

But people will use whatever to support their opinions - most people who don't believe in God (and I was an atheist) use such excuses to hide the real reason why - because they don't have the right image of God in the first place. (Another discussion for another time)

All this means, God created life that was capable of fine tuning itself, adapting to change and had a penchant for the spectacular and fantastic. 

And what about the Bible, what does it say? Here again it's right in front of our face and for so many years we failed to see it!

Go ahead and read, how did God create plants and animals and fish and birds? Does Genesis suggest He sat there and molded each one as if creating pottery? Or does it something far deeper and more powerful?

Notice who God commands... the life or the thing in which the life is supposed to live?

"Let the earth bring forth grass... and the earth brought forth grass"!
"Let the waters abound... and it was so."
"Let the earth bring forth the living creature... and it was so."

He commanded the water and the earth to bring forth life and they brought forth life. To me, it sounds 100% like evolution! The water gave forth life and so did the earth because God used His word to make them bring forth the creatures of the deeps and earth and sky. 
I create the fruit of the lips. Isa 57:19
This is evolution in the language of the ancients. It's a 4000 year old description of evolution, succinct and basic but elegant and true.

5. This is why Genesis was written - to speak of the coming age of the Messiah and not the intricacies of biology and astronomy

You see, Genesis 1 is not really a description about how the earth began. It is not there for this purpose (one of the delights of being human, is that we get to uncover these mysteries). The focus of Genesis sets the backdrop in the beginning of the need for a Messiah.

God created a beautiful world but man handed it over to Satan and then chose religion over life; the result was death, decay and destruction as Satan is now in control of the world. This is how Genesis begins to explain the line of Christ - the One who would saveAdam and his race, make all knew, and destroy death and destruction itself and forever atone for the sins of every human. It starts with Adam, narrows down to Abraham, until we see the descendants of his grandson a very large and enslaved nation. Soon the line narrows again, from a descendant of Judah, David and his kingdom, which falls and is almost wiped out and forgotten... until that starry night in Belthelem 2000 years ago.

Thats how you read the Bible!

Thanks so much for sharing this and commenting politely! God bless you.

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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