What God made in Gensis is entirely accurate to what actually exists
I subscribe to a literal interpretation of Genesis and even though I'm not well-learned on this subject, I'm confident I can refute all of your challenges! It will be a learning experience for me. Let's go! Present your challenges in the first round =)
First off, I'd like to thank Pro for initiating this challenge, as it should prove to be interesting.
Here's a link to the NIV of Genesis 1-4.
( http://www.biblegateway.com... )
While I imagine it is satisfactory, if Pro finds this version to be unacceptable and would like to provide a link to a version that he does find acceptable, I'll change my arguments to fit that version, assuming that I find any descrepencies in it.
Anyways, on to my contentions, of which I only have a few that are relevant to the context of this debate. I know Pro will be refuting in accordance with literal interpretation, but I will be including some metaphorical interpretations, as I feel they help to convey my contentions. I would ask that voters do NOT hold it against Pro of he chooses not to address any metaphorical interpretations that I include.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
My contention here is "the water above", which is separated from the water below by the sky. I think it's clear that the water below would be the oceans/seas of the Earth, and that the sky would be the Earth's atmosphere (possibly space as well, but I'll address that at the end of this post.)
As to the water above, metaphorically speaking, I would assume it to be space, but that conflicts with another of my contentions (which I'll explain further alongside that contention). As a literal interpretation, the best I can figure is that the writers of the bible were not truly inspired by God, and that they thought space was actually water suspended above the Earth, in accordance to Gods will.
Of course, we know that space is not made up of water.
Genesis 1:14-17 (I've included 18-19 on the off-chance they have a context relevance that I don't see)
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
Here, I would say it's clear that the greater and lesser lights are the Sun and the Moon, respectively.
My initial thought here was that the Moon is not actually a light, it only appears so because of the light from the Sun hitting it. However, I've since dismissed this as an issue, as the Moon does allow light to reach places the Sun alone couldn't, and so it is relatable to a light. However, by a literal interpretation, I would have to say this is inaccurate.
The larger problem that I see here is the setting of the two lights and the stars in the vault of the sky. This strikes me as saying the Sun, Moon, and Stars are in the Earth's atmosphere. Going back to my metaphorical interpretation of "the water above" as space, God would have had to put these things in the water above, rather than the vault of the sky, in order to be accurate to reality as we know it.
But again, a literal interpretation fits in with what people could observe. To one who knows nothing about space, the Sun, Moon, and Stars would appear to be in the sky. So again, I am left to conclude that the bible was not inspired by God as it does not reflect reality as we know it.
As I said earlier, I have considered that the vault of the sky refers to both the Earth's atmosphere and space, in which case much of this does fit with reality. In this case, we may simply have yet to observe "the water above", or metaphorically speaking, perhaps the water above is the edge of the Universe. I've also dismissed this as well, as it leaves the story of creation incomplete (and in truth, it is incomplete either way). No creation of other planets takes place it, of which we know there are many, thousands even. Neither does the creation of black holes take place.
I must admit that an incomplete story does not necessarily mean the story is inaccurate. However, the creation story can easily be interpreted as inaccurate if taken literally, and more over, inaccurate in ways that are relatable to what its writers would have been able to observe. For these reasons, I have come to the conclusion that the story of creation as told in Genesis is inaccurate to the reality we know.
Thanks to Con for accepting, and I look forward to a fun and interesting debate!
Con says, “As to the water above, metaphorically speaking, I would assume it to be space” but what does Con mean by space? The general concept of outer space, which includes asteroids, comets, planets, etc. or is he strictly referring to a quantumn vaccum? I'll assume the more broad definition.
I think it makes perfect sense to refer to the “water above” as space, since space is composed of a lot of water! Comets, like Halley's, are made of mostly water, and creationist scientists hypothesize that the original “water above” was a massive water wall engulfing the solar system to protect earth from extreme radiation during the creation week(1) which conveniently ties in to the explanation that radiometric dating gives such old dates because radioactive materials decayed faster due to that extra radiation during creation.
In the New Testament, Peter explains that a cause of the flood was the “waters above” falling into earth:
“But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.”(3)
When you realize that the comets comprise some of this water, it makes sense: the flood involved comets crashing into earth, which explains the giant craters on earth and the moon. The comets we have left over are just remnants of the “water above” from creation week.
“Of course, we know that space is not made up of water.”
But it is! E.g. Neptune is called a “Ice Giant” planet because it's 70% water ice.
The Greater And Lesser Lights
“the Moon does allow light to reach places the Sun alone couldn't, and so it is relatable to a light. However, by a literal interpretation, I would have to say this is inaccurate.”
What is a light? A source of light. What is a source? According to Goolge, “[A] thing from which something comes” Con's argument that the moon isn't literally a light relies on the premise that light does not come from the moon. It's both true that light come from the moon AND comes from the sun. Likewise, when I drove to town this morning, it's both true that I came from my bed, and from my bedroom. If I didn't come from my bed, then I somehow got to town without leaving my bed. But if I didn't come from my bedroom, I somehow got to town without leaving my bedroom!
Con says when God put the moon and sun in the “vault of the sky”, it literally means he put them in earth's atmosphere. But I think the vault of the sky is a general term for the space around earth, and the literal meaning still makes sense.
“But again, a literal interpretation fits in with what people could observe. To one who knows nothing about space, the Sun, Moon, and Stars would appear to be in the sky. So again, I am left to conclude that the bible was not inspired by God as it does not reflect reality as we know it.”
That's not really true. The sun, moon, and stars do not appear to be in earth's atmosphere regardless of what you believe! This is because clouds obviously get between us and them.
Back to you!
(3) 2 Peter 3:5-6
My commendations to Pro for a very well thought out and interesting response.
The Water Above
I must say, my contentions concerning the "water above" have been greatly diminished. When I said space, I was actually referring to the vacuum, but that does separate the Earth from comets, asteroids, other planets and whatever else may be considered "the water above". I admit, this interpretation is closer to an accurate description of reality than I expected to receive.
However, As Pro says, these things are made mostly of water. There is still the question of why there are parts of of these objects that are not water, as Genesis makes no mention of anything other than water. (Interestingly, I did find several articles about a MASSIVE body of water found in outer space. Apparently, it's at least 140 trillion times the amount of water on Earth. Here's a link to one if you're curious about it: ( http://www.universetoday.com... )
As to radioactive materials decaying faster, I would think higher levels of radiation would cause them to decay slower if anything, much like a wet towel would dry out slower due to an increase in humidity. Admittedly, this assertion is nothing more than my own thoughts, as I've never studied radioactive decay, but I felt like mentioning it none-the-less.
The Greater and Lesser Lights
I very much disagree with Pro concerning the Moon as a source of light, as it doesn't really come from the Moon at all, but simply bounces off of it. Similarly, in Pros analogy, he doesn't really come from his bed or his bedroom, but instead continues on from them, as they are simply a stopping point on his path.
I would relate this to playing basketball, and attempting a bounce shot, throwing it at the floor to bounce it into the basket. But we wouldn't say the floor is attempting to make the shot, that the floor is the source of the shot, would we? Of course not! The shooter would still be the source of shot, much like the Sun would still be the source of the light after it bounces off of the Moon.
"That's not really true. The sun, moon, and stars do not appear to be in earth's atmosphere regardless of what you believe! This is because clouds obviously get between us and them." - Pro
While it's true the clouds are between us and them, this just means the Sun, Moon, and stars are further from us than the clouds. This alone is not enough to know that the moon is really hundreds of thousands of miles further than the clouds, or that Sun is ~800 times further than that. Nor is observation alone enough to determine how far past the clouds the Earth's atmosphere extends. So I must disagree that the clouds being closer to us than the Sun, Moon, and stars would prevent one from thinking they were all within the Earth's atmosphere without additional knowledge to the contrary.
Thanks to Con for a polite rebuttal.
“There is still the question of why there are parts of of these objects that are not water, as Genesis makes no mention of anything other than water.”
Well Con, that's not entirely true. Genesis describes planet earth being made out of water. Remember how God made a bunch of water, then separated it into 2 bodies of water by making a vault between them?
“Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” (4)
Then, he created earth by turning one of the bodies of water into dry land:
“Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.”(5)
Note that God obviously didn't turn all of the “water under the sky” into dry land... he left some of it to be oceans. How much of earth was left as water to be oceans? 70%: The same percentage as Neptune that is H20.
So you see, even though Genesis doesn't explicitly describe God creating planets and comets out of the “waters above”, it's very reasonable to assume he did.
Interestingly, your source (which you're aware supports my position!) begins by saying, “Water really is everywhere.”(6) So that should solve your original dilemma, which was basically “where the heck is all this water now?” =D
Con disagrees that the moon is a source of light. According to his basketball analogy, a rebound doesn't mean that the goal is the source of the shot, and the person shooting is actually the source.
However, Con accidentally misrepresents his own analogy! :O We are comparing light to the basketball, not light to a basketall shot! This means that, in the case of a rebound, the backboard actually is the source of the basketball, since, in accord with Google's definition, the basketball came from the backboard. I challenge Con to argue that the basketball doesn't come from the backboard in a rebound ;)
Now, Con may still try to argue that the source of the ball is the person shooting it, even in this case. Were Con to argue that perspective, I would have to point out that Con is partly right: the person shooting is also a source of the ball. However, if you want to trace the ball's history even further back, the store where the person bought the basketball is the source, too! You could even go further, and explain that the company which produced the ball is the source.
So you see, the moon truly is a source of light.
Con doesn't seem to actually be arguing that Genesis is inconsistent with reality here, so I'll leave this point for him to clarify.
(4) Genesis 1:6
(5) Genesis 1:9
The Water Above
I thought I'd end up dismissing this contention after Pros initial rebuttal, but I figured it could wait another round. At this point, I'd be flat-out lying if I said Pro's interpretation were not consistent with reality. But I agree that it's reasonable to infer the creation of other planets. As such, while I remain unconvinced that this interpretation is reflective of what the writers meant, I dismiss this contention. I also dismiss the contention concerning the Sun, Moon, and stars being in the Earth's atmosphere, as it is strongly tied to this contention.
I realize my analogy wasn't completely applicable, as no one (to my knowledge) can make a basketball materialize in their hand. Regardless, it was only meant to be relatable. In the context it's related to, if the ball is a ray of light, the floor is the Moon, and the shooter is Sun, then yes, the shooter would be the source.
But, I'll try again and give you a much more applicable analogy. There's a lamp on an end table in my living room. Light reflects off of the table the same way it does with Moon. But if I were to turn off the lamp, without doing anything to the table, there would be no more light. So I ask you, is my end table a source of light as well?
No light comes from the Moon. The light is simply redirected because the Moon is in it's path. But, if the Sun didn't exist (and somehow the rest of our galaxy did) then there would be no light reaching us because of the Moon, as the Moon is not a source of light. If it we were to consider the Moon a source of light because it's reflecting light, then we must also consider everything that's visible to be a light source as well, for that is how we see objects. Simply put, light reflects off of them, and registers within our eyes. So, according to Pro, everything anyone has ever seen is, or at least was, a light source. I very much disagree with that.
Well, I guess this is where we agree to disagree. I stand by my contention that the Moon is a source of light, according to the definition of “source” from Google.
This was fun =)
Fair enough, we'll leave it up to the voters then. Thank you Pro for an enjoyable debate!
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