Do you hold a literal view of Genesis?

Ok, I literally hate when people ask the question, “do you believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis?”  I think there is an ingrained tendency to narrow one’s focus too much, to the point where you develop tunnel vision and either refuse, or fail to accept that there is more than one way take a passage or group of passages literally.

This is generally true of the creation days described in the book of Genesis.  The primary text in question is found in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:1-4 with the main focus being on the Hebrew word Yom which is translated day over the six creation days.  One problem that arises is when someone — usually a young Earth Creationist or a skeptic — insists an ancient universe creationist is not taking the text “literally”.  This particular digression is not helpful when discussing these passages because Yom has multiple literal meanings.

  • day, passage of time, year, today
  • day, as opposed to night
  • day, a 24 hour period
  • days, lifetime (pl.)
  • an undefined but finite period (general)

Each of these usages are literal definitions of the word translated day.  If there are multiple literal definitions, why is one application considered the default literal usage?  The key is to determine which literal understanding is intended in the text.

Some literal usages have problems, such as taking day to mean a 24 hour solar day.  Read my article Days of Old (Genesis Creation) to see why I believe the creation days in Genesis literally convey long periods of time instead of literally conveying 24 hour periods of time.

Now, it would be the case that someone isn’t taking the Genesis creation literally if they believed the account was mythological or metaphorical.  This is where the question can produce a productive discussion.  Keep in mind though, that someone who suggests the Genesis creation is a myth or metaphor may also take the creation days to be long periods of time, but that doesn’t mean simply by understanding the days to be long periods that you are mythologizing the creation account.

Next time you’re inclined to ask if someone takes the Bible, or the Genesis account literally, know first that there are literally multiple different literal definitions of words.

Comments

  1. sure, you can say “day” is a long periods of time. however, the *order* of events has issues which isn’t solved by merely redefining “day”.

  2. He must be refering to the sun being created after the whole night and day part. If so, that’s not only quibbling but a narrowing of definitions. Light can exist apart from the sun.

    Anyway, I don’t believe the Earth was created in only 6 days and I certainly don’t believe the Earth is only thousands of years old. I believe in Evolution and Intelligent Design – and the two are NOT mutally exclusive. I believe God directed the evolutionary process and that natural selection is, for the most part, a myth.

    I’m open to new ideas on the issue, though. I’ve simply seen no evidence that Creationsim as accepted by YECs is anything other than a faulty interpretation.

    • The word for “made” the sun isnt the same as creating from nothing, like the universe, it means more of fashioning from existing. When God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, the “heavens” refers to heavenly bodies, i.e., stars, moon, et al. In the earth’s earliest years the atmosphere was pretty dense, the light was visible but the sun itself was not.

  3. wiley16350 says:

    What you say is correct. The issue however is not on what the meaning of yom is. The issue is that yom is used in conjunction with morning and evening, suggesting a 24 hour period. Especially from day 4 when the sun, stars and moon are set to govern the time of morning, evening, weeks and seasons, etc. I lean towards young earth but I have heard arguments that there was a prior era of time from the creation of the earth to when it became wasted because of the fall of Satan. It seems like a possibility but I haven’t really aligned myself with it. I have no reason to believe or commit to an old earth. Evolution is a joke and ALL dating methods are built on assumptions that may or may not be true. There is enough evidence that suggests that ALL dating methods have problems. Therefore, I have no need to accept millions of years when the most plain reading of the bible is that the earth is young. If you read Josephus and add up his numbers, you will find that there have been only 7,300+ years (can’t remember the exact number) from the creation of Adam to today. If you read Josephus, you will come away understanding the days as ordinary 24 hour days. The fact is, nobody knows the age of the earth. Millions of years is not a fact of science because it is not based upon fact, it is based upon unknown assumptions that can’t be verified as facts. The assumptions just work to get the conclusion they want and in reality don’t work in reality. They have to adjust their assumptions to make things fit and that is the most damning evidence of dating methods is that the assumptions have to be and can be adjusted to fit the evidence of what they think they know.

  4. paynehollow says:

    Since it appears that John and Terrance agree with the scientific community that the earth isn’t literally anywhere near 6,000 years old, may I ask are there other ways you hold a literal view of Genesis?

    Do you think Adam (whose name literally means “man” or “from the ground,” depending on various translations) and Eve (whose name literally means “Life-Bearer”) MUST be considered literal people, or could they be metaphors for “mankind” and “life-bearers…”? If we agree that “day” need not be translated into the literal “24-hour day,” why must we demand a literal Adam person and a literal Eve person?

    Did Adam LITERALLY give names to all the animals (~5,000 mammals, ~230,000 fish, ~10,000 bird species, and then we get to the insects??) or is the story more metaphoric than that?

    In the Genesis 1 creation story, we find that the sun is created/placed in the sky on the fourth “Day” (or time period, if you are still trying to be sorta literal, but not literally literal), AFTER creating plants on the third “Day” or time period. But of course, plants can’t exist for an extended time without sunlight, so if “Day” is a vast long period, then plants couldn’t survive without it… unless the whole thing is a poetic and mythic telling of a creation story.

    I hear that the Creation part of Genesis is written in a poetic style: Does that help endorse a more metaphoric/less literal approach to studying the text?

    Here’s an interesting source of info about the Creation stories…

    http://www.theology21.com/2011/03/28/the-literary-framework-view/

    Are you all objecting only to a literal interpretation of “days,” or do you allow for room for disagreement on the whole Creation story on how literal vs mythic vs figurative it can be?

    ~Dan

  5. wiley16350 says:

    @Dan
    The bible says that Adam named all the livestock, birds and wild animals. So that limits it to the 5,000 mammals and 10,000 birds. All creatures living in water weren’t named by Adam and all insects and such weren’t named by Adam. You can also reduce the 5,000 mammals and 10,000 birds by him naming the families of species such as Dogs for all dog types.

  6. paynehollow says:

    So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    “All the wild animals.”

    Fish and insects are both in the Kingdom Animalia. They are animals, and undomesticated fish (ie, most of them) and all insects fall into the category of “wild animals…”

    Still, I suppose one could argue that Adam named the wild animals “That’s a bug, that’s a bug, those are all bugs, all those things with six legs are bugs. Those with six legs and wings are Flying Bugs. Those with Eight Legs are arachnids…” etc, and get around the problem of not having enough time in a lifetime to name all the wild animals.

    My point was that there are several spots in the story that just SOUND more mythological rather than literal history. It’s written in a poetic style. Why do we need to consider it a literal history? What literary evidence is there for a demand to take it literally?

    ~Dan

  7. If Adam & Eve are metaphorical, then there goes “orginal sin” and the very reason Jesus suffered and died.

  8. Here’s a summary of the days of Creation from Genesis 1:

    Day 1 – the heavens and the earth, light, day and night
    Day 2 – firmament (i.e. solid dome) for the sky
    Day 3 – land and seas, vegetation
    Day 4 – stars, sun, moon
    Day 5 – fish and birds
    Day 6 – land animals, man and woman
    Day 7 – resting

    Some of the problems I see: plants before the sun, Earth is not separated to the heavens by a “firmament” (i.e. solid dome), and there are not holes in that firmament for the starlight, According to our best understanding, land animals came before birds and fish came before vegetation.

    • Brian, did you read my post that I linked in this post? it explains about the making of the sun and day and night. Also the firmament may very well be referring to a dense waterlogged atmosphere, not a solid dome.

  9. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    If Adam & Eve are metaphorical, then there goes “orginal sin” and the very reason Jesus suffered and died.

    Why?

    If the Adam/Eve story are told in a mythic style to explain how people have a sinful nature, then even those who believe that Jesus died to as a “blood sacrifice” to “pay” for sins don’t have their faith reasoning disturbed by a symbolic story to explain real sin, right?

    =====
    Brian, I would add to the problems you mentioned that “light” and day/night exist before the sun and before the earth – the rotation of which is what gives us day and night.

    ~Dan

  10. You’re destroying the entire basis of Judeo-Christinaity by suggesting that humans weren’t really given a choice whether to be sinful or not. Adam & Eve had free will, chose wrong, and that damned us all. But now you’re saying Adam & Eve are nothing more than a myth and that humans were created sinful. Nice.

  11. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    The problem is you’re not even reading the bible. I don’t care what fish and insects are considered as scientifically. What matters is what the bible actually says. Look up Genesis 2:20 (Young’s Literal Translation) and you will find that Adam named “The Beasts of the field”, “The Cattle” and “The Fowls Of The Heavens”. Fish and insects “DO NOT QUALIFY” as any of these 3 definitions. This is the problem when people listen to atheists arguments. Atheists lie, distort and completely misunderstand most arguments about the bible because they don’t care to understand it and have every intention to dismiss it.

  12. I am a young earth creationist that takes Genesis verbatim. If we posit a God who isn’t locked into time and space, all knowing, all powerful and created the building blocks of life itself, then why couldn’t He create the world in 6 days and then decide to rest on the 7th day to establish a 7 day week? I really don’t have a problem with creationists who think that a “day” is a thousand or even a million+ years. I only take issue if various opinions on creationism are because people understand God to be superhuman instead of supernatural. In other words I’m fine with debating what God WANTED to do, but I have a problem if someone disagrees with me because they think God COULDN’T do it.

    • I’d be fine with 24 hr days, if I thought the text required it. It doesnt. the ancient universe creation understanding also is supported by what we can physically investigate about the universe.

      God could have created in 6 micro seconds as well and still used it as a pattern. Its not about what he can do, its about what he actually did. And thats what I’m trying to find.

      • John, I’m glad that you and I agree that God can do anything. Which is all that matters. But some struggle with concepts like this because it doesn’t ‘make sense’. When I say “struggle”, I mean completely write off creationism. Which is part of a bigger debate of some Christians acknowledging only some part of the Bible. And which in turn is part of a bigger discussion about Christianity being more about morality and a flavor of self-help more than absolute truth to some. Genesis will never make sense without believing the character of God. Debating Genesis and other concepts is closely tied to understanding the God of Abraham, Issac and Jaccob.

  13. I don’t think anyone is debating God’s omnipotence. Fact is, YEC doesn’t fit with the scientific facts. Evidence says God did it one way and YECs are saying He did it another way. That’s the issue.

  14. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    You’re destroying the entire basis of Judeo-Christinaity by suggesting that humans weren’t really given a choice whether to be sinful or not. Adam & Eve had free will, chose wrong, and that damned us all.

    How?

    If any human has the ability to choose right and wrong (and this, we can see, observe, measure in the real world), then what if there were a mythic story to explain just what we can see – that people can choose right and wrong/that we have free will… how does that destroy “the entire basis of Judeo-Christianity…”? We STILL have free will, whether the story is literal history or myth. We STILL see that we sin and have a “sin problem,” whether the story is literal or myth. I don’t see how a mythic understanding is at all problematic, even for those who hold to the Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement.

    Also, what of the notion that Genesis 1/2 are written in an ancient poetry style (as appears to be the case), does that affect how you read it?

    ~Dan

  15. wiley16350 says:

    @ John
    I don’t think we will know for sure in this lifetime since it’s all based in speculation, hearsay and assumption. The best way to answer it is probably to say that the bible doesn’t definitively give the age of the earth and science can’t definitively give the age either. We just don’t have the ability to go back in time and get the absolute data of what we need to make a factual determination. That’s what I have settled on even though I align myself more with a young earth at this current time.

  16. Dan,

    Ya just got done talking about our “sinful nature.” Logic dictates that if something is in our nature, it is an innate quality. Perhaps you ought revise your previous statement and then we might agree. But then again, maybe not – since according to Paul, none are without sin. If none are without sin, including the future-born, then obviously…..they were created with sin. The story of Adam & Eve takes the blame off God. You’ve put it right back on him by suggesting Adam and Eve aren’t real.

  17. How the hell does one “see, observe, and measure” the exercise of free will, here in the real world? How does one scientifically prove that our actions are the result of truly free will and not merely the result of a series of possibly immeasurably complex chemical reactions?

    Or are we just going to assert that something’s observable and measurable JUST because we affirm its existence? Is this another eccentricity in the lexicon that says a comment is off-topic if it’s inconvenient, and a criticism is an ad hominem attack if it’s disputed?

  18. Wiley,

    Science is pretty much sure the Earth is older than 6,000 years old. Even if you want to debate the merits of radiometric dating, you still can’t get past the geological or archeological evidence, all of which indicating an Earth much, much older than 6,000 years.

    • And knowing the speed of light. It means that the fossils in the ground were planted there by God to deceive us into buying a lie The light from stars that never existed…

  19. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    The problem is you’re not even reading the bible.

    ? I QUOTED the Bible, where it says…

    So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    “ALL the wild animals…”

    From the Bible.

    Why would you say I’m not even reading the Bible when I was speaking of a direct quote from the Bible. Again, if you want to posit that perhaps when THE BIBLE says “ALL the wild animals,” the author did not intend to mean each fish and insect species, then make that guess. But I’m just talking about the literal text, at least in the version I was reading.

    So then, I guess you’re saying that the NIV and others are mistaken in their translation and Young’s Literal Translation has it right? That’s fine and it’s really a minor point. But it’s not that I’m not reading the Bible. I just happened to look at a different translation.

    So, let’s say that Young’s translation has the right of it and the “wild animals” point is moot. Fine, there are other rational issues.

    For instance, in John’s “each day = a prolonged time period” theory, how do the plants survive for millenia with no sunlight?

    What I’m saying is that trying to take the story literally or partially literal just seems to conflict with what SEEMS to at least some of us as the most rational and most obvious take: That the text is not supposed to be taken literally. These are symbolic stories told in a mythic style – and mythic does NOT mean “false” or “lying,” it just means it’s a certain figurative style with certain conventions that match what we find in the first part of Genesis. Why would anyone insist that there is only ONE “right” way to interpret this? What literary evidence is there to support that?

    ~Dan

  20. Not only that, John, people grow dope in their basements.

  21. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    The story of Adam & Eve takes the blame off God. You’ve put it right back on him by suggesting Adam and Eve aren’t real.

    Again, WHY?

    If you or I choose to sin and recognize that sinning is part of OUR nature, how does that blame God?

    And again I would ask: What literary evidence is there that this is written with the intent to be taken as a literally factual story told lineally? It seems obvious to me that the text is written in a mythic style, it matches other mythic writing. It is poetry and imagery, on the face of it. Where is the literary evidence that it is intended to be taken literally?

    Bubba…

    How the hell does one “see, observe, and measure” the exercise of free will, here in the real world?

    When talking about human nature, I suppose one can argue that we really “know” nothing. That this COULD be all a great Matrix-type dream programmed into our heads and nothing is real.

    But, insofar as we can acknowledge that our reasoning has SOME value and our senses are at least relatively reliable, we have our own lives as evidence. I know that I don’t always choose “right” or “wrong.” I know it personally for a fact. I know it because I see other people choosing to do wrong.

    Do you disagree that we can’t see it? Do you disagree that our senses are not at least fairly reliable? IF you think they’re not, then on what do you base anything – since your interpretations of biblical text could all be a result of you fooling yourself?

    ~Dan

  22. You didn’t answer my concerns at all, Dan. Fact is, if even the future-born are sinful, as Paul says, then clearly humans were created with sin…

  23. paynehollow says:

    ? I’m not sure of your point, Terrance. Christianity teaches that we are born with free will – the ability to choose right and wrong – and that we have a tendency to sin; a sinful nature. Reality confirms that.

    What difference does it make if the Adam/Eve story is symbolic? How does that undermine what we can see in the real world?

    ~Dan

  24. John:

    Present a quadratic equation to two students, tell one that x is positive and tell the other that x is odd.; it’s POSSIBLE that they reach different answers. If the equation is this…

    x^2 – x – 2 = 0

    …they’ll definitely reach different conclusions, since x is -1 and 2. A different equation could lead to a single answer that is simultaneously positive and odd.

    Suppose a police captain arrives at a possible crime scene, tells one detective to assume the dead man died of natural causes, and tells his partner to assume foul play. The two will take the same evidence and draw ENTIRELY different explanations for the man’s death, and hopefully one explanation will obviously be more plausible.

    My point is, different assumptions CAN and sometimes MUST lead to different conclusions.

    In order to draw general conclusions from specific observations — that is, to draw theories about how physical laws operate in all places at all times from observed behavior in a specific time and place — science MUST assume that the universe is closed and regular.

    Christian theology is clear that that assumption is false, at least in some instances such as the Resurrection: miracles can and do occur. Maybe the assumption is close enough to true that scientific conclusions are usually trustworthy, but it is a circular argument to act as if scientific theories prove their underlying assumptions.

    We believe that interstellar light is very, very old, but our method for dating that light is based on an assumption that miracles don’t occur or (more strictly) that miracles didn’t occur that would alter the evidence in ways we couldn’t guess.

    (How would even a 21st century doctor examine a now-resurrected Lazarus and determine that he used to be dead? How would a scientist prove or disprove that a particular jug of wine was the miraculous work of Jesus at the wedding? that a particular fish sandwich was the miraculous work of Jesus’ feeding the thousands?)

    Because science MUST assume the miraculous didn’t change what we observe, and because the Bible definitively teaches that the assumption isn’t always true, I personally am not troubled by the possibility that it might not always be possible to reconcile the two.

    More specifically about Genesis, we know that most of the first two chapters CANNOT have been the result of human eyewitnesses, since the recorded events precede the first human. It’s possible that God communicated the events to man (Adam? Moses?) or man recorded those events for us in ways that aren’t meant to be interpreted strictly literally.

    The first few chapters of Genesis might be a mirror of all BUT the first few chapters of Revelation: truth without any mixture of error, but communicated in ways that aren’t the sort of history that you find in Luke — or in Ruth or Samuel or Exodus for that matter.

  25. Dan,

    My point is that God must’ve created us with sin if what you say is true. And why would a loving, just God do such a thing? Why would He purposely damn everyone knowing that only some of them will be saved? Don’t make sense to me.

  26. Dan, about free will, you ask, “Do you disagree that we can’t see it?”

    What does free will look like? If it’s detected through our senses, what does it sound like? What does it smell like?

    I absolutely believe that human free will is real, we know it is real through our own exercise of it, and that knowledge is trustworthy, but we DO NOT know that free will is real through our senses. We can see and hear what people do, but we CANNOT directly observe whether those actions are driven by freely made choices or not.

    Yours is simply a ludicrous claim to make, maybe a common kind of category error, but the sort of claim that disqualifies a person from being taken seriously on philosophical and theological matters.

  27. wiley16350 says:

    Terrance,

    Science is pretty much sure because they want it to be that way. It is necessary to fit their story of evolution. The geological evidence is interpreted to fit with evolution. That doesn’t mean it can’t be interpreted to fit with a flood. Let’s look at a few things to see what best fits with the evidence. Start with fossils. What are the necessary conditions for fossils to form? An organism needs to be trapped in sediment so that oxygen can’t be present. This needs to happen quickly otherwise the organism will be scavenged or deteriorated. Where does sediment come from that is capable of quickly burying organisms so that the process can start? Mostly from catastrophic conditions, flood waters, volcanic eruptions, etc. What causes fossil graveyards? Catastrophic conditions. They’re all over the world. What causes trees to be buried in their upright positions in multiple layers of sediment? Catastrophic conditions. What best explains large deposits of coal and oil? A catastrophic event that compresses and traps a lot of organic matter and/or organisms together? What best explains fossils in action (one fish eating another or an organism in the process of giving birth)? Catastrophic conditions. What best explain mountain ranges that have curves but no breaks? The fact that they were formed prior to hardening? What explains large amounts of sediment without any signs of erosion? Catastrophic conditions? All over the world we see these evidences of catastrophic event(s). Most, if not all geological formations can be best explained by a catastrophe rather than slow and gradual processes. The evidence for young earth and old earth are the same. The difference is how the evidence is interpreted. Old earth needs the assumption that everything has continued from the beginning to today as it currently does and nothing ever happened to disrupt that continuation. Based on the evidence, it isn’t true, because there is a lot of evidence that a lot of catastrophe or one large catastrophe has happened on the earth.

  28. Wiley,

    I’m sorry – but now you’re just being silly. Science isn’t a single, covert entity scuttling about with the intent of refuting religion. The age of the Earth isn’t the way “science wants it,” but what thousands of scientists with no direct connection to one another have obsererved in their own investigations. Logic leads science to its conclusions.

    Also, radiometric dating supports the geological and archaelogical evidence, meaning you have three proofs. YEC have nothing but their own interpretation of Genesis.

  29. wiley16350 says:

    @Dan

    Yes I would say that Young’s has it right and the NIV has it wrong. Young’s is a word for word translation while the NIV and most other translations are thought for thought. In this case it is obviously very important to know the literal translation. It is probably good practice to use the Youngs translation when questions like this come up to get a more specific idea of what the bible is saying. The rest doesn’t apply to me. I believe the 7 days as being literally 7- 24 hour days. It makes more sense that there is a history not written in the bible between the first 2 verses (creation of earth to where it lay wasted) than the 7 days representing long portions of time. I am not sold that the earth is old however, so I don’t really focus on the gap theory or whatever offshoot theories of it are.

    • T

      That’s the thing. Even if we toss one, or even 2 methods of dating the universe, there are more available. It’s not that the universe merely looks old, it tests old.

      I can’t convince myself that God would lie about how old the universe is. Why make it look and test old if it isnt? What possible motive can there be?

  30. John,

    I don’t know. Seems to me it’s people trying to bend the facts to fit the Bible – when, as you’ve pointed out many times, that isn’t necessary.

  31. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    My point is that God must’ve created us with sin if what you say is true.

    Why? Why can we not just CHOOSE to be sinners (which is what we do, right)? And how does a non-literal Adam story demand that God must have created us “with sin…”?

    And what do you mean by “with sin…”? That we have a sinful nature? Well, we do. The mythic Adam story helps illustrate what we can see in our own lives – we often choose to do that which we wish we wouldn’t, that which is wrong. Why does an illustration-take on that story change anything?

    Terrance…

    And why would a loving, just God do such a thing? Why would He purposely damn everyone knowing that only some of them will be saved?

    I think a loving God would create people with free will.

    I think creating people with a free will means that we have the will to choose wrong.

    I think evidence shows that we do choose wrong. We have a sinful nature, a bent towards sin.

    How does any of this change if Adam’s story is mythic?

    I don’t think it does.

    ~Dan

  32. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    The rest doesn’t apply to me. I believe the 7 days as being literally 7- 24 hour days.

    The problem with your hunch is that it flies in the face of what is observably factual. Science (in multiple fields and ways) demonstrates that a literal 7 day creation story is irrational and not fact-based.

    Here is the question that I have for any of you who are trying to bend this story into a science/history lesson of more or less literal facts:

    On what literary basis would we not simply take the Creation story to be Mythic in nature, as it appears on the face of it to be?

    ~Dan

  33. wiley16350 says:

    Terrance,
    Actually uniform geology was brought to the forefront by a guy that wanted to refute the bible. It went hand in hand to help prove Darwinism. Darwin also wanted to refute the idea of God because of his anger over the deaths in his family. So the 2 tenants of an old earth were started by people that intentionally set out to refute the bible. It persists today for 2 reasons, 1. because the 2 ideas are taught as fact and taught misleadingly. 2. The people that hold to it the strongest want to destroy the idea of God and vehemently attack anyone that disagrees.

    Radiometric dating supports the evidence because they start with assumptions to get the answer. If the answer doesn’t fit, they can change one of the assumptions. The assumptions are plastic because they don’t come from concrete knowledge. The 3 assumptions are that they know how much parent element and how much daughter element were present when the rock hardened and that there was no loss or gain of either element in the years that have past. How do they get this knowledge? they weren’t there when the rock hardened. They haven’t been periodically testing the rock from the time it hardened to the current time to see if the rate of decay is consistent or if there has been any loss or gain of either element through other natural processes. The easy thing to do is assume that the rock hardened with all parent element and no daughter element, this will result in the oldest age. Then when things don’t correspond with what they feel is reality, they can adjust it by claiming loss or gain of one of the two elements. The results are plastic. They can test radiometric dating by testing rocks of known age. Guess what, YEC’s have in fact done that. In 1992 They had rocks from the St. Mount Helen’s volcanic eruption from 1980 tested (12 Year Old rock). The rocks were tested to be between 300,000 to 350,000 years old, for 12 year old rock. The evolution community cried foul because the YEC’s didn’t give the lab an estimate of how old the rock was. The YEC’s just told the lab that “low argon” (young age) should be expected. The point of the exercise was to test the assumptions. The assumption that the rock hardened with no argon was wrong. There was more argon present than what was expected. This test proves the assumption wrong. If the assumption that no daughter element is present when the rock forms is wrong, then how is ever possible to calculate ages properly. The response of the evolutionists also show how they go about dating things. Before they have something tested they give an estimate of what they believe it should be. This basis could be based on prior testings or on just starting at 0 daughter element. If the test comes back different then expected they do have ways of explaining it away. Through leaching or other natural processes where elements in rocks can be gained or lost. The ultimate points here are 1. The basis for dating methods are assumptions, 2. The results are plastic and can be adjusted 3. There is evidence that dating methods can be way off as the testing of Mt St Helens showed.

  34. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan

    The science is not a problem for me. If you read some of my other comments, you would know that.

  35. paynehollow says:

    John began with…

    Ok, I literally hate when people ask the question, “do you believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis?”

    The interesting phenomenon here is that there are ALWAYS going to be those who are “more literal” than we are who take the Bible “more seriously” than we do, who follow God’s Ways “more directly” than we do. On various points and positions, we will find those who look down their nose at us because, “oh? You DON’T speak in tongues as evidence of your salvation…? Really…?” or “hmm! You DON’T take Genesis literally? Do you deny God’s Word, then?…” or, “Whattanass! He disagrees with me about that behavior, when CLEARLY, I understand God’s opinion rightly on this matter…”

    I’d hope that we could live in to that grace that the Bible teaches us about where we can disagree without condemning. That our concern will be for whole lives, not conformity to “my group’s” opinions.

    “Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus told the “adulterous” woman… “Go, and sin no more.”

    The emphasis on grace, not on condemnation… on love, not conformity… wouldn’t that be a lovely place to be?

    ~Dan

  36. paynehollow says:

    Wiley, setting aside the science for a while, on what literary basis would we not simply take the Creation story to be Mythic in nature, as it appears on the face of it to be?

    ~Dan

  37. Dan:

    I’d hope that we could live in to that grace that the Bible teaches us about where we can disagree without condemning.

    Here’s the thing:

    – Paul pronounced a solemn curse on those who would preach a different gospel.

    – John, the Apostle who so emphasized love, attributed the denial of the Incarnation to a spirit of antichrist.

    – Unless I’m mistaken, EVEN YOU insist that the ethical command to love your neighbor isn’t optional for Christians, no matter how much we disagree about how to apply that command.

    We all draw lines. WE ALL DO, EVEN YOU. We just draw lines in different places: we believe that the bodily resurrection is essential, and you do not; we believe that Christ’s death is causally responsible for our salvation, and you do not; but you believe that “love your neighbor” is essential, a position with which we would disagree.

    It’s obnoxious and hypocritical to insinuate that we’re being graceless just for drawing the line in a different place than you — you’re condemning and not just disagreeing when you do so.

  38. wiley16350 says:

    Well it seems that most people throughout history has actually interpreted it to be literal. So I’m not so sure that you are correct to say that it appears as myth on it’s face value. There are mythic sounding occurrences in the text based on our own experiences but nothing that requires it to be mythic in that it’s impossible if God is real. For example, a talking snake sounds mythic to us because we have never experienced it. However, it is not impossible since we know that speech is real and people have gotten other animals (parrots) to talk or to resemble a speech pattern (dogs). Plus the bible says that God took away the serpents ability to speak after the fall. So we would never see a serpent talk in our experience anyways. On a purely literary basis with no other influences and no other biblical texts there probably is no reason to demand that it is literal. It’s those other influences that suggest it is literal (other biblical passages and the reality of God).

  39. paynehollow says:

    Yes, we draw lines on important things. But whether or not a text in Genesis was written in a mythic style or in a literal history or scientific style… this is not ultimately all that important. Whether we agree about smoking cigarettes being sinful or that it’s good to live a simple life or that getting married after a divorce is wrong or this behavior or that behavior… these are not ultimately all that important.

    My point in pointing to John’s first comment is this: It’s often easier to see the lack of grace one brings to a disagreement when you are the one being belittled or demonized for not believing literally enough in the Bible on a whole host of less essential matters.

    And from a moral, Christian perspective, a text’s intended literary style, the age of the earth, doing or not doing this or that non-harmful behavior… these are all simply not all that important, as compared to living a life of love and grace and forgiveness. Of being able to say, with Jesus, “Neither do I condemn you…” even when we think someone is in the wrong.

    But this is getting off topic, so I’m done, I’ve made my point.

    ~Dan

  40. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    it seems that most people throughout history has actually interpreted it to be literal.

    Throughout history, people may have often thought that drilling a hole in one’s head to release demons is a good idea, or that leeching out bad blood is a good idea. But then, our medical knowledge improved and we left behind the more culturally infantile approaches.

    Wiley…

    There are mythic sounding occurrences in the text based on our own experiences

    Based on what we know about how people around the world have told Mythic stories, yes, our own experiences help us recognize the textual style. We have an advantage in that over our earlier ancestors, in that they did not have the benefit of exposure to global myths or the chance to engage in comparative literary comparisons. But again, gaining more knowledge is a good thing. We ought not remain at a more primitive state of knowledge simply because that is what we used to believe.

    (And less anyone misunderstand: This is not to denigrate “primitive” people – it’s just a reference to earlier peoples and a recognition of their limits in knowledge that they had no access to. It’s not to say they were stupid or infantile, just that they factually had limited experience and knowledge from which to form opinions, in comparison to later people.)

    Wiley…

    So we would never see a serpent talk in our experience anyways. On a purely literary basis with no other influences and no other biblical texts there probably is no reason to demand that it is literal.

    This is my point. But even with the rest of the Bible, there is nothing to demand a literal interpretation. Consider this, Wiley: From a purely rational point of view, untainted by cultural affinities or prejudices, if we read a 1500s-era treatise on alchemy, on “transforming” one substance into another, if we read, “The first stage to transforming base lead into gold must always begin with a cleansing rinse of the lead…” would we not simply recognize that this is not a factual conclusion, not based in science or reality in any way and just an earlier misunderstanding of reality?

    So, too, for a talking serpent – one who apparently still had legs, since it wasn’t until moments later that God transformed all serpents into legless sliders (this, itself, is a common mythic trope… “And THAT is how the serpent lost his legs…”)

    I’m just saying that if a text appears to be mythic and if a text does not demand that it is NOT mythic, and a mythic interpretation is the most rational, I see no reason not to take it as what it seems on the face of it to be, even if our ancestors may have thought otherwise.

    From a purely rational, literary point of view, why would that be mistaken?

    ~Dan

  41. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    It’s those other influences that suggest it is literal (other biblical passages and the reality of God)

    What other biblical passages? What biblical passages insist upon a literary treatment of the Creation text? I know of none.

    I do know that some people will point to Paul referring to Adam and his story as “proof” that Paul demands it to be taken literally, but that seems to fail. Here’s why:

    I do not take the Creation story literally. It seems to me to clearly be mythic in nature and it would, thus, be mistaken to try to force a literal interpretation on it.

    Nonetheless, I and others like me will regularly refer to “the fall of Adam…” NOT because we take it literally, but because it is cultural shorthand referencing the fallen nature of humanity. Thus, just because someone refers to “Adam” or “Jonah” or “the Tower of Babel” is not evidence that we demand a literal interpretation of those stories.

    Likewise, I and my ilk believe in God. But that does not change the fact that, to us, these passages seem on the face of it to be mythic. So the mere belief in God nor the mere reference to these mythic/epic stories is not evidence that we must take this text as literal.

    Do you have any other reasons? You seem to admit that, on the face of it, it’s not unreasonable for us to find it to be mythic in nature.

    So, where you say…

    On a purely literary basis with no other influences and no other biblical texts there probably is no reason to demand that it is literal.

    …what reason is there?

    ~Dan

  42. I guess a Hebrew scholar’s teaching that it was intended to be literal doesn’t mean anything to those who want the old earth view for only one reason – to agree with so-called science.

    the Hebraist whom many would rank as one of the top Hebraists in the world, thinks that the chronological view is clearly the intent of the biblical writer(s). James Barr does not believe in inerrancy. This is what he says of evangelicals who try to accommodate the Genesis 1 text to long ages:

    We have to distinguish between literal intention and historical, factual truth. The figures are not to us, historically, scientifically or factually true, but they were literally intended. A year to them was the same period as it is still to us. The figures do not correspond with actual fact, that is, they or some of them are legendary or mythical in character, but the biblical writers in overwhelming probability did think that they corresponded to actual fact. When, in modern times, people began to say that these passages were ‘not to be taken literally’, this was really a cowardly expedient which enabled them to avoid saying that, though they were literally intended, they were not literally true. They were literally intended: they were chronological statements of numbers of years and made no sense otherwise. … To say this is not to deny that the figures may be also symbolic: some of them certainly are. But this is not a symbolism that departs from the literal sense, it is the symbolism of the literal sense—to take the most obvious case, that of Enoch, who lived 365 years and then, instead of dying, was taken away by God, it is just obvious that 365 years, the number of full days in a solar year, and a period quite different in length from the lifespan of others in the same list, is ‘symbolic’ in some way, but the symbolism is the symbolism of the fact that Enoch lived that number of years, or, more correctly, the symbolism of the fact that the biblical writer thought that he lived that number of years, of actual years.

    Hugh Williamson, the current Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, says,
    So far as the days of Genesis 1 are concerned, I am sure that Professor Barr was correct. The climax in the seventh day as prefiguring the sabbath seems pretty conclusive, as well as the reference to evening and morning in each of the previous days. I have not met any Hebrew professors who had the slightest doubt about this unless they were already committed to some alternative by other considerations that do not arise from a straightforward reading of the Hebrew text as it stands

    Answers in Genesis has a long list of citations from Christian scholars from the beginning of the church, all teaching the same thing,
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n2/24-hour-days

    Of course you people all consider yourselves better at interpreting the Scripture, because I’m sure all of you know the Hebrew, etc.

    There is no reason to NOT accept the literal 24-hr day of Genesis except to agree with so-called scientists who change their minds almost daily when it comes to THEIR claims of old age.

  43. So, if the days aren’t literally 24 hrs days, how old was Adam on day 7 when God rested?

  44. paynehollow says:

    That’s a good argument against a half-literal interpretation, Glenn.

    Glenn, if God created “day” and “night” four days before God created the Sun, on what basis were they “day” and “night,” since day and night are caused by the earth circling the sun?

    Seems to me like a literal and half-literal interpretation both fail, and a figurative interpretation would be more reasonable, wouldn’t it?

    ~Dan

  45. John,
    I’m not getting into the 70 weeks discussion, since it has nothing to do with the topic.

    Dan, the earth circling the sun is what gives us the year. The earth’s rotation is what gives us the day. The day is measured by how long it takes the earth to complete it’s rotation, not whether there is a sun. God provided the light prior to the sun – since he created everything, and since we are told that God is light, I think God is capable of knowing when the earth has made a rotation, and I think he can provide light before making the sun. But that is the God I worship. Your god is the one you’ve made in your own image.

    Did anyone bother to read the lengthy AIG post? Or is there too much evidence there against your low view of the Bible?

    • Glenn

      Im going to assume you know where I’m going. The weeks were described as weeks, with the word week. But the prophesy wasnt fulfilled in 70 “literal” weeks was it. No. Instead it was fulfilled centuries later, but it does work out if 70 sets of 7 years is considered.

      This means you can reasonably conclude that sometimes a day isnt a “day” and a week isnt a “week”.

      Given your tendency to follow dan down his incessant rabbit trails, yet refuse to discuss this shows you knew you were going to get cornered. Man, I expected more. But remembering last time we discussed this you practically called me a heretic.

      • John,

        There is what is called context, and you know it. The context of Genesis is literal history, no allegory, no spiritualizing, no metaphors. A day in Genesis one equals a 24 hr day, and I demonstrate from Hebrew scholars’ citations that the text literally means a 24 hr day. It is described by number, by separation of morning and evening, e.g. It is not apocalyptic with figures of speech as is prophecies.

        And you know it. But you are too stubborn to admit that you accept so-called science over the plain Word of God.

  46. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Or is there too much evidence there against your low view of the Bible?

    There it is. Dependable in that way, at least.

    Thanks for the correction on my stupid misstatement. My point was that without the sun to cast its light on the earth, what does a “day” mean?

    IF God is the light, does that mean that God was staying in one spot to do all this work (because if God was moving around, then the light would also be moving around, thus, you’d have a weird “day…”)? Or was God just creating a “light source” in the heavens to serve as a temporary “sun…”? Was God also warming the planet those first 3 days with no sun (because it’d just be a frozen lump if there were no heat, right)?

    Again, this just seems to rationally fall apart and make the story sound just a bit silly to many of us, if you try to make it either literal or half literal.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      So, YOUR god cannot have light on one side of the earth without a sun, but my God can.
      Again, the 24hr period has nothing to do with whether a sun is there or not – it is the time it takes for the earth to make one rotation about its axis. Gee, and I thought you were so scientific!

      Your statement about AIG’s site shows how extremely ignorant you are, let alone just plain stupid. Perfect examples of why I have absolutely NO respect for you. You are a troll who has to preach is low view of the Bible, his heretical beliefs, and his love of homosexuality on every blog possible.

      Blab all you want back at me, but I will not respond to another comment from you on this post. Your foolish ignorance refuses any correction, let alone any instruction, so you are a waste of my time. Get behind me Satan!

  47. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Did anyone bother to read the lengthy AIG post?

    Nope. I haven’t read the KKK’s website about opinions on racial matters, either.

    ~Dan

  48. wiley16350 says:

    Dan

    The problem with discussing with you is that the majority of what is written in the bible, you take as symbolic or partially true history. For example; The fact that Jesus and Paul both refer to Adam. It seems as though they are referring to a real person in history so I take that passage literally and therefore interpret that Genesis is talking about a real person in history. You disagree with me and want proof but tell me the proof I could give is also symbolic (proof being that Jesus and Paul referenced Adam). How can I argue that? With that said, the reasons I have decided it is literal

    1. Jesus and Paul reference Adam as though he was a literal person.
    2. Genesis is written as though it is actual history, even though it has some incredible statements (talking snake, really old people, etc)
    3. The first sin of humanity lead to the fall of humanity which lead to the invasion of death into our lives which requires our need for a savior that is capable of overcoming death to bring us through and out of death which was accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus. These all need to be literal or all need to be symbolic. It seems ridiculous for God to relay all these stories to us symbolically. They only have affect in reality. How do you bring death upon people before they actually sinned? How do you say a sacrifice is needed without actually having one?
    4. The Jews have always taken and understood it as literal history.
    5. I have no good reason to not take it literally.

  49. Wiley,

    Actually uniform geology was brought to the forefront by a guy that wanted to refute the bible. It went hand in hand to help prove Darwinism. Darwin also wanted to refute the idea of God because of his anger over the deaths in his family. So the 2 tenants of an old earth were started by people that intentionally set out to refute the bible. It persists today for 2 reasons, 1. because the 2 ideas are taught as fact and taught misleadingly. 2. The people that hold to it the strongest want to destroy the idea of God and vehemently attack anyone that disagrees.

    You’re merely repeating Creationist propaganda that I’ve heard many times before. Truth is, the sheer tonnage of evidence AGAINST Young Earth Creationism would stun a team of oxen in its tracks! The notion of “deep time” goes back to the 19th Century, long before scientists were indebted – if they are – to Darwin or Evolution.

    The Earth is roughly 4.54 billion years old and the Universe is roughly 13.77 billion years old. Scientists didn’t get drunk and play darts. These numbers are not made up, but devised after hundreds of tests and observations in physics, chemistry, geology, biology, astronomy, paleontology, among other disciplines. Yet you’re asking us to believe this is a conspiracy so vast as to stretch across three centuries of scientific understanding? Please.

    Radiometric dating supports the evidence because they start with assumptions to get the answer. If the answer doesn’t fit, they can change one of the assumptions. The assumptions are plastic because they don’t come from concrete knowledge. The 3 assumptions are that they know how much parent element and how much daughter element were present when the rock hardened and that there was no loss or gain of either element in the years that have past.

    This objection would be valid if repeated cross testing of differing radioactive isotopes didn’t confirm the reliability of the method.

    I’ll grant there are some geologically tough areas to test accurately because of contamination, natural disasters, and so on. But fortunately, we have an entire planet to test and each place it’s been done, the age of the Earth has been confirmed, even by people who, believe it or not, started with no assumptions. You are questioning the character of people who dedicate their lives to searching for the truth.

    Dan,

    Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

    Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.”

    Genesis 8:21, “…the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” The Hebrew word for “youth” literally means “from the beginning of life.”

    How could infants be sinful unless God created them that way or sin was passed down from Adam & Eve? And I’m given to wonder that, if it is as you say that we were all created good and sinless but chose to sin, why is it that everyone sins? Surely there is a mathematical concept to show the unlikelihood of every free-willed human that ever existed choosing to be sinful. Or, are you suggesting there are some people who are not and have never been sinners?

    As usual, you’re stuck. You’re shaping the Bible to fit your own bias like you always do and you can’t make it work. You always end up stuck somewhere.

    • Terrance, it is YOU who suck up all the lies of the evolutionist. There are no facts – NONE – which support evolution. All the dating methods are based on assumptions and speculations to fit with the evolutionist world view. Propaganda, pure and devious.

      But you are welcome to believe it. It just gives you no credence with me when it comes to real science. And your low view of Genesis gives you no credence when discussing the Bible – after all, you pick and choose what you want to accept as true or myth – sort of like Trabue.

  50. paynehollow says:

    Wiley…

    The problem with discussing with you is that the majority of what is written in the bible, you take as symbolic or partially true history.

    This is true only for the passages that seem to be not written in a historical style. Do you agree that not every passage in the Bible is written in a historic style – especially a modern historic style? Surely you do, you recognize that there are poems and hyperboles and parables… they just aren’t all historical pages, right? So, what you and I both strive to do, I’m sure, is discern what is reasonably historic textually and what isn’t.

    I find nothing in this Genesis text or the rest of the Bible to suggest it ought to be taken as anything that the myth that it appears to be. Do you have anything?

    Wiley…

    It seems as though they are referring to a real person in history so I take that passage literally and therefore interpret that Genesis is talking about a real person in history.

    But why? I mean, as I noted, I might refer to Adam or Jonah. Doesn’t mean I take their stories as factual, it just means I am referencing the Truth point of their story. Why does Jesus referencing Jonah demand that Jesus considered Jonah’s story entirely factual, rather than symbolic? Isn’t that a modern reading into the text, not something the text actually says?

    Wiley…

    You disagree with me and want proof but tell me the proof I could give is also symbolic…

    I’m not saying that when Jesus references Adam, it MUST be taken symbolically. If I did that, I’d be doing the same thing as you are doing. I’m saying that the text does not demand that it be taken literally. Neither does Jesus’ NT references demand that it be taken figuratively.

    I’m saying that the rest of the Bible does not demand a literal interpretation of Genesis and the text itself seems to clearly suggest a figurative, mythic interpretation, as you seem to agree.

    Where am I mistaken?

    To your other points…

    Genesis is written as though it is actual history, even though it has some incredible statements (talking snake, really old people, etc)

    Well, I guess this is a matter of opinion. It seems to be clearly written in figurative language to me. “And THIS is how the snake lost his legs…” “…and THAT is where languages began…” etc. These are classic mythic formats.

    Wiley…

    It seems ridiculous for God to relay all these stories to us symbolically. They only have affect in reality.

    Why? If it is observably true that we have a “sin problem,” that we need salvation, then why does it matter if these stories are mythic or literal to make that point in the story?

    Wiley…

    How do you bring death upon people before they actually sinned? How do you say a sacrifice is needed without actually having one?

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. The Adam Fall story teaches us that we have free will and that we tend to sin and that sin leads us to death. We need a savior to save us from death. Why does the story have to be literal to teach us that point? (It’d really take more time than I have, but I’d argue that a literal interpretation of this could actually take away from the point of salvation by grace…)

    Wiley…

    The Jews have always taken and understood it as literal history.

    The Jews, like all people, have a history of being mistaken. Ancient Jews also held what we would consider wrong opinions about other matters, about polygamy, for instance, or slavery or women’s rights, for instance… That ancient Jewish folk with no exposure to modern science might have thought these represent a literally factual story is not any more compelling than ancient people thinking that drilling holes in the heads of the sick was a good cure. Am I mistaken? Where and why?

    Wiley…

    I have no good reason to not take it literally.

    You just said a few moments ago that, looking at it just textually, it DOES seem to be figurative, didn’t you? That seems to be a good reason to me.

    Thanks for the thoughts and answers,

    ~Dan

  51. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    How could infants be sinful unless God created them that way or sin was passed down from Adam & Eve?

    Sin is not a disease that is passed down, Terrance. It IS a choice. The Bible teaches us this and it’s just rational. We, each of us, choose to sin or not. And, as a point of fact, we ALL sin, we all make errors, mistakes, do wrong when we know better. It happens, NOT because of a “disease” called “sin” that is passed down from one set of parents, but because that is just human nature.

    And (a whole other bag of worms) infants AREN’T “sinful…” MEANING that infants don’t sin. Infants do not say, “Hmmm, it would be bad to piss upon my mother and I’m going to do it…” At least for a time, infants do not know right from wrong and are incapable of CHOOSING to sin. Now, I’m trying to make that clearly distinct from having a sinful nature. ALL of humanity has a sinful nature, a bent or tendency to do wrong. But we have to be able to understand right/wrong in order to deliberately choose to sin. Thus, babies don’t actively choose to sin.

    Do you think that a one day old infant chooses to do wrong? What is your evidence for that, if so?

    Or, are you just saying that we all have a sinful nature – a tendency to sin?

    If we all have a tendency to sin and we all DO choose to sin, how does a figurative understanding of Adam’s fall (symbolizing how we ALL choose and fall) undermine anything?

    Is it the case that you hold the belief that we are “cursed” by Adam’s sin and that this “curse” is literally like a disease that gets passed down, person to person?

    What if the story is just a figurative way of saying, “We all have this sinful nature…”? Why is that not a possible – even likely – understanding?

    Terrance…

    And I’m given to wonder that, if it is as you say that we were all created good and sinless but chose to sin, why is it that everyone sins?

    Because it is human nature to err? Is that not the case?

    I think I’m getting it, you really do view “Adam’s fall” as similar to a disease, rather than another mythic trope.

    When you see, “and THAT is how the snake lost his legs…,” “and THAT is how we came to speak different languages…,” “and THAT is how we all became sinners…,” you are reading symbolic, figurative words. That is how myths work. They are teaching tools, oftentimes, to pass on bigger truths, but not literal facts.

    But even if you don’t buy the myth notion, I still don’t think you have a reason to dismiss it out of hand. The notion of a sinful humanity remains intact whether the story is myth or not. It is just a reality, and not because God “caused” us to be sinners or “cursed” us to be sinners or because Adam “cursed” us to be sinners by his actions. We are sinful because of OUR actions, not someone else’s, the Bible teaches us. And reality supports that view.

    Do you disagree?

    ~Dan

  52. paynehollow says:

    Hey Glenn, I love you as a brother in Christ. Keep the faith and embrace the grace!

    ~Dan

  53. …but because that is just human nature.

    Meaning sin must be an innate quality…Meaning we must’ve been created this way.

  54. Glenn,

    Way to discount every argument I made in response to the ludicrious idea that it’s all a big conspiracy…

  55. paynehollow says:

    ? No, we are sinners because we CHOOSE to sin.

    Do you think that we are sinners because of Adam’s “curse” or “disease” that he passed on to us, or do you think we are sinners because we choose to sin, Terrance?

    If it sounds to you like I’m “blaming God” for being a sinner, it sounds like you’re “blaming Adam” for being a sinner. Dear brother, you sin (I sin, we all sin) because of your own choices, not because of Adam. All of us.

    And I’m making it clear, I don’t blame God that I have a sinful nature, I take blame for that myself.

    Do you think otherwise?

    ~Dan

    • Trabue is no brother of mine, nor is he a brother to any real Christian.

      By the way, people who think that we aren’t by nature sinners, that we don’t have a sin nature, need a quick review of Rom. 5:12. But if Adam is only a myth, I guess Paul was lying to us.

      Terrance,
      Don’t you EVEN mention my name in the same sentence as heretic Trabue. I have no bias – it is people like YOU who don’t like the literal rendering of Genesis because it puts to lie your belief in evolution. My “bias” is the same bias Christians had throughout history until “science so-called” brainwashed them.

      In fact, YOU have more in common with Trabue than I do. I am consistent in the way I read Scripture, while YOU relegate to myth that which doesn’t agree with your ideology – the same way Trabue does.

  56. BTW, Glenn, I don’t believe anything in Genesis is myth. I believe fanatics like yourself are misintrepreating the Bible to suit your own bias – sort of like Trabue.

  57. Dan,

    It can’t be an innate quality, like you say, if it’s a damn choice. What about this do you not understand?

    You and Glenn should seriously get together for coffee. You guys are two peas in a pod sometimes.

  58. paynehollow says:

    Don’t you love it when the Children of God speak so tenderly one, to another?

    When did my name become an epithet??

    Lighten up, fellas, embrace a bit of grace.

    Terrance, do you sin because you choose to or because Adam sinned and “cursed” you to be a sinner?

    ~Dan

  59. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    it is people like YOU who don’t like the literal rendering of Genesis because it puts to lie your belief in evolution.

    Not that it will do any good, but it’s not just evolution you have to reject to embrace a literal Creation story, it’s geology, geophysics, astronomy… multiple fields argue against a literal reading, as well as just common sense.

    The story READS like a myth. What literary evidence is there to treat it like anything other than what it appears to be?

    ~Dan

  60. Literal days? Ask Moses: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11) This a point repeated several times by Moses.

    Adam and Eve literal people? Ask Jesus: “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’” (Matthew 19:4)

    A plurality of biblical writers of Adam and Eve as being literal people. Here’s a link to a post referencing them – http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/confused-about-creation/

    Also, Adam and Even were created as full grown adults even though they were only “one day” old, and there is no reason why the world and all that we see couldn’t have been made according to the same guideline.

    People can believe that Jesus literally came out of the tomb after being dead for three days but they balk at God literally creating the universe/world in six? Doesn’t make sense. Let the Bible speak for itself and it will speak plain enough on the topic.

  61. Should have been – “A plurality of biblical writers viewed Adam and Eve as being literal people.” Sorry about that.

  62. paynehollow says:

    Again, I reference Adam and Eve. Doesn’t mean I think they were literal. That biblical actors referred to them does not demand that they were literal.

    And, textually, the Creation story reads like Myth… what textual reasons would we have for saying that treating it as literal is the ONLY possible interpretation?

    For me, it’s not that I don’t believe God is capable of doing anything. I just don’t think the text demands it and, in fact, I think the text suggests this is Truth told as myth, to make the point, not a literal acting out of exact facts.

    ~Dan

  63. Didn’t have my phone with me today, so I couldn’t keep up with all the comments being posted throughout the day when you all should have been working. Shame on you! ;)

    Dan WANTS the OT to read like myth. It makes it easier for him to dismiss those aspects that do not appeal to him. He wants to insist because some guy he read claims that “modern history” did not begin until much later, that all historical recordings of that era were of a certain type, as if they all belonged to the same historical club and were forced to write in a certain way. I don’t buy it. I don’t regard Scripture, OT or NT as being like anything else, and likely that which all others copied in style. Regardless of whether or not that latter part is true, it doesn’t hold that just because some ancient culture wrote in some “mythic” style, that all, or especially the ancient Hebrews did. But if you want to disregard aspects you don’t like, it is convenient to believe they did.

    I have no problem believing the Genesis story is absolutely true as written. I don’t spend much time at all struggling with that which seems to contradict science, as I don’t put complete faith in science, especially as regards trying to look back in time to points against which we have no comparison. As was suggested above in some of the comments I did read, one must put religious like faith in science to presume it has nailed anything about how old the universe is.

    What I find especially ironic is that Dan often insists we must all be willing to allow that we might be wrong, but doesn’t seem to apply that to what science says about the age of all things.

    And to compare Scripture against science and then decide that Scripture must be wrong or wrongly interpreted also indicates that science is given more reverence than Scripture. I can’t do that. So I don’t spend much time on the subject.

    I will say that my God is that good. He may have three or four universes for all I know. I also don’t think that He sought to “trick” us in any way. His work may simply look to us, despite out best efforts to solve the mystery, as if His creation is older than Scripture suggests. That is, I don’t suggest that what resulted from His work included a purposeful decision to make it look older than it is. Science just can’t account for the miraculous.

  64. Glenn,

    The Prophecy of 70 Weeks is relevant because it’s yet another example of a given period of time being symbolically expressed. And I don’t know why this is such an issue of contention for you guys. If God created the Earth in 6 literal days or 6 undefined periods of time, what does it matter? It’s still clear that God is responsible for the Creation, at least to me.

    • I like to have the debate over it. I dont get mad. For the life of me I dont know why Glenn gets so hot under the collar.

      • John,

        I like to have the debate over it. I dont get mad. For the life of me I dont know why Glenn gets so hot under the collar.

        Well, I don’t get angry, nor do I get hot under the collar. I do get frustrated with people who call themselves Christians and yet refuse to accept a fundamental doctrine of the Faith. Who ignore the thousands of Christian and Hebrew scholars who have taught the literal, six 24hr day creation week. And for what? Because they trust so-called scientists who change their collective minds on an almost daily basis when they try to fit THEIR new discoveries with their own evolutionist ideology!

        • Glenn

          You really think whether the days in Genesis being 24hrs or periods of time is a fundamental doctrine? How many doctrinal confrssions or councils bring it up?

          • John,
            If the days aren’t literal, then Adam isn’t literal because he was created on day six. And if a day is longer than 24 hrs in Genesis, then you have to account for how long Adam was on day 7. If you say each day is an era, then Adam was really quite old before he Fell, since the Fall came when there were still only two people in the Garden. Without the literal Adam, you have no literal Fall, and no literal sin, and no literal need for a savior. You also have a lying God who is tricking people with the 10Cs and the six-day work week, and you have a lying Jesus who spoke of Adam and Eve being at the Beginning, and you have a lying Jesus for even making Adam and Eve real, etc.

            How many fundamental doctrines are in that paragraph I just wrote, all hinging on the literal interpretation of Genesis?

            When it comes to Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is a literal understanding of Genesis as the authors intended it to be taken – six 24-hr days. After all, God is the creator and he can certainly accomplish the creation as he said he did. Unless of course your God isn’t powerful enough to do that.

            John, I’ve followed your blog for a long time because I saw great, intelligent responses to so many claims against the fundamental of the Christian faith. You have greatly disappointed me in this subject because you have become an apologist for the liberal interpretation of Genesis to make it fit with so-called science.

            • Glenn, if day six is a long period of time it has no bearing on Adam. Adam could have been created toward the end of the ‘day’. Nothing indicates that each act of chreation began at the very begining of the day.

              You have been convinced that if the days are long that … all of what you said, and thats just not true. You hold too many assumptions.

    • Terrance
      The Prophecy of 70 Weeks is relevant because it’s yet another example of a given period of time being symbolically expressed.

      No, they are in two completely different contexts. One is in a context of an apocalyptic prophesy, and those (as should be understood by reading Revelation) are rife with symbolic meanings. Genesis 1 is written as historical facts. Totally different genre.

      And I don’t know why this is such an issue of contention for you guys. If God created the Earth in 6 literal days or 6 undefined periods of time, what does it matter? It’s still clear that God is responsible for the Creation, at least to me.

      It matters because how you approach Scripture will determine your view of God. Look at Trabue – he takes O.T. as myth if it doesn’t agree with him, and his view of God is blasphemous; a god who thinks homosexual relations are just fine and dandy. A god who is more interested in the social gospel than in the gospel.

      Adam and Eve must be literal or the N.T. is a lie. WIthout a literal Adam and a literal fall, there is no literal sin and no literal need for a savior.

      IF the six days are anything you want to make them, then the commandment about working six days because God worked six days doesn’t make sense – how long should they really work before taking a day off?

      Again, the ONLY reason you people refuse to accept it as written is because it goes against the brainwashing you’ve gotten by so-called science.. There is no other reason to want long ages there.

      But you go ahead with your low view of Genesis. I’ve done all I can to point you to the truth. Perhaps when you mature in your faith a bit, you will see the truth.

      Ya’ll have a nice day.

      • Was it apocalyptic at the time, or was it since considered apocalyptic because it since came true long after it was supposed to come true, ie a year and a half? The 70 weeks isnt apocalyptic anyway, it predicts the coming of Jesus.

  65. paynehollow says:

    John, for some people, there is a long list of things you can’t disagree upon and still be a friend or still be a Christian. The more things you disagree with them on their priority list, the more likely (to them) that you are not a Christian, that you don’t REALLY love the Bible, that you really aren’t being genuine. That you disagree with them is not a simple friendly disagreement – it’s evidence that you disagree with God, and THAT is important.

    I would suggest we’d all be better off to focus on what Jesus said was important (Love God, Love neighbor, love enemy, Do unto others, follow Jesus – in short, embracing the Grace by which we are saved and living into that Grace) and allow that we ALL will have disagreements about this interpretation or that interpretation, about this behavior and that behavior, and just expect those differences and not assume the worst about others when those disagreements appear.

    I think it all has to do with living a life of Grace, or not. But that’s an aside.

    ~Dan

  66. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Dan WANTS the OT to read like myth.

    Again, fellas, you all do best when you don’t try to guess my motives. You are inevitably demonstrably wrong.

    In this case, I didn’t “want” the OT to read like myth. I used to accept it as literal history. I eventually had to change my position on it because of Bible study – because the literal history explanation just didn’t make sense in context of the Bible.

    Consider:

    1. The Bible never tells us we should take the Creation story as literal history. It just doesn’t.

    2. The Creation story READS like myth. It just does.

    3. There are NO literary cues to suggest it must be taken as something other than myth. The closest to a literary cue within the context of the whole Bible is that people refer to Adam/Eve and these stories. But, as oft noted, I too refer to these stories. Referring to a story is not evidence that you believe those stories are literal.

    4. Even if Biblical actors believed the stories are literal history (and there is zero evidence that they did), that is not evidence that they are or ought to be taken that way. For people who don’t accept the Bible as “God’s Word,” it certainly isn’t evidence.

    5. Again, as noted, OT and NT peoples probably would not believe in a heart transplant or going to the moon… and they may well have believed in leeching or other pre-scientific medical theories. It doesn’t mean that they were right. We can’t expect people in a pre-scientific world to know things that we know now. They were humans of their time.

    5. The creation stories were told in a time when myth was a common story device.

    Because of these rational and biblical reasons, I just can’t find any rational or biblical reason to think that the Creation stories aren’t just what they appear to be – myth. And that they are Truths told in mythic form does not, in any way, denigrate the Truth nor does it harm the Gospel message.

    If you all can point to zero literary reasons to consider these literal, on what basis should we do so?

    Marshall…

    it doesn’t hold that just because some ancient culture wrote in some “mythic” style, that all, or especially the ancient Hebrews did.

    No, it doesn’t. But, neither does it hold that just because all other cultures wrote (passed on orally, actually) in mythic styles that Israel DIDN’T. And there is no evidence that Israel did. So why would we insist on its literality? “Because I always have” or “because many people throughout history have” is not a rational or biblical reason.

    Marshall…

    to compare Scripture against science and then decide that Scripture must be wrong or wrongly interpreted also indicates that science is given more reverence than Scripture.

    I’m talking about evidence, Marshall. If we have solid evidence that a theory is mistaken, then it is rather silly to hold on to the disproved theory just because it’s a theory we like. Interpretations are not God’s Word. They are OUR human and fallible interpretations.

    If people have held the opinion that leeching is good for you or that drilling holes to let out foul spirits is reliable medical advice does not make it so. Opinions should be ready to change based upon evidence. Do you disagree?

    IF the evidence suggests that our theories and human opinions are mistaken, what is wrong with deciding our interpretation of Scripture is wrongly interpreted? Do you think that God wants us to hold on to opinions for the sake of tradition even when those opinions have been demonstrated to be mistaken?

    I just don’t see how that is either biblical or rational.

    ~Dan

  67. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Ot doesnt read like myth of the era Dan.

    Says who? You mean, “It is MY OPINION that the OT Creation story does not sound like it was written in a mythic style…”? Okay. My opinion is different.

    …and THAT is how the sun got in the sky
    …and THAT is how the zebra got its stripes
    …and THAT is how humans began speaking in languages
    …and THAT is how the serpent lost its legs…

    …these are all examples of mythic, figurative storytelling. It’s really great stuff and there’s nothing wrong with telling stories in a mythic format. The problem is when you try to take that storytelling style and interpret it literally.

    So, John, if plants were created on the Third ERA – how long did that era last? How did they survive with no sun until the Fourth ERA. What is your evidence for this? If Man was created in the Sixth ERA, how long did that era exist until God started speaking to Adam after the 7th ERA? Did Adam live for millions of years? What is your evidence for that?

    Again, it just seems a bit silly when you start dissecting it as if it were a literal or half literal story. It only makes rational and biblical sense if you accept it as what it appears to be – figurative, poetic, mythic storytelling. In my opinion.

    ~Dan

  68. paynehollow says:

    Perhaps it would be helpful to keep in mind Occam’s razor…

    “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.”

  69. paynehollow says:

    John…

    It reads like a myth TO YOU through THE LENS OF 21ST CENTURY FILTERS.

    Yes, it reads like myth TO ME. And, I think, to anyone who isn’t using cultural blinders. With just an open and straightforward reading of the text by someone without a tradition of taking it literally, I think the average person would say, “yes, of course, that is mythic.”

    And I am a 21st century fella, why wouldn’t I use 21st century knowledge? If I hear someone advocating “Ya know, the latest and best thing for evil spirits is drilling holes in your head to release them…” I would say – having the advantage of 21st century knowledge… “Um, that was not uncommon back before we knew science and medicine and all, but it’s really factually NOT a helpful thing to do… it would be stupid to do that, in fact.”

    What is wrong with using our reason and knowledge?

    And, without calling on cultural prejudices, what argument would you make to someone who doesn’t share your cultural traditions as to why they should take what seems abundantly obviously mythic/figurative to be literal? And why don’t YOU take part of the story literally (the “day” part)? Because it SEEMS TO YOU to be obviously figurative?

    Well, should you do it just because IT SEEMS TO YOU that way?

    ~Dan

  70. Genesis does read like myth, what with man being created out of dust and all; I much prefer the sober eyewitness testimony of the Gospels, where a man who is born from a virgin subsequently walks on water, raises the dead, and is himself raised after being scourged and crucified.

    Dan, you ask John that familiar refrain, “says who?” The question applies just as much to some of your own comments.

    Yes, we draw lines on important things. But whether or not a text in Genesis was written in a mythic style or in a literal history or scientific style… this is not ultimately all that important. Whether we agree about smoking cigarettes being sinful or that it’s good to live a simple life or that getting married after a divorce is wrong or this behavior or that behavior… these are not ultimately all that important.

    Says who? Jesus quoted Genesis 2 as if it actually does record God’s stated purpose for why He created us male and female, and Paul did write as if sin entered the world through Adam.

    And to say that the morality of “this behavior or that behavior” is unimportant is quite out-of-character for you, considering how much you emphasize the ethical teachings of Jesus.

    If you think that our lives should exhibit grace in where we disagree, you should perhaps follow your own advice about our disagreements on what is important.

    But then, if you were serious about disagreeing with grace, you wouldn’t invoke “magic tricks” to denigrate a belief in the necessity of the resurrection.

    Supposedly we both believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and supposedly we both believe in Jesus’ teachings, but I say that the former is essential for the integrity of the latter because Jesus repeatedly and emphatically taught that he would be killed and then raised after three days, and your response was positively venomous.

    You begin a sentence sounding like a Christian and end it sounding like an anti-Christian atheist.

    I do believe in Jesus’ resurrection, but I am a follower of Jesus because of the Way he taught, not because of magic tricks.

    If you were capable of being shamed about how flagrantly you disregard your own platitudes about grace and civility, you would have given some evidence of that capability long before now.

  71. LOL. Bubba.

  72. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    you ask John that familiar refrain, “says who?” The question applies just as much to some of your own comments.

    Yes, it does. The difference is, I’m quite clear: Says who? Dan. It’s my opinion. I don’t conflate my opinion with God’s Word. My opinion is clearly my opinion and, while I may think it wise or astute or correct or obvious, it remains my opinion. But you are right, it IS always a valid question to ask, “Says who?”

    So, given that reality, where you go on…

    Says who? Jesus quoted Genesis 2 as if it actually does record God’s stated purpose for why He created us male and female, and Paul did write as if sin entered the world through Adam.

    It IS a legitimate question to ask: SAYS WHO? Who says that Jesus was stating a definitive purpose? Is that not simply Bubba’s opinion and interpretation of the task? Yes, obviously it is. And that’s fine if you believe that. Just make sure you distinguish between your opinion and God’s Word.

    Do you understand, Bubba, that it is YOU who says your interpretation is the right one, not God?

    Similarly, it is you and Terrance who say “Paul did write as if sin entered the world through Adam…” The question remains: Is Paul speaking metaphorically, as seems abundantly obvious and observable, or did “sin” somehow “enter” the world “through” one person, not through our choices. I’ll ask you the question that Terrance refused to answer: Do you sin because of Adam or because of your own choices? Saying “I sin because of Adam” seems to me to be a very weak-willed (and UN-conservative) blaming of others for your own behaviors. Beyond that, it is unprovable. Adam “infecting” the world with the “curse” of “sin” is fanciful, mythic sounding language and is very helpful IF understood as imagery, but it becomes gobbledygook if you try to read it literally. HOW did one man “infect” the world with a “sin curse” (or however you all want to put it)?? What reason would any rational person have for trying to take that literally, short of it being what you grew up believing?

    Consider it this way: IF someone did not know the Bible, did not share your traditions or biases and they read this story, for WHAT reason should they take it literally when it sounds so clearly metaphorical and sounds irrational and unexplainable if you try to take it literally?

    ~Dan

  73. No, they are in two completely different contexts.

    No, they’re not.

    Genesis 1 is written as historical facts.

    No, it isn’t.

    And Glenn, I don’t view the Bible in any way like Trabue. I believe Adam & Eve are literal people, but I also believe the Creation of the Earth took longer than six days. Not that God couldn’t have created it in six days. We all know He could have done it in a minute if He wanted. But I believe the Earth was created over a period of millions of years. In fact, the evidence proves it. So you either ludicriously believe it’s all a scientific conspiracy, or you rethink your orginal interepreation of Genesis. You decide.

    • Terrance,

      Yes, the 6-days of Genesis and the 70 weeks are two different genres of writing and two different contexts. This has been taught that way for two thousand years, but YOU have decided arbitrarily to disagree with all that scholarship because you just KNOW they are the same. You need a course in Biblical hermeneutics.

      <But I believe the Earth was created over a period of millions of years.
      Only because you’ve been brainwashed that way.

      In fact, the evidence proves it.
      Actually, it doesn’t. All you have are speculations and assumptions about dating methods which are all based on speculations and dating methods.

      So you either ludicriously believe it’s all a scientific conspiracy, or you rethink your orginal interepreation of Genesis. You decide.

      While there is the possibility that the universe was created zillions of years by our time table, (you have to study about white holes, event horizons, etc), the fact is that God didn’t start time as we know it until day one of the creation account. Note that GOD CREATED TIME beginning at day one. And that day is only about 6000 years ago, when the event horizon crossed earth – an earth not yet formed until day one.

      The conspiracy is by the evolutionist/uniformitarian scientists who will not allow any teaching which disputes them. Ever watch “Expelled”? That just touches the tip of the ice berg. The media is left-wing, and you know that. Only what the Left wants you to know is what you will learn. There are thousands of scientists who vehemently disagree with the evolutionists and uniformitarians, but unless you read something other than what the LEFT feeds you, you will never learn about these disputers.

      I decided decades ago when I learned the truth and saw that Genesis is 100% accurate when it says God did it in 6- 24 hr days.

      Okay, you’ve all seen my evidence – that is if you cared to look at it – and I am not spending any more time on this discussion. I’m a busy man and I think there are better ways to steward my time than trying to convince people of facts they do not want to learn.

  74. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    the simplest answer is a literal understanding of Genesis as the authors intended it to be taken – six 24-hr days.

    I don’t think that is nearly as simple as recognizing this text, which is written in an obviously figurative, poetic style, is, indeed, figurative. THAT is simple.

    Trying to find ways to explain away sound scientific findings NOT just in one area of science, but in practically every area of science is not simple at all. Or, deciding that all of science-dom is part of a conspiracy to make up this fake “science” in multiple fields and disciplines across a century, well, that too, is not at all simple. It’s incredibly complex and, quite frankly, irrational.

    Terrance, the point that Glenn makes that IS sound is, if you have a HALF-literal interpretation of Genesis (ie, “the days aren’t literal days, but Adam and Eve are literal people”) is that, there too, you have an incredibly complex and irrational series of hoops you have to jump through in order to explain the irrationalities. Glenn’s question: How old WAS Adam if he lived through at least two “eras” before his story begins in earnest? And where is the proof for these “eras” and that life came about in these specific “eras…” in that specific order?

    And again, if you were to come to this text with no biases and cultural allegiances, you would say, “this is obviously told in a figurative, mythic style…” Given that, on what literary basis would we conclude otherwise, especially when this Other conclusion is irrational and complex to the point of being unbelievable?

    ~Dan

    • Oh, and by the way

      I find it laughable that I’m accused of being biased while no one else is. Sorry fellas, you are all biased by your chosen world view, whether it is accepting the Word of God or accepting the speculations of secular guesswork.

      As one of my favorite apologists says, “The real question is what is the best bias to be biased by?” I’m biased and you are biased. So quit acting as if you aren’t.

  75. paynehollow says:

    John…

    dan you regularly say your opinion is Gods word. You insist that the bible ACTUALLY says xxx about a number of issues.

    Actually, John, that has not happened. Where the Bible LITERALLY says “X,” I will point out that the text literally says “X.” What I haven’t done is cite my opinion on any topic and say, “My opinion is equal to God’s Word.”

    You chaff at it when Glenn does it to you – and rightly so. We all should chaff at it when people cite their opinions and equate their opinions to God’s Word. I have not done so.

    Off topic, just correcting your mistaken and unsupported/unsupportable claim.

    ~Dan

    • Thats false. Where the bible literally says ‘dont do X’ you say well since it doesnt provide an exhaustive list of situations where x might happen, its perfectly ok to do x in some circumstances.

      I really am starting to think you are just here to ruffle feathers.

      Combine what you just said with your routine misrepresentation of people’s views amd being so vague with some of your own and other things, im considering taking some people’s advice when it comes to dealing with you.

  76. Dan, you write, regarding Matthew 19:

    Who says that Jesus was stating a definitive purpose? Is that not simply Bubba’s opinion and interpretation of the task? Yes, obviously it is. And that’s fine if you believe that. Just make sure you distinguish between your opinion and God’s Word.

    About Romans 5, you write:

    The question remains: Is Paul speaking metaphorically, as seems abundantly obvious and observable, or did ‘sin’ somehow ‘enter’ the world ‘through’ one person, not through our choices.

    On the one hand, Jesus invoked what Genesis 2 teaches about our creation to address an issue in first-century Israel, and I dare to conclude that Christ’s affirmation of God’s purpose “from the beginning” applies to all people and all times, but if I don’t couch that conclusion in sufficiently tentative language, you’ll accuse me of being a megalomaniac, conflating my opinion and God’s word.

    But on the other hand, AND IN THE SAME COMMENT, you think Paul’s teaching is mere metaphor — still helpful, somehow, but I can’t imagine what Paul’s trying to teach if it’s NOT that we’re born with a sin nature due to the Fall — and you don’t hesitate to describe your interpretation as “abundantly obvious and observable.”

    Where’s the humility? Where’s the sense that you must frame your every thought about Scripture as entirely provisional, lest you mistake yourself for God Almighty?

    It’s not there. Funny, that.

  77. John, you should.

    It’s foolish to take a person’s arguments more seriously than he takes them himself.

  78. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Where the bible literally says ‘dont do X’ you say well since it doesnt provide an exhaustive list of situations where x might happen, its perfectly ok to do x in some circumstances.

    Where the Bible says, “ISRAEL, here are rules for you… including ‘men should not lay with men, if they do, kill them…'” among other rules to Israel, I say that that teaching is NOT saying, “In the 21st century, two gay guys ought not marry one another…” It simply isn’t saying that. That is a fact. You might want to infer some meaning beyond what the text says, but the text does not say that.

    I do NOT say “well, since it does not provide an exhaustive list of where x might happen, it’s okay to do x in some circumstances…” That is not my position, I have never said that. You misunderstand my position. My pointing out the reality that these OT rules to Israel specifically are not universal rules is just pointing out what the text says. Show me where the text says that these rules are universal and we can talk about me making a false claim. The fact is, YOU AGREE, these rules are not universal. You don’t “kill them” you don’t NOT cut the hair on the side of your head, etc.

    Off topic, just correcting your mistaken claim.

    ~Dan

  79. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    on the other hand, AND IN THE SAME COMMENT, you think Paul’s teaching is mere metaphor — still helpful, somehow, but I can’t imagine what Paul’s trying to teach if it’s NOT that we’re born with a sin nature due to the Fall — and you don’t hesitate to describe your interpretation as “abundantly obvious and observable.”

    I do, in fact, think my interpretation is abundantly obvious and observable. We can SEE/TELL/DETERMINE that all of humanity has this tendency to sin by the reality that we all do so.

    Do you disagree?

    We can reasonably gather that the claim that we “inherited” a “sin” “curse” by “Adam’s” “fall” is metaphorical because, rationally speaking, how does that even make sense? Where is the evidence that a sinful condition is “inherited…” and if so, why must it have come from one person? Where is the evidence of a literal “curse…”? It just seems obvious that this is metaphoric language.

    Again, I ask you some simple questions:

    Do you sin because you choose to sin or is it Adam’s fault, not your own?

    Did Adam literally cause you to sin? How so?

    If you came upon this text without having your cultural biases, on what basis would you presume it is anything other than what it appears to be – poetic metaphorical/mythical language?

    If you can’t answer that last question, on what basis should anyone think this is literal? Because you REALLY think it is? Because your father and his father and ten generations of Bubba REALLY thought so?

    John, you consider “taking others people advice” about me – presumably banning my comments – I ask you to just look at how Glenn is treating you because you simply honestly disagree with him. Do you really want to treat others the way that Glenn is treating you?

    My questions are not unreasonable. My comments are respectful. I do not reject you as a brother simply because you disagree with me. I have nothing but love and respect for you as a fellow Christian, even though I disagree with you on several topics. On what possible basis would you ban me?

    You are free, of course, to do so, I just would suggest it does not seem in keeping with your character. You seem like one who is open to reasonable questions and open to the challenge of defending your positions without relying upon an insistence that we must start with the same presumptions.

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      The difference between you and glenn are clear. Though he and I disagree here, and he thinks I am twisting the Scripture, I dont question his motives or his genuine intention to understand what the bible is saying.

      You on the other hand are severely inconsistent, you are misleading with your views, you misrepresent, and I dont think for a second your back story of being a staunch conservative is remotely true, I think you know you dont honestly try to interpret the scriptures, I am virtually certain you do your best to look for loopholes.

      Thats why.

  80. Glenn,

    Show me one shred of scientific evidence (evidence, not assumption) indicating the Earth is only 6,000 years old? You don’t have it. And I’ll take a course in Biblical hermeneutics just as soon as you take a few in biology, geology, physics, etc…

    Not even William Lane Craig, generally considered to be a titan in Christian apologetics, believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

    • My evidence is Scripture. You haven’t one shred of evidence that man or beast have been on the planet more than 6000 years. Dating methods are all based on speculations and assumptions.

      Craig isn’t the only “titan” in Christian apologetics. But what he compromises to believe isn’t the issue. The issue is what does the Bible actually say, and where is the actual evidence against it? Hugh Ross even claims there were soul-less men living before Adam – that’s how he compromises his faith with “science.” Compromisers are all through the Church.

      Sorry, I forgot to unsubscribe so I could leave this string with all the compromising.

  81. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Yet you say no such thing about incest or beastiality which are condemned in the same manor in the same passages. You have excuses. Youre not honest.

    In fact, I DO say the same thing about incest and bestiality. These things are NOT wrong because they are listed in rules to and for OT Israel. They are wrong because they cause harm and are observably wrong. I consistently hold this view. There is nothing dishonest about that.

    I honestly disagree with your assessment of these OT rules. There is nothing dishonest in disagreeing. Let it go, John, you’re just mistaken on this one.

    ~Dan

  82. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You on the other hand are severely inconsistent, you are misleading with your views, you misrepresent, and I dont think for a second your back story of being a staunch conservative is remotely true, I think you know you dont honestly try to interpret the scriptures

    While you are free to think whatever you want, the facts are the facts.

    I strive very hard to be consistent. I am an imperfect human and it is possible I am not always so, but I certainly strive to be consistent. Your example of the OT rules against “men laying with men who should be killed,” bestiality, incest and (my example of) haircutting are examples of consistency. I consistently affirm that these things are wrong or not, NOT because they appear in a list of ancient rules for ancient people, they are wrong (or not) because they cause harm, they’re not good for us, they oppress.

    Choosing to ignore the ancient Israeli command from God to not cut your hair on the side of your head is okay because, 1. The rule is NOT given to us, but to ancient Israel and, 2. It is not innately wrong to cut the hair on the side of your head, even though God commanded Israel not to do that.

    Bestiality and incest is wrong because of the harm done, the lack of adult human consent, NOT because it is a rule given to Israel.

    You may disagree with my conclusions, but they ARE consistent. You, on the other hand, try to affirm these rules as universal rules… except the ones you affirm are NOT universal rules. Where is the consistency in that? Can you see that I am at least as consistent as you, if not moreso, by my reasoning on this point?

    And, factually speaking, my backstory is just what I have said. I was raised at Victory Memorial Baptist Church, a traditional/conservative Southern Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where I was saved and baptized at the age of 10 in 1973 by Brother Saylor (I forget his first name). I read almost exclusively only the Bible and a few other traditional books from traditional authors (CS Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Swindoll, James Dobson, etc, etc). I could go on and on, but I’ve said it all before. This is all demonstrable and provable, although for you, it would take some effort, it is still provable. You are free not to believe it, but you do so in opposition to demonstrable facts.

    And, as a point of fact, I DO honestly try to interpret Scriptures aright, seeking God’s will with all my heart and mind and soul. Why would I get on here and make all this up? Again, if you knew me personally, you may still disagree with me, but you could see from my life and lifestyle, I am who I am and believe what I say I believe BECAUSE I am seeking God’s Will and Way.

    You can disagree with my conclusions, but you can’t rationally say they aren’t really my genuine conclusions.

    But rather than even worrying about all that, why not quit this silly ad hom digression and just deal with questions that are raised and reasonable?

    IF someone were to read this text without your cultural biases and preferences, on what basis would they think it is anything but metaphorical?

    ~Dan

  83. I do, in fact, think my interpretation is abundantly obvious and observable.

    Of course you do, Dan, but if I dare express similar confidence in my own interpretation, it can only be because of hunches and cultural biases, and my confidence is based on a dangerous habit of confusing myself with God.

    I miss the grace and humility in your writing, but I’m sure that’s my fault.

  84. paynehollow says:

    You are free, of course, to choose not to interact with reasonable questions, but don’t you think it sort of undermines your credibility not to deal with reasonable questions? Why wouldn’t you, even if you distrust me as a person? The questions remain reasonable.

    ~Dan

  85. paynehollow says:

    ? If you don’t find ME reasonable, but the question is still reasonable, why wouldn’t you answer the question?

    I do it all the time. Many of you all present yourselves as somewhat unreasonable. But when you ask questions that are, themselves, reasonable, I answer them. Even when you ask questions that are NOT reasonable (ie, questioning a “position” of mine that I do not hold! for instance), I will often try to answer them, just for clarity’s sake.

    There are no stupid questions, as they say.

    Ignoring reasonable questions does undermine your credibility, it makes it look like you can’t defend yourself against reasonable questions.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

  86. wiley16350 says:

    The age of the earth is a historical investigation, without having complete knowledge of the whole earth and the events that helped shape it, we can’t put a date on it. There is just too much we don’t know and too much we have to guess on. Just because there are so many dating methods that suggest the earth is millions of years old doesn’t mean that it is since the dating methods are based on human assumptions. There are also many dating methods that demand that the earth CAN’T be as old as the mainstream says it is. What do you we do with those types of dating methods? People that trust dating methods have to pick and choose what dating methods and dates they trust based solely on what they believe is right. I have decided that NONE of them can be trusted and I CAN DO THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE BUILT ON ASSUMPTIONS. Which is my main point to get across. None of them are based on facts and therefore can never be factual. I may not know what the explanation is for why everything measures to be old, but I am o.k. with that. I believe there is a reason for it, maybe there isn’t. Maybe the earth really is old. If it is I’m sure there is an explanation of how the ages fit in the bible. However, I think it is odd to put millions of years within the 7 day timeline (especially after day 4). The millions of years seems more likely to fit in between the creation of the earth and where the bible claims the earth had existed waste and void. That is a possibility, but since the bible doesn’t mention anything happening prior to that time, then I am not going to posit things unnecessarily. That is where I am at with all of this. I can’t wait for God to explain it all because the discussion can get way to heated, even between Christians, which is odd since we should all be on the same side.

    • I have yet to hear a reason why “human assumptions” are inherently flawed. I jabe yet to hear a reason to think that because someone is not a believer therefore they cannot be trusted and have ulterior motives.

      • wiley16350 says:

        Human assumptions when discussing history are flawed because we don’t have all the necessary information of what actually happened and what was present at the formation of a geological formation. Catastrophe’s can cause huge amounts of geological formation in a short amount of time. Present geological formation takes a very long time. Not knowing how the formation was created means humans have to investigate and search for clues. What clues they search for will depend on what perspective they have experienced and learned throughout their life. This is what will lead them to their conclusion, unless they have experienced both reasons. Some dating methods are based on the assumption that the present way of geologic formation is what happened. If that assumption is wrong, then the person using that method will get the wrong answer for the age of the formation. Without having an accurate history of what happened to form a geological formation it is very easy for an assumption to be wrong. It is possible that some formations were formed quickly by a catastrophe, went through a period of slow growth and then experienced another catastrophe. How do we know without having an accurate history of what happened? That is the problem with all dating methods. We don’t have an accurate history (all we have is interpretation and theories) and we don’t know what the chemical composition was when the formation hardened or the history of any loss or gain of chemicals to get a factual reading of a radiometric date. This is why I find it ridiculous when people claim that the age of the earth is known as fact.

        • Who’s to say we dont have adequate information to reasonably estimate history?

          It sounds more like “oh no, science might disprove God, better not trust it”

          None of anyone here who said they distrust human assumptions in science have even questioned the role human assumptions theyve brought to theology.

  87. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    if I dare express similar confidence in my own interpretation

    If you express confidence in YOUR OPINIONS and INTERPRETATIONS, I fully support you, I always have. Go for it, believe what you want and stand by it. I WANT you to do that.

    I just want you to make it clear that you understand that you are confident in YOUR OPINION, and not thinking, “I’m so certain I’m right, I’m saying that my opinion is God’s opinion…”

    It is one thing to say, “I’m pretty sure that this ‘day’ is speaking of a 24 hour period in Genesis…”

    It is another thing to say, “Anyone who disagrees with my opinion on a 24 hour day is blaspheming God, they do not choose to take the Bible seriously, they are rejecting the Word of God, they are, in fact, rejecting God when they disagree with my opinion, because I’m just basing my opinion on what God has said so they are one and the same…”

    I support the former and stand opposed to the latter.

    Do you agree with me on this point? I would hope so.

    ~Dan

  88. wiley16350 says:

    John, it is common sense. Just ask some questions of what is needed to know to have an accurate assessment of how old something is.

    1. How was the formation originally created? It can be assumed to be created over a long period of time or all at once. Without hard evidence of which, you can’t make an absolute determination since nobody witnessed it. There may be some clues in some formations that help but that is still interpretation.
    2. How much of the formation was deposited when it was first created? Was it slow and gradual or a large amount. Layering will happen even in large deposits of sediment.
    3. How many times has the formation been affected by repeat large scale deposition? Were layers repeatedly formed from multiple larger depositions or from slow and gradual growth.
    4. How much erosion has occurred to the current layer and/or layers in between large scale depositions?

    As for radiometric dating you need to know these things;
    1. how much parent element was present when the rock hardened- this is impossible to know as a fact.. It is assumed all parent element was present when the rock hardened. However, there are ways for elements to be gained or lost through natural processes.
    2. how much daughter element was present when the rock hardened- this is impossible to know as a fact. It is assumed that no daughter element was present when the rock hardened. This has been shown to be wrong in the testing of Mt St Helens. If it can be wrong in one dating method, it’s likely to be wrong in all the others since the assumption has nothing to do with chemical composition of rock at it’s formation.
    3. Whether or not the sample has not been infiltrated from outside parent and daughter elements. It is impossible to know this. They actually use these other natural processes to explain away why a result does not come back as expected.
    4. They need to know through out all of history that the rate of decay has always been the same or there was never accelerated decay caused by a catastrophic event.

    My view is that the 7 days of the bible were literally 7 days. According to the Jews, the earth is 7,300+/- years old and that has been the understanding throughout most of history. The science of millions of years doesn’t persuade me to change my mind because of it fundamental flaws that it is built up by assumptions that can very easily be wrong. Millions of years is an awfully long time and seems to me to be an absurdly long amount of unnecessary time. The only need for it is to prop up evolution.

  89. The age of the Earth is a SCIENTIFIC investigation. Historical conclusions may or may not rely heavily on circumstantial evidence, whereas a scientific conclusion is based on data and a factual interpretation of that data.

  90. Wiley,

    Geology

    1. What? God of the Gaps? Really?

    2 – 4: And do you honestly believe scientists aren’t able to determine this stuff? Geez.

    Radiometric Dating:

    1. Hence the reason for the repeated cross testing of differing radioactive isotopes…

    2. See 1. They test the same rocks for Uranium-Lead, Lutetium-Halfnium, Potassium-Argon, and though they all give the same age, Creationists expect us to believe that every single piece of rock ever tested had all these daughter elements in large enough numbers to throw off the clock by more than 4 billion years? YOU NEED A PSYCHIATRIST!

    3. See 1, 2.

    4. Oh, get real. See 2.

    I had enough of this thread. I’m not going to argue with people who don’t even have a cursory understanding of the science. They read a few Creationist essays and now they’re experts.

  91. wiley16350 says:

    Lets put it this way. The age of the earth is a scientific investigation requiring historical information that is vital to whether or not you get the correct answer.

  92. wiley16350 says:

    I never mentioned God of the Gaps, so I don’t know what you’re talking about there. Scientists can’t determine things without question if they weren’t present to witness what happened. If they could determine these things for certain there would be no argument about what happened. The fact is many scientists have interpreted formations in different ways. Geology is not an exact science. It is not like a labatory where things are more cut and dry. Geological formation have to be investigated and interpreted. It is a fact that things have been interpreted differently and you sit there and ask me if I don’t think they can figure the history of the rock out. Sure they can figure a history of a formation out but they can’t say without a doubt what the history of the formation was. If they did there wouldn’t be arguments.

    Sure, all the radiometric dates agree. Within +/- 3 million years. It’s funny how people are so impressed with +/- 3 million years. Do you even stop to think about how long that is? It’s possible you could have 1 section of rock dated at 6 million years by one method, then dated at 3 million years by another method and 9 million years by another method and scientists would probably tell you how all the dating methods agree. The fact is that since all dating methods are based on assumption it is very easy to make anything agree. If something is way off it is thrown out as an anomaly and a bad date.

    The dating methods threw off 12 year old rock by over 300,000 years. Dating results are plastic and disposable when not meeting expectations. If you want to have faith in human assumption and their dating methods than so be it. I really don’t care.

  93. You made an argument from ignorance, Wiley, suggesting that since none of us were present at the beginning of time, and since science can’t tell us exactly what happened, that somehow everything must be as the Bibe says. It’s a quasi God of Gaps argument and it’s stupid.

    Do you even stop to think how many MORE years 4 billion is? You’re talking about radiometric dating being so inaccurate as to be 4.49 BILLION YEARS OFF! Ridiculous, especially when all other forms of dating, including Carbon 14, agree the Earth is over 4 billion.

    Secondly, quit saying all the dating methods are based on assumption. They’re not. All elements have an easily calculable half-life. And the anomaly you’re referring to was exactly that: an anomaly, and research was done by Creationists with an angle to shoot.

  94. wiley16350 says:

    That wasn’t my argument at all Terrance. My argument is that since scientists weren’t there they can’t know for sure what the history of the formation is. Because of that we can’t dogmatically say that a geological formation is of a certain age. Period. That was all. I didn’t then go onto say that for that reason we must use the bible. Those words never were written by me.

    Carbon 14 dating does not agree that the Earth is over 4 billion years old. Carbon 14 can’t even date things to be in the millions of years, it is limited to thousands. And you dare call me the ignorant one. Do you even realize that wood and coal that were buried in millions of years old sediment were dated and found to be less than 100,000 years old. Based on the sedimentary rock layers they were in, there should have been no traceable carbon 14 left in the samples but yet there was plenty to be found. Carbon 14 does not agree with your billions of years.

    Again you’re showing your ignorance. What the heck does the half-life have to do with dating methods and the assumptions used to obtain ages? The measuring of half-life is the only scientific part about the whole process. It is the part that is known. I don’t debate that and it was not listed as one of the assumptions. This is how it works.

    what is known about samples:
    1. How much parent element is in the sample at the time of measurement
    2. How much daughter element is in the sample at the time of measurement
    3. How long it takes for the parent element to decay into the daughter element
    from this information they can easily calculate an age, that is good science, nobody is denying that.

    The problem is, what is not known about the sample:
    1. How much parent element was active in the sample when it hardened
    2. How much parent element was gained or lost through natural processes in the years since the rock is hardened
    3. How much daughter element was present when the rock hardened
    4. How much daughter element was gained or lost through natural processes in the years since the rock is hardened
    5. Is the decay rate constant and has never changed from the time of deposition to the measurement. Is it possible that there is accelerated decay as the rock cools and that is why there is so much more daughter element than expected? I don’t know, does anybody know, has anybody tested it while rocks are being formed?

    The Mt. St. Helens sample was not an anomaly. It’s funny how creationists will give all these examples of actual dating results that show the faults of radiometric dating methods and evolutionists will find ways to deny the actual results then turn around and claim creationists ignore actual science even though they don’t deny the results that evolutionists get. Creationists attack the cause of the results and the part that is not scientific (the assumptions) while the Evolutionists will attack the creationists results everytime which is the actual scientific part.

  95. That was your argument exactly and you just reiterated it.

    Carbon 14 dating does agree the Earth is more than 4 billion years old, but I wouldn’t expect you to know that since it’s widely known in scientific circles that Creationists have misunderstood the entire dating process since the 70s. You guys simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

    You’ve shown your ignorance innumerable times in this thread. You’re asking us to believe that every single daughter element of every single parent element was present in large enough numbers to distort the truth by 4.49 billion years. And this on top of other methods of dating like Carbon 14. Fact is, each element has a calculable half-life. That’s how radiometric dating is done.

    I’ve already explained away all your objections. Fact is, every single piece of rock that’s tested is tested for MORE THAN A SINGLE ELEMENT, and amazingly, THEY ALL AGREE! Again, this on top of other methods of dating, all of which placing the Earth well over 6,000 years old.

    It was an anomaly. But if not, then provide more examples. I’m waiting. We’re all waiting…Anyway, curious how you didn’t bother disputing the bias of the researchers who did the testing.

  96. As one who believes in a youngER earth (the earth is only young compared to millions of years), I would not say that old earthers are not taking the language literally. I would say they are not taking the plain meaning of the language. Thinking “day” equals “long period of time” seems to be more eisegetical, not exegetical. What happened to interpreting “evening and morning” with “the first day?” The text leads you to a 24-hour interpretation. The baggage of presuppositions leads to imputing into the text “long period of time.”

  97. Carbon dating can only be used to date organic material and is a guess at best and is certainly not effective beyond 40,000. So, Terrance, who is showing his ignorance now?

  98. wiley16350 says:

    I don’t get how you are concluding that my argument is since radiometric dating is built on assumption and not fact that the bible is what should determine age. My argument is that I don’t accept millions of years as a fact because radiometric dating is built on assumptions. That is all. I went on to say that I personally will not change my view of the bible and a young earth based on what I know about dating methods. It is not that important to me. I clearly said that I would be willing to change my view of the bible to something like the gap theory if I found it absolutely necessary, which I currently don’t feel there is reason too since there are many questionable things about dating methods.

    So you’re telling me that Carbon Dating can directly date things in the millions of years? If that is true then I definitely have been lied to. I swear that I looked it up on an evolutionists site though too, maybe not. I really find that whole paragraph to be very inaccurate or a downright lie, I wouldn’t want to accuse you of lying though since you are a christian and I would have no idea why you would so vehmently protect millions of years by lying to me about it.

    I am not asking you to believe anything. I am informing people that radiometric dating is not factual, that it is built on assumption and that it is possible for it to be wrong. That is it, I am pointing out it’s potential flaws. Because it is not factual and since we don’t and can’t know every parameter that is involved to get an accurate age, we shouldn’t be so desperate to change what we think the bible says. Especially since there is a lot of conflicting evidence out there. I believe it is very possible that there is a reason for why we see so much radioactivity in a young earth, but I don’t have an answer for that personally. I have read some of Barry Setterfield’s research into the change of speed of light and how that might affect all decay rates and there might be something there. There is just so much we don’t know that and so much conflicting evidence that I am just not convinced by the age numbers. If you are then fine, but stop acting like ages are set in stone and unchangeable. If just one of the assumptions are wrong, then answer is wrong, it is simple as that.

    You haven’t explained away anything, all you have done is provide me with information I already knew about half-lifes and the agreement of many different dating methods. So what, they all agree, they could all have the same wrong assumption. There could even be multiple wrong assumptions.

    The researchers are not the same people that did the testing. They sent the samples to a well respected lab for testing. I do trust that they weren’t lying to me, but there is no way for me to know for sure. I have no evidence that they were lying to me.

  99. DogTags,

    You are. If you read all the comments, you’d see I referred to fossils earlier up. Carbon 14 dating agrees the Earth is more than 6,000 years old in that several fossils have tested much older than 6,000 years, thus supporting radiometric dating in at least one aspect: the earth is obviously much older than —– 6,000 years. (Thus, supporting Evolutionary Biology in that Homo Sapiens are much older than 6,000 years.) And since all radiometric dating puts the Earth beyond 4 billion years, I’d say Carbon 14 dating agrees. I could see Wiley’s point if Carbon 14 dating put the Earth at around 6,000 years or so. But guess what? It doesn’t. It puts it well beyond. So, you Creationists expect us to believe that all radiometic dating of isotopes is wrong, Carbon 14 dating is wrong, and all other geological evidence is wrong. Yeah. Makes tons of sense.

    Wiley,

    Stop saying radiometric dating isn’t factual. It most assuredly is. You keep talking about daughter element this and daughter element that, failing to consider that each rock (with fossils) is not only Carbon 14 dated older than 6,000 years, but the radiometric dating looks at many different isotopes – and all agree the Earth is more than 4 billion years old.

    Young Earth Creationism is unscientific and simply ludicrous and all its supporters are totally ignorant of the facts. You pretend to come here with some sort of unbiased presentation, but didn’t admit, or didn’t know, that radiometric dating doesn’t look at a single isotope; it looks at many and they all agree. You just now admit that, only because I brought it up, and what’s your response? “Oh, they could all be wrong. They all have the same assumption.” Ridiculous. Not to mention that if radiometric dating were completely random, as you suggest (depending entirely on the amount of daughter element), then we wouldn’t expect such an incredible amount of agreement in dates. In fact, if you were in any sense correct, the results would be all over the damn map – which they aren’t!!!!!

  100. And I haven’t even mentioned the dating of extra-plantary material. Meteorites and other planetary objects that would have been formed around the same time as our Earth. All that wrong as well?

  101. wiley16350 says:

    I agree that Carbon 14 dating does that. It isn’t any different than any other dating method in the respect that is based on assumption. However, things have been dated by Carbon 14 that should not be able to be dated by carbon 14 since the items were buried in millions of years old rock. In that respect, Carbon 14 does not agree with millions of years.

    Radiometric dating is not factual because it is based on assumptions. You do realize that assumptions are not facts. an assumption is: Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof; a supposition. When something is based on assumption, the result can’t be fact because it is not known whether or not the assumption is absolutely true. To their best knowledge, the assumption is true, but they can’t prove it to be true. Therefore they are not facts, no matter how much you want to deny it.

    I am pretty sure that I kept mentioning that “ALL DATING METHODS ARE BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS” I never attacked any certain dating method or led anybody to believe that there was only one and said that it was based on assumption. I spoke in generalities but used the word ALL, and since I used ALL, it should have been clear that I didn’t believe there was only one. The fact is they could all be wrong, it is an actual reality. That is the part you fail to recognize. Don’t mistake me, since you seem to have such a hard time understanding what I’m saying, I am not saying they are all wrong or that I know that they’re all wrong. I am saying there is a possibility that they are all wrong, there could be a reason, a past event or some knowledge we don’t have that proves they are all wrong. Why is it so ridiculous? They all have the same basic assumptions (radiometric dating methods do), they all get the answer by the same parent to daughter decay formula (just have different decay rates), they all have experienced the same natural events and outside conditions that may have altered them. Why couldn’t they all suffer from the same problem? In fact, why wouldn’t they suffer from the same problem?

  102. Wiley,

    Okay. Let’s start over. Very concisely, explain to me how all these dating methods are “based on assumptions.”

    I want to try and understand your argument, but there’s been a lot of crosstalk between other people. It seems they’re done for now, so please, explain to me, concisely please, why they are assumption-based dating methods.

  103. wiley16350 says:

    They are assumption based because nobody was able to measure the amount of parent and daughter elements that was present in the rock when it hardened or throughout it’s history since it hardened. Since it is impossible to know what those numbers actually are it is assumed that all of the parent element was present in the beginning and none of the daughter element was present. It is obvious that this will provide the largest of ages, so they were more than happy to assume this in the beginning of radiometric dating. Today, they don’t really assume that. Today they start with what they already believe about the age of a geological formation by using index fossils and the surrounding area if it’s already been dated. If the result comes back with unexpected results they will call it an anomaly, throw the date out or come up with a reason that allows them to change their assumptions. The decay rate is also assumed to have been constant throughout the histroy of the rock. It seems to be a pretty good assumption, but since nobody has been able to test the decay rate from the beginning it isn’t factual. There is also some evidence that decay rates have not been constant. Look up Tas Walker, he is an actual geologist. He is a young earth creationist but works as a geologist. Here is a link to an article he wrote about radiometric dating, he can explain it a lot better than I can.
    http://biblicalgeology.net/2006/Dating-secrets.html

  104. wiley16350 says:

    I sent a reply but I don’t know if it is waiting moderation or I lost it completely. Nothing I hate more than rewriting stuff I already written. In case it does pop up I will just point you to Tas Walker who is an actual geologist. Look up his site and read his article “dating secrets”. He can explain better than I can. I also saw this great example of dating methods that Tas Walker wrote. I will copy and paste here.

    Addressing the students, I used a measuring cylinder to illustrate how scientific dating works. My picture showed a water tap dripping into the cylinder. It was clearly marked so my audience could see that it held exactly 300 ml of water. The diagram also showed that the water was dripping at a rate of 50 ml per hour.
    I asked, ‘How long has the water been dripping into the cylinder?’
    Immediately someone called out, “Six hours.”
    “Good. How did you work that out?”
    “By dividing the amount of water in the cylinder (300 ml) by the rate (50 ml per hour).”
    “Excellent,” I said. “See how easy it is to calculate the age of something scientifically? Every dating method that scientists use works exactly the same way. It involves measuring something that is changing with time.”
    People began to relax once they understood that the science of dating is not so difficult. Then I surprised them, “The problem is that six hours is the wrong answer.”
    They look puzzled and disbelieving.
    “I set this experiment up and I can tell you that the water has only been dripping for one hour. Can you tell me what happened?”
    After they had composed themselves, someone called out, “The tap was dripping faster in the past?”
    “Perhaps,” I said.
    “The cylinder was nearly full when you started?”
    “Maybe. But can you see what you are doing?” I asked. “In order to calculate an age you made assumptions about the past. You assumed the rate had always been 50 ml per hour and that the cylinder was empty when it started. Based on those assumptions you calculated the time of 6 hours.”
    They nodded.
    “You were perfectly happy with that answer. Not one of you challenged it.” They agreed.
    “Then, when I told you the correct answer, do you realize what you did? You quickly changed your assumptions about the past in order to agree with the age I told you.”
    Scientific dating is not a way of measuring but a way of thinking.
    Every scientist must first make assumptions about the past before he can calculate an age. If the result seems okay then he will happily accept it. But if it does not agree with other information then he will change his assumptions so that his answer does agree.
    It does not matter if the calculated age is too old or too young. There are always many assumptions a scientist can make to get a consistent answer.
    Suddenly the lights went on. My audience saw, in a nutshell, the way dating methods work.1 Scientific dating is not a way of measuring but a way of thinking.
    A layer of volcanic ash in East Africa, called the KBS tuff, became famous through the human fossils found nearby.1
    Using the potassium-argon method, Fitch and Miller were the first to measure the age of the tuff. Their result of 212–230 million years did not agree with the age of the fossils (elephant, pig, ape and tools) so they rejected the date. They said the sample was contaminated with excess argon.
    2. Using new samples of feldspar and pumice they ‘reliably dated’ the tuff at 2.61 million years, which agreed nicely.
    Later, this date was confirmed by two other dating methods (paleomagnetism and fission tracks), and was widely accepted.
    Then Richard Leakey found a skull (called KNM-ER 1470) below the KBS tuff, a skull that looked far too modern to be 3 million years old.
    So Curtis and others redated the KBS tuff using selected pumice and feldspar samples, and obtained an age of 1.82 million years. This new date agreed with the appearance of the new skull.3
    Tests by other scientists using paleomagnetism and fission tracks confirmed the lower date.
    So by 1980 there was a new, remarkably concordant date for the KBS tuff, and this became the one that was widely accepted.
    Which illustrates that, contrary to popular belief, the dating methods are not the primary way that ages are decided. The dating methods do not lead but follow. Their results are always ‘interpreted’ to agree with other factors, such as the evolutionary interpretation of geology and fossils.

    • You’re comment isn’t in moderation; I checked.

      Regardless, the problem with the little story is that it fails to consider that different elements have different half-lifes and yet all of these elements when dated test close to 4 billion years or more. Now, the problem with assuming they’re all wrong is that if things were as random as Creationists make it seem, you’d have dates that are all over the map – yet that isn’t what we see. For the most part, they all pretty much agree that the Earth is somewhere around 4.55 billion years old.

      But let’s assume radiometric dating isn’t reliable (it is, but for the sake of argument), then why do all other dating methods, like Carbon 14, age the Earth beyond 6,000 years? Basically, other than the Bible, why do you dipute the Earth is older than 6,000 years? Other than the Bible, what evidence do you have?

  105. wiley16350 says:

    Did you actually read the whole thing? Did you actually see at the end where he went on to describe how they change assumptions based on what they come across in the field? Do you see how unreliable they are in action. Half-lifes mean nothing. Over any amount of year period they are all going to decay at their own rate but they will all decay that many of years worth. In reality they should all agree pretty much exactly. That’s why 3 million years is a lot to me. I mean take the filling up a cup example. You could have them fill up at different rates but after a year it is impossible for them to not agree unless one of them is tampered with or the rate of one of them changes. In reality, the dating methods should agree to an exact number, but since we’re talking about such huge numbers nobody thinks 3 million years is that much of a difference. More than likely it isn’t because they know the assumptions can be wrong and be adjusted. The question is, how much of a difference means something is wrong? You keep mentioning Carbon 14 for some reason but it has the same assumptions, it isn’t any different.
    Here is a excerpt from an article somebody else wrote
    “A critical assumption used in carbon-14 dating has to do with this ratio. It is assumed that the ratio of 14C to 12C in the atmosphere has always been the same as it is today (1 to 1 trillion). If this assumption is true, then the AMS 14C dating method is valid up to about 80,000 years. Beyond this number, the instruments scientists use would not be able to detect enough remaining 14C to be useful in age estimates. This is a critical assumption in the dating process. If this assumption is not true, then the method will give incorrect dates. What could cause this ratio to change? If the production rate of 14C in the atmosphere is not equal to the removal rate (mostly through decay), this ratio will change. In other words, the amount of 14C being produced in the atmosphere must equal the amount being removed to be in a steady state (also called “equilibrium”). If this is not true, the ratio of 14C to 12C is not a constant, which would make knowing the starting amount of 14C in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine.

    Dr. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon-14 dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant. His reasoning was based on a belief in evolution, which assumes the earth must be billions of years old. Assumptions in the scientific community are extremely important. If the starting assumption is false, all the calculations based on that assumption might be correct but still give a wrong conclusion.

    In Dr. Libby’s original work, he noted that the atmosphere did not appear to be in equilibrium. This was a troubling idea for Dr. Libby since he believed the world was billions of years old and enough time had passed to achieve equilibrium. Dr. Libby’s calculations showed that if the earth started with no 14C in the atmosphere, it would take up to 30,000 years to build up to a steady state (equilibrium).

    If the cosmic radiation has remained at its present intensity for 20,000 or 30,000 years, and if the carbon reservoir has not changed appreciably in this time, then there exists at the present time a complete balance between the rate of disintegration of radiocarbon atoms and the rate of assimilation of new radiocarbon atoms for all material in the life-cycle.2

    Dr. Libby chose to ignore this discrepancy (nonequilibrium state), and he attributed it to experimental error. However, the discrepancy has turned out to be very real. The ratio of 14C /12C is not constant.

    The Specific Production Rate (SPR) of C-14 is known to be 18.8 atoms per gram of total carbon per minute. The Specific Decay Rate (SDR) is known to be only 16.1 disintegrations per gram per minute.3

    What does this mean? If it takes about 30,000 years to reach equilibrium and 14C is still out of equilibrium, then maybe the earth is not very old.”

    Outside of any written account (That of Josephus, the bible doesn’t actually declare a certain age) I have no idea what the age of the earth is nor can it be proven. All creationists can do is show the problems with current dating methods to show that millions of years can be questioned. You have to understand, I never tried to change anybodies mind. I just put some information out there for people to see to understand that everything isn’t quite as it seems. You don’t have to accept it, I’m not trying to change your mind, I’m only defending my position of why i don’t accept millions of years as fact or as something that is going to change my view of scripture. Ultimately though, written accounts that are true can provide us with a framework and some history to help with our investigations. If Josephus has provided us with an actual account of history from the time of Adam to the end of his writing then the world is only a little over 7,000 years old. The kicker is this, we have a written account that was written to us claiming actual history telling us the earth is only 7,000+ years old and you deny that as being a fact and a true story in favor of what we know is a made up story by people that got their information from their own assumptions and accept that as fact and as more trustworthy than what was passed down from generation to generation eventually reaching people that were actually there.

  106. paynehollow says:

    Wiley, could I ask a few background questions…?

    Were/are you a scientist/geologist of some sort who started with the rest of the scientific community on the age of the earth and then moved to a “Young Earth” theory because of the evidence, or are you a Christian who believes in a YE who chose the YE science-y theories that matched your Christian beliefs? If the latter, do you think that’s a wise way to go about doing science?

    Do you have any textual reasons (beyond your belief that Paul/Jesus spoke of Adam/Eve which makes you think they took them as literal people in a literal timeline) that you would argue to someone who does not share your preexisting beliefs to make your case that this is not, as it seems on the face of it, mythic storytelling?

    Do you have a bias against the notion of Myth, itself? (That is, I’ve heard some people suggest that myth=lying and why would God lie?… which suggests to me a bias against those ancient cultures who told myths as a way of understanding the world.) Do you think Myth is a perfectly acceptable storytelling convention, not unlike parable, and just don’t think this story fits the myth “type,” or is your presumption against myth based on the bias that it is an inferior literary device?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  107. Wiley,

    Since your posting Creationist stuff, let me post some real science written by a real scientist that debunks everything you’re saying. I want to make sure everyone is able to read it well, so I’m going to post it here without blocks. From here on, everything you read was written by someone other than myself…

    Radioactive Dating

    Radiometric dating is a means of determining the “age” of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements. By “age” we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed.

    Radioactive elements “decay” (that is, change into other elements) by “half lives.” If a half life is equal to one year, then one half of the radioactive element will have decayed in the first year after the mineral was formed; one half of the remainder will decay in the next year (leaving one-fourth remaining), and so forth. The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life (in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives).

    If we knew the fraction of a radioactive element still remaining in a mineral, it would be a simple matter to calculate its age by the formula

    log F = (N/H)log(1/2)

    where: F = fraction remaining
    N = number of years
    and H = half life.

    To determine the fraction still remaining, we must know both the amount now present and also the amount present when the mineral was formed. Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain:

    By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary. An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope. For example, uranium-238 is an isotope of uranium-235, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus. It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn’t be uranium. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called its atomic number. The sum of protons plus neutrons is the mass number.

    We designate a specific group of atoms by using the term “nuclide.” A nuclide refers to a group of atoms with specified atomic number and mass number.

    Potassium-Argon dating:

    The element potassium (symbol K) has three nuclides, K39, K40, and K41. Only K40 is radioactive; the other two are stable. K40 can decay in two different ways: it can break down into either calcium or argon. The ratio of calcium formed to argon formed is fixed and known. Therefore the amount of argon formed provides a direct measurement of the amount of potassium-40 present in the specimen when it was originally formed.

    Because argon is an inert gas, it is not possible that it might have been in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma. Any argon present in a mineral containing potassium-40 must have been formed as the result of radioactive decay. F, the fraction of K40 remaining, is equal to the amount of potassium-40 in the sample, divided by the sum of potassium-40 in the sample plus the calculated amount of potassium required to produce the amount of argon found. The age can then be calculated from equation (1).

    In spite of the fact that it is a gas, the argon is trapped in the mineral and can’t escape. (Creationists claim that argon escape renders age determinations invalid. However, any escaping argon gas would lead to a determined age younger, not older, than actual. The creationist “argon escape” theory does not support their young earth model.)

    The argon age determination of the mineral can be confirmed by measuring the loss of potassium. In old rocks, there will be less potassium present than was required to form the mineral, because some of it has been transmuted to argon. The decrease in the amount of potassium required to form the original mineral has consistently confirmed the age as determined by the amount of argon formed.

    Rubidium-Strontium dating:

    The nuclide rubidium-87 decays, with a half life of 48.8 billion years, to strontium-87. Strontium-87 is a stable element; it does not undergo further radioactive decay. (Do not confuse with the highly radioactive isotope, strontium-90.) Strontium occurs naturally as a mixture of several nuclides, including the stable isotope strontium-86. If three different strontium-containing minerals form at the same time in the same magma, each strontium containing mineral will have the same ratios of the different strontium nuclides, since all strontium nuclides behave the same chemically. (Note that this does not mean that the ratios are the same everywhere on earth. It merely means that the ratios are the same in the particular magma from which the test sample was later taken.) As strontium-87 forms, its ratio to strontium-86 will increase. Strontium-86 is a stable element that does not undergo radioactive change. In addition, it is not formed as the result of a radioactive decay process. The amount of strontium-86 in a given mineral sample will not change. Therefore the relative amounts of rubidium-87 and strontium-87 can be determined by expressing their ratios to strontium-86: Rb-87/Sr-86 and Sr87/Sr-86 We measure the amounts of rubidium-87 and strontium-87 as ratios to an unchanging content of strontium-86.

    Because of radioactivity, the fraction of rubidium-87 decreases from an initial value of 100% at the time of formation of the mineral, and approaches zero with increasing number of half lives. At the same time, the fraction of strontium-87 increases from zero and approaches 100% with increasing number of half-lives. The two curves cross each other at half life = 1.00. At this point the fraction of
    Rb87 = Sr87 = 0.500; at half life = 2.00, Rb87 = 25% and Sr87 = 75%, and so on.

    VIEW GRAPH

    These lines are called “isochrons”. The steeper the slope of the isochron, the more half lives it represents.

    When the fraction of rubidium-87 is plotted against the fraction of strontium-87 for a number of different minerals from the same magma an isochron is obtained. If the points lie on a straight line, this indicates that the data is consistent and probably accurate. An example of this can be found in Strahler, Fig 17.5, page 133:

    VIEW GRAPH

    If the strontium-87 isotope was not present in the mineral at the time it was formed from the molten magma, then the geometry of the plotted isochron lines requires that they all intersect the origin, as shown in figure 17.3. However, if strontium 87 was present in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma, that amount will be shown by an intercept of the isochron lines on the y-axis, as shown in Fig 17.5 above. Thus it is possible to correct for strontium-87 initially present.

    Comparing figures 17.2 and 17.3, it is obvious that the steeper the slope of the isochron line, the greater the number of half lives, and the older the sample. The age of the sample can be obtained by choosing the origin at the y intercept. In Fig 17.5 the isochron line has a slope of 0.005/0.105 = 0.048 and intersects the Sr87 axis at 0.699 = y intercept. Note that the amounts of rubidium 87 and strontium 87 are given as ratios to an inert isotope, strontium 86. However, in calculating the ratio of Rb87 to Sr87, we can use a simple analytical geometry solution to the plotted data. Again referring to Fig. 17.3, the slope of the strontium-87/rubidium-87 line is -1, and y = 1-x. Therefore, with the origin placed at the y intercept, the intersection of the Rb/Sr line and the isochron line can be obtained by solving the equation 1-x = 0.048x, giving the result x = 0.954, which is the rubidium-87/strontium-86 ratio corresponding to the given isochron line.(The corresponding strontium-87/strontium-86 ratio is 1.000 – 0.954 = 0.046) Thus the fraction of Rb87 decayed is 0.954. Since the half-life of Rb87 is 48.8 billion years, we can substitute in the half-life equation: 0.954 = (1/2) raised to the power (age/48.8), where age = age in billions of years.
    Therefore: log(.954) = (age/48.8)(log 1/2).
    This solves to age = 3.3 billion years.

    When properly carried out, radioactive dating test procedures have shown consistent and close agreement among the various methods. If the same result is obtained sample after sample, using different test procedures based on different decay sequences, and carried out by different laboratories, that is a pretty good indication that the age determinations are accurate. Of course, test procedures, like anything else, can be screwed up. Samples can be contaminated and/or improperly prepared. Mistakes can be made at the time a procedure is first being developed. Creationists seize upon any isolated reports of improperly run tests and try to categorize them as representing general shortcomings of the test procedure. This like saying if my watch isn’t running, then all watches are useless for keeping time.

    Creationists also attack radioactive dating with the argument that half-lives were different in the past than they are at present. There is no more reason to believe that than to believe that at some time in the past iron did not rust and wood did not burn. Furthermore, astronomical data show that radioactive half-lives in elements in stars billions of light years away is the same as presently measured.

    On pages 358 and 359 of The Genesis Flood, creationist authors Whitcomb and Morris present an argument to try to convince the reader that ages of mineral specimens determined by radioactivity measurements are much greater than the “true” (i.e. Biblical) ages. The mathematical procedures employed are totally inconsistent with reality. Henry Morris has a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering, so it would seem that he would know better than to author such nonsense. Apparently, he did know better, because he qualifies the exposition in a footnote stating:

    This discussion is not meant to be an exact exposition of radiogenic age computation; the relation is mathematically more complicated than the direct proportion assumed for the illustration. Nevertheless, the principles described are substantially applicable to the actual relationship.

    Morris states that the production rate of an element formed by radioactive decay is constant with time. This is not true, although for a short period of time (compared to the length of the half life) the change in production rate may be very small. Radioactive elements decay by half-lives. At the end of the first half life, only half of the radioactive element remains, and therefore the production rate of the element formed by radioactive decay will be only half of what it was at the beginning.

    The authors state on p. 358:

    If these elements existed also as the result of direct creation, it is reasonable to assume that they existed in these same proportions. Say, then, that their initial amounts are represented by quantities of A and cA respectively. [c being the ratio of the initial amounts of the two elements at the moment of “creation.”] Now if at some time the incidence of environmental radiation is increased, both [decay] rates will be increased in roughly these same proportions; assume that both are multiplied by a factor k and that the increased rates persist throughout a length of time T’. Prior to this time the normal rates applied and persisted, say, for a time To, and following this period they applied again for a
    time of T*.

    Morris makes a number of unsupported assumptions:
    (1) His basic equation states that the amount of a daughter element formed = A + R(T), where A = amount existing at the “moment of creation,” T = time from creation, and R is an unchanging rate of formation. An unchanging value of R requires that the rate of decay is constant with time, meaning that if, for example, 1% of the element decays in a year’s time, at the end of a hundred years it will be all gone. This is not correct; radioactive elements decay by half lives, as explained in the first paragraphs of this post.
    (2)He stated that “Environmental radiation” can change the rate of decay of radioactive elements. There is absolutely no evidence to support this assumption, and a great deal of evidence that electromagnetic radiation does not affect the rate of decay of terrestrial radioactive elements.
    (3)He postulates that the environmental radiation would spontaneously manifest itself, and at a later time, spontaneously disappear.
    (4)He assumes that the environmental radiation would penetrate the earth’s crust, with no diminution in intensity, and affect all radioactive elements in the same way and to the same degree, but without affecting any living things that might be present.
    He sums it up with the equations:
    A + R(To) + k(R)(T’) + R(T*) = Quantity of first element, and
    cA + cR(To) + k(cR)(T’) + cR(T*) = Quantity of second element.

    He then calculates an “age” for the first element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate, R; and an “age” for the second element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate, cR. It’s obvious from the above two equations that the result shows the same age for both elements, which is:

    A/R + To + k(T’) + T*. Since the actual age would necessarily be
    To + T’ + T*, Morris concludes that the age determined by radioactive measurements is necessarily greater than the true age.

    Of course, the mathematics are completely wrong. The correct relation can obtained by rearranging the equation given at the beginning of this post: the number of years N corresponding to a rate of decay (properly expressed as the half-life = H) is:
    N = H[log(F)/log(1/2)]

    Where F = fraction of original element remaining.

    For a half life of 1000 years, the following table shows the fraction remaining for various time periods:

    Fraction remaining: 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.1
    Corresponding number of years: 152 514 737 1000 1737 3322

    By way of contrast, the following table displays the incorrect values calculated on the basis of the Morris straight line relationship: amount = A + R(T)

    Morris identifies the rate of daughter element production as R, with no reference to the effect of the amount of parent element on the rate R. In all his mathematics, R is taken as a constant value. We may therefore set R as equal to the initial rate in the above table:
    R = 0.1/152 = 0.000658

    Calculating, using the Morris equation: amount formed = R(T), the amount of element (expressed as a fraction of the amount of the parent element) formed for the same time periods in the above table is:

    Number of years: 152 514 737 1000 1737 3322
    Fraction formed: 0.1 0.34 0.48 0.66 1.14 2.18
    Fraction remaining: 0.9 0.66 0.52 0.34 (-)0.14 (-)1.18

    Morris’ equations would indicate that after 1520 years the amount of parent element would be completely gone, but the daughter element would nevertheless continue to be formed!

    THE END

    Wiley,

    I posted the entire thing because I want to make sure it’s clear to everyone and that people read it. It clearly explains the way half-life is calculated and the way scientists know it decays at a constant rate. There is simply no credible Creationist rebuttal.

  108. wiley16350 says:

    @ Terrance, I will review that article, but I know I won’t get to it or respond over the weekend. I am going back to my hometown for a visit throughout the weekend and will be way to busy to really go over the article you provided and see if there is any recognizable problems with it or not. After skimming it, It is possible that creationists don’t really disagree with what is written except with his proclamation that a change of decay rate is preposterous. I do know that the majority of the creationists focus is research with decay rates. Barry Setterfield has done research, ICR’s RATE team has done research and I am sure AIG has done research into decay rates. That seems to be their main focus. So it may be possible that they see no holes in the assumptions of parent and daughter elements. That’s all I have time for right now. Have a great weekend.

  109. paynehollow says:

    Hey, I agree totally with you on that last one, John!

    ~Dan

  110. There really isn’t a lot of Christ-like conversation going on here. Between calling people idiots and making fun of the ministry of Answers In Genesis I’d say that God is displeased and it gives skeptics and other antagonists more reason to mock.

  111. paynehollow says:

    For my part, I’m not making fun of AIG, I’m saying they ain’t scientists, they’re folk with an agenda of trying to find science-y answers to support their religious presuppositions. They may be great guys, fun to hang out with, and run a great amusement park, but they aren’t scientists and are not using a scientific approach to finding facts.

    Mr Tags, a question of you: Do you think it wise to start with an agenda/belief system, and then try to find facts that support your agenda/beliefs, or do you think it wisest to seek Truth and Facts and go where they may lead you?

    Were you a science-believing guy who studied the science and that led you to a belief in a 6,000 year old earth or did you start with the belief that the earth was 6,000 years old and then try to find “science” to support your presupposition?

    ~Dan

  112. I see no one with a millions-of-years view has answered why they ignore “evening and morning” in Genesis. I suppose “evening” means “half of a long time” and “morning” means “the other half of a long time.” The plain meaning of the text leads to a 24-hour day. An eisegetical hermeneutics shoehorns millions of years into the text. I do not argue that there is some evidence that gives the universe an appearance of age, but there is also evidence that demonstrates a younger universe. Because the plain meaning of the text leads to a 24-hour day interpretation and there is plenty of evidence to conclude the universe is younger than billions of years, I lean to the side of the plain meaning of God’s Word. I am not like some who dismiss science as opposed to God. Science is not opposed to God. Some scientists are. Where science finds truth, it is God’s truth. Where science makes conclusions that appear to be opposed to God’s Word, I will believe God’s Word. Let God be true and every man a liar. Taking a position simply because most of scientists take that position is not good enough for me.

    Dismissing Answers In Genesis and “young earth creationists” as “unscientific” is the same fallacy that atheists/naturalists fall into in saying those who believe in God are unscientific. It is lazy to dismiss, disparage and not engage those who oppose your position.

  113. It’s not just that the universe and Earth appear old, they test old. This distinction is important.

    Secondly, the terms “morning” and “evening” were frequently used figuratively. Psalm 90, attributed to the author of Genesis, says human beings are like grass, declaring “…though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.”

    Nobody has seen grass spring up in the morning and be dead by evening – and I’ll bet Moses never saw it either. Instead, Moses has in mind the grass of the Levant, which begins to grow in November and then begins withering and dying in March. Clearly, therefore, “morning” means a period of growth and “evening” a period of death.

    It’s the same song in Pslam 30. It’s the same song throughout the Bible. “Morning” and “Evening” are often used figuratively. I see no reason this couldn’t be true in the Creation story as well.

  114. I think the Creation Museum is sort of neat, actually. I don’t agree with their interpretation of the scientific data. But I think it’s neat anyway.

  115. @ Terrance

    Despite the fact that they were one day old, would not Adam and Eve as adults have “tested” old too?

    The point is, during the creation process God created things that were mature. Vegetation and animals were created in a way that they didn’t have to go through the maturity process, they were already mature, and there’s no reason why this same principle couldn’t be applied to the universal bodies and the substance of the earth itself.

    Not going to get in any lengthy discussion, just wanted to bring the point up. To the people of God the existence of life created by the hand of God is a matter of faith, not science (Hebrews 11:3) Always has been, always will be.

  116. Eugene,

    So, basically, God misled us. Since God is omniscient then He knew human beings would eventually devise scientific techniques to age our planet.

    If I have to choose between believing God is a liar or Christians are simply misinterpreting Genesis, I choose the latter.

  117. You’re missing the point with the maturity and age thing. Just as the living creatures of creation were immediately ready to reproduce due their artificially “aged” state the same could be same for the non-living substance of creation that was “new” but it would have the appearance, the substance and the utility of aged materials.

    Besides that, the Jews, including Jesus, understood and believed that Moses referred to literal days, as the example of the Sabbath shows.

    The big problem with calling the days of creation just symbolic days is that it’s bad hermeneutics. If the days were symbolic then so was Adam and Eve. And if Adam and Eve were symbolic then that means their children were symbolic. And on and on it goes completely ignoring the lineage of Jesus given by the writers of Matthew and Luke. On and on it goes ignoring the references of creation completed by God made in the Law, the Psalms and the prophets.

    Like I said in my original comment – science says a three day old dead person has no business coming back to life, but you don’t question what the Bible says there in comparison to science, but yet science says “the earth must be billions of years old – the evidence demands it” and then that makes the Bible take a back seat??? Makes no sense whatsoever.

  118. Eugene,

    You’re still arguing that God is a liar. And so we see just how far Creationists will go to rationalize their misinterpretation.

    Secondly, NOBODY – save Dan – is saying the days are “symbolic”; we’re saying there’s other possible meanings of the Hebrew word that not only make more sense to the story of Genesis, but completely agree with the scientific data.

    Your last point is not relevant since there was no misleading. Jesus died, then came back to life. God is certainly capable of this. God is certainly capable of artificially aging the Earth, too. The difference is that there is no deception in the former.

  119. @ Terrance

    What in the world are you talking about? God misleading us? The Bible speaks plainly enough concerning the creation. Science says people don’t come back from the dead too. You have to make a choice – science or faith. Can it both? Yes. Can it always be both? No.

    If you’re going to take the route of “days = millennia’s” then you must believe that humans also “evolved” over time and millennia’s too. So much for being made in the image of God.

    That is unless you believe that for some reason God took millennia’s to create the world, the birds, the sea life, the vegetation, the animals but then all of a sudden he said, “Adults in a literal day.” But for some reason He couldn’t do that with the rest. Makes no sense.

  120. I don’t understand your point regarding the Sabbath. People clearly aren’t capable of resting for the amount of time “yom” clearly signifies (unless they’re dead), so we symbolically rest in accordance with our capabilities.

  121. Eugene,

    The Bible doesn’t give the age of the Earth, so, no, it doesn’t “speak plainly” on the matter, and I wish Creationists would quit saying so. Nowhere in the Bible is the age of 6,000 years given. But if indeed it was created 6,000 years ago, then clearly God mislead us by artificially aging the Earth.

    Like I said, there is no deception in the resurrection.

    Besides, John’s orignal point stands: age is not the same as maturity.

  122. Last comment then I’m finished. These conversations always prove to be fruitless with who are more concerned about the what the worldly evidence says instead of what the Bible teaches.

    God is a deceiver because He made aged things of the Earth instantly, huh? So I guess He was a deceiver in that He instantly created fruit trees with fruit and that fully grown adult and a wife from his rib too? Ignore and explain away the miraculous of Genesis and the miraculous of Exodus through Jude goes with it. Can’t have it both ways.

  123. Eugene,

    The Bible doesn’t teach the Earth is only 6,000 years old. And since the Bible doesn’t give the age of the Earth, then obviously God is a deceiver if indeed it was created a mere 6,000 years ago like Creationists claim. To get around this, Creationists deny the validity of the scientific methods used to age the Earth. Nothing but end-arounds.

  124. paynehollow says:

    DogTags…

    I see no one with a millions-of-years view has answered why they ignore “evening and morning” in Genesis.

    If you take the text to be, as it obviously seems to be, a mythic/figurative text, you’re not ignoring “evening and morning,” you’re taking the text to be figurative. Again, Occam’s razor: The simplest explanation is most likely the right one.

    Again: How do you make your case for someone who isn’t starting with your cultural biases? On what rational basis would we demand this text should be taken literally when it begs to be taken figuratively?

    ~Dan

  125. paynehollow says:

    DogTags…

    Dismissing Answers In Genesis and “young earth creationists” as “unscientific” is the same fallacy

    We (I) dismiss them as unscientific because they don’t embrace scientific methods. They are starting with a presumption and then seeking evidence to support the presumption, as opposed to testing theories and going where the evidence leads. That is at its core, an anti-scientific approach to research.

    ~Dan

  126. Dan,

    You’re saying about creationists the same thing that is said about ID proponents. It assumes there is only 1 scientific method. But the method old earth proponents insist upon was not what Darwin used. I haven’t studied AIG stuff, so I can’t say exactly what is what as far as that goes. But, as none of us are scientists, we simply choose to believe who we want to believe. I do not put as much faith into science as many here seem to as it means, especially as far as the age of the universe goes, that they are incapable of mistake.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    To all, regardless of Terrance’s offerings, it still depends upon assumptions since there is no way to validate the past as far back as their calculations are supposed to see. There’s no way to check for accuracy. Thus, they can be totally full of crap but unable to see it.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Further, to suppose that perhaps God was being deceptive is not the only possibility. The disparity between Scripture and old universe science only means that perhaps what science thinks is true is not. I do not think we must insist that God needs to create the universe to satisfy this debate and resolve what is not clear to us. From His perspective, it’s possible He can’t believe how stupid we are to have not found the truth yet. But to suppose He purposely created all things intentionally to appear old, rather than the appearance simply being a result of the miracle of creation, and we haven’t been able to truly read the evidence, assumes mankind is more intelligent than it is.

  127. paynehollow says:

    So, Marshall, do you think that the ONLY reasonable approach to this text is to read it literally, or do you think it entirely reasonable to have multiple opinions out there – including that the text is half literal or entirely figurative?

    If we flawed humanity are too dense to “get it” when it comes to the science, could it not also be the case that we’re too dense to “get it” when it comes to taking the text literally? And that it’s possible that God can’t believe how stupid we are for trying to take obviously figurative text as literal?

    For those who don’t share your cultural biases, on what basis would you insist that they should take this text literally when it seems to be obviously figurative?

    ~Dan

  128. As Adam was created with the appearance of age, so was the universe. Maturity is not the same thing as age.

    Payne(Dan) you are certainly turning Occam’s Razor on its head. The simpler explanation is certainly not adding billions of years to “evening and morning.” The first rule of logic is the law of identity: something is what it is and is not what it is not. Evening and morning describing the first day is what it is and is not what it is not. Occam’s Razor insists the plain meaning of day is 24-hours.

    Answers In Genesis does not reject the scientific method. Just because you reject their conclusions (likely because of your own cultural biases) does not mean they reached their conclusions unscientifically.

  129. I do not deny the use of the scientific method. To argue so is simply to make a lazy strawman argument. I deny the conclusions because your use of the scientific method is filled with erroneous assumptions and incorrect presuppositions.

  130. paynehollow says:

    DogTags…

    The first rule of logic is the law of identity: something is what it is and is not what it is not. Evening and morning describing the first day is what it is and is not what it is not.

    And the first rule of textual studies is to understand the literary style being used. Clearly, this is written in a figurative style. A literal Day, Morning and Evening simply makes no sense given what we know, a literal Adam and Eve don’t really make rational sense. Beyond that, the text does not ask us to take it literally.

    The simplest conclusion is that the text is written in just what it seems to be written in: A figurative style. The ancient Hebrews would recognize the poetic style being used, the parallels, pairings, repetitions, etc. And we can recognize that not only is it using a poetic style, but a figurative style.

    What I’m asking is that you all step outside of your own cultural boundaries and try to take a look at the text objectively, as if for the first time:

    DogTags, setting aside what you may believe is obvious, do you recognize that, for other people coming to this text – people without your shared cultural background and/or a cultural inclination to take it literally, that nearly universally people would take it as figurative?

    If so, on what rational basis would you ask such people to accept that it is best taken as a literal retelling of Creation?

    ~Dan

  131. Dan,

    Don’t pretend you can speak for what people would perceive “universally”. You are projecting. You speak of Genesis “based on what we know”, and that indicates your bias when reading Genesis. Dog Tags states the first rule applies to the text and you place a later rule before it. You also make an assertion regarding how the ancient Hebrews would understand the text as if they would know immediately what was meant by “day” without being told. There’s no way you could make that assertion and put it out as factual.

    Regarding your first response, I quite sure I was clear when I said I make no claims regarding the truth about creation other than I have no problem with Scripture being true in a literal sense, nor do I have a problem with the truth being something else. I do have a problem with those who think that scientists and their methods and tools are so perfect that we can put blind faith in their results as being accurate. As regards creation, scientists “know” little. They know what their methods and tools tell them. They don’t “know” that what their methods tell them is accurate.

  132. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    You speak of Genesis “based on what we know”, and that indicates your bias when reading Genesis.

    I will remind you that my pre-existing bias was to take it literally. For me, what ultimately has changed my mind was not the science, but the text. I just read the Bible, I read Genesis and find no rational, biblical reason to think that this passage is not reasonably, biblically to be taken literally. I’m not a scientist nor do I understand all the science involved in the question. but I am a reader and I do have understanding.

    Marshall…

    Dog Tags states the first rule applies to the text and you place a later rule before it.

    ? DogTags DID offer an opinion about a “first rule,” but on what basis would we take that “first rule” as coming before taking a text in the style that it is written? Who says my “rule” is a “later rule…? No one.

    Do you disagree with me that the first thing (or, one of the first things, anyway) you must do to understand a text is understand its literary style/tools?

    IF you were reading this text for the first time with no outside references or preexisting prejudice one way or the other, would you think this is a figurative text or literal?

    And I ask again: For those who don’t share your cultural biases, on what basis would you insist that they should take this text literally when it seems to be obviously figurative?

    ~Dan

  133. People who argue that the science is all based on assumption simply haven’t read my “offerings.” It explains it well.

  134. Terrance,

    No one is saying that science is “all” based on assumption. I’m saying that your offerings rely on the assumption that their methods can see into the past well beyond the very birth of the methods themselves and do so with the accuracy they claim. It is an assumption because there is no way to confirm what they claim to prove. They might feel confident in their calculations, but that is still assumption by definition. Unless of course you are aware of a time machine I haven’t heard of.

  135. Dan,

    “…I do have understanding.” This is far more debatable than the accuracy of science OR Scripture.

    The question of “first rule” is self-evident, even if one’s subsequent conclusions contradict. One reads something and unless it states otherwise, it is not unreasonable to take it literally at first, even if only briefly. Yet there is nothing within the text that suggests it isn’t told in a most straightforward notion. You continue to insist that it is written in a particular style that should not be taken literally, but you can offer no proof that Scripture was written in this style.

    I certainly can’t rely on what YOU think it “seems” to be, since your understanding insists there is some justification for SSM.

  136. No one is saying that science is “all” based on assumption. I’m saying that your offerings rely on the assumption that their methods can see into the past well beyond the very birth of the methods themselves and do so with the accuracy they claim.

    This doesn’t make any sense, Marshall. Do you know how half-life is determined?

    Simply, you determine the amount of a given element and then divide that number by the amount remaining after a period of time. We can verify the accuracy of radiometric dating by dating elements with short half-lives that allow humans to witness it with their own eyes, like Sulfur-35 and Phosphorus-32, which can be tested in mere days. You also have Hydrogen-3 which can be tested in under 20 years.

    So, it’s simply inaccurate to claim it’s an assumption. It’s not. Scientists have proven their ability to determine an element’s rate of decay – and even Creationist websites like Answers In Genesis admit this.

  137. I’ve not heard a single, solitary objection that was in any sense reasonable. Nor am I able to determine why Creationists believe their position is somehow the default and doesn’t require any explanation.

    Furthermore, I’ve not read one person explain why radiometric dating is verified by dendrochronology, varve chronology, speloeotherms, fission tract dating, ice cores, and electron resonance dating. All of which place the Earth well beyond 6,000 years and prove that isotopic decay is completely predictable and doesn’t change over time. And the fact radiometric dating is cross-checked with other isotopes? Ignored.

    Yep. All wrong.

  138. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    One reads something and unless it states otherwise, it is not unreasonable to take it literally at first, even if only briefly. Yet there is nothing within the text that suggests it isn’t told in a most straightforward notion.

    The text itself is written in a figurative style.

    Again, I ask the simple question, if you read a story written in a poetic style that ends with the following:

    And THAT is how the tiger got his stripes
    And THAT is the world received many languages
    And THAT is why the sun rises in the East
    And THAT is why the moon goes away and returns each month…

    etc… When you read stories like that, does it not sound, just on the face of it, like obvious Mythical, figurative languages? Do you recognize, at least, that for most people (I’m guessing) it probably does sound figurative?

    I’m saying the sound, the poetry, the figurative-ness of the text itself IS evidence within the text. I think you would agree if you read this sort of language in any other book, don’t you agree? That if you read any stories like this in any other text, you would say, “Yes, that seems obviously figurative,” right?

    So, again, I would ask: For those who don’t share your cultural biases, on what basis would you insist that they should take this text literally when it seems to be obviously figurative?

    Marshall…

    I certainly can’t rely on what YOU think it “seems” to be, since your understanding insists there is some justification for SSM.

    Fortunately, I’m not asking you to rely on what seems rational to me. I’m just expecting you and yours to extend the same grace to others that you expect for yourself.

    And again, in ANY OTHER TEXT, I think you would agree that the literal text SEEMS to be figurative, in a straightforward, unbiased reading, so I’m just appealing to that side of your reason, not for you to take me at my word.

    ~Dan

  139. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Don’t pretend you can speak for what people would perceive “universally”.

    Here are some texts, Bubba, stripped of context of where they are from. Do you think they are figurative texts or literal ones?

    “I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.”

    Figurative or literal?

    ” In those days, Heaven (Rangi) and Earth (Papa) clung closely together, and all was darkness. Rangi and Papa had six sons: Tane-mahuta, the father of the forests and their inhabitants; Tawhiri-ma-tea, the father of winds and storms; Tangaroa, the father of fish and reptiles; Tu-matauenga, the father of fierce human beings; Haumia-tikitiki, the father of food that grows without cultivation; and Rongo-ma-tane, the father of cultivated food.”

    Figurative or literal?

    “When heaven and earth began, three deities came into being, The Spirit Master of the Center of Heaven, The August Wondrously Producing Spirit, and the Divine Wondrously Producing Ancestor. These three were invisible. The earth was young then, and land floated like oil, and from it reed shoots sprouted. ”

    Figurative or literal?

    “As for Owl, Owl knew if he angered the Everything-Maker again, he would lose all that he had gained. Even today, Owl only comes out at night, when the Everything-Maker is fast asleep.”

    Figurative or literal?

    Need I go on? Many stories are, on the face of them, figurative, just based on the text. Do you disagree in any of these cases that, devoid of a cultural biases, that nearly universally, we would all agree that these are obviously figurative?

    ~Dan

  140. Dan, you are simply wrong that Genesis compels a figurative reading.

  141. Payne, if you reject a literal Adam and Eve you are essentially saying Jesus is a liar. He insisted it was a literal Adam and Eve in Matthew 19:4. “From the beginning he made them male and female.” Insisting on a figurative reading demonstrates your cultural baggage. Jesus compels a literal understanding of Adam and Eve. If you reject a literal Adam and Eve, how can you trust anything he said? Or does Jesus’ opinion not matter? I suppose Jesus’ literal creation narrative is a rational reason to understand a 24-hour day.

    Your insistence on billions of years is driving your turning the plain meaning of the language into a figurative interpretation.

  142. @ DogTags

    Already tried that route man. It was ignored. Somehow God is not a deceiver for creating an adult male and female in one day, but He is for creating an “adult” earth. God is not a deceiver for instantly creating a tree in a mature state, but He is for creating a “mature” sedimentary process. Makes no sense.

    How was the earth made? “And God said….” It’s a matter of faith, not science (Hebrews 11:3).

    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

    Sounds like God Himself considered the days to be literal since He was the one that passed along the above verses (Exodus 20:1).

  143. Dan,

    I am not concerned with how any other text “sounds”. I do NOT compare any other text to Scripture. Scripture is unique. There is none like it. It speaks of the One True God and not a mythical god. You want to compare the text of Scripture based on the texts of other books. I do not as I consider Scripture to be distinctly different and above all other texts that appear to you to be similar.

  144. Terrance.

    I don’t know any better way to explain it. I’m not really concerned with your offerings, but with your (and scientists’) absolute belief in the infallibility of their methods and tools.

    What’s more, if we assume the absolute infallibility of scientific methods and tools, they still cannot determine that which is the result of the miraculous, which creation is. What remains after a miracle will appear to have always been.

  145. Marshal,

    You can’t make an inherently indefensible suggestion sound any better. I listed well over eight methods used to determine the age of the Earth and they ALL agree. THAT is why I believe the Earth is billions of years old, your straw man aside.

    And I don’t know why you’re commenting to me anyway, Marshall, since you just admitted that you’re not “concerned” with any thing I say or offer. You don’t have an open-mind on this issue. You believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis and that’s all there is to it.

  146. It seems rather backward thinking when people insist that a billions-of-years meaning of day is required by the text but those who do not read it “figuratively” (payne’s word) are the ones who bring cultural baggage to the argument. The plain meaning of the text (exegesis), the words of Jesus himself, the evidence of a universe younger than billions of years old trumps unreliable dating methods that lend themselves to beliefs of an origin without God.

  147. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    I am not concerned with how any other text “sounds”. I do NOT compare any other text to Scripture. Scripture is unique. There is none like it.

    We recognize poetry as poetry when it “sounds” like poetry; ie, when it is written in one of the traditional poetry styles.

    We recognize mythic and epic stories when they “sound” like those styles; ie, when they are written in that style.

    If you are serious about textual study of any text, of course you would be interested in how that text “sounds,” ie, what style it is written in.

    Why are you not interested in how any and all texts “sound,” Marshall?

    And again, I’m asking why anyone should share your particular religious presumptions? The text appears to be written in a poetic, figurative style? The Bible does not tell us to take this text literally. On what rational literary basis would anyone go along with this opinion?

    DogTags…

    if you reject a literal Adam and Eve you are essentially saying Jesus is a liar. He insisted it was a literal Adam and Eve in Matthew 19:4. “From the beginning he made them male and female.”

    This is a presumption not based on fact. I and people like me would and have often said things like “From the beginning, God made them male and female…” We refer to Adam/Eve. We refer to Jonah and the story of Babel and other stories that sound to us to be obviously mythic/figurative. We don’t refer to these stories because we believe them to be factual, we refer to them because figurative story references are a shorthand way of expressing an idea.

    “From the beginning, God made us, male and female…” is simply a way of saying that God has always been in the Creator, regardless of whether you take this story literally or not.

    One need not presume that Jesus would be “lying” if he referred to these stories. In that text, Jesus literally did NOT “insist” it was a literal Adam and Eve. He referred to them, but it could just as easily have been in the same sense that I refer to them.

    Do you see my point?

    When we read any text, and especially a text we consider sacred, we should not project our opinions on to the text. Jesus did not “insist” on a literal A/E, that is a modernistic eisegesis, it is not in the text.

    Dogtags…

    you are simply wrong that Genesis compels a figurative reading.

    Okay, so on what basis would anyone who does not share your cultural biases take this text as literal, when it seems obviously figurative? Make your case.

    Do you agree with me that each of those other texts I offered above SOUND obviously figurative? (And by “sounds,” I mean they are written in a figurative style).

    Do you agree with me and serious textual scholars that it is important (vital!) to distinguish the literary styles and devices being used when studying a text?

    And since you all aren’t so good at answering questions, let me just help out and you can tell me if I’m mistaken anywhere…

    Do those texts I quoted above ALL sound as if they were written in a figurative style?

    Yes, of course they do. Obviously so.

    Is there any reason to assume that these quotes SHOULD be taken literally, or is the obvious figurative style they are written in reason enough to assume they are figurative?

    No, there is no reason t assume they are written literally, not that I can think of.

    So then, on what basis should someone think that the Genesis text is not also figurative? For someone who does not share your cultural bias, is there any reason they should think the Genesis text is different than these other texts?

    No, not for someone who does not share my specific religious views and opinions. Maybe, if for other reasons, someone eventually comes to read the Bible in the same way I do, making the biblical presumptions that those who agree with me do, THEN they should agree with me. But anyone who does not share my cultural/religious biases/views, there is no good reason for them to agree with me.

    How ’bout it?

    ~Dan

  148. paynehollow says:

    DogTags…

    The plain meaning of the text

    How about this text, Tags…

    For I am a brother to dragons, a companion to owls…

    What is the plain meaning of that text?

    And again, since you all don’t seem inclined to answer direct, simple questions, allow me:

    A: The plain meaning of the text is that the speaker is both a brother to dragon siblings (presumably meaning that the speaker is either a dragon himself or some kind of magical man/dragon hybrid, perhaps) and one who is a companion to owls. That is the clear direct meaning of the text.

    Q: Agreed, that is. BUT, do you think that text represents a factual statement? That is, do you
    1. Believe dragons exist
    2. Believe that the speaker was a brother to actual dragons
    3. and that this dragon brother also hung out with owls

    …? OR, do you think the plain meaning of the text is that this is a fiction/figurative story of some sort, not a literal factual story about actual dragons and a talking brother of actual dragons?

    A: Clearly, the text does not represent a literally factual story. Dragons don’t exist and, if they did, they wouldn’t have a speaking “brother” talking about them.

    You are right, clearly this is a figurative text.

    So, why should we take the Genesis text differently than this other text?

    You tell me, I can’t think of any good textual reason.

    ~Dan

  149. Dan,

    Please. You continue to expose your inability to reason. Your Job quote is not a narrative, but a dialogue. It cannot be compared to the Genesis description of creation because it is quite unlike it. If you can’t understand this distinction, where do you get off trying to argue against a literal understanding of Genesis?

  150. Terrance,

    I have erected no straw man. I have only posed concerns about your devotion to the notion of science’s infallibility. That’s why your examples don’t matter. One must have absolute faith in the perfect infallibility of human ability to buy in so totally to what science merely presents as its best guess. I don’t have that kind of faith. But my faith in God is such that I do not have a problem taking the Genesis story as fact, even though I have no strong position one way or the other. Could Genesis be the “myth” that Dan believes it is? Sure. Why not? Could it be the absolute truth about how creation went down? Again, I believe God has that kind of power, so why not? I could believe that given the limitations of human ability, the best that science can divine is that to scientists it may indeed appear that the earth is a gazillion years old. But given those limitations, I’m not willing to wager your money on it. So condescend all you want. I’m simply not as impressed with the conclusions scientists believe the data presents.

  151. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    You continue to expose your inability to reason. Your Job quote is not a narrative, but a dialogue. It cannot be compared to the Genesis description of creation because it is quite unlike it.

    So, Job SHOULD be taken literally, too? He was LITERALLY a brother to a dragon? Is that what you think?

    A: No, of course he wasn’t a brother to a dragon. The Job narrative was being figurative.

    Q: Figurative?? Does that mean that you reject the validity of Scripture? Do you not believe God or think God was a liar, putting lies in the Bible?!! How could you trust ANYTHING God said if God is a liar?

    A: No. One can look at a text and see that it is written in a particular style and acknowledge that reality and all that means is that you take the text seriously. That some stories in the Bible are told using a figurative does not mean that God is untrustworthy. The Bible is full of beautiful wonderful figurative language that expresses various truths about God. The Bible is full of parables, poetry, imagery, hyperbole, myth and other metaphorical language and that reality in no way takes away from the Truth of The Bible, why would it?

    The point, Marshall, is I presume that you take one look at the Job text and say, right away, “This is figurative.” And rightly so.

    So, why do you think it is figurative, Marshall?

    A: because it is clearly written in a figurative style.

    Am I mistaken?

    ~Dan

  152. Marshal,

    You have. You’ve repeatedly suggested that I believe radiometric dating is “infallible” and I don’t! Hence, I offered many other forms of dating to verify.

    Yet another straw man. Why must I have a “devotion,” Marshal?

    No, one mustn’t have “absolute faith” to believe it’s probably ridiculous to think every single scientific method is totally wrong. And yet, that’s what Creationists ask us to believe! But I also believe this is a secondary concern. I simply believe Genesis ought be read differently.

    I don’t have a problem taking Genesis as fact either, Marshall. Our disagreement concerns the correct translation of “yom.”

    No, Genesis could not be the myth Dan believes and I began this thread by arguing with Dan on that point.

    Not trying to be condescending at all. I just think it’s absurd to believe that every scientific method is wrong but not once consider that perhaps there’s been a misinterpretation or bad translation of Genesis. I’m not Dan. I don’t believe Genesis is a myth at all. I believe, instead, that “yom” represents longer periods of time. And I also believe that Adam and Eve were literal people who literally lived and literally caused the fall of humanity; Dan doesn’t.

    Regardless, I don’t have any problem with you believing in a literal interpretation of Genesis. As a believer in God myself, I can certainly understand it. I just believe Genesis should be read differently, and that belief has little to do with the science. It simply makes more sense, plus it agrees with the scientific facts. But I don’t fault you for reading it the way you do and rejecting the science, since obviously God is capable of anything. And I believe God’s word over anything else.

  153. So, Job SHOULD be taken literally, too? He was LITERALLY a brother to a dragon? Is that what you think?

    Is it your belief, Dan, that people don’t use metaphorical language in dialogue?

    We may agree on the age of the Earth, but we don’t agree on Genesis at all. It doesn’t read like myth at all, in my view, and I don’t understand wherefrom you get the idea. To me, the BEST intrepretation is exactly what John and I have put forth. The YEC intrepretation simply makes little sense in its own right – even before considering that it doesn’t agree with the scientific facts. And your belief is simply unbiblical. If Adam & Eve didn’t exist, then where did sin come from? God? What a bully! He created us as less than perfect beings and then punished us for it! How lovely.

  154. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Your Job quote is not a narrative, but a dialogue. It cannot be compared to the Genesis description of creation because it is quite unlike it.

    Okay, giving a shot at trying to discern your reasoning, since you won’t make your own case. I point to an obviously figurative text (one that presumably YOU agree is figurative). You respond by saying the above.

    Does that mean that it is your belief that any biblical text that is dialog WILL be figurative, but any text that is narrative WILL be literal?

    Or is it your hunch that any biblical text that is dialog MAY be figurative and/or literal, but any narrative will always be literal?

    If so, what do you base this upon? Where does the Bible teach, “Thou shalt treat all Scripture written in a dialog style as non-literal, indeed, thou shalt treat it as figurative. However, any Scripture written in a narrative style, thou shalt take as literal as a stone…”?

    Additionally, in what sense is the Job story NOT a narrative? I mean, “narrative” means “story,” and the Job story IS a story, it IS a narrative, is it not?

    Are you saying that it is your hunch – your theory, if you prefer – that any narrative MUST be taken literally, but any dialog that occurs within a narrative MUST be taken figuratively? If so, on what basis do you hold that theory? What is your support for this hunch?

    ~Dan

  155. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    Is it your belief, Dan, that people don’t use metaphorical language in dialogue?

    ? This dialog is actually pretty bizarre in a literal way.

    No, it is not my belief that people don’t use metaphorical language in dialog.

    Is it your belief, Terrance, that people don’t use metaphorical language in telling stories?

    Don’t you all see that you BELIEVE that the Bible contains metaphorical language? Clearly you do. So, on what basis do you think that THIS one text must be taken literally (well, except for “day,” which is not literal…) but these others can be taken figuratively?

    What is your basis for deciding one text is figurative and another is not? What textual evidence would you offer to someone who doesn’t share your religious biases that these texts are not figurative as they appear to be?

    Do you agree that all those other texts I offered are obviously figurative? And that we can tell just by the language itself that it is figurative? If so, how does this text differ than the other texts so much so that you think it must not be taken figuratively, but MUST be taken literally (except for “day…”)?

    ~Dan

  156. Dan,

    I think so, too. But Marshal didn’t say anything different. He simply said the text you referred to was “dialogue.” So why did you make such a big deal about it?

    No, Dan. I do believe people utilize metaphorical language in narrative language. But Marshal didn’t dispute this in his commentary.

    I think many texts in the Bible are figurative, Dan. But Genesis cannot be anything other than literal (with a slight changing in translation) without ruining the entire basis for Christianity! And I thought we covered this earlier. Either you believe Adam & Eve are responsible for our downfall, or you believe we were created sinful. Now, which is it?

  157. paynehollow says:

    Marshall appears to be saying, “It’s dialog, it’s totally different than story…” I was merely asking him the reasonable question, “How?” My point is that the text appears to be/uses poetic/figurative language, not unlike the other examples I’ve given.

    Do you agree that all the examples I gave a few comments back sound like they are obviously figurative? If so, then how are those texts different than the Genesis text?

    On what basis are the several obviously figurative but the Genesis text obviously literal?

    And I keep asking you HOW does it ruin Christianity for it to be figurative?

    Christianity is this:

    We are sinners in need of salvation – a figurative Adam does not ruin that.

    God is a God of love, who created us in God’s image – a figurative Adam does not ruin this.

    God so loved the world that God came in the man, Jesus to live with us – a figurative Adam does not ruin this.

    Jesus came, pouring out his life sacrificially for us, showing and teaching us the Way to live, and about the good news of salvation by God’s grace – a figurative Adam does not ruin that.

    How does a figurative Adam ruin any of this?

    Because Jesus refers to Adam? So, that is not proof that Jesus demands a literal Adam. Many people refer to stories and their characters without taking them literally.

    You just have not made any rational case that a figurative Adam “ruins” Christianity.

    Could you answer this question, Terrance: IF someone does not approach the text as you do, with your presuppositions in place, do you think a rational reading of the text would demand a literal interpretation or would a figurative one be more reasonable?

    Terrance…

    Either you believe Adam & Eve are responsible for our downfall, or you believe we were created sinful. Now, which is it?

    Those are not the only options, Terrance. Indeed, we DID cover this earlier. I pointed out that we are not doomed because of Adam’s fall, NOR does God create us evil. The Bible teaches that each person is accountable for their OWN sins, and reality backs that up. The Bible teaches that God creates us NOT as evil, but as having the power to choose and we choose wrongly.

    Do YOU think we are doomed because of Adam’s fall, or do you accept responsibility for your own sin?

    Do you understand my point, Terrance? Do you get that those are not the only two choices?

    ~Dan

  158. Terrance,

    You’re still missing my point. It doesn’t matter how many techniques are listed (I did not single out any particular method such as radiometric dating. I referred to scientific methods in general (for the purpose of measuring the age of the earth or universe) in finding it logical to presume very likely that the accuracy of those methods degrade the further back one tries to look. Thus, one must assume much to insist upon conclusions based on those methods invented by imperfect man, especially given there is no way short of an actual time machine to prove the calculations are correct. Does this mean they are wrong? No. It only means that I take it with a grain of salt.

    • Marshall

      // finding it logical to presume very likely that the accuracy of those methods degrade the further back one tries to look. Thus, one must assume much to insist upon conclusions based on those methods invented by imperfect man, especially given there is no way short of an actual time machine to prove the calculations are correct. //

      Isn’t this an argument from speculation? Isn’t it best to argue from what we do know rather than what we might not know?

  159. Dan,

    I’m saying Genesis reads like the first two chapters of Job, like 1 Samuel and like the four Gospels: straightforward and meaning what it says, until some proof other than the alleged writing styles of non-Biblical texts of ancient times can be offered to support your hunch.

  160. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    I’m saying Genesis reads like the first two chapters of Job, like 1 Samuel and like the four Gospels: straightforward and meaning what it says

    So, you think that Job was ACTUALLY and literally a brother to a dragon??

    If you’d just answer that question directly, you could help clear things up. I am willing to bet that you reject out of hand the notion that Job was a talking dragon even though it comes from the Bible, but you tell me.

    John…

    Dan compares the biblical writing styles to modern writing styles.

    John, I am quite sure you are totally not understanding my points. What you say here, I specifically and literally do the OPPOSITE of that. I am saying it is an interpretative mistake to interpret ancient texts like you would interpret a modern text. This is, I believe, one way in which you all are mistaken, because you’re trying to treat this ancient text like a modern history. That is a rational failure.

    Again, what do you say to someone who isn’t starting with your cultural biases about why they should accept this text is different than a text that says “brother to a dragon,” or any of the other quotes that are obviously figurative in nature?

    ~Dan

  161. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    until some proof other than the alleged writing styles of non-Biblical texts of ancient times can be offered to support your hunch.

    It is not a bad thing to tend to treat the Wisdom and Truths of Scripture as literal until you have some reason to do otherwise. I wish that you’d treat the rules literally written specifically to Ancient Israel as rules specifically to them, just like the text says. But you make it figurative, define what each of those mean and then apply that meaning literally. Oh! That you would just take it literally!

    Or like when you take the direct and clear teachings of Jesus (like “Blessed are you who are specifically poor.” Period. and “Woe to you who are specifically rich.” Period) and make them figurative. Oh! that you would just take it literally!

    In the case of Genesis and the Job passage, though, we HAVE a reason to take it figuratively: The text itself demands it. Clearly, Job is not saying he was literally a talking dragon. Clearly, that is figurative. Just based on the text alone.

    Do you disagree?

    And just as clearly, this poetic Creation story is figurative. The text itself is the proof.

    What proof do you have to support you taking it literally? It’s not in the text.

    ~Dan

  162. Marshall,

    But that’s just it: they don’t need to go back in time to know the methods are accurate. They can do many of these tests in mere days and know by their own account the accuracy of the calculations. Then they just push the calculations back. It’s math.

  163. Dan,

    The Bible says we are all sinners from birth. So, we’re all sinners before we even get the choice to BE ACCOUNTABLE for our own actions. Why, is the question. Because of Adam & Eve? You say no. That leaves only one option: we were created that way.

  164. paynehollow says:

    No, Terrance, that is NOT the only option. HERE IS ANOTHER OPTION:

    We CHOOSE to sin.

    That option is demonstrable. That option is obvious. We can see that option in our own lives. Again, I ask: Do you sin because you choose to sin or is it Adam’s fault?

    Demonstrably, then Terrance, those are not the only two options.

    As to this…

    The Bible says we are all sinners from birth. So, we’re all sinners before we even get the choice to BE ACCOUNTABLE for our own actions.

    Along those lines, here is what the Bible actually says about us being sinners “from birth…”

    The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

    Here, the Psalmist (a song-writer/poet) is literally saying that “the wicked” go astray from birth “speaking lies…” Literally, indeed, that is what it says about “the wicked…” The question here, though, is this figurative language or literal truth?

    DO babies “speak lies” from birth?

    Well, of course, we can see in the real world that this is demonstrably false. Literally speaking, babies do not “speak lies.” For one thing, babies can’t speak. For another thing, a “lie” is saying something false when one knows it is true. Babies/infants have to reach a certain age before they can even KNOW to choose to tell a falsehood rather than a truth.

    Clearly, this passage is another poetic, figurative passage. We have no reason to conclude otherwise and we have real world evidence to conclude that it is figurative.

    Now, what the Poet is speaking of here, one could reasonably see, is that from an early age, we all choose to do wrong sometimes. But it does NOT mean that the 2 day old infant chooses to sin. What is rational and biblical is to say we all have a sinful nature. What is irrational and not biblical is to say that even 2 day old children choose to sin. It’s just not possible in the real world.

    There are other verses along this lines, though. For instance, in Genesis 8, following the Flood…

    “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth

    So our heart is “evil from youth…” but is this not figurative language itself? Our heart is just the blood pump in our chest. So, not literally literal, obviously. But even assuming it means our “nature” is sinful “from youth,” what does that mean? That we are BORN sinning/choosing to sin? No, we can see that this is crazy. A 2 day old infant simply is not choosing to sin. Does it mean that we have this tendency to sin? A sinful nature? Well, sure, but that is true whether or not Adam is literally true.

    Or here’s another take on the topic. This time, Ezekiel’s words to a sinful king…

    You were blameless in your ways
    from the day you were created
    ,
    till unrighteousness was found in you.

    Pointing out the more rational and observable real world reality that we are blameless UNTIL unrighteousness is found in us. We are not engaging in sin until we choose to do so. That is what sin is, in the context of this discussion: The deliberate choosing of the Wrong over the Right.

    So, where you say, “The Bible says we are all sinners from birth…” first of all, no, the Bible does not say that literally. Right? We can agree that this text is NOT literally in the Bible? What the Bible does teach is the notion of a sinful nature; the notion of being created in the image of God, with free will; the notion of being created just a little lower than the angels (or “than God” in some translations); that God has seen all that God created and called it Good; that people are NOT condemned for the sin of others, but for their own sins, etc. You are sinful, Terrance, because YOU choose to sin.

    Do you really believe the one and only reason that you sin is because Adam made you sin? Where is the self-responsibility in that notion?

    Some thoughts to consider, some facts about what the Bible does and doesn’t say, and some questions to answer.

    ~Dan

  165. Dan,

    How can the unborn “choose” sin?

  166. John,

    MOTION: Henceforth, Dan Trabue, Gus Ravenwheel, and PayneHollow, or any other name associated with “~Dan” shall no longer be allowed to use the word “literally” or any of its synonyms.

    Whenever you’re proven wrong, Trabue, you say, “Oh, but that Bible doesn’t LITERALLY mean…” Every argument you’ve offered in this thread – with the exception of the Earth’s age – has been sheer speculation and assumption.

  167. paynehollow says:

    ? I did not say the “unborn choose sin.” What do you mean?

    And why don’t you answer the questions I’m asking of you? It would help clarify the points we are making.

    Do you think you sin because of “Adam’s fall” or because you, Terrance, choose to sin?

    How does Adam’s fall being figurative take away from the reality that you choose to sin?

    ~Dan

  168. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Whenever you’re proven wrong, Trabue, you say, “Oh, but that Bible doesn’t LITERALLY mean…”

    What is the problem of pointing out that “the Bible does not literally say X” when the Bible doesn’t literally say X? And WHEN have I been proven wrong?

    I’ve asked questions that, if answered, undermine your arguments, but that have gone mostly unanswered. But your ignoring the reasonable questions is not “proving me wrong…”

    That I point out “X is not literally in the Bible” when that is factually the case does not “prove me wrong.”

    Pointing out when someone is offering AN OPINION and not a literal biblical text (and to be sure, “We are all sinners from birth” is an OPINION, not a biblical text) is not “proving me wrong…”

    I don’t see where anyone has even ATTEMPTED to prove me wrong. Mostly, you answer questions I have not asked, addressed arguments I have not made and ignored reasonable questions I HAVE asked. None of that proves me wrong.

    What is the problem you all have with answering reasonable, on-topic, respectfully asked questions? Are you afraid of answering reasonable questions? Do you recognize that a direct answer undermines your argument and thus decide that ignoring the question makes it go away?

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      This whole thread people prove you wrong then you retreat to a differently worded wrong position then say no one has tried to prove THAT wrong. Youre not honest.

  169. My argument is upheld by the following verses.

    Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

    Psalms 51:5 – Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    Psalms 58:3 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

    Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    Genesis 8:21 – And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

    Romans 5:19 – For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

    Ephesians 2:1 – And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    Romans 5:14 – Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Luke 18:19 – And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none [is] good, save one, [that is], God.

    Ezekiel 28:15 – Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    1 John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Hebrews 12:9 – Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    And there are many, many more. How can you claim Adam & Eve didn’t literally live when Paul and Jesus speak of them as though they had lived? Your position simply makes no sense and is completely unbiblical.

  170. Dan,

    Both. Acceptance of Jesus as Savior washes away original sin and from then on sin is the result of choice.

  171. Dan

    Im not going to dignify this with a response. Im just going to start moderating your comments.

  172. paynehollow says:

    And we have your answer.

    You will offer lies and unsupported falsehoods. You will spread slander and false witness and will not let me defend myself.

    Shame on you, brother. Have you no decency? Are you that big of a gutless, lying coward?

    I did not want to believe it, but your actions betray your cowardice.

    Repent, man. Have some decency. BE a man.

    ~Dan

  173. There are a couple that hint at it, but then the question remains: Are these verses speaking figuratively (as seems obvious based on reality) or literally?

    There you go again. Secondly, neither Jesus or Paul spoke as though Adam & Eve was “just a story.” And by saying so you’re calling Jesus and Paul liars for teaching something that isn’t real without cluing people in on this point.

    I thought the Bible was supposed to be accessible to all people, but clearly not with all the figurative and “not-to-be-taken-literally” language. Only gifted people like Trabue can understand it, I guess.

  174. Dan,

    You AREN’T honest. Anytime someone shatters one of your ridiculous arguments, you rephrase it and say, “Now, please respond to that, dear brother ‘ol pal.” You’re only here to troll, it seems, and therefore your comments SHOULD BE moderated. You should not be allowed to disrupt the thread with your antics.

  175. paynehollow says:

    John, I have ZERO idea of what you are talking about. I have raised questions. They have mostly gone unanswered.

    I don’t know of any time that someone has “shattered” any of my arguments. I honestly don’t. Your arrogance is blinding you to your own sin, man.

    If you truly think my arguments have been “shattered” and I have rephrased it or ignored it, then all you have to do is point to it and I COULD LEARN, you could teach me and prove your point.

    The fact is, you can’t do it. You KNOW you can’t do it and so you just make up your lies and cowardly hide behind your moderation. Your actions are a disgrace to the grace of God and to just basic human decency, even outside of Christianity.

    I will apologize and admit my error ANY TIME someone points to an actual mistake I have made. I have done that before and will do it again.

    But you won’t produce evidence because you can’t produce evidence. You are a coward and a liar and I feel sorry for you and your children that they have such a craven boy for a father. God have mercy on your soul.

    I’m wiping the dust from my feet. Email me if you ever decide to grow up in the faith and be a man instead of a coward and apologize for your false witness and slander.

    ~Dan

  176. And let’s simply ignore the fact that everything has been explained to Dan repeatedly and thoroughly, and his response[s] is either a rehash of his original and debunked argument, or speculation about the writing style of Scripture.

  177. John,

    “Isn’t this an argument from speculation? Isn’t it best to argue from what we do know rather than what we might not know?”

    To some extent it’s all speculation regardless of what camp one is in. This is because we cannot know with certainty. This is my point. But as far as what we know, I would submit that as a believer, I know God is capable of creating everything in the blink of an eye, much less in six literal days. If one insists that I can’t know this, then my reply is simply that I cannot, nor can anyone else, know that the scientific methods cannot see that far back with any accuracy. There’s just no way to prove it, given that the past is way back there in the past. As such, I do not hold with anyone from any camp that suggests there is proof for their positions. I simply choose to lean…lean, mind you…toward what Scripture says based not on what “we know”, but on the simple fact that it says what it says. Whether “day” means something other than a 24 hour period is also speculation as the text itself does not provide any solid clue. IF, for example, someone could provide some evidence that the word “day” in the original language ALWAYS means something other than 24 hours, I’ll be fine with it. I don’t know that such evidence exists. So what can I do but speculate?

  178. Terrance,

    I know its math. So are the computer models of the global warming people. The same question is in play. Do the scientists dating the earth account for all the variables? How would we know?

  179. Dan,

    “So, you think that Job was ACTUALLY and literally a brother to a dragon??”

    I think you are actually an idiot for trying to pretend there is any similarity between the dialogue between Job and his homies and the narrative of the Genesis story. Put it this way, what is literal about the dialogue is that the narrative states that is what Job said. It doesn’t matter if Job is speaking metaphorically or not because his dialogue is not the same as the narrative of Genesis or the narrative that provides the background of Job before he gets into the conversation written as a script. Do you have any other deceptive questions?

    “I am saying it is an interpretative mistake to interpret ancient texts like you would interpret a modern text.”

    It is a far greater mistake to pretend that because some ancient texts were written is some “epic style”, that all texts of that era were written in that style. It is a far greater mistake to assume that because some texts were written in some mythic or epic style that then by golly the Old Testament just HAD to have been written in such a style as well. It is a mistake to presume that because the OT doesn’t state emphatically that it should be taken as it is read, that we can then choose not to take it as it is read. I suppose then that we can all assume that Dan does not mean what he says when he speaks or types.

    “I wish that you’d treat the rules literally written specifically to Ancient Israel as rules specifically to them, just like the text says.”

    I’ve never done otherwise. But like I stated at your blog, and to which you’ve not found the time to respond, the rules are based on “truths” that already existed. For the purposes of our discussion there, that homosexual behavior was always and continues to be an abomination to God and it is for that reason that He forbade the practice. Thus, it doesn’t matter that the law of Leviticus were specific to the ancient Hebrews. The fact of the behavior’s sinfulness was the basis for the law prohibiting it, and would have been sinful even without a law expressly laid down by God. He doesn’t like it. He said as much. You lie in suggesting He would ever bless a union based on the attraction that leads to that behavior. It was wrong when the Egyptians did it. It was wrong when the Canaanites did it. He did not give the law to either of them, but He would certainly not tolerate their having engaged in it either.

    More later.

  180. Marshal.

    Global Warming is based on a false assumption, rendering the math utterly moot. Sure, if their assumptions were correct, the math would be correct. It’s not so it’s not. Anthropological Climate Change is the biggest f’ing hoax ever perpetuated.

  181. MA,

    Good point, folks like Dan either don’t understand or misrepresent what a literal understanding of scripture is. In this case if Job’s words are represented accurately, then the it is completely consistent to point out that one can take it that the literal text, literally recounts a literal conversation where metaphor was used.

    • People like dan don’t even consider that figurative language could represent a literal event. I’m not saying Genesis is figurative language just making the point.

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