Over at Matt’s Notepad, he talks briefly about a run-in he had with a creationist parent, and why he wasn’t giving equal time to creationism in his classroom. Down in the comments, a Creationist says:
Have you ever heard of Lee Strobel? He’s probably the most famous of many previous atheists who indeed found amble evidence to support creationism. Do you know any Hebrew AT ALL? If you did you would understand the Bible a bit better. I’m sure you’re familiar with the way it was said we were created I’ll skip that; the word for ‘day’ in Hebrew (original language of Old Testiment) has four meaning unlike our one. They are: 12 hours, 24 hours, 100,000 years and the last is an extended period of time with no real meausurement. Also, ‘light’ can also mean order and ‘dark’ chaos. So if you imply original context/meaning it could very well be ’seven periods of chaos and order’. I think people find it hard ot believe because they think that seven days is too short. We lose a lot in translation. And the Big Bang Theory, actually it and the Bible are pretty much right on eachother, it’s the initial catalyst that’s different in both.
Evolution has become like a religion in itself. It’s a mighty stretch to believe; it’s the worship of time (basically) in that ‘if given enough time anything could happen’. But how come one can’t breed dogs with cats? Why is it that if a fish jumps out of the water and dies that after several generations it still wont grow lungs? If we ‘evolved’ from apes, why are there still apes? And why isn’t everything one species? Charles Darwin set out looking at adaptation which some how morphed into the evolution idea.
What’s the point if we all evolved? That means there is no point to life and that humans are just ‘highly evolved’ animals but that’s it, just animals. Isn’t it strange how everything is caterred to humans? How we have a natural instinct to find a leader, and we have emotions and a concious.
Yikes. It’s amazing that Creationists can be so terribly ignorant about the world, yet display such amazing confidence in their ideas. There are a whole bunch of wrong claims in that section, but I’ll take just one — the claim that “the word for ‘day’ in Hebrew (original language of Old Testiment) has four meaning unlike our one… And the Big Bang Theory, actually it and the Bible are pretty much right on eachother, it’s the initial catalyst that’s different in both.” The Genesis creation story and mainstream science agree in the sequence of events? I’d be a lot more impressed with Genesis if that were true, but it’s not. Further, how did this creationist come to believe this idea? Is she not familiar with the Genesis story? Is she unfamiliar with the claims of mainstream science? Or did she merely avoid actually comparing them? This is a claim that can easily be verified. Obviously, this Creationist never bothered to check. (Which is, by the way, a pretty good metaphor for the Creationist movement in general – lots of confident claims, even though many of them are wrong and easy to dismiss with a smallest amount of research.) Even worse, I’ve heard Christians make this claim before. The last time I heard it was from a Christian biologist — obviously, she never bothered to lookup the sequence of events in Genesis, either. The idea that Genesis and mainstream science agree plays into the Christian fiction that science confirms the Biblical story – and maybe that’s why it gets such blind acceptance among Christians. Here’s a comparison of sequence of events in the Genesis Story to mainstream science:
With all those crossed lines, do they look like they agree?
A major difference between the Genesis story and science seems to be that Genesis is extremely earth-centric. Earth is created on the first day, but the Sun, Moon, and Stars aren’t created until the 4th day. The scientific view, however, is that the earth is a latecomer – appearing 9 billion years after the stars, galaxies, and universe. For the primitive tribes who wrote these myths, it’s not surprising that earth (where they lived) was more important than the tiny little dots of light known as stars and galaxies. For those tribes, the stars are just little ornaments in the sky.
Some of the contradictions:
In Genesis, the Earth is created on Day 1, but the Stars, Sun, and Moon aren’t created until Day 4. In mainstream science, the Stars exist for 9 billion years, and then the Sun, Earth, and Moon form.
In Genesis, the Sea Creatures and Birds are created on Day 5, and the Land Animals are created on Day 6. In mainstream science, Sea Creatures evolve, then land animals, then birds (from land animals) and some more sea creatures (like Whales, Dolphins, Manatees that evolved from land animals). Further, the evolution of birds, land animals, and sea creatures continued to occur simultaneously.
In Genesis, plants appear on Day 3, but the Sun doesn’t exist until day 4. If the days are undefined periods of time, then should we assume plants survived for long periods of time in an sunless earth (-270 degree Celsius with no light for growth). In mainstream science, the Sun exists long before any plants do.
It’s ridiculous that Creationists want to be taken seriously even though they make statements that are both blatantly false and easy to verify. Do they even know what the Genesis story says? Apparently not, but know it should have “equal time” in the schools.
Update: Pharyngula has a transcript and audio of a talk given by Don McLeroy (Creationist, head of the Texas State Board of Education).