Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Creation myths for all

It is tempting to assume that all Creationists believe in similar origin stories, but no. The two creationists I know are both rational and lovely people, but I just don't agree with their points of view and they both seem surprisingly patient with mine (touch wood).  I long ago realised that my demand for extraordinary evidence to back up extraordinary claims is not shared by all intelligent people.

The Talk Origins Archive has a great page summarising the similarities and differences between opposing views on the subject.  The What is Creationism page contains a surprising range of options.

Sticking to the Jewish/Christian creation myth in Genesis (as it is the one that I know best) it is interesting to note that it is not even logically self-consistent from a scientific point of view. 

Day 1:  Day and night were created (but not the Sun and the Moon). 

[So how is day defined?]

Day 4:  The Sun and Moon are created, one to govern the day, [obviously the sun], and the other to govern the night [obviously not the Moon as that can be seen just as often in the day as in the night].

But the idea of Day Age Creationism leads us to a further doubt.  You may have heard of it even if you have not bothered to find out about the details.  Each literal 'day' happened in the order described in Genesis, but took thousands or even millions of years.  It illustrates that there was something that is - at best - unscientific at work.

Day 3:  All the plants were created, and it seems that since they were created before the sun they did not need its light and warmth to prosper - unlike today's plants.

At least in the literal 6 day creation story these plants might have survived for a day without light . . . but in the Day Age version?  Not very likely!  Ask a gardener.

Neither of my friendly creationists are of the Day Age kind.  I suspect both will have more sympathy with Day Age than with my own skeptical views though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think your premise is off. Intelligence comes in many forms: musical to mathematical. Your friends are not intelligently rational people. They could never be while being so sure of Creationism. Sorry to burst your bubble. I'm sure that they are intelligent in some ways...but to disregard all of the scientific evidence that illustrates that the world is much older than any bible might suggest, is simply foolish.