I like the idea expressed in Genesis 1:30 of God's providence for all creatures. I also like the idea of the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion lies down with the lamb and there is no violence. We don't have a clear indication of when the carnivorous animals switched to eating meat, because Genesis 9:3 refers only to mankind. Job 39:27-30 could indicate that eagles were created as carnivorous animals, but it's not clear enough by itself. I have looked at the sharp teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and they don't look like something created by an to chew vegetation. Since I understand the references to death in Romans 5:12 to mean spiritual death, the presence of carnivorous animals does not pose a theological problem. This issue is not essential for salvation. I simply don't know how Genesis 1:30 fits in with what I can observe about animals. When taken with verse 29, the two verses could be merely a description of who gets to eat what kind of vegetation (man - seeds and fruit, animals and birds - grasses and plants). I do know that verse 30 occurs in a section that describes God's providence for all creatures, and that is the faith message I can take from it.
But the original Hebrew word has more meanings than that. can mean the planet, the land and its inhabitants, ground, soil, country, or territory (Zodhiates, page 1600-1601). When the late Menachem Begin and other Zionists speak of , or Greater Israel, they are referring to Israel's pre-1967 boundaries plus Jerusalem and the West Bank of the Jordan River. They are not laying claim to the Himalayas. If we understand to mean the region of the Middle East, then the story of Noah's flood does not have to cover Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet.Let the Earth Bring Forth.
The phrase "let the earth bring forth..." occurs three times in Genesis 1 (verses 11, 20 with water, 24). It does not refer to simple growth from nutrients, because this chapter is about creation. The literal meaning of this phrase matches theistic evolution better than any other creation theory! It's almost a definition of theistic evolution, which is why I put it at the top of this essay. God commanded the earth to produce animals, and the planet did so according to His command.These verses contradict the idea of direct creation of non-human life forms. Carnivores
There are several verses in Genesis that are taken to mean that animals were vegetarian until the Flood. Genesis 1:30 states: "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." After the Flood, God states in Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."I like the idea expressed in Genesis 1:30 of God's providence for all creatures. I also like the idea of the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion lies down with the lamb and there is no violence. We don't have a clear indication of when the carnivorous animals switched to eating meat, because Genesis 9:3 refers only to mankind. Job 39:27-30 could indicate that eagles were created as carnivorous animals, but it's not clear enough by itself. I have looked at the sharp teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and they don't look like something created by an to chew vegetation. Since I understand the references to death in Romans 5:12 to mean spiritual death, the presence of carnivorous animals does not pose a theological problem. This issue is not essential for salvation. I simply don't know how Genesis 1:30 fits in with what I can observe about animals. When taken with verse 29, the two verses could be merely a description of who gets to eat what kind of vegetation (man - seeds and fruit, animals and birds - grasses and plants). I do know that verse 30 occurs in a section that describes God's providence for all creatures, and that is the faith message I can take from it.With regard to pre-history and evolution, we do not know how long satan has been allowed some measure of influence and interference in the world. The Garden of Eden sounds somewhat like a sanctuary set up by God to guard Adam and Eve against the outside world. Was there trouble and danger out there even before the Fall of Mankind?In any case, the creation account in Genesis 1-2 is incomplete. Astronomy shows us this in a spectacular fashion. I think that the biological account in Genesis is also incomplete. Who can completely describe the mighty work of creation in just 2 chapters? Not Moses, nor any other possible human author of Genesis. God Almighty rested for the only time recorded in the Bible! I think there is a lot more that happened historically than just those relatively few words in Genesis 1-2. I think a few sentences cover millions of historical years, such as in Genesis 2:7: "The time came when the Lord God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person."Is the Bible incomplete? Yes, John says so at the end of his Gospel, in 20:30-31: "There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name." John repeats the "incomplete" assertion in 21:25: "There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written."What we have is sufficient for Faith. The details left out are interesting, but they are not needed for Faith and Salvation. So we need not worry about the Bible being incomplete. We have enough testimony, both for our own faith and to witness to the world. I don't usually grind through the beginning of Genesis verse by verse, trying to match each one individually with a scientific or historical finding. I think that that approach obscures the greater faith message of the Author.
2. Perhaps God created the earth to look older. Adam certainly looked like a 25-year-old man in Genesis, even though he had just been created. Did God create the earth looking older to fool us or to tempt us? Absolutely not! He created the earth in accordance with his own natural laws, so that the natural laws make sense when projected backward past creation, just like Adam's body. The record of the past gives us clues to the future. Christians have always viewed creation as a divine miracle. Would anyone be bothered if someone claimed that the trees in the Garden of Eden had rings in their trunks? Why can't God create mountains with sedimentary layers in them? Why can't God create fossils in those layers? Is He not God Almighty?
Some people suggest that the "second creation" of animals in Genesis 2 refers to God creating one more animal of each in the Garden of Eden, so that Adam could name them as they paraded by. This is a valid theory; however, the Bible doesn't say that. Here is Genesis 2:18-20 in the King James Version: "18 And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.' 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him." The Genesis text does not say "one more animal" or "another animal of each kind." So this viewpoint is just a theory. We wonder why God didn't simply bring in a few animals from outside the Garden for Adam to look at. Furthermore, if the "one more animal" interpretation of Genesis 2 is correct we would have to conclude that Adam himself is one more human, since humans were already created in Genesis 1.
Capitalism in decline finds that whatever of quality it isstill capable of producing becomes almost invariably a threatto its own existence. Advances in culture, no less than advancesin science and industry, corrode the very society under whoseaegis they are made possible. Here, as in every other questiontoday, it becomes necessary to quote Marx word for word. Todaywe no longer look toward socialism for a new culture -- as inevitablyas one will appear, once we do have socialism. Today we look tosocialism simply for the preservation of whatever living culturewe have right now.
Oh! Well, you can’t fight memes by attacking their carriers. What you ought to do is convince a bunch of academics and public figures that these ideas should be shown to be wrong, carefully and persuasively. Especially the first one, “there is no truth, only competing agendas;” I would very much like to see that idea more generally discredited.
So we have an extremely unlikely sequence of events that need to happen for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. That's what history and science say. The analysis looks reasonable. The mathematical probability of Jesus being born in Bethlehem is near zero.
But Christians know that the probability of Jesus being born in Bethlehem is 100%, because the prophets had foretold it long ago! It does not matter how unlikely the circumstances are - when God makes a promise, He will fulfill it. The unlikely will come to pass because God has spoken. Gould's analysis is scientifically correct - the arrival of mankind in scientific terms looks like an accident. The theological conclusion that Gould and Wise draw from his analysis is not correct. God has ordained that mankind would arise, and here we are.
My point is simple: the 19th Century is like Vegas, whatever happened in the 19th Century stayed in the 19th Century. Should we still hold grudges against Great Britain for the burning of the White House in the War of 1812? How about the fact that Canada actually took some US land up in Maine? Do Northerners still believe the South ought to be convinced at the end of a gun? (I live in North Carolina, for the record, and for the record, NC is currently experiencing serious econimic growth because a lot of Yankees are moving here and setting up shop).
Of course you and I know that it wasn't really random. People make plans, cooperate with each other, and obey the law. But at some level it does look like a random process that makes progress.
I have concern for those people who have built their Christian beliefs partly on Jesus Christ and partly on what the young-earth creationists claim. Suppose they come across some transitional fossils, and the fossil sequence looks pretty convincing. Suppose some graduate student discovers a faster or more probable mechanism for mutated evolution, and it seems scientifically reasonable. Suppose NASA finds evidence of past life on Mars. Will their faith be shaken? Will the collapse of that belief pillar undermine the whole? I have encountered two individuals on the Internet who abandoned their Christian faith while investigating and debunking the claims of young-earth creationism. That's sad.
Cultures change, Jeff. You don’t honestly believe that Amerinds today should be living exactly like Amerinds of 1491, do you? And if you don’t, then how much should they change before it’s too much? In fact, by what moral philosophy can you say anything about what their culture “should” be, today?