What is your opinion on how the world came to be? Evolution, God, what?

 I was raised that God created the earth in 6 days... that seems silly to me, but Evolution seems a bit too out there too. What's your take?

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I believe that God created the universe, but I also don't think that the Bible is necessarily in conflict with evolution. Here is a video with Greg Boyd talking about his belief that Genesis 1 was never meant to be taken literally. I was also taught that God created the world in 6 literal days, and this video is one thing that got me thinking that it didn't have to be literal days.

But that seems so far-fetched too! Maybe not as far-fetched as 6 literal days, but still... and doesn't God even existing throw a wrench into Evolution?

doesn't God even existing throw a wrench into Evolution?

How so?

Evolution explains how life develops, not how it came to exist. Why couldn't God have used evolution or something like evolution to create the universe?

Sounds very reasonable to me. 

And which god would this be? I've always been partial to Zeus myself.

Hi Jeff,

Your first reply reminded me of something I've always thought about the bible - I'd be interested in your views as a Christian.

The bible as I understand it is supposed to be the word of God, or inspired by God. The God who created the universe. Yet most of the bible seems very unsophisticated. Take, for example, Genesis. You have come to think that the 6 days doesn't mean 6 literal days. Thinking about it though, it couldn't do of course because you can't have "days" until you create the sun and the earth. Therefore it must always have been a metaphor - presumably phrased this way by God so we would understand what he meant.

However, why didn't the writers of the bible make this clear. Why not include a passage that says "Of course, 6 days is just metaphorical, a day is defined as a single rotation of the sun about the earth so this concept could not have existed until God created the sun and the earth." 

In my opinion this would make the bible a much better read. Most of it just seems like it was written by superstitious people thousands of years ago who didn't understand anything rather than a God.

I am still figuring a lot of this out for myself, so I don't have the best answers. But I'll do what I can.

In the video I posted, Greg talked about a time he tried to explain to his 4 year old granddaughter what a volcano is. He tried to explain the plates below the surface of the earth and how molten lava pushes up through those plates in some spots. He tried to explain the science behind volcanoes to a 4 year old, which, obviously, didn't work out so well.

To try to get his granddaughter to understand, he used an analogy. He asked his granddaughter if she ever felt so angry she wanted to scream? He said the volcano is similar in that it has all this pressure that it needs to release. 

I think the creation story is similar. God had to explain it in a way that the people back then could understand it. 

I also think that God wasn't concerned about people knowing the specifics of how he created everything. If he went into those specifics, it would just get in the way of whatever God wanted to teach people. I think what God was after is communicating that he created everything, not how he created everything. 

Here is one example of how God wasn't concerned with communicating scientific accuracies. 

Most people back in the time of the Old Testament believed that the earth was held up by pillars. 1 Samuel 2:8 says, "...for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them." 

If you want a better, more detailed explanation, I would recommend watching that video I posted.

Hi Jeff,

Good to hear you are still in a process of figuring things out and not taking everything a pastor says as “gospel”. Once again though you are still presupposing that your God exists. So when you say that your “God had to explain it in a way that people back then could understand it” you lose me. I do not believe that your God exists. I know that He is real to you but you are unable to offer any evidence for His actuality.

All you are offering is your subjective opinion on the Bible. You “think the Creation story is similar…” You think that your “God wasn’t concerned about specifics…” or about “communicating scientific accuracies”. What are Pastor Greg’s scientific qualifications or is it possible that he is just giving his opinion to fit what he believes about the God that he also presupposes exists.

The Bible was not written “in a way that people back then could understand it” as if they could not grasp intelligent theories. If you took a few children from 3000 (or 12,000) years ago and sent them to a modern day school nobody would be able to tell them apart. They would be as smart as any “modern” child. They would look and sound the same. The Bible was written by people who did not understand Science. It is not a science book.

Your God could have done better.

Book 101: After the first one trillionth of the very first second God began to interweave Space and Time together. Almost 6000 years 7,800,000,000 years later He collected the dust up from a pile of dead stars and made the planet Earth, one of about 500,000,000 planets in that local galaxy. Then about 4,000 years 3,000,000,000 years later he injected archaea into a protein cell but not on the same day that he created RNA.

Jeff this is what people must believe if they claim to be Christians. (Start at 8:00 if you prefer).

Did you know Jeff that over 1 billion people think Brahma created the Universe? If you can figure out why you don’t believe the Hindu creation story is the correct one then you will understand why we don’t believe the Christian story is correct.

Book 101: After the first one trillionth of the very first second God began to interweave Space and Time together. Almost 6000 years 7,800,000,000 years later He collected the dust up from a pile of dead stars and made the planet Earth, one of about 500,000,000 planets in that local galaxy. Then about 4,000 years 3,000,000,000 years later he injected archaea into a protein cell but not on the same day that he created RNA.

If this had been written down in ancient Hebrew, would anything be recognizable today?  I'm sure the ancient Hebrew for Archaea (for example) would not be the same as our modern word, it would today be one of those words modern scholars see in the OT and can't be sure what it means...like "selah."

The word would have been utterly meaningless to the people back then (unless God provided a microscope and could explain how to tell the difference between archaea and bacteria...and the difference between the two of them and eukarya (much easier actually, as that difference is actually visible in a microscope).  Similarly with many of the other terms.

If it were a science text book it'd have to go into a LOT more detail than you've provided to explain what many of the concepts you casually toss out there, actually mean.  (What, precisely, would "weaving space and time together" mean to that audience?)

I'm not claiming the people back then could not have learned, but that something like this would not work to have educated them.

You have a point, Steve, there's a lot we take for granted in our schooling that we pick up by osmosis rather than being explicitly taught.

I suppose it's like the difference between an academic journal and a popular science book today. Your average Joe is not going to read or care about the minutae of a research article. I guess the Bible was aimed at the masses rather than the intellectual elite.

However, I would still argue that it could just be a bit more sophisticated in it's wording. I mean why bother to have a story about a talking snake as a metaphor for temptation when you can just talk about people giving in to temptation. Expressing it in terms of an actual talking snake and then telling everyone it is literally the Gospel is just more confusing for me. Everything I know about the world tells me snakes can't talk and yet I am being told this book is the word of God and a snake spoke to Eve. It's just weird.

I don't disagree with anything you say here.

What IS there is only stuff that could have been written in the early iron age.  Surely something at a medieval level could have been managed without overwhelming the audience?

That is, IF some deity is the author?  (And I think you can guess how likely I think that is.)

At least He could have told us the earth is round and spins, no?

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