The debate regarding the age of our planet...

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Dragonseer, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Dragonseer

    Dragonseer Soul Searcher

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    I know that some people--namely Bible literalists--believe that our planet and its inhabitants aren't much more than 4,000 years old. I'd be curious to know how people who believe this idea manage to reconcile it with various scientific findings, such as this 11,000-year-old house in the U.K.: Very original features: Is this UK's oldest home? - Yahoo! News

    (In case ya' missed it, I do not believe that our planet is only a few thousand years old.)

    DS
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    One of the problems with interpreting the bible's meanings is the translation itself has errors in it. For example the very first sentence of Genesis 1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", written in English is different from the scriptural verse written in Hebrew, which is much more encompassing (the universe and the earth).

    The next issue can be noted in verse 2 "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters". This is how it is renedered in English. However in Hebrew texts it states that the earth "became" formless and empty...

    This means something happened between the beginning and when the Spirit of God returned. God does not make chaos of his creation, so something else must have, and God had to come back and bring order to the chaos that was earth. It does not say how long it took for God to come back and find his creation in chaos. What could have caused the earth to come into chaos? Perhaps the battle and fall of the rebelious angels?

    I am reminded of 2 Peter 3:8 "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day..." Here we are clearly being told that God is outside of our linear time.

    Back to Genesis 1, verse 3-5 "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day". Here God begins to bring the earth out of its chaotic state. Did he have to clear the air? Was the earth covered with a cloud or vapors or smoke that hid it from the rest of the universe and rendered it dark and empty? Sounds to me like a battle field after the battle. Sounds like God had to clean house. The first day...could mean the first "stage" or time period to God's bringing the earth back out of chaos (remember verse 2?). And since there are no men on earth, that day certainly is not "our" day...it is God's day.

    Now if God had created the Universe and the earth and then had to come back to bring the earth out of chaos, then we are already dealing with two time periods...not just day 1. And again I wonder why the Spirit of God had to "survey" the earth before he began to put it right, again (see verse 2).

    Food for thought.

    Q
     
  3. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    False, although this error is commonly circulated. Hebrew verbs have two "aspects", the imperfective for things which are/were starting to happen or about to happen at the time referred to, and the perfective for things which are/were done or completed. The imperfective of h-y-h "to be" would be yiyheh "[was] coming to be" but that is NOT the form used in Gen. 1:2; instead we get the perfective h-y-h "already was". The misunderstanding arises because Strong's Concordance just lists every possible translation of a root, so somebody finding that "become" is one possible translation of h-y-h (when it is in the aspect which permits that meaning) thought it could be the right translation in Gen. 1:2, where it is not a possible translation.
     
  4. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Describe a "formless and empty Eearth," as suggested by the passage.
     
  5. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Perhaps it was like a war zone, no man's land...
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I agree with your reasoning. However I fail to see where I am in error. I was referring to the perfective form of the word (it was already done).
     
  7. Amergin

    Amergin Well-Known Member

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    I will not enter this inane word game. It is a waste of time. The Genesis stories are tribal myths from the imagination of Bronze Age warlords to explain the Earth and human origins. It was not based on factual reality. It was based on the imagination of those warlords who claimed and possibly believed that the fantasy came from a God. He may have even experienced some complex hallucinations that led to the stories.

    The creation myths (Gen 1 and Gen 2) clearly derived from much older but similar creation myths likely as old as the Palaeolithic Age. People could not conceive of numbers like millions or billions of years. Counting was most advanced as an abacus or lining up tribal members and counting their toes. All people want explanations so desperately that they will accept irrational myths by a prophet or warlord rather than be content with "we don't know."

    Genesis 1 and 2 are valuable artifacts of Human social anthropology. They are part of Jewish Social anthropology.

    The science is quite extensive. We can debunk a 60-century-old Earth with a single 4 billion year old rock from Labrador or Australia.

    One does not need to spin the words of Genesis into incredible contortions to try to reconcile primitive myth and modern technology and science. Genesis is simply myth and valuable as part of Human Archaeology.

    Perhaps the Earth (and Universe) was "without form" in the early universe seconds after the Big Bang. The Universe was homogeneous and purely energy. Shortly it began to clump by static electromagnetism, then clumps clumped by gravity and then energy clumped to form atoms...nebular clouds... mega stars...heavier elements...
    Supernova... second generation stars...third generation stars... solar systems...planets including Earth.

    No magic words of an imaginary being are evident.

    Human maturity is the time when we examine mysteries that defy explanation by science. It is mature to admit, "I do not know."

    Amergin
     
  8. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    No, you claimed the translation should be "become": that's the IMperfective form of "to be" (it wasn't yet, but then started to be).
     
  9. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    That's the best you can come up with? "Translation errors" are chump change once you really dive into the hermeneutic of Hebrew religious expression.

    How much is "seven"?
    Well, isn't "seven" just seven? No, it's not. "Seven" is not only a number between six and eight, but it is also the "number of completeness"--a standardized poetic marker meaning "the perfect amount".
    How much is "a thousand"?
    Well, "thousand" isn't just "thousand", either. It's the "number of bigness"--a standardized poetic marker meaning "bunches and oodles"--see also "myriad".
    How long is a "day"? Well, it depends. The Bible says that to God, a "thousand years" is as a day.

    See where this is leading?

    One doesn't even have to invoke "translation errors" to throw a monkey wrench into numerical Bible literalism.
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    My error Bob. It should have said "became". Brain moving faster than fingers can keep up...:)
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I was pointing out that the english translation is not exactly the same as the wording used in the original scripture's language.

    For example the term "heavens" and the term "universe" can have vastly different meanings.

    Besides, I'm not asking anyone to accept my "theory", I just put it out for consideration.:)

    Q
     
  12. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not. If the Hebrew said yihyeh (the imperfective) then "became" would be a possible translation, but the Hebrew doesn't say that: for hayah (the perfective), "was" is how it should be translated.
     
  13. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the recent activity in the sun has caused anomalies in the decay rates of radioactive isotopes, which has the scientists in a quandary.
    How reliable then is the carbon-14 dating method if the decay rate isn't constant?

    Personally, I believe that the world is very old, much older than a scant few thousand years.
    But I think that nobodies idea of our origins or the times involved is at all accurate.
    At best we have a very partial, biased and incomplete story.
     
  14. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Dragonseer ... I think you're giving "these people" way too much credit. It's a bit of a catch-22. The reason there's no problem resolving a 4,000 year old Earth myth with the facts, is that some folks just throw it all out the window. They stick their head in the sand, and that's it. They feel overwhelmed, frightened, scared ... so they abandon all logic and reason, and - most importantly - they trade uncertainty for a set of pat answers and ready-made solutions for all of life's problems.

    No, the answers don't make sense (not for them any more than they do for rational, thinking people), and certainly they contain no real solutions for life's problems and challenges. But this isn't important anymore. As long as I have my plastic jesus .... your lips move, but I can't hear what you're sayin'. They have purchased an ignore button, and some of them just press it and never lift that finger again. The others DO lift a finger, but it's a different one, and they too sit silently in defiance ... happy to show you that one, middle finger, yet nothing additional of what we would call logic or reason. Fear, ignorance and self-righteousness after all, need no further defense.

    At once (for me, personally) the most difficult, challenging and frustrating of cases, yet also the most hopeful ... are those who have readily adopted these nonsensical views, yet who have also chosen to try and refute their position according to the rules of logic and rational discourse. They are frustrating for the obvious reasons, and certainly they have achieved new levels of obstinacy and irrationality; however, their persistence, coupled with their refusal to relinquish altogether their thinking faculties, guarantees that at least some Hope remains for them ... to one day see the light, despite their temporary eclipse of rationality. This brings a smile to my face! :)

    There is no need to play Devil's Advocate; these folks give the Devil himself a run for his money! And why gripe over the flat-earth geocentrists when they provide so much amusement for the rest of us, at no more cost than the forsaking of their own, God-given power of Reason! We should thank our lucky Stars that such individuals are still sufficiently abundant among us to remind of so well of what it looks like when we REFUSE to THINK, and that we ourselves may be spared the ordeal of having to go through such mind-numbing phases of temporary insanity.

    Let's just remember to try and do our part, such that if and when we have the combined pleasure, privilege and woeful misfortune of stumbling across such an individual or gaggle of said personages, we at least make such gestures as are of custom, whereby we try to engage them in discussion ~ so that we might at once detect whether a shred of sanity yet remains, in which case we should seek gently to stimulate the thinking principle with fresh and renewed vigor, or, finding all rationality to have temporarily departed, we might spare both them and ourselves wasted words and effort.

    Yours Sincerely,
    ~ Taijasi ~
     
  15. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    I've no quarrel with those who believe the earth is 4,000 years old, but with those who believe themselves rational. Rationality cannot be tested. Have you ever had a crush or been married? Was it rational, and are you a rational being? I don't agree with saying that some people simply refuse to understand, because there is no line between desire and hallucination. The more you desire something, the more you believe that it is. That is just straighforward brain chemistry. The old lie was that we were capable of rational thought, and it was a sweet thing to believe. The new belief is that we are capable of partially rational thought, completely rational in certain subdivided areas of our lives. It is also a sweet thing to believe. We believe that one area of our lives can be ruled by desire but that we can then live another part without desire interfering with our rationality. There is no basis for that belief except that we desire it to be so. Under the circumstances, we have no way of testing each other for rationality.
     
  16. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    No. I am difficulty imagining what it is you even read, but obviously you did not understand what it was saying, because your statement is flatly absurd.
     
  17. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    This "debate" is ultimately immaterial, since the dimwits who insist upon literal interpretation of Genesis don't care at all about the Bible as a whole. They pick and choose whatever they find to be convenient to be literal about. They demand a literal interpretation of Genesis but reject a literal interpretation of "This is my blood." and "This is my body." at the Last Supper.

    Thus, since they are hypocrites who play paper dolls with the Bible, they should be simply dismissed.
     
  18. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    Uh... you're doing exactly the same thing, except picking and choosing different parts of the Bible to get stupidly literal about.
     
  19. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm saying that they reject one part and demand the other be accepted. I did NOT say to reject Genesis and accept the literality of the Blood and Body. I was pointing out how they demand Genesis and reject the Blood and Body.

    Point out EXACTLY how I did what you accuse me of, or retract your lie against me.
     
  20. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it sounds absurd, but I am not making this up.
    My comprehension is working better than your open mind which seems to be a tad closed.
    Taken from this website:
    symmetry breaking Blog Archive The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements
     

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