Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

Update 2016-04-06: A month or so ago, in the middle of a few comments on other things, I let Tyler know I wanted to see a reply to this post. He had just had a son, so I expressed understanding if he didn’t have the time. After all, it took me three months to write my own. He didn’t express anything to the effect that he would. He remarked something about it being too long-winded. At any rate, I often comment on his Facebook posts, acting the Devil’s Advocate to his Theistic-Evolutionist posts, and soon afterward I noticed my recent comments weren’t there. In fact, they were all gone. I couldn’t find a trace of them, not even in my own activity log. I also noticed I can longer comment on any of his posts. I suppose he got tired of someone raining on his parade and bringing up unfortunate points that he’s not willing or able to deal with (backup link). Touche. As I told Tyler many times, you can’t just keep making bold claims without backing it up. He has another post, “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer” (backup link), which sparked my interest. I started to write a response to that while I waited for him but it turned out there are two other very involved write ups on it (here and here) that Tyler did not officially respond to. Surprise, he prefers to respond in the comments ensuring his readers never have to bother with the icky details of the back and forth all truth discovery requires. Tyler fails to see the need to backup his large claims in a studious, rigorous and repeated manner. This post, then, stands as a testament to Tyler’s unwillingness to argue for his position in a way that all could make up their minds in an objective manner which claims were right and which were not. I will, however, be happy to continue our back and forth should Tyler ever wish to respond to this post on his own blog.

Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

I’m continuing the back and forth I’ve been having with Tyler, of God of Evolution.com, and his article on supposed Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions to which I’ve responded over here. As we had discussed, Tyler responded to my piece with a follow up entitled Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions. The following are a collection of his claims, attempting to prove Genesis 1 and 2 are mutually distinct and mutually contradictory creation accounts, with which I take issue and present responses to each.

Toledoth

Claim

“There are seven (not 10, as the CMI article claims) uses of this particular form of the Hebrew word in Genesis. In six of these cases (5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, 11:27 and 25:19), it introduces a genealogy. The only time the word doesn’t introduce a genealogy is — you guessed it! — Genesis 2:4.

The point being, there is nowhere else in Genesis that this word does what YEC proponents claim it does, that is, introduces a more “zoomed-in” retelling of a story that was told (and completed) immediately before it.” -Tyler of God of Evolution.com, Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

Tyler claims toledoth always introduce their section and that they do not conclude what came before. This is important because the Genesis 2:4 toledoth appears to introduce what follows as “the generations”, or ‘the account‘, with the apparent implication that it is a distinct and authoritative narration of the process of creation. This brings in contradictions between the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 creation narratives that are not present when the Genesis 2 account is understood as a more detailed look at day 6 of Genesis 1.

Response

“These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Genesis 2:4‘generations’, a toledoth

Regarding the toledoth point, Tyler said the toledoth issue is “an unpersuasive point to begin with.” Initially, I was tempted to agree, but having put considerable time into researching what views are out there, I’m inclined to believe this is perhaps one of the most important points in support of interpreting the Genesis 2 account as a supplemental history to Genesis 1 and not a stand-alone account. I will attempt to show why this is a better take below.

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C.S. Lewis is Cleverer Than You Think

My good friend, Jamie, liked a Relevant Magazine article today titled C.S. Lewis’ 3 Most Controversial Beliefs. Both of us are a big fans of Lewis and it piqued my interest as much as Jamie’s, I’m sure. Some of the “controversies” noted would surely either convince his admirers that some of these claims are actually attributable to Lewis and are biblically acceptable or may shake the faith of Lewis’ more die-hard fans, such as myself, and wonder about the foundations of Lewis’ personal faith. Having read a lot first-hand from Lewis, and second-hand of the man, I nearly immediately recognized these claims were probably not what they were really claiming.

You see, the thing about really clever men and women, like Lewis, is that they’re clever enough to know when they’re beat, even when they are miserably unhappy such as on the amusing-for-us occasion of Lewis’ conversion. It is this trait of Lewis, and all truly clever men and women, that propels, or drags, an individual from one intellectual peak to the next. Such is the case with Lewis and these purported controversies.

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Literally: Sad, Frustrated, Distracted. But Love. Church Heresies Then and Now.

So, the latest intra-Christian controversy to blow up is popular Christian worship act Gungor’s denial of the ‘literal’ reading of scripture, particularly Genesis, the creation account, Adam and Eve, and the Flood. This of course triggering the day before our traditional day of worship when Christians come together to worship God their saviour in spirit and truth. This, of course, all comes on the heels of the Tim Lambesis story who allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to murder his wife. It’s hard to try to move one’s heart towards God when we’re distracted by emotional issues like these. Here’s a few of the articles circulating:

It’s saddening, frustrating, and distracting…

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Faith Shaking Scientific Discoveries (Or Not)

Take-away: You know all those big big scientific discoveries that seem to shake your faith just a little bit more each time, if you’re being honest? Actually, they usually end up on the cutting room floor. Just wait a bit, and watch some Christian sources like AIG, CMI, or ICR, and you’ll see these claims often be completely retracted or significantly eviscerated. But you won’t usually find the mainstream media covering this because after all we-were-wrongs aren’t all that exciting. Rest assured all science inevitably, eventually, ends up agreeing with the Bible. Here are just a few of the big discoveries that later turned out to be largely hype…

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On Purpose

The following After Eden comic, for biblical creation ministry Answers in Genesis, was published on Saturday, October 19, 2012,

And the following is my comment on their Facebook post of the same comic identifying what I felt made this comic much better than it at first appears,

This question is actually better than it at first appears. Atheists will immediately respond that the recognition of their argument would lead to people living their lives as they truly wish, not ‘controlled’ by religion or fear of gods, and religious based conflict would stop. We would finally be ‘free’ to live in peace and we would go from strength to strength unrestrained by ‘artificial’ barriers. Utopia. But they rarely take the next logical outcome of throwing away an ultimate authority and throwing away purpose: there is then no reason to act in any kind of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way, and everyone would do what was right in his own eyes (see the Book of Judges for what happens when this is the case). Neither would we have justification for the government and law which puts restrictions on ‘bad’ behaviour. We can see the beginning of this kind of thinking in the last century with the courts having no real authority to condemn anything, instead relying on causes outside the control of the perpetrator like genetics, or up-brining, or mental illness. They can’t call it morally deviant, there’s no yardstick to do that with anymore. Thus, instead of the atheist’s utopia you actually get something worse. What the atheist can’t see or doesn’t want to see is that their utopian vision is actually dystopian.

101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe

Great article over at Creation.com: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe. Yes, there are actually 101 bullet points of findings that support a young earth or challenge existing beliefs in an old earth!

The Creation Answers Book

Having just finished The Creation Answers Book, cover to cover, I strongly recommend it as a primary resource for those looking for answers to specific Creation/Evolution questions. It’s also a good read for creationist enthusiasts to build up your high level knowledge of all the most critical topics in the creation and evolution question.

Not Even Theory

Recently, I was in a brief discussion over Facebook regarding a link to notjustatheory.com. My friend, not a believer of young earth creationism, pointed out the site and I wrote a comment in reply that, indeed, the “just a theory” anti-evolution argument is really an invalid argument. And it is invalid. But it reminded me of “not even wrong,” so I playfully googled for “not even theory” and, to my surprise, came up immediately with an AIG article entitled “Evolution: Not Even a Theory“.

Here’s a taste of the article’s direction:

Although some Christians have attacked evolution as “just a theory,” that would be raising Darwin’s idea to a level it doesn’t deserve.

Weasel, a flexible program for investigating deterministic computer ‘demonstrations’ of evolution

Update 2011-03-08: Turns out the available download of this tool is some old school windows program that won’t run on my 64bit windows 7. I sent CMI a message asking if it was open source or maybe if they had an updated package.

I was very intrigued about this tool I heard about from CMI,

In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins described a computer program and the results that he claimed demonstrated that evolution by random changes, combined with selection, was virtually inevitable.

The program described herein mimics Dawkins’ program, but also provides the user with the opportunity to explore different values for the parameters such as the mutation rate, number of offspring, the selection coefficient, and the ‘genome’ size. Varying the values for these parameters shows that Dawkins chose his values carefully to get the result he wanted. Furthermore, the user can see that, with realistic values for the parameters, the number of generations needed to achieve convergence increases to such an extent that it shows that evolution of organisms with long generation times and small numbers of offspring is not possible even with a uniformitarian time-frame. And this is with a deterministic exercise, which cannot be a simulation of real-world evolution anyway. The program also allows the user to set up a target amino acid sequence with the mutations occurring in the DNA base pair order. Since there is redundancy in the triplet codons, the dynamics of the convergence are different to a simple alphabetical letter sequence. The program also allows for the user to include deletions and additions, as well as substitutions, as well as variable length in the ‘evolving’ sequence.

You can also try the app for yourself.

24 Hour Biorhythm…even without DNA

So, a new article, “Ancient body clock keeps all life on time: studies,” talks about the universal human 24 hour body clock even in components of the body without DNA, like red blood cells. Reading the article made me grateful and thankful, and awed of God and his creation. I had a good chuckle when, as I was fully expecting, the line came along, “the 24-hour circadian clock…dates back millions of years to early life on earth.” There is a whole field of sciences these days on which biblical creation touches. I’ve read so much material, and am constantly finding more, that reveal just how ridiculous the prospect of evolution is. The fact is, life does not arise from non-life. Any biologist will tell you this – except when they need to explain the origins of life in the theory of evolution. It’s a “just so” story (as CMI is fond of saying) that has no real foothold in reality. We’ll either give glory to God, or, if not, our disdain for Him, our foolishness, will turn around and speak it for us.