Re: Grapenuts, anyone?

Allan Harvey (
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 13:46:09 -0700

At 03:15 PM 2/11/99 -0500, Moorad Alexanian wrote:
>Dear Howard,
>I agree with most of what you wrote. However, your last statement (5) is
>where the rub is. It is true that God could have devised things in such a
>fashion that all would develop from non-living to living by natural means.
>If it is so, why isn't it so written in Scripture? Scripture seems to
>indicate more of an abrupt creation of man rather than a continuos process.
>That is my puzzle.

And that's what it always seems to come back to -- *IF* we view early
Genesis as a document that is trying to tell us the "how" and "when" of
origins, then our reaction to Howard's statements must be something like,
"Yes, God certainly could have done things that way, but Scripture tells
us he didn't."

So then one must get into what kind of inspired literature we are dealing
with to decide whether we must make its apparent "how" and "when"
statements "line up" with science. If we decide that Scripture is not
trying to give us scientific information in this instance, then Moorad's
objection vanishes.

It seems that, as we try to decide whether or not we should take Genesis
as giving us "how" and "when" information, we can observe that a
literalist reading that makes that assumption produces contradictions
with God's revelation in his creation (the lack of waters above and
below, no solid "firmament", longer timescales, etc.). If one
interpretational approach to Genesis leads to a disconnect with the
physical reality of God's creation, that is a good argument that said
approach is wrong. But using extrabiblical information to decide between
views of Scripture is a touchy thing, and I can understand that it makes
some people uncomfortable.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | say, or vice versa." |