"I would also have a problem with not seeing the original interpretation as
"concordistic" according to the prevailing world-view of nature, i.e.,
the earth is flat, bounded, the sun travels in the sky, etc etc. "
The difference between 'then' and 'now' is that 'then' Western culture
did not differentiate its view of nature into subjective and
objective, as we do 'now'. This differentiation of nature has
changed how we experience it. In a way, we live in a world that
agrees with the Genesis 1 claim that nature is not divine.
However, that does not mean that we can jettison our subjective
experiences. As Burt pointed out, the premoderns were just as
'concordist' as today's Christians. They saw (what we would call)
the objective world through (what we would call) a subjective
Thus, when Paul says:
"If someone ... likes the latter interpretation for subjective reasons
and says they realize it has little or no objective foundation, I have no
problem with it."
he ignores that the 'objective foundation' is the continued
actuality of our subjective experience. I suspect that early
Christians would appove of current modern explorations that
examine the evolutionary record through the lens of the Creation
They saw nature through the lens of Genesis 1. So do I.
So when Paul continues:
"If the order of the events in Gen 1 is due to a literary framework or is
purposely polemical or both, an underlying concord with the scientific facts
would be neither intended nor necessary, and probably not possible."
he is right. How could premoderns have anticipated the differentiation
of our experience of nature into subjective and objective?
However, when I look at the evolutionary record through the lens of Genesis 1,
I find that Genesis 1 contains two types of descriptors: Ones that
resemble visual features of the corresponding epoch. Ones that resemble
the importance of the corresponding epoch to humanity. Once that
concept is acknowledged, then concord with the evolutionary record is
Whether it was intended or not - or - possible or not, is another issue.
To see what I mean, try http://www.animalu.com , click on the 5th image
down, a blue red swirl which opens to a picture of star HR 4796.
Then run the quicktime movie. A similar animation may be made to
depict days 1 and 2 of the Creation Story. Note how the perspective
of the observer is crucial.