Re: The Genesis Factor
Mon, 31 May 1999 21:22:52 EDT

Hi Vernon,

You wrote:

<<But you are surely not suggesting that Genesis 1 is merely an edited
version of the Enuma Elish! Concerning the facts you present, isn't
there a simpler explanation, viz. that the truth concerning the creation
was communicated intact to the patriarchs, and on to Moses, while its
parody - the Enuma Elish (generated from the same tradition) - came
through those who had lost contact with their Creator?>>

You say "the creation was communicated intact to the patriarchs" The word
"intact" suggests you are saying the account in Gen 1 was handed down to
Abraham from an account direct from God presumably to Adam that was given to
Noah; and that his children passed it down-so that it ended up in the hands
of Abraham intact. Although this speculative theory is possible, it is highly

The study of textual criticism indicates that if three different family lines
(such as Ham, Shem and Japheth) all began with the same story (such as Gen
1), at the end of nine generations (Gen 11) you would have essentially just
as much corruption in the text from one family as from the other. Further,
you would have just as much similarity. If they all came down from a pure
copy of Gen 1, there would be numerous creation stories with a splitting of
the primeval water and the sequence of events that we find in Gen 1 among all
three families, Ham, Shem and Japheth. But, the only two stories with these
characteristics that we find among all those descendants spread all over the
world of Gen 10 are Gen 1 and Enuma elish. Further, the descendants of Shem,
and Abraham's family in particular, were just as much idolaters as the
descendants of the other two sons (Josh 24:14; Gen 31:19), so there is no
biblical reason to suggest that they kept the story intact better than the
others. Both the empirical evidence and the Bible suggest that your
explanation is ad hoc, resting upon bare possibility rather than probability.

<< As I have pointed out to others, the Bible - and, I suggest, our own
experiences of life - make it abundantly clear that man's natural bent
is to oppose God, and line up with the forces of darkness. I say this
because it is particularly germane to our present discussion. What
Genesis 1 describes is a sequence of miraculous events; by definition, a
miracle defies scientific analysis, yet you and others appear to
recognize no truth unless it is 'scientific truth'! Your version of the
latter includes macroevolution - which, because no one has actually
observed it to occur, and because it is based upon evidence that is
equivocal, is clearly being accepted as an article of faith. So much for
'scientific truth'! In preferring the conclusions of men to the
Scriptures you are merely confirming our Creator's words through
Jeremiah, 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked...' (Jer.17:9). Christians have no excuse for neglecting to take
account of these truths - which filter through into every aspect of our

I fully agree that man's natural bent is to oppose God and line up with the
forces of darkness. I think you need to ask yourself, however, if you are
any less likely to be opposing God and lining up with the forces of darkness
than those Christians who believe in an ancient earth, a non-global flood
and macroevolution. Your assumption that God did not accommodate his
revelation of himself in Genesis to the science of the times, but was
interested in revealing science, is, I believe, rooted ultimately in human
Reason, unprovable from Scripture and falsified by empirical evidence. The
fruit of this assumption as we see it in creation science and elsewhere has
been to cause Christians to choose interpretations of both scientific and
biblical data which are based on bare possibility rather than probability.

I would point out that making a habit of choosing interpretations of data on
the basis of bare possibility rather than probability is both intellectually
and spiritually dangerous in that it constitutes turning one's back on the
light in favor of a darker road. A person invites becoming totally aligned
with darkness by choosing this path.

You say, "you and others appear to recognize no truth unless it is
'scientific truth.'" Is this really fair? Have I not indicated that I
believe the God of the Bible created the entire universe, a truth which
cannot be proven by science and does not rest upon scientific discovery?
Theological truths, such as monotheism or the supernatural creation of the
universe cannot be tested or proven by science; and I don't know of anyone
who believes these truths who thinks they are based on science rather than

But, when the Bible speaks of the natural world, it is referring to data
which can be tested by science. So, for example, the creation of the
firmament is a miracle which, as you say, defies scientific analysis; but the
firmament is a natural part of the natural world and is subject to analysis
by science. According to standard Hebrew dictionaries, the firmament is a
solid dome over the earth. That definition fits the anthropological,
historical and biblical contexts. There is NO evidence of any kind from any
realm which would lead to a definition of the firmament as non-solid. You can
only avoid the solidity of the firmament in Gen 1 by opting for a definition
of the underlying Hebrew word raqia' which is based on bare possibility and
rejects probability. So, if you really accept the science in Gen 1 as a
divine revelation, you must believe that the sky is rock-solid and could
fall. Or, as in the story of the flood, that it could open up and the ocean
above it (which is still there according to the Bible) could pour down and
flood the earth again.

A scientific analysis of the sky indicates, however, that this description of
the sky in Genesis is not scientifically sound. The solidity of the sky,
which is perhaps more evident on a star-lit night than during the day, is an
illusion not a scientific fact. Do you really believe that those who prefer
"the conclusions of men to the Scriptures" with regard to the nature of the
sky are really confirming that "the heart is deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked'?

Do you believe the sky is rock-solid with an ocean above the sun, moon and
stars that could still come down and flood the earth? Or do you
wiggle-waggle the Bible until its description of the sky with an ocean above
it is rationalized away to agree with modern science, to agree with "the
conclusions of men."?

Paul S.