Re: Interpreting Genesis Ch 1

From: Peter Ruest <>
Date: Fri Sep 02 2005 - 11:10:30 EDT

Iain Strachan wrote:

> Since this thread has moved way off the original question of mine that
> prompted it, but moved into alternate and fascinating waters, I
> thought it needed a new title.

You're right. The same thought occurred to me, I just failed to do it.

> ...

(regarding the programming analogy:)

>>This analogy does not really take into consideration the narrative form of Gen.1
>>- which is enhanced by the 7-day structure. You would not think of writing a
>>software specification whose outline structure would conflict with the logic of
>>its implementation.
> It wouldn't conflict with the logic of the implementation, but equally
> the implementation wouldn't necessarily proceed in the same order as
> things appeared in the specification.

Yes, I accept that. On rethinking your idea, I realize that I hadn't
sufficiently taken into account its basic point of specification vs.
implementation. But then, wouldn't you have to talk of one or two different
programs being specified (let there be...) _and_ implemented (and it was...) on
each creation day?

> God's universe has to be a functioning whole at each point
>>during its creation. This would correspond to a requirement of each software
>>module to be testable immediately - without stubs. I rather get the impression
>>that the software creation analogy is just a trick to evade the perceived
>>problem of creation day 4.
> Not really (just a trick to get round day 4). I think it can be
> extended further, if we take the analogy of the planning (let there be
> ..) with the implementation phase ( physical processes that took place
> to bring all the planned things into place). If I write a software
> requirements specification, in terms of what the program looks like on
> the screen, what buttons there are on it, what is displayed, and what
> calculations are performed, then I do not say anything about how that
> program will come into being, e.g. what language will it be written
> in (C++, Basic, Fortran etc), or what algorithms will be used to
> perform the calculation, or what machine it will run on
> (Windows/Mac/Unix etc), or how many programmers are going to be
> involved in the project. But it could be said that I actually CREATE
> the system when I lay down that specification - I say "that's what
> it's going to do", and after that it comes into being by some means
> that is not specified in the requirements specification.

I agree that this is a reasonable model representing an aspect of God's creation
activity, although, as I said above, I would prefer to talk of a whole series of
programs - realized at different times, built one on top of the others, but
working together perfectly. I apologize for the dirty word "trick".

> Likewise, Genesis 1 does not tell you HOW the extraordinary complexity
> of life came into being (was it evolution, or God going zap, or some
> as yet unknown natural process). It tells you that God says it will
> be so, and it is, just as a team of programmers will carry out what
> the designer species.
> ... don't forget, this is just a "through the glass darkly" way of
> looking at it. I'm not saying it's gospel.
> Iain

Right. And I apply this same qualification to my own attempts at interpretation.


Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
<> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
"..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
Received on Fri Sep 2 11:16:53 2005

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