Re: [asa] Proof (was: Our discourse here)

From: <james000777@bellsouth.net>
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 17:06:29 EST

Don said:
> I would have thought that the answer to your question would have been
> clear from my previous message.

It isn't.

> I regard the whole of Genesis 1 and 2 as being an account of God's activity. "Natural" and
> "supernatural" are not suitable categories on which to divide the Bible.

That just dodges the question. Either you think a statement or event in Gen 1 and 2 is describable and understandable using the natural, physical laws as we know them, or you don't.

[from previous email]
> Further, he should be prepared to recognize that most scholars see
> different genres in the Bible, even if he himslf denies that that there
> are different genres.

I don't deny that there are different genres. I think we agree there.

> Genesis 1 is clearly an account of God's activity, but not of the type that James thinks it is.

Assumptions about what I think could be grossly inaccurate, best not to go there.

Michael said:
> Genesis speaks of creation by God - whatever that means beyond creating!

Indeed. I would call the Big Bang, singular creation event both transcendent and supernatural, and consistent with Genesis 1:1. I didn't think there would be any here that would disagree with that, and so it is unclear and surprising to me how one can think of this event in Gen 1:1 as either natural or as "not supernatural". This is of course pre-supposing the current natural laws that we know and understand. I consider God working through those laws in ways we DON'T understand to be equally as supernatural as God working outside those laws, if that helps.

From the origins of the universe to the origins of life on earth 3.8 bya, how much of it was supernatural intervention and how much of it was providence is a matter of debate and opinion. Just for the sake of argument, I will grant that it could all have been done naturally, through God's providential oversight of the universe during the 10 billion years from the singular Creation event until the origins of life.

However, when we get to the surface of the planet Earth, 3.8 bya, when life began, this is where I depart from the naturalists that think abiogenesis has a chance. We find signs of biogenesis in the earliest rocks - therefore there was no "abiogenesis". The earliest signs of life found is complex bacterial life (even if it is primitive cyanobacterica). This is an area of expertise - I have a BS in Biology, minored in biochemistry, and my PhD was cell-biology focused. Life did not come from non-life, at least without God's supernatural intervention. You can work that into Genesis somewhere between 1:2 and 1:20.

As much as I like Bob Russell's OSP model, you can't apply it here, in my opinion. You don't have DNA. If you really choose to believe that God did this naturally, that truly is a choice. I believe it is inconsistent with what we know about biochemistry, about the length of time necessary, and with what is written in Genesis 1.

From bacteria to pre-Adam, I will grant, simply for the sake of argument, God's action through natural means. That gets us to Genesis 1:26-27:

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

About 40 kya we have what is known as the "cultural explosion". Some naturalists try and pass it off as happening gradually, just like they try and pass off the Cambrian explosion as being gradually. It wasn't, and calling it gradual doesn't change it's non-graduality. While skeletal remains consistent with H. sapiens can be found as early as 100 kya, it is the 40 kya period that marks the presence of a thinking man, and a spiritual man. There doesn't seem to be any gradual mechanism in this...it just was. It doesn't seem to have evolved, but if so, it did so very rapidly. While one can discuss the natural composition of the human body until the cows come home, the supernatural creation of Adam and making him imago dei is just that - supernatural.

So hopefully, that will give you something to reply to...much better than stating these aren't "suitable categories".

JP

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Received on Sun, 01 Mar 2009 22:06:29 +0000

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