Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just one Bible verse

I am going to examine just one claim of the Creation myth in the Bible by evaluating just one verse:

Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

To someone who knows about modern scientific discoveries and understanding, the passages in Genesis reveal a deeply localized pedestrian view of the Universe from the perspective and understanding of an unsophisticated observer. The emphasis on Earth its self as significant in the Universe betrays a provincial perspective. The scale of the rest of the Universe compared to the significance of the Earth and its day, night, sky, staggeringly great. It almost too much to express.

Our Sun is an average star. Even so, it is around a million times greater in volume than the Earth. There are billions of stars in billions of galaxies in the Universe many of them larger than the Sun by orders of magnitude. To say all of that was created on the fourth day when making the Earth took more than a day is clearly a notion proceeding from the perspective of an Earth bound author with little scientific knowledge. It is to the desert religious of the bronze age as if the stars were quickly stipple painted on to the sky as an after thought.

I understand that this is not the lynch pin of religion, of course. Though reading the myth does reveal its heavy dose of anthropic preference and inadequate description of what we now know is out there.

The most obnoxious thing is the phrase "two great lights". Because the author, or the author's imagined god, didn't happen to know that the Moon merely reflects the Sun's light and is not a source all its own.

When scrutinized from a perspective of truly greater light and knowledge, the Bible stories show their deep lack of understanding and real information about the Universe and they appear to be just what they are, the best effort of a quivering baffled and dazzled early man.


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