Recently I was perusing the comments over at one of my favorite sites, “Stufffundieslike.com”, and the topic of conversation was that old Christian punching bag, evolution.
Of course, this inevitably leads to hyper-literal interpretations of the Genesis account (and it did) and Young Earth Indoctrin…er, Creationism. And this of course leads one to the boxing ring of scientific experimental evidence versus endless appeals to the fact that God can do anything and punting reason into the great void of mystic shrugging of shoulders and the “mysteries of God”.
At any rate, for the Young Earth folks, this apparently includes punting the explicit assumption that God, in the creation process, engaged willfully and “intelligently” certain redundant actions by having Creation do at the beginning what five hundred plus years of scientific observation have concluded it cannot possibly do.
This boxing match is on round one million now, and though the Young Earth side is on the ground dead and dying, they cling to the hopes that before the referee will reach ten in the KO count their cries of “heretic” will somehow revive them.
Any question on where I stand on the issue?
Good. I was laying on the sarcasm pretty thick.
The problem I see with the whole debate is that no one ever seems to bring up what is to me, the most obvious contradiction, and veritably proves that the Genesis account can only be man’s interpretation of the event, and can by no means be seen as a way to rationally explain what actually happened as a function of some kind of external objective time frame.
The contradiction is this:
Will some Young Earth dude or dudette please define “day”, “twenty -four”, “hour”, and “one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven” as applied to a God who all Creationists openly admit is not bound by space or time. For the terms I have put in quotes cannot exist without explicitly being a function of both space and time; and this of course means that in order for God to have created in such a way, he must also explicitly operate as a function of space and time. If he does not, there is no way to declare that he ever created anything in a specific amount of time in a specific number of days. Because time and day can have no reciprocal value.
As I responded to one Creationist over at Stuff Fundies Like dot com:
“If God is not bound by space or time, how can he create in a specific number of days? Space time implies a where and a when to an action–day 1 was here and within this 24 hours; day two was here, and within a second set of 24 hours. This explicitly means God is in fact a function of space and time, and is working within the parameters of them. But you just conceded that God doesn’t work within the confines of space or time.
Can you explain the apparent contradiction?”
I didn’t hang around the site for an explanation because my last question was clearly rhetorical. It was rhetorical because I already know the answer, and so do you, because the answer is one we constantly hear from neo-reformed shills and is a resounding and earth shattering, truth-surrendering, death cry of “no'”.
Oh, I’m sorry. A simple “no” is waaaay to logical for a Calvinist. The appropriately obfuscating reply will be: “Who can explain His ways?”; “who are you o man to question your maker?”; “God has only revealed what we “need” to know, and that doesn’t include root understandings about the nature of reality and existence, because that would limit the power of the protestant despots to declare their interpretive premises of the Bible as “God’s Infallible Word””.
That’s the answer. And, so really…the answer is (and I’ll fill in for them the non-propagandized version): “No…it is in fact a contradiction, and that is all it really is.”
Now, I understand that one might be tempted–as is the case with the false idea of the “trinity”–to declare that, were man around to see creation happen, it would seem to man to take “six literal days”.
To which I would reply: No it wouldn’t, for a couple reasons.
First, you have already conceded that God is not bound by space and time; and the explicit assumption, and also oft-conceded (His ways are NOT your ways, you depraved beast…shut up and tithe, for you are merely a steward, and the master demands the mammon that he did not work for, because he takes what is his, that you must work for so that he will give it to you so you can give it to me and I will give it back to God)…
Oh…sorry. Where was I?
…oft conceded fact that humans are of course bound by space and time. So there is no reciprocity of existence, is what I mean. You can never by definition experience the creative process from God’s frame of reference. You can only experience it from your prison of spacetime. And as such, there is simply no way in the world to define how God’s creative process would “look” to you; nor how you would “experience” it. It simply isn’t possible…especially since the Young Earth folks have already conceded that man is bound existentially and God is not. At best, you can only say that you would “experience’ it according to your own ability to observe as a function of space time. That being the case–and according to the objective evidence which shows that the processes involved in creation are–to man–processes which take millions and billions of years to occur (like, for instance, the evolution of a planet and a star from a weakly-interacting primordial subatomic ooze of mass-less, catatonic particles)–you would ‘observe” the creation process as millions and billions of years…much like you experience the waiting rooms of societies which offer universal health care. And this being the case, you’d be dead before the “sun set’ on day one.
All this is to say that even if God says He made everything in six days, and we agree that that this is indeed what God’s Word really was (and we don’t agree, by the way), we have absolutely no way at all of verifying in any way that the definition of God’s “day” is the same as our day. Doing that can never be a function of either empirical scientific experiment, nor can it be logically confirmed. Because creation occurs from the divine frame of reference, there can be no reciprocity of “when” or “where” or “how” or “how long”, or “number” or even a reciprocal value of movement of any kind. Since man’s observational frame of reference is wholly and utterly mutually exclusive to God’s, there is no way you can ever rationally make the the argument for “six literal day”. For “six” and “literal” and “days” cannot be defined. If you say they are defined by how man experiences it, you condemn God to the sheep pen of space time; for if that is how long it took Him, then that is by which He must create; and His actions are limited as a function of space and time. Which means He, Himself is bound by them. Which means He isn’t really God, but space and time are. Because they are the only things that are infinite and “perfect”. (And also self-contradicting, but I won’t explain why just now; unless you want me to.)
As I’ve often said, Calvinist despots cannot have their metaphysical cake and eat it too. If God is infinite, then He cannot be bound by the same numbers man is. That’s just the deal they make. As soon as they define God as infinite, sovereign, in control, and wholly outside of man, they must concede then there are things He cannot do. And one of the things is that He cannot create anything in six literal days.
Otherwise, you, the Calvinist, are a rational thief. And no one is obligated to listen to you; for you cannot even reasonably defend your own “truth”. The more you talk such nonsense, the more we must realize that, by your own admission, you cannot really know anything at all.
Finally, consider this:
The Law of Relativity in part states that if a person leaves earth at light speed and returns ten minutes later, a person remaining on earth would have aged ten years (or thereabouts) and the person who left at light speed would have aged only ten minutes (or thereabouts). Both would have experienced the passage of time identically, however, when together, it would be clear that time did not “pass” the same for both.
Their frames of reference are utterly exclusive, which is why the numbers cannot be reconciled (ten minutes does not equal ten years…the time was relative). So…what we learn from this is that the frame of reference is not really spacetime at all, it is self. And since it is not spacetime, and can never be, time and space can only ever be, particularly in that little example, relative. And if time and space are relative between two selves, like man and God, then there is no way to reconcile the behavior of either according to some kind of external standard. If God is infinite and man is not, then the numbers can never be reconciled.
God could not have created the earth and the universe in six literal days. Because, as I said, “six”, and “literal” and “days” are purely relative terms. The have no reciprocal value. Period.
Young Earth Creationism operates on false assumptions. Therefore, its conclusions are false.