A few points to clarify before moving on with this “Wavering” series (the name works well enough):
1. If it seems like I’m “attacking” Christianity, that’s because I am. My natural bias is towards Christianity, since it’s been part of my life so long. There’s much less of a reason to try to find information to support what I’d prefer to be true as compared to trying to find the weaknesses what what I believe and see if it holds up.
2. I’m not trying to look “scholarly” or “intelligent”, although that may be a side effect. I want to be right. If Christianity is a reasonable viewpoint, I want to know that. If Christianity is a superstition, I will abandon it.
3. One principle that I will follow goes something like this: if there are multiple explanations for an event, the explanations that fit the data are more likely to be true than ones that try to explain inconvenient data away. It was put more elegantly by the original source, which was, ironically, a creationist website. (For future reference, I’ll call this the Data Conveniency Principle, although probably someone already has a better name for it!)
4. Ideas, contributions, responses not only welcome, but desired.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Creation account: Even most non-Christians are familiar with this one, where God created the Earth and its habitants in six days. Furthermore, based on the geneology presented in the Bible, the age of the Earth would be measured in thousands or tens of thousands of years. There’s some ambiguity because ancient genealogies did not necessarily cover every single person in the line, but it would be difficult to get even 100,000 years.
The scientific community believes the Earth to be 5 billion years old, and early humans to be 1-3 million years old.
Clearly, someone’s wrong.
As awful as this will sound to some of you, I’m going with the scientists on this one. (Note to random visitors: mostly friends and family read this, and it’s 75-80% Christian.)
Remember that the point of this exercise is to determine how viable the Bible is, from the standpoint of the Bible may or may not be true. If it’s “Here are the measurements that we’ve taken, how we did it, and we can reproduce it for you” versus “Here’s revealed truth from thousands of years ago, but you have to take it on faith”, I’m going with the first.
Some Christians have proposed that the six days actually represent eons of time to put the Bible in line with science. This rubs up against our recently christened Data Conveniency Principle. Furthermore, the language of the passage seems to clearly indicate six literal days (“the evening and the morning were the first day”).
It could be argued that the creation passage was written to demonstrate God’s power, and not to provide an exact account of Earth’s origins. However, the language seems more like a history, and other Biblical characters who reference it seem to take it as a literal account.
I’ve also heard a few say there is a conspiracy in the scientific community to discredit the Bible. This is paranoia.
That’s all for now; I’m losing my train of thought. Touching the subject evolution proper is redundant.