markfiend wrote:OK fine. I'll quit with the Emperor's new clothes thing.
But why bother trying to match the state of current knowledge with the Bible? Why not try to match it up with the Eddas? Or the Greek creation myths? Or the Aztec creation myths? Or... (Well you get the point.)
The reason that I can dismiss Gerald Schroeder as a crank is as follows:
Genesis Chapter 1, summary: (quickly typed up with reference to Genesis chapter 1 here)
Day 1: Creation of light and darkness
Day 2: Creation of the firmament, separation of waters above the firmament from those below it.
Day 3: Creation of dry land, and of land plants
Day 4: Creation of great lights (Sun and Moon)
Day 5: Creation of water animals and of birds
Day 6: Creation of land animals and mankind.
So, plants (never mind the Earth itself) come before the Sun? Birds come before land animals?
Listen, I don't have a problem with Genesis as mythology. I don't have a problem with religious believers. But trying to claim that the Genesis story matches up in any meaningful way with reality... I have a problem with.
Well, as it was mentioned many many years ago, creation of the sun means seeing the sun from Earth. It seems sort of obvious when the words morning and evening had already been used. So yes, the first plants formed when the atmosphere was not yet transparent. 'Birds' is a mistranslation for 'flying creatures', so again, yes, flying insects came before mammals.
Again, did you think that you thought of these questions first?
I find it amusing that you can so easily 'dismiss as a crank' someone with a doctorate in nuclear physics and earth and planetary sciences from MIT.
I think that you have to see how a religious believer would come at this. On the one hand, a single chapter out of the entire bible deals with creation. It really isn't that central. On the other hand it is there, and as a believer, genesis isn't 'mythology' in the classical sense, but is there for a reason. Personally, I think that the correlation between modern scientific explanation, and a proper reading of the creation account as explained by classic Jewish commentaries is too strong to ignore. Of course, if you don't come from the viewpoint of the bible being divine, then this will be extremely hard to accept, but I still think an objective look would be interesting.