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Atheist Community of Austin
'Missing link' :-) between evolution and Genesis

Genesis 1:5 ends with: ...and there was evening, and there was morning, one day. I propose this could be interpreted as such: 'one day' indicates a date in time. Examples: One day, I'm going to learn how to juggle. One day last week, I went to the store. This could explain that Gen. 1:1 through 1:5 could have occurred over billions of years.

God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1:5

It's not "one day" - it's the first day.

Why would a superior being or god, who is responsible for creating everything, be telling the story of creation by using words like evening, morning, and "first day" that don't compute to millions of years? If He meant a day was millions of years and everything evolved; why not just say so?

Alan, This is not a missing link from the origin of things described in the Bible to the origin of things as described by modern science. You have provided a connection based upon semantics. Bill Clinton did a similar song-and-dance when he asserted that he never had sex with that woman - - - that Ms Lewinsky. Bill Clinton did this with intent to deceive. Hillary was not deceived, Bill got a big slap in the face.

Whatever your motive was in posting this, your assertion is goofy and is not insightful.

There are many missing links from the Genesis story to the modern science story. There are many links that are not missing. Those links consist of the writings of ancient people which trace the development of the modern view. Additional links are the artifacts of ancient cultures which scientists have discovered. All of this tells a story of people building new things and new ideas based upon what had been invented before. Things and ideas are invented and improved over time. Rome was not built in a day. Darwin's Origin of Species rests upon ages of earlier scientific progress. It was an idea whose time had come.

The Bible contains a great deal of science and politics. The science part is the explanation as to where things come from and why things happen the way that they do. The politics part is the various mandates from God as to how we human beings must conduct ourselves as we go through life.

This defines the clash between church people and atheists. The ancient science and politics promoted in the Bible are held up as the divine, eternal, and perfect word of God. They are not seen by church people as being science or politics at all. They are seen as being the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me Jesus.

The Bible was written by humans, not by God. As such, its science and politics can include the good, the bad, and the mediocre. All of this was written so long ago that its age is showing. Atheists are quite rightly angered at the harm that the worship of these ancient ideas can do to people.

Knowledge, or certainty?

The fundamentalist church people come down on the side of certainty. I come down on the side of knowledge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkgkook5jro

Chuck Johnson said, "Alan, This is not a missing link from the origin of things described in the Bible to the origin of things as described by modern science. You have provided a connection based upon semantics. Bill Clinton did a similar song-and-dance when he asserted that he never had sex with that woman - - - that Ms Lewinsky. Bill Clinton did this with intent to deceive. Hillary was not deceived, Bill got a big slap in the face. Whatever your motive was in posting this, your assertion is goofy and is not insightful."

Or you could compare Alan's 'Missing link' :-) to Bush's WMD's (that didn't actually ever exist) but got us into a terrible war that produced nothing but a lot of dead people, which one do you think is the worse? I knew what Alan was trying claim - the idea is not big news is it? Many apologists have claimed that we don't know what the span of time was between the morning and the evening in Genesis - we don't know if it was millions of years? Except he's not making any connection to the evolutionary 'missing link. He is actually arguing for the position that God didn't create the universe in one week; he's making an excuse for that biblical mistake, since we know today that evolution takes millions of years. Many astronomers base their age calculations on the Hubble constant (H0). This "constant" describes how fast the universe is expanding. Estimates for the length of time for the galaxies to have spread apart to their present spacing are in excess of 10,000 million years.

The missing link refers to fossils that are the first link to all humans; like Ida, scientists think she could be a common ancestor of apes and monkeys - and humans. Ida is an astonishingly well-preserved primate fossil. Scientists think this fossil is the first link to all humans.

Lucy, the famous Ethiopian fossil (Australophithecus afarensis) that is 3.2million years old, is just 40 per cent. complete. Ida is around 44million years older and is roughly 95 per cent complete. Individual hairs can be seen imprinted into the rock.

She belongs to the group from which higher primates and human beings developed but she is probably not on the direct line. Ida comes from a time when the primate family tree was splitting into two groups - one with humans, apes and monkeys, the other with lemurs and bush babies. Her teeth appear to indicate that although she appears more similar to a lemur, she is actually closer to the line that resulted in apes, monkeys and humans.

Ida is an incredibly well preserved lemur-like creature who died in a lake 47million years ago. Scientists claim she is an important 'missing link' in mankind's family tree and will shed light on a crucial part of evolution. The lemur's skeleton shows distinct physical characteristics of human beings, such as opposable thumbs - or hands that can grasp things

Chuck Johnson said, "There are many missing links from the Genesis story to the modern science story."

The "inspired by God" Creation stories in Genesis are not compatible with science.

The so-called 'missing links' prove the Genesis story is bull shit. There are many transitional fossils, the primate-human transitional form, Australopithecus. A fossil named Ida (announced in May 2009) is an extraordinary find a perfectly preserved 47 million year old fossil found in Germany - a 'missing link' in human evolution. Eusthenopteron shows marvelous intermediate characteristics between the lobe-finned fishes and the amphibians. The transitional fossils between amphibians are so various and so intermediate that it is difficult to define where one group ends and the other begin. Archaeopteryx (most primitive bird known) is clearly intermediate between reptiles and birds. In spite of such reptilian affinities as a long bony tail, toothed jaws, and clawed wings, creationists declare that because Archaeopteryx had feathers, it was a bird, not a transitional stage between reptiles and birds. Having no explanations of their own, the creationists attempt to deny the transitional fossils out of existence. More fossils are discovered every year, and each one further weakens the creationists' position.

Chuck Johnson said, "There are many links that are not missing. Those links consist of the writings of ancient people which trace the development of the modern view."

What writings are you talking about? Historical or religious?

Chuck Johnson said, "Additional links are the artifacts of ancient cultures which scientists have discovered. All of this tells a story of people building new things and new ideas based upon what had been invented before. Things and ideas are invented and improved over time. Rome was not built in a day."

But the issue is not about artifacts of actual ancient cultures that we know exist; it's about what (doesn't exist) or we don't have. A true scholarly account of actual historical events or a historical person refer to sources that trace to contemporary writing of the event or subject themselves, or to personal or eyewitness accounts. None of the Gospel writers give reliable sources to eyewitnesses; it's all hearsay. None of the Gospels existed during the alleged life of Jesus including those discovered at Nag Hammadi. We have to separate truth from fiction before we can increase our knowledge and understanding or history. Most people and (especially) scholars know that there are no original New Testament documents. There is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. There are no sculptures or paintings of Jesus. There are no artifacts or writings by Jesus or his contemporaries. We have proof that a historical figure lived a hundred years before Jesus - Julius Caesar. We have Julius Caesar's own writings. We also have actual letters that were written to Caesar and letters that Caesar wrote. Contemporary historians wrote about the life of Caesar. However, the prodigy (genius child) Jesus never wrote a word. Jesus never wrote anyone a letter and we do not have any original documents written by his disciples or followers.

Chuck Johnson said, "Darwin's Origin of Species rests upon ages of earlier scientific progress. It was an idea whose time had come."

I guess so, but Darwin waited a long time before he published his findings for fear of persecution, and there is a long history of this, the ancient Greeks thought that new species of plants, animals and humans evolved from other species and that the world contains only those that can survive the struggle for life. But the ideas of the early Greeks were not well-known or openly talked about because of their fear of religious persecution or social humiliation. There has been a conflict between religion and science from the beginning of science. A provable examples of that conflict are the heresy trials of Galileo and others and the Scopes trial. The Church has persecuted or opposed almost every great scientist of the last 500 years. Andrew White, onetime president of Cornell University, wrote a two-volume history of the conflict 'The Warfare Of Science With Theology' it covers hundreds of historical cases of persecution. The Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White by Andrew Dickson White is full of information about the ruthless power hungry Church. He claimed that the Church repeats the same three-step process when confronted by a contradictory (conflicting with the bible) scientific discovery. The first thing the Church tries to do is censor the so-called "heretical" theory (censorship and persecution) of the scientist. If evidence supporting the scientific theory grows, then the Church find a compromise position that incorporates both viewpoints. The scientific theory usually wins and the Church is left to with only apologetics to explain away and defends the Church's actions.

There are members of the clergy today that claim that there is not, and never was, any conflict between the Church and science. A scientific theory requires evidence before it is believed; religion only requires faith, and historically the clergy has denied scientific theories that dispute what is written in the Bible. Even today science is being obstructed by religious fools.

Chuck Johnson said, "The Bible contains a great deal of science and politics. The science part is the explanation as to where things come from and why things happen the way that they do. The politics part is the various mandates from God as to how we human beings must conduct ourselves as we go through life."

The Church has never been on the cutting edge of science (to the contrary) the Church fathers persecuted scientists from the beginning of Christianity. Some members of the clergy avoid these issues by claiming that "religion explains areas of existence that science cannot." That's right, because science is involved in areas of existence that are provable and nobody can study a spook. Some of the clergy claim that the only reason that Christians doubted the scientific theories was because scientists represent atheistic and materialistic views. I guess that will do away with the silly notion that the clergy disputed scientific theories because scientific theories didn't agree with what was written in the Bible? Now it has all been settled so why don't the scientists shut up? Scientists know that the flat earth crowd has been attacking them for years and their "compatibility" statement will not change a thing. The clergy wants a Christian voice in scientific areas, and they want students of science in the universities to have greater faith in the Creator. However, the fault-finding clergy who are saying that there is compatibility between science and religion claim that science could never provide a full explanation of our understanding of the world, because no matter how close to the truth science and math theory are, they are only approximations. They know that their "faith based" arguments have been abandoned by anyone with any sense because they contradict scientific theory, so the only thing left is to claim that science cannot be entirely accurate, so there is always a degree of mystery. And guess what? They claim that any remaining mystery is God. "The god of the gaps" can always solve any mystery. What are the mysteries that the Bible has solved even approximately? No matter, because scientists solved this mystery, there is no God.

Chuck Johnson said, "This defines the clash between church people and atheists. The ancient science and politics promoted in the Bible are held up as the divine, eternal, and perfect word of God. They are not seen by church people as being science or politics at all. They are seen as being the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me Jesus."

Send up a flare! Is this news?

Chuck Johnson said, "The Bible was written by humans, not by God. As such, its science and politics can include the good, the bad, and the mediocre. All of this was written so long ago that its age is showing. Atheists are quite rightly angered at the harm that the worship of these ancient ideas can do to people."

Well, it's not just fundamentalists with a problem, I think all the followers need to prove that their Holy Books were God inspired and that He is the 'one true God' (and if that is so) why didn't he leave anything to prove that. After all there are so many 'One True Gods.' It's interesting that He (One True God) couldn't explain how the Universe and life in that Universe evolved. He couldn't explain anything scientifically if his Almighty life depended on it. God and all of the nonsense in the bible was borrowed from existing myths and conveniently never returned. God came to earth in human form and He didn't even make a small dent in all the suffering. The one true God religion was actually the cause of an increase in suffering. Why worship that? If there were a God who came here He should have anticipated the inquisitions, and He should have made disease and hunger impossible. All believers need to produce actual feasible evidence that their claims are true. The "you can't prove there is no God" is not evidence. I can't prove that there is no Peter Pan. It is plainly absurd.

We do not believe in things, which we conveniently cannot observe. He has reasons for waiting to prove He exist I'm sure. What are they?

Linda, My august 5 reply to Alan is not understandable to your satisfaction, as your August 9th reply notes.

I kept my words to a minimum, so now I need to add some more words to fill in gaps.

Firstly, my comments refer only to cultural phenomena going back to when the first parts of the Bible were written. Alan speculates that Genesis may have occurred over billions of years, but I know that (A) God did not write Genesis, humans did, and that (B) Humans did not know how to write billions of years ago.

This is why I have made no reference to Lucy or to anything else dug up by paleontologists.

You can best understand my August 5th message by seeing what I see: two separate streams of cultural development in Western civilization.

Around the time that the Bible was written, people had stories about where things came from and why things happened the way that they do. Polytheism was popular, and then monotheism mostly replaced it.

I consider these ancient stories to be science as long as curiosity, discourse, teaching, and contention were substantially present.

Politics and law were a natural part of this same system of beliefs, because God had the duty to tell us humans how we must live our lives. God was super knowledgeable, and it was logical to do what he instructs. Also, it was very dangerous to disregard his word. He was super powerful. And somewhat cranky.

The Genesis creation story lost its scientific aspect as people at the top of The Pyramid of Authority latched onto it and made it their own property. That's when the information in the Bible was converted from science into the BELIEVE IT OR ELSE ! style of dogma.

This is how religious leaders, along with kings and queens had their exalted positions ordained and mandated by God. Very convenient for these folks who enjoyed wealth, power, privilege, and luxury.

The information in the Bible was then frozen in time, and concealed behind a stained glass window. It wasn't until 1454 that the Gutenberg Bible began to break this monopoly which was enjoyed by the catholic church.

The printing press was science and engineering that the church had not anticipated. The Gutenberg Bible was beyond the control of the catholic church. Johannes Gutenberg was flying under the radar.

By the 1600s, lenses were being made in Holland for eyeglasses. These lenses also worked well to make telescopes. Galileo Galilei in Italy, made an even better telescope, and what he saw and reported rocked the world of science, and rocked the world of Western religion. Again, Galileo was flying under the radar. How could the Pope have known about this startling new technology? God couldn't tell him. God learns only what the Pope tells him.

Charles Darwin, and so many others were all flying under the radar.

The eternal and everlasting truth of the Bible had been outpaced and overtaken. The ancient science of Genesis had been intentionally frozen in time, never to change or improve, never to be augmented or revised. This was seen as the best way to keep the powerful people in power and to maintian the fortunes of the wealthy. Apparently, the folks in authority had not anticipated that a second (and ever-growing) stream of cultural development had been underway. This second stream has become the science, law, and politics of today. It continues to leave the ancient teachings behind, and at an ever-increasing pace. The Pope can no longer issue a command and get the hoped-for responses. The Pope himself is now examined under the microscope of modern science, law, and politics.

Who could have anticipated such a turn of events?

Saint Paul could not have known all that you and I know about the direction in which science, law, and politics were headed. But he seems to have suspected that the world order was not what it pretended to be:

But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Isaac Asimov was a biochemist, a science fiction writer, and an atheist. He wrote the short story Nightfall in 1941.

You can read it here:

http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/fwalter/AST389/TEXTS/Nightfall.htm

This is a story about a civilization on a distant planet. The citizens discover in a spectacular way that things are very different from what they thought they were.

Sorry this didn't occur to me until today: Gen. 1:5b - And there (in that location--e.g., China) was evening, and there (in another location on the other side of the world--e.g., US) was morning, one day. It's evening in China when it's morning in the US. (separating the light from the darkness, vs. 4)

Alan said, "Sorry this didn't occur to me until today: Gen. 1:5b - And there (in that location--e.g., China) was evening, and there (in another location on the other side of the world--e.g., US) was morning, one day. It's evening in China when it's morning in the US. (separating the light from the darkness, vs. 4)"

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1:3-5

Your scenario where God is talking about the light in one part of the Earth and the darkness in the other doesn't help at-all.

Genesis is saying God is separating the Day (light) from the Darkness (night). Genesis does not mention that the Earth rotates completely once every day. We all know that the Earth rotates on its own axis. If the Earth didn't rotate there wouldn't be night and day. There would be a light and dark side of the Earth. The side with light would be very hot and the dark side would be very cold. The rotation of the Earth is a very important factor in the development of all life. But God never mentions making the Earth rotate or that this is the reason why there is darkness and light. He doesn't know?

And another problem is that Genesis states: "And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day." Genesis 1:3-5 but Genesis 1:14-19 states that God didn't create the Sun until the fourth day.

Much of the order of events of Creation written in Genesis (defies reason) and is not scientifically possible. Genesis states that God created the Earth before the Sun. We know that the Sun is much older than the Earth, and the Earth orbits around the sun. Genesis also has the creation of the plants before the sun. etc..

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