Sunday, August 17, 2008

Non-Answers in Genesis

Heralded public intellectual and high-stakes power broker Pastor Rick Warren speaks for millions when he says:

If you're asking me do I believe in evolution, the answer is no, I don't. I believe that God, at a moment, created man. I do believe Genesis is literal, but I do also know metaphorical terms are used. Did God come down and blow in man's nose? If you believe in God, you don't have a problem accepting miracles. So if God wants to do it that way, it's fine with me.
Genesis includes the story of Noah's Ark, in which an elderly middle-eastern man with no apparent means of global circumnavigation was commanded by god to build a very large boat and fill it with breeding pairs of every species on earth. Noah and his family would hold the animals on the ship while god went about flooding every other man, woman, child, and creature to death and oblivion -- yes, he was that angry.

People attached to the view that "Genesis is literal [sic]" have long struggled to explain how and why Noah and his vessel saved elephants and koalas and mosquitos and the e coli bacteria and HIV, but none of the dinosaurs; and how and why piranhas and bottlenose dolphins would be at risk from drowning in the first place, and how an ark (of all things) would help them with any such problem; and how and why plesiosaurs or icthyosaurs died in a flood.

All well and good, but the good people at the denialism blog have a much better, more focused question for Pastor Rick and others who "believe Genesis is literal [sic]":
Hypothesis: The Biblical Deluge occured at a certain time which is knowable from scripture. The events surrounding it is known from scripture. Therefore, scientific facts should confirm these events.

What is one of the singular biological events of the Flood? Two. By. Two. A small founder population of each species to repopulate the globe. If this in fact happened, it should be possible to do genomic analysis to show a founder that dates back to the year of the flood.

This is actual science. Either genetic history of extant species bears out this few thousand year old founder hypothesis, or it doesn't.
The smart money says it doesn't, but this is a perfectly straightforward opportunity for creationists to put up or shut up.

4 comments:

Bpaul said...

"The smart money says it doesn't, but this is a perfectly straightforward opportunity for creationists to put up or shut up. "

Although I think the argument is way too polarized at the moment, I must predict a "shut up" stance for the creationists on this one.

nazir_bht@yahoo.com said...

you may please answer:Mr. A who undertook air travel met an accident in which all passengers on board got killed except
Mr"A"Mr. "A" has to define his safe exit from the accident and being athiest is confused. Mr. "A" can;t state. it was act of God; second; he; can;t state it was natural incidence being naturalist he belives in reason and rationale and not smpathy in selectivity.what should Mr; A say in terms of reason and rationale? thanks.

Dale said...

Nazir, It very much depends, doesn't it? Mr. A can point out that he alone was wearing a seat belt? That he alone was wearing fire-retardant clothing? That he alone could swim? That he alone bothered to read and understand the safety information pertaining to the plane? That he happened to be shielded by a large suitcase? That he alone was wearing a parachute? That he alone was a stuntman or fireman or soldier or (etc.) by training and knew how to handle himself in a fall and/or a fire?

Or that he was simply lucky? Luck happens.

The idea that god reached down and spared Mr. A and only Mr. A strikes you as a better explanation? How did god do so? Why did god do so? What is the evidence establishing that god (whatever or whoever that is) saved him to the exclusion of all other hypotheses? The "god did it" hypothesis is a non-answer that just raises more questions.

nazir_bht@yahoo.com said...

this is the point where belivers and non-beivers meet.non-belivers as ratonalists seek mathematical precision and explanation of the worldly things including God and Godly acts.rationalists hold that everything existing here could be explained with reason and logic and to reach certain logical conclusion can assume things byway of speculation as done by you in the present case.similar argument hold good for thiests who after understanding the neatly order o things in the world which surptisingly is error free could not be possible without its creator.thanks