Monday, May 6, 2013

Genesis: Making Stuff (Up)

Worked over 10 hours yesterday. Yes, it was a Sunday. No mobs showed up to stone me to death as a result. But if anyone would like to form a mob to stone my bosses for making it necessary, I’m pretty sure arrangements can be made.
Making an offer on a house today. Busy times, but I managed to start my little project anyway. So without further ado, let’s jump in, shall we?

“1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

And with that, we’re off to the races. We have light without source, darkness without any objects to cast shadows, and day and night without any sun. But whatever, it’s pretty abstract shit. But basically, it’s the creation story we’re mostly familiar with if we grew up in the West. The days continue and we get the following timeline:

Day 2: God separates the “waters above” from the “waters below” with an expanse that he calls Heaven (so we have two layers of water separated by Heaven – a Heaven sandwich!).
Day 3: God gathers the waters below into one place, exposing dry land. Then he puts plants all over it.
Day 4: God puts up the sun and moon, and fills heaven with stars.
Day 5: Fish and birds
Day 6: Land animals and humans (when the hell did insects get made? Some fly like birds, some crawl like land animals).
Day 7: Rest.

At the end of it the Bible’s described a kind of layer cake of a world. At the bottom is the earth and some water. Above that is Heaven (kind of implied that Heaven = everything above the surface of the earth), and Heaven contains the Sun, moon, and stars… so basically the atmosphere and all of visible space (Odd that Heaven can be paradise while simultaneously being made of 99.99999999% environments that will kill you pretty much instantly – and possibly no water). Although to this point, there isn’t actually any claim of a Heavenly paradise, so I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. Beyond Heaven (beyond the edge of the observable universe?) is another layer of water.
I want to call particular attention to Day 3, when God’s making the plants. It reads like this:

“1:11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”

Why’s that important? Let’s proceed to Chapter 2 and find out.

“2:5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up – for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground – 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”

That’s a contradiction! Biblical perfection takes a flying leap out the window before we’re even ten verses into the second chapter. I mean, aside from the fact that the creation myth doesn’t line up with observed facts about the real world. If all you knew about the world was what you read in this book, even then it should be glaringly obvious that the writers didn’t have the first clue what they were talking about. Chapter 1 says plants were made on day 3 and humans on day 6, chapter two says humans were made first.

And don’t give me any crap about them saying the same thing because God just put seeds in the ground on Day 3, but they didn’t sprout until after man was made. The Day 3 description explicitly says the plants were brought forth and producing seeds of their own before the end of the day. These verses explicitly contradict each other, and saying otherwise is to pretend that they say something other than what they say.

Plus there’s the kind of asinine implication that humans working the ground is necessary for plants to grow in the first place. But whatever – I never expected science to be a strong suit in this book.

Guess that’s enough for today! Biblical literalism turns out to be logically impossible (Law of Non-contradiction), and Biblical perfection a myth. Next up will be the Fall.


  1. You are right, that is a contradiction. I also find it interesting that at Genesis 2:10, 'Moses' speaks of the four rivers which issued out of Eden as if they were still in existence in his day, despite the fact that he also claimed a worldwide flood had completely wiped out the landscape sometime in between.

    1. A good point, that. I've found that, as thorough as I try to be in my readings, and as much as I learn from doing them, there's always something else I could have picked up on.