Week #1 of a special series of weekly Revulsionals on the controversial Six Days of Creation
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Gen. 1:1-5)
† 1:1 Theologians and scientists both assert that the holy writ and empirical science cannot be coalesced into single unifying theory. The Medieval and Renaissance Church believed that science had to be of the Devil, because the findings of science did not marry with the teachings of the holy writ. Galileo Galilei is the most historically remembered victim of the Roman Catholic Churches inquisition against science. Should the holy writ be taken literally? Augstine of Hippo writes it is a wretched slavery which takes the figurative expression of scripture in a literal sense,
“But the ambiguities of metaphorical words, about which I am next to speak, demand no ordinary care and diligence. In the first place, we must beware of taking a figurative expression literally. For the saying of the apostle applies in this case too: ‘The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ For when what is said figuratively is taken as if it were said literally, it is understood in a carnal manner. And nothing is more fittingly called the death of the soul than when that in it which raises it above the brutes, the intelligence namely, is put in subjection to the flesh by a blind adherence to the letter. For he who follows the letter takes figurative words as if they were proper, and does not carry out what is indicated by a proper word into its secondary signification; but, if he hears of the Sabbath, for example, thinks of nothing but the one day out of seven which recurs in constant succession; and when he hears of a sacrifice, does not carry his thoughts beyond the customary offerings of victims from the flock, and of the fruits of the earth. Now it is surely a miserable slavery of the soul to take signs for things, and to be unable to lift the eye of the mind above what is corporeal and created, that it may drink in eternal light.”
Where the Christians speaks in metaphors, the scientist speaks through the scientific process. The Christian says, Let there be Light, while the physicist says, the Big Bang. Are they not describing the same moment of the creation of the universe? The Christian says it took seven days for God to create the universe, the astrophysicist says, 13.8 billion years. Are they not describing the same length of time? The Christian says that Adam (Hebrew: אָדָם, human) ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, while the evolutionary biologist says humans an evolved from more primitive primates. Are they not describing the same process? The Christians tells of the murder of Abel the hunter by Cain the farmer, the anthropologist says agriculture supplanted our hunter-gatherer roots. Are they not describing the same growth towards civilization? The Christian describe a behemoth or the leviathan, while the paleontologist says dinosaur. Are they not describing the same creature? The Creationist says, God hangeth the earth upon nothing (Job 26:7), while the astronomer says, the Earth orbits the Sun. Are they not describing the same movement. The Christian tells of Noah and the great flood, while the archeologist records similar flood myths from nearly every civilization: Sumerian, Babylonian, Abrahamic, Ancient Greek, Chinese, Hindu, Inca, Hopi Indian, etc. ad nauseam. Are they not describing the same flood? The Christian tells the story of an Exodus from Egypt over the Red Sea, while the paleontologist describes the migration of Homo erectus out of Africa 800,000 years ago. Are they not describing the same exodus? Probably not, but it was certainly worth the chance.