The Bible still interpreting Genesis 1

The first chapters of the Book of Proverbs include a paean to the supremacy of wisdom. I’ve already commented, in my recent piece on “the deep”, on the brief passage in Prov. 3: Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | Leave a comment

The Bible interpreting Genesis 1

Given the modern interpretations of “which cosmology Genesis 1 teaches” (which I’ve argued is “no cosmology at all”), it can be quite instructive to see how other writers of the Hebrew Bible interpret the creation story when they use it themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | 4 Comments

On knitted floodgates

Just one more piece on detailed linguistic objections to the “goldfish bowl” cosmology so frequently attributed to the Old Testament. I’ve still one or two more generalised arguments to come, so if you’re not interested you’d better go off to the bar! This one is about the idea that the Hebrews believed that there were windows in the solid raqia of the heavens which God habitually opened to let in the cosmic ocean as rain. I’ll restrict myself to the negative case against this, rather than the positive, but surprisingly controversial, case for rain actually coming from clouds because I’ve dealt with it before here . Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | Comments Off on On knitted floodgates

The deep things of creation

Last time I looked at one passage often trotted out as overwhelming evidence for a solid raqia or firmament in the Genesis creation story, and showed, I hope, that another interpretation fits the context far better. As threatened, here’s a second post (and not the last, I fear) challenging the general conception of the “goldfish bowl universe” by debunking its details. In this case I want to look at the connotations of the word tehom, or “deep”, with which the supposed “primordial ocean” stretching boundlessly in all directions is often identified. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Theology | Comments Off on The deep things of creation

Through the looking-glass

Having had my mind drawn back to “Genesis cosmology” in the last post (which showed that cosmology is actually culturally impossible in Genesis!) I might spend a few posts boring you all with some further observations seeking to undermine the detail of what, as far as I can see, is an entirely spurious idea of “ancient science”, which I call the “goldfish bowl cosmos”. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | Comments Off on Through the looking-glass

The world before the world

Preston Garrison recently sent me (courtesy of Ted Davis) an interesting review (limited access – sorry) for a forthcoming academic tome on Babylonian science, knowing I’d be interested both because of my musings on what science is, and what it isn’t, and also because it has implications for interpreting the early chapters of Genesis. I’m tempted to buy it when it comes out, despite the price and having to learn cuneiform(!), but meanwhile some thoughts. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 11 Comments

Natural realities

At the back of our house we have a one and a half acre meadow on a steep slope. I went out this week to rake out some mole hills before they harden – it makes the mowing easier in the spring. I was surprised to find that one of the pretty roe deer that frequently emerge from the woods to browse there had decided to die – and only a short time before, too, as it was still warm. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

I fought the law – and the jury’s still out

In the last post I showed how “probablistic chance” fares no better than “Epicurean chance” as a true cause of physical events. Half of Monod’s materialistic “chance and necessity” explanation for evolution thereby falls to the ground. What is left is what appears to be the safer concept of nature obeying the “laws of nature” (ie the natural truths behind the formulations scientists make). This necessity, we assume, is a commonplace foundation of science which fits well into the theistic framework: God writes the laws of nature, and so achieves his purposes in the world. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | Comments Off on I fought the law – and the jury’s still out

Debunking a soft view of chance

In the batch of articles I’ve done on “chance” over the last month or so, my main target has been the only kind of “chance” that makes much sense in an atheistic framework, and that is what I have called “Epicurean chance”. The basic concept of this is that totally undirected events can lead to order that, otherwise, would demand the designing intention of a purposeful being. Epicureanism has been a philosophically dubious claim ever since Democritus suggested it four centuries before Christ. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | 2 Comments

The deceitfulness of deception

Visitor Richard Wright was kind enough to interact with Eddie’s most recent post, and the comments of some there, in defence of his “autonomous nature” position, in which nature is “closed” not in the “democratic liberty” sense of Howard Van Till et al., but in the sense of being finely set up at the beginning so that its laws accomplish all that God desires from nature throughout time. His idea seems a lot closer to the old deterministic (semi)-deism than some, in that his view of nature appears relatively constrained by law and initial conditions rather than spontaneity blind chance, but he has promised to come back on some of my critiques after the holiday hiatus. Here I just want to pick up on a common idea he mentioned only in passing – the looming spectre of divine deception. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Science, Theology | 10 Comments