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Coincidence or Divine Inspiration?


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Showing 1-25 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 19, 2009 6:58:24 PM PST
G. Jurenas says:
I read a good book from Amazon.com called "Concrete Sign of Faith, Proof of the Existence of God."
His question is simple..."How did the author of the Book of Genesis(believed to be Moses) thousands of years ago, come up a chronological order of creation that closely resembles todays modern scientific order of this planet's creation.
Is it coincidence....or Divine Inspiration????
No other major religions even come close with their orders of creation.
The book sure makes you think......

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2009 8:18:20 PM PST
J. Paisley says:
1) No one has been able to attribute the book of genesis to anyone... EVER.
2) Which contradictory creation story in genesis do you mean? there are 2
3) If you mean the first, I have heard of no scientists that claim that plant life (day three) could have survived without the sun (day four).

So... no, the book doesn't make you think. I would say very little actual thought went into it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2009 2:31:28 PM PST
G. Jurenas says:
In answer to your post...(2) the book deals with the first creation story and how its orders are similar, but you are right, the order is not perfect, to what science accepts today, yet more than any other major religious cosmology.
On your first point, most biblical scholars do attribute Moses as being the author of the Book of Genesis, although the author does agree with you that there is much speculation, surrounding its authorship.
Point 3. The heavens and the earth, and in fact the universe, is formed on the first day . The author suggests that this may also include our sun because of the line, "Let there be light." The author goes on in another chapter and agrees with you, that Day 4 is the one paragraph out of chronological order, but poses the question, could this paragraph infer that the creation of the stars is an ongoing process, that the universe is continually expanding as the Hubble's Observational Program suggests.
Are both Creation Orders exactly alike....the two of us and the author agree No...but the book takes a big picture look at both orders of creation...and in the end... You can not deny that there is some similarity...more so than any other major religious creation story, and that is something to think about.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2009 5:22:13 AM PDT
Regarding Moses as "author," I'm not sure what you mean. It was oral tradition until around 900 BCE - probably later than that. Most likely it was written during the Babylonian captivity. In your initial post you ask "Coincidence or Divine Inspiration?" Since there isn't much that "coincides" does that leave inspiration? I don't think either.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 6:51:02 PM PDT
What would you do if you saw a divine picture in an unlikely place? Would you contact someone of authority to check it out or keep it to yourself?

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 1:01:26 PM PDT
Coincidence. No need to read the other posts. Good night from Mike Buchanan, British atheist and writer.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2009 7:20:45 PM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
So it's a coincidence that a 5,000 year old story about the earth's creation, is pretty close to the scientific (20th century's) chrolological order of the earth's creation?
That's a very big coincidence, seeing as no other group of people, including scientists, except in the last couple of hundred years, had
the order right.
Sleep well Mr. Buchanan.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2009 12:30:10 PM PDT
Tinker says:
When you speak of no other groups of people having the earth's creation order correct what other groups are you speaking about?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2009 5:30:28 PM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
Any other organized religious group's story of creation prior to the Age of Reason after Medieval times.
Remembering that the Book of Genesis is acknowledged by Christians, Jews, Muslims and others.
You will find that all other religions have a cosmology that is 1. either humancentric, ( man/woman was created first, and then a world was created around/for them).
2. describes a relationship between god/gods and their people.
3. Has no semblance at all to the modern scientific order of creation.

Modern religions are exempt because they would have the benefit of modern scientific thought to help it form its creation model.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2009 10:33:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2009 10:35:15 AM PDT
>No other major religions even come close with their orders of creation.

Just out of curiosity, G. Jurenas, what other creation stories of major religions have you read?

>The book sure makes you think......

I'm sure we're all happy to hear of a book that makes you think. But I'm not sure the book shows what you think it does.

>..."How did the author of the Book of Genesis(believed to be Moses) thousands of years ago, come up a chronological order of creation that closely resembles todays modern scientific order of this planet's creation.

Interesting question. My question, in return, is, "What makes you think he did?" The Bible I know says the following, in the first 8 verses of Genesis:

"Vs. 1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Well it's true that the "heaven" came before the earth; so far, so good.

"Vs. 2: 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."

Here, I think Moses is not exactly in tune with science. Since science says the Sun existed before the earth, the whole earth cannot have been in darkness, as this passage seems to imply. Furthermore, science does not assert that the earth started out with water.

"Vs. 3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

Again, Moses and science seem to disagree. If the Sun already existed, as science teaches, the light was there already.

"Vs. 4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

I think this is a passage that would have scientists scratching their heads. If it means that God made a difference between day and night, it can only mean that he made the earth start rotating on its axis. Do you think that's what Moses was driving at here?

"Vs. 5: And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

Here, I think, we have Moses and science in sync. Scientists also believe that we have both daylight and night-time. And no doubt at some point, there had to have been a "first day."

"Vs. 6: And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

"Vs. 7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

"Vs. 8: And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Now here is where things get really interesting. Moses has God taking the original mass of waters and apparently dividing them by creating a "firmament" which is above some of the waters but *under* the rest of them! If that could mean anything to a scientist, it would have to mean that there is an ocean somewhere out in space. It's an interesting thought, though I don't recall reading it in any science textbooks that they used when I was a kid.

Of course, it's been a while since I was in high school whereas, for all I know, you may still be a student. Perhaps you're being home-schooled, and these are the things they say in the textbook your mom uses? If you could tell us the name of the publisher, I'd be interested to check their web site--I'll bet they publish not only science, but science fiction, too!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2009 11:02:48 AM PDT
Michael,
I wish you would have continued.
V9: "Let the waters under the firmament be gathered into one place so that dry land might appear." As far as I know the best cosmo/geological theory doesn't have water coming about until the molten interior of the earth erupts through the crust emitting gasses which formed an atmosphere that in turn began a "hydrologic" cycle. And sionce the gasses were methane, ammonia and other toxic stuff the rain wasn't really what we call water.
In v. 11 God has the earth producing plants and sea life doesn't come about until V. 20.
Someplace in between Vs. 11 and 20 (16 and 17, I think) God creates the sun, the moon and the stars.
Clearly, this whole thing is out of whack. It's like Thomas Aquinas said in the 1200s: "Quidquid recipitur, per modem recipiendum est." Loosely translated: "We see things not as they are, but as we are."

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2009 2:57:47 PM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
Michael, don't be so close minded.
I have studied hundreds of religions over the years, and no ancient or early cosmology comes closer than Genesis.
If you know of one, please advise me, and I will look into your reply.
As for home schooled, ... I am not.
But I am not so closed minded, that I can't see a bigger picture, The book states the order isn't perfect, but that it is the closest.
Now look at the Big Picture....
I'll condense, because I don't want to write out the whole book.
"Then God said, "Let there be light."
The latest scientific research suggests the universe was a formless dark entity, mainly comprised of hydrogen and helium gases, which formed into carbon and higher elements within a few seconds in a massive explosion. The Big Bang becomes the universe's first light.
In 1905 Einstein publishes his theory of relativity, its given a geometric interpretation by Herman Minkowski, in which space and time is united in a four dimentional geometry of space and time.
George Lemaitre, working closely with Hubble's observational program in California, provided a theoretical model for Hubble's data, which sees the Big Bang, the universe as a whole, is expanding in time.
Both the biblical order and the scientific order of creation seem to start on the same note of light from darkness at the begining of time.
Now lets look at the second day.....with an open mind.
"Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters." God made the dome from the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome." etc.
Modern science says most of the matter found in the earth probably had been formed by stars and then by supernovae by about 7 billion years ago. We consider earth to have been formed by accretion approx. 4.6 billion years ago.
According to Otto Schmidt, cosmic dust lumps together in space to form particles, particles become gravel, gravel becomes small balls, then big balls, then tiny planets or planetesimals.....etc.
A planet then is essentially a body orbiting a star which has swept up the majority of clumps of matter.
A planet then becomes a gravity well and serves as a stable outpost, for the collection of fusion generated energy, radiated from stars. That is, planets serve as stable platforms which are in physical contact with the high potential energy given off as photons, (light),by local stars.
Because planets are formed by accretion, they begin as hot places, heated by friction of infalling matter, as well as by radioactive decay.
Soo hot, that rocks liquify.
The atmosphere represents a gaseous layer, overlapping the earth's crust, and extending many km. up into space.
Gravity retains the atmosphere. Because of the effects of gravity, the earth's atmosphere is mostly retained. Very light gases, such as hydrogen gas, when present, however can and do escape into outer space, thus greatly depleting atmospheric and crustal stores.
Other trace gases included methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and hydrochloric acid.
Very little molecular oxygen was present at this time, but it is within this early atmosphere, that life is believed to have first evolved. And thus, the begining of an atmosphere, THE DOME, was formed around the earth.
"Let the waters under the sky be gathered under the sky and let dry land appear....
Contemporary geological models imply that, as the earth cooled, organic molecules became much more stable, and, as water vapor condensed, the earth's oceans were produced....The planet slowly formed into a mass of land and seas.
The existence of an oxidizing atmosphere protects the earth's hydrogen and therefore its water reserves. Dry land better known as the crust is formed as sufficient cooling occurs......
Hence water gathers under the sky....and dry land appears.
The third day....Let the earth put forth vegetation.....
One of the latest theories surrounding life on this planet ... is that 3-4 billion years ago the first sign of life on this planet began with oxygen-forming photosynthesis, plainly known as simple plant life.
We find evidence in Greenland's Isua greenstone belt, where we find evidence of a self-replicating, carbon based microbial life form.
As time goes on....Oxygen producing microbes live on the surface of wet area to gather sunlight, photosynthesize and multiply.
Photosynthetic bacteria used light from the sun together with chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide and water into free molecular oxygen, and carbon and further into carbohydrates.
The first multi-cellular life forms fungi, plants and plant like protists evolved.
After 3 billion years of evolution in the oceans these multi celular organisms began adapting to the land.
And as time goes on the earth puts forth vegetation.
Next..Let there be lights in the dome of the sky ...etc..
Yes this passage is out of place...but could it refer to further creation... more stars (lights) and universes being created.
The scientific understanding that the universe is an expanding entity plays into the hands of Genesis...that the universe is never ending.
This idea of an infinite universe is also found in the classic doxology of "As it was in the begining, is now and will be forever."
Next..."Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures....
Our latest scientific knowledge concurs that life as we know it began in the seas.
First as single celled bacteria, then as anaerobic heterotrophs, which over milenia evolve into higher forms of sea creatures and bony fish.
Next..."Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind...."
As fish continue to evolve, groups of plants and animals began to take a major step colonizing the land.
First there are arthropods...then tetrapods and amphibians. Then come reptiles...birds and mammals.
And last but not least....God created man.
And we all know that we are at the top of the food chain.
So Michael....open up your blinders..... and take a larger perspective of an even bigger picture ... and tell me again that you don't see any...any corresponding order between biblical and scientific.
I think you take too literal a meaning of the bible, and fall into the fundamentalist trap.
Most christians, jews and muslims in this world look at scripture as the best translation of the words of the prophets we have, and try to interpret its scriptural meaning and spirit.
If anyone wants to read more about the similarility of the Orders of Creation ....I found the book posted on line at:
Pure-Simple.com
Happy reading, ... like I said, it gave me a new perspective to see the world in, and that isn't all bad.
So Michael, give it a read if you have the time, and tell me what you really think.
PS. I was raised in the public school system, and I was taught to always keep an open mind.
God bless you, whether you believe or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2009 8:23:38 PM PDT
>Both the biblical order and the scientific order of creation seem to start on the same note of light from darkness at the begining of time.

No, G. Jurenas, not really. Genesis says the earth was already there, and covered with water, and only later was there light. That's not the same as the scientific account.

>Now lets look at the second day.....with an open mind.
"Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters." God made the dome from the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome." etc.
Modern science says most of the matter found in the earth probably had been formed by stars and then by supernovae by about 7 billion years ago. We consider earth to have been formed by accretion approx. 4.6 billion years ago.
According to Otto Schmidt, cosmic dust lumps together in space to form particles, particles become gravel, gravel becomes small balls, then big balls, then tiny planets or planetesimals.....etc.
A planet then is essentially a body orbiting a star which has swept up the majority of clumps of matter.
A planet then becomes a gravity well and serves as a stable outpost, for the collection of fusion generated energy, radiated from stars. That is, planets serve as stable platforms which are in physical contact with the high potential energy given off as photons, (light),by local stars.
Because planets are formed by accretion, they begin as hot places, heated by friction of infalling matter, as well as by radioactive decay.
Soo hot, that rocks liquify.
The atmosphere represents a gaseous layer, overlapping the earth's crust, and extending many km. up into space.
Gravity retains the atmosphere. Because of the effects of gravity, the earth's atmosphere is mostly retained. Very light gases, such as hydrogen gas, when present, however can and do escape into outer space, thus greatly depleting atmospheric and crustal stores.
Other trace gases included methane, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and hydrochloric acid.
Very little molecular oxygen was present at this time, but it is within this early atmosphere, that life is believed to have first evolved. And thus, the begining of an atmosphere, THE DOME, was formed around the earth.
"Let the waters under the sky be gathered under the sky and let dry land appear....
Contemporary geological models imply that, as the earth cooled, organic molecules became much more stable, and, as water vapor condensed, the earth's oceans were produced....The planet slowly formed into a mass of land and seas.
The existence of an oxidizing atmosphere protects the earth's hydrogen and therefore its water reserves. Dry land better known as the crust is formed as sufficient cooling occurs......
Hence water gathers under the sky....and dry land appears.

Yep...I think I've got it--thanks! Still wondering what this has to do with God taking existing water and leaving half of it below the dome and putting half of it above. I know you said read with an open mind, but it's possible to be so open that the Bible can be made to mean just about anything you want it to. Which reminds me:

>I think you take too literal a meaning of the bible, and fall into the fundamentalist trap.

LOL! Let me see if I've got this straight...you believe that a man called Moses wrote a book several thousand years ago that has God creating the earth first and then bringing light into the picture, and *I'm* the fundamentalist? Ummm, right!

I'm with you on half the picture, G. Jurenas...the scientific account is a good one. And if you want to believe the Genesis account, that's certainly your prerogative. But to act as if they're pretty much the *same*??? Sorry, bud, not hardly.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 5:06:16 AM PDT
This whole thing started with the question about coincidence or divine revelation. Since Moses nor anyone else was present "in the beginning," I assume that means believers believe in Divine Inspiration. And that will be exceedingly difficult to prove - thus 'belief.' And if one believes in the god of the bible, there is no such thing as chance, i.e. coincidence. It's all part of his/her plan. It drives me nuts when in the face of some difficulty or calamity people say "Everything happens for a reason." Duh! That just meaans every effect has a cause - except for the uncaused cause. Why don't we stop this mental masturbation and get on to something productive.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 8:33:13 AM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
You can't be much of a scientific thinker...
Because science is all about cause and effect.
No scientist would ever conclude that something occurred by "magic"
Science argues there most certainly is a reason for things to happen!
Instead of putting people (believers) down personally ...
give me the logic ... because science states there is no such thing as coincidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 8:41:03 AM PDT
I didn't put believers down. That's your inference. I'm a believer.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 8:49:00 AM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
O.K.
But like I said the book, Concrete Sign of Faith, takes a very large overview of Genesis, with the proviso that the Book of Genesis, like thw whole bible, was never intended to be literally interpreted as a literal and scientific description of creation, that would be naive, or the fundamentalist point of view.
But compared to any other ancient religions, it is by far the closest.
That in essence is the book.
The author leaves it open to the reader to conclude, coincidence or divine inspiration.
If you really want to win the arguement ...
name me one religion that does not recognize Genesis, whose story of creation comes closer to scientific theory.
(the religion must have its origins prior to science coming up with its modern theory, so that there may be no colusion.)
Give me the name of that religion and you win the arguement.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 8:50:38 AM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
Forgive me.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 11:27:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2009 11:28:37 AM PDT
>very large overview of Genesis, with the proviso that the Book of Genesis, like thw whole bible, was never intended to be literally interpreted as a literal and scientific description of creation, that would be naive, or the fundamentalist point of view.

I'm glad you're alert to the dangers of naivete, G. Jurenas. But call it what you will, Genesis says certain things, and unless we are prepared to ignore what it actually *says* in favor of what we wish the text "really meant," it's fair to examine the text and see whether it corresponds with what science says about the order of creation. And as far as I or anyone else here can tell, it doesn't.

Now of course you have the right to have whatever *opinion* of Genesis you please. But if words mean something, the words of Genesis are not the words with which one would scientifically describe the origins of the universe or of Earth.

>compared to any other ancient religions, it is by far the closest....
The author leaves it open to the reader to conclude, coincidence or divine inspiration.

Well that's a funny point. There can't be a coincidence, since the two accounts simply don't match, and no impartial reader of Genesis would think they do. As to "divine inspiration," you keep saying Genesis gets "closer than" any other religion. It seems to me if that if there were real supernatural inspiration, Genesis wouldn't get "close"--it would simply hit the mark. Do you think divine inspiration is not quite up to the job?

>If you really want to win the arguement ...

LOL! Umm, bud, I've won it already. I have read Genesis many times and enjoy and respect it. No, it is not merely a coded analogue of the findings of Einstein and others. It is a witness of early civilized man to what he perceived of the power of a Creator, expressed in terms that reflected his current knowledge but that have been long since surpassed and superseded. It is simply not possible any longer to believe that the earth was created before the light, that the earth had water in its original state, or that there is a dome with oceans below it and another body of water above it. Not, again, if words mean something. I don't believe Genesis, but I at least respect the text enough not to twist it in search of fanciful interpretations that simply don't add up.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 11:33:25 AM PDT
Amen!! Those who want the Bible to teach geology, cosmology, astronomy, biology, etc. are on a fool's errand. Read it for what it is, not what you want it to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 12:56:59 PM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
Fair enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2009 4:22:56 PM PDT
J. A Magill says:
This method of reading scripture seems awfully like a fools errand. That said, it is interesting that lots of Jewish comentators on the Torah got a lot of the modern understanding of biology and cosmology correct. Take for example Nachmanidies (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman), the great Medieval philosopher. Among other things he described creation beginning at a point "smaller than a mustard seed" that "expanded outward with all stuff of creation," the notion of types of animals and plants evolving from previously existing types, and the notion of time not flowing uniformly. Pretty impressive for a guy born in the 12th century.

Those interested in learning more about this should consider looking at the work of Physics Professor Gerald Schroeder.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2009 8:46:41 PM PDT
G. Jurenas says:
Very impressive.
You could very well be right, and it is all a fool's errand, but there is nothing wrong with looking at things from a different perspective.
We test it ... we poke it ... and make our own observations and conclusions. We either accept new perspectives, keep testing them, or dismiss them.
Like the medieval Rabbi you mention, the ancients were not as backward as many of us think.
We have the benefit of thousands of years of scientific research, and the ability to look back in time through a much larger lens.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2009 12:04:44 AM PDT
These are good points, but isn't the real question "But, where did God come from?" However, if you're an Episcopalian, the even more important next question is "Did He come from a good family?"

Pretending that there is a God sheds no real light on anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2009 12:09:23 AM PDT
The author(s) of Genesis knew nothing about the Big Bang or even chemistry. To credit the author(s) of Genesis with such knowledge is nonsense.
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