Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Basket of Stories"

Quite a picture isn’t it? Adam looking into the night sky on the first day of his existence, contemplating the beauty of thousands of stars, despite the fact that the nearest star other than the sun is more than four light-years away. The Creator, clearly, didn’t want him to have to wait four years to enjoy that first nighttime star, so he made all of the intervening photons at once.

-- Kenneth R. Miller, in Finding Darwin’s God. p.79. –

I am reading a fascinating [the above named] book right now, subtitled:
A Scientist’s Search For Common Ground Between God and Evolution.
Is there “common ground”?
Well, the author [a professor of biology at Brown University] and yours truly, Cipriano [a gap-toothed imbecile in a Penthouse Apartment] tend to agree that the answer is YES, there is “common ground.”
But what are the context and implications of the quotation, above?

Well, in Chapter 3, Miller is discussing the scientific problems involved in assuming that the Earth is anywhere from between 6,000 to 10,000 years old, as thoroughgoing Creationists [those who reject all aspects of evolutionary theory] are forced to do. A literal chronological interpretation of the Biblical account of creation would lead to a kind of ipso facto conclusion that the earth has only experienced somewhere between six and ten millenniums.

So… anyhoo… Miller’s point is that, if this were indeed the case, Adam and Eve in the Genesis story would have either been looking up into a starless sky or viewing a kind of Hoax Light Show©, faked by the Creator God.
Because given our current knowledge of how unfathomably far away even the closest of those stars are from our planet, [in light-years of distance]… either no starlight would have been seen on that first night of creation or the Creator would have had to bring all of that light in at a far greater speed than it has ever traveled since… in effect, purposely giving the cosmos a deceptive appearance of age, greater than its actuality.
But never mind Adam and Eve.
The same thing applies to us, today.
If the Earth were a mere 10,000 years old, we would not even be seeing most of the stars that we do, in fact, see, in the night sky. Not to mention the even further distant explosive disintegration of stars and gravitational effects of black holes that are routinely observed by instruments such as the Hubble telescope!
Is every astronomical object and event more distant than 10,000 light-years fictitious?
Your jury may still be out on this, but mine has reached a verdict.

I love how Miller ends a previous chapter:
It is high time that we grew up and left the Garden. We are indeed Eden’s children, yet it is time to place Genesis alongside the geocentric myth in the basket of stories that once, in a world of intellectual naivete, made helpful sense. As we walk through the gates, aware of the dazzling richness of the genuine biological world, there might even be a smile on the Creator’s face – that at long last His creatures have learned enough to understand His world as it truly is.

I encourage you to click on the book's image. Terrific reading!



Beth said...

I left the Garden of Eden years ago (i.e. a literal translation) but I do believe in His smile.

Matt said...

I always find the Bible conflicting with science findings. It seems that the more people from both sides argue, the less interest I take regarding these issues. I have enough on my plate in this life!