New Darwin Production Causing A Stir Among Evolutionists

The Voyage that Shook the World was produced by Creation Ministries International. CMI announced to the public that they created a production company called; Fathom Media. The idea was to have the movie judged on its content only, not its particular association which many militant evolutionists like to put in practice.

CMI had a policy for those experts on evolution who were interviewed for the production, if they asked about them, they would honestly have told them who they were in more detail. It was important to get normal answers from people being interviewed rather than have them worried about who was interviewing them and giving a prejudice answer.

Not giving out all the details unless asked is a common practice with major media outlets and other investigative documentary producers. But unlike in those cases, there was a big uproar and accusations similar to that of Ben Stein’s movie; No Intelligence Allowed.

CMI however took a slightly different approach, in order to help ensure that fairness would remain the objective, they hired a third party. Personnel who were not a part of CMI or any other creationist outlet handled the interviewing process while CMI took a “hands off” approach. As a result, the film has very pro-Darwin statements in it.

What about cherry picking which is another common accusation. The problem with that is, how many productions include every single transcript or recorded data? This production had hundreds of transcripts and re-enactments with a budget that contains a limited time slot!

Does this mean the film didn’t have a particular viewpoint? Hardly, it did have a particular viewpoint. Even productions of evolution are carefully crafted in a certain way with a viewpoint, so I believe those who complain about cherry picking are hypocrites themselves.

CMI’s influence in the film was one of moderation, basically ensuring that all sides were represented in a fair way. One of the goals was to demonstrate to the audience why Darwin’s life and writing generate so much debate. One academic who has published widely on Darwin, did say on how much he enjoyed the interview and how he really appreciated the questions that were asked. Sounds like over and beyond reasonable questioning to me.

Of course those proponents of evolution appearing in the film that was started up by creationists has caused them to endure much flak within their science community. A sad indictment on academic freedom of expression and association.

Contrary to those hard core critics, the production’s aim was to find out more things that pertained to the life and science of Charles Darwin and the development of his ideas.  The main objective was exploring the role of a person’s worldview and how that impacts on scientific discovery and analysis.

One thing is for sure, the production is more fair on the history of Darwin than an evolutionist production would be on the history of creation science or intelligent design.

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51 thoughts on “New Darwin Production Causing A Stir Among Evolutionists

  1. The racist issue was started by Darwin himself…

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla (Darwin 1887:156).”

    John C. Burhan:

    “Before 1859 (before Darwin’s Origin), many scientists had questioned whether blacks were of the same species as whites, but they had no scientific basis for that notion. Things changed once Darwin presented his racist evolutionary schema. Darwin stated that African-Americans could not survive competition with their white near-relations, let alone being able to compete with the white race. According to Darwin, the African was inferior because he represented the missing-link” between ape and Teuton. (Burham 1972:506).”

    And a photo of Darwin’s book on favorite races…Darwin wasn’t fighting against racism…The film makes a valid point about Darwin and racism so your link though critical cannot rely on revisionists trying to produce a man who was fighting for human rights with science.

  2. If evolutionists want to not give Creationists any credibility, then I find it odd that they would want to bother with Creatonist films.

  3. Michael, some day you just might have to learn the difference between theology and science. It is possible to argue against, say, the truth of Islam by showing that Mohamed was a bad person or held evil beliefs. This is a valid theological argument. But you cannot argue against the evidence for the theory of evolution by impugning the character of one of its proponents—or even of its founder. You can only falsify a scientific theory by controverting the evidence for it.

    Creationists seem entirely unable to grasp this simple distinction between religion and science. Even if ti were admitted by everyone on the planet that Darwin were Beelzebub himself, this would not falsify his theory of evolution. Got that?

    And the real howler: “And a photo of Darwin’s book on favorite races…” You can’t even quote accurately. Darwin spoke of “favored” races. Which his readers in the 19thC understood to refer to those species (not human races) which had been preserved (favored) by natural selection. If you’re going to criticize a theory, you should at least learn a little bit about its principal documents.

  4. krissmith777,

    If evolutionists want to not give Creationists any credibility, then I find it odd that they would want to bother with Creatonist films.

    The film’s objective was seeking historical information from their viewpoint. Of course there are disputes on certain matters concerning Darwin’s past, but it’s not uncommon with history. As Darwin once said, “The enquirer would next come to the important point, whether man tends to increase at so rapid a rate, as to lead to occasional severe struggles for existence; and consequently to beneficial variations, whether in body or mind, being preserved, and injurious ones eliminated. Do the races or species of men, whichever term may be applied, encroach on and replace one another, so that some finally become extinct?”

    It was a very good production. The questions were fair, the editing was fair.

    Olorin,

    “Creationists seem entirely unable to grasp this simple distinction between religion and science. Even if ti were admitted by everyone on the planet that Darwin were Beelzebub himself, this would not falsify his theory of evolution. Got that?” Science has it’s limitations, some treat science like the Bible. For example, if someone believes in creationism, speaking at a college in a graduation setting, militants get angry, start putting pressure on the school to remove the speaker. Why? Because he doesn’t believe in evolution. I’m of course referring to Bein Stein.

    The problem I believe you have is a scientist who studies plants for example, comes to conclusion that it’s from a eternal God not from a eternal universe. The way some professors come against creationism is the claim if people know it came from God there wouldn’t be any science left, in other words, we wouldn’t study anymore how things work, and nothing can be further from the truth. Newton didn’t stop his study of nature even though he believed God designed it.

    Scientists today who believed in design have not quit their jobs because of the supernatural cause in which they believe in. Creationists believe in studying how nature works! That is science!

  5. Michael,

    creationism is not science. Not at all. It is that simple, as creationism does not follow the scientific method. CMI certainly does not (see their ‘statement of faith’, which goes completely against the basic premise of the scientific method).

    Also, I strongly disagree with your statement that CMI was being fair in their editing, and their production methods.

  6. Eelco

    “creationism is not science. Not at all. It is that simple, as creationism does not follow the scientific method. “

    Creation in the sense of saying “God did it” is not scientific. – I’ll give you that. However, that is not to say that Scientists that happen to be creationists do not make real scientific observations.

    “CMI certainly does not (see their ’statement of faith’, which goes completely against the basic premise of the scientific method)”

    CMI’s statement of faith has no bearing on whether or not what they conclude is accurate or inaccurate. It is 100% possible to apply a faith position and still come to an accurate conclusion. Nor does nit mean that they do not use the scientific method of hypothesis, observation, revision, theory and law. Several scientists that were Creationists did apply the scientific method and contributed greatly to science, such as Sr. Issac Newton, Gregor Mendel, Luis Pastuer, and Nicholas Copernicus. These were men that held on to their faith and still used the scientific method. So “faith” is a non-issue.

    Actually, I would argue that holding a faith position is a good way to keep them honest because dishonesty id against Christian ethics.

  7. @krissmith:

    Please read CMI’s ‘statement of faith’ carefully. Near the end it says:
    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”

    This is completely and utterly against the scientific method.

    “Actually, I would argue that holding a faith position is a good way to keep them honest because dishonesty id against Christian ethics.”

    Dishonesty is against *any* ethical standard, including mine. The Christian faith does not at all have the monopoly on ethics: that would be a very arrogant attitude, and not true either (lots of news items about child molestation by priests, this year, notably in Ireland this year, and the US in previous years).

    “However, that is not to say that Scientists that happen to be creationists do not make real scientific observations.”
    Sure, but that is true about anyone: scientific observations are not the same as scientific theories. In my own field, for example, Halton Arp is considered an excellent observer, but his theories are widely rejected.

  8. Eleco,

    CMI believes in the scientific method. For example, when creationists say a fossil is from the “Lower Jurassic,” we mean that, yes, this fossil is found in the same set of rocks that evolutionists say it is found in. That is the unchanging “fact.” The interpretation is how old that rock layer actually is. It’s the dating which creationists and evolutionist differ not the scientific method. You try and confuse the two, and then admit creationists do in fact make scientific observations but then go on to say it’s not the same as theories. Look at the discovery of RNA transcription during the 1960s which I like to bring up quite often, the observation was rejected, laughed at, are you saying RNA transcription couldn’t of been a theory as a result? As it turns out, the majority were completely wrong. There is nothing solid in which you stand on.

  9. My name is Eelco, not Eleco.

    CMI’s ’statement of faith’ is very clear. It *does* say this:
    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”

    So whatever the evidence, if it does not fit in with whatever ‘Scripture’ says, it is ‘not valid evidence’. The idea/theory/hypothesis (your ‘scripture’) can never ever been falsified, as any evidence threatening to do that is ‘deemed invalid’ by this statement (and by this statement alone).

    Isn’t that clear enough ? This is completely and utterly against the scientific method.

  10. “Please read CMI’s ’statement of faith’ carefully. Near the end it says:
    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”

    This is completely and utterly against the scientific method. “

    You left out the second part which says:

    “Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information. “

    This is a fact. Creationists and Evolutionists all look at the same evidence, but have differing interpretations. There isn’t just one.

    Actually, it’s not a bad standard when one considers the fact that science and the Bible do not contradict eachother, despite faulty interpretations of the Bible in the past.

    The data that may or may not go against certain details in the Bible does exist, hovever the interpretation of whether or not it actually does conflict with scripture is not fact, but just an interpretation.

  11. @krissmith777:

    No no, that second part is about the interpretation of the evidence, i.e. the theories. The first bit, which I quoted, is about rejecting evidence altogether, *only* because it does not fit into the theory that ‘scripture’ demands.

    In other words, you have a theory, and then only admit evidence that supports the theory, and willfully ignore the evidence that contradicts the theory.

    “This is a fact. Creationists and Evolutionists all look at the same evidence, but have differing interpretations. There isn’t just one.”
    So no, creationists ignore evidence, and only look at whatever fits their theory, while scientists take *all* evidence into account. That is the major difference, at that is why creationism is not science.

    “Actually, it’s not a bad standard when one considers the fact that science and the Bible do not contradict eachother, despite faulty interpretations of the Bible in the past.”
    The Bible and our current scientific knowledge are contradicting each other a lot, unless you take the bible as a fictional story to provide some moral guidance (which can be easily done in another way as well, obviously). So it is a very bad standard from a scientific point of view. In fact, it is not scientific at all.

    “The data that may or may not go against certain details in the Bible does exist, hovever the interpretation of whether or not it actually does conflict with scripture is not fact, but just an interpretation.”
    As I said above, the data gets selected by creationists. If it contradicts ‘scripture’, it gets ignored.

  12. Eelco

    “In other words, you have a theory, and then only admit evidence that supports the theory, and willfully ignore the evidence that contradicts the theory.”

    No, we do not deny the existence of any evidence. Just certain interpretation.

    The portion of the statement of faith clearly is talking about perceived or claimed evidence . “Perceived or claimed evidence” is not the same as hard evidence. This is not ruling out evidence per se, only the interpretations which are “Perceived” and claimed.”

    “The Bible and our current scientific knowledge are contradicting each other a lot, “

    Really? What examples do you have? — I mean examples other than evolution which is not science.

    “As I said above, the data gets selected by creationists. If it contradicts ’scripture’, it gets ignored.”

    The same thing can be said about evolutionists. — But I think you misunderstood my statement. No data is denied by Creationists. NONE. Just the interpretation.

  13. @krissmith777:
    Oh yes, lots of data is ignored by creationists. You can shout whatever you like, but that is what is happening.

    Your distinction between hard evidence and claimed evidence is of course pretty meaningless. Evidence is evidence: if it is observed, it is there. Evolution is actually observed, and therefore exists. There is also a theory of evolution, which is the interpretation of the observed evidence. That you can discuss about, obviously.

    ‘Perceived evidence’ is very funny. As if people are hallucinating when they dig up dinosaur bones ! Only imagining it !

    So no, it is not about “the interpretations which are “Perceived” and claimed.””, but about the actual data (evidence) that is willfully ignored.

    “Really? What examples do you have? — I mean examples other than evolution which is not science.”
    First of all, the theory of evolution is a scientific theory, and most definitely science. But cosmology would be a nice example as well.

    “The same thing can be said about evolutionists.”
    NO! It cannot. Any scientist who *willfully* ignores data will be laughed at. If someone honestly does not know, some other scientist will normally help out, and the person who missed that bit of data will be happy to be told !
    Creationist only accept data that is OK with ‘scripture’, i.e. a preperceived set of ideas.

  14. Eelco

    “Your distinction between hard evidence and claimed evidence is of course pretty meaningless.”

    Meaningfull, whether you like it or not. That was their intended meaning when they wrote it.

    “‘Perceived evidence’ is very funny. As if people are hallucinating when they dig up dinosaur bones ! Only imagining it !”

    You’re twisting my meaning. I would never suggest the absurdity that digging up a dinosaur is “perceived. That would be data and fact, not perceived or an interpretation.

    “NO! It cannot. Any scientist who *willfully* ignores data will be laughed at. If someone honestly does not know, some other scientist will normally help out, and the person who missed that bit of data will be happy to be told !”

    Yes it can. A good exaple of good evidence they purposly overlooked has to do with isitopes.

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTICjwUhSys

  15. “First of all, the theory of evolution is a scientific theory, and most definitely science. But cosmology would be a nice example as well.”

    First of all, evolution is not scientific because it has never been observed. But cosmology is not contradictory of the Bible at all. You would have to explain how cosmology contradicts the Bible.

  16. krismith777: “First of all, evolution is not scientific because it has never been observed.”

    And archeology is not a science, because no one observed the people whose bones we find. And astronomy is not a science because we can’t go to a star, take a sample, and bring it back to the lab. And atomic physics is not a science, because no one has ever actually seen a quark, and no one ever will.

    And certainly creationism is not science, because no one actually observed the creation of the sun, the moon, and the stars at night.

    When I came home today, I observed my dog Barkley in the living room chewing on a tennis shoe. Further observation revealed a trail of slobbery shredded shoe chaff from the closet through the bedroom and down the hall to the living room. The closet door was partly open, and several other pairs of shoes from the rack were in a pile on the floor, along with other clothes in front of the rack. The clothes had dog hair and paw prints on them, and the closet door had a scratch that looked like a claw mark.

    As a committed creationist, however,I concluded that I could not punish poor Barkley, because I had not actually seen him take the shoe from the closet or drag it to the living room. My wife said that our daughter had told her that she had closed the closet door this morning when she left the house, and I just can’t believe that the dog could possibly have opened the door by himself..

    So I patted old Barky on the head, secure in the knowledge that my observations, which no one disputes, showed that he was innocent, and that the most reasonable interpretation of the data was that God had directly intervened, climbing in through a window, opening the closet door, scrambling my clothes, and giving the dog my shoe to punish me for reading an atheist book on Science.

    The name of the book was “Why Evolution Is True,” by Jerry Coyne..

  17. Olorin

    “And archeology is not a science, because no one observed the people whose bones we find.”

    Slippery slope — because archeology involves inscriptions with historical details with actual names, dates and first hand descriptions which are not up for interpretation, unlike the alleged evidence for evolution.

    “And certainly creationism is not science, because no one actually observed the creation of the sun, the moon, and the stars at night.”

    Strawman. I never said it was. In fact, I said the exact opposite. In an earlier comment, I said:

    Creation in the sense of saying “God did it” is not scientific. – I’ll give you that. However, that is not to say that Scientists that happen to be creationists do not make real scientific observations.

    I judge Creationism on the same standard as I judge evolution: I say neither are science, and neither should be in the classroom.

  18. @krisssmith777:
    You science classes will be pretty short then. May that is what you want ? Less exams ?

    “That was their intended meaning when they wrote it.”
    No, it was not. CMI is a religious organization, with an agenda. This is a political statement from me, not a scientific one. This is well-documented for the Discovery Institute (with their Wedge document), and in my opinion CMI is the same type of organization (with marginal differences).

    “First of all, evolution is not scientific because it has never been observed.”
    Of course it has been observed. But you are *still* confusing observational facts and scientific theories. There are the facts of evolution (the observations, which you simply ignore altogether), and there is the scientific theory of evolution (which you are happy to disagree with, but it is science nonetheless).

    If you want to redefine the words ‘scientific facts’, ‘scientific theory’, and ‘science’ itself, then you stop talking to the rest of the world.

    ” archeology involves inscriptions with historical details with actual names, dates and first hand descriptions which are not up for interpretation, ”
    Why should these, in your worldview, not be up to interpretation ? First hand descriptions were done by people, not machines/video recorders/CCTV, and people are known to be lying sometimes, so no hard evidence at all.

    Evolution has lots of hard evidence (fossils, but especially DNA these days). You can read off evolution from DNA. It is just difficult, but it is being done. And it can be done logically, and does not depend on humans.
    That is why DNA is so popular in court rooms !!

  19. “But cosmology is not contradictory of the Bible at all. You would have to explain how cosmology contradicts the Bible.”

    If you take the bible literally, which is what creationists do, then sure it is. Completely contradictory.
    This is a nice article doing all the work for me:
    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/6612

  20. krissmith777: “[A]rcheology involves inscriptions with historical details with actual names, dates and first hand descriptions which are not up for interpretation, unlike the alleged evidence for evolution.”

    If you think that all of archeology has dates and names in, then you know less about it than a kitchen midden.

    “However, that is not to say that Scientists that happen to be creationists do not make real scientific observations. “

    Once again, krissmith777 has missed the point. Creationists can make scientific observations. Hindus make scientific observations. Mithraists make scientific observations. Raelians make scientific observations. The point was that no one, creationists or otherwise, has ever used “creation theory” to formulate a hypothesis that has been scientifically tested. No one has ever employed flood geology to discover a new aquifer or a bed of coal. No one has ever developed a hypothesis based upon creationism to explain the frequency spectrum of the microwave background radiation or to disprove the constancy of standard candles (which would be necessary to show that the universe is less than billions of years old). No one has ever generated a creationist model of radioactive decay that could demonstrate a young age for fossils.

    “I judge Creationism on the same standard as I judge evolution: I say neither are science, and neither should be in the classroom.”

    Of course, you have redefined science to exclude entire fields that all scientists include in their ambit.. Redefinition is a handy tool. For example, Richard Dawkins once said, “We are all atheists. I merely believe in one less god than you do.” By that standard, krissmith777 is an atheist. The logical error here is known as equivocation; you might wish to look it up.

  21. Eelco

    Your article is full of logical fallacies. It pulls out the “Galileo was right and the Church was wrong” card. — What the article fails to mention is that Galileo knew that his findings didn’t contradict the Bible. He himself rightly said, “The Bible says how to go to heaven, not how the heavens work.”

    Most of the examples are from modern English readings of the Bible, which is irrelevant.

    The article says:

    “This is not a view that is peculiar to the creation accounts in Genesis, but it is reflected in other parts of the Bible as well. Job 37:18 says ?Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?? And Genesis 7:11, in the flood narrative, says ?The windows of heaven were opened.? The writers obviously believed that the sky was solid or they would not have described it as strong, as a molten looking glass, or as having windows.”

    Nice try. But the same verse in Job also say what comes out of the earth was spread out. — Does that mean Job is saying that Animals and plants are flat? No? I didn’t think so. — This is a poetic, and therefore irrelevant.

    And some of them are based in limitations in the Hebrew language.

    Most of the objections in your article are based on reading poetry as literal, which Creationists do not do.

    I notice evolutionists accuse us of taking the Bible litterally. In reality, that is an oversimplification. We read it as it is written, meaning if it is written as poetry, we read it as poetry. If it is written as history, we read it as history.

    The Bible is pretty blunt about whether something is literal or not. And many of the examples given in your article are not.

    A good article that refutes these claims is here:

    http://www.tektonics.org/af/earthshape.html

    It is pretty funny that your article pulls out the star light objection as if that presents a problem. It does not.

    It says:

    “In Genesis 1:14 the stars are called ?lights in the firmament of heaven.? Then in verse 16 it says he made ?two great lights? referring to the sun and moon.”

    I knew this was going to come up. :) This is based on ignorance of the original language of the Genesis account.

    When read in the original Hebrew, the meaning is different.

    Here’s a good explanation:

    “The Hebrew does not support that interpretation. The Hebrew word for “made” (asah) refers to an action completed in the past. Thus, the verse is correctly rendered “God had made” rather than “God made.” This indicates God “had made” the Sun, Moon and stars earlier than the fourth “day.””

    Link: http://www.reasons.org/does-old-earth-creationism-contradict-genesis-1-0#genesis_1_the_universe

    What the Genesis account does say is that the idea for using the sun, moon, and stars as markers for days, years, and months was originated, not that the the heavenly bodies were made on day four because they were not. The Bible clearly says that the heavens (which include the planets, stars, etc. were all created before day one of Creation.

    Bottom line, whoever wrote your article is ignorant of what the Bible actually says. It doesn’t matter what is says in English if the meaning in the original languages is indicates something else.

  22. “Most of the examples are from modern English readings of the Bible, which is irrelevant.”

    Ah, so there are many versions, and we are supposed to pick the correct ‘reading’ somehow ?

    “We read it as it is written, meaning if it is written as poetry, we read it as poetry. If it is written as history, we read it as history.”

    It doesn’t actually go out of its way in indicating how one is supposed to read each bit, is it ? So how do you decide ?

    “Bottom line, whoever wrote your article is ignorant of what the Bible actually says. It doesn’t matter what is says in English if the meaning in the original languages is indicates something else.”

    Ah, it is just badly translated, that must be it.

    Perhaps you now understand why science is using mathematics as its main language ? Nothing lost in translation, as translation is not needed. Any maths in the bible, by any chance ? E=mc^2, that sort of thing ?

    So your bible says that a god had made the Sun, moon and stars before the fourth day. But what about black holes, quasars, pulsars, dark matter, dark energy, gas nebulae, cosmic rays, etc. etc. ?

    And, as you know, stars are *not* all the same age. Their ages differ enormously. Many have been made billions of years before our planet, many are forming just now. The latter are especially troublesome, it seems.
    So here is one inconsistency I’ll point out myself then.

  23. “Ah, so there are many versions, and we are supposed to pick the correct ‘reading’ somehow ?”

    It doesn’t matter what English versions say. They cannot be used to prove a point when English has limitations that cannot reflect what the original meaning is. Different languages have limitations that others don’t have, and vice-verse. Anyone who studied foreign languages knows that.

    “Ah, it is just badly translated, that must be it.”

    Wouldn’t be the first time, but yes. The alternate reading has good support.

    “So your bible says that a god had made the Sun, moon and stars before the fourth day. But what about black holes, quasars, pulsars, dark matter, dark energy, gas nebulae, cosmic rays, etc. etc. ? “

    Nobody is saying he made black holes as black holes, but he created it so that the stages that lead up to them happened first.

    “And, as you know, stars are *not* all the same age. Their ages differ enormously. Many have been made billions of years before our planet, many are forming just now. The latter are especially troublesome, it seems.
    So here is one inconsistency I’ll point out myself then.”

    This is true. But this only works with a young earth creationist, which I am not. I fully accept the evidence for an earth that is 4.6 billion years old and that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. I fully accept that lightspeed of stars millions of light years away shows that they are older than earth, but none of this contradicts the Bible because it does not say otherwise.

  24. Krissmith777: “It doesn’t matter what English versions say. They cannot be used to prove a point when English has limitations that cannot reflect what the original meaning is. Different languages have limitations that others don’t have, and vice-verse. Anyone who studied foreign languages knows that.”

    The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis asserts that languages inherently limit the weltanschauungen of its speakers, that they can’t translate the world-views of others into their tongue. This hypothesis was disproven long a go. An idea might be expressed more facilely in some languages than in others, but there are no insurmountable barriers.

    krissmith777 quoting Eelco: “‘Ah, it is just badly translated, that must be it.’ Wouldn’t be the first time, but yes. The alternate reading has good support.

    Evolutionary science can be helpful in this regard, K. Several years ago, an algorithm developed to winkle out phylogenetic trees was invoked to reconstruct an original version of Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” The scientists fed in hundreds of versions that had been hand-copied over several centuries, then analyzed the differences among them. If you did that to the Bible, you wouldn’t have to guess which version was more authoritative. That would be a worthwhile creationist project, don’t you think?

  25. krissmith (June 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm): “If evolutionists want to not give Creationists any credibility, then I find it odd that they would want to bother with Creatonist films.”

    Ah, this illustrates a basic difference between scientists and creationists. Creationists seem interested only in confirming their own point of view, and tend to avoid anything that might disagree with it. Scientists, on the other hand, are a curious bunch, who often delve into conflicting positions.

    The creationist movie “The Voyage That Shook the World” will play in my area in a couple of weeks. I plan to see it— unless, like PZ Myers, I get Expelled for being a evilutionist.

    I am a committed Lutheran who subscribes to Skeptical Inquirer, and who regularly reads “Free Inquiry,” the atheist magazine. In fact, FI had a 3-prt article last year on the history of Christianity between 30 and 70AD. Their perspective challenged some preconceptions, and made me think through a few things. Bingo! That’s the point.

  26. krissmith777 (July 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm): “But this only works with a young earth creationist, which I am not.”

    So how would you describe your position, on a continuum between young-earth creationist and theistic evolutionist? (I omit intelligent design as a merely a legal dodge for creationism, as shown at the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005.)

  27. Olorin

    “The scientists fed in hundreds of versions that had been hand-copied over several centuries, then analyzed the differences among them. If you did that to the Bible, you wouldn’t have to guess which version was more authoritative. That would be a worthwhile creationist project, don’t you think?”

    Already done. Most modern translations are taken from a conmination of the best, earliest readings from the earliest manuscripts of the Bible, like the Codex Alexandrinus, sinaticus, vaticanus, and the Dead Sea Scrolls along with the Masorets.

    But your comment totally misses the mark. Nobody is tryng to claim one translation is more athoratative because no translation has the authority of the original texts and languages.

  28. Olorin,

    “So how would you describe your position, on a continuum between young-earth creationist and theistic evolutionist? (“

    I wouldn’t describe it as one or the other. I’m an Old-Earth Creationist.

  29. @krissmith777:
    “I fully accept that lightspeed of stars millions of light years away shows that they are older than earth, but none of this contradicts the Bible because it does not say otherwise.”

    But my point was that there are also lots of stars that are *younger* than the earth (and us), as they are forming even now. That’s not what is says in whichever language.

    In any case, translation does not alter whatever idea is in your ‘bible’ that much, as Olorin pointed out as well. Sure, there will be mistakes in the translation, and details will be different, but modern science is still nowhere to be found in your original text either, whichever that is. I speak about five languages (three on a daily basis !), and never found myself limited by any of them to express myself clearly.
    And you completely ignore my point about mathematics !

    “Nobody is saying he made black holes as black holes, but he created it so that the stages that lead up to them happened first.”
    There are no black holes mentioned in your bible at all. And again, stars form all the time, before, during, and after (!) our planet was formed.

  30. krissmith777: “I wouldn’t describe it as one or the other. I’m an Old-Earth Creationist.”

    I already know that much. That road has bus stops on it for day-age, progressive, gap, and others.

  31. Eelco,

    But my point was that there are also lots of stars that are *younger* than the earth (and us), as they are forming even now. That’s not what is says in whichever language.

    I fully and freely admit that stars still form. So what. It simply says stars existed before the earth came into existence, but that by no means means there are no new stars. So, I don’t see the problem.

    And you completely ignore my point about mathematics!

    I didn’t. It just is not an issue with what I am saying.

    “There are no black holes mentioned in your bible at all. “

    I know. All I can say is “So what?”

  32. “I speak about five languages (three on a daily basis !), and never found myself limited by any of them to express myself clearly.”

    Point take. I speak more than one language myself.

    But one has to make an allowance for a language that is not spoken anymore. — I know a modern form a Hebrew is spoken, but the ancient form is long out of use. — There are certain meanings that are unknown or uncertain, and some cannot be adequetely translated, even by those that know them well.

  33. krissmith777: “But one has to make an allowance for a language that is not spoken anymore. — I know a modern form a Hebrew is spoken, but the ancient form is long out of use.”

    Modern Hebrew is very much like the ancient, except with added words for “howitzer,” papparazzi,” and so on. It was revived exactly as it had died. And continuity of meaning was provided by continued liturgical use through the centuries.

    krissmith777 reveres the shining, original, unsullied text in its original form and language. Well, guess what? It does not exist, and never did exist. So feel free to complain that any interpretation that you don’t like is a mistranslation, because no one can ever prove you wrong.

    The larger problem is not the language. The problem one known to historians as whiggism. This historical error involves reading a text from another time and/or another culture from the viewpoint of the reader, without considering the background of the writer.

    as a simple example, consider “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” That verse means exactly the opposite of what we here today perceive it to be. We can even come closer to our own time: what does it mean to “beg a question,” or “the exception proves the rule.” Most people misperceive these, even though they are only slightly out of currency.

    So what perception do you take away from reading about the seven days of creation in Genesis? You’d probably say that 7 is the number following 6. Yet the Babylonian Hebrews who first heard Genesis would laugh at you as hopelessly naive if you said that.

    No, the problem with the txt is not a matter of translation or being able to express ideas. The problem is not understanding the context.

  34. @krisssmith777:

    Earlier you wrote:
    “This indicates God “had made” the Sun, Moon and stars earlier than the fourth “day.” ”

    This says ‘the stars’, not just ‘stars’. So you cannot have stars forming after the fourth “day” (however long that day is), as all stars (‘the stars’) have already formed.

    “I fully and freely admit that stars still form. So what. It simply says stars existed before the earth came into existence, but that by no means means there are no new stars. So, I don’t see the problem.”

    Yes, there is a problem, as it says “the stars”, not “stars”.
    And the earth apparently came into existence on day three, so no stars before the earth was formed, and no stars after the sun was formed. The stars (i.e. all stars) formed together with the sun and moon. That’s not what astronomy says.

    Or does your original Hebrew text actually say “some stars” instead of “the stars”, as you put it ?

  35. Olorin,

    “Modern Hebrew is very much like the ancient, except with added words for “howitzer,” papparazzi,” and so on. It was revived exactly as it had died. And continuity of meaning was provided by continued liturgical use through the centuries.”

    I know that modern hebrew is based on the grammar of the Hebrew of Jeremiah, which is actually about a thousand years younger than Genesis.

    All you have to do is look through certain footnotes, and from time-to-time, you wil find certain notations which say “Cannot be adequetly translated,” or “Original meaning is unknown.” — No protesting on your part will change that fact.

  36. @krissmith777:
    “Cannot be adequetly translated,” or “Original meaning is unknown.”

    Doesn’t that make it pretty useless then ?

  37. Eelco,

    You say

    “Yes, there is a problem, as it says “the stars”, not “stars”.”

    and you say:

    “And the earth apparently came into existence on day three”

    Actually, before day one.

    “no stars before the earth was formed, and no stars after the sun was formed. “

    Have you even read my earlier comments? I have already shown that isn’t true. They formed before the first creation day.

    The Hebrew usage of עשה (or Asah) means creation “had been” before the earth.

    Also, to further answer your objection of the verse saying “the stars” instead of simply “stars,” — the tense is an Imperfect which actually also implies a progressive action. “The imperfect expresses an action, process or condition which is incomplete,” as my hebrew dictionary puts it.

    2) The kind of progression or imperfection and unfinished condition of the action may consist in its frequent repetition.

    2a) In the present:

    it is “said” today
    a wise son “maketh glad” his father

    2b) In the past:

    “and so he did” (regularly, year by year)
    a mist “used to go up”
    the fish which “we used to eat”
    the manna “came down” (regularly)
    he “spoke” (repeatedly)

    I’ll even give you the reference on how the Imperfect tenses are used. — This particular meaning is the second listed:

    Link: http://www.blueletterbible.org/help/lexicalDefinitions.cfm?lang=H&num=8811

    This means, not only were they created before the earth, the process continues. So, your objection is based on an English reading which cannot be done to prove a point.

  38. Eelco,

    To further prove my point about the usages of the hebrew tenses which happen to be used, — I’ll cite another Hebrew source:

    “While the three verb tenses in English are related to time, Biblical Hebrew verb tenses are related to action. The perfect tense is a completed action while the imperfect tense is an incomplete action.

    Link: http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/37_lesson03.html

  39. Ah, so the earth was put together on day zero, and all other ‘heavenly bodies’ as well. Is that what you are saying now ?
    Even though modern translations say that the sun, moon and stars form on day four (the Dutch one does …) ?
    Fine with me.
    Still means they *all* formed at the same time, which is what I was trying to say. And that means all, so those stars we see forming now make this inconsistent.

    Going back to your original post, which states:

    “What the Genesis account does say is that the idea for using the sun, moon, and stars as markers for days, years, and months was originated, not that the the heavenly bodies were made on day four because they were not. The Bible clearly says that the heavens (which include the planets, stars, etc. were all created before day one of Creation.”

    This still says ‘the heavenly bodies’. All of them. Right at the start. That pretty much excludes things forming now, in my book. Please point out the flaw in my logic here ?

    Then on to grammar. Obviously english is not my native language, but I lived in the UK for seven years, and I use english more than dutch these days …
    So you want to turn verse 16 of your bible, where it says “he made two great lights” into “he had made two great lights”.

    That is turning a ‘past simple’ into a ‘past perfect’. I do not see any imperfect tense (also called ‘past continuous’) here ? It should have read ‘was making’ then, if I am not mistaken. The imperfect tense is used to express continuous, ongoing actions which took place in the past. Not now!

  40. “The perfect tense is a completed action while the imperfect tense is an incomplete action.”

    Ah, now you are saying the sun, moon and stars are not finished forming, then ? Still building works going on ?

    The moon looks pretty dead to me, and the sun works perfectly fine.

  41. “Ah, now you are saying the sun, moon and stars are not finished forming, then ? Still building works going on ?

    The moon looks pretty dead to me, and the sun works perfectly fine””

    The verse simply means the heavens do not stop forming, it doesn’t mean everything continually forms.

    I’m stopping here, since obviously evidence is capable of convincing you since you are absolutely determined to find a problems in everything no matter what.

  42. @krissmith777:

    You are trying to convince me with language issues in which order things were supposed to form. I try to work out your logic, and now you are running away !

    I go to great length to remind myself what the difference is between ‘past simple’ and ‘past perfect’, to understand your point about ‘made’ and ‘had made’. Then you talk about the ‘imperfect tense’, i.e. ‘was making’, which is still all in the past.

    Then finally you say that in Hebrew “the perfect tense is a completed action while the imperfect tense is an incomplete action.”
    With which I understood you meant the verse to be interpreted as an incomplete action, i.e. something not finished and still happening today.

    Are you just trying to confuse me and then run away ?

  43. “– I mean, no evidence will convice you, so good-bye.”

    Which evidence ? You are interpreting your bible text, you are not presenting evidence.

  44. @krissmith777:
    And you’ve completely ignored my post of July 9, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for the trouble I took figuring out your ‘tenses’ argument.

  45. Eelco, your arguments over the precise meaning of tenses are verdammt. Where it suits krissmith777, he will argue the precise meanings of the tenses. Where the precise meanings do not suit him, he will argue poor translation. (i prefer Hawaiian, where we have no tenses at all. Or plurals. Or cases or conjugations. In fact, there are no adjectives, and only a small number of nouns. And yet it’s capable of expressing complex shades of meaning.)

    I am getting a clearer picture of where krissmith777 stands on the creationist spectrum, however. It would be difficult to slip past his arguments, because they are too flexible. Too bad he seems to have picked up his marbles and left; he is much better informed than most of his bunch.

    In one matter, however, I think he is wrong. K said that the Hebrew of Genesis is a thousand years older than Jeremiah, and thus you can’t compare them. Actually, they were all writtwen down at nearly the same time. Therefore, the oral versions would have been modified in transit to conform to Jeremiah’s tongue, or if not, would have been translated at that time into the younger language form.

    Jeremiah lived—and was written down—during the Captivity about 600 BCE. This is also the time when Genesis 1 was conceived (and simultaneously written) by Jews exposed to the sophisticated Babylonian conquerors. Genesis 2, however, was written ~500 years earlier by pastoralist Jews, and handed down orally.

    [An interesting recent finding is that many historians now think that the Odyssey was the first text written down in Greek, and that Homer was the inventor of the Greek alphabet.]

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