Genesis, science, reason


#1

First of all i would like to say that i didn’t read the entire Genesis but a read a good part of it.
And i got a couple of questions that i think my contradict reason or science. Could you help?

1.Did God create animals after He created men? Doesn’t that contradict scince?
2. First people came from central Africa i believe, so why does the Genesis say that Adam and Eve came from Middle East?
3.So many cultures have depicted the serpent as evil,… did the writers of Genesis just borrow the serpent from other religions? Also is the serpent Satan?
4.Why do we carry the weights of Adam and Eve’s original sin? Wasn’t that their sin not ours?
5.The flood and Noah has been depicted so many times differently in different religons one has to wonder if the writers of Genesis borrowed it. Our school book even says that Noah story is a myth alongside other stories of a flood that were before the Bible. How to respond to that?
6.The story of the tower of Babel. Did it really happen? Did the entire mankind have one langague before this? This is incredibly unreasonable to me because mankind was spread all over the world in those days and there were many different civilizations with different langagues. Also i heard that Hebrews might of copyed this story from Babylon mythology if i remember correctly.
7.Also why did God choose Jews to be His people if He doesn’t favour any men more than other?
8.Is the Documentary Hypothesis about the origins of Torah true?

Thank you for your answers in advance.


#2

I will only deal with some of your questions.

Genesis, it is not to be read literally. Two magic trees and a talking snake with legs? Those elements are a sign that the story is not literal but a parable. For a similar example, take Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” Do hills sing? Do trees have hands? Obviously not. However, since God made both trees and hills, it is legitimate to use our observations of God’s world to inform our interpretation of God’s word. In this case the prophet is speaking allegorically, and we should not interpret the text literally but as poetry.

Genesis is not literal. The story in Genesis bears minimal resemblance to what God’s world tells us about the development of life on Earth. The story of Noah’s flood is probably based on a very large real flood somewhere in the Ancient Near East, but not a worldwide flood. Again, there is no evidence of a simultaneous worldwide flood, and much evidence against it. The story of the Tower of Babel is merely a “just so” story to explain the origin of languages. Read it in the spirit of Aesop’s fables; it is a story with a moral. The important part is the moral, not the details of the story.

rossum


Catholic View on Genesis
#3

1. In the Genesis account, the animals come before people. But the account in Genesis chapter one is not intended to be read in a scientific sense. From a scientific perspective, animals came about just in the way that modern science tells us. The point of Genesis 1 is to stress that God created the universe out of nothing, and that he is, in some way, a guide over the development of the earth.

2. Genesis does not say that Adam and Eve came from the middle east. Many think the mentioning of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was not implying the rivers in the Mideast, but ancient rivers from which those were supposed to have derived there names.

3. Not sure I understand the logic. Just because something is depicted in many cultures, then the Bible “just borrowed” it? The presence of a similar story in many cultures was held to be a proof in itself by people such as C.S. Lewis. And the Serpent represents Satan.

4. Because the human race constitutes a unity, rather an an isolated set of individuals. In this way, we are all born with the lack of complete justice passed on from our ancestors.

5. What do you mean “just borrowed it”? I, again, don’t understand the question. If there is some sort of flood myth in so many cultures, that might imply some sort of truth to the event.

6. I believe it’s a mostly allegorist story intended to demonstrate the state of mankind fallen from Grace.

7. Because he wanted one people from whom he would prepare to bring his Son, the Savior of the World into the world, and from that found his Church. A launching pad so to speak.

8. I’m not familiar with it.


#4

The two accounts in Genesis differ. Genesis 1 has animals before Adam (and presumably Eve). Genesis 2 has animals after Adam and before Eve. To me that is another indication that the text is not to be taken literally.

But the account in Genesis chapter one is not intended to be read in a scientific sense. From a scientific perspective, animals came about just in the way that modern science tells us. The point of Genesis 1 is to stress that God created the universe out of nothing, and that he is, in some way, a guide over the development of the earth.

Agreed. Genesis is a parable, with a moral. It is not a science textbook.

8. I’m not familiar with it.

See Documentary Hypothesis. You may have seen mention of “JEPD” which refers to the same thing.

rossum


#5
  1. God can do things science will say are impossible.
  2. The Bible does not say Adam and Even came from anywhere, It simply states that God set Adam in a Garden to tend it. The exact location of this garden is in some dispute.
  3. There is zero evidence that Catholic teaching or the writer of Genesis borrowed anything, and if similar ideas were known, they were clarified properly in the Bible. In fact, it appears that others heard something and did the borrowing around the same time period. A careful analysis of beliefs, myths and legends is required.
  4. This is infallible Church teaching. Original Sin is passed on by generation and is in each of us as our own.
  5. The flood was global, not regional. God has the ability to do things science cannot understand. It is not a myth.
  6. Unless you are an expert in languages, this statement is an assumption. Again, there is no reason to believe that there was not not one universal language at one time. The population of the earth was a lot less. The writer of Genesis clarified the false stories going around and presented the truth.
  7. God said to the Israelites that ‘you are my people.’ That’s the answer.
  8. Is an open question. The only thing to remember is that the writers of the Bible were under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and what they wrote is free from error.

“Genesis does does not contain purified myths.” Pontifical Biblical Commission, 1909

Finally, science has no proof of God or the soul. There are no peer-reviewed papers about either, so science is not 100% suitable to comment on what God or the soul is, and has little to say about miracles, for example. Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are about to be declared saints. Why is that? Could it have to do with things science cannot understand?

Peace,
Ed


closed #6

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