Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What if there were no Book of Genesis?

Creationists, such as Ken Ham, insist that the earth is a mere 6,000 years old and that God created it all in six literal days. As evidence for this belief, they site the Book of Genesis. But what if that book had never made it into the bible? What if the bombastic bevy of bishops who made up the Council of Nicea in 325 CE decided not to include the Old Testament in the Christian canon? After all, that was the Jewish bible and they had created their own religion. They could have decided that the scripture that is now the Old Testament is useful for historical context but not actually part of the bible. Christianity would still go on.

It happened, in limited form, several hundred years later when Martin Luther started the Reformation. The new Protestant Church left out many of the books of the Catholic Old Testament, now called the Apocrypha. So what if Genesis had been one of the books left out by Luther?

The only real difference that it would have made in Christianity of today is that no one would be taking creationism seriously. There would be no biblical support for it. It would be viewed merely as a Jewish folktale, much as it is viewed today by many mainline Christian denominations.

But the more striking question would then become this: What if all the scientists hired by Ken Ham and the Discovery Institute on Creation Studies were let loose to try to find the real story of creation? Would they still find the same evidence they now use to conclude that God created the world in six days and that the earth is young, or would they instead find and accept all the empirical evidence that now exists proving that the world is very old and that life has evolved? Remember, there is no Old Testament or Genesis to consider. They have been relegated to folk status by Martin Luther or the Council of Nicea in our imaginary scenario.

These so-called scientists, and yes they do hold degrees in science, that try to use science to "prove" creationism are not currently using real methods of science. They ignore or rationalize real evidence and accept only the evidence that supports their foregone conclusion. That's not science. But without Genesis guiding their bias, how would they proceed and what would their findings be?

It's a rhetorical question because it has already been answered. Scientists have done those experiments and gathered the empirical evidence over the past hundreds of years to prove that the earth is, indeed, billions of years old and that life on it has evolved. So without Genesis, these creation scientists would fall in line behind the real evidence.

And that's why nobody should take them seriously. They may be real scientists but they are not using real science to support their claims. They are using the bible. And the bible has no scientific validity. The bible has become, and actually always was, a roadblock to discovery and understanding. It even today causes a handful of well-educated, intelligent scientists to look the other way when any evidence runs counter to what they think they already know. How sad is that?

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