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The KEY to understanding Genesis!

Daniel Friedmann has found it! It’s the scaling factor that lets you convert the ‘days’ of God in the book of Genesis into human years. This is reported with total credulity in the Toronto Star.

Let’s take the word “day.” In terms of the first six days, they’re “creation days,” which are different from just days. There are a number of sources in all the religions that interpret those days as periods of time.

I’m certainly not the first. What is unique about my work is that I went into the sources and I said, “Look, if the Bible is self-contained and if I say a day is not 24 hours, then what is it? Whatever it is it, it must be in the Bible. I can’t make it up from science, or from what I know today, and push it back on the Bible.”

What I discovered was a scaling factor — just like when you look at the blueprint of your home. It doesn’t make a lot of sense until you look at the right-hand corner and it says “one inch equals eight feet” and so on. So I went looking for that in the Bible and I found it. It told me that one day is 2.56 billion years. That is the epoch of time that each of those six “creation days” is.

Now when you read Genesis, which tells you what happened on each day, and use other sources to put those events in a timeline and then convert through this 2.56 billion per day you get an astonishing thing! You get the age of the universe to the decimal place of where science has measured it. You get the first life to the decimal place of where science has measured it. You get the age of the sun and so on.

In my first book I showed 19 different dates that came out of the Bible and came out of the scientific record and they match. That’s mathematically impossible unless the scale of 2.56 billion years works.

This is standard day-age creationism; it’s a tactic that’s been used to try and reconcile the Bible with geology for over a century. One problem: it doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter what your scaling factor is, the biblical order doesn’t fit the scientific order, and a a simple linear scaling factor produces dates that are totally out of whack with reality. Here, look: these are the events by day from the first book of Genesis, multiplied by the magic scaling factor. Multiplying 6 god days by 2.56 billion years per god day, doesn’t give you a number that’s even close to the scientifically measured age of the universe, and the dates don’t line up in even an approximation for the origin of life.

Day 1 15.36 billion years ago God creates the earth The currently known age of the universe is 13.8 billion years; the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
Day 2 12.8 billion years ago God separates firmament and waters This one doesn’t make a lick of goddamn sense, until you understand that in middle eastern mythology 3,000 years ago, the universe is filled with water, and we’re inside a bubble floating in it.
Day 3 10.24 billion years ago God creates dry land and plants fruit trees, grass, and herbs 10 billion years ago, the earth didn’t exist. The oceans formed as a hot rock cooled, at the end of the Hadean, and plate tectonics were in action about 4 billion years ago.
Day 4 7.68 billion years ago God creates the sun and the moon The sun’s formation preceded that of the earth. Need I point out that this model has plants growing for 2.56 billion years without a sun?
Day 5 5.12 billion years ago God creates birds, whales, and fish 5 billion years ago, the solar nebula was condensing from clouds of interstellar gas. “Fish”, loosely speaking, evolved in the Cambrian, half a billion years ago; his dates are off by an order of magnitude. Birds evolved in the Mesozoic, and whales in the Cenozoic, so he’s off even further there.
Day 6 2.56 billion years ago God creates cattle, creeping things, and people So cows and people would be older than Eukaryotes? I don’t think so.

Daniel Friedmann’s model only works for people so primitive that they don’t know how to use a calculator and are baffled by simple algebraic manipulations. He claims he has made the scientific and biblical timelines correlate — I don’t see how.

Furthermore, he claims that the biblical account is perfectly concordant with the scientific explanation, with just three exceptions, phenomena that science fails to explain but that the Bible can account for perfectly.

The most famous one is the beginning. If you look at the Big Bang theory, it explains absolutely everything from the beginning until today very nicely but it has no idea how the beginning came about.

The next most famous one is what the Bible calls the human soul. The Bible says the bodies of humans were made just like the bodies of animals. In some cases science recognizes the soul, in some cases it says there is no soul, we’re just super-intelligent. The key thing is, what does a soul bring to a human that it doesn’t bring to anyone else? The ability to speak and the ability to envision the future.

We’re the only species according to science that can do that. That leads to painting and art and things that in an evolutionary context are completely useless. The Bible tells us that these behaviours come from the soul, the divine soul, from the outside. Science agrees that these behaviours are completely unique to humans but they don’t have an explanation for where they come from.

The third thing is the appearance of sea creatures during what science calls the Cambrian explosion. What happened then came out outside of the scientific natural process. God interfered and did something miraculous.

Those are the only three times that something was happening that was not just cause and effect within the normal laws of nature.

No, we’ve got a good idea of how multicellular animal life evolved prior to and during the Cambrian—which was 500 million years ago, not 5 billion, as his timeline would claim. The capabilities of humans are a product of their material brain, no soul (which kooks like Friedmann can neither define nor measure) required. And if we have no idea what initiated the Big Bang, neither does Friedmann — “God did it” is not an explanation.

Would you believe that Friedmann is an “engineering physicist” and “CEO of Canada’s leading aerospace company, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates”? Incredible as it sounds, I checked, and it’s true. There’s no denying he must have a certain kind of intelligence, but jeez, religion can really throw a good brain off the rails, can’t it?

Comments

  1. Snoof says

    “Whatever it is it, it must be in the Bible. I can’t make it up from science, or from what I know today, and push it back on the Bible.”

    “one day is 2.56 billion years”

    Funny, I don’t remember reading that last time I read Genesis.

    What’s the Hebrew for “a billion” anyway?

  2. thisisaturingtest says

    That “house blueprint” analogy is a terrible justification for retrofitting evidence to fit a conclusion; when blueprints are drawn, the scale is decided on first, then the blueprint is drawn to it- you don’t willy-nilly draw a blueprint then let people deduce the scale thousands of years later.

  3. doublereed says

    If you’re going to do this, why would the scaling factor be constant throughout the days? Why not just say that the first day is “whatever length of time it takes for God to create light”? That way you can’t actually be wrong, which is the whole point of all this.

  4. says

    This is another one of those instances where you can see Christians acting on the assumption that science trumps religion, but not having enough intellectual honesty to admit that realization to themselves consciously.

  5. stever says

    Anyone can abruptly depart from reality. It’s called a psychotic break, and while the mass murderers and televangelists get the headlines, most people who go crazy do so quietly and appear quite sane when viewed from any position outside their delusions. Of course, Friedmann may not be nuts. He could just be working a common scam. It’s a relatively harmless one. Unlike most of the diet and medical woo out there, which can be fatal, this hustle won’t cost anyone more than the price of his book.

  6. anchor says

    Friedmann:

    “You get the age of the universe to the decimal place of where science has measured it. You get the first life to the decimal place of where science has measured it. You get the age of the sun and so on.

    In my first book I showed 19 different dates that came out of the Bible and came out of the scientific record and they match. That’s mathematically impossible unless the scale of 2.56 billion years works.”

    False statements all.

    PZ:

    “There’s no denying he must have a certain kind of intelligence…”

    I suppose so, the kind that is associated with lying or delusion or stupidity. Those take lots of brains. One will not see, say, a hydra acting that way.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    Need smarter creationists. You’d think someone would have come up with a more sophistimacated formula by now. Start with something like; the number of years in day n is;

    Cexp[A-n]

    Try to solve for C and A, and tweak formula if necessary.

  8. Aliasalpha says

    I think doublereed is onto something, as the universe gets older, time stretches so each of the days (or each of the 2.56 billion years’s) is progressively longer than the previous one. Unless something contradicts it, then god intervened because… Just because, okay!

  9. says

    That leads to painting and art and things that in an evolutionary context are completely useless.

    Having a highly-adaptable information storage/analysis organ, OTOH, is very useful in an evolutionary context. That we can crap out stuff like Beethoven’s 5th, The Thinker, and The Daily Show is just a potential outcome of evolving such an organ or equivalent set of biological structures.

    Being able to store information outside of our cortices for future observation and analysis by others is, in an evolutionary context, also quite useful, as is being able to communicate via symbolic association.

    Dude needs to stick to engineering.

  10. vilding1 says

    Need I point out that this model has plants growing for 2.56 billion years without a sun?
    Sun not stricty needed; God(tm) created artificial lighting on day one, which many plants can grow just fine under.

  11. says

    He doesn’t say in the article how he came by the magic 2.56 Billion number in the bible. I suppose we’ll have to read the book to get that fancy bit of numerology *sigh*

  12. says

    Usually when the do this they start with Psalm 90:

    For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

    That doesn’t work very well though either as it would have the earth being created in 6,000 years. There’s something in Daniel (can’t recall exactly) about seven something which they use as an excuse to multiply everything by 7. It goes on and on. The use of 256 makes me think this guy is doubling some things. If a thousand years is a day, then 365,000 days is also a day, so 365,000 days is also 365,000*365,000 days. Or something. It never works very well but you can fudge it by saying the language isn’t exact.

    Anyhow, I think it’s pretty disrespectful to the text. Just say that these people were working with bad info and they were wrong.

  13. kevinalexander says

    Cexp[A-n]

    Try to solve for C and A, and tweak formula if necessary.

    The middle line should read “Then a miracle occurs”
    ://star.psy.ohio-state.edu/coglab/Miracle.html

  14. steve oberski says

    Must be a slow news day in Toronto.

    You’d think our mayor, Rob Ford, must have done something stupid recently, but after smoking crack on camera with known organized crime members, perhaps he has peaked out.

  15. Azuma Hazuki says

    This can’t be said often enough: these people are not only ignoring all the evidence that contradicts them, but they are committing large, standing blasphemy, slapping their God in the face with the Bible and saying “No, you didn’t do what you did, you did what I say you did! Screw your reality, we have the Bible”!

    I am waiting for a large hand to part the clouds and baka-slap these people. Would that be a Godsmack?

  16. Larry says

    He doesn’t say in the article how he came by the magic 2.56 Billion number in the bible.

    Obviously, he found a pair of majikal spectacles, of the kind J. Smith used to translate those golden plates he found in the forest, and used them to read the hidden formula.

    Pretty standard stuff, if you ask me.

  17. Larry says

    You’d think someone would have come up with a more sophistimacated formula by now.

    You’d be surprised to find that he had written in his bible that he had a found a marvelous proof for his factor but it was too large to fit in the margins

  18. Azuma Hazuki says

    @18/Larry

    Oh zark, spare us from marginal notes! As Carrier and others can tell you, today’s marginal note is tomorrow’s canon scripture @_@

  19. zytigon says

    Genesis 5v5 ,” Adam lived 930 years “. Genesis 1v27 Man was created on day 6 and lived beyond day 7. Maximum length of a day in bible is 465 human years.
    Rev Ussher used bible genealogy to put Adam & Eve at 4004 BCE.
    Alternative creation myths
    1. In the beginning God existed but he developed a technical fault, exploded and that caused the big bang

    2. After God spent 13.8 billion years watching the universe evolve, 3.5 billion years as complex organic life formed on Earth by evolution, he placed the divine spark in hominids only to find that the very next day A&E had an accident & everything went pear shaped. Imagine how embarrassed he was, hardly surprising he would deny how much effort he put into it, ” Oh, only took me a week, no big deal ”

    Evolution would make more sense of the Bible, God had put so much time and effort in that he had to keep going and try to fix it. On the other hand if a God could create life on Earth in 144 hours then it would be more caring to wipe it all out and start again with no one else than A&E doomed.

    Even look at a Serpent evolving into a snake Gen 3v14

  20. Pierce R. Butler says

    I eagerly await Friedmann’s redefinition of a “cubit” so that the Hamsters in Genesis can re-scale their proposed Ark to a size that can hold two or more of each kind of organism.

    Maybe he can calc out a [imputation quotes] “flood day” to help that story make [scare quotes] “sense”.

  21. stevem says

    Sounds to me like he just took the current understanding of the age of the universe (from SCIENCE) divided that number by 6 (from the BIBLE) to get the “magic scale factor” of 2.56E9 years per day. [don’t know if that actually works, too lazy to try it myself]. He can then claim he found it “in the Bible” cuz that’s where he got the “6” to divide with. But then again, I’m just a lazy old engineer, so that’s what I think some lazy old engineer would do. Lack of imagination; mea culpa

  22. Trebuchet says

    Groan. Yet another creationist engineer. I get SO damn unhappy about my chosen profession sometimes. Then when you add in the conspiracy theory engineers, tea-party engineers, et al it just makes me sick.

    I, on the other hand, believe that pumpkins can fly.

  23. carlie says

    I, on the other hand, believe that pumpkins can fly. – Trebuchet

    I see what you did there.

  24. thisisaturingtest says

    Damn, I hit “submit” instead of “preview” above (then had to leave for a while before I could finish what I meant to say).
    The point is that, whether it’s folks insisting on a literal 24-hr day (and thus 6000 years) or Freidmann forcing the evidence to make the bible fit a more reasonable scientific view, you can’t deduce the scale from the “blueprint”; otherwise you end up building houses with walls a mile high and long.
    And you can’t pretend that internal references justify your decisions as to scale either- sometimes, in a blueprint, things are only indicated, but not defined by scale. As an electrician, I’ve worked with drawn-to-scale blueprints where, for example, a ceiling-mounted light fixture is indicated by a symbol that looks a little like target crosshairs; but the size of the indication for the fixture has nothing to do with the size of the actual thing. So, in analogy, “days” in the bible may be only an indication that’s not even relevant to the scale- there’s just no way to know, and the choice of “deduction” is only based on the choice of conclusion.
    I apologize for belaboring the point; but it’s always seemed to me that the basic problem with creationists (and other assorted right-wing fools) is the way they either misunderstand or willfully misrepresent basic terms and concepts. I don’t have the education to engage with their “deductions” on any scientific level, but I have to confess I don’t really see the need to- it only seems necessary to show that they don’t even have the basic principles right to know that their extrapolations from them can’t be right.

  25. stevem says

    oh dear, I kept reading “IdeaCity”as “Ideosity” while reading the linked interview with Mr. Friedmann. my bad!

  26. says

    “Daniel Friedmann’s model only works for people so primitive that they don’t know how to use a calculator and are baffled by simple algebraic manipulations.”

    Which as far as I can tell is a majority of Americans. Even intelligent people I know are pretty innumerate if they don’t have a science/math degree. It’s pretty depressing.

  27. anteprepro says

    “Look, if the Bible is self-contained and if I say a day is not 24 hours, then what is it? Whatever it is it, it must be in the Bible. I can’t make it up from science, or from what I know today, and push it back on the Bible.”

    He then proceeds to take the age of the universe given to us by science, divide it by 6, and push it back on the Bible.

    If you look at the Big Bang theory, it explains absolutely everything from the beginning until today very nicely but it has no idea how the beginning came about.

    Oh God of the Gaps, will you ever stop being a thing?

    The Bible says the bodies of humans were made just like the bodies of animals.

    Doesn’t the Bible say that God fashioned the human body out of dust (at least the second time that he does it)? And doesn’t say anything of the sort regarding animals?

    In some cases science recognizes the soul

    Bullshit.

    The key thing is, what does a soul bring to a human that it doesn’t bring to anyone else? The ability to speak and the ability to envision the future.
    We’re the only species according to science that can do that. That leads to painting and art and things that in an evolutionary context are completely useless.

    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. This is on the top of my list of hates. No, the “soul” isn’t proven because we have emotions. No, the “soul” isn’t just another word for the mind. No, humans aren’t the only species that is smart. Other species can communicate and can create things, and just because we don’t think it is comparable to human language or human paintings or human art or human tools or human buildings doesn’t mean that we can automatically “ha ha, humans win!” and call these things exclusive to humanity conclusively. And it especially doesn’t mean we can play Soul of the Gaps and imply that these things prove that we have a soul. Emotion, art, etc. are things associated with the soul, post hoc. The mere fact that we have them doesn’t prove we have a soul, because the idea of a soul was constructed when we already noted that we had these things. Also, the idea of a soul is much more than these things: It is about a fucking permanent self. Attempting to prove that we have a soul because we have a language is like attempting to prove that there is a God because there is an Earth. It relies on assumptions, avoids dealing with alternative explanations, and doesn’t bother proving it through issues that are far more relevant to the core identity of the hypothesized entity.

  28. says

    And as we see here, engineers can be the absolute worst. They have the ability to do fancy formulas and apply science, but don’t actually need to understand more than just application.

  29. otrame says

    @23

    Pumpkins CAN fly. I’ve seen them do it. Of course they need help launching and don’t stay up long….and landing seems to be a problem for them.

  30. says

    What I don’t get is this: There obviously were caves back then, when the bible was “written”, and dark cellars. Nobody noticed that plants don’t grow without sunlight?

  31. kraut says

    What astonishes me always are the mental acrobatics by so called “intelligent” people to match their holy books with current scientific knowledge.
    They seem to be unable to live in a world where all knowledge is provisional, pending further investigation.
    There seems to be such a need for certainty that intellectual honesty is just thrown out the window in favour of revealed divine and never changing truth and a divinity that gives a fart from a rats ass about your well being.
    I call that cowardliness in the light of an uncaring universe.

  32. stevem says

    Just yet another case of someone shouting, “I KNOW …, do you? Obviously not, I am so superior to you. Because I KNOW and you do NOT”. He’s just trying to show his “humility” (or “humanity”) by “sharing” his “knowledge” with us (for a few $$) True engineer he is, and CEO certainly, by sharing his cosmic knowledge with us poor ignorants for a few bucks.

  33. Owlmirror says

    What’s the Hebrew for “a billion” anyway?

    Modern Hebrew uses the word “milliard” (מיליארד). Biblical Hebrew does not have a word for “billion”.

    But this is something that has always bothered me about those who whine that the original language of the bible didn’t have words for, and therefore they couldn’t have used to write a more numerically precise description of cosmological events (never mind that the cosmological “events” are nonsensically way out of order, as noted in the table above — and PZ forgot to point out that the stars were created on the same “day” as the sun and the moon, when we know that there were stars before our sun in particular condensed).

    Biblical Hebrew most certainly has a word for “thousand”; “elef” (אלף). And it’s easy to define larger terms as multiples of a thousand.

    A million is a thousand thousand.
    A billion is a thousand million.
    A trillion is a thousand billion.

    And so on.

  34. Amphiox says

    The events in each genesis “day” take different amounts of time than the events in any of the other genesis “day”.

    So if anyone proposing a scaling factor that does not include the word “log” in it, you can ignore it right there.

    And as for any engineer who would propose such a thing without realizing the need for and importance of a logarithm?

    I’d like to see a list of all the bridges/buildings/pubic spaces he has ever been involved in the engineering of, so I know what to avoid ever being near.

  35. anteprepro says

    Wow. Just wow. Where things actually wind up on this scale.

    Day 1: Universe.
    Day 2: NA
    Day 3: NA
    Day 4: NA
    Day 5: Sun, then Earth, then Moon.
    Day 6: Fish then land plants then insects then mammals then birds then whales then humans.

    Lines up my ass. Assume that he decided to just divide the Earth’s age in 6 instead so that he could at least get one fucking thing to match up. Time scale of 756.6 million.

    Day 1: (Sun already formed) Earth, then Moon.
    Day 2: First photosynthetic life
    Day 3: NA
    Day 4: NA
    Day 5: NA
    Day 6: Fish then land plants then insects then mammals then birds then whales then humans.

    Seriously. Even shrinking down the scale leaves a fuck-ton of dead space. You and your Bible fail, Friedmann.

    So if anyone proposing a scaling factor that does not include the word “log” in it, you can ignore it right there.

    Word.

  36. anteprepro says

    (In fairness, no scaling factor would completely work because several parts of the Genesis order are fucked up and no complicated formula for what each year/age represents will be able to change that)

  37. Randomfactor says

    A quick search turns up the word “million” in the Bible, but no billions.

    Which leads me to point out that this guy’s actually onto something, he’s just got it backwards.

    A friend once told me the starting point of his deconversion came when a teacher helpfully told him that lots of the big numbers in the Bible were actually exaggerations, that there’s really no way a given nation at that time could have sustained an army of a million men, for example. You had to scale things down and realize that the big numbers in the story really meant “a really fucking big army for its time.”

    He said it started him wondering–if you couldn’t trust the basic math in the Bible, then what CAN’T be questioned. Crack, dam, sploosh.

  38. says

    Genesis 5v5 ,” Adam lived 930 years “. Genesis 1v27 Man was created on day 6 and lived beyond day 7. Maximum length of a day in bible is 465 human years.

    You could argue that Adam’s lifespan is measured as starting from when they were tossed out of Eden. Since they were eating of the Tree of Life, that’s not too unreasonable.

    You know, apart form the fact that you’re juggling ancient mythology as if it was relevant for the real world.

  39. says

    In fairness, no scaling factor would completely work because several parts of the Genesis order are fucked up and no complicated formula for what each year/age represents will be able to change that

    Indeed. Just the one fact that people back then didn’t realize that whales are mammals is a deathblow. There’s no way you can make that time line fit with the real world, no matter how fancy your numerology is.

  40. rogerfirth says

    At work I’ve found that an empirically-derived scaling factor allows me to predict test results with extreme accuracy. Of course, I have to wait until after the test is run to derive the scaling factor, which is unique for each test.

    After every test I go back and rework my pre-test predictions to apply the factor. Looking back at my track record you can see that I’m always dead nuts on. Right down to single-precision accuracy. I’m amazing.

  41. zytigon says

    Maybe key to understanding bible is that it is inspired by the Primeordial Ooze God, which is the voice of the rest of life on Earth, which wanted to restrain humans as little more than ape less they cause mass extinction..
    In the POGbible the greatest sin is burning fossil fuel.

    Noah warns people that they must not burn coal or POG will have to flood the world to bury the fossil fuel so deep that it can’t be burned.

    Jonah goes to Nineveh to tell them to stop using coal and switch to biofuel and unless they do this then sea levels will rise and they will be flooded again. Fortunately the people repent and cover themselves with the ashes from the fireplace.. { is sack cloth & ashes the bible’s subconscious realization that burning coal is a mistake ? }

    Exodus 3, And Moses saw a bright light coming from a cave . He went in to investigate and saw what looked like a tungsten filament burning brilliantly bright yet not burning up. POG, ” Moses this is an electric light powered by wind and solar power, bring a couple of slates and I will laser etch a design on them for you “. And when POG was finished he also gave Moses these commandments
    Deuteronomy 5 ” Thou shalt not burn coal / oil. Built wind & solar power , thou shalt not build internal combustion engines. If you travel use horse power, sail across the oceans with wind, accept your fate ”
    When Moses came down from the mountain top he saw that the Israelites were burning coals to Molech [ Lev 18v21 ]. He threw water on their fire, ground up the coal, put it in water and made them drink it.
    POG Numbers 14v32 While the Israelites were in the Siberian desert, at -30 C, a man was found burning coal to keep warm, so eco warrior Moses commanded he be stoned to death.

    1 King 18 And Elijah found the prophets of Baal [ who denied the prophecy of global warming ]
    about to light their coal fires. So Elijah challenged them to a test. He set up his woodburning stove next to their coal fire and poured water on each fuel. ” Now we will see which fuel is approved, call out to your god to light the fire ” They prayed and wept but nothing happened. Then Elijah called out, ” POG show which fuel you approve of.” Then his wood burning stove sparked alight and gave off a great heat.

    John 8v3, The Pharisees brought a woman caught burning coal in her fireplace before Jesus, ” Teacher the law of Moses says we must not burn coal & there is this story where he set a precedent of death penalty for it, what do you say “. Then Jesus bent down and wrote in the ash around his wood burning stove. ” If anyone of you does not lease methane into the atmosphere, let him throw the first stone “. And they all went away, those who ate baked beans first. And Jesus said, ” Then neither do I condemn you, go but install a biomass system, I can sell you one for $1 million. ”

    But Satan replied, ” Don’t believe it, you can have it all by syngas made by syntrolysis which spits H from water and CO from various sources, even carbonic acid from sea water and using a ruthenium catalyst. Syngas can from synthetic hydrocarbons to power your fun life style ”

    Jesus: Don’t yield to that temptation, unless you turn from fossil fuel hell fires then your world will meet a Hadean end with [ Rev 20v10 ] sulphuric acidic oceans devoid of life and since 50% of atmospheric oxygen comes from the phyto plankton the oxygen will be reduced to levels that cannot support mammals.

    Rev 1v14 I saw someone like the son of man, and his eyes were blazing biomass fire

    But the chosen ones who have a clean / non reeking lum will leave to build a new Jerusalem on Mars. [ This would only work if Mars was a habitable Earth like planet, unfortunately we get there only to find it is about as much use as the Sahara desert, so much for ID ]

  42. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Would you believe that Friedmann is an “engineering physicist”

    :'(

  43. says

    I suspect his bit about some scientists accepting that souls exist is based on that silly experiment where they weighed someone just before and just after they died. Since bodies supposedly weighed 3.6 ounces less after death, SOUL!

  44. Randomfactor says

    Since they were eating of the Tree of Life, that’s not too unreasonable.

    Nope. They got tossed out presumably before they could sample that one.

  45. Trebuchet says

    @30, Otrame:

    Pumpkins CAN fly. I’ve seen them do it. Of course they need help launching and don’t stay up long….and landing seems to be a problem for them.

    I’ve MADE them fly. Whether they wanted to or not. I’m completely heartless, I guess!

    May I ask where you saw them fly?

  46. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Well, he is a CEO, which means that his particular type of intelligence lies in surrounding himself with good engineers, not necessarily that he’s a good engineer. He might have been not that good at engineering, gone for an MBA, and voilà.

  47. says

    Since they were eating of the Tree of Life, that’s not too unreasonable.

    Nope. They got tossed out presumably before they could sample that one.

    This is where it gets a bit tricky. They’re tossed out before they can eat of the Tree of Life after having already eaten of the Tree of Knowledge. While it’s never explicitly stated, I think it’s implied that until then, they were freely eating of the Tree of Life. Remember, that was never banned and presumably god would have no use for it.

    Of course, this all draws from an older mythos, where the gods were immortal because they were eating of the Tree of Life, similar to what we see in Norse mythology. There’s tonnes of hints to an earlier, polytheistic stratum of mythology. As such, I’m not sure if Christians would be entirely comfortable with that angle.

    I think the original story was about how the gods created humans as a kind of slave race, allowing them to be immortal and controlling them by restricting knowledge (possibly equating to the ability to procreate).
    Once the humans learned how to procreate, the gods became afraid of the competition and drove them out of the garden, away from the Tree of Life. Thus, humans could procreate, but they had limited life-spans, so they couldn’t overrun the gods.

    Anyway, even if they didn’t eat from the Tree of Life, you could still argue that they were simply naturally immortal before the fall. If they’re willing to argue that lions were vegetarians in Eden, claiming that Adam and Eve were immortal isn’t so much of a stretch.

    My point is simply that from within the fundie world view (which is the only perspective where any of this makes sense, anyway), it’s not unreasonable to say that Adam’s lifespan should only be counted from the moment they’re kicked out of the garden.

    I don’t think that particular angle is a very convincing argument. The fact that the bible claims that whales came before land mammals is much harder to reconcile with a “the bible is perfectly in accordance with science” point of view.

  48. gravityisjustatheory says

    On a related note, I was just clearing out a load of my junk yesterday, and sorting out old university stuff, and came a printout of some creationist texts. (Our geology tutor had set us the task of finding an absurd geological theory on the internet and giving a presentation on it. This was my first introduction to creationism, although at the time I was not aware that it was such a widly held belief – I assumed no more people believed in it than, say, the “hollow earth” (conspiracy) theory).

    Anyway, two particularly stupid creationist arguments I’d highlighted were:

    1) “Reptiles keep growing as long as they live. If a reptile lived for 900 years, as was possible [sic] before the flood, what would you get? A dinosaur!”

    (The author did seem to be under the impression that adding exclamation marks to statments makes them more convincing).

    2) Early in the document, the author rubbished the idea of plate tectonics, overthrust, etc as an explanation for unconformities and inverted stratigraphy (because the forces would allegedly destroy the rocks). Later, when trying to explain the Flood, he proposed that the earth split open (along the Mid Atlantic Ridge), releasing the flood waters, and propelling the plates apart at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, with mountains being thrown up by the “unimaginable” forces unleashed by the colliding plates.

    (It really doesn’t give a good impression of your arguments when you cant even get your made-up-shit to be internally consistent. “Slow continental drift? Impossible! 45mph continental drift? I can accept that”).

  49. Randomfactor says

    I think Genesis 3:22 is pretty clear:

    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    They didn’t eat from the Tree of Life before, because until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they didn’t know where it was.

    The REAL key to understanding Genesis, of course, is that human beings were SUPPOSED to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. God wanted them to grow up and leave the nest. And how do you get a teenager (Adam and Eve) to do something, without fail?

    Expressly forbid it.

  50. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    The real key to understanding Genesis is: once Phil Collins sort of took over, it all went to shit.

  51. maudell says

    No! Not a Canadian! Not a Vancouverite! First MRAs, now creationists! It’s undermining my quiet assumptions of superiority to Americans (which is so Canadian).
    Where are all those creationists? The must be living under rocks or something. Or in Chilliwack (Vancouver joke).

  52. says

    Creationists never fail to disappoint. Early in reading the quote, I thought they might have tried being clever and doing some kind of varying scale like a logarithm, but nope, even division. Not that it would make a difference. The sequence is still wrong, no matter which Genesis story you take. Of course, as has been pointed out, YECs will still declare long days to be heretical.

    (It really doesn’t give a good impression of your arguments when you cant even get your made-up-shit to be internally consistent. “Slow continental drift? Impossible! 45mph continental drift? I can accept that”).

    And we all know how a lot of flood believers try to kludge super-evolution into the story to cut down on the “baramin” in the Ark. Speciation gradually occurring over thousands to millions of years? Impossible! Speciation of beetles averaging out to a time frame of hours to reach today’s variety starting from one pair of perfectly generic beetles? Yeah, totally plausible.

    1) “Reptiles keep growing as long as they live. If a reptile lived for 900 years, as was possible [sic] before the flood, what would you get? A dinosaur!”

    Yeah, I suspect this Creationist is unaware of the anatomical differences between a dinosaur and a scaled-up lizard. Unless he’s hiding a detailed, peer-reviewed, developmental biology hypothesis about long-lived reptiles up his sleeve. If so, I’m curious how iguanas modify their scales into feathers when they grow up to be a therapod.

  53. Rob Grigjanis says

    once Phil Collins sort of took over, it all went to shit.

    Now this is one of the eternal verities.

  54. Owlmirror says

    A quick search turns up the word “million” in the Bible, but no billions.

    And it looks like every instance is actually (in the original) “a thousand thousands”; “elef alafim” (אלף אלפים)

    A friend once told me the starting point of his deconversion came when a teacher helpfully told him that lots of the big numbers in the Bible were actually exaggerations

    God hates numerical precision.

  55. flapjack says

    When you attempt to crowbar science retrospectively into the Genesis creation myth the results come off much the same as when you try to crowbar science into Santa’s Xmas eve delivery run…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j96riygDLrs
    I like the notion of a sleigh spontaneously combusting if only because you can legitimately give your kids a venison roast instead of presents and tell them that due to the effects of air resistance and travelling at speeds of 2,294 miles per second, Rudolph and co. didn’t make it.

  56. Rob Grigjanis says

    Chilliwack is almost beyond Hope.

    Hah! And going well beyond your Mission.

  57. stevem says

    …a teacher helpfully told him that lots of the big numbers in the Bible were actually exaggerations, …

    Same here! sorta… I was taught (in Catholic school back in the ’70’s) that the frequent occurrence of 144 in the Bible was just their way of saying “very many”. Being a ‘dozen dozen- and all; a ‘dozen’ being used, synonym, for “many”, so a “dozen dozen” is “many many”; equivalent to “everyone”. This particular discussion was referring to the number “saved” during the “apocalypse” in the book “The Apocrypha of John”. So yes, even the Catholics would say that numbers in the Bible were mostly used “metaphorically”, not “numerically”. How this guy reads a “scale factor” out of all those “metaphors” is beyond comprehension. Nevermind the sequencing errors…

  58. catbutler says

    To be consistent don’t you have to count the seventh day too?
    Of course a 2.56 billion year rest day could explain a lot about the deity’s persistent absence.
    Poor dear’s just tired.

  59. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    The key thing is, what does a soul bring to a human that it doesn’t bring to anyone else? The ability to speak and the ability to envision the future.

    [bold added]

    I think that anyone who has tried to take a cat or dog to the vet’s will join me in saying that the average pet can envision that future and act accordingly.

    Yes, arguendum ad spot and fluffy.

  60. David Marjanović says

    Eternal truths? The ball is round, a game has 90 minutes.

    This is another one of those instances where you can see Christians acting on the assumption that science trumps religion, but not having enough intellectual honesty to admit that realization to themselves consciously.

    QFMFT.

    and baka-slap these people

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MoreDakka

    Even look at a Serpent evolving into a snake Gen 3v14

    *eyeroll* Do you know what the word serpent means?

    It means “snake”, and it’s French (among others). It simply means “snake”.

    What I don’t get is this: There obviously were caves back then, when the bible was “written”, and dark cellars. Nobody noticed that plants don’t grow without sunlight?

    The thing is, this whole crap was written by people who didn’t know that daylight is sunlight. On a day with complete cloud cover, you can’t see the sun, but there’s still daylight… daylight was created on the first day.

    And God said:
    “Let there be light!”
    But Peter didn’t find the switch.
    And when he did find it after all,
    the lightbulb was burnt out.

    It fits rhyme & meter in the original German.

    Once the humans learned how to procreate, the gods became afraid of the competition and drove them out of the garden, away from the Tree of Life. Thus, humans could procreate, but they had limited life-spans, so they couldn’t overrun the gods.

    I must say, I like the Klingon version better.

    The REAL key to understanding Genesis, of course, is that human beings were SUPPOSED to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. God wanted them to grow up and leave the nest. And how do you get a teenager (Adam and Eve) to do something, without fail?

    Expressly forbid it.

    You’re overthinking it. Little Yahwe, the Becoming One, was just 12 years old or so when he played around with clay and his superpowers got out of hand. (Independently discovered here.)

    even the Catholics would say that numbers in the Bible were mostly used “metaphorically”, not “numerically”

    “Even”? I thought they were famous for this.

  61. Ichthyic says

    “one day is 2.56 billion years”

    post hoc ergo…

    really, there need be nothing more to this “analysis”. The clown just post hoc’d a fitting divisor, and assumed nobody would call him on it, so long as they were gullible believers to begin with.

    sad.

    the question is, who is really trying to fool here? Himself? The rubes he sells his books to? Both?

  62. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    At least living in Chiliwack means you never have to say you’re Surrey.

  63. Ichthyic says

    And it’s easy to define larger terms as multiples of a thousand.

    theoretically.

    but it was not done, so the point is moot.

  64. Ichthyic says

    He doesn’t say in the article how he came by the magic 2.56 Billion number in the bible.

    Well, I’m sure if you just buy his book…

  65. says

    And it’s easy to define larger terms as multiples of a thousand.

    theoretically.

    but it was not done, so the point is moot.

    Revelation 5:11 ►
    New International Version (©2011)
    Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

    It looks like a correct translation from the Greek, as far as I can tell, anyhow.

    Glen Davidson

  66. says

    It looks like a correct translation from the Greek, as far as I can tell, anyhow.

    Of course I do know this is a fair bit removed from the time and place where Genesis was redacted, but the Babylonians had a fair bit of skill at math, so it’s possible. If they did something similar, it’s certainly possible that the Hebrews did as well, but I’m not going to check it out, at least not now.

    Glen Davidson

  67. satanaugustine says

    Didn’t click the link, but the second excerpt reads like it was written by a 15 year old – not just the content, although that’s the biggest part of it, but the writing style as well. Honestly, it’s like theology for teens written by (not terribly bright) teens. And a newspaper printed it! And we can’t even blame good old-fashioned faith-soaked American stupidity because it’s in a Canadian paper.

  68. danf says

    If you read the book you will see the calculation and discover why your simple analysis is not enough. Essentially days start in the evening but the work of creation starts in the day- this must be taken into account to calculate date specially the age of the universe. Also the order of events must be understood from the original text- words like earth in the Bible have many different meanings- seldom meaning our planet!!
    thank you
    author

  69. Amphiox says

    Also the order of events must be understood from the original text- words like earth in the Bible have many different meanings- seldom meaning our planet

    Riigghhht.

    If I could just make the words mean anything I want them to mean, I could turn War and Peace, Hamlet, and any one of PZ’s longer OP’s into a fair approximation of the history of the universe too.

  70. Amphiox says

    And a newspaper printed it! And we can’t even blame good old-fashioned faith-soaked American stupidity because it’s in a Canadian paper.

    It’s the Toronto Star.

    That alone is explanation enough.

  71. anteprepro says

    Essentially days start in the evening but the work of creation starts in the day- this must be taken into account to calculate date specially the age of the universe.

    That would just inch everything half-a-day downward. Even shifting this shit a full day downward wouldn’t make up for the errors. You do realize that the Earth, Moon, and Sun didn’t exist until around roughly 4.5 billion years ago, right (2 “days”)? And that even the most primitive life only started to exist just over 3 billion years ago? That the examples of life given in the Bible happen well within 500 million years ago? Given all that, what possible, conceivable fudge factor could make you right?

    Also the order of events must be understood from the original text- words like earth in the Bible have many different meanings- seldom meaning our planet!!

    Dishonest horseshit .

    Summary of all the definitions of the relevant Hebrew word used in the Bible: Whole Earth, Earth (as opposed to sky), inhabitants of earth/land, region, territory, country, piece of ground, Canaan/Israel, soil, a distance.

    If it doesn’t refer to our planet, it’s referring to some other physical landmass. And merely creating “planets” in general doesn’t quite work, because the passages imply that the rest of the instances of “earth” are the same “earth”. It would quite a sleight of hand to talk about how God made planets, and then silently start talking about Earth specifically around the time it would’ve actually started to exist.

  72. Owlmirror says

    If you read the book you will see the calculation and discover why your simple analysis is not enough.

    The calculation doesn’t matter. There’s no reason to think that the writers of the bible knew anything about cosmology at all.

    Essentially days start in the evening but the work of creation

    What “work” of “creation”? Cosmology does not find evidence of any works of creation, but rather the transformation of the energy of the universe into matter, and the further transformation of matter into different elements via fusion and supernovas.

    this must be taken into account to calculate date specially the age of the universe.

    Nonsense. The age of the universe is calculated from the evidence of cosmological observations, not the religious and mythic imaginings of Iron-Age priests and scribes.

    Also the order of events must be understood from the original text- words like earth in the Bible have many different meanings- seldom meaning our planet!!

    The word “אָרֶץ” did not mean “planet” because the ancients did not know that the earth is a planet.

    The writers of the bible thought that the Earth was fixed in the center of everything that was created around it — including the planets and the sun.

  73. ck says

    “Canada’s leading aerospace company, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates”

    Wouldn’t that be Bombardier Inc.? I know Quebeccers sometimes say they don’t want to be part of Canada, but the province hasn’t separated yet.

  74. lpetrich says

    Genesis 1 and 2 are two very different creation stories. Both are fairly coherent when taken separately, but together is a different story. However, Genesis 2 is often retconned as what happened when God created humanity in Genesis 1. Retcon = “retroactive continuity”

    Genesis 1 is very systematic, God seems very happy, God creates by separating and commanding, and God’s name is “Elohim”
    Environments:
    Day 1: celestial: daytime, nighttime
    Day 2: far terrestrial: sea, sky
    Day 3: near terrestrial: land, plants
    Inhabitants:
    Day 4: celestial: daytime: the Sun, nighttime: the Moon, stars
    Day 5: far terrestrial: sea: aquatic animals, sky: flying animals
    Day 6: near terrestrial: land: land animals, humanity (both sexes together), plants: “You may eat these”
    Afterwards:
    Day 7: God celebrated the first Sabbath in the history of the Universe

    Genesis 2 is much more improvised, God must seem exasperated, God creates by physically forming, and God’s name is “YHWH Elohim”
    God creates a garden in Eden
    God creates a man, Adam, to take care of that garden. The Middle East is mostly semideserts and deserts, and gardens must be taken care of
    Adam is lonely
    God creates animals for Adam
    Adam names them, but he is still dissatisfied
    God creates Eve from Adam’s flesh
    Adam is more happy now
    But a certain snake convinces Adam and Eve to eat some no-no fruit
    God kicks all three out of that garden

    Some people try to deduce concern for the environment from the Bible. But that’s rather hard to do, and looking at the two creation stories, God does not get pissed at Adam because Adam is a bad gardener who let that wonderful garden become a desert

  75. latsot says

    one day is 2.56 billion years

    Then in what possible sense is it a day? Especially before god invented the sun? It doesn’t even work as a metaphor because a day is not an arbitrary period of time: it’s measurable and even among people who don’t understand how the earth rotates around the sun, delineated by periods of light and darkness. When people say “day” they almost always mean something very specific. Would it really occur to an ancient author (or a god or anyone else) to use “day” as a metaphor for an arbitrary time period?

    Yeah, *that’s* the problem I have with the Genesis account, not the fact that it MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE AT ALL.

  76. =8)-DX says

    painting and art and things that in an evolutionary context are completely useless

    [sarcasm]
    Yes because creating beautiful things NEVER got anyone laid.. because artists, art-owners and gallery curators, male or female have a real hard time getting dates. Just like with other evolutionarily useless behaviours, such as playing musical instruments, writing fiction, kicking and throwing balls and of course lifting heavy things.

    Like pointless padding of mammary glands, foreign accents, wastefully inefficient automobiles and the fuckin’ peacock’s tail.
    [/sarcasm]

    I wish people would actually think for half a second before throwing out that a particular behaviour has no evolutionary effect. Even armchair speculation about possible selective pressures is more meaningful than brashly announcing that we know which things are “beneficial” and which are “useless”.

  77. randay says

    In Genesis 1, God didn’t create the sexes until the 6th day and then it was only for mankind that he made them “male and female”. No explanation for other animals or plants. The snake was condemned to crawl on its belly and eat the dust. So what did the snake look like before that miracle? Also, why are there swimming water snakes and jungle snakes if they are supposed to crawl(which they actually don’t)in and eat dust?

  78. David Marjanović says

    Ah yeah, I was so tired I forgot to mention sexual selection.

    the question is, who is really trying to fool here? Himself? The rubes he sells his books to? Both?

    Both. It’s even a feedback loop: once he convinces other people, he’ll find it easier to convince himself…

    but it was not done, so the point is moot.

    If they did something similar, it’s certainly possible that the Hebrews did as well, but I’m not going to check it out, at least not now.

    You’ve both overlooked comment 58.

  79. birgerjohansson says

    “God didn’t create the sexes until the 6th day and then it was only for mankind that he made them “male and female”

    Eddie Izzard covered the subject extensively in one of his shows. :)

  80. says

    It’s not really enough to show that you can pick and choose unrelated passages from the Bible and get 2.56 billion. You have to explain why the almighty would bury this information in this way, why other commentators who have tried to do the exact same thing got radically different answers, why no one before you ever noticed something so important, why you are allowed to get away with mixed dawn-start and sunset-start days, why you get to choose the passages you chose when I could dig up a different selection and get a different number. And then you’re still stuck with the fact that the order of creation is wrong, that the “days” do not correspond to what happened 2.56/5.12/1.024/etc billion years ago, and that there are two incompatible creation stories to work with. The truth is that you started with an answer, looked for passages that had nothing to do with the creation story until you found the ones that you thought worked best, and declared that you had found the answer. On the one hand I feel for you because you are swimming in a morass, but on the other hand at some point you really should come to the surface and admit that there’s no answer there.

  81. howard says

    @73:

    You’ve read the book?

    Then please tell us where the number is hidden?

    The scaling number?

    I’ve read the Bible cover to cover multiple times. I have found no evidence for this.

    I trust if there is good evidence of this you’ll provide it, post haste.

  82. josephpalazzo says

    6 x 2.56 B= 15.36B

    Compare to 13.8B years, the most recent measurement of the age of the universe,
    perhaps Daniel Friedmann should get a better calculator.

  83. John Horstman says

    @81: They think “natural selection” is limited to environmental selection and completely discount social selection, despite the fact that even non-human animals frequently use factors not related to environmental suitability or survival odds for mate selection (as you note with the peacock example: plumage, mating displays, ritual contest, etc.). I think it’s based on a failure to recognize that, while environment and biology certainly shape culture, culture also shapes our biology and environments (social selection is one way culture directly shapes biology – others would be things like nutrition, surgical interventions – medical or not, and biochemical interventions – medical or not) – basically a categorical rejection of any social constructionist theory.