So you think your religious beliefs are ancient, inspired truths…


There are some things I think I’ve said a few thousand times to try and break through the certainty of some devout evangelical Christians.

  • Young Earth Creationism is not in the Bible.
  • A “literal interpretation” is still an interpretation; “literal”, in this case, is empty of meaning.
  • The radical young earth interpretation of Genesis would have been considered heretical only a hundred years ago. This is not an eternal truth of Christianity.
  • The Bible is actually a messy, complex book full of contradictions and changing perspectives. You can’t treat it as the spiritual version of your car repair manual.
  • Christianity actually has a long history of trying to reconcile faith with scientific evidence; it’s only with this creationist nonsense that they’ve given up and resorted to outright denial.
  • Your Holy Book is not the Bible, but Whitcomb & Morris’s 1961 fan fiction, The Genesis Flood. Look it up. It’s a rationalization derived from Seventh Day Adventist prophecies.
  • You can be a solid Christian and still accept evolution; you just have to realize that the Bible (or The Genesis Flood) is not a science textbook. Quit trying to pretend it is.
  • Creationism seems to appeal most to people who only read the first page of the Bible and think they have all the answers. Surprisingly, most of the book says absolutely nothing about origins or evolution, and the core concepts of the faith are not found in Genesis 1.

(By the way, sometimes I have to remind atheists of these things, too.)

I never convince anyone with these lines of criticism, of course, because I’m a satanically inspired atheist. But there are a lot of theologians who will tell you the same things, and even more heretical stuff, because they’re far more familiar with the sausage-making of Biblical analysis and know where all the bugs and grit and organ meats have found their way into the grinder.

So sometimes you just have to admit that Christian Bible scholars can be more effective at dismantling the lies behind the weird cult that is Answers in Genesis.

This is what I find so fascinating about Ken Ham’s organization. Not only are all the “answers” they give actually not in Genesis (let alone anywhere in the Bible), but the answers they give are nonsensical in and of themselves.

Ken Ham likes to claim that he is a “biblical creationist,” but the fact is, he isn’t. It’s about time we stop letting him use that title. His claims about the natural created world are not biblical at all. Not only does he reject basic science, not only does he make up supposed biblical answers that aren’t actually in the Bible, but he ignores the historical and literary context in which Genesis 1-11 was written.

He is so obsessed with trying to prove Genesis 1-11 is a modern scientific description of origins, that he willfully ignores basic rules of biblical exegesis, rejects basic scientific facts, and comes up with completely impossible and incompatible claims that he doesn’t even take the time to recognize are impossible and incompatible…with each other.

Yeah. It’s all remarkable fringe garbage of poor quality, from dubious Protestant sources, yet somehow it has infiltrated itself into Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and folk religion to the point where people actually argue that the nonsense of young earth creationism is a fundamental part of the Abrahamic faiths. All it really tells you is that most religious people don’t care enough about what their religion says to even try to study it, because what it really is is a tribal marker, nothing more.

Comments

  1. cartomancer says

    Same thing with marriage equality and abortion. Most Christians simply cannot understand that marriage was just not something their religion concerned itself with until the late Eleventh Century, and when it did begin blessing marriages it did so tentatively, outside of its holy spaces (the Sarum Rite insists weddings be blessed on the church porch, because they were not a fit thing for sanctified areas inside the church) and mainly as a way to secure influence and patronage with wealthy aristocrats (for whom marriage and legitimate dynastic succession were vitally important). It was only at the end of the Nineteenth Century that Catholics adopted their “no abortion from conception and no contraception either” policy – throughout the Middle Ages (with an exception of ten years in the late Sixteenth Century) there was no such prohibition (in line with Exodus 21:22 and the standard Aristotelian model of child development that contemporary science accepted).

  2. weylguy says

    The late University of Colorado at Boulder physicist Albert Bartlett campaigned for many years on the existential danger of overpopulation, noting that mankind’s inability or unwillingness to understand the exponential function was our species’ greatest failing.

    Much the same can be said about religious belief. Myers rightly notes that the Bible and its myriad interpretations involve gross contradictions, ambiguities and outright lies, but humans go right on believing anyway. We’ve now reached a point where the post powerful maniac on Earth, Donald Trump, is advised by the likes of Robert Jeffress, the rabidly religious Christian megachurch leader who has advised Trump to nuke North Korea, saying that God has given Trump the divine authority to destroy that country.

    Fundamentalist religious belief, in my opinion, has become the most dangerous evil the world has ever known.

  3. busterggi says

    There are reasons that believers aren’t aught the history of their religions.

    Not the least of which is that a huge % of modern versions of Christianity in the US are less than 200 years old.

  4. says

    For what it’s worth there are actually two creation stories in Genesis, awkwardly grafted together. It’s likely that the scribes who first wrote them down didn’t literally believe them, they were just recording stories told around the fire. And obviously the God in the first story is nothing like the God who shows up later (and also continues to change in various ways). For one thing, he is embodied, and he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He doesn’t know what Adam and Eve are up to until he stops by personally and sees with his physical eyes. One might think this would bother these clowns.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    What is so EVIL about accepting Bible as all metaphors to illustrate moral principles? The fundamentalists all assert that every word in the Bibble is “totes ackerrat” [sic], while overlooking the ethics being taught.
    I guess thinking is too hard for some people and they will only follow what’s written word for word.
    I seem to remember the book itself telling readers to only use the book to assist their own personal judgement, that the book is not intended to be followed “literally” [scare quotes].
    Maybe that was just a personal interpretation of one its many vague suggestions that too many interpret totally literally.
    *sigh*

    ?

  6. davidnangle says

    The beginning of life is defined in no uncertain terms in the Bible. Every so-called Christian who opposes abortion on religious grounds is a heretic, or an apostate.

  7. CJO says

    The radical young earth interpretation of Genesis would have been considered heretical only a hundred years ago. This is not an eternal truth of Christianity.

    Well…
    I’m not sure exactly what is entailed by “radical young earth interpretation” but it is the case that the medieval view was that the universe was on the order of thousands of years old. This was in line with the Classical worldview, and so there’s a sense in which the western pre-modern historical interpretation of the bible owes more to the Greeks than to the Near Eastern understanding contemporary with authorship of e.g. Genesis.

    For the Greeks, the past could be divided up into Ages, increasingly less mythical and more “historical” as time progressed toward the present, the divisions marked by a series of boundary events. Roughly, you have the Golden Age of the Olympian gods following their defeat of the Titans in an event known as the Titanomachy, followed by a Silver Age after the defeat of the monstrous offspring of the Titans, known as the Gigantomachy, then the first Bronze Age, the age of semi-divine heroes, and finally the “historical” Bronze Age memorialized by Homer, and having for a boundary event the Trojan War, the principal actors in which were drafted as the founders of all of the prominent cultures and lineages of the Classical era that did not claim heroic origins.

    Pseudo-historical schemes in late-antique and medieval Biblical interpretation were similar: Golden Age, Creation to Eden; Silver Age, Expulsion from Eden to the Flood (complete with a Gigantomachy); 1st Bronze Age, the Patriarchs; 2nd Bronze Age, from Exodus and the conquest of Canaan to the Davidic Kingdom.

  8. says

    Yes — but doctrines about the age or nature of the universe weren’t dogma from their holy books, but reflected the general set of beliefs of the scholarly class. What hints there are about how the early Hebrews thought the universe worked are just general ideas of the time.

    What’s happened is that everyone else moved on and learned new things, while old myths calcified in the holy books.

  9. anchor says

    “…somehow it has infiltrated itself…”

    You know, for some weird reason by the time I reached that line my mind suddenly flashed on the communicable facial cancer that Tasmanian Devils suffer. Charming visions of religious sects biting each other in the face ensued. Conceptual associations can be startling in their bizarreness. Yet the correspondence seems analogously fit.

    Never mind figment gods – its the MIND that works in mysterious ways.

  10. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I think Augustine bears a lot of the blame. The literal truth of Genesis was central to his philosophy, as the “original sin” transferred with each new generation, and salvation was impossible without grace. Augustine was a strange dude.

  11. aziraphale says

    It is certainly possible to be a Christian and argue that the six-day timetable of creation in Genesis is not literal. However as I understand it, a core belief of Christianity is that humanity fell into sin, and needs to be saved, because of the sin of an original Adam and Eve. It’s very hard to read the biblical account, with its genealogical details, and not conclude that the human species is not much more than 6,000 years old. You say YEC would have been considered heretical a hundred years ago, but Archbishop Ussher’s date of 4004 BC for creation was widely accepted in the 17th century and later, to the extent that I have read lessons in church from a Bible with his dates in the margins. No-one went to the stake for believing it.

  12. consciousness razor says

    You can be a solid Christian and still accept evolution

    Of course, but evolution is a bloody business, no? People certainly do that: they are solid, genuine, devout theists who accept many well-established facts. (It’s not just evolution obviously, and the problem of evil also appears in all sorts of uncomfortable places.)

    I don’t understand the motivation for worshiping a deity that created a world like this, if that’s what anybody in whole world is actually attempting to do. It isn’t even close to “solid,” in the sense that it all hangs together in a satisfactory way. Part of the reason theism is supposed to be attractive to some people is that the unexamined life is not worth living, and so forth. They hope to get something deeper or more meaningful out of it, which is what they think theism might add somehow. From that perspective, you’re not going to be happy merely having beliefs that are at least superficially consistent with the facts, because you want to understand them and try to put together a whole worldview that somehow makes sense of it all.

    Theism does an incredibly terrible job of that, which puts people like Ken Ham and less-boneheaded theists in the same boat. (Excuse the pun. Not the ark, Ken.) Most aren’t even pretending to know or care much about any of it, not in their daily lives anyway. But as soon you say it’s all wrong, that’s an attack on the very foundations of civilization, family values, everything we hold dear, etc. Suddenly and inexplicably, it’s something of great importance that needs some kind of defending, even if they can’t put their finger on what it is (or can’t be bothered to get any of the facts right).

  13. anchor says

    Also, there’s the tradition surrounding the 17th Century Irish Archbishop Usher’s ‘estimate’ of the age of the Earth based on his interpretation of one version of the Old Testament, pinning down the hour of creation to “around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 BC”. (Hmmm…suprising he couldn’t be more precise than that). Lots of creationist nonsense since has cited that spurious piece of scholarship. Perhaps it was slow to catch on because it wasn’t really challenged until Darwin’s ‘Descent of Man’ bruised lots of egos. Fundamentalists are fond of assertions that evoke god-like certitude and favor smiting heretical ideas, if not heretics themselves for their impudence.

  14. robro says

    Strictly speaking, the Bible isn’t even a book, but a collection of books…”little books” in fact. And some, if not all, of those little books are themselves collections of writings more or less patched together into a narrative. These were written and rewritten by innumerable people over many hundreds of years with agendas often in conflict with the text sources (and oral traditions) they worked from. Building any sort of consistent theology out of this mishmash is ludicrous.

    cervantes @ #4 — I’ve read a number of Biblical scholars who say there are more than two creation stories, even in Genesis. In addition to the two commonly recognized creation myths in Genesis 1:1–2:3 and Genesis 2:4 and on, some suggest that Eve’s incantation in Genesis 4:1 is creation myth. Some say the Flood story is another creation myth related to a regeneration myth…creation of a new man…common in the Middle East. I don’t remember specifics about others, but I recall reading that there are other creation narratives in the other books of the Bible. There are also numerous origin myths of the chosen people which are a form of creation myth.

  15. Rich Woods says

    because they’re far more familiar with the sausage-making of Biblical analysis and know where all the bugs and grit and organ meats have found their way into the grinder.

    So can they tell us what happened to the anus? I’m asking for a friend.

  16. blf says

    a lot of theologians [… are] far more familiar with the sausage-making of Biblical analysis and know where all the bugs and grit and organ meats have found their way into the grinder.

    Great sky faerie myths are an Andouillette ?

  17. KG says

    The late University of Colorado at Boulder physicist Albert Bartlett campaigned for many years on the existential danger of overpopulation, noting that mankind’s inability or unwillingness to understand the exponential function was our species’ greatest failing. weylguy@2

    Whereas Bartlett’s greatest failing* was his refusal to actually look at demographic facts. Exponential growth means that the proportional growth rate remains constant. One could allow for a bit of slop, but in fact, that growth rate has been continuously declining for half a century. Even the absolute annual increase of global population peaked around 1988, fell until around 1999, rose again until around 2013 (but to well short of the peak, and due to girls born around that peak reaching their peak childbearing years), and is now falling again.

    *Except possibly for gross hypocrisy. This is from the Wikipedia article on him:

    Bartlett died on September 7, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor, and is survived by their four daughters—Carol, Jane, Lois and Nancy.

  18. Friendly says

    What is so EVIL about accepting Bible as all metaphors to illustrate moral principles? The fundamentalists all assert that every word in the Bibble is “totes ackerrat” [sic], while overlooking the ethics being taught. I guess thinking is too hard for some people and they will only follow what’s written word for word.

    As a former fundamentalist, I can tell you that the reasoning goes like this:
    1. In the Gospels, Jesus speaks about the Creation and the Flood as if they had actually happened and about Adam and Noah as if they had been real people.
    2. If the Genesis narratives were only metaphors or allegories, Jesus was mistaken or lying or misquoted.
    3. If Jesus was mistaken or lying, he cannot be God. If the authors of the Gospels misquoted him, their accounts are not divinely inspired or reliable, and this also implies that Jesus (the subject of those accounts) cannot be God.
    4. If Jesus was not God, his death cannot have atoned for our sins.
    5. If Jesus did not atone for our sins, we cannot be saved and go to heaven.
    6. Ergo, if the Genesis narratives are not literally true, the entire interlocking philosophical framework of this type of fundamentalist Christianity collapses.

  19. zibble says

    So sometimes you just have to admit that Christian Bible scholars can be more effective at dismantling the lies behind the weird cult that is Answers in Genesis.

    Except that Christian Bible scholars are absolutely ineffective at actually convincing fundies to dial it back, while their superficial appearance of academic seriousness lends undeserved validity to the concept that Bible is anything more than a wholly flawed book of man-made origin.

    I’m sorry, but you can’t fucking tell people that a book was divinely inspired by the One Almighty God and at the same time tell them “oh, but don’t actually do or believe the things it tells you to”. Liberal Christians are responsible for religious nuttery in the same way that “serious” conservatives (like David Brooks) are responsible for Trumpers, much as they’d all like to deny it. The fact is, they have a purely academic, ivory tower understanding of their own ideology and the people within it and they act, not as some moderating force, but as a respectable facade for a raw force of evil born from the darkest, stupidest places of the human id.

  20. Rich Woods says

    @Friendly #18:

    6. Ergo, if the Genesis narratives are not literally true, the entire interlocking philosophical framework of this type of fundamentalist Christianity collapses.

    And?

  21. edmond says

    “Ken Ham likes to claim that he is a “biblical creationist,” but the fact is, he isn’t. It’s about time we stop letting him use that title.”

    What are we supposed to do, swap him a rainbow for it?

  22. unperson says

    @Friendly: Can you point out any gospel passages where Jesus talks about creation, the flood, or other early-Genesis stuff? I’ve read the gospels a couple times, admittedly years ago, and while I recall mentions of Abraham, David, Elijah, and various prophets, I don’t recall anything about the creation or the flood.

    @aziraphale: It’s also hard to accept Genesis on any level without accepting that humans are the pinnacle of creation and that they have the moral right to have their way with the rest of the universe. There’s also both implicit and very explicit support for “male > female” and all sorts of other hierarchical excreta that still infuses most cultures in the world.

  23. evodevo says

    friendly at #18 ….Yes. This. Most rational people don’t really know anything about fundie beliefs. if you say Genesis never happened, and Adam and Eve were fictional characters, then the whole premise underlying christianity (at least the version we know today) falls apart. THAT is what they are fanatically defending. As for the other Abrahamic beliefs, can’t say, since they don’t encompass the concepts of grace and redemption/blood sacrifice that christianity demands. It’s an emotional construct, and for them to abandon it would be too hard for most of them. Rationality really doesn’t have much of a place in their mental life, except when you start talking about buying a used car or bargaining at the flea market. Their ability to ignore cognitive dissonance and compartmentalize is superhuman.

  24. CJO says

    @unperson

    Jesus on the Flood:
    For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-9; par. at Luke 17:26-7)

    Jesus on Adam and Eve, citing Genesis 1 as prohibition of divorce:
    But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:6-9; par. at Matt 19:4-6,

  25. consciousness razor says

    Can you point out any gospel passages where Jesus talks about creation, the flood, or other early-Genesis stuff?

    At least one example is this part in Matthew 24:

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

    42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

    Heh, and nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    I don’t know if verses 40-41 could be understood literally. Is it really half the men and half the women who are “taken”? Seems a bit arbitrary. Do we have to go hunting for other clues that it’s supposed to be much more or much less than that?

  26. Friendly says

    @Rich #20:

    And?

    And…that is why fundamentalists of the creationist stripe can’t ever accept that the events of the parts of Genesis that they accept are anything other than literal historical accounts.

    @unperson #22: Thanks for asking this question; it made me do my homework. I have to correct myself to say that the Gospel writers have Jesus refer in a very general way to the Creation (in the context of the origin of marriage) in Matthew 10:6-9, Matthew 19:4-6, and Mark 10:3-9; the Gospel writers don’t actually have him mention Adam or Eve by name, though he is said to refer to Abel in passing in Matthew 23:35 and the companion passage in Luke 11:51. Jesus is presented as discussing Noah and the Flood in Matthew 24:37-39. Also, the author(s) of John 5:45-47 have Jesus imply that the writings of Moses should be believed if one believes Jesus, and Moses supposedly wrote Exodus 20:11, which speaks of a six-day creation. Answers in Genesis points out that Jesus is also described by the Gospel authors as treating these pseudohistorical Old Testament events and characters literally rather than allegorically or metaphorically: “Moses and the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14), Moses and the manna from heaven (John 6:32–33, 49), the experiences of Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28–32), the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25–27), and Jonah and the big fish (Matthew 12:40–41).”

  27. John Harshman says

    The radical young earth interpretation of Genesis would have been considered heretical only a hundred years ago. This is not an eternal truth of Christianity.

    So, to summarize, “heretical” is probably not (well, I hope not) intended literally, since an old earth is a tenet of no Christian cult. Sure, YEC isn’t an eternal truth of Christianity, of which there seem hardly any. But it was the general view of most Christians until at least the middle of the 19th Century, and one enforced by at least Catholic strictures until at least the mid 18th Century*. It only went out of fashion among the educated around mid-19th Century and continued that way for somewhat less than 100 years, with your “100 years ago” being part of that interval. And now we have millions of more or less educated YECs. That interval in which YEC wasn’t popular is an aberration, not the norm.

    *Buffon was forced to retract claims of an “old” (only 75,000 years) earth in 1778.

  28. Friendly says

    @consciousness razor #26:

    Is it really half the men and half the women who are “taken”?

    Most fundamentalists that I know would argue that this passage doesn’t refer to “the Rapture,” in which a relatively small number of “true Christians” are taken up into Heaven during the first phase of Christ’s return, but to events that supposedly happen 1007 years later when large numbers of people born during “the Millennium” are deceived by Satan after his release from the Bottomless Pit (just before the “old Earth” and the “old universe” are burned up and replaced) and are taken for judgment. I imagine that they fully expect half of all people born during the Millennium to end up in the Lake of Fire.

  29. quarky2 says

    So here are some of my questions for Christians:

    If the Bible is the word of god, why didn’t he write it? Jesus could have willed a complete, non-contradictory, fully explanatory scripture instantly, with information that no one of that time had access to. Why wait for hundreds of years to have it assembled by those who had no actual knowledge of what happened in Jesus’ life?

    Also, why didn’t the resurrected Jesus simply stay on earth and show all future generations what life was all about? And what happened to his body once it ascended past the clouds? Curiosity abounds…

  30. consciousness razor says

    Friendly:
    Fine, but it hardly needs to be said that none of it sounds particularly unexpected now. Deceived by Satanic forces or not, these plans have been widely publicized for quite a while. Real burglars try to be a bit more circumspect about that kind of thing. Not sure which authorities God might be trying to avoid (Satan maybe?), but it doesn’t make sense that there would be any reason to delay, if it’s already been sorted out. That’s kind of an enormous plot hole that the writers overlooked, you know? They should’ve given their Jesus character better things to say and do.

    Anyway, would this sort of literalist really have to insist that there can’t be an odd number of people in those 1007 years? Like I said, that’s totally arbitrary. Would God really have to count them first, or maybe prevent a particular baby from being born at a particular moment, to keep good on his promises and ensure it’s the right time to finally do whatever magic thing he does? Should we assume not everyone is in fields or grinding with mills, or should we believe God and/or Satan will guarantee that’s how it will be in the end?

    I bet many would prefer to somehow make God seem a bit less ridiculous, if they could manage it, even if that means letting go of that kind of literalism every now and then. Usually, it’s a much more fuzzy kind of inerrantism, which isn’t the same thing. At some point, they’ll say something like “no, don’t be stupid, that’s not really what was meant; you have to be ever so slightly more sophisticated in how you interpret these passages. And in that sense, they’re still true.” Which of course is false.

  31. Owlmirror says

    Not only was believing in a Young Earth not heretical in the past, it is still the case that believing in a Young Earth is not heretical now.

    The age of the Earth, and for that matter, the theory of evolution, are simply not part of Catholic dogma, and the Church does not command any beliefs on those points.

    You can be a YEC, or you can be like [evolutionary biologist] Ken Miller, and still be a Catholic in good standing. Scientifically literate Catholics will side with Miller, and many Catholics are educated and scientifically literate. But scientifically illiterate Catholics are not considered heretics.

  32. unclefrogy says

    I do not see why the passages quoted above could not be seen as a reference to a well known story from the Torah and not any actual events and change one thing that was meant in the reference in the first place. Which was more along the lines of what are you going to do now because you do not know when you die (when your lord will come), then any YECism therefore god therefore jesus therefor salvation
    it’s still a load of confusing crap
    uncle frogy

  33. blf says

    it’s still a load of confusing crap

    Part of the problem it’s all inscribed on a two thousand year old bologna, which now looks and smells like an elderly andouillette. The writing is, of course, quite tiny, and in a variety of languages. Deciphering is therefore a mattering of holding yer nose, using a seriously good microscope, trying distinguish between mold, rot, other ravages of time, and deliberate scratches, and wondering what was in the parts that have clearly been bitten off and presumably eaten.

  34. lpetrich says

    Young-earthism a “radical” recent invention? That’s a rewrite of history that would have made Stalin proud.

    Young-earthism was universal in the Christian world until the early 19th cy. Consider all the attempts to calculate the age of the Universe by theologians over the centuries. Archbishop Ussher was part of a long tradition of calculating the age of the Universe from the Bible. For instance, St. Augustine in his book “City of God” claimed that pagans are just plain wrong for claiming that the Earth is older than 6000 years. I’ll quote:

    Chapter 40.—About the Most Mendacious Vanity of the Egyptians, in Which They Ascribe to Their Science an Antiquity of a Hundred Thousand Years.

    In vain, then, do some babble with most empty presumption, saying that Egypt has understood the reckoning of the stars for more than a hundred thousand years. For in what books have they collected that number who learned letters from Isis their mistress, not much more than two thousand years ago? Varro, who has declared this, is no small authority in history, and it does not disagree with the truth of the divine books. For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam …

  35. lpetrich says

    Turning to the condemnations of 1210–1277 at the University of Paris, I notice that they included the belief that the Universe is eternal. If the Church had had no position on the age of the Universe, it would not have done so.

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