One of the regular features of this blog are posts related to issues about the debate between Biblical Literalists in the form of creationism and "Intelligent Design" and the scientific view of the world, in particular the scientific explanations for the observed evidence of evolution.
This debate invariably turns around creationists attempting to undermine peoples understanding of science, the meaning of "theory" in science and the modern scientific theory of evolution.
I thought it might be interesting to open up an additional "front" in this debate and point the Biblical Literalists to some of the oddities in their "Holy Book". These are problematic for literalists because in their attempt to refute modern scientific understanding they resort ultimately to their close reading of the Bible. Their starting point is that this book is the word of God and must therefore be understood literally.
So lets have a look at some of the absurdities and contradictions in the Bible, in particular those that have some relevance to the creation of the world/Universe/Life.
Here's one for today - two Bible passages which are clearly contradictory
Genesis 1:3-5 King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:14-19 King James Version (KJV)
14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
So lets get this straight; According to the Bible (God) the light and darkness and the division of the evening and morning took place on the first day.
But no hang on ... wait... it was the fourth day according to the second version. So er which was it first day, fourth day, first day, fourth day?
Hmmm. A bit of a problem here for the Bible Literalists - particularly given that these passages come from the very start of the Bible. If it cant even get the story straight in the introduction what hope for the rest of the book? So is God lying to us about when he made the light and darkness? Is he just forgetfull , didn't take a note in his diary? Not a much of a designer if he cant even remember his plan for creating the fundamental stuff of light and darkness - and that's before we even get to the beasts of the field.
Or is the reality simply that these were stories made up a long time ago by people to try to explain the world that they found themselves in?
Whats very interesting is that it is possible to follow these creation myths through other cultures where there are variations on this Theme. More on this later.