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Get the Book That Took the Unknown Out of the Genesis Creation Account:

Buy Hey Mom, What About Dinosaurs?, the original work by Russell Husted that translates Genesis into modern English and modern Science.
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That’s the title of a book featuring 5 essays on the subject. Each expands a lecture given in Yale’s annual series entitled Lectures on Religion in the Light of Science and Philosophy. Talk about credentials, these authors could hardly have better: two scientists, a philosopher, an historian, and a sociologist, all tops in their fields. I had to have high hopes about what they would have to say. If anyone could be, they should provide some new insight, right?

Unfortunately, they don’t have much. Brilliant, erudite, and knowledgeable as they are, they offer little to advance our understanding. They, too, are still stuck in the past, have never tried to reexamine the 400 year-old interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2, and are more of the same ol’ same ol’. The Intro, by natural historian Keith Thomson, sets the tone and sums it up:

“While the basic issue concerns all of science, the bellwether point of contention is evolution.” That, of course, we all know. We don’t have much problem with astronomy. Or physics. Or biology, genetics, or medical sciences. Nor chemistry or any of the engineering sciences. Contention only arises if they get into EVOLUTION! And why is that? We all know the answer. As Thomson says, its about “The perception of scientific hostility to religion…” And why that is so, Thompson is clear in his explication, but hardly pioneering.

“The debate concerns first and foremost the ‘popular assertions’ – that there is a God who controls our lives and destiny and who is worthy of worship.” What does evolution really have to say about that? Nothing of course. But, in the course of human affairs, there have always been atheists, and for almost 200 years they have said it does. For the most part they are always “antichrists”, not “antibhuddists”, or “antiallahists”, or anti any other religion. Now that’s interesting. Why the focus on God, of the Bible, and his Christ? Why is the “Religion” in the title, and in the minds of everyone involved in the “debate” with science, the religion rooted in the Bible! Not Allah, not Buddha, not Hindus or animists or Zoroastrians. The answer to that question actually moves the ball down the field, a bit (football metaphor, here – can’t help it, I like that sport).

When Thomson talks about “recent attacks on religion by scientists such as Richard Dawkins that have contributed nothing but rancor to the debate”, he assumes everyone knows it is Christianity being attacked, and debated. If he would get explicit and point directly at Genesis 1 & 2, he could set the stage for something new. It is the fact that Christians, for the most part, have always accepted the Genesis assertion that God is the Creator; that God, the god of the Bible, created this universe and all its parts. From quarks to atoms, from energy to the dynamics of the billions of galaxies that make up the fullness of the physical universe, and from the chemical molecules like DNA and proteins to the sentient and spiritual top of the “web” of life on this planet, God created it. He caused it to begin, and become, and be what it is. No other religion does that, at least in terms and details that impress us as serious. Others may have myths about the earth being on a turtle’s back, or springing forth from the dreams of a snoozy prince, etc., but these don’t really spark any fear or debate among scientists, or atheists. Genesis 1 and 2 is why there is a “Debate”! Genesis claims, or is thought to claim to be a record of creation, from the infamous Big Bang to your great and wonderful self.

Darwin never claimed “evolution” created any of these things. Evolution was his theory of how the universe’s physical matter and chemistry became not life in the first instance, but how life (and only life) once started managed to get to be what it is today: very sophisticated, so multifaceted we still discover new “kinds” every day, and so forceful it threatens to consume the physical base upon which it thrives. Darwin’s theory is all about “descent with modification”, modification of life once begun. He doesn’t pretend to address the origins of the universe, matter, energy, physical/existential law and order, or life itself. To Darwin, this “anthropic universe” and the first event of life are outside the paradigm of his theory. And I’m sure he would insist that all the subsequent modifications and new generations of that theory cannot claim to replace God as Creator, but only suggest that God is not an ongoing “Intelligent Designer”! Rather than being the artist of record, Darwin would rather see God as the supplier of paint and canvas and (probably) the Teacher who set the rules for what art is. Darwin proposed that life itself was the power behind the brush, and Natural Selection the Adam Smith-like guide to the emergent painting(s). He knew his theory was challenging some common tenets of Christian doxology, but not the idea or sovereignty of God. That has always been the illicit expansion and disingenuous/ignorant claims and assertions atheists who hoped it did, or hoped Christians would accept that it does and get discouraged and quit their faith. These are the “antichrists” the Bible so often warns about.

If Christians were to accept his paradigm of “evolution”, I think Darwin, if alive today, would be happy to simply agree that “evolution” was a pretty good tactic, or technique, planned and put in motion by God, and be quite impressed by what we have learned about the intelligent design of a universe with such anthropic rules and laws and principles. If left up to Darwin, as with many modern scientists, the “debate” might very well have never arisen. Certainly not continued. Especially if he knew what I know about Genesis 1 and 2.

What everybody’s missing, and what leaves this latest try at explaining the long life and vitality of the culture war between science and religion search falling far short, is the truth about Genesis. They do not know that Genesis’ account of creation is seriously mistranslated, and the whole “debate” is practically groundless! The Genesis account says nothing about method or means. Those Christians, and there are many, who refuse to take part in the culture war because they understand that there is no contradiction between the theory of evolution and Genesis 1 & 2 are absolutely correct. Even if they don’t exactly know why, they nonetheless are correct.

The belief that God merely “spoke various things into creation as they became” is somewhat quaint, and was OK for believers 400 years ago, but not the best translation of what Genesis says. Genesis doesn’t say the way things (especially all the “kinds” of life that currently inhabit the earth) came to be, or actually say how long each event it does mention took to become what it is.

Genesis 1 & 2 are not so much a description of creating as they are an historical account of creation. It is a very abbreviated, sketchy outline of the history of all creation, but mostly of earth and life. So brief and sketchy that it is more like a quick assemblage of headlines or topics, the bold print in an article or textbook.

Tradition, and most people, has it as a series of “Let there be” type statements that command or speak into existence a list of features and things in the natural world. A better translation of those statements, say, “Let dry ground appear” (Gen 1:9, NIV), both a better representation of original Hebrew and what modern science attests, would be “Watch … see how dry land appears”. Plate tectonics are a perfectly good (and natural) and effective explanation of how God produced (and still does produce) dry land from the earth’s crust under the seas (as described in Genesis 1:2) and fit perfectly well with the best translation of the Hebrew texts!

My book walks one through a forensic reinterpretation of the Hebrew language of Genesis, utilizing the best of linguistics and scientific knowledge. It redoes what was last done in 1611. It brings the message of Genesis into modern language and modern understanding of the creation. It brings together Genesis 1 and 2, and Romans 1. It has reached many thousands now, but obviously not the authors at Yale. Our reinterpretation does not remove the miracles from the text and testimony of Scripture, but rather lets us understand another whole sense of the Scriptures, that there is in Genesis a remarkable foretelling, a prophesy of what we will learn as we do study the creation. Its a great testimony for our time, not something that modern science refutes, but something that modern science confirms! Genesis gives, in its outline of creation’s history, something no one in the time it was written could know, let alone understand. It is hard not to believe that the author was there, and saw it all, and told us about it.

Read my rendition of Genesis. Its posted here on this website. Read my book if you want to see how and why I interpreted Genesis as I did. Check the linguistics, the evidence, and the forensic analysis for yourself.

The resulting account is much like the records of the prophets. It tells us the end from the beginning. And, importantly, it answers and corrects a lot of misunderstandings commonly touted by those who accuse Genesis of significant scientific or historical errors. For instance, they like to say birds appear too soon in Genesis. Not so, birds come in at the right time – the King James translators simply thought winged insects were also birds. Critics like to say that the plants are out of order according to modern science’s analysis of “evolution”. Not so, the King James scholars simply mistook simpler plant life for sophisticated/complex grass. Many wonder why there are no dinosaurs in the Genesis account. Actually, the dinosaurs are there – in exactly the right place in the history of things!

So, the best answer to “The Religion and Science Debate, Why Does It Continue?” is “Because no one really knows the truth about what Genesis 1 & 2 actually say”. That’s why the Yale papers get no where new … they, like almost everyone, are saddled with the naiveté and errors of the past – the King James past of 1611.