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Initial thoughts while reading Genesis

2014/01/23

The order of creation described obviously does not align with the order that scientists have determined to be most likely. This doesn’t have to result in the unequivocal interpretation that someone has to be wrong between the Bible and scientists. It is hypothetically possible for the history of the world as we experience it to have occurred in the order that scientists have inferred based on unearthed evidence without contradicting the first chapter of Genesis in any way. Much as a writer does not necessarily create his fantasy world or even his story in the order that is experienced by the reader and the story characters, God could have created a world of order and sense—perfect and consistent in and of itself—without the final product showing evidence of being built from nothing. When we read a book, the book was created with paper, ink, and the writer’s thoughts but in the actual words, it doesn’t describe this process. We’re in the book. If we only navigate within the story, it’s impossible for us to know any more than what’s in the story but the Bible says that God made the paper, the ink, the dictionary of words, and strung it all together.

Science is based on logic. However, as any researcher knows, there are very few things that all scientists absolutely agree on. This is because much of knowledge is based on empirical inference and analysis of the statistics of tested theories. As far as we know, all living things follow the same genetic code, from viruses to humans. Why does that prove that we’re all evolved from the same thing? Let’s use a different book analogy. Would it make sense to have to create a new alphabet and language for every book, and never translate them to a common system? It’s possible but it would be a royal pain in the- anyway, illiteracy would probably become an issue and somebody would throw in the towel and get translating. We standardized the US dollar and other forms of currency pretty quickly, and for some people, it’s their job to figure out how many pesos to a pound. God could choose to have a bunch of different classes of living things that are operating on entirely different systems, but the simple ACGT system would probably be both more sensible and more interesting. I mean, how big of a mindscrew was it when people realized that every living function was based on 4 molecules in 2 exclusive pairs? People have an interesting penchant for arrogance, and realizing that they didn’t even have the longest, fanciest genome was probably a little upsetting. And then they started trying to figure out how we do all this fancy stuff like philosophizing, engineering, and experimenting-with-stuff-we-don’t-actually-understand-like-radioactive-compounds (not one of our brightest moments) that no other organism does when we aren’t the most genetically complex organism in existence.

Then there’s the little issue of Occam’s Razor. Logically speaking, I disagree that it proves the superiority of Darwin’s explanation over mine. Except maybe that people like to keep things simple, sort of like how we weight negative experiences more heavily than we do positive experiences. This is usually where it becomes a standoff. I honestly consider Occam’s Razor a convenience rather than a real, good idea. Species go extinct much faster than they evolve beneficial adaptations. How does it make sense that an entire network of interdependent ecosystems sprang out of a simple unicellular system that would have kind of worked OK without evolving fancy multicellular organisms? In that it’s physically possible, or the ‘how’ of things, I get the role of Occam’s Razor but in terms of probability and, gee I don’t know, entropy, the simplest explanation is absolutely insufficient. Life, in terms of the science of it, is about fighting off the tendency towards equilibrium (death). Then what’s the point of living when it’s nothing but a dragged-out battle against the laws of physics? And how did we complex, ordered beings get here if the laws of physics are pushing everything towards simplicity and chaos?

Obviously, this string of argument doesn’t lead to God the creator. It only demonstrates, or at least attempts to demonstrate, that what we learn in science is insufficient to explain life, no matter how far we pursue it. However, it’s a starting point. I don’t have to prove that I’m right to believe in God if I can reasonably dismiss those who would prove me wrong.

OK, now that I’ve talked about my own ideas a bit: WHY is WordPress going all Tumblr and stuff? I’m not going to stop using other websites even if there’s one magical website that does everything the other sites do and more.

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