Genesis–a literal historical account of creation?

One of the most contentious topics between religion and science centers around the biblical story of creation as told in Genesis. Those who accept evolutionary theory as valid, whether religious or not, can clearly not accept the story of Genesis in literal terms.

So–is the creation story in Genesis even meant to be taken literally?

What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments section. I plan on sharing some of my own thoughts in the upcoming week or so.

*Update 7-9-08: Obviously it is taking me much more than a week to share my own thoughts on this subject, but I truly do have a draft written up and saved.  Other things just keep coming up.  You know how it is.  In the meantime, I have another post with some thoughts on Genesis here.

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6 Responses to “Genesis–a literal historical account of creation?”

  1. Yes, I take it literally. Genesis reads like a record of events and I take it as a record of events.

  2. I think it can be taken literally. It seems to read to be that way and if you do not have faultypresuppositions, I think science could support it.

  3. I have written about this, too, at http://www.knowinginpart.wordpress.com. I think there are several good reasons for not interpreting Genesis 1 as a strictly historical account of the universe’s creation. One of these is the artistic arrangement of the text. Another is that the passage seems to work within a cosmology that is clearly not scientific. For example, there seems to be a belief in a solid dome that holds back the waters of heaven. These reasons leave me to believe that both a literal and a figurative interpretation are acceptable.

  4. As a scientist I can’t see how God could be put in a “box” of 6 days. Yes it is meant in a literal way of 6 events, including a 7th for the creation of “minded” beings who can/will be held responsible for their acts and who have to take up responsibilities; not just reactions by instinct. If a God for all eternity-past and to come, have so much “time” on hand why rush creation in “six days”? That seems to me scientifically improbable. I don’t even put my own (life sciences) research in a box – it’s a continuation of interwoven facts to be discovered, maybe because it took an eternity to create (beyond the concept of our created minds by the same supreme Being). We are not the Supreme, we are the created! So how can the “created” understand the “Creator” and a time span explained by words written by a people ages ago, with very little scientific understanding at that time in the universe?

  5. Good points, Pieter. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Pieter

    The only one who is putting God in a box is the person who says, “If a God for all eternity-past and to come, have so much “time” on hand why rush creation in “six days”? That seems to me scientifically improbable.”
    You’re literally calling the actions of God “scientifically improbable.” You are interpreting the acts of God through modern science. If that’s not limiting God I don’t know what is.

    “We are not the Supreme, we are the created! So how can the “created” understand the “Creator” and a time span explained by words written by a people ages ago, with very little scientific understanding at that time in the universe?”

    Firstly, it doesn’t take ANY scientific knowledge to understand the word “day”. But it does take a heck of alot of logical leaping and eisegesis to turn the word “day” into something figurative.

    Secondly, if the created cannot possibly understand the words written by humans over 2k years ago, how can we know that God exists at all? No, I’m really asking you, how do you know that God exists at all? And even if He does exist, why does he have anything to do with His Creation which can’t understand Him even in the slightest? If you can’t know what God was telling Moses to write in Genesis, how can you know that God told Moses to write anything and Moses just wasn’t having crazy hallucinations?

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