Add Homonym Attacks! #22
Ad Hominem: Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason.
Ad Hominem Attack: An argument that focuses on a personal attack as opposed to the subject in question.
Add Homonym Attacks!: The process by which one inserts a homophone and it bites you.
(It also serves as the title to Inside Pulse’s representative column in the world of Critical Thinking, Science and Skepticism.)
Yahweh, Satan and Thor help me, I am stuck on this thing. There are a flock of people out there that search for evidence about pre-history. They make hypotheses, test them out, replace old hypotheses with newer more suitable ones, each time (hopefully) getting closer and closer to truth. One of these people might come up with a intuitive and elegant explanation about the origins of some specific thing, only to find that his or her idea does not fit the data. At this point he or she realizes that it is the explanation which needs changing and not the data.
We call these people scientists. They use a system pioneered by one Mr. Bacon some time ago called the Scientific Method. They develop and refine ideas from testing and observation.
Then we have Creationism, wherein a practitioner starts with dogma and ferrets out information which might confirm it, or at the very least, not completely contradict it. Instead of taking the time to develop a working model of things, Creationists choose to rely on a fictitious collection of stories written thousands of years ago by people who believed that the sun and stars revolved around the Earth.
Creationists are quick to point out complexities (I wouldn’t even go so far as to call them “problems”) with the works of scientists, after which point they apply that old time tested logical fallacy: “if they are wrong, we must be right.”
Now, I’m not saying that you should not question evolution. Questioning theories is necessary in our scientific method. Scientists seek problems with their own ideas. The goal of any scientist worth his salt is not to prove his idea right, but to discover the model which best fits the facts.
I slipped from using his/her to just using his there. I would apologize, but we need more women in math and science. It does us all a favor if we get them there females riled up so that they try to prove us wrong. (It is my devious scheme.)
At any rate, this column isn’t a defense of evolution, but rather an examination of Genesis 1 and 2. I’ve long held the belief that more examination of the bible leads to more atheists. Let’s test this thing.
Let’s take it step by step. My number here do not represent verse number but rather the sequence of events.
1.We start with darkness and water, and not much else.
2. God creates light.
3. God separates light from darkness, calling the light day, and the darkness light.
(Already, our model is not working too well. One can learn from the “Blue’s Pajama Party” episode of “Blue’s Clues” that day and night are caused by the spinning of the earth. If the writer of Genesis is talking about our world here, it seems that he, she, He or She isn’t aware of that the Earth is a big spinning oblate spheroid.)
4. Let’s use Genesis’s own words here to make things more clear:
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 1:7 And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
(See how clear that is!)
5. God moves all of the sub-heaven water to one spot in order to reveal dry land.
(I’m not sure if the land was there the whole time or if the water was just floating around until there was land under it. Again, it these ideas make more sense if one isn’t familiar with the actual astronomy of our solar system.)
6. God names the land Earth and the water the seas.
7. God tells Earth to make some grass and plants and stuff. The Earth does this thing on Day 3.
8. God makes the stars to be signs for men. He makes the greater light and the lesser light, calling them he sun and moon respectively. This is day four.
(So, God makes stars for astrology, despite the fact that most stars aren’t actually visible from Earth. Then God just now makes the sun even though he made light days ago. He calls it a “great light” despite the fact that it is a fairly mediocre star. Then He f*cks up even more, calling the moon a lesser light, when in fact the moon isn’t a source of light at all. It is merely a reflector. God should know the difference right?)
9. God told the waters to make whales, other sea animals and birds. This is day five.
(Life starting from the ocean?! This book may be on to something now! Even a blind pig, eh?)
10. God tells the Earth to make mammals, bugs and reptiles. Day 6.
11. Still day 6: God makes mankind. Note this part if you will:
1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
12. God says that man can eat any herb, fruit from any tree, any bird, and any other animal or vegetable.
(Blowfish toxin goes well with Nightshade I hear!)
13. Day six is done, and so is God’s turn at Sim City.
We’re all done examining creation right? I mean, God just made everything, made humans and told them, “go nuts guys. I got a bunch of shit to eat, and feel free to f*ck each other until there are lots of youse guys.”
Man that God has a foul mouth.
BUT WAIT! Now we have…
Sadly, it isn’t titled “the revenge” or anything cool like that. Genesis 2 is a bit like certain movie sequels, in that it is slightly altered re-hash. Let’s take a look:
1. There is earth, but no plants or rain yet because there isn’t anybody to till the soil.
2. God makes a mist to water the earth.
3. God makes a man out of dust.
4. God breathes onto the dust man to make it come to life.
5. God plants the garden of Eden and puts his guy there.
6. God makes trees, fruit trees, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
7. God makes a river and splits it up.
8. God makes Ethiopia and a couple other places.
9. God tells the man to decorate the Garden of Eden.
10. God tells Adam to eat everything but the fruit from the tree of Knowledge.
11. God makes the land animals and birds because Adam is lonely.
12. God brings the animals to the man, know called Adam, so that Adam can name the animals.
13. God knocks out Adam, rips out one of his ribs, closes the wound, and makes a woman out of the rib.
14. And I quote
2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 2:25 And they were both naked
Man, are all best-sellers this poorly written? … yet sexy…
So if one were to read these things, one would see that the two tell different stories. In the first story god makes animals, then he makes humans. In the second story, God makes a dude, animals, and then a chick from the dude. In the first story, God names the animals. In the second story, he makes Adam do it.
These are two separate style stories, serving different mythological functions. To view them as mythology, one can see the purpose of having two different stories. But to view them as literal facts, one has to be high.
What do crazy people that believe this to be a true story have to say? Let’s start with the creation order problem, and check out my favorite reservoir of nuts, basketcases, and motherf*ckers: Answers in Genesis! From http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i4/genesis.asp
Why is this? Because in Hebrew the precise tense of a verb is determined by the context. It is clear from chapter 1 that the beasts and birds were created before Adam, so Jewish scholars would have understood the verb ‘formed’ in Genesis 2:19 to mean ‘had formed’ or ‘having formed’. If we translate verse 19 as follows (as one widely used translation1 does), ‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field …’, the apparent disagreement with Genesis 1 disappears completely.
Oh yeah, that makes more sense. Except then, why would it say that thing? In other books it doesn’t say shit like, “God had formed frogs and used them to drop on Pharoah.” Is God that needy that he has to remind us so soon that it was He that formed the beasts?
But hey, the whole site says that I am wrong anyway:
The question also stems from the wrong assumption that the second chapter of Genesis is just a different account of creation to that in chapter 1. It should be evident that chapter 2 is not just ‘another’ account of creation because chapter 2 says nothing about the creation of the heavens and the earth, the atmosphere, the seas, the land, the sun, the stars, the moon, the sea creatures, etc. Chapter 2 mentions only things directly relevant to the creation of Adam and Eve and their life in the garden God prepared specially for them. Chapter 1 may be understood as creation from God’s perspective; it is ‘the big picture’, an overview of the whole. Chapter 2 views the more important aspects from man’s perspective.
Um… Let me see if I can sum up this argument:
“They don’t cover all of the same stuff, so chapter 2 is really just a re-telling of some of the parts of chapter 1 in order to jump into the next part of the story. Kinda like how Evil Dead 2 starts by re-capping and re-interpreting some of the shit from the first Evil Dead. Except they weren’t movies they were stone tablets, and REAL!”
No… I really can’t buy this argument. He goes on for a couple more pages, saying that since Jesus mentioned a part of both of them, they must be true. This idea demonstrates what we refer to as “begging the question,” i.e. “The bible is true because God says so, in the bible, which is true.”
The Answers in Genesis fella also has this to say:
Each record was probably originally a stone or clay tablet. There is no person identified with the account of the origin of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1-2:4), because it refers primarily to the origin of the whole universe, not any person in particular (Adam and Eve are not mentioned by name, for example). Also, only God knew the events of creation, so God had to reveal this, possibly to Adam who recorded it. Moses, as ‘author’ of Genesis, acted as a compiler and editor of the various sections, adding explanatory notes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The toledoths acknowledge the sources of the historical records Moses used. This understanding underlines the historical nature of Genesis and its status as eyewitness history, contrary to the defunct ‘documentary (JEDP) hypothesis’ still taught in many Bible colleges.
Now, if that paragraph doesn’t strike you as at least a little bit silly, let me offer you this thing. There exists no historical evidence for Hebrew slaves in Egypt, no historical evidence for Jews wandering the desert for 40 years, and no historical evidence for Moses. If you believe in these stories, ask yourself why you don’t believe in Hercules.
What is it about Thor, or Hercules or Coyote that make them different from Adam or Moses? Athens is a real place? Are Greek myths then historically accurate? Dracula is geographically accurate, does that mean that it is true?
By all means, think about these things. Don’t just take my word for it.
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