Fairy tales for adults

Richard Lightman richard at nezumi.plus.com
Wed Feb 12 16:15:38 PST 2003

* Steve Bougerolle <steveb at creek-and-cowley.com> [2003-02-12 20:41]:
> However, my point is not that we know nothing about the universe.  My
> point is that, if you judge it by the standards of logic, astronomy is a
> disaster area.  The second problem above would be particularly relevant
> in such a debate because it turns on circular reasoning.
> This debate started because somebody (Bryan?) said it was quite possible
> for intelligent and educated people to believe a literal account of
> Genesis, and then a feverish heated response came back.  I'm just
> attempting to show how that can be true.  
> Many intelligent and well-educated people have a good grasp of logic but
> are not particularly proficient with science (think of judges, for
> example).  They could look at practically any aspect of astronomy and
> immediately find so many logical holes they would reject it out of hand
> - and they would be right, because by THEIR standards our ideas of the
> universe are crap.
Astronomy is not the most accurate science in the world, but could
you really convince me that it is so wrong that the universe is only
6000 years old? For that we would be looking at assumptions on a
level 'the telescope does not create images of imaginary moons of

I think you would have to work very hard to convince yourself that
genesis was a literal account.

> Likewise, we see all the numeric and scientific details and judge
> Genesis by them, and that makes it look bad by OUR standards.
As a work of fiction, genesis might have some literary merit. It
is more probably a mixture of half forgotten distorted history,
legends and myths.

I really do not underand how an intelligent and educated person
of our times could believe genesis was litteral.

> > Why would a creationalist god create such a detailed illusion of the
> > universe being very old?
> What detailed illusion?  The whole account of creation in Genesis fits
> in one page of normal text.  All concern with details comes from people
> reading things into that.  The text itself is wonderfully simple.
Was the moon created with crators to look like millions of years of
bombardment with meteors?

Were canyons created with the appearance that they had been cut by
millions of year of erosion by a river?

Were variations in DNA created to appear to match evolution of

Were concentrations of uranium 238 carfully set up to look like
a natural nuclear reactors has operated under the earth's surface
for many thousands of years.

There are thousands of examples that make it look like the universe
is far older than 6000 years.

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