I apologize up front for the formatting of this post. The Quote feature works best but I've compiled quotes in a Note App so quotes don't translate back into the forum.
OK. I have read back through this entire thread.
I think some things need hashed out or rather re-hashed. My take away thus far? It is impossible to engage in actual debate with you because you hold no position other than to say the bible and Christianity are wrong. That's your only absolute here. Though you say you have no absolutes: "Because I don't speak in terms of absolute's. I am not strapped with the burden of proof requirements that speakers in absolute's are chained at the ankle with") Some would say that is weasling...You need not prove anything? Sure gets one off the hook for making sense, doesn't it?
I have gone through and picked out relevant points that, to me, have defined the discussion thus far. Your quotes re in bold.
The bible: Demonstably false or not?
That is the stated premise (although you could have left off the "or not")
But then turn around and say,
"But all of that has little to do with this debate about Genesis 1 as demonstrably true or false. "
I told you then "Josh, WHAT??? That's not the premise of the debate!! Are you yourself confusing the two, bouncing back and forth as though the two are interchangeable terms? I've told you we ought not jump into Genesis before establishing what scripture is."
Maybe you erred there...
So we jump in at Genesis 1:1
And we should not have...
So BEFORE I take on the task of helping you understand the nature of Scripture (which I should have done already rather than get lost in abstraction)
"The point is that Genesis tells a story of the creation of the earth and universe. That story doesn't add up with observable reality."
"Observable reality." I've not sat idle this past week. I've compiled tons of things to address but I'm going to start right there.
"That story doesn't add up with observable reality."
It most certainly does. Everything in the text IS our observable universe. But you demand age before everything. Something had to have been generated; spawned by a like something billions of years ago. But if created, the world already expressed age. Aged planets. Aged vegetation and animal life - all able to procreate immediately rather than having to evolve genitalia- and then fully cognizant man also being fruitful and multiplying precisely in the same manner as today. When have you EVER observed anything different? Who is observing reality and who us making up stories?
So here we go...
We have a universe (the Heavens) and the Earth. You say Genesis is wrong but yet it provides for us the exact same REAL and observable world as does your attempts at "explanation" WHICH cannot be proven with any degree of certainty.
"The fact remains that reality is a series of "what if's,' unless of course you or someone else can step forward and prove otherwise? Where's the hard evidence that tells us exactly, absolutely how the universe, earth and life came to be?" "Doesn't mean science is inerrant, it just means that it has better explanatory power over a bronze age creation myth." It does NOT, but you prefer it. There is "science" behind the Creation account as well. It's ALL scientifically observable. No difference whatsoever in the material being observed but only in the conclusion which can be purely subjective. ***SEE BELOW***
We have mankind as conscious, sentient, self aware beings. Evolution gets us there...eventually. Even then, it does not account one shred for our eventual brain development. Was the Primordial Soup self aware? But you say "If the consciousness as fundamental arguments raging among philosophers and scientists gain merit, then additional scenarios present themselves. Awareness would be primary. It would found the whole of the material sciences as a newly discovered aspect of material itself. It would then apply to the infinite and eternal cosmological models in like fashion. Biological evolution in like fashion. Those are just two more scenarios on the table for consideration." When? When will we get to see this? And Why do we need philosophers and scientists to tell us the obvious? Certainly philosophy and psychology have their place in assisting us, but how much is sheer speculation? "Speculation" will be addressed following...)
It gives us the Family unit and procreation. When did evolution produce this necessity for mankind? How did it decide a family unit was profitable? Copulation wasn't necessary in the soup. Why have we DE-volved that it is a necessity now? Why can't stuff just reproduce without male/female LIKE IT ONCE HAD TO HAVE DONE in your speculation-filled prehistoric wonder world? Whence the change?
The bible, IN GENESIS gives us society structure. When did man evolve far enough along to recognize this was desirable when it wasn't part of evolution up to that point? How did evolution KNOW to program this into man? OH THAT"S RIGHT! it just randomly occurred. So which Troglodyte Council established the first grunting colony and set of UNIVERSAL rule?
The bible gives us language. How and when did evolution turn grunts and squeals into all the known languages? I want documentation of when this occurred. Not History Channel 4 billion guesses.
It gives us government and Law. Don't even think you can thank evolution for this observable "reality". Survival of the fittest DEMANDS death at the hands of another. How dare we go against our primordial instinct and attempt to squelch that desire by calling it murder and prosecuting people. Rape? It's an absolute necessity in evolutionary man. Spread your seed promiscuously with whomever or whatever...and when did Troglodyte women begin to object? Why be "faithful" to one? What is the purpose for marriage if in the evolutionary mind proliferation is the only desire?
It gives us History and Time. But you say "The proof for Genesis 1 should be found all around us (AND IT IS!!!) because it's about the BEGINNING OF TIME. We're in the realm of time now. (Yes. Creation agrees) The evidence should be all around to gather and provide. But it isn't. (WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? See above i.e. "The same observable world") That's the main problem here. We can find evidence of things that go back billions of years, (APPEARING to be billions. Genesis also indicates age. Adam was not an embryo. Trees did not sprout from seed and take hundreds of years to mature. Earth did not need to grow for a billion years. Nothing inconsistent.) indirectly or which ever way we can. So why does none of it gel with Genesis 1?
You cannot say these things are not addressed in Genesis. Now where is it lacking in "observable reality"?