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Gerald Schroeder?


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I'm asking because he was big in my little group back when I was an xian. He is an MIT trained orthodox Jew who tries to make the book of Genesis fit with current scientific models of the universe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Schroeder) Since I am largely ignorant in the field of science and evolution, is there anyone out there who knows about him, and what he has right and wrong? Here is an article supposedly written by him and he makes some statements I'm not sure are facts:

 

http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/ep/bang.htm

 

I'll briefly go though what I have questions on:

 

2) How could the world be created in six days?

Genesis chapter one recounts for us, day by day, the key events of the six days of creation. But the Sun does not appear till day number four. All ancient commentators, those referred to as the Sages, tell us that the term "day" refers to a duration of time, and that duration was 24 hours, regardless of whether or not there was a Sun. Those first six days, they said, "were no longer than the six days of our work week, but they contained all the ages and all the secrets of the universe."

 

Days containing ages sounds strange. Nevertheless that is what we twice read in Genesis: "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the Eternal God made heaven and earth" (Genesis 2:4). And again "This is the book of the generations of Adam in the day that God created Adam" (Genesis 5:1). It took an Einstein to discover how ages could be squeezed into a day. The laws of relativity taught the world that the passage of time and the perception of time's flow varies from place to place in our most amazing universe. A minute on the moon passes more rapidly than a minute on the Earth. A minute on the Sun passes more slowly. The duration between the ticks of a clock, the beats of heart, the time to ripen oranges, stretches and shrinks. Where ever you are, time seems normal because your body is in tune with your local environment.

 

Only when looking across boundaries from one location relative to another very different location can we observe the relativity of time. If you can not understand how this can be, do not despair,. The other approximately 5 billion inhabitants of the Earth are in a similar quandary. We look back in time, studying the history of the universe. From our vantage we find, correctly, that billions of years have passed. But, those same Sages told us, the Bible sees the six days of Genesis looking forward from near the beginning, from the moment that stable matter formed from the energy of the big bang.

 

Viewing the six days from that beginning holds the answer as to how our generations fit into those days.

 

The universe we live in is not static. It is expanding. The space of the universe is actually stretching. If we took a mental trip back in time, sending our information back to the moment from which Genesis views time, the effect of our mental trip would be to pass to a time when the universe was vastly smaller, in fact a million million times smaller than it is today. Space would have shrunk a million million fold. This huge compression of space would equally compress the perception of time for any series of events simply because as the string of information that described those events traveled back in time, the space through which it was passing was shrinking, squeezing the data ever closer together. In the jargon of cosmology, the data were blue shifted (blue because of the relatively short wavelength of blue light).

 

To calculate the effect of that million million compression, divide the 15 billion years we observe looking back in time by the million million. You'll get six days. Which of course is just what Genesis chapter one has been claiming for the past 3,000 years. Genesis and science tell the same account, but seen from vastly different perspectives.

 

 

Okay, there's quite a lot in there, but basically he's using Einstein's general theory of relativity to turn a day in Genesis into billions of years... any thoughts?

 

3) Has the Bible missed on evolution?

The Bible is well aware of evolution although it is not very interested in the details of the process. All of animal evolution gets a mere seven sentences (Genesis 1:20-26). Genesis tells us simple aquatic animals were followed by land animals, mammals and finally humans. That is also what the fossil record tells us but of course with much more detail than these few biblical verses provide. Not withstanding the claims by misguided clerics, the Bible makes no claims as to what drove the development of life and science has yet to provide the answer.

 

In case you haven't studied biology in a while, let me provide a brief update on paleontology's record of life's evolution. First came the discovery that life appeared on the Earth almost 4 billion years ago, immediately after the molten globe had cooled sufficiently for liquid water to form. This contradicted totally the theory of life's gradual evolution over billions of years in some nutrient-rich pool. The rapid origin of life remains a mystery. Then we learned that some 550 million years ago, in what is known as the Cambrian explosion, animals with optically perfect eyes, gills, limbs with joints, mouths and intestines burst upon the fossil scene with not a clue in older fossils as to how they evolved. It is no wonder that Darwin, in his Origin of Species, repeatedly implored his readers (five times by my count) to ignore the fossil record if they were to understand his theory.

 

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence tells us that something exotic, unexpected, and as of yet unexplained, happened to produce life as we know it.

 

 

I really don't know if his statement on the cambrian explosion is accurate or not, but I do know that the bible says that birds were made first, with the aquatic life. And I know that birds were a later species that evolved, right?

 

5) The Bible's calendar puts the creation of Adam at about 6000 years ago.

Science says the number should be closer to 60,000 years. Let's not confuse man with human. The biblical creation of Adam, humankind (Genesis 1:27), relates to the creation of the human soul (in Hebrew, the neshama) and not the human body. The Talmud is replete with descriptions of hominids having the same shape and intelligence as humans. But they were not human. They lacked the neshama. Recall that the Talmud was redacted a millennium before paleontology raised the scientific question of pre-human hominids. The Talmud learned of hominids from nuances in the text of Genesis. Science has confirmed the ancient predictions of Genesis.

 

Museums make the break between pre-history and history at about 6000 years ago, marked by the invention of writing and the appearance of large cities. Necessity is the mother of invention. The sudden expansion of clan-sized towns and settlements such as ancient Jericho, into cities necessitated commerce and administration, which in turn required record keeping and hence, writing. Was it the creation of the neshama that enabled clans to reach out and join together into cities? That is a question unanswerable by science.

 

 

This is a weird section. I haven't read the Talmud, but really, is he really saying this? Last I heard, science hasn't found a single difference between humans and animals, let alone "man" and "humans" as this guy suggests. (Apparently, this guy gets around. Here's a longer article on the same thing: http://www.torahtruth.org/2008/10/bareishit-did-adam-have-parents/ In it, he says that not all of Adam and Eve children had souls, and that god creating a soul in Adam is what caused civilization to start.)

 

Anyway, you get the gist. Now, how do you refute it? (Especially the part about the soul being created and put into an already created human. I can't believe... ugh. I'll just leave it there.)

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3) Has the Bible missed on evolution?

The Bible is well aware of evolution although it is not very interested in the details of the process. All of animal evolution gets a mere seven sentences (Genesis 1:20-26). Genesis tells us simple aquatic animals were followed by land animals, mammals and finally humans. That is also what the fossil record tells us but of course with much more detail than these few biblical verses provide. Not withstanding the claims by misguided clerics, the Bible makes no claims as to what drove the development of life and science has yet to provide the answer.

 

In case you haven't studied biology in a while, let me provide a brief update on paleontology's record of life's evolution. First came the discovery that life appeared on the Earth almost 4 billion years ago, immediately after the molten globe had cooled sufficiently for liquid water to form. This contradicted totally the theory of life's gradual evolution over billions of years in some nutrient-rich pool. The rapid origin of life remains a mystery. Then we learned that some 550 million years ago, in what is known as the Cambrian explosion, animals with optically perfect eyes, gills, limbs with joints, mouths and intestines burst upon the fossil scene with not a clue in older fossils as to how they evolved. It is no wonder that Darwin, in his Origin of Species, repeatedly implored his readers (five times by my count) to ignore the fossil record if they were to understand his theory.

 

Wow. What a kook. First, the let me get this one out of the way: Darwin did say for readers to kinda ignore the fossil record. It was not because it was ordered wrong. It was because of the lack of fossils to be had in Darwin's day. Evolution clearly predicts as we find, the layering of very simple life first and each added layer uses life from before as a building blocks to become more complex. So we get Simple--->complex over a lot of layers and a lot of time.

 

Now, Gen 1:11-13 said that plants were the first life on the third day. It was not until the fifth day that it says the life in the seas was poofed in. There is NO support in the fossil recored for this.

 

What a waste of a good stint at MIT.

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This is a weird section. I haven't read the Talmud, but really, is he really saying this? Last I heard, science hasn't found a single difference between humans and animals, let alone "man" and "humans" as this guy suggests. (Apparently, this guy gets around. Here's a longer article on the same thing: http://www.torahtruth.org/2008/10/bareishit-did-adam-have-parents/ In it, he says that not all of Adam and Eve children had souls, and that god creating a soul in Adam is what caused civilization to start.)

Actually, there are a couple of phrases used in evolution/anthropology for the event about 60,000 years ago. It's called the human spark or the big bang of the brain. There were some small changes in our DNA that caused our brain to do just a few things different than Homo neadertalis. So there is an event, it can be explained by mutations in the DNA, but they don't know exactly which ones. They can see on the imprint of the inside of the skulls that the brain sections were a bit different. We know something happened because suddenly we started to do cave paintings and make and use ornaments. H. neand. didn't have that kind of imagination. It's very likely that our ability to think in symbols gave birth to the first religious ideas as well. (sorry if the paragraph is a bit confusing. I just woke up and haven't had my first cup of coffee yet. :grin:)

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3) Has the Bible missed on evolution?

The Bible is well aware of evolution although it is not very interested in the details of the process. All of animal evolution gets a mere seven sentences (Genesis 1:20-26). Genesis tells us simple aquatic animals were followed by land animals, mammals and finally humans. That is also what the fossil record tells us but of course with much more detail than these few biblical verses provide. Not withstanding the claims by misguided clerics, the Bible makes no claims as to what drove the development of life and science has yet to provide the answer.

 

In case you haven't studied biology in a while, let me provide a brief update on paleontology's record of life's evolution. First came the discovery that life appeared on the Earth almost 4 billion years ago, immediately after the molten globe had cooled sufficiently for liquid water to form. This contradicted totally the theory of life's gradual evolution over billions of years in some nutrient-rich pool. The rapid origin of life remains a mystery. Then we learned that some 550 million years ago, in what is known as the Cambrian explosion, animals with optically perfect eyes, gills, limbs with joints, mouths and intestines burst upon the fossil scene with not a clue in older fossils as to how they evolved. It is no wonder that Darwin, in his Origin of Species, repeatedly implored his readers (five times by my count) to ignore the fossil record if they were to understand his theory.

 

Wow. What a kook. First, the let me get this one out of the way: Darwin did say for readers to kinda ignore the fossil record. It was not because it was ordered wrong. It was because of the lack of fossils to be had in Darwin's day. Evolution clearly predicts as we find, the layering of very simple life first and each added layer uses life from before as a building blocks to become more complex. So we get Simple--->complex over a lot of layers and a lot of time.

 

Now, Gen 1:11-13 said that plants were the first life on the third day. It was not until the fifth day that it says the life in the seas was poofed in. There is NO support in the fossil recored for this.

 

What a waste of a good stint at MIT.

 

As I'm unfamiliar with the fossil record, could you tell me what order life evolved in? I've heard that the Genesis creation myth is based on older, Babylonian and Egyptian myths, right? How close are they exactly, and where can I read them?

 

This is a weird section. I haven't read the Talmud, but really, is he really saying this? Last I heard, science hasn't found a single difference between humans and animals, let alone "man" and "humans" as this guy suggests. (Apparently, this guy gets around. Here's a longer article on the same thing: http://www.torahtrut...m-have-parents/ In it, he says that not all of Adam and Eve children had souls, and that god creating a soul in Adam is what caused civilization to start.)

Actually, there are a couple of phrases used in evolution/anthropology for the event about 60,000 years ago. It's called the human spark or the big bang of the brain. There were some small changes in our DNA that caused our brain to do just a few things different than Homo neadertalis. So there is an event, it can be explained by mutations in the DNA, but they don't know exactly which ones. They can see on the imprint of the inside of the skulls that the brain sections were a bit different. We know something happened because suddenly we started to do cave paintings and make and use ornaments. H. neand. didn't have that kind of imagination. It's very likely that our ability to think in symbols gave birth to the first religious ideas as well. (sorry if the paragraph is a bit confusing. I just woke up and haven't had my first cup of coffee yet. :grin:)

 

I understood what you said, that's very interesting. At what point in our evolution did we become self-aware? And how exactly were our brains different? Thanks.

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As I'm unfamiliar with the fossil record, could you tell me what order life evolved in? I've heard that the Genesis creation myth is based on older, Babylonian and Egyptian myths, right? How close are they exactly, and where can I read them?

 

Well anything before the Cambrian was simple one-cell life in the water only, starting about 3.3billion year ago. The first multi-cell(ish) life will come in the late Precambrian and will be sponge like (if I remember right) about 650mya. During the Cambrian you get a multitude of more complex life, and they call this the Cambrian Explosion. During this period, you get the more complex building blocks for later periods of life. Plant life, as is similar to what you see today came about during the Cambrian as well, though I can't remember when.

 

As for the creation myth, it did come from the Mesopotamian (Babylonian/Sumerian) stories. These were larger stories and there are several known versions. Most have the same(ish) order but all have the same elements used in the Genesis story. I wish I had my old Mediterranean religion history book, as it had at least three of them translated.

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As I'm unfamiliar with the fossil record, could you tell me what order life evolved in? I've heard that the Genesis creation myth is based on older, Babylonian and Egyptian myths, right? How close are they exactly, and where can I read them?

 

Well anything before the Cambrian was simple one-cell life in the water only, starting about 3.3billion year ago. The first multi-cell(ish) life will come in the late Precambrian and will be sponge like (if I remember right) about 650mya. During the Cambrian you get a multitude of more complex life, and they call this the Cambrian Explosion. During this period, you get the more complex building blocks for later periods of life. Plant life, as is similar to what you see today came about during the Cambrian as well, though I can't remember when.

 

As for the creation myth, it did come from the Mesopotamian (Babylonian/Sumerian) stories. These were larger stories and there are several known versions. Most have the same(ish) order but all have the same elements used in the Genesis story. I wish I had my old Mediterranean religion history book, as it had at least three of them translated.

 

I have a wall chart I keep at work that carries the fossil time line on it. Looking at it this morning, I see plants came about during the Silurian period. This was well after the one-cell life and sea life.

 

Note: Here is the chart I have: http://www.wmnh.com/wmgsche.htm

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I understood what you said, that's very interesting. At what point in our evolution did we become self-aware? And how exactly were our brains different? Thanks.

There are experiments done that show that primates (at least some species) have some level of self-awareness.

 

I think dolphins also have been shown to have self-identity.

 

So when did it start in human evolution? A better question is when does it start in a human growth. When does a child become self-aware. If you study psychology, they have some answers.

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I have a wall chart I keep at work that carries the fossil time line on it. Looking at it this morning, I see plants came about during the Silurian period. This was well after the one-cell life and sea life.

 

Note: Here is the chart I have: http://www.wmnh.com/wmgsche.htm

Niiice. This will be on my list of things to buy next.

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I've heard that the Genesis creation myth is based on older, Babylonian and Egyptian myths, right? How close are they exactly, and where can I read them?

 

Bible-related writings from other cultures/traditions are complied in a book called, "The Ancient Near East, Volume I". I linked to Amazon, but you can get it way cheaper if you do a search on half.com or Abe.com.

 

I don't know if the later volumes are better/updated with new finds. I like Volume I, but that may be something worth checking out.

 

P

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This is a weird section. I haven't read the Talmud, but really, is he really saying this? Last I heard, science hasn't found a single difference between humans and animals, let alone "man" and "humans" as this guy suggests. (Apparently, this guy gets around. Here's a longer article on the same thing: http://www.torahtruth.org/2008/10/bareishit-did-adam-have-parents/ In it, he says that not all of Adam and Eve children had souls, and that god creating a soul in Adam is what caused civilization to start.)

Actually, there are a couple of phrases used in evolution/anthropology for the event about 60,000 years ago. It's called the human spark or the big bang of the brain. There were some small changes in our DNA that caused our brain to do just a few things different than Homo neadertalis. So there is an event, it can be explained by mutations in the DNA, but they don't know exactly which ones. They can see on the imprint of the inside of the skulls that the brain sections were a bit different. We know something happened because suddenly we started to do cave paintings and make and use ornaments. H. neand. didn't have that kind of imagination. It's very likely that our ability to think in symbols gave birth to the first religious ideas as well. (sorry if the paragraph is a bit confusing. I just woke up and haven't had my first cup of coffee yet. :grin:)

 

I was watching a documentary that pretty much put all of human ingenuity right upon the shoulders of beer, right from the advent to the modern era.

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I wish these evolutionists would make up their frigging minds. We came from primordial ooze then grew legs then came out the water. Then we are told the stuff like dolphins actually were land based and went back to the seas for whatever reason?? All them skeletal evidences of previous limbs no longer need/adapted much like our current coxex replacing the tail bit we had "avatars" ago while we still have the muscles to wag the missing tail and all. Shit this evolution stuff iz soo confusing but it is after all "only a theory" isn't it....

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I was watching a documentary that pretty much put all of human ingenuity right upon the shoulders of beer, right from the advent to the modern era.

I heard about that theory but have not watched that show. What was it called?

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was watching a documentary that pretty much put all of human ingenuity right upon the shoulders of beer, right from the advent to the modern era.

 

I heard the same theory about porn!

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I was watching a documentary that pretty much put all of human ingenuity right upon the shoulders of beer, right from the advent to the modern era.

I heard about that theory but have not watched that show. What was it called?

 

What Beer Did for the World.

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