darrel presentation3 by pE0vo1



         SU SPRING 2008
A Special or Pointless Place?
Coming weeks’ proposals:

We have before us four increasingly
 capacious metaphors…
 3. Chronicle
 4. Account
 5. Sketch
 6. Epic
 …I offer these in order to provide a “re-
 frame” and alternate “pictures.”
Properties of Models/Language

1.   Based on current data
2.   Coherent in content
3.   Comprehensive in scope
4.   Sparking the imagination (fertile)
                          Ian Barbour
What IS truth? Godel’s Theorem

 Gödel's Theorem, regarding the limitative
 theorems of mathematics and the theory
 of computation, suggests that once the
 ability to represent your own structure
 has reached a certain critical point, that is
 the kiss of death: it guarantees that you
 can never represent yourself totally.
Kurt Godel
And then there is Carbon Dating?

Radiocarbon dating relies on a simple
 natural phenomenon. As the Earth's
 upper atmosphere is bombarded by
 cosmic radiation, atmospheric nitrogen is
 broken down into an unstable isotope of
 carbon - carbon 14 (C-14).
      See websites on Carbon Dating

Religious language can be
Creation as CHRONICLE

CHRONICLE, today’s word, refers to the
 “Old Earth” model/language in poetic or
 figurative genre

II Peter 3:8 “…a thousand years is but a
   day…” suggests variability if not non-
   literal language
Assets of CHRONICLE Model

 1. Language flexibility

 2. Added literary forms

 3. Partial discrimination of faith-based
    language from experimental-based
Deficits of CHRONICLE Model

 1. Wide variance of “day” and “old”

 2. Sequence detail issues

 3. New questions about the contact
 between scientific and religious spheres
Sacred Text

    In the beginning when God created the
heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless
void and darkness covered the face of the deep,
while a wind from God swept over the face of the
waters. Then God said, "Let there be light;" and
there was light. And God saw that the light was
good; and God separated the light from the
darkness. God called the light Day, and the
darkness he called Night. And there was evening
and there was morning, the first day. Gen. 1:1ff
Event Sequence

The order of creation in Genesis 1 is: heaven and
  earth, light, vault of heaven (i.e., separation of
  earthly and heavenly waters), seas and dry land,
  plants, sun and stars, fish and birds, land
  animals, and last humans.
The actual order of appearance of life forms -- sea-
  dwelling life, land plants, amphibians, reptiles,
  birds, and mammals -- is different from the order
  in either Genesis account. Seed-bearing plants
  were not the first plants on land, but both
  Genesis accounts refer to trees and fruits in the
  initial creation of plants.
St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine’s allegorical approach

From: The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20
  [A.D. 408]

"[A]t least we know that it [the Genesis creation
  day] is different from the ordinary day with which
  we are familiar" (ibid., 5:2).
Stephen Hawking
Two famous quotes from Hawking

A Brief History famously ended with the
  words: “Then we shall know the mind of
  God.” This was a metaphor?

Hawking’s God would be, as he puts it, “an
 embodiment of the laws of science”.
Second Creation Story (Earliest)

   Genesis 2: 7-8: "Then the Lord God formed a
    man from the dust of the ground and breathed
    into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus the man
    became a living creature." Gen. 2: 15-18: "The
    Lord God took the man and put him in the
    Garden of Eden to till it and take care of it. He
    told the man 'You may eat from every tree in the
    garden, but not from the tree of the knowledge of
    good and evil; for on the day you eat from it, you
    will certainly die.'" Gen. 2: 21-22: "And so the
    Lord God put the man into a trance, and while he
    slept, he took one of his ribs and, which he had
    taken out of the man, into a woman," closed the
    flesh over the place.
Steven Pinker—Human Nature
Many literary forms (Genres)

Poetry—non-prose or lyrical
History—patriarchal, royal, prophetic, etc
Genealogy—lines of tribal descent
Doctrine—faith statements/propositions
Civil—regulations along with ritual rules
Hymnody—songs of faith
Letters—personal and communal
Code (Apocalyptic)—hidden messages
More Daffy-nitions/Descriptions:

Lower Criticism—root meaning of text
Higher Criticism—contextual meaning
Documentary Theory—inter-textual nexus
Form Criticism—various genre/forms
Redaction—editing or revisions
Textual criticism—examination of accuracy
Manuscript dating—age of manuscripts

Here are the properties of my key word:
 Expands “evolution” to include aspects of
 direction and purpose
 Includes both cyclic and linear
 dimensions on the space-time continuum
 Highlights the robust interplay of all
 things scientific and religious—
Darwin—example of literalism?

"I gradually came to disbelieve in
   Christianity as a divine revelation."

Thoughts of Newton and Darwin
Two Domains/NOMA thesis

 Argument # 1—Science and Religion are
  distinct equal magisteria
 Argument # 2—Science and Religion are
  inseparable polar magisteria
 Mixing of the two leads to unnecessary

   Source: Rocks of Ages Jay Stephen Gould
Fuzzy Thinking

Civil courts are charged to sort out bogus
and fuzzy messes. A 2005 court case Kitzmiller v.
Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania
declared: Intelligent Design is creationism re-
packaged—not science.
The judgment had “nothing to do with politics, but
evidence and precedents…”

            Ruling by a Judge John E. Jones
ID defense as Science

“Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent
design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no
commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other
sacred text. Instead, intelligent design theory is an effort to
empirically detect whether the ‘apparent design’ in nature
observed by biologists is genuine design (the product of an
organizing intelligence) or is simply the product of chance
and mechanical natural laws.”

              John G. West of Center for Science and Culture
What Luther would do to me

Luther, after whom the Lutheran Church is named,
  would be saddened by the many theologians,
  educators and educational institutions bearing
  the name Lutheran which today propagate that
  which he despised—evolution. The world should
  know that those ‘vulgar persons’ who currently
  call themselves Lutheran, but accept theistic
  evolution, would get a good thrashing from
  Luther were he to catch up with them!
              From a Ultra-conservative blog
Literal and Poetic

“Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt
 return.” Genesis 3:19

   From the historic and biblical Ash
 Wednesday church rites
Buyer Beware!

Apophatic tradition (deep humility that is
 agnostic before mystery) is not to be
 confused with Sgt. Schultz’s:
    “I know nuz-zing; nuz-zing at all!”
Which “Meta”phor/Mindscape?
Comments; Discussion; Q&A

Summary: “Old Earth” expands and
 nuances the biblical model/language and
 avoids the worst of the “conflict” choices.
Contrast characterizes this position.
 We have addressed new choices in part by
 literary tools—interpretative and
 symbolic—and by suggesting inter-
 theretical frames of reference.

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