Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Irrelevance of Creation

Yesterday, as I walk into Shul, a crazy friend of mine comes over giggling. Upon my inquiry what the fuss is all about, he tells me that in the wee hours of the morning, he snuck into my house and tickled my nose. And? You didn’t even feel it! And? I tickled again! And? I just had to give up! And? The giggling was over.

Besides for giving me the creeps, I would have no clue how this matters for me. For all I can gather, there are no personal items missing from the china closet, nor does this jerk have the brains to take any, or to do any other harm. He’s a totally harmless creep.

The Creation Story

We all know the about the story of creation presented in the Bible. If you read the Bible carefully, you will conclude the age of the world to be approximately 5700 years, as it appears in the Jewish calendar. However, the scientific consensus regarding the age of the world is growing stronger every passing year. This consensus holds true between multiple and diverse disciplines such as cosmology, biology, and archaeology.

Yet, for many a biblical religion, this poses an existential dilemma. And it’s all about the timeline. If you must accept the literal bible as the absolute truth, then you cannot reconcile this with the scientific view of the age of the world. As a rational human being, you are forced to choose between one of the two.

So, along comes the creative solution, first pioneered by southern Baptists more than a century ago in defense of the Biblical narrative. If God Almighty has the limitless power to do anything, then he could have just so created all that we see today in the form of a 4.2 billion year old world, complete with all the processes a real 4.2 billion year old world would have had.

Sounds cool, doesn't it? Well, not exactly. Here is a challenge to this whimsical theory. If indeed it is the case that the world was created less than six thousand years ago, but in the form of a 4.2 billion year old world, what relevance does this creation have (other than explaining an irrelevant old text)? How does this creation matter in any shape or form? Or to sharpen the question, why would the creator petty around with this creation as if… and not do so in the first instance, i.e. creating the world 4.2 billion years ago for real.

Can we surmise that He wasn't around then? After all, it was before the big bang...

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