This is the second of two posts about the Reality-Distortion Zone that is a Creationist conference. Read the first one here.
The second lecture was by a science teacher. He injected more than a dozen Bible quotes and Christian imagery into what was otherwise a decent astronomy lecture.
The irony was lost on him. He used videos, animations, presentation software, a PC. He showed Hubble photos of galaxies and satellite photos of solar flares. He lauded the Apollo program. This was science revealed to us by technology built on science. He made a good case—science delivers!
One video took us on a five-minute trip through the universe, accelerating from Earth past the solar system, Alpha Centauri, our galaxy, and our local group of galaxies to eventually take in the entire universe. And the ancient prescientific desert tribe that made up the Genesis account was stuck back there on Earth 3000 years ago, trying to make sense of things with their Iron Age worldview.
There was yet more unacknowledged irony when he emphasized the size of “God’s creation.” The Bible says, “[God] also made the stars” (Gen. 1:16). That’s it. That’s all the Bible says about the 99.9999999999999999999999999% of the universe1 that’s not the earth. Makes you think that the authors of Genesis didn’t know about the vastness of the universe.
He played the audio of Apollo 8’s famous Christmas Eve 1968 reading of Genesis 1:1–10. According to that passage, here’s what God was up to on the second day:
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.”
See if that sounds like this: “[They] envisioned the universe as a closed dome surrounded by a primordial saltwater sea. Underneath the terrestrial earth, which formed the base of the dome, existed an underworld and a freshwater ocean.” This was the cosmology of the Sumerians, who preceded the Jews by centuries.
To me, the Apollo reading of this prescientific view of nature doesn’t sound majestic but is meaningful only as it highlights what we’ve discarded.
The speaker made the obligatory slam of Continue reading