Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Misfit Atheist reads the Bible: Genesis 1-3

Last year, one of my favorite YouTube atheists, Keight Fahr(aka BionicDance), did a series of videos where she reads and critiques parts of the Bible. Although the series is incomplete(the last video is on 1 Kings), it's excellent yet I think there's quite a few valid critiques she missed. So I finally decided to do something similar, but in blog form and will go into more detail than she did, starting with Genesis 1-3 because it's the foundation where the Abrahamic religions rest upon.

First, there's the two incongruent creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2, in which the first creation story also contradicts what science tells us about creation. According to Genesis 1:

  1. Heaven and earth are created first.
  2. Light comes next(But how can you have light without light-producing objects?).
  3. The "firmament", ground and plants are created.
  4. The sun and stars are made.(The actual light-producing objects)
  5. All the aquatic and flying animals are made.
  6. All the "beasts of the earth" and man are made.
  7. God takes a siesta.
Science tells us that before anything else, you must have light and light-producing objects(stars). We know that the stars created after the initial Big Bang went through a process known as stellar nucleosynthesis, where all the heavy elements were created. Eventually, the stars exploded, spilling out all it's elemental contents outward, creating planetary accretion disks. These disks eventually coagulated into what we now call planets. After billions of years on our tiny little planet, abiogenesis occurred. Then through the incredibly long process of biological evolution, all the animals we know of, and ourselves finally appeared.

But getting back to Genesis, now we're at the Garden of Eden with Adam, Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in chapters 2 and 3. Here we get to see the first lie told in Biblical history. I'm referring, of course, not to the serpent that convinced Eve to eat the apple, but to the lie God told about eating from the tree:
Genesis 2:17 - "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
So God's telling Adam that if he eats from the tree, he's dead on the spot. Yet we discover in Genesis 5:5 that Adam wound up living for at least eight hundred years(even though the idea that a human can live that long is ludicrous, it does nevertheless mean that Adam & Eve had a relatively full life). And going back to the serpent, did the serpent lie? Nope, because we see that God himself confirms the serpent's claim in Genesis 3:22. Then God doles out his punishments and banishes Adam & Eve from the garden.

So just in the first three chapters of the Bible, we see two incongruent and scientifically impossible creation stories, a God that willfully creates the first humans without any knowledge of good and evil, lies about the tree he put in front of them that would give them that knowledge, and punishes them and all future generations for the " original sin" of attaining that knowledge when he wasn't looking. This sounds more like a story about a God whose omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence got easily trumped by a mere animal(that could "intelligibly speak" even though we know only humans can speak), and then punishes all of mankind out of embarrassment and vanity. And that's just the first three short chapters. We're off to a lovely start, folks.