I spend a lot of my time reading books that are very difficult to read. In my library I have dozens of books from atheistic authors, most of them former Christians who left the faith. Their leaving is tagged with a variety of reasons, but they primarily have to do with some sort of “awakening” from the “intellectual slumber” as they describe it.

I also spend much time going through atheistic websites and blogs, reading people’s thoughts. I rarely interact. I simply go there to learn.

What I see is a lot of bitterness and anger. This evidences itself in much ridicule. I find the ridicule very interesting and typical of the way people think when they get into this box. (Yes, for the most part, it is a box.) They are upset because, according to them, they spent much of their life believing a lie parallel to that of Santa Clause. Now they have been set free from irrationality and now have the freedom to think (that is why they refer to themselves as “free thinkers”). They seek to help others to become free thinkers.

The other day I read a thread on one of these atheistic/Christian recovery websites which had about sixty or seventy posts which simply poked fun at Christian beliefs. Topping the list was the creation of Eve from the rib of Adam, a snake talking, Jonah’s adventure in the belly of a whale, Balaam’s donkey speaking, and the whole story of special creation.

After continuing this mockery for quite some time one atheist made an astonishingly wise and unexpected observation which turned the conversation in a very interesting way. It is this turn that caused me to write this short blog.

He said (paraphrase): “Guys, I certainly concur that God is not real and that the stories of the Bible are mythology. I also concur that Christians are naive to believe in such nonsense. But I do often ask myself where did everything come from? What started it all? How is it that we are all here?”

Bypassing the simplicity of the question dealing with ultimate ontological origins (i.e. the origin of the “stuff” of the universe), the commentators acknowledge the difficulty of the question and went straight to a discussion of human origins.

However, they were first quick to point out that the difficulty of the question does not justify or legitimize the insertion of an “ultimate creator” which explains all things (often referred to as the “God of the Gaps” approach).

“What is your best guess then?” the other asked.

At this point people became more timid and reserved. It almost seemed to quiet the bashing party down. Yet there were some brave souls who took a shot. Can you hear throats clearing on a blog? Well you could here as they prepared to respond.

What was their answer to the origin of all things? What was their non-naive, rational, scientific, this-does-not-look-anything-like-Santa-and-you-can-teach-your-children answer? Aliens. Yes, aliens seeded our planet five million years ago.

Let us just set aside the fact that this does not solve anything since we have to answer where the aliens came from. Let us also set aside the presumption that these people may not be atheists but alien worshipers (alitheists?). Let us also not refer to this as the “Alien of the Gaps” answer (at least not right now).  There is something more fundamental that I would like to ask:

Is the belief that aliens seeded our planet five billion years ago more rational, scientific, and believable than the answer that a self-existent God created all that there out of nothing (ex nihilo)?

Folks, I am not making this up. The idea that aliens seeded the earth is becoming a valid option among atheists and free-thinkers. It is also starting to find its way into Hollywood.

Not only was this option perfectly acceptable to all the atheists on this blog (remember, the ones who were making fun of the story of Adam and Eve), but Richard Dawkins has publicly stated that believes that Alien implantation is an “intriguing possibility.”

Listen to this. I just finished the last episode of Battlestar Galactica (sniff, sniff). This series was filled with the God question which it never really answered. Except . . . that at the very end, the voyagers of the Battlestar fleet made earth their new home (their home planet that was destroyed). These voyagers are shown to be the explanation of where the human race came from—an implantation of the union between robotic Cylons and humans who were both alien.

Another interesting example was the new Nicolas Cage movie, Knowing, that was released this weekend. (Warning: Spoiler). Filled with much suspense, we find out in the end that aliens saved humanity by seeding another planet with a male and a female human (not to mention the animals).

My question for you is this: Can one legitimately belittle any detail of the biblical creation story on the grounds of intellectual integrity and replace it with a belief that aliens seeded our planet and remain in good standing rationally? How much worse is a snake talking than a creature from another planet talking?

How does “I don’t believe that a snake talked but I do believe that aliens seeded our planet sit with you?”

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    85 replies to "I Don't Believe a Snake Talked but I Do Believe Aliens Seeded Our Planet"

    • Cobus

      The work of Arthur C Clark, who worked with the alien thesis a lot in his works of fiction, and a long time ago already, and was considered an authority within the world of science, of course also needs some mention when we discuss this.

    • Greg

      I already answered that question. I don’t know as of now.

      But to satisfy you, I will put forth a theory. Adam was a literal person, the first person indwelt with God’s image (whatever that could mean).

      What I do know, and this is my starting point, concerns Genesis and science.

      This is a thorny question to deal with simply because you are asking me to make a hard pronouncement on an ancient person’s interpretation of an even more ancient text. The factors to consider in an exercise like this are bewildering to someone without any formal hermeneutical, exegetical, or theological training.

      Its not as easy as looking at the text and defining what the words mean that Paul uses. I think the key lies in the ancient Hebrew interpretive framework that Ancient Near Eastern studies shed light on, as Paul, being a Jew, would probably have adhered to.

      I believe that God inspired the writer of Genesis to pen a creation account that spoke to the ancient Israelites steeped in the Ancient Near Eastern culture of the time. The evidence supports this, and I doubt many Christians would advocate an interpretive view that did not consider the original audience. Since I also believe God inspired Paul in his epistles, I am of the firm commitment that Paul understood the creation account, and further on, Adam, as it was originally meant to be understood before he presented his theology of the spread of sin. Thus, I think the key lies first in understanding Genesis correctly than moving on to Paul.

      Either that, or Paul authoritatively reinterpreted the story of Adam for his own purpose in discussing sin in the world, as other NT writers had done. Even if that were the case, it would not require me to change anything in regards to my current position regarding Genesis because Paul’s interpretation would be independent of the original interpretation and both would be valid in their context.

      Truth, you seem to be starting with Paul and looking back towards Genesis, which I think is not the best way to proceed. If this idea is correct, that the inspired Paul would have correctly understood the Ancient Near Eastern Hebrew account of creation, than it changes everything. His interpretation of Adam would then conform to that viewpoint. To understand Paul would then require a correct understanding of Genesis. That then becomes our first priority.

      And yet doing so proves lethal to young-earth creationism.

      Thus, the only other alternative that I see is to reject any and all contextual studies regarding Genesis in favor of a personally satisfying and traditional viewpoint that is at odds not only with scripture itself, but also ancient near eastern literature and almost every major field of science known to man.

      I am of the mindset that studying nature is a form of worship to God, and that we have reasonably understood God’s creation since the advent of science. This study of God’s natural revelation reveals to us that the universe is not young and that special creation did not occur.

      That is what I know now, and where I stand. I confess I don’t have answers for everything from a theological perspective (but someone else might), but that does not dissuade me from the belief that I think they exist. After all, God is the author of both nature and scripture, so properly understood there should be no irreconcilable differences.

    • Kara Kittle

      I would assume Adam was literal as he has literal descendants….hence….”These are the generations of Jesus Christ” going backwards from Him to Adam….so either all the people were just sock puppets in a story book and all the Jews are really Gentiles…or they were real people. Why is it so hard to believe Adam could be literal?

      I mean think about it, suppose we could time travel and go back 4,000 years and tell people we talk to others around the world in an instance and we cook our food in 2 minutes or less and we can travel across the land in less than a day, do you think they would believe us? What would make our present reality real to them? But to think, what if someone in the future came to us…would we believe them? So why all the fuss over whether Adam was literal? Of course he was, just because we don’t know his username or email addy does not mean he did not exist.

    • Kara Kittle

      If they had computers then, what do you suppose they would blog about? Wait…they did, it’s called the Bible.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Greg: “But to satisfy you, I will put forth a theory. Adam was a literal person, the first person indwelt with God’s image (whatever that could mean).”

      So Greg, are you making a “modern, wooden, strictly literal interpretation” like apostle Paul did when you say that Adam was a literal person?

    • Kara Kittle

      Adam was the first man “indwelt” with God’s image? Do you mean he had the spark of the divine?

    • Dennis Elenburg

      We could eliminate a lot of confusion on this topic if people would be honest about their presuppositions. If you’re bringing Darwinistic presuppositions to the table, you’ll hit irreconcilable differences with the Bible’s teaching of special creation. In fact, Darwinistic evolution cannot answer the origins questions at all, and there is no evidence for speciation from common decent due to natural selection. Dawinism is a competitive (false) philosophy that is irreconcilable with the special creation viewpoint taught in Scripture. It is a simple case of the law of non-contradiction at work. Choose this day whom you serve. They cannot both be true.

    • Greg


      You may enjoy this: http://www.online-literature.com/twain/3264/

      On a side note, there isn’t much evidence, if any, for the existence of writing in the time frame you are looking at. The scene was most likely dominated by oral storytelling before writing first came on the scene around 3500 BC.

      Also, I meant made in the image of God, and thus possessing the image of God within one’s self, i.e as a part of their humanity.


      I don’t think you read or understood anything previously that I have said.

      I theorized to satisfy you and cut you off where you were trying to take the discussion. I still maintain that I don’t entirely know yet how the opening chapters of Genesis should be approached. After all, contextual studies reveal that the way young-earthers interpret the creation account isn’t the way the original audience would have understood it. Why then do you seem so confident in maintaining your interpretation regarding Adam despite the fact that you missed the meaning of the creation account? Shouldn’t you be all the more cautious regarding the next three chapters?

      You seem to have a problem with my caution, and I think it is because it treads on your traditional beliefs.


      I’ve been very honest with my presuppositions.

      I won’t hit irreconcilable differences with the Bible, only your interpretation of it. Please understand that your interpretation is neither inspired nor infallible. Stop acting like it is.

      Of course evolution can not answer the questions of origins (I assume you mean life’s origins). That is the field of abiogenesis. If that is what you meant, than it would help if you did not confuse the two.

      On the origin of species and differentiation, evolution answers those questions very nicely. In fact, it is one of the most well-supported theories in all of science. I mentioned certain resources above that get into the details, and I would highly recommend them to you, especially the two video series at Beyond the Firmament.

      In fact, I won’t get into further discussion with you on this topic unless you take the time to watch them.

      If by special creation you mean fiat creation 6,000 years ago and the special creation of life, than yes, biology, geology, cosmology, astronomy, and physics all disagree with that. Good thing the Bible does too.

      Are you prepared to reject all that? Why don’t you just go back to geocentrism and reject all science that disagrees with a literal reading of the Bible like these people?


      They consider someone like you very liberal regarding interpreting the Bible!

      Why do you pick and choose what science you like and what you reject?

      This is not the law of non-contradiction, as the position on creation presented in the Bible is not mutually exclusive with evolution and an old universe.

      Various fallacies I’m seeing here are appeals to tradition, false dilemmas, and the most common of all Christian arguments against evolution, the straw man.

      I know whom I serve. The one who saved me, Jesus Christ.

      Dennis, I think it might be good not to add extra things to the Gospel.

    • Brian

      The question is,
      How does “I don’t believe that a snake talked but I do believe that aliens seeded our planet sit with you?”

      I believe a couple of points are necessary to flesh out the statement.
      1. One would need to decide whether to read the genesis creation account albeit the talking snake as literal or figuratively. If you decide a litral rendering of the text, do you in fact read the whole bible this way?

      2. True many other ANE interpretations of the creation story, flood etc. do align in many details, but one thing that separates the other fables from the biblical story is in the response of the deity to mankind. In short the other Gods are looking to extract some type of payment rendered, whereas the God of the bible makes a new covenant (actually continuing the covenant, but that’s another thread) so that mankind can flourish, of course obediently.

      3. I really do not think people at least 99 percent; do not appreciate the complexity and infiniteness of the creation. Really have you pondered distance and time on the cosmic scale. The numbers are exponentially to the 10th power and beyond for other galaxies such as ours and within those galaxies how many solar systems such as ours. I am not advocating life every where, I think it is special and unique sort of like the BSG’s last episode portrays. God doesn’t have to be limited to our way of thinking as being local in the cosmic sense and yet it seems, so it is recently with discoveries of other worlds, that perhaps our blue marble in the ocean of time and space is one of a kind. But I fall short of it being an exclusive only club. We just do not know. And as of late I have been challenged in my thinking from a Biblical worldview perspective, almost wavering in thought, asking, are we alone. My mind can not comprehend the vastness of the universe, yet I feel kindred to something more.

      4. at lastly given the context of groups of people that believe in God and those that perhaps have not found God. The challenge is uniquely 21st centuryish, if that is a word. I went to the Scifi site and checked out the forum on BSG. I was amazed how many people questioned God being introduced into the show and as usual people expanding upon the God theme, I say 50 -50. But what is unique is trying to tie the two together. Perhaps God is ex nihilo, perhaps this has happened before else where, maybe even here for the old earthers. The thing is, we need to be aware of all things in perspective as we move forward into a changing future. As such so will views of God change. We need to think outside the box and I suppose to not vehemently deny the possibility that life could arrive (or gotten a head start) from somewhere else. I believe one could hold that view and not be anthemia from Orthodox Christianity. Or just take the easy out and refer everyone to Deut. 29:29

    • rayner markley

      John CT (25): ‘The most difficult thing for atheists to explain is the beginning of the universe. The universe had a beginning and there is no non-theistic explanation for that.’

      On the other hand, maybe it didn’t have a beginning. Existence might be the default, and nothingness may be an unstable or impossible condition. In other words, there must always be something. That’s not what Bible writers believed, of course, writing that God is the uncreated one and He created the world out of nothing.

      But then, Bible writers also believed that night and day were produced by the sun’s travels over a stationary earth. And it was not important that Joshua understand what was actually happening when he commanded the sun and moon. The important thing was his faith; God worked with whatever belief Joshua had.

    • JoanieD

      TU&D said, “If you believe in the Virgin Birth and the Literal Resurrection of Jesus Christ, then why would a “talking snake” bother you?”

      I believe in the Virgin Birth and the Literal Resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet I believe that it is OK to either believe that Adam and Eve existed just as written about in Genesis or to believe that this was an allegory showing how God created us all to have perfect union with him and we chose to go astray. I know that some folks will say we can’t pick and choose what is literal in the Bible and what is not. BUT…I am willing to bet that 99.9 percent of Christians will believe there is SOMETHING in the Bible that did not happen literally. Did Lot’s wife really turn into a pillar of salt? If you don’t think so, then you too do not believe that EVERYTHING is to be taken literally in the Bible. Then it’s just a matter of what percent you don’t think is literal. If you think none of it happened, then it would sound like you would not be a Christian in the sense of beliefs found within the Nicene or Apostles Creed.

      That’s just my two cents worth…

      Joanie D.

    • Dennis Elenburg

      Gary wrote:

      > Please understand that your interpretation is neither
      > inspired nor infallible. Stop acting like it is.

      And pray tell how am I acting like I’m infallible?

      > In fact, I won’t get into further discussion with you
      > on this topic unless you take the time to watch them.

      Are these the inspired and infallible videos that will set me straight?

      > Why don’t you just go back to geocentrism and reject
      > all science that disagrees with a literal reading of
      > the Bible like these people?
      > http://www.fixedearth.com/
      > http://www.geocentricity.com/
      > They consider someone like you very liberal regarding
      > interpreting the Bible!

      Are pejorative attacks like this necessary or even befitting someone who claims to be a Christ follower?

      > Dennis, I think it might be good not to add
      > extra things to the Gospel.

      Where did I even mention the Gospel, much less add to it?

      > I know whom I serve. The one who saved me, Jesus Christ.

      I would find it easier to believe this, Gary, if your profession matched your behavior in this forum.


    • Steve in Toronto

      Dennis relax the way you took me apart in post number 15 suggests your last person to throw stones about hyperbole (calling attention to a dyslexic’s grammar in a blog post is a low blow-especially considering our hosts weakness). It may be hard for you to believe but even great men of God can confuse there own interruptions for the obvious word of God consider the following quotes:

      “People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool [or ‘man’] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

      “Those who assert that ‘the earth moves and turns’… [are] motivated by ‘a spirit of bitterness, contradiction, and faultfinding;’ possessed by the devil, they aimed ‘to pervert the order of nature.'”

      If you haven’t guessed the first quote is from Martin Luther and the second was from John Calvin. Both men were convinced that The Copernican model of the heliocentric universe was contrary to the revealed word of God. Please try to be a bit more humble just because it seem obvious to you what a text means doesn’t mean there might not be other interpretation that previous (or later) generations of Christians (or even Christians in other traditions) would find much more convincing. Thay may even be right.


      Steve in Toronto

    • Dennis Elenburg


      I’m very sorry for hurting your feelings. I wasn’t trying to take apart your grammar but improve the readability just like whoever put in the brackets in the two quotes you just lifted from Luther & Calvin. However, I guess since those dudes are dead you won’t hurt their feelings. 😉


    • Kara Kittle

      Just for the sake of being the literalist in all this…I believe Lot’s wife became a real pillar of salt. LOL I am in that .01% who takes things literally. Well we know that Lot’s wife was not there with them in the cave, and btw, did Lot bring with him all that wine or did he get it along the way?

      Another question I have, the two lion faced men who fought with one of David’s warriors…they were Hittites and the Israeli’s knew what Hittites were so why the description here in the passage? Did these guys really look like lions? Hmmm, I don’t know but makes sense to me.

      Perhaps while C Michael Patton is reading books he can find one that also explains the Bermuda Triangle and Sasquatch…because it seems that Christians shy away from those issues. You know I am being silly, but it is true. When a Christian investigates those things, they tend to be a little shunned. But to pass off those things as nothing just makes a person who goes through experiences search within other religions to find those explanations.

      Alien seeding though..what a funny idea, but it is not new. Perhaps God is the alien? Because He is not from this planet? Question mark implies I am asking those who do not accept God to perhaps consider. Our views of aliens come from pop culture. If there are such advanced alien civilizations…why do they crash on our planet? If their technology is so great, why do they look for the people they do to do their experiments? Again, it’s a theory.

      But evolution is always called a theory. Because it is a pre-supposition that needs facts to support it, but too often the scientists will manufacture facts from nothing or tweak with them until they make the facts fit. Remember facts change, the truth never changes. I went to the Creation Science Museum and it was lovely there, everyone should go. I recommend it.

    • Kara Kittle

      I have Dyslexia also. Got your back on that one brother.

    • Dennis Elenburg

      >just because it seem[s] obvious to you what a text
      >means doesn’t mean there might not be other interpretation[s]

      I didn’t write the essay I linked to @ http://www.ittybittycomputers.com/Essays/Falsifiability.htm

      It was written in 1996 b/f I was even a Christian. I merely read it and found it compelling. I do know the author.

      > Please try to be a bit more humble

      Confidence in what I believe doesn’t negate humility. I’m willing to be corrected when presented with compelling evidence. So far I haven’t had an opportunity to do that. If you (or anyone) can rebut the conclusion that the author of this article makes, please email me at [email protected] and I’ll ensure the author receives your input.

      Waiting to be humbled,


    • Steve in Toronto

      Re: Dennis

      No harm to foul. I have long since stopped caring what people say about my spelling and grammar (in fact now I am grateful for it, since it spared me a likely career in law, I became an architect instead). The point I was trying to make was suggest we dial down the rhetoric a bit. I often wonder why it is that so many Christians seem to take such delight in declaring fellow believers heretics. One of the things I admire so much about our host is the delicate way Michael balances his own impeccably orthodox positions with a willingness to consider alternate opinions. We can all learn from his example.

      God Bless

      Steve in Toronto

    • Greg


      My name is Greg.

      “And pray tell how am I acting like I’m infallible?”

      Its typical among young-earth creationists to assume the plain, modern, post-enlightened Western understanding of Genesis in English as equal to God’s actual Word which originated in the ancient Near East 3,500 years ago in a culture and language that does not exist anymore. I’ve seen it done too often by that crowd. I question their understanding of scripture and they accuse me of questioning the authority of God’s Word. It seems they are unable to recognize the difference between actual scripture and the extra layer of interpretation that is placed on it.

      For example, you said “…you’ll hit irreconcilable differences with the Bible’s teaching of special creation.” and “Dawinism (sic) is a competitive (false) philosophy that is irreconcilable with the special creation viewpoint taught in Scripture.”

      Right here you are assuming your interpretation of the plain and literal words of Genesis are sufficient to reject evolution. You elevate your interpretation to the same level of scripture, blurring the distinction between the two. That is why I asked you to stop acting as if your interpretation was scripture itself.

      “Are these the inspired and infallible videos that will set me straight?”

      I never described them like that, but I do think they contain sufficient evidence for a theory that you do not understand. I think it is easy for you to oppose it because you do not understand it.

      Ignorance is bliss, and I think you are afraid of losing that bliss.

      “Are pejorative attacks like this necessary or even befitting someone who claims to be a Christ follower?”

      I think you completely missed the force of the argument I made.

      I placed you in a position that you cannot defend yourself against, except by ignoring it.

      Modern geocentrists reject just a little bit more science than you do, and read the Bible just a little bit more literally than you do.

      You are not a geocentrist because of the science you accept that tells you the earth rotates around the sun. You accept all the science that the church 500 years ago unanimously rejected as heresy. Steve’s quotes from Luther and Calvin can give you an idea of that.

      And here’s the kicker: You accept all the science that caused the church to reinterpret scripture so it would fit man’s understanding of the solar system. A new interpretation of scripture was only discovered because science made it necessary to find one.

      Because of that you better be incredibly cautious when you question who I serve when I, or anyone, reasonably use science to inform an interpretation of scripture.

      Unless you are a hardcore geocentrist, your words are bordering on hypocrisy.

      I hope you understand my argument now.

      “Where did I even mention the Gospel, much less add to it?”

      You said this previously:
      “…that is irreconcilable with the special creation viewpoint taught in Scripture. It is a simple case of the law of non-contradiction at work. Choose this day whom you serve. They cannot both be true.”

      You questioned who I served because I think evolution is true. You think evolution is at odds with scripture and because of that, it is impossible for one to serve God and believe in evolution. You made it a case of either/or. Either scripture and God, or evolution.

      Using this reasoning, it naturally follows that one cannot come to a saving faith and also believe in evolution. Thus, for one to come to a saving faith, one must first stop believing in evolution. You said it yourself: “They cannot both be true”.

      And that, Dennis, is adding an extra step to the Gospel. I see no such requirements in scripture.

      “I would find it easier to believe this, Gary, if your profession matched your behavior in this forum.”

      And it would seem that the only way this could be so, in your eyes, would be if I agreed wholeheartedly with you on these matters.

      I’m an intellectually honest man. I go where the evidence leads me. I’m also a man of faith. I trust the One who saved me. I trust Him in his special and natural revelation. I do not thing God deceives us, or that He made a universe that has the total appearance of great age but is in fact quite young.

      When I see people attempting to undermine the authority of scripture by interpreting it in ways that do not reflect the inspired author’s original intent, I think I have good reason to oppose them.

      When I see people attempting to muddy good science with ignorance, tradition, and dogma, than I also oppose them.

      I have backed up and explained all that I have said. I have given resources where appropriate (have you taken the time to understand them before you criticize?). I have clearly made known my position and I have not glossed over the difficulties it may bring. When I don’t know, I say as much. When I think people rely on ignorance instead of evidence, then I call them out on it.

      My behavior on this forum is completely appropriate. I think you only find fault with it because it is in opposition to you.

    • Greg


      “But evolution is always called a theory. Because it is a pre-supposition that needs facts to support it, but too often the scientists will manufacture facts from nothing or tweak with them until they make the facts fit. Remember facts change, the truth never changes. I went to the Creation Science Museum and it was lovely there, everyone should go. I recommend it.”

      If you would take the time, I would recommend these three videos: http://www.blog.beyondthefirmament.com/video-presentations/christianity-biology/

      They are some of the most clear presentations I have seen on the scientific method and the scope and proper use of it, evolution, and the various interpretations of the creation account in Genesis.

      These videos are good because you will at the least come away knowing more about your current position than you did going into it. That much was true for me at least.

    • Greg


      About the article you posted, the issue I have with it is that it assumes it can discern the meaning of the creation account independently of the cultural context the inspired author was writing in.

      I do not question the logic presented in the paper, only the initial premise, namely that one need only use the text at hand, in only its literary context, to discern what is meant by it. I think there is sufficient reason to reject this premise on the grounds that any text cannot be sufficiently understood independently of the culture that helped produce it. Literary conventions and nuances are often lost to foreign cultures.

      I’ve emphasized previously that if we do not understand the cultural context, which helps us understand the way things were communicated to people in the Ancient Near East, than we will inevitably miss the meaning of the text regardless of how well we understand its literary structure and words.

      It gets down to this: If the author did intend to convey a 144 hour creation week, what does it even matter? The significance of it all is lost on us because we are so far removed from the author and his audience in years, language, distance, and culture.

      I gave resources above in post #46 that go into this topic much deeper if you, or your author friend, are interested.

    • Brian

      By the way the sun orbits around inside the galaxy as does other galaxies that orbit around the universe.
      I think the term alien seeding is a little misleading, I believe. It tends to focus our attention to the little green men flying in their saucers.
      How do we really know that other civilizations of humanity have not come before us?
      Do we put God in a box and say God of the heaven and earth; I thought it was the Heavens & earth. It is a hard pill to swallow I submit, but the heavens (universe) is infinite in its own right, meaning that to us it seems infinite. Reading the OP from CMP and watching BSG for the 2nd time. Could humanity not have been helped along the way, even divinely guided? I can see how people can lose their faith, I question it sometimes myself in light of all the dividing within the church proper over issues that really how no bearing on a faith in God. There is a deeper mystery yet revealed and I suppose only in the next life will it be understood

    • Steve in Toronto

      This discussion has raised a number of questions that I (and I don’t think most Evangelicals don’t have clear answers for). To what extent does the bible interpret it’s self? Is it legitimate to interpret the Bible using contemporary ancient texts (or modern science?). What do we do with instances where later biblical writers seem to be reading the text in way that would seem alien to it original authors? It seems very likely to me that Paul is reading the creation texts in a much more literal way than there original author(s) intended. What does this do to our doctrine of inspiration? It’s not just the debate about various creation models that are impacted by these questions. The way that New Testament authors use the Old Testament has been tying bible scholars up in knots for years as one scholar (I think is was Peter Enns) said “One thing that we find using the historical grammatical method to study the New Testament is that the New Testament authors did not use the historical grammatical method”. A lot of the debate about the New Perspective on Paul focuses on the use of contemporary Jewish texts to interprete what Paul means when he talks about “the works of the law”. For too long Evangelicals have been pretending at these problems don’t exist. Its time we faced up to them.

      God Bless

      Steve in Toronto

    • Kara Kittle

      As a young-earth creationist myself, I often question why you would believe it would have to take millions of years, or hundreds of thousands of years to change a group of people. You say in your post
      “Its typical among young-earth creationists to assume the plain, modern, post-enlightened Western understanding of Genesis in English as equal to God’s actual Word which originated in the ancient Near East 3,500 years ago in a culture and language that does not exist anymore”

      Why would it take that long? And how do you know the language is not in use anymore? I have been studying languages and how they develop in other countries and the difference in accents over a span of time and place. It took less than 200 years for the American English to develop as it did for Australian English, but we have the same language parent. British English is itself less than 500 years old. John Wyclyffe translated the Bible still using the German in some words. We must understand that English is relatively new compared to other languages.

      Indo-European language groups developed out of Turkey and spread across the Balkans and across Russia. And as a matter of genetics, my brother just had his ancestral dna test done, and it shows up a migration pattern across Europe. The starting point…Turkey. Now why is this important to realize? Noah’s ark is believed to have settled on the Turkey-Armenian border. The mountains of Ararat are located there.

      How do evolutionary scientists deal with the dna proof of the 18 men and 7 daughters of Eve that all people come from? This is not conjecture, this is proven scientifically. That a person may have a mutation in his dna and does not mean he evolved or changed in a drastic way that would alter his descendants to make them more or less stronger or weaker than those around. Hence, micro-evolution is not a change in eye color or hair color.

      We were always told these changes were to help people adapt to the environment they moved to en masse . So Scandinavians have light hair and blue eyes to help them live in the Arctic environment. But we know that Innuit Indians also live in the Arctic and they are dark. So micro-evolution does not make sense in that aspect.

      So then from my question, why is it hard to accept that God created Earth and people just had more children and populated the Earth? Why does it have to take so long? We know from dna and language formation it only takes a few hundred years to change a group of people.

      I have to say though trying to understand dna is hard because it is so technical with all the YStrands and alleles and DYS numbers and haplotype predictors. It involves a lot of numbers and math. I have dyscalculia and cannot work with numbers. But the map that my brother received from the commercial testing company shows very plainly a line of related people in a pattern across Europe.

      This line incidentally is in tandem with the myth stories of Ireland, that a King Milesius of Spain had come from Galatia and migrated across Europe into Ireland. What is exciting about this is that we can see it clearly. And it did not take 5,000 years to accomplish this. Imagine our surprise in discovering we are not R1b1, but we are A1b2, from the Balkans and related to lots of people in Ireland…which Irish are considered R1b1. Does it not make me Irish now? My great-grandfather was from Ireland. Blue eyes by the way are a recessive trait. Does that mean I have blue eyes to help me adapt to the environment I am in? No, because surprisingly, there are some African groups who have blue eyes as well.

    • Brian

      I believe it is safe to say that the earth and everything from it, is at least older than 6,000 yrs as a Y.E. position would adhere to.
      Observational science has shown through i.e. core samples from ice (Antarctica, Greenland, and other local) Tree rings and Geological layers of sediment.
      With that in mind, is it unconceivable to believe the Earth is ancient?
      I do not deny God, Christ or anything Biblical from a Christian/Biblical worldview, if any, it is the only plausible explanation, considering the very nature (sinful) of man.
      Mankind needs a divine guidance in all matters of faith and a redemptive figure to reconcile man unto the creator. May it be that what we have as inspired texts are the result of a view that only fits into their time frame? If for example in Ezekiel the prophetic was of the 21st century would they understand or in Isaiah, would it be explainable in their terms?
      Honestly there is much tension here for me. I do not disown the Christian worldview that I believe in, but I sometimes feel I am disowned by the very thing that other fundamental legalistic minds would label a heretic and consider me different or non-Christian I suppose.
      There is just not enough evidence both historical and biblical to form a decisive position.
      I believe God did set aside a people to procreate, to follow the one true God. I just can’t come to grips with the thought we are the only ones, in this giant soup bowel of a universe. I am not talking the alien thing but rather other humanoids else where.
      Back to earth though, here is an interesting link to Mitochondrial Eve strictly from a scientific view, interesting to say the least.


    • Dennis Elenburg


      Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please email me at [email protected] if you’re willing to continue this discussion thread in private email. I have more questions that are off topic from the original question Michael Patton posed.

      I’ll try to watch the “Beyond the Firmament” videos this coming week.

      -Dennis Elenburg

    • Steve in Toronto

      Re: Kara Kittle
      I hesitate to address your points since I am not a scientist but I don’t think you understand how micro-evolution actually works. The reason that blond hair and blue eyes are so common in Scandinavia is not that they offer an evolutionally advantage. It seems likely that at some point during that last ice age the people that we now call Caucasians were almost completely wiped out (I think this is the finding that you were referring to when you talk about the sons and daughters of eve). Among the few that survived was a large proportion of people who possessed the genetic mutation that gave them blond hair and blue eyes this mutation would have been a crippling disability in Africa but in northern Europe it really didn’t mater so the genes persisted. Once the ice receded the population of people that we now call Caucasians exploded since they had a continent to themselves and no real competition from other people groups. Resent research suggests that these people did however possess another mutation that is less obvious than there blond hair and blue eyes and this one did give them a real competitive edge. These people where lactose tolerant and were able to build extremely efficient dairy based economies (unlike there rivals in the south and east). The suggestion of these studies is that the human race is still evolving.

      I often wonder why so many young earth creationists feel free to “cherry pick” evidence that appears to support there positions. If what they believe is true modern genetics is a “broken clock that is right twice a day”. To admit that science has anything useful to say about the origin of the human race would seem to me to buy into a series of assumptions that if carried to there obvious conclusions would undermine their position entirely.

      God bless and like I said I am not a scientist (or theologian for that mater) just a interested layman


      Steve in Toronto

    • Greg


      I was referring to the Hebrew language, how the form used 3,500 years ago is nothing like modern Hebrew used today. Think of the differences between Olde English and modern English and you can have an idea of the changes that occur as languages age.

      I’m not very familiar with population genetics, but the articles Steve posted seem to delve into that sufficiently.

      I found this one too that touches on that idea and the Mt. Ararat idea: http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB621.html

      I also want to point out that the field of genetics has provided more hard evidence for evolution than any other field.

    • […] Saw this while browsing the other day. I also spend much time going through atheistic websites and blogs, […]

    • John Healy

      Its that you dont believe a snake talked….i dont believe that god created everything in 7 days,before he created everything,there was nothing sooo where the hell did god come from IF there was nothing. Logically you cannot make something from absolutely nothing. So my question is… HOW DID GOD COME FROM NOTHING TO BEGIN WITH?

      If a suggestion like this was posted already i apologise,i didnt read all the posts. Its my opinion

    • Susan

      The only ‘something (someone)’ who existed was God Himself. He has ALWAYS existed. He created the heavens and the earth from nothing. He spoke them into existence. He is all powerful, with no physical limits. I wouldn’t worship a God who wasn’t.

    • John

      In Catholic grade school in the 1940s, we studied a little book titled The Baltimore Catechism. One question in it was: “Where is God?” Its answer: “God is everywhere.” In my 70-some years since, this answer has tempered my approach to theology, philosophy, etc.
      Think about it: If God is everywhere, He, She or It (maybe they?) is integral with all that exists — you, me, clothing, food, bacteria, the cosmos, et. al. — what you might call “all of God’s creatures.” To me, God is everybody, everything and probably — at least possibly — plenty more. This is why I find Athiestic arguments hard to accept.
      And I believe in a “personal god.” Who or what is more personal than someone or something integral with every molecule and atom of me, you, them, everything? Its logical God would communicate with people, animals, bacteria, trees, rocks, planets, stars, whatever. And logical someone would pray to (converse with) God.
      As for Darwin’s scientific findings and the theory that God created everything, I fail to see any serious disagreement, except for philosophical nit-picking. As for the belief the world was made in so-many “days,” I ask, “What is a day? What would be a ‘day’ on a planet a million or trillion light years away?”
      The Bible’s chapter of Genesis indicates things were created in an orderly fashion. It doesn’t say God made Adam and Eve and then suddenly the Earth appeared beneath their feet a “day” later, and on next “day” the moon and starts popped into existence. If anything, Genesis begins of the story of evolution.
      To accept what’s printed in a Bible or any other “sacred text” simply doesn’t recognize they have been handed down, copied and recopied, translated and retranslated, etc. Even in the English language, there are a dozen versions currently available. Neither Moses nor Christ ever said the words Three and Thou, no matter how sacred they might sound to us. Best we can hope for is that the gist of what’s in sacred scripture has been preserved.
      Whether the Holy Koran, the Torah, the Nicene Creed, the Book of Mormon, ancient Egyptian carvings, Asop’s Fables or whatever, these contain what scholars have declared the Wisdom of the Ages. We ignore or misinterpret them at our peril.

    • David Drake

      Ummm…but where did the Aliens come from? Did Aliens implant them? And where did those Aliens come from?

    • Sharon

      Dennis, if you read the book of Genesis, you find all kinds of scripture that support both the “creation theory” and the involvement of aliens upon the Earth. I won’t start quoting, out of respect for time and the 100 word limit, but just go read Genesis with a fresh, objective, open eye, and you will see what I am talking about. As for the talking snake — the Jews historically have a great penchant for using metaphor, analogy and parables to get a point across.

    • Bible Study

      Do they believe that serpent still speaks today, because he does. Revelation calls him that old serpent, the devil. He is alive and well and is speaking today to all who will follow him.

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