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Re: Mammalian ear

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  • Truman
    - ... evolved. ... Throwing suffixes on Darwin is a smoke and mirrors. It is not a question of did life evolve, but how did life evolved. IDer s are
    Message 1 of 116 , Jan 5, 2013
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      -

      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "D R Lindberg" wrote:
      >
      >
      > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Truman: "They are papers about how the ear works, not how it
      evolved."
      > >
      > > Precisely. That's why I called attention to those papers. When the
      > complex functionality of the mammalian ear is explained (as it was,
      > however incompletely, in those papers), the Darwininan explanation of
      > how the mammalian ear came into being is seen to be incomplete and
      > unsatisfactory.
      >
      > Darwin is dead. Has been for as long as I can remember. So any
      > "Darwinian explanation" is not necessarily relevant to today's
      > science.

      Throwing suffixes on "Darwin" is a smoke and mirrors.

      It is not a question of did life evolve, but how did life evolved.
      IDer's are basically making an argument that if you can't show how life
      evolved, it did not evolve, or examples of hypotheses to explain how
      life evolved have errors, so life shares no common ancestry

      You don't find a significant number of scientists questioning common
      ancestry of life, but questioning lineages of the common ancestry of
      life.

      > Please detail for us how the "intelligent design theory" explains
      > "how the mammalian ear came into being."

      The answer to that question is this:

      "Common Design" *

      *DISCLAIMER: Intelligent Design is only in the business of "detecting
      design" (and discussing Evolution News & Views by presenting limited or
      erroneous information cherry picked from science journals) , not in
      explaining what are unique or "uncommon designs". For example: Whales
      and terrestrial mammals do not share common ancestry, but we can't tell
      you when a "whale" is a "whale", and where the line is drawn to that
      transition.

      Now watch this video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3yDOp8Dv8Y

      > Please describe how this is more useful and less "incomplete and
      > unsatisfactory" than precious explanations.

      It is all part of a bigger strategy. As Phillip Johnson put it, the
      "Father of Intelligent Design" put it:

      "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get
      the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God,
      before the academic world and into the schools."

      Truman




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • osoclasi
      GL: In that case, it is not surprising that the biblical authors expressed themselves in terms of an ANE cosmology as this was a widepread and deep worldview
      Message 116 of 116 , May 3 10:23 AM
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        GL: In that case, it is not surprising that the biblical authors expressed themselves in terms of an ANE cosmology as this was a widepread and deep worldview for which they had no alternative. It was, apparently, easier to switch from a polytheistic to a monotheistic view than to envision a different cosmology such as one that would conceive of the earth as a planet moving through space.

        Response: Well if Yahweh actually appeared to Moses and told him that there was now only one God, then it wouldn't be a belief based upon it being easier, but rather revelation. Also, you have two different metaphysical views of the cosmos. Once you start dealing with the nature of the universe, it's origins and how did it get here, along with it's structure. You start coming up with entirely different answers when comparing the BIblical models vs the other ANE views. Actually when you compare other ANE with each other you start coming up with different answers.
        ===============================
        GL: Sorry, but just because one gets rid of the extraneous gods, one does not get rid of the physical reality they represented. So "firmament" is not foreign to the text at all, as any standard lexicon of Hebrew tells us. Here are two I found on line:

        Response: Well I think it does it goes towards it's origin and it's actual essence (i.e. what it's made of.) For example you see the RAQIYA as something solid, while the Egyptians saw it as a cow being held up by other deities. (goddess nut) Two totally different concepts.

        GL:From Genesius: and From Strongs (based on Brown-Driver-Briggs, Genesius) *snip*
        I don't have direct access to Brown-Driver-Briggs nor to Kittel. I expect you own a copy and can look it up. But I do have several English translations (all of which were made by people expert in the Hebrew language) and that, in addition to "firmament" and "expanse" the Hebrew is translated by "dome" and "vault".

        None of this, nor anything else in scripture tells me that "firmament" is "foreign" to the biblical text.

        Response: Well speaking towards the lexical support you're using. S tarting with Strong's, his lexicon is not the most accurate. I don't even think he was a Hebrew scholar at all, I wasn't even allowed to use him in seminary. If we did, we'd fail the assignment. With regards to Genesius, I'd agree with to spread out by beating and, simply, to spread out e.g. God, the earth (as in Isaiah 42:5) with regards to the cognate and because the cognate doesn't necessarily have to be solid, I'd challenge him with regards to the noun being something solid. (we challenged lexicons all the time while in school based upon word studies.)

        Secondly, you have the RAQIYA being called the "heavens." Birds flying in it. God is often seen as sitting in the heavens, Absalom was hanging between the heavens and the earth (2 Sam 18:9), here heavens means great heights. And lastly, how would we take Gen 1:7? Wouldn't that mean that the firmament started at the surface of the waters?
        =============================
        GL: Ma'at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%27at
        Nor any other of the deities of polytheism. But nothing about Ma'at has anything to do with the nature of the sky, the shape of the earth or the relative positions/motions of sun & earth. No underworld is mentioned in Genesis 1, but you are certainly aware that the Hebrew cosmology did include an underworld called Sheol. That which holds up the earth, as we have seen several times , are called "foundations" None of these ideas are read into the text. They ARE the text. You have to reject a literal, face-value reading to remove them.

        Response: Well Ma'at regulated the stars, so it did have to do with the nature of the sky. It's sort of an "ordering" principle so things don't go to chaos. The underworld in Egyptian mythology had an actual location, Sheol doesn't. It's a non corporeal place not specifically located anywhere. Foundations is more of imagery of God doing work of creation as opposed to their actually being something holding the world up.

        GL: Now, I have no quarrel with rejecting a literal reading of the text. I just quarrel with the dishonesty of not admitting this is what you are doing. Especially when you will then turn around and say something else equally different from the plain text of scripture, cannot be accepted because the text is plain and to be accepted as such.

        That is inconsistent interpretation.

        Response: Actually, I think you haven't really done an intense study on these subjects, just more of a general reading of a passage and it made sense to you to understand it that way, rather than doing a word study and collecting all of the data of the text. So what you're seeing as me being dishonest is actually the result I think of you not expecting answers that challenge something you thought was pretty straight forward understanding of the text.
        ==========================

        GL: Some people have personal idiosyncratic worldviews, but those are not particularly important. The worldviews that have major impact are the ones that dominate the view of a whole society. Those are the ones a person often doesn't even realize are worldviews. They are perceived as "just the way things are".

        Response: I'm going to have to fight you on this one, I use to say, "how you view God is how you live your life." A person's individual worldview is huge because as we've just witness with bombings in Boston, those two individuals had a different worldview than mainstream Americans and have done major damage.
        ==========================
        GL: Moses would know better than to use that argument, since Moses would be aware that the gods of polytheism had beginnings but were still considered gods. Unless people already accept the proposition that "a god has no beginning" it means nothing to them, theologically, that the stars had a beginning. The polytheists of Moses' time did not accept the proposition that "a god has no beginning". Their stories about their gods were all about the beginnings (and sometimes endings) of gods.

        Response: And once again, it proves that we are talking about entirely different worldviews. Genesis therefore should not be seen as a copy or even a borrowing of other societies, but rather a polemic.

        =========================

        GL: Moses says the stars are set in the `raqiya'. How does this differ from the cosmology of the ANE culture? What does Moses say to suggest the stars are beyond the sun and moon (which are also set in the `raqiya')?

        Response: Well in ANE culture, the stars were actually deities, so I'd imagine they were able to talk, move, give birth to other deities, they had personalities, had emotions etc. So in one setting you have them being inanimate, and in the other you may say that they were set in the sky, but if they are capable of moving around, what's stopping them from coming down to earth and causing mischief?
        ==========================
        GL: When envisioning the shape of the cosmos, the Egyptians saw the earth as a flat expanse of land, personified by the god Geb, over which arched the sky goddess Nut. The two were separated by Shu, the god of air. Beneath the earth lay a parallel underworld and undersky, and beyond the skies lay the infinite expanse of Nu, the chaos that had existed before creation.[22] The Egyptians also believed in a place called the Duat, a mysterious region associated with death and rebirth, that may have lain in the underworld or in the sky. Each day, Ra traveled over the earth across the underside of the sky, and at night he passed through the Duat to be reborn at dawn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_religion#Cosmology

        Note the accompanying image of the cosmos, in which the body of Nut (goddess of the sky) forms the firmament.

        Response: Yeah but Nut is being held up by other deities, and she's alive, I think she's a cow. That's hugely different from even what you think the biblical writers say. Because according to this, she's (the sky) being held up by Shu, the god of air, in your view, the firmament is not being held up by air, it is the sky, you just think it's solid. So once again, these are two different concepts.

        GL:The biblical writers, like the Egyptians, saw the sun as moving across the `raqiya' each day and traveling back to its rising point again during the night. The Egyptians saw the sun itself as a god (and the sky as well, and the earth).

        Response: So wait, you're saying the Sun traveled on the back of a cow? Now that's weird. But I don't see the whole sun moving as being a problem because even today we make such descriptions. But again, the difference is 1) I don't think the biblical writers thought it was solid. 2) I don't see it being held up by other deities. Now if you want to argue pillars, the difference again, even if I granted you that would be Shu is air, so Nut is not equivalent to the Ha'shamyim (heavens which includes air.)

        GL: Now, remove the names of the gods. Show the earth and sky as earth and sky not as god and goddess. You have exactly the same picture. The bible says the sun and the sky and the earth are things God created, creatures, not gods. But Hebrews and Egyptians agreed on the arrangement of sky, earth and sun and on the position and motion of the sun.

        Response: Well one could make the argument like this one on any given culture because if you look up at the sky we'd see similar things. That's why the theology becomes important because it answers the question of what they thought those things actually were and as we can see, they're entirely different.
        ===============================

        GL: All he has to do is read the text. All he has to do is understand "foundations" where it says "foundations" "pillars" where it says "pillars" and so on. You have to reject the literal meaning of these terms to remove the concepts.

        Sometimes, there is a good reason to reject a literal meaning, but I haven't found one yet in these cases.

        Response: Well if you do a study on these terms throughout the Bible and look for consistency, you'd see that foundations isn't something holding the earth up and neither are pillars. Hence the reason why those passages you've put up so far can be answered without that understanding and make total sense.

        ======================
        GL: Agreed. Basic meaning "to broaden, make broad" As a noun "the breadth". Only one English version uses "expanse".

        Response: Yeah but it doesn't have to be solid either, just like RAQIYA doesn't have to be solid. Now the earth is solid, but not the actual verb that is expanding.
        ========================
        GL: Ridiculour hair-splitting.

        Response: No it's not, its a verb with an object. I think even you can agree with that one. The only thing solid is the earth.

        GL: Yeah, sure. Just like arguing that if oil and milk are both liquids you can substitute one for the other when you are cooking.

        Response: Not quite, you'd have to argue that the firmament was actually solid ground in order for you to be consistent. Hence the reason, even with the lexical support it just doesn't add up. Doing an intense word study proves my point.

        GL: The most natural thing to expand or extend is material: like stretching a rubber band, expanding a waistline on a pair of pants, extending a pier, etc. So it is certainly suggestive of something solid. Can't rule it out. Especially as the object of one of the verbs is indisputably solid.

        Response: Sure the object is solid, but the actual verb isn't. And link that with ALL of the data that we've collected, we know that it's not. It's called the skies or heavens, birds fly through it, it's parallel to another verb which also means to stretch out, it can't start at the surface of the water. etc

        GL: Absolutely. `raqiya' can refer to anything that is "beaten thin" "spread out (or extended) by being beaten to a thinness". So another word based on the same root means "a thin cake or wafer". The verb is used explicitly with the meaning of beating metal into thin plates or leaves in Exodus 39:3 (they beat the gold into thin plates and cut it into wires) and in Numbers 16:39 (describing bronze censors made into "broad plates". Job, no doubt, is alluding to the same process when he describes the sky as "firm and hard as a mirror made of molten brass". So whether it is bread, or earth or metal or whatever, as long as it is a "thin-beaten-out, extended/expanded thing" it fits the definition of `raqiya'.

        Response: Yeah but with all of that, you no longer have anything non solid that we can even walk through. If it can mean earth, then you have a solid object that we can't even walk around, the whole world is now a big block.

        GL: What does not fit the definiton of `raqiya' is air or space. Air is enclosed within the `raqiya' and separates the earth from the sky. "Space" as we think of it, had no place in ancient cosmologies at all. Even the infinities of above and below were filled by the primordial waters of chaos.

        Response: Actually I listed the Egyptian God that represented air earlier, air had a place in ancient cosmology. Shu was his name. But again, it's clear that when we take the data (see above) air is included.
        ======================
        GL: Isaiah says nothing that suggests emptiness or space as characteristic of what is being spread out. In fact, the parallellism here (stretched out the heavens/spread out the earth) suggests he sees these as being parallel processes in similar materials. Both involve some thing (not emptiness) that is spread or stretched or extended.

        Response: No because heavens and earth are just objects of the verb, not the verb itself, it just means stretch out and given the data where God is causing a separation in Genesis, it's obvious that the separation is air.

        GL: That's my point. The two verbs are synonyms and both carry the idea of some tangible thing being spread or stretched out. In one case it is the earth (which is clearly tangible) and in the other it is the sky (which the ancients viewed as equally tangible—if one could get near it.)

        Response: Nope, you're reading the objects into the verb. The verb just means to stretch out, hence the reason why most modern translations just use "expanse."

        GL: Actually, what you are saying here is totally beside the point. We are agreed the biblical writers saw as creations what their neighbours saw as gods. Yet there is no indication the Hebrews developed a different view of the basic structure of the cosmos. What they are made of (divine essence, material creation) is not the point. Structure is about how the elements relate to one another. Sky above, earth beneath, waters above and below; Sky stretched out above and supporting the waters above; earth stretched out below on the waters below, supported by foundations. Air separating earth and sky. Sun, moon and stars set within the vault of the sky and moving through it daily/nightly.

        This, or some portion of this, is what is plainly set out in every scriptural text describing or alluding to the layout of the cosmos. And no amount of special pleading changes that.

        Response: No one is special pleading, but I'm not sure how you harmonize the firmament being held up by the sky in Egyptian mythology even with your view. But sky above earth below is in every culture no matter who you are, you just see it that way. I've gone over the foundation stuff, I'm not so sure if the gods holding up Nut is the same thing as foundations though.
        =========================

        GL: So, I take it you now consider Genesis 7 to be "merely poetic"?

        Response: No just using imagery, like that in Mal 3:10.
        ==========================
        GL: But nothing in the biblical text tells you that the sky is made of air. Nor did anyone conceive such a thing prior to Copernicus. So where do you get the idea that the expanse called "sky" in the biblical text is an expanse of air?

        Response: Oh certain verses such as the one with Absalom, he's hanging between the air and the earth. 2 Sam 18:9, Ez 8:3 talks about God lifting him between the hashamayim (sky) and earth. He's literally being carried through something not solid, but rather air. In Gen 11:4 the tower reached towards the heavens (i..e reaching up to the sky), Moses reached his hands up towards the sky in Ex 9:22.
        ==========================

        GL: Oh? You don't think Moses' Egyptian teachers taught about Ma'at and Nut and Geb and Ra? Why would you think they taught something different? Seems that when we get down to the root of your ideas, they all rest on wishful thinking. The best teachers of ancient Egypt (since they taught the royal children) don't teach Egyptian ideas to a young prince of Egypt. The biblical writers by some mysterious process knew modern astronomy, yet chose to hide that information from their readers.

        You are living in a dream world.

        Response: No I meant they taught something different than what Moses was expressing in Pentateuch.
        ==========================
        GL: Yes, they do. That is why they use those images, because as they see it, that is what the sky is like: it is like a tent, it gets spread out like a tent. It is like a mirror made of brass; it gets hammered out and spread out as the smith hammers and spreads out the brass for a mirror, and then cooled and hardened into something firm. It is a `raqiya': a thing beaten out or stretched or spread into a thin expanse of whatever material it is made of. (When reference is made to the material the sky is made of, it is usually compared to sapphire, because of its blueness; in later times, the Greeks conceived the idea of crystal spheres.)

        Response: No, they are just using the imagery of something that is spread so that the readers can get a visual. This should be obvious since even in your statement you have listed three different things here all of which the ancient supposedly thought the sky was. 1: Tent 2: Mirror made of glass 3: Sapphire.
        ==========================

        GL: I think that even in ancient times, people were aware that birds did not fly as high as the sun itself, though the eagle was said to be able to look at it. So no danger of birds running into the firmament. `raqiya' is connected to solidity, and usually to the solidity of metal, though metal beaten out very thin to cover a wide expanse. So the exegetical issue is whether there is textual support for breaking that connection. I can understand an emotional need to break that connection. I don't see the exegetical case for breaking it.

        Response: No need for emotional connections because the text says they flew 'AL PENE RAQIYA = in the skies. So here whatever you think the RAQIYA was, the birds flew in it.
        ===============================



        GL: Your reluctance to seek out evidence which you know is non-existent is agreement enough.

        Response: Well that would take an extraordinary amount of time. It's not that serious.
        =================================
        GL: And as far as I can see, all you have ever learned about genre is that some texts are poetry and some are narrative. (There are, of course, many genres besides these two as well as poetic narrative). You have also acquired the most simplistic notion that anything and everything in poetry is figurative and never to be understood as the literal intent of the author, while anything and everything in narrative is literal and historical. That is unbelievably distorted to the point of outright falsehood. Any exegesis based on such poor understanding of genre is bound to be incorrect.

        Response: Well I'm just being brief because I know it will go into another post. I know there are a variety of different genres, such as epistle or narrative, parable, poetic, apocalyptic etc. Even within the Psalms, we have royal, Messianic, praise and worship, prayers and hymns etc. All of which have certain patterns to them, once you see the pattern you interpret accordingly. I jus t don't want to go off on some other rabbit trail.
        ===================================

        GL: See above. You have to stop merely asserting genre and show the actual application of it. It had better be more than poetry=figurative, prose=literal, because that is hogwash.

        Response: Well for example, in Hebrew poetry such as the Psalms. Since these are prayers towards God, they are meant to be emotive and contain a ton of parallelism where the second line repeats the first line, both lines are meant to express one idea. The second line doesn't give a different meaning than the first, they are together. 2) these are musical poems so part of it is meant to evoke emotions rather than propositional thinking. 3: A lot of the words are metaphorical, such as talks of mountains skipping like rams or God being described as a fortress, shield, rock, and a shepherd. 4: Throw on top of that you have different types of Psalms such as Messianic, royal, hymns of praise, thanksgiving etc.
        ============================

        GL: Yeah, sure. I just spent four years studying literature and more years teaching it and I don't know genre. Tell me another one.

        Response: Well yeah, you have to interpret epistles differently than you would a proverb.

        GL: What we know is not the point. The point is what did the biblical writers know? What did they intend their readers to understand?

        What we also know is that throughout ancient and medieval and into early modern times, it was understood that the `shamayim' was a solid structure. That is why all the biblical images of it are images of something materially solid. That is why art works of those times depicted it as something solid. That is why the philosophers spoke of it in terms of crystal spheres.

        Response: Well technically, if they were going to draw air, there would be nothing on the page. They had to draw something solid.
        ==========================

        GL: The `raqiya' made in Genesis is the `shamayim'. And I don't think there is a case where "firmament" is used of anything other than the heavens.

        Response: But it seemed as if you were separating them, ok.

        GL: I have pointed it out. You use one set of so-called hermeneutical principles to squeeze modern science, such as post-Copernican and Big Bang cosmology into an ancient text whose writers had no inkling of such things. Then you use a completely different set of so-called hermeneutical principles to avoid doing the same thing with evolution.

        Now, if one insists on treating the bible as a science text, it would be consistent to include both modern astronomy (and geology) and biology (i.e. evolution). It is also consistent to exclude all modern science.

        What is not consistent is your position which tries to include some modern science and to exclude some modern science. You are trying to have it both ways at once exegetically and it just does not wash.

        Response: I don't think so at all, I just think you are underestimating the ancients in this regard. I think they were on to a lot of stuff that you're not giving them credit for.
        =================================
        GL: Since you have never actually delved into the science, you do not know that this is true. You have merely read some philosophy said to be based on evolution (yes, some of it by scientists) and assumed this was the case. Until you actually look at the science, you don't know if their philosophical conclusions are warranted.

        Response: Well unfortunately, what you call "actual science" is what is being described. I just either listen to what is said or read what is written, and it's a philosophy, not a science.
        ============================
        GL: Personal opinion based on ignorance of the science and a superficial reading of unsupported philosophical opinion. Also begs the question of what a biblical worldview is.

        Response: Not at all, because it's based upon what is actually written, which I've quoted here, not my personal opinion. Can't call it ignorant, because those are direct quotes. And the biblical worldview has three parts like any other worldview, and once you use the text to answer those three questions, it becomes obvious that evolution and it are on two totally different paths.
        ==============================
        GL: Your simplistic concept of poetry=non-literal and prose=literal inspires no confidence in your capacity to interpret any text in terms of its genre.

        Response: See above.

        GL: Oops, you forgot to put in what I was responding to: namely

        So, your only real argument is wishful thinking, with not a shred of evidence or
        logic to support it. Totally ad hoc personal speculation.

        Response: Not at all, I've gone through what the ancients have written and done the labor of not just a quick glance at the text, but gone through all of what was said and come to a conclusion. Hence the reason I can give you such clear answers :)

        GL: You have certainly not shown by any exegesis whatsoever that any aspect of modern science was known to the biblical writers or that they were not taking their own words as actual descriptions of the cosmos as they knew it. Yes, you do need to find out how people of the past thought of the text, especially the people who wrote it, because that is key to understanding the text.

        Response: Actually I have, I've gone through every single passage you've given me and answered them individually based upon context. You're just rejecting them and not offering any refutation of what I've written but just denying what I've written. Which leads me to believe that my answers are actually satisfactory since no rebuttal is being put forth.


        GL: Apparently, you don't know the difference between studying a language and studying linguistics. Linguistics is not a study of any one language in particular but of the tools used in language to express thought. It is applicable to all languages. Neither Greek nor Hebrew grammar are different from linguistics. They are both described by linguistics. As are the grammars of any other language.

        Response: Apparently, you're going off on another topic. Which we can get into later on in another post about linguistics.
        =====================

        GL: The Copernican worldview was also entirely different from the biblical worldview. Yet it was harmonized with the biblical worldview. Using the same principles, many Christians have harmonized an evolutionary view with a biblical worldview. It is inconsistent to say worldviews cannot be harmonized when we have an historical example of when they were.

        Response: Yeah but harmonizing according to TE is to not take anything literally and flip the Bible on it's head to where none of it makes sense. I've seen you at work. :)

        GL: So we have got your conclusion, which is not shared by most of the world's experts in biblical Hebrew, but no indication of why your conclusion is valid. Where are the premises on which this conclusion is based? Where is the evidence and the logic by which it is supported?

        Response: Actually it is shared by most Hebrew experts, check your NIV translation, your NET translation, your NASB, your ESV.
        =======================

        GL: Talking about begging the question. The point is to discover what the original author and the original readers understood the sky to be. We can't assume they thought of the sky as we do. Especially as we have historical records to show that was not the case.

        Response: I've gone through this one already.
        =======================



        GL: Have you even read the whole essay that came from? (I have, by the way) Gould is not making the point you think he is. He is not referring to evolution as philosophy. And when you read more of Gould, you will quickly find that he considers evolution to be very sound science---quite the opposite of "not based on anything scientific". And that he was more than irked by the way anti-evolutionists misquote him as you have done here.

        Response: Well he's making a statement about gradualism, which he says is not based upon science but a philosophy. Which pretty much is saying to me, that there really isn't any evidence for it but rather based upon peoples philosophies/worldviews.
        ======================

        GL: Well, that comes to a "no". By the way, I am not at all sure you understand the difference between epistemology and information. You have frequently referred to information as epistemology. You seem to be making the same error here. Any information scripture gives us of how the world works is information, not epistemology.

        Response: Information is an aid to epistemology, but that's another post as well too.
        =======================
        GL: What the text tells me is that the world is real. What the text tells me is that I can trust that my experience of the world is an experience of reality. Is that what you mean?

        Response: it means that it gives an accurate description of the world, i.e. there was an Adam and Eve, there is one God Yahweh who created the heavens and earth, man is a sinner, so on and so forth.
        =========================
        GL: If you are defining "sentient" as "self-aware" you are moving the goal-posts. "Sentience" does not usually include the meaning of "self-awareness". What the bacteria are aware of is the concentration of certain chemicals in the environment. That doesn't require self-awareness. But it does elicit a behavorial response. So, they are sentient.

        Response: That's interesting, but the idea is that is no where near the same thing as the first man and woman. They were self aware, had a relationship with their creator, fully human and had kids.
        =======================

        GL: I wonder if there is a basic misunderstanding here. When you hear the question "How did life evolve" do you take that to mean "how did life begin?"

        Response: No, but I do think they are linked.

        GL: If so, you are understanding the question differently than an evolutionary biologist does. To a biologist that question means "how has life changed since it began?"

        Response: I know, I always took that as a cop out. If they knew, I feel they'd be all over it and how it proves evolution, since they don't know they like to push it to another field of science such as chemistry.

        GL: For the biologist, it is not necessary to have an answer to the first question in order to answer the second. And it is the second question that interests the biologist.

        Response: I know, I've heard that many times, and it never set well with me.

        GL: Now the first question is legitimate, and as you know there are scientists looking into it. But whatever they find (even if they find a supernatural miracle origin of life) it does not affect the second question. The biologist still wants to know how life has changed since it began. And that is where the theory of evolution comes in.

        Also, it is obvious that despite our ignorance of how life began, it did begin. And it has changed. So one cannot say that evolution could not get off the ground, since it did.

        Response: I think that's an assumption, but if you don't know how life began using evolutionary processes, how do you know that it did get off the ground?

        GL: No, it is not. Figures of speech, both large and small, occur in all genres and a literal meaning occurs in all genres, so genre per se is never a reason to assume a figure of speech. Further every figure of speech and every image has a literal meaning and points to a literal meaning. So there is always a literal meaning behind the image anyway.

        We always have at least four possibilities:
        a)the author is speaking literally in a prose narrative;
        b) the author is speaking symbolically in a prose narrative;
        c) the author is speaking literally in a poetic narrative, and
        d) the author is speaking symbolically in a poetic narrative.

        Further, although most authors don't flit from poetry to prose and back, they do often flit from literal to figurative and back. So one can have an image and a literal phrase side-by-side in the same sentence. Genre doesn't help sort that out.

        Response: No, no, no, I'm talking about interpreting an epistle of Paul vs a parable. There are certain rules you can follow to get to the heart of what is being said. Sort of like recognizing a proverb is a 'pithy' statement as opposed to always presenting a theological truth.
        =========================



        GL:Well, get to it. This is the nub of the issue. How does the reality of creation stack up against interpretations of scripture? Can we learn from the created order itself that we have been clinging to a misunderstanding of scripture? Can we learn to understand scripture itself better when we read creation as well as scripture? What would stimulate us to realize that we need to re-evaluate what we believe is written in scripture? (There could be many answers to that, but one of them, it seems to me, is that we discover something we did not know before about creation, such as that the earth is far older than we had previously assumed or that species are not immutable populations.)

        Response: I haven't seen anyone arguing for Usher's time table in awhile. If I see an article about it and if I have time I'll sit down and go through it.
        =========================

        GL: No, at first you said he could be confident of the future, but not the past and now you are saying the reverse. Now I can agree with you.

        Response: Cool.

        =========================================
        GL: Not only would they; they did. God could see everything because he sat "above the circle of the earth" and that is just how people saw the earth—as a flat circle sitting in the ocean. (Some actually considered it was rectangular—they viewed the universe as a sort of large trunk with a vaulted lid).

        Response: I think you're reading too much into this one because you're forcing too many different interpretations onto the text, before you were saying that they thought the earth was flat because it mentioned edges, now you're saying it's a flat circle, so what does that do with your edges argument? And then you even mention a rectangle, it's almost like you don't care what the argument is, as long as it's not what modern science says it is today.

        GL: That may be the main point of the teaching but it doesn't remove the statement about the earth. That is still there too, with its assumption that the earth is circle-like.

        Response: If you went out today and asked people what shape they thought the earth was in, they'd say a circle. Heck I'd even say it was a circle, because that's what it actually looks like.

        GL: On focus, you are right. But one needs to consider the impact of the periphery or background as well. In fact, it is precisely in such areas that it is most likely a writer will unconsciously speak from his/her "taken for granted" worldview. And a reader won't even notice it if he/she shares the same worldview. It will not be until that worldview is seriously challenged that anyone will take notice of a possible need to interpret differently. This is the pre-scientific and pre-Copernican situation for Christians. No worldview challenged the idea of a solid structure called the sky until then.

        Response: Except, I don't even think they were trying to communicate that idea at all. Just too many instances where the author is just using imagery to paint a picture in the readers mind.

        GL: Once that challenging view is accepted as the new normal worldview, then the challenge of interpreting the scripture comes to the fore. Do we react to the new worldview as if it is an attack on scripture? Do we try to force the new worldview into the scripture? Or do we, as Calvin suggested, praise God for the tender love that accommodated the message of salvation to the mindset of the people in their time and place?

        Response: I don't think we see it as an attack, but rather as a challenge for sure. And if a new world view is a better explaination of what is actually going on in reality, then of course we'll have to adapt it. But as noted before, worldviews don't go down that easy.
        ============================

        GL: Doesn't matter if you mean the context of the whole book. Literature still does not work on the basis of poetry= not-literal/prose=literal. If this is your version of interpreting according to the genre, it is grossly simplistic and simply false.

        Response: No but if you see expressions such as "my heart leaps for joy" you don't take that to mean that I think that my heart is actually leaping within my chest. The more you exegete passages and become familiar with certain idioms within the language the better you understand what the author is trying to communicate.

        =============================

        GL: You can tell in most any language when it is poetic. The point is that poetic does not mean a) that it is not a narrative or b) that it does not have a literal meaning.

        Similarly, in reverse, the absense of poetic indicators does not tell you that it is not a symbolic image or that it is actual history.

        Response: Yeah but as noted above, you get the hang of certain idioms in the language the more you do it. So like PENE ELOHIM = the face of God. However, it's not talking about God's actual face, but rather his presence.


        GL: No, they don't. Authors often mix image and literal description in the same sentence. In both poetry and prose.

        Response: Not in this regard because we're talking about parallelism.

        > ======================================

        GL: Says you. But the only evidence we have of what the author actually thought about the earth is his own writing which contains this image. What can you present that tells us this is not how he thought about the earth?

        Response: Because it's not the topic of his thought. It's not his focus.

        GL: The Hebrew term we translate as `spirit' also means `breath' and `wind'. I can see the author identifying God with the wind that drives the stormclouds, just as a charioteer drives his horses. And, after all, he also has the national memory of God appearing in a pillar of cloud.

        Response: Yeah but when we take all that is said about God (such as John 4:24), we know that God is an actual spirit and doesn't really ride on chariots, so when taking all of the data that is said about a topic, we come to a conclusion and then go back and interpret accordingly.
        ==================

        GL: The response is that yours is the eisegesis (not exegesis) of a modern mind reading an ancient text with no regard for how it was intended to be read by the author.

        Response: No, not at all, I've just been through this more than you and can pick up idioms and expressions better because I've done more ground work. I think you stop short and just read it and haven't gone far enough in depth, so when you read it, you just assume, and don't go any further than that.
        =========================

        GL: See, you keep going back to that false equation that sees imagery and symbolism only in poetry. That is not a proper exegesis even when you are taking genre into account. You cannot confine imagery and symbolism only to poetry and you cannot confine literal accounts only to prose. Literature does not work like that. Authors do not write like that.

        Response: That's not it, it's written as a narrative. In verse 2, you have this disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb), but the rest of the chapter has the basic vav consecutive followed by a prefixed verb, which is meant to tell a list of actual events. (i..e and God said... and it happened...) So it's meant to be taken literally.
        ======================
        GL: No, that would be what a concordist would try to do. That is what you are attempting when your try to pour modern astronomy and cosmology into the text. I know that evolution is not in the text. I also know that 4 billion years of earth history are not in the text. I also know that the Milky Way galaxy is not in the text. Nor are Newton's laws of gravity, nor pathological bacteria, nor genes, nor a planet called Earth.

        Response: Oh good, so you realize that it's a waste of time trying to harmonize theistic evolution into the text.

        What is in the text is a great ocean and in the midst of that ocean is a land and overarching the land and sea is a sky holding back the waters above it. Passing through the space beneath the `raqiya' are the heavenly bodies of sun, moon and stars, and below them the clouds and the birds. And above them all, viewing the circle of the earth far below, seeing all, is God the Maker of all these things.

        So, no, I am not trying to put evolution into the text. I am just consistent enough not to put any other modern science into the text either.

        Since you do try to put modern science into the text, the question arises, why not evolution as well?
        There is no greater difference between evolution and the biblical text than there is between modern astronomical concepts and the biblical text. In fact, you can find more biblical texts that explicitly contradict modern astronomy than you can find contradicting evolution.

        Response: Because I don't think evolution is science at all. So while I don't think the other stuff in science has been compromised, I do think evolution has been.
        =========================

        GL:
        Exactly. Circular is 2D. The 3D counterpart is spherical.

        Response: But that's a modern definiton, if you think that is inaccurate because it uses the word circular, then I think it's fine for the biblical writters to use the same language that we are using today.
        ====================
        GL: Sure it is.

        v. 27a he established the heavens
        v. 27b he drew a circle on the face of the deep
        v. 28 a he made firm the skies above (=he made the `raqiya' of Genesis 1)
        v 28 b-29a he established the fountains of the deep & assigned to the sea its limit (= gathering of the waters into the deep places on the third day of the Genesis narrative)
        v 29b he marked out the foundations of the earth.

        That is narrative. It is also poetry. That is a genre called narrative poetry. It is quite common in all languages.

        Wisdom is being personified here. Of course it's figurative. Unless you believe when someone says, " the water is running." That the water is actually running somewhere.

        Response: Not in the same sense, in Genesis you have the typical vav consecutive + prefix verb form that is actually marking a step by step progression. Here you have poetic language where wisdom is being personified, within the over arching view of wisdom in the entire book of proverbs. Which is suppose to be opposite of madam folly. And in verse 28, the word translated sky there is actually talking about clouds. (shahaq)

        =======================

        GL: The personification is figurative. That doesn't mean the description of what Wisdom saw God doing is intended to be figurative. "Figurative" is not a genre. Nor is it the property of a genre.

        Response: But wisdom is a theme within the entire book of Proverbs, opposite of Madam folly. Wisdom doesn't really see God doing anything. The actual act of her talking and seeing is meant to convey an idea.



        GL: Well, you can say you know of no evidence that anyone understood it as anything other than literal until the evidence was gathered that it could not be. And the point is that it took the study of creation, not the study of the text, to induce the changed view of what is and is not literal in this case. After all, people had been studying the texts for nearly two millennia without ever doubting the literal meaning of [the earth] shall never be moved or the sun stopped at Joshua's command. Or, if they did, their view did not make it into the history books or the scholarly texts interpreting scripture. So, the view of the text changed, because the view of the actual structure of the cosmos changed, not the other way around.

        What would be the justification for this? According to many modern creationists, the people who changed their understanding of scripture because of evidence gained by looking through a telescope were using an improper means of interpreting scripture. They were letting human knowledge (science) decide the meaning of inspired scripture.

        Why was it right then, but wrong now?

        Response: Again, I don't even think evolution is a science in the first place. But rather a philosophy that many scientist has embraced. But on another note, for me, I don't think that many even thought about their interpretation of scripture in those regards because it was never challenged. There were other things going on during those time periods.
        =============================


        >

        GL: Yes, actually it does say that. "the bridegroom" is the image, but it is an image of the sun, and so it is literally the sun which "runs its course".

        It would seem you need a course in interpreting images. You are too content to simply say "oh, its an image so it doesn't mean anything." Images are an important communication tool and they always mean something. There is always a literal meaning within the image.

        Response: No it's just a metaphor. Making a comparison to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber reflecting the idea that the sun comes up every morning strong.
        ============================



        GL: Yes, more. It is not just its rising that is spoken of here, but of its moving quickly from the place of its setting to the place of its rising. The writer obviously realizes that the west is far removed from the east and it takes literal motion to get the sun back to the eastern horizon. That is the motion he is speaking of here. And, as you say, the participles support the idea of a continuous action.

        Response: No more than you saying the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening.
        =======================


        GL: In science, it doesn't matter what the bigwigs say if it is not supported by the theory, and it is not. The theory does not say that natural selection replaces God. That is stuffing a philosophy into science where philosophy does not belong.

        It really is time you actually looked at the science so you can start calling the bluff of unbelieving bigwigs.

        Response: Why? I'm not interested in evolution. They are the ones speaking and teaching in the class room. Since they are the ones talking, they are the ones you deal with.

        GL: A scientist, as a scientist cannot tell youthat evolution can happen without God. A scientist who says that is no longer speaking from the scientific evidence. He/she is speaking from his/her philosophical position without the support of the theory of evolution. The science of evolution does not entail removing God from the scene.

        Response : Well it kinda does. Because the scientist are the teachers describing how it happened in the class room and in literature that you read.

        What would make it no longer evolution?
        There would have to be a difference in the physical process of inheritance and selection for it not to be evolution.
        But no one has proposed that evolution would actually work differently given God's guidance. So it would still be evolution.

        Response: No, because say evolution happens and you're right. It doesn't matter until someone explains to laymen how it happened. No one but scientist notice it, and it's the scientist that explain it to everyone else. So we have to listen to them and decipher whether or not what they are telling us is something that we believe. So if you give an explanation of how something happened and you leave God out, then God is not necessary. And then if you describe something as "unguided" and use things like "God is not necessary" then we soon realize that those who are authority with regards to evolution are giving us an accurate description of how it happened.




        ======================

        GL: TE has no intention of making a dent in scientific thought. TE is a theological position,not a scientific position.

        Response: Yeah, but they are drifting somewhere in no mans land, because they aren't going to convince anyone with a hint of theological background. Either you have deism, or are going to have to come up with an all new way of interpreting the text.

        GL: It would be relevant if God's guidance made a difference in the way evolution works, but I don't see any reason why that would happen. The science of evolution does not set anything in the place of God. It just doesn't mention God because God is not a scientific object of study (nor could any object of scientific study be God.) [And, of course, in the U.S. it would be illegal to mention God except in texts especially for private schools where God is acknowledged]

        Response: Well the language is written to where natural selection is actually picking and choosing the winners and losers. So it's written to portray the idea that it's not God selecting, but rather nature.

        GL: Well why should the natural proces have humanity in mind? Isn't it the belief of Christians that God had us in mind? So, if God brought us into being through a natural process, it is enough that God had us in mind. Why expect the natural process to even have a mind?

        Response: Sure, but notice what he says, "purely naturalistic or material factors" That erases the Christian belief that God had us in mind. That view is not compatible with evolution.



        GL: No, it is just that you are reacting to popularized images with philosophical messages instead of learning what evolution is in a more unvarnished way. You think you have a handle on evolution because you toss around phrases like "unguided" and "blind watchmaker" and "punctuated equilibrium" but I doubt you can even explain properly what evolution is in a scientific sense. And you certainly haven't given any attention to the evidence on which the theory is based. So you are tilting at meaningless philosophical windmills instead of determining if evolution is real.

        Response: Well again, I'm just going off what the experts say. They are the teachers, the authors, the ones explaining what evolution is, what they say goes because they are the authorities. If one wants to study evolution, they go to those guys first because that's whats in the text books and basically what's out there, that is evolution.

        GL: It was a long post and I was too tired to get into explaining the real meaning of punctuated equilibrium. If you want to try to describe it, go ahead. I expect it will be wrong in most respects.



        Response: Actually, it wasn't so much about punctuated equilibrium, but what he said about gradualism being based upon a philosophy.





        Kelton Graham
        kgraham0938@...
        Club Wolverine Head Coach


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "gluadys" <g_turner@...>
        To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 7:41:27 PM
        Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Worldview comparison@KGRAHAM Topic 2: ANE worldview in scripture






        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com , KGRAHAM0938@... wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Response: It really wouldn't matter what they would consider shallow vs deep because most people don't even realize that they even have a worldview. But people will give up shallower aspects of their worldview but not the deeper philosophical commitments that they have.
        >

        In that case, it is not surprising that the biblical authors expressed themselves in terms of an ANE cosmology as this was a widepread and deep worldview for which they had no alternative. It was, apparently, easier to switch from a polytheistic to a monotheistic view than to envision a different cosmology such as one that would conceive of the earth as a planet moving through space.

        >
        >
        > Response: Then you have a different worldview being presented. And therefore it's futile to argue that the Israelites borrowed or copied off any of the ancient near eastern stories lines that are so often presented. Such ideas of a firmament etc are just foreign to the text.
        >

        Sorry, but just because one gets rid of the extraneous gods, one does not get rid of the physical reality they represented. So "firmament" is not foreign to the text at all, as any standard lexicon of Hebrew tells us. Here are two I found on line:

        From Genesius:
        Rakah (from the root rakak): something thin
        Rakia (the form used in Gen. 1:6): the firmament of heaven spread out like a hemisphere above the earth (from the root raka) . . . to which the stars were supposed to be fixed and over which the Hebrews believed there was a heavenly ocean
        Rakik (from rakak): a thin wafer
        Raka (cognate to rakak): 1) to beat, to strike the earth with the feet; 2) to spread out by beating and, simply, to spread out e.g. God, the earth (as in Isaiah 42:5) PIEL to spread out by beating, as a thin plate, hence to overlay with a thin plate; PUAL spread out (with a hammer) HIPHIL, QAL to spead out (e.g. heaven)
        Rakak: to beat, to pound, especially to spread out by beating thin.

        From Strongs (based on Brown-Driver-Briggs, Genesius)
        Rak: thin, lean
        Raka: to beat, stamp, beat out, spread out, stretch (Qal) to stamp, beat out, one who beats out (participle) (Piel) to overlay, beat out (for plating) (Pual) beaten out (participle) (Hiphil) to make a spreading (of clouds)
        Rakia: extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament; expanse (flat as base, support); firmament (of vault of heaven supporting waters above); considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting 'waters' above
        Rakik: thin cake, wafer

        I don't have direct access to Brown-Driver-Briggs nor to Kittel. I expect you own a copy and can look it up. But I do have several English translations (all of which were made by people expert in the Hebrew language) and that, in addition to "firmament" and "expanse" the Hebrew is translated by "dome" and "vault".

        None of this, nor anything else in scripture tells me that "firmament" is "foreign" to the biblical text.

        >
        > Response: Have to disagree here, because there is nothing resembling Ma'at like in Egyptian cosmology within the biblical worldview. There isn't an underworld or what have you. There aren't any two mountains holding up earth (which I think were breast) as in Canaanite cosmology. And there is no idea of a firmament etc. Such ideas are usually read into the text, but with some sound exegesis, it's easy to see it's just not there.
        >

        Ma'at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%27at
        Nor any other of the deities of polytheism. But nothing about Ma'at has anything to do with the nature of the sky, the shape of the earth or the relative positions/motions of sun & earth. No underworld is mentioned in Genesis 1, but you are certainly aware that the Hebrew cosmology did include an underworld called Sheol. That which holds up the earth, as we have seen several times , are called "foundations" None of these ideas are read into the text. They ARE the text. You have to reject a literal, face-value reading to remove them.

        Now, I have no quarrel with rejecting a literal reading of the text. I just quarrel with the dishonesty of not admitting this is what you are doing. Especially when you will then turn around and say something else equally different from the plain text of scripture, cannot be accepted because the text is plain and to be accepted as such.

        That is inconsistent interpretation.

        > Response: Um, don't think I agree with the idea that worldviews aren't personal matters. I think they are personal and while several people or societies can share the same one, you'll still find individuals within a particular society who may have a different worldview.
        >

        Some people have personal idiosyncratic worldviews, but those are not particularly important. The worldviews that have major impact are the ones that dominate the view of a whole society. Those are the ones a person often doesn't even realize are worldviews. They are perceived as "just the way things are".

        >
        > Response: No, I'm arguing that Moses is arguing that because they had a beginning they weren't gods.
        >
        >

        Moses would know better than to use that argument, since Moses would be aware that the gods of polytheism had beginnings but were still considered gods. Unless people already accept the proposition that "a god has no beginning" it means nothing to them, theologically, that the stars had a beginning. The polytheists of Moses' time did not accept the proposition that "a god has no beginning". Their stories about their gods were all about the beginnings (and sometimes endings) of gods.

        >
        > Response: Yeah huge difference. Both in terms of cosmology and in terms of theology. I think both are going hand and hand.
        >

        Moses says the stars are set in the `raqiya'. How does this differ from the cosmology of the ANE culture? What does Moses say to suggest the stars are beyond the sun and moon (which are also set in the `raqiya')?

        >
        > Response:. I'm not sure what the Egyptians thought of a firmament, but I haven't seen that idea or concept in the Biblical text other than Jerome's mistranslation.
        >

        When envisioning the shape of the cosmos, the Egyptians saw the earth as a flat expanse of land, personified by the god Geb, over which arched the sky goddess Nut. The two were separated by Shu, the god of air. Beneath the earth lay a parallel underworld and undersky, and beyond the skies lay the infinite expanse of Nu, the chaos that had existed before creation.[22] The Egyptians also believed in a place called the Duat, a mysterious region associated with death and rebirth, that may have lain in the underworld or in the sky. Each day, Ra traveled over the earth across the underside of the sky, and at night he passed through the Duat to be reborn at dawn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_religion#Cosmology

        Note the accompanying image of the cosmos, in which the body of Nut (goddess of the sky) forms the firmament.

        The biblical writers, like the Egyptians, saw the sun as moving across the `raqiya' each day and traveling back to its rising point again during the night. The Egyptians saw the sun itself as a god (and the sky as well, and the earth).

        Now, remove the names of the gods. Show the earth and sky as earth and sky not as god and goddess. You have exactly the same picture. The bible says the sun and the sky and the earth are things God created, creatures, not gods. But Hebrews and Egyptians agreed on the arrangement of sky, earth and sun and on the position and motion of the sun.

        >
        >
        > Response: Well he'd have a hard time finding a firmament or pillars within the text itself, unless he was reading those concepts from his own worldview into the text.
        >

        All he has to do is read the text. All he has to do is understand "foundations" where it says "foundations" "pillars" where it says "pillars" and so on. You have to reject the literal meaning of these terms to remove the concepts.

        Sometimes, there is a good reason to reject a literal meaning, but I haven't found one yet in these cases.

        >
        > GL: In Job 38:18, God asks "Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?" I suppose that means the earth is not solid?
        >
        > Response: Well two points. 1: That's a different verb there than raqiya. That's rachav there.

        Agreed. Basic meaning "to broaden, make broad" As a noun "the breadth". Only one English version uses "expanse".

        >
        >2) The expanse itself is not solid, rather the ha'eretz (earth) is.
        >
        Ridiculour hair-splitting. >
        >
        3) If you want to argue that the something solid here is the same as the something solid in Gen 1, you'd have the firmament being the earth.
        >

        Yeah, sure. Just like arguing that if oil and milk are both liquids you can substitute one for the other when you are cooking.

        >
        > Response: Even if that is so (assuming it's true for the sake of argument) that wouldn't mean that it itself is solid. But as I pointed out in Isaiah 42:5. Since it is parallel to natah "to extend" this proves that it doesn't have to be linked to anything solid.
        >
        >

        The most natural thing to expand or extend is material: like stretching a rubber band, expanding a waistline on a pair of pants, extending a pier, etc. So it is certainly suggestive of something solid. Can't rule it out. Especially as the object of one of the verbs is indisputably solid.

        >
        >And again, the major whole is that if you were right, you'd have two different solid objects that raqiya can represent, one being the firmament, and the other being the earth.
        >

        Absolutely. `raqiya' can refer to anything that is "beaten thin" "spread out (or extended) by being beaten to a thinness". So another word based on the same root means "a thin cake or wafer". The verb is used explicitly with the meaning of beating metal into thin plates or leaves in Exodus 39:3 (they beat the gold into thin plates and cut it into wires) and in Numbers 16:39 (describing bronze censors made into "broad plates". Job, no doubt, is alluding to the same process when he describes the sky as "firm and hard as a mirror made of molten brass". So whether it is bread, or earth or metal or whatever, as long as it is a "thin-beaten-out, extended/expanded thing" it fits the definition of `raqiya'.

        What does not fit the definiton of `raqiya' is air or space. Air is enclosed within the `raqiya' and separates the earth from the sky. "Space" as we think of it, had no place in ancient cosmologies at all. Even the infinities of above and below were filled by the primordial waters of chaos.

        >
        You're just giving your personal opinion here. Again, it's not really that modern, just check out Isaiah 42:5 and see the cognate for yourself.
        >

        Isaiah says nothing that suggests emptiness or space as characteristic of what is being spread out. In fact, the parallellism here (stretched out the heavens/spread out the earth) suggests he sees these as being parallel processes in similar materials. Both involve some thing (not emptiness) that is spread or stretched or extended.

        >
        > Response: 1) As noted last time, it's parallel with natah here, so it carries the same idea.
        >

        That's my point. The two verbs are synonyms and both carry the idea of some tangible thing being spread or stretched out. In one case it is the earth (which is clearly tangible) and in the other it is the sky (which the ancients viewed as equally tangible—if one could get near it.)

        > Response: Well your theology effects your cosmology, because now your answering the question of what are those things actually made of (i.e. they are actually deities floating around) or did they find their root in a creator. And just because they have some similarity here and there doesn't mean that one copied off the other.
        >

        Actually, what you are saying here is totally beside the point. We are agreed the biblical writers saw as creations what their neighbours saw as gods. Yet there is no indication the Hebrews developed a different view of the basic structure of the cosmos. What they are made of (divine essence, material creation) is not the point. Structure is about how the elements relate to one another. Sky above, earth beneath, waters above and below; Sky stretched out above and supporting the waters above; earth stretched out below on the waters below, supported by foundations. Air separating earth and sky. Sun, moon and stars set within the vault of the sky and moving through it daily/nightly.

        This, or some portion of this, is what is plainly set out in every scriptural text describing or alluding to the layout of the cosmos. And no amount of special pleading changes that.

        > >
        >
        > Response: But it's enough there to distinguish them from one another, like there isn't an underworld, there's no Ma'at. Doesn't have to go through every single detail bit by bit. And I haven't seen anything about windows in scripture or foundations in waters of the deep etc. Other than poetic language.
        >

        So, I take it you now consider Genesis 7 to be "merely poetic"?

        >
        > Response: Whatever follows the verb or in the case of Genesis, it's the skies. So it would be the expanding of air, nothing doing with a vault or some sort of ceiling.
        >

        But nothing in the biblical text tells you that the sky is made of air. Nor did anyone conceive such a thing prior to Copernicus. So where do you get the idea that the expanse called "sky" in the biblical text is an expanse of air?

        >
        > Response: Yeah I do think Egyptian teachers taught something different, see the above stuff.
        >

        Oh? You don't think Moses' Egyptian teachers taught about Ma'at and Nut and Geb and Ra? Why would you think they taught something different? Seems that when we get down to the root of your ideas, they all rest on wishful thinking. The best teachers of ancient Egypt (since they taught the royal children) don't teach Egyptian ideas to a young prince of Egypt. The biblical writers by some mysterious process knew modern astronomy, yet chose to hide that information from their readers.

        You are living in a dream world.

        >
        > Response: Isaiah doesn't see it as a tent, he only makes the comparison to it being stretched out like a tent. And in Job, I think he is making a comparison to the spreading of skies to the spreading out of molten metal. And that makes sense because it (raqiya) is usually associated with metal working.
        >

        Yes, they do. That is why they use those images, because as they see it, that is what the sky is like: it is like a tent, it gets spread out like a tent. It is like a mirror made of brass; it gets hammered out and spread out as the smith hammers and spreads out the brass for a mirror, and then cooled and hardened into something firm. It is a `raqiya': a thing beat<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
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