Sunday, October 16, 2005

Making sense of Genesis 1

Further support for this palace-temple conceptualisation is found in the final act of creation: the forming of humanity, male and female, in the image of Elohim. Long the subject of debate, the image of God language makes a great deal of sense within the palace-temple context. After all, what is the last thing placed inside the deity’s house, if not his image? So here in Genesis 1 on the last creative day, Yahweh fashions his own image and places it in his palace-temple.


This, it seems to me, is nothing other than the ancient version of the recently formulated Anthropic Principle, which in its various forms reflects the fact that the fundamental structures of this world, the observed values of its cosmological and physical quantities, appear to have been fine-tuned with human existence in view. To observers both then and now there are strong hints that this creation was designed for us. And Genesis 1’s answer, it seems to me, is not so much concerned with the "how" in the technical or mechanical sense as it is with the "who," namely, Yahweh.

A couple of quotes from Making sense of Genesis 1 by Rikk Watts. As seen on dead apostle.

- Peace


Richard said...

Wonder what he means by "recently formulated" when referring to the Anthropic Principle. Many people of today's undergrads were born after 1986. Or is he speaking of a more recent flavour that I'm unaware of seeing as I'm more familiar with relational databases than physics now :(

Last time I checked, theists favoured the strong anthropic principle (the universe is the way it is because it was created specially for us) and the atheists favoured the weak anthropic principle (the universe is the way it is because we could not observe it otherwise without existing).

Though my info is so out of date. I've heard rumours that the speed of light was different far away from the Solar System and that Einstein's cosmological constant is non-zero.

As my knowledge dwindles into obsolesence perhaps I can take consolation knowing that it may help me enjoy Batman Begins - thanks for the heads up on microwaves...

island said...

I favor an "entropic" anthropic principle, because it answers all the questions without any of the crackpot theories.

The universe is flat, (the way that it is), because this is the most efficient configuration for evenly dissipating energy.

The universe needs intelligent life... because humans make particles from vacuum energy... which holds the universe flat and stable as it expands, so Einstein's finite and closed model isn't unstable after all.

Dave King said...

Richard you need to remeber that Rikk Watts is theologian working with ancient texts so he may have a different perspective on "recently formulated" that we tech geeks.

- Peace

Richard said...

Thanks for the posting the article, Dave. It brings back an old tension that I never really resolved: what I learned at Regent College, what I gleaned from Evidence for faith, and what I knew from my studies in science.

What I learned in undergrad physics fit very will with Evidence for Faith - at that time everything fit together very neatly and I felt my faith had a solid foundation. The stuff I learned at Regent did not jive well with Evidence for Faith.

I still find the parallel between what happened scientifically and what was said in Genesis 1 to be too strongly correlated to ignore as the Regent folks did. Conversely, the seeds of uncertainty that were planted at Regent may have played a large part in my return to Roman Catholicism. The issue of Regent vs Evidence for faith then vanished.

But now with the kafuffle over intelligent design along with Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II entering the fray against social Darwinianism especially when it comes to the unconditional dignity of all human life my once separate worlds are beginning to collide once again.