The broad definition of religion has been given as a system of beliefs held to by ardor and faith, and this would apply as much to the atheist as it would to the most pious saint. Both believe in something that can neither be proved nor disproved. The majority position acknowledges belief in a Higher Being and in survival of consciousness after death. To these are often added the beliefs in punishment and rewards for deeds done in life, and in a personal resurrection at some future date. In contrast, the atheist fervently believes that there is no god and no afterlife.
Ackerman, Robert. 1987. J.G. Frazer: His Life and Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Frazer, James G. 1890. 1900. 1911-15. The Golden Bough. London: Macmillan. 2, 3 and 12 vols.
Kuper, Adam. 1988. The Invention of Primitive Society. London: Routledge.
Lang, Andrew. 1901. Magic and Religion. London: Longmans.
Lubbock, John. 1865. Prehistoric Times. London: Williams and Norgate.
The most detailed account of Noah's Flood is given in the Book of Genesis. Here there seems little doubt that the Flood had to be truly global and not just "global" in the minds of one minor tribe of people:
Image: Noah. Mosaic in Basilica di San Marco, Venice.
Background. Taking the first chapter of the Book of Genesis as our starting point we find that the heavens were created first then the earth on the first day [v.1] while the sun, moon and stars were created on the fourth day [v. 14-19]. The sun and moon are described as “two great lights” [v. 16] while their given purpose is to, “divide the day from the night” and to be for, “signs and seasons, for days and years” [v. 14]. Finally, God saw everything He had made and declared it to be “very good” [v. 31].
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
The idea that there is something called chance is so firmly rooted in our culture that even Christians speak of it as real. Is the idea of chance taught in the Bible? Is there such a thing as “chance”? Let’s see.
Photo: Die made of bone used at the time of the Civil War. Courtesy of Kolby Kirk. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
The history of an idea is always revealing. In the 16th century, the Europeans began to discover the colored peoples of the world. They assumed that Noah and his family were white, so for the colored peoples to have survived the Genesis Flood, it must have been local. The Church regarded this as heresy.
Rock strata in Argentina. Courtesy of travelwayoflife. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
The chemical elements of matter consist of very stable atoms, such as silicon, carbon, iron, uranium, etc. However, certain elements also have an unstable or radioactive form that, under natural conditions, decays or breaks down into "daughter" products at a very uniform rate.
Photo: Thermal ionization mass spectrometer is used for radiometric dating. (PD)
The carbon-14 method is slightly different from other dating methods. Normal carbon has an atomic weight of 12. Carbon-14 is the unstable form produced by cosmic ray bombardment of nitrogen in the earth's upper atmosphere. The C-14 combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which then takes its place in the great carbon cycle. That is, the carbon dioxide becomes the food for plants and trees, and these in turn become food for animals and humans. The net result is that every living thing contains normal carbon (C-12) and some C-14.
This has been a puzzle to many people. If light from the most distant stars has taken millions of light years to reach us, how can the earth be only thousands of years old? The belief that "light from the most distant stars has taken millions of years to reach us" is based on two major assumptions: (1) the distance and (2) the speed at which light travels.
Photo: Shining brightly in this Hubble image is our closest stellar neighbor: Proxima Centauri. Courtesy of ESA/Hubble. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Many Christians wonder how the fact that God is the Creator and preserver of His creation fits in with the extinctions of so many creatures. In fact, it was this problem that made it seem as though proof of extinctions in the past was proof of evolution.
From a strictly human standpoint, the claim that the earth is young is just so much double-talk. But the question of whether the earth is billions of years old, or just a couple of thousands of years old, occupies a central place in the creation/evolution debate. For some, it is the question of whether there was time for the impossible to happen - life to arise from non-life. In the mind of the Biblical Christian, however, it is not a question of defeating evolution but of what is true, what does the Bible say?
Imagine you are watching a movie with a car chase scene. The driver of one car rolls out just before his automobile plunges headlong over a cliff, and the car smashes against rocks as it tumbles down, breaking into pieces and finally exploding. You can easily tell whether the film is run forward or backward.
This article first appeared in the Bible Science Newsletter, published by Creation Moments.
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
The Concept of evolution contains within itself the idea that the world is progressing, getting better and becoming more what it can or should be. If the world evolved from cosmic dust, and life spontaneously arose and developed into ever higher and more complex forms, then that idea would fit. But the world was, we believe and confess, created by our God only a few millennia ago.
1. The name Genesis that we apply to the first book of the Bible has been adopted from the Greek word GENESIS meaning "beginnings." The Jews call this book BERESHITH which is the first Hebrew word of this book and means "In beginning." Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. There is a logical order here: Beginning (time), heavens (space) and earth (matter). The Big Bang Theory has reversed this order. Note that "the heavens" is plural.
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1. The claim is often made that the Genesis account of creation lies in the realm of religion whereas the theory of evolution is a matter of science. It should be stressed that for any endeavor to be classified as "science" it must be observable, repeatable, refutable and, preferably by developed formula, capable of making a prediction. Both creation and evolution fail all criteria.
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To discuss this topic meaningfully, we necessarily must think in terms of a recent creation. If we are thinking in terms of five billion years of earth's history, about one or two billion years of life's history, and about one or two million years of human history, the study of the world before the flood would be more or less without meaning. One would then have to think in terms of a local flood, and the world before such a flood would be no different from the world after the flood.
By Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia and Chairman of Creation Research Society. This talk was delivered at the Creation Seminar, Springfield, Illinois on July 8, 1968.
Just how does the modern geologist tell the age of a rock by simply looking at it? For that matter, where do all those millions of years come from and how can they be reconciled with Genesis? Until the 17th century most people of Europe and Britain believed the biblical account of creation and a global Flood.
1. In the Middle Ages referring to a person as a "humanist" meant that their interests were in Greek and Roman literature and antiquities. Humanism today means a worldview concerned with human, not divine, interests. Ultimately, the humanist objective is to make Man the master of his own destiny. The Genesis Flood destroyed all those having a humanist worldview leaving only Noah and his family to begin the post-Flood generation. Within a short time, the humanist worldview again became dominant and we find this in the account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-4).
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The design of the human body inspires awe and fascination.
Guide to the Human Body delves into the complex construction
of the cell, a baby's development in the womb, the mechanics of our
hands, and the incredible abilities...