It is, he says, the evolution of vision — the beginning of sight in the pre-historic trilobites and just as it happens that fits in very neatly with his theory the light switch theory to explain the Cambrian explosion which remains a matter of some debate and not quite the closed book that Parker presents. I said it was bold. Indeed I think there are plenty of areas where Genesis and science are in remarkable agreement without the need to do utter violence to the biblical text.
Those things aside what stands out is the utter contempt he has for creationism and this is in itself very interesting I shall reserve those thoughts for another post because Parker is not opposed to religion but is opposed to bad science which is what he accuses the creationists of. He oversaw the reading and exposition of the Book of the Law to the Israelites returning from exile Nehemiah chapter 8. This fits in with the Babylonian influences on the Genesis accounts in particular, as Ezra may have recast those accounts using religious terminology the Israelites returning from Babylon would understand.
I was a very poor student Jon and paid little attention to more or less everything until I came across Bonhoeffer.
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We all know what we think people should be familiar with and what they are familiar with are often two very different things! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Protestant scientists followed their forebears in reading the Bible and the book of nature in tandem as complementary. However they also began a retreat from symbolic and allegorical meanings towards a far more literal treatment of the text.
The Genesis Enigma
It was believed that the Old Testament set out in plain terms, the creation of the world, the origin of humanity and the ancient history of the world from the earliest times. In the area of natural philosophy nature was stripped of all symbolic significance in favour of facts. Early modern natural philosophers began to study such matters as the biological consequences of the fall, the effects of the flood and the tower of Babel.
One thing that caused great consternation was the age of the Old Testament patriarchs which seemed way in excess of the contemporary lifespans.
The Genesis enigma: How DID the Bible describe the evolution of life 3,000 years before Darwin?
Hence, sticking to a literal reading, some argued that the events described by Genesis resulted in changes to the human constitution. Such approaches are now deeply unfashionable in mainstream science, but perhaps Professor Parker's new book shows there is hope of an almighty comeback. Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum. I just love how two of the three reviewers didn't even bother to read the book before posting one star reviews on Amazon. I mean I just love people that base everything on second-hand sources, hearsay and conjecture rather than actually taking the time to look at the primary source.
But then I shouldn't be surprised; I have noticed that many people in this debate tend to be surprisingly ignorant of their opponent's arguments and the evidence and logic they use to support those arguments. Probably because they don't bother to read anything that doesn't conform to their preconceived beliefs.
It is almost like they are afraid of the contamination of their minds if they actually look at such a book. I would like to know what else is in the book since I don't see - based on the little the review in the Daily Mail says - how he has enough material for pages. I wonder if this Parker chap has read Robert Grosseteste The first dimensionless point was light which was one and simple, containing matter implicitly in its light form.
Confirmed by modern science? It looks like one of the one star reviews is by a Christian annoyed that parker has ignored biblical scholarship. I'd say he has a point. We spend ages saying the Bible isn't a scientific document Humphrey saying it better than anyone else and then this Porter chap comes along an says that actually it is. It reminds me of Hugh Ross and looks worth avoiding.
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Hugh Ross argued that the Vela supernova has recently caused deadly cosmic radiation to bathe the Earth and it is this that explains "the gradual, exponential reduction in life spans from about to years—reported in Genesis 11". This is a bit of a stretch for me but I suspect the Richard Cumberland I quoted in the post would have approved. Parker's treatment in "The Enigma of Genesis" is not a presumption that establishes a theory that makes the bible equal to the quest of modern science. What it is, is a plea to consider the Genesis account of creation the enigma that it is.
Science is dedicated to trying to answer questions regarding the creation of what is a great mystery. If it were not a mystery there would be no need for scientific exploration. Condemning the genesis account because we think we know enough from scientific theory to ridicule any treatment of this account is ridiculous in itself. Science excersises its imagination when uncovering certain evidence and draws conclusions.
The conclusions are in no way truth. No one has a monopoly in the search for truth. If the visible world is a mystery to us; how much more the invisible. All the senses must be engaged in the exploration of truth, keenly tuned to every bit of information that helps us see the totality of the creation process. Finding fault with someones approach is not science, it is a topic that requires exploration in itself.
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John said, Prof. Parker is not trying to say that we should read Genesis like a scientific book.
He is trying to open our mind to wonder about the mystery of the biblical author and how it could have been compatible and correlates with modern evolutionary science. But more importantly, he showed us how being a prominant evolutionary biologist, it is possible to also be a believer in God and evolution and God is not incompatible. I think this is the most important lesson I learned from the book.
What I do not like about the book is his comment in the appendix about the J. I think that is over his head and better avoided. Post a Comment. Monday, July 20, The Genesis 'Enigma'. I was amused this week to discover that Professor Andrew Parker, a research fellow at Oxford University and research leader at the Natural History Museum, has just committed what has come to be the equivalent of intellectual suicide by publishing a book entitled ' The Genesis Enigma '.