Metanoeo By Jack Kinsella The Bible was originally recorded in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek —…
Genesis? Or Duckweed?
By Jack Kinsella
Two news stories caught my eye. The first had to do with a woman who was struck by lightning while praying for her family’s safety during a storm.
Of course, the focus of the story was that the woman was praying when she was struck by lightning. The unspoken implication is that praying for preservation is a waste of time. After all, this woman was praying for her family’s safety and got struck by lightning for her faithfulness, so either God isn’t listening or He isn’t really there, right?
According the news account, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama.
But while she prayed, lightning suddenly exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a blackened area on the concrete. The report noted in passing that Mrs. Brown survived the experience, although it “left her dazed and disoriented by the blast.”
The report noted that Mrs. Brown, who was sixty-five, felt that she was ‘blessed’ to be alive, before passing on wise counsel from a family member that, “he will no longer assume it is safe to be indoors during a lightning strike.”
The newspaper presented it as an ironic case of cause and effect, subliminally suggesting the cause was the prayer, and the effect was to be struck by lightning.
The news account missed the point, as did the wire services that picked the story up.
Noted one blogger responding to the news story at the German website, ‘shortnews.com’, “she’s pretty lucky to be alive. She probably now believes that was a sign from God,” which is precisely the way the story was intended to be taken…she trusted God and look how He repaid her.
None of the comments I found regarding this story saw it as evidence of God’s providence, but rather, as one other blogger put it, “God’s got a sense of humor.”
Nobody seemed impressed by the fact that Mrs. Brown was engulfed in a ball of flame as millions of volts of electricity surged through her body, YET SHE EMERGED UNINJURED!
The second story that caught my eye this morning was a report in the New York Times’ Science section.
It appears that scientists have discovered that the Arctic once had a tropical climate not unlike that of Florida. According to the journal, “Nature” the most likely reason is because “scientists have greatly underestimated the power of heat-trapping gases to warm the Arctic.”
Moreover, they concluded, the cause was ‘greenhouse gases’ — the same culprit that environmentalists are now blaming for global warming — despite the fact that nobody can prove global warming is even taking place.
“The new research provides additional important evidence that greenhouse-gas changes controlled much of climate history, which strengthens the argument that greenhouse-gas changes are likely to control much of the climate future,” said one such expert, Richard B. Alley, a geoscientist at Pennsylvania State University.
So, greenhouse gases turned the Arctic from a tropical paradise into a frozen wasteland — and if we don’t fix the problem, it will happen again.
Scientists didn’t have to go all the way to the Arctic and ‘core’ the earth for samples in order to determine that the Arctic was once tropical. Neither did they have to go to all that effort to determine the cause was the ‘greenhouse effect.’
All they had to do was open the Book of Genesis, penned by Moses more than three thousand years ago.
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:7-8)
Prior to the latest scientific breakthrough, Genesis 1:7-8 was the centerpiece of the skeptic’s argument that the Bible is a book of fables written by scientifically ignorant men in an effort to explain their existence.
The sky is blue, they say, so Moses thought that meant there was a big bubble around the earth and the blue sky was really the water outside it.
Then we come to the story of the Great Flood — another favorite among the scoffers. “Every civilization has a story of a great flood,” they say. “Moses just borrowed the story from the Epic of Gilgamesh or some other ancient fable.”
But the story of the Flood begins by noting the lifespan of our pre-Diluvian was measured in centuries, until God concluded,
“My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)
What would be the scientific method for shortening a human lifespan from hundreds of years to mere decades?
Exposure to the sun. In an enclosed eco-system in which the earth would be encased in a giant gas bubble, it wouldn’t rain. It didn’t rain in the Biosphere experiment a few years ago, either. But the closed system meant water from the air would condense at night, providing all the fresh water necessary each morning.
It also means there would be no climate zones — heat from the sun would dissipate across the water vapor barrier, like the heat coming through the glass of a ‘Florida room’ on a sunny day in January.
In such a system, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays would be filtered out. We know from recent scientific advances that it is the sun’s ultraviolet rays that are most responsible for the aging process.
(We also know it from personal observation. Someone who spent a lifetime working on a tan looks years old than somebody who spent a lifetime avoiding direct exposure to the sun.)
So, if the Bible’s account were accurate, science should confirm the following facts:
First, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are a major contributor to the aging process.
Secondly, science would have to conclude that the greenhouse effect would trap heat inside the earth’s atmosphere, which would mean that the temperature in Florida would be about the same as the temperature at the North Pole.
Third, science would have to conclude that this greenhouse effect would create a condition of global warming. Removing that ‘canopy’ would ultimately trigger an Ice Age, particularly where the earth received the least amount of sunlight. Like, say, the North Pole?
If these conditions were met, then by all scientific standards, historical and archeological evidence could reach only one of two conclusions.
Either somebody told Moses all these scientific facts which he then incorporated into a work of fiction called the Book of Genesis.
Or the Book of Genesis is a scientifically accurate account that explains why the evidence shows the North Pole was once a tropical paradise.
Of course, science reaches neither conclusion. Instead, it concludes, according to the journal, “Nature,” that 55 million years ago, “conditions suddenly fostered the summertime growth of vast mats of an ancient cousin of the Azolla duckweed that now cloaks suburban ponds.
The flow of water from precipitation and rivers created a great pool of fresh water, but about 800,000 years after the blossoming of duckweed began, it ended with a sudden warming of a few additional degrees.
Ok, the ‘duckweed’ doesn’t exist — but it must have, once. And when it all died, it made the earth warm. Then all the dinosaurs died, because it also made the earth really cold. Or maybe it was an asteroid hit 85 million years ago?
But wait! “The Duckweed Effect” didn’t take place until thirty million years later. But, when one is talking about theory that encompasses hundreds of millions of years, what’s a few million years one way or the other?
It reminds me of a quote made famous by Senator Everett Dirksen during the Vietnam era when arguing against increasing appropriations;
“A few billion here, a few billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.”
On the other hand, we have the testimony from the Apostle Paul to the Romans, in which he observed,
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…”
Not to mention his warning to Timothy:
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” (1st Timothy 6:20)
Ok, so the Arctic used to be tropical. And a woman was uninjured after being struck by lightning while praying for safety from a storm.
To the world, it is evidence that God is a myth, that the Bible is a book of myths, and to prove it, confirmation of the Flood MUST be the result of the Duckweed Effect.
Mrs. Brown’s miraculous survival is not evidence of a loving God, intimately concerned with the welfare of His children, but at best, evidence God is a cosmic joker, and at worst, God is a myth.
But duckweed turned the Arctic Circle from a tropical paradise to a frozen wasteland.
And they call Christians gullible?