does anybody really know what time it is?

Yesterday, I posted something about the popular evangelical delusion that dinosaurs once roamed the earth alongside man, a theory that arose out of desperation when the Biblical literalists among us were confronted with giant reptile bones and the like. In order to reconcile the existence of dinosaur fossils with their belief that the earth is only 6,000 years old, they had to do some creative thinking. (In some cases, they’ve gone so far as to suggest that Noah took two of each dinosaur species with him on the ark.) During the ensuing conversation in the comments section, the following thought on Biblical time keeping was left by a reader in Chicago by the name of Kurt. As it’s more interesting than anything I would have written about tonight (I just got back from an Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission meeting so my mind is swirling with traffic studies and the like), I thought that I’d pass it along.

Seems to me that if God exists in the way people like Ham consider God to exist (ie., as a mighty, bearded white guy in a robe looking down upon us wee, sinning humans, you know, kinda like Zeus or Odin) they might also consider that He existed long before He created the Earth and, as such, His “days” probably last quite a bit longer than 24 puny Earth-hours. Why would he set his personal clock on Earth time? Earth certainly wasn’t the first thing He created and if He’s so enamored of a 24-Earth-hour day then why did He choose days of different lengths for the rest of the planets in our solar system? Hell, if I can’t get all my shit done in 24 puny Earth-hours I’d hate to have God’s “To Do” list.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if Earth is nothing more than God’s version of reality television, something he created just to watch when he’s kickin’ back. 24 Earth-hours might well be the equivalent of a half-hour sitcom for the Big Guy. Of course, I’m sure He’s got a God-style TIVO and can get through an episode in less than a second….

Of course, to accept the possibility that God took longer than six “earth days” to create the planet, in the eyes of many, is just as bad as suggesting that Adam and Eve were protozoa thrown not into a beautiful Garden of Eden, but a dark and ugly primordial soup. Any person who dares to remove a block from this game of “Don’t Break the Ice” known as fundamentalism is perceived as a threat, a blasphemer. I personally would hope that people would be a bit more secure in their faith, but it seems to be the general feeling among evangelicals that to disprove one element is the same as casting the whole book into the rubish bin. I think that’s perposterous. I don’t see why you can’t accept the Bible and science simultaneously, acknowledging that the first reflected as best it could the general understanding of the world in its day. It doesn’t make a divine creator any less likely, or the stories of the Bible any less meaningful… But, for Christ’s sake, don’t suggest to people that Noah incubated T-rex eggs below deck. It’s not helping anyone, and I’m sure that God doesn’t want stupid followers.

(Image from a 1925 text on Creationism.)

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29 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2005 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Great post. Just two questions: How many cubic cubits would it take to encompass two of every dinosaur? And, if god watches us like a TV show, what kind of beer does he drink?

  2. Ingrid
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    But what happened at the planning commission meeting?

  3. Posted May 25, 2005 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Of course God wants stupid followers. The stupider the better. The smart ones keep asking annoying questions.

  4. john galt
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    “How can I tell that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the descrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my current state of mind?”

  5. Amnesty International
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s all America’s fault. George Bush is evil.

  6. chris
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    You want to know something weird? When I read the caption under the church image, my interpretation of it was that those essential truths were understanding, forgiveness, unconditional acceptance, charity, humanity…you know all those things that WE learned that it was, would keep a church standing. Rather than hypocrisy, anger, pride, hate, and criticism.

    But I don’t think that’s what they meant.

  7. mark
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    In the context of the book from which the imgage came, Chris, which is about Creationism, I think the so-called essential truths are things like – Adam and Eve were in the form that men and women are in now, God made the earth in six days, etc.

  8. Posted May 25, 2005 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Nice Chicago reference Mark !

  9. mark
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    It was a reference to Cats, not Chicago.

  10. john galt
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “It’s impossible to separate the notions of Time and Death, in my opinion – without one, there is no other.

    Seth has some interesting notions on the concept of Time. Seth [the name given to the channeling of author Jane Roberts] said that ‘the past’ is subjective – it was subjectively interpreted ‘at the time’, and has since been rearranged in our memories to suit other agendas, or as attitudes and associations changed. All is now. He acknowledged the existence of so-called time ripples, whereby the present can affect the past, and the future can affect the present, but said that the whole thing was immaterial anyway, as time “has no meaning without barriers”. He went on to say that his explaining time to us lesser beings was as futile as trying to describe color to a blind man, sound to a deaf one.

    I interpret his comments as him saying time is an illusion caused by our current inability to see everything in every reality all at once – our human limitation. There are worlds out there to explore that are on no maps: perhaps as we humans continue to evolve, our mental sophistication will leap through itself? Perhaps the evolution drive is heading in this direction. I hope so. Does any of this explain deja vu experiences? Probable realities and doppelgangers? Or what we call reincarnation?”

    — Shirley Knott

    “Perhaps death (and life) is connected to time or impossible without time? But if time is an illusion then maybe so is death (and life)?

    — Robert Cohen

  11. Posted May 25, 2005 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    “Does anybody really care”

  12. mark
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Was that directed to Mr. Galt, Dave?

  13. mark
    Posted May 25, 2005 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I just got this email from a reader, and, since I didn’t get his permission to reprint it, I won’t tell you his name. I thought that it was interesting though.

    A couple of jobs ago, when we lived in Athens-GA, I worked for this zealot that had a sign shop on his compound. They used to sing this song with their home schooled kids about creationism. I wish I could remember what it was but I remember this part about how do you explain the dodo bird and that God did it, God did it. Anyway, if I remember right, they thought that Satan had planted the dinosaur bones as a way to lead man astray. Now THAT, is a theory I can buy into!

  14. mark
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    OK, Ingrid, my Planning Commission notes are now up on the front page. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them.

  15. Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    There are smart followers, but we’re deemed not “real” Christians by the stupid followers, because we actually acknowledge science and realise that the Bible is, as Mark pointed out, meaningful stories. I should ask my Jesuit priest what he thinks about dinosaurs and the timetable of the fundamentalists.

  16. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Dave you are working that Chicago thing and getting no satisfaction. I actually thought that was from “25 or 6 to 4”.

  17. Dave Morris
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Yeah. I think I may have listened to too much classic rock when I was younger. The last comment was the next line in the Chicago song. I was impressed with the title of the post and the connection to Kurt being from Chicago talking about time.

    One of Chicago’s better tunes ( along with 25 or 6 to 4 ). The horns happy it up quite a bit.

  18. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I like the Metallica version of 25 or 6 to 4, which is Seek & Destroy on Kill ’em All. They substitute distorted guitar for the horn section.

  19. Dave Morris
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Now I gotta go back and listen to that. I’d like to hear how the staccato horn section parts translate. A forerunner to pumping?

  20. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    It is more like it is hinted at. It is the chorus and it has that same downward chromatic run.

    As for forerunner to pumping, I think there is a ointment you can put on that.

  21. Dave Morris
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    you recommend that ointment quite a bit ken. i don’t think ointment is good for guitars either. maybe a little snake oil.

  22. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I happen to think ointments are a much better alternative to orgone, thank you very much!

  23. Dave Morris
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I prefer booze.

  24. Tony Buttons
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you two would be more comfortable at http://www.LubeChat.com.

  25. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Buttons, I was not uncomfortable until you wrote that.

  26. Teddy Glass
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Lube, you might be interested to know, is much more slippery – and less toxic – today than it was in the 1970’s when I was in my lube-using prime. I applaud the efforts of Ken and Dave to discuss their use of lubricants here in this public forum. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  27. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Glass, how did I know that you would step into the fray. Dave and I were discussing unguents. That is a salve with healing properties not a compound that cuts down on the amount of friction as you used back in your swinging youth.

  28. mark
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ll set up a special lube-lovers forum. Just give me a day or two to set it up.

  29. Dave Morris
    Posted May 27, 2005 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I suggest a discussion on the use and misuse of Castor and Cod Liver oil. I suspect they are being misused by mothers world wide. Both would likely function much better in a cv or universal joint versus a human digestive tract.

    Canola oil is palatable though. The Canadians were even nice enough to soften the name ( CANada OiL) from rape seed oil.

    Mark, I am glad you are brave enough to bring this topic out into the open. Constipation is nothing to be ashamed of.

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