Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Less Than 1 Chance in 479 Million Moses Made Up The Creation Account

So the web site claims, anyway.

This is based on twelve events in the creation narrative being in the right order.
1. Light separated from darkness
2. Creation of the earth covered in water
3. The separation of the dry land from the seas
4 – 6. The creation of plants in a particular order – grasses, plants with seeds and fruit bearing trees
7. The placing of the heavenly bodies in relationship to the earth. This is often explained as the clearing of the atmosphere (from one composed mostly of water vapor and carbon dioxide to one with more oxygen due to plant photsynthesis) enough to see these creations.
8-11 The creation of animal life in a particular order – fish, birds, modern land animals, live stock
12. The creation of man
It is amazing what contortions some people will go through to convince themselves they are right. Right here we see:

Missing bits out

The author conveniently skips day two altogether.
Genesis 1:6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
Of course she does. The whole idea of a firmament is nonsense, and best swept quietly under the carpet.

She also misses out ancient land beasts and land invertebrates. When did Go create dinosaurs and spiders? This would seem to be day six (verse 24), which does not fit her neat order "fish, birds, modern land animals, live stock" so again is quietly ignored.

Adding bits in

To boost her numbers a bit, the author pretends that the Bible has grasses created first, then plants with seeds and then fruit bearing trees. Not what the Bible says:
Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
According to the Bible, God said let there be all those thing, and then it was so. All plants in one go.

Why does she split out grasses anyway? There is nothing in the Bible specifically about grass; they are seed-bearing plants.

Similarly with the animals. On day five God creates the fish and birds in one event, on day six, all the other animals bar man in another single event.

Twisting the meaning

She says:
7. The placing of the heavenly bodies in relationship to the earth. This is often explained as the clearing of the atmosphere (from one composed mostly of water vapor and carbon dioxide to one with more oxygen due to plant photsynthesis) enough to see these creations.
But the Bible says this was when the sun and stars were created, not revealed. Sure, if we can pretend it meant one thing, when actually it meant something else, we can pretend it is spot on. Kind of like betting on a horse, and when it loses trying to convince the book that really you meant that other horse, you know, the one that won. See how far that gets you.

Ignoring dependency

Okay, this gets a bit technical. If I roll a dice, the probability of getting a six is 1/6. If I roll it twice, the probability of getting two sixes is 1/6 x 1/6. The two events are said to be independent. The outcome of the second roll is not affected by the outcome of the first.

Say the probability of it raining is 1/10. What is the probability that it is raining now, and will also be raining in ten minutes? It is not 1/10 x 1/10. These two events are not independent; if it is raining now, it is much more likely to be raining in ten minutes than if it is not.

The author of the article is considering the chances of Moses, the supposed author of Genesis, getting this sequence at random. But it is not really random, because some of these events are dependent. It would make no sense for Genesis to say plants were created before the earth was created, for example, and every combination that allows that should be discarded from the calculation.

Her probability calculation takes no account of that - and as the author claims to be a mathematician she should be well aware of this issue.

Just Getting It Wrong

A further problem is that she gets the order wrong! Grasses and fruit-bearing trees appeared no more than 130 million years ago, well after fish had appeared, about 530 million years ago. The ordering that she touts as perfect is contrived by skipping several bits that do not fit, twisting other bits to mean something they are not, and still the order is wrong!




Credits: I found this site from a post at The Sensuous Curmudgeon, which is frequently well-worth reading.

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