Recently, Dr Joseph Maestropaolo, a Calfornian Creationist, pledged $10,000 of his own money to anyone who could disprove the literal word of Genesis. While the challenge is rigged with more booby traps than a Marks and Spencer’s lingerie section, I thought it would still be fun to disprove Genesis, chapter by chapter over a series of blog posts. So, here we go.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
For the time being, I’m going to gloss over the concept of god. Personally, I don’t see any evidence for such a being, but this isn’t the point of the series. The point is that Genesis is in direct conflict with what we know about the Universe and our species from evidence.
So, in the beginning, there was the heaven and the earth. As Heaven isn’t defined here I’m at a loss of what to do with it, so I’ll simply ignore it until a more concrete description is given. The Earth however, is something we can work with.
The Earth, is 4.5 – 4.6 billion years old. We know this by dating meteorites surrounding the earth using Lead isotope systematics. As Claude et al show;
The PbPb ages of the most radiogenic compositions measured in Allende refractory inclusions range from 4.568 to 4.565 Ga, the PbPb ages of secondary phosphates in equilibrated ordinary chondrites vary from 4.563 to 4.504 Ga, and basaltic achondrites show ages between 4.558 and 4.53 Ga.
Of course, the Earth will be slightly younger than primitive meteorites, about 0.1ga. This is due to a series of processes that will need to take place before Earth can be recognised as Earth, such as core formation, end of accretion, atmospheric extraction etc.
So, I could stop here, as in the beginning god made meteorites, waited a bit, then through a series of processes made Earth. However, I want to show that our Universe is MUCH MUCH older than our planet.
The recent WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) mission from NASA produced results showing the Universe to be around 13.77 Billion years old (sauce). This is likely the most precise measurement to date, although other systems of measurements have produced similar results.
By measuring the Cosmic Microwave Background, Knox et al were able to show the age of the Universe to be 14.0 ± 0.5 Gyr.
If Ωtot = 1 and structure formed from adiabatic initial conditions, then the age of the universe, as constrained by measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), is t0 = 14.0 ± 0.5 Gyr. The uncertainty is surprisingly small given that CMB data alone do not significantly constrain either h or ΩΛ
So, the Earth is 4.5-4.6 Billion years old along with the rest of our solar system. However, the Universe is, according to new estimates 13.77Gyr. Unless it can be shown that Earth was static and the Universe was built around it, I would suggest that in the beginning, god did not make the Earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters
That the Earth was without form and void, leaves me to believe it didn’t actually exist. But glossing over that, we’ll look at the next two points.
“Darkness was upon the face of the deep”. Well, according to the Nebular hypothesis, the Earth formed out of the solar nebula left over from the formation of the Sun. This would suggest then, that the Sun was producing light as a bi-product of nuclear fusion during Earth’s accretion, and therefore darkness would not be upon the face of the deep.
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. Again, I’m not here to look at the claims made concerning spirits, gods, afterlife’s or anything super natural, so I shall miss out the spirit of god in this instance, however, that he moved upon the face of the waters, is up for scrutiny.
According to Genesis, we are still in day one, a day in Earth terms being 24 hours, or the amount of time it takes for Earth to spin 360o on its own axis. However, according to Mojzsis et al, evidence of water has only been found as far back as 4,300 myr
Here we report in situ U–Pb and oxygen isotope results for such zircons that place constraints on the age and composition of their sources and may therefore provide information about the nature of the Earth’s early surface. We find that 3,910–4,280 Myr old zircons have oxygen isotope ( 18O) values ranging from 5.4 0.6 to 15.0 0.4 . On the basis of these results, we postulate that the 4,300-Myr-old zircons formed from magmas containing a significant component of re-worked continental crust that formed in the presence of water near the Earth’s surface.
So, with this being the earliest evidence of water on the surface, we are left with around 200 myr where the planet was too hot for water to form as liquid. Therefore, would not have been present on the same day as the Earth’s formation. It will be said that a day is relative, and that days were longer back when the Earth was formed some 6,000 years ago, however, the Bible makes no reference to this, and so we take it literally as is asked by your man Joseph.
Part of me wants to carry on, although I’ve already hit nearly 1000 words debunking only 2 sentences. Therefore, I’ll save the “let there be light” for next time, as I want to go into that in some depth.
Comments and addition always welcome.