Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Studying Physical Anthropology

I am fascinated by the assertion that some people make about science and religion being non-compatible.  In the chapter I just completed in my Anthropology class I made an interesting discovery.

Note how the world rolled out from the "Big Bang" until the appearance of modern man according to the textbook* we're using:
1. Big Bang
2. Stars, galaxies, planets and moons formed by explosive force of Big Bang
3. Earth was completely covered in water.
4. Volcanic activity creates Panagea and water surrounds it.
5. Panagea begins to break apart as the tectonic plates of the earth shift.
6. Life begins in the waters around Panagea
7. Vegetation appears on the land.
8. Creatures begin to appear on the land
9. Primates evolve and develop into myriad species
10. Homonids appear and begin to dwell on the ground, instead of in the trees.
11. Homo Erectus appears
12. Homo Sapiens appears

Now, let's look at how Genesis Chapter 1* rolls out the creation myth (paraphrased):
Vs. 3 - Let there be light (Big Bang)
Vs. 5 - Separation of Light from Darkness (creation of stars, galaxies)
Vs. 6 - Creation of the dome of the sky (creation of the planets)
Vs. 9 - Creation of dry land with a basin for the water
Vs. 11 - Creation of vegetation
Vs. 14 - Creation of the sun and moon and seasons
Vs. 20 - Creation of water creatures, birds and winged creatures (insects?)
Vs. 24 - Creation of livestock, wild animals and creatures that travel on the ground (land dwelling primates?)
Vs. 26 - Creation of Humans

Ummm... notice anything?  I sure did.  The creation myth matches very closely to the scientific progression.

I wonder, do atheists believe that the oral tradition of the nomadic Hebrew people just happened to get the order of creation right as a lucky guess?  I mean, because all the stuff that happened before homo sapiens appeared on earth would, technically, be before there were any witnesses, right?  And if they did know; how did they know?

I find the more I look at this, the more amazed I am at the parallels.  Especially since, according to this textbook, they didn't have this "order" of geological and genetic evolution until, at the very earliest, the end of the 20th century.

How could the Hebrews have known how it all rolled out, unless they were told by someone?


Larsen, Clark Spencer. Our Origins - Discovering Physical Anthropology: Second Edition. Chapter 8, pg. 226.  W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. www.nortonebooks.com. 2011.

The Holy Bible (NIV)
, Genesis 1: 1-31, BibleGateway.com, 05/08/2012


  1. "Non-compatible"? Of course not. I get the parallels between the two "belief" systems. Non-believers would not; or would consider them coincidences (after all, they consider all of "creation" and existence itself one huge, utterly unguided and arbitrary coincidence).

    Here is the fundamental problem for the non-believers, and the basic reason for their denial of the Divine: Many (most?) persist in their non-belief because to believe in God leaves them vulnerable to the inescapable notion that He might expect something of them. And is this not the fundamental principle--the sine qua non--of disobedience: to deny that there is anyone or anything to obey? Or, to put it another way, anyone who is greater than the self?

  2. When God claps His hands, a universe is born.

  3. I don't want to give the impression that this is some brand-new, private revelation. I am sure that this isn't new information. (I guess I wasn't paying attention, eh?) I was just pretty amazed when I realized what I was looking at.

    I understand what you are saying, and it makes sense. It would just be nice to have someone see the connection and have them say, "Oh, I get it!" instead of "Huh?"

    Thanks for the comment and the food for thought.