When geneticists first began comparing human and chimpanzee DNA, it could’ve been a great victory for creationism had we shared little or no DNA in common. Instead, as discussed in question #4, humans and chimps turned out to share roughly 95-98.5% of the same DNA, which was consistent with evolutionary theory. And while this is strong evidence for common ancestry, it is not absolute proof.
The problem is, no matter how similar or dissimilar our DNA, the Creationist can always claim that God designed us this way, and God reused DNA in different animals because it was (possibly) more efficient than designing each new creature from scratch.
But even if this claim is completely false, how could it ever be disproved? We could locate fossils of every extinct creature between humans and apes, and show how the 1.5% disparity emerged, but the age of the fossil DNA would likely makes this impossible.
So while I don’t know if this claim can ever be fully falsified, there do exist a number of oddities that don’t make much sense in light of the Creationist claims…
1) Man was specially made
In God’s defense, He was pretty busy making the Universe during the week of creation, so perhaps it was just easier to reuse ape parts than create us humans from the ground up. Only… the Bible actually says that God built humans from the ground up…
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground…”
~ Genesis 2:7
Not only that, but God also devoted an entire day just to creating humans, and created them in the very image of God. All of this gives the impression that we are something more special than a slightly modified chimp. Why build something “from the dust of the ground” that’s already 98.5% complete?
It would’ve been more accurate had the Bible said: “Then the Lord God took the body of one of the chimps, and enhanced it with upright posture, less hair, upgraded memory, and a more attractive behind.”
2) God doesn’t recycle other designs
If God reuses DNA, it stands to reason that He should also want to reuse specific designs in different classes of animals to accomplish the same goals… but He doesn’t.
Take flight for example. Wings have evolved (or have been re-designed) in many different ways in mammals, birds, reptiles, arthropods, and even fish. Why would God be so heavily invested in reusing DNA, yet not interested in reusing His other designs?
God should say to Himself, “I’m building a bat and I need it to fly, therefore I will reuse the wing I already designed for the pterodactyl, or the bird.” But He doesn’t, He designs a different wing, which is odd for a God who has shown an interest in recycling.
But if flight evolved independently in different classes of animals (also known as “convergent evolution”) then we would expect the resulting designs to be unique in each case, since the “designer” (evolution) is completely unaware it has already developed this solution before.
3) God doesn’t splice DNA unique to one species into another
If God wanted, He could’ve saved time by splicing sections of DNA unique to one animal into another, similar to how humans took DNA from a fish and inserted it into a tomato (to try and keep tomatoes from freezing).
God could’ve given a cat the tail of a scorpion, or a bear the arms of a crab. Then, when we examined DNA from each, we would find evidence for gene tampering — evidence that someone purposely transplanted these genes into unrelated animals in order to reuse some similar feature.
It’s also interesting to note that 15% of human DNA is more closely related to the gorilla than the chimp…
“15% of the human genome is closer to the gorilla genome than it is to chimpanzee, and 15% of the chimpanzee genome is closer to the gorilla than human.”
~ ScienceDaily, Mar. 7, 2012
This makes sense from an evolutionary prospective, suggesting that when humans and chimps diverged, each took along a good chunk of gorilla DNA. After millions of years, humans managed to retain some bits better than the chimp, and vice versa.
But to reconcile this with Creationism, we’d have to assume that when God formed Adam, He intentionally spliced in 15% gorilla DNA! This would suggest that He did have an interest in gene splicing, yet He fails to do it when it comes to more diverse species.
4) God wouldn’t copy broken genes, would He?
Christian geneticist Frances Collins and others have pointed out there are many broken genes shared between humans and primates.
The most famous of these is a gene that affects our ability to produce vitamin C, like almost all other mammals can. What’s interesting about this gene is that it’s also broken in the same place in apes and most monkeys.
This makes sense if evolution is true, as the gene that produces the enzyme probably failed in a common ancestor, and was then passed down to some monkeys, all apes, and all humans. Since most primates take in vitamin C through foodstuffs, evolution didn’t see this as a loss.
It’s much trickier to reconcile this damage through Creationism. While it’s easy to claim that all genetic flaws have occurred since the fall, this doesn’t explain why the same gene failed in the same location in humans, apes, and most monkeys. It’s as if God intentionally broke this gene in most primates to make us appear related.
In copyright law, such errors are sometimes used as evidence of plagiarism. When an error is found in an early document, copies of that document may contain that same error. Just as we can use this mistake to trace plagiarized documents to their source, we can trace a broken gene back to its source.
There are several Creationist explanations for how this gene may have broken in primates, and they fall into two categories: The first is that these genes were intelligently designed this way, even if we don’t understand why (and such a claim can never be falsified, we just have to assume God had a good reason); the second is that the DNA failed in all these animals in a similar way. But interestingly, the guinea pig also can’t produce Vitamin C, but his gene is broken in a different location. Why would a God who was interested in breaking our Vitamin C gene, break it the same way in primates, but a different way in guinea pigs?
5) God has all the time in the world
Finally, why would it behoove God to save time by recycling? God has all the time in the world… and then some. God had plenty of time to make us totally unique, and why wouldn’t he want to make his masterpiece unique? Why would God take time to design many different kinds of wings, and hundreds of “disposable dinosaurs,” and millions of insects and billions of galaxies… yet not devote any time to making man completely unique?
If evolution is true, our DNA should show that the majority of human DNA is similar to that of other great apes, which it is. And if evolution is true, any new traits (ones that developed after two species have split,) must evolve independently in each animal, which they do. And if we evolved, our DNA should contain some of the same errors as other close species, which it does.
If we were created, God could’ve made us completely unique, but He didn’t. And if we were created, God could’ve reused designs and/or unrelated genes across diverse species, but He didn’t. And if we were created, God could’ve easily falsified evolution and provided evidence for the Biblical account of creation, but He didn’t. Instead, God seems to have gone out of His way to deceive us into thinking evolution has occurred.
Wow. And we share 99% of our DNA with mice. They must be our even closer relatives. 😐
99% of human/mouse genes serve a similar function, but only 80% are nearly identical. Chimp genes are still a closer match, and their chromosomes match up much more closely to our own.
I’ve been agnostic for several years now. I would watch a show called Origins with my dad, who is a Christian – though he questions things as well. We would learn how certain things were so perfect, it just had to be made by intelligent design. I’ve heard arguments for many controversial issues like dinosaurs, age of the earth, DNA, etc. I had never actually read the bible more than a few verses, and I felt I didn’t need to, as my mother was very convinced God was real. However, just recently, I began to question my faith.
Anyway, recently I began to watch a few episodes of Origins again (which is with or sponsored by AnswersInGenesis). I noticed how a lot of the time they simply admire how complex everything is, and use that as a basis to why God must exist. I agree, it is incredibly impressive. However, I needed more than this. I wasn’t satisfied with “God must exist because everything is awesome”. I came across a website known as godisimaginary.com. It is very insightful, though it has much less of an accepting attitude towards Christianity than your blog. It has, i believe, 53 key points as to why God is imaginary.
I had always looked at whether God existed by the world around us. I never, as I mentioned, actually read the bible! godisimaginary.com walked me through the verses, and I couldn’t believe the verses actually existed! There they were, for the world to read in the bible, and nobody stopped to think how absurd they were. “No, its a parable, he meant it metaphorically.” Of course, the verses that ‘work better’ are literal, and not metaphors. Obviously -.-. It is very easy to “make scriptures work” with the world as we have it today. It’s easy to give everything a purpose.
“I bet this rock is so sharp and pointy so that animals can rub on them to relieve their itches.”
“No, the rock has no purpose. Its sharpness is a result of weather and environmental wear.”
“But the rock is hard and durable, not like tree branches or plants. The animals needed something hard and durable to scratch themselves with! Praise Yahweh!”
We can see how insane this can get. We can make ANYTHING have a purpose, because that’s how humans rationalize our very existence. We NEED a purpose. It’s very hard to comprehend not having a purpose when our whole lives (especially with science) give purpose/uses to everything.
If one simply reads the bible, it can be seen how absurd the text can be. I am compiling a list of verses that are contradictory, childish, and outright incorrect (Like the sheep getting their stripes because their environment was striped…). There are just so many, and I have since looked to other resources. These include comparing Jesus to Egyptian Gods (debatable, hard to find “facts”, I must read the Book of the Dead myself), and now your site.
A little background on me – I’m a senior studying Computer Science. I have worked with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, as well as math in general. I can see how small, simple things that follow a rule set can turn into giant, complex networks. The cells of our body, even at a low level, are complex. They are much less complex than we are as a whole, though. Go even further down, we see molecules and atoms. These structures follow the basic rules of the universe. Gravity, the Strong Force, the Weak Force, and electromagnetism. That’s all it is, that’s all everything is, just the interaction of tiny particles. When combined, though, we have incredible results.
I’ve long believed evolution occurs on a micro level (bacteria immune to antibiotics surviving, reproducing, and now we have a resistant strain), but macro (common ancestor -> human) has yet to be found. However, I now see that it is not all that far fetched. Especially when one looks at the alternative, the Bible (or any number of other equally mythological religions). The one argument I can’t stand for the defending of verses is “That’s how it was at the time.”. For an eternal God, all knowing, all powerful, perfect, why would he give such “time specific” advise? Would we , those living in the 21st century, not enjoy some advise as well? See God, I can’t own slaves. If I beat anyone to the point that they could even POSSIBLY die within two days, i’m looking at jail time. I’m not “off the hook”. If I rape a virgin (unmarried) girl, I pay a small fee and marry her. She is now my property, she must remain silent, and she must do everything I ask. If SHE betrays ME by being unfaithful, she will be put to death. Did anyone stop and think maybe the woman didn’t want to be stuck with this abusive man? (Yes I know she had no choice – once she was no longer a virgin, nobody would marry her. But still, this is sick.) Isn’t it so obvious that this was written by Israeli men, FOR Israeli men at THAT TIME. Its pure mythology. I also don’t buy the “We have the New Testament now. Jesus brings peace and love! We don’t have to do animal sacrifices or anything like that anymore”. I implore you to read Matthew 5:17-18.
To conclude, my favorite verse so far to show just how “localized” and “Israeli specific” this religion is, just like Zues was specific to Greece, and Horus to Egypt.
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Arrogant prick, your God created her too!)
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” (Seriously? And you call yourself merciful.)
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! (YOU DON’T SAY!?) Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Was this woman not as important as any other woman? Why are Israelis so special? Because it is an Israeli religion written by Israeli sexist and pious men. Yes, Jesus helps her, after she degrades herself further. Did she not already prove her faith by recognizing him as her lord? Begging for mercy? Rubbish. My only hope is that we as a society can move past religion and focus on scientific endeavors. Penicillin saves people, not prayer. I see so many people praising God their loved ones were healed. If their loved ones had not gone to SCIENCE for help, they’d probably be dead or no better. Don’t even get me started on the “witch burning” age. Those poor women and their cats… Witchcraft doesn’t exist (and thus Satan), magic doesn’t exist, and God does not exist.
Sorry for the rant, it just hits several nerves. Thank you so much for writing this blog, it has helped me turn away from the mythology which I once thought was true. It is very hard going from “knowing” God is always with you, to knowing you were just talking to yourself the whole time. I’m going through it now, and its unfortunate. Had I been taught that there was no God, I wouldn’t have this separation pain I have now.
I know what you mean, I was raised with a lot of that. I read my Bible (all of it), watched a great deal of videos on Creationism, denied evolution (even in my science classes), studied the cults, and hoped only to win people for the Lord. A lot has changed since then.
It’s not really my goal to turn anyone away from God or the Bible, just to challenge the ideas. God may be real, and in some ways I hope He is, but I can’t find any solid evidence for it.
I guess I keep hoping that I’ll ask the right question, turn over the right rock, and find that God hypothesis makes the most rational sense. But so far, I haven’t found it. If anything, I’ve become very doubtful that such evidence exists. But I want to make sure.
The complexity of life used to be my go-to argument, but even that failed to stand to reason. If God can arise without a designer, and He is more complex than us, then surely we are more likely to arise without a designer than God. And at least we are made from substances known to exist (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen). I’m not sure what spirit is made of, or if such a thing could even exist.
I think it was thanks to sites like godisimaginary.com (I’ve been through that one, too) and the Internet in general that I’ve become much more skeptical. The exchange of ideas is much more open on the Internet, and fallacies are quickly challenged and dismantled.
I still feel there’s a battle going on between my heart and my mind. My emotions want God to be real (or maybe I just want to be loved, protected and live forever) but my mind can’t find any logical reason to accept the God hypothesis as reasonable.
Thanks for the reply –
Yeah, I want him to be real too. A while ago I actually begged God to show himself to me, to make a spec of dust disappear in front of my eyes. Nobody would know, I promised to never tell anyone if he made it happen. I said I would drop everything and become a missionary to his Word. It wasn’t a test or a stupid request, it was me genuinely wanting him to appear. I would accept a reduced reward in heaven, I just wanted to know he was there. Nothing. Then I felt stupid for talking to myself. And right, I would never want to turn, say, my parents into atheists. They’ve believed their entire lives, and convincing them otherwise when deaths door isn’t terribly far away would be cruel. I want them to feel comfort, even if it is all a lie. After all, ignorance is bliss. (Excuse the cliche). For the young, however, I feel it is important to know that we must focus on advancing our society, not using the supernatural to explain things. If we work hard enough, seemingly impossible things to explain can become quite explainable. Kind of like seasons changing or night/day years ago. Who would have thought it was the revolution of our planet?
I also believe I have a thought similar to yours: I agree God may exist, but if on Judgement Day I stand before him, I will have a whole bunch of questions for him. I would actually be at peace dying, never to exist again, if all would be explained. Great job so far, I love hearing about Christians turned to atheists. They completely understand both sides of the story, and can present information showing both arguments. I have trouble taking anything away from a source that fails to show opinions beyond their bias.
Yep, I’ve done “the God test,” I think every Christian has (even if they don’t admit it). I’ve asked God to flip on lights, levitate coins, make things disappear… hell, I’ve even tried cursing a fig tree, lol. None of it worked. You’re just told to believe everything on faith. This is either because your willingness to believe without any evidence is extremely important to God (which doesn’t seem like something an intelligent God would want, as it would lead to people believing anything,) or God can’t do things because He doesn’t really exist.
And I’m cool with not existing as well, (it’s hell I’d have a serious problem with). If I have to stand before God and explain my disbelief, I have at least 500 questions for Him. I might start by saying “Well, I really wanted to believe in you, and I even invited you dozens of times to come and confirm to me that you really did exist, but you never did. I also asked Zeus and Ra if they were real, but they said nothing as well. I just figured you were all imaginary.”
But if you like de-conversion stories, you might want to rent Julia Sweeney’s “Letting Go of God”. It’s probably one of the best videos I’ve seen on the subject. At first, I thought her monologue seemed a bit poorly acted, but by the end of her show I was both laughing and crying. When I first saw it, I felt like no one really understood what I was going through, but she got it — and she was coming to all the same conclusions I was.
500Q it’s testimonies like yours, John’s, Anne’s, and many others, that makes me appreciate my fortune in having never been indoctrinated. I’ve been spared the agony of guilt, fear, and ultimately feeling betrayed or lied to my entire life.
I am dealing with these same issues. After being a Pentecostal preachers wife, (and a believer myself) it was the access to a computer that turned everything around for me. I didn’t really have my own laptop for a long time, so that explains the long years of believing things that could not be proven. I started out looking for videos of PROVEN miraculous healings on youtube. To my surprise, there were NONE….. and I was looking to prove God, not to disprove him. Well, I have come a long way since then. Having listened to many debates between religious people and people such as Dawkins, Hitchens, Bart Ehrman etc. I don’t believe in God anymore, and can’t believe I was ever as gullible as I was for all those years.
I am really enjoying this “500 questions” site ( blog)…whatever you can it. It is great. I haven’t read all of them yet, but I’m working on it. Thanks for all the work you are ( or have been) putting into this!
John, since you’ve not read the scripture very well, you can’t say much. I four professor recommend a text for you, how can you write and pass an exam based of of that book if you refuse to read it or a closely related book. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible interprets itself.
If you think things are built just by following some simple rules, then who made those rules? A ruler, right?
I’m busy to write more for now nut think about it.
Hi it’s your favourite frequent commentator here 😉
Evolution and creationism do not necessarily need to conflict. There is a long and good debate about it going on here:
It is of course too long to summarize here. There are many theologists that think that evolution and bible are working together well and that there is no need for bible and science to clash. The main proponent being Frances Collins that you mentioned (founder of biologos) We call it theistic evolution.
So i reccomend that if you are seriously interested about these issues do a throughout search on the forum of the bioloos and so on. Here´s a good starter article and plenty more there. Good luck 🙂
And to mr Toniolo. Faith is a requirement in christianity. Hebrews 11:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. “
My personal experience is that God has spoken to me but in whispers only. He guides my way but it requires some faith that it’s not just a voice inside my head 🙂
Good luck in your search too 🙂
BHS why not give YOURSELF credit for following your own guidance? It seems like many theists don’t give enough credit to human intelligence and empathy.
So, basicly evolution is a hoax, because it contradicts the Bible, but since evolution can be proven, then a god did it? Even if no god can be proven to exist? That line of thought really requires faith on some particular god (among thousands of gods), or that one never stops to really think about these issues. But is the requirement of faith on these silly conclusions ethical, or fair from a god?
Howdy BHS and Rautakyy,
I do have objections to theistic evolution, but decided to leave them out of this particular post. There are many Christians who have become convinced by the evidence for evolution (roughly half the US), and I have no qualms with them on this particular issue. However, I do object to their need to compromise.
A compromise is called for when you have good evidence on both sides — i.e. if we knew there was a God, then we should compromise our understanding to incorporate both ideas. But as Wikipedia and Rautakky have pointed out, the religious are the only ones struggling with compromise…
In other words, the religious have previously accepted a premise without evidence, and now must try to reconcile their faith-based-belief with any actual evidence. So while I would say “Let’s take the evidence and let it tell us what to believe,” the Christian would say “I’ve already accepted what I believe on faith, and now I need to reconcile it with the actual evidence… if I can.”
It reminds me of again of how the Mormon church had to deal with the fact that so few American Indians have Jewish DNA (which, according to their Holy book, they should have). They too had to deal with reconciling their book in light of modern evidence, and eventually compromised and said that not all Indians were of Jewish decent (though, in actuality, none of them were). But they went ahead and made this compromise for the exact same reasons Christians now compromise over evolution, because it’s easier to create a compromise than admit your cherished religion was simply wrong.
While I understand that some men have long since abandoned a literal interpretation of Genesis, the foregone conclusion that the author and all these men make is that the Genesis story is actually inspired by the creator god depicted in the story. They can’t abandon the story without abandoning the god. The fact that Jews and Christians have long since recognized that the story is ridiculous, and have made up ways to reconcile the story, is of little consolation.
Rather than reading Genesis and saying “This is ridiculous and therefore isn’t true,” the Christian presupposition forces them to say “Well, it’s ridiculous… but if I want to continue believing I must excuse it. Therefore, perhaps it is allegorical… or written for people of another time…” (two excuses that seem to get used a lot).
But regardless, there are still many Christians today who take the literal view, and this is the view I’m interested in contesting.
Genesis is clearly meant as an allegorical story by it’s orginal authors. There is many parts that indicate this. The Bible tells us that God created, not how God created. Let me loan a long passage of an article here:
“In Genesis 1, multiples of seven appear in extraordinary ways. For ancient readers, who were accustomed to taking notice of such things, these multiples of seven conveyed a powerful message. Seven was the divine number, the number of goodness and perfection. Its omnipresence in the opening chapter of the Bible makes an unmistakable point about the origin and nature of the universe itself. Consider the following:
The first sentence of Genesis 1 consists of seven Hebrew words. Instantly, the ancient reader’s attention is focused.
The second sentence contains exactly fourteen words. A pattern is developing.
The word ‘earth’—one half of the created sphere—appears in the chapter 21 times.9
The word ‘heaven’—the other half of the created sphere—also appears 21 times.
‘God’, the lead actor, is mentioned exactly 35 times.
The refrain ‘and it was so’, which concludes each creative act, occurs exactly seven times.
The summary statement ‘God saw that it was good’ also occurs seven times.
It hardly needs to be pointed out that the whole account is structured around seven scenes or seven days of the week.
The artistry of the chapter is stunning and, to ancient readers, unmistakable. It casts the creation as a work of art, sharing in the perfection of God and deriving from him. My point is obvious: short of including a prescript for the benefit of modern readers the original author could hardly have made it clearer that his message is being conveyed through literary rather than prosaic means. What we find in Genesis 1 is not exactly poetry of the type we find in the biblical book of Psalms but nor is it recognizable as simple prose. It is a rhythmic, symbolically- charged inventory of divine commands.”
Orginal article here:
And there are many other clues that Genesis was not MEANT to give accurate scientific representation of how the world was created. Message is that God did it.
So I also try to send this message trough the christian circles any way I can. So we can avoid unnesesary battles between science and faith. 🙂
Even if that were absoltuely true, it would mean that God crafted His message for an ultra-small group of ancient peoples, not caring to convey the exact same message (as easily) to the majority of the human race that would come afterward.
Islam also plays a lot of the same games with numerology to try and prove the Quran is true. Numbers have a way of seeming meaningful, even when they are not.
But this has less and less with the original question of DNA reuse, so let’s not get too far off track. 😉
God spoke to us all trough ancient people. Bible is multicultural and thus works for every culture. Science and my religion can live peacefully together and creationism and evolution work well together.
See ya! 🙂
Pretty bold statement you make there BHS… “Bible is multicultural and thus works for every culture”
One look around at all the cultures we have today or in times past, and it’s clearly NOT able to work universally.
Could be a shot in the dark here, but there is something i’ve noticed about Christianity. In reply to Boxin’, it is indeed a religion of faith. However, a lot of the “little” miracles like passing tests, winning first place in a race, etc. are not because of divine intervention. I propose that instead that the fact you believe in god instills an incredible amount of confidence and motivation in you. When you “know” God will help you win, you also inadvertently “know” you’re going to win. There really is truth to the positive effects of confidence and self motivation. But it’s still you. You’re the one doing the hard work, you’re the one eating right or studying. If it were God, all you’d have to do is ask and you receive. “Please allow me to score 100% on the final exam… I will now go to sleep, because I KNOW in the morning, because i’ve asked in your righteous name Jesus Christ, I will do just fine on the test!”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I wish it did! We must instead study as hard as we can. If God truly inspired intelligence, you would see the opposite of our friend 500questions graph a few questions ago on IQ correspondence. While I did see the arguments that academic knowledge isn’t the only intelligence… in America, it’s probably a safe bet to say its up there in the more important types of Intelligence.
As I’ve said, I once believed in God wholeheartedly. I once had a bout with anxiety/depression and prayed every single day to be healed. I wasn’t healed, until I was put on antidepressants (for OCD, thinking about things to much, obsessing). I STILL thanked the lord, for I felt better, and I gave any and all credit to him. Truth is, it was just science. Wonderful, awesome science. The placebo effect is incredibly strong… it makes you “know”, as opposed to think, you will succeed. What a powerful thing, why wouldn’t you praise the lord upon your success!? It feels so good to give Him credit, like he’s always watching over you. But you better give yourself the credit, because it was you believing in yourself!
Interesting Read and great comments. I believe in the anthropic principle which forms a line to my faith in God. I also believe in God through Jesus because Jesus is for me the greatest human being to have ever lived for two reasons. The first is because He railed against the religious leaders of His day who taught the people form over substance. The second is because He described a God that wanted us to Love our neighbor as ourself, and then showed us how much He loved us. I understand losing your religion since I have shed a great deal of religious baggage over the years, but to say that all the answers will be found in science or humanism is misguided. Science will never answer the Why yearnings of our heart and humanism will not make us LOVE our neighbor. Some of us need Jesus, story or not, to show us the Way.
I n I What is the “anthropic principle”? Does it mean, that man is godlike, since alledgedly a creator entity formed man to somehow simulate divinity? If that is so, it is a very arrogant and andropocentric form of thought.
Many men have challenged religious leadership of their time and suffered the violent consequences. Historically, it could be said that without secular forces in any society, no challenger of the religious dogmas would have ever survived. Religions are like that – conservative in that sense. They suffer no rivalry, from new ideas and will use violence to stop any new ideas, if possible. However, new ideals do not necessarily die, while being targets of violent mainstream cultures. Such violence often produces a culture of martyrdom. Those who die for what they believe in will be honoured by the adherents of the same cult/ideology or what have you, regardless how bonky the ideal they suffered for is or was.
Jesus is by no means the only religious teacher who has brought forth this idea, that there could be a loving god and most importantly that we should treat each other humanely. For example Buddha and Laozi both presented this principle of ethics long before Jesus. In my opinion the main point of the story is, that we should treat each other humanely regardless of gods. In that sense I can respect Jesus the philosopher, but I see no evidence of him being a flesh and blood divinity from the realm of supernatural.
BHS, numerology is such a funny thing, that every religion starting from the ancient magos of persia, through Orfeus cult to Islam and Christianity has sought logic and power by mystifying numbers and mathematics. Even the modern telephone fortunetellers use it, since numbers seem to hold some sort of magical forces bound to them from the perspective of the mathematically illiterate. The religions of holy scripture used the same mystical power of the written word to the illiterate masses in their early days (and still do). Written word was somehow magical to those who could not read.
Why would a creator entity of the entire universe speak to humanity only through ancient people? Why would a creator use such allegories, that they would seem to the modern man simple as attempts of the early man to explain the world around him? The ancient people were not idiots or “primitive” from their understanding. If a god would have given them accurate information about the creation, they could have understood it just as well as any modern man. All the ancient scriptures and holy stories give us a description of the world, creation and the imagined supernatural, exactly in the form, as if the ancient people just made it up themselves with the information at hand to them and totally without any special help from the creator of the universe.
It is a silly notion that a creator entity of the entire universe according to some forethought grand plan, would have this assembly line on one tiny planet to produce image of this entity, by evolving prototypes such as dinosaurs and the apes. It does not say anything about it in any holy scriptures, but for both Christianity and evolution to be true, this is actually what is suggested. It really goes beyond all reason, that this entity would offer the ancient people some culturally relativistic explanation, that is actually such an allegory (though the ancients do not see it as an allegory, but actual information) about the creation, it is total gibberish in terms of science, and expect modern people to believe in the existance of such an entity based on that non-information. Did your god lie to the ancients, since they honestly thought the creation story was absolutely true (as so many peole still do), while in reality it was just a magnificently silly allegory for cosmos and evolution? It seems to me, that while the scientific information grows and religions are struggling to reconcile with it, gods are slowly, but without help being reduced back to their place as personified natural forces. Personifying natural forces is natural to human psyche. That way the uncertainties they represent, seem less threatening, but no actual protection from the elements is achieved. Only a foolish sense of security.
I think you made an error here:
“Not only that, but God also devoted an entire day just to creating humans,”
According to Genesis 1:24-31 God didn’t devote an entire day just to creating humans. Both humans and all other land-dwelling animals were created on the same day – the sixth day.
Honestly if take Genesis literally you will see an inconsistency between the first and second chapters. Man and women were created in their likenesses (the Gods), after everything else had been created. But in the second chapter, before any plants or animals were created, God created the garden, and placed Adam inside, then tasked him with naming everything. Once he finished that impossible task he saw that Adam was lonely, knocked him out, stole a rib, and created Eve. Do you see the contradiction?
This creation story is just that, a story. It is an early man’s attempt to explain something that, at the time, was unexplainable.
All creatures in Creation have a similar thing in common. A duck has a beak and webbed feet but a dog has a snout and paws. Just like spider is to spin a web and duck is born to swim. I don’t believe in evolution but I do believe that all living Creatures all have similarities but are created for different purposes and are within their own uniqueness as well as their kind. I don’t believe humans are apes, we are our own kind.