Wisdom begins with an admission that you know nothing, a naked admission indeed! Therefore, I start with admission of my extreme ignorance and confusion. I wish I can get some answers.
When I am quoted like this, there is a reason for my reservations:
“School children who see the exhibits in the Creation Museum in Kentucky will be confused when they learn in school that the universe is 14 billion years old rather than 6,000."
- Iqbal Latif, writer for Global Politician magazine
I wrote on my United Freethinkers of Earth Community on illogical ‘Noah’s Ark.’ Kire Nesbocaj responded 'you are preaching to the choir. If Christians read this they would dismiss this with a quick and easy.' "I know it is true because the bible tells me so."
I was not preaching to the choir; I was just addressing my own 'demons.'
The reason this 'debate' interests me is because of the fact that we as humanity at large are still victims of these near ‘mythological and fiction stories’ which were interwoven by early man. We conscious beings from time immemorial to now have a preoccupation with ‘The myths of origin or age of gods.’ The tragedy is that truth is proven by anything that is old enough, irrespective of the chronological order of events. Genesis was composed around 550 BC by the priests although Moses is placed 800 years before that. One needs to be aware that ‘Genesis,’ being the oldest, was woven around stories that were thousands of years old before they were inscribed.
The contradictions are enormous; one scripture rarely supports the 'tales' of the other. ‘Recitation of ideologies’ on 3,000 years of hearsay is the basis of our modern ‘religious contemporary practices’ which we deem puritanical and undeniable. Religion and stories of religion are considered genuine as long they are old enough. It is science and logic that should determine the facts right, not the inscription in ‘holy scripture’ which are quite conflicting.
The mother of all myths are ‘The Iliad and the Odyssey,’ two of the best Greek epics written by Homer, and ‘The Aeneid’ written by Virgil, the best known of Roman poets. The two common ideas woven into the Odyssey and the Iliad are custom and recklessness. The gods, to keep order, handed down customs. When men were wild, alluring the rage of the gods with hubris, they invited vengeance and bedlam by exalting themselves. In fact, if the laws of the gods were submissively followed, life had the probable for eternal good. In my modest estimation, most of the text of scriptures and punishment and reward are extension of human folklore written by original Greek masters of epics.
When school children see the exhibits in the Creation Museum in Kentucky they are confused when they learn in school that the universe is 14 billion years old rather than 6,000. Those who believe God created the heavens and the Earth in six days about 6,000 years ago say their views are finally being represented by the Christian creators of the 27 million $ sprawling museum.
Exhibits show the Grand Canyon took just days to form during Noah's flood, dinosaurs coexisted with humans and had a place on Noah's Ark, and Cain married his sister to people the earth, among other Biblical wonders. Creation Museum in Kentucky have the dinosaurs sail on the ship -- Noah's Ark, to be precise and depicts the Bible's first book, Genesis, as literal truth. A Gallup poll last year showed almost half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created by God in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Three of 10 Republican presidential candidates said in a recent debate that they did not believe in evolution.
Critical thinking is the key for our survival as mankind. The chord in the minds should reverberate when a subject is discussed, moreover, we need to raise queries on issues where our understanding is not quite clear. The purpose is not to create further confusion but to clear suffocation of thought that is killing our society at large.
Taha Husayn experiences in Al-Azhar are something that will help you appreciate the mundane process rammed through students' minds to stay contained between fixations of theology and the forbidden. These unseen chains of threat of ‘blasphemy and divinely forbidden’ serves to arrest examination and enquiry in its formative years. In our world, freedom of mind is frowned upon as it questions predestination and the will of Allah.
Al-Azhar was created in the tenth century and is hailed as one of the oldest universities in the world. However, as late as the early twentieth century, the blind Egyptian author Taha Husayn complained about the total lack of critical thinking he encountered at the institution:
"The four years I spent [at al-Azhar, from 1902] seemed to me like forty, so utterly drawn out they were....It was life of unrelieved repetition, with never a new thing, from the time the study began until it was over. After the dawn prayer came the study of Tawhid, the doctrine of [Allah's] unity; then fiqh, or jurisprudence, after sunrise; then the study of Arabic grammar during the forenoon, following a dull meal; then more grammar in the wake of the noon prayer. After this came a grudging bit of leisure and then, again, another snatch of wearisome food until, the evening prayer performed, I proceeded to the logic class which some shaikh or other conducted. Throughout these studies it was all merely a case of hearing re-iterated words and traditional talk which aroused no chord in my heart, nor taste in my appetite. There was no food for one's intelligence, no new knowledge adding to one's store."
We need to find the answer to questions like the different accounts of incidents in different scriptures, this is what we call search of the ultimate truth.The problems of ideology will not stop if we don't reconcile the different versions of human truth:
The story of Cain and Abel:
After Cain killed his brother Abel, The Quran says that "God sent a raven who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the shame of his brother." Surah 5:34. This is not mentioned in the new and old testament.
The Story of Abraham:
Abraham's father, according to the Islam, is Azar, while the Bible says that his name was Terah. Islam says Abraham had two sons, the Bible says they were eight. The Islam thinks Abraham lived in the valley of Mecca, while the Bible says he lived in Hebron.
''We learn that the path of his travels remained for the most-part within the fertile crescent, where there were pastures, game and settlements, with Abraham eventually settling in Hebron.
Genesis 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed [his] tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which [is] in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.Genesis 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which [is] before Mamre.
So the question begs, how did Ishmael travel 1200 kilometers, including across 1,000 kilometers of harsh, barren, Arabian desert, most of 1000 years before the first caravan route was ever established along the Red Sea in Arabia, in time to attend his father Abraham's funeral in Hebron?
In order to address this insurmountable demographic difficulty, Ibn Ishak, one of Islam's 7th and 8th century A.D. Islamic "tradition" creators, suggested that Abraham and Ishmael regularly commuted back and forth between the Holy Land and Mecca on a long white flying donkey-mule - a Baraq - like the one Prophet rode one night from Mecca, to Jerusalem, to heaven, and back to Mecca by morning.''
In the Islamic traditions and scriptures Abraham sacrificed Ismael, while the Bible says it was Isaac. The Islam says that Abraham had two wives; in the Bible he had three.
The Islam thinks he built the Kaaba. The Bible has no record of that.
Abraham and the Child of Sacrifice - Isaac or Ishmael? Jews, Christians and Muslims agree. Abraham, the friend of God, is an example of pure and unconditional righteousness and faith. The love that Abraham displayed towards God is clearly seen in Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only beloved son. All three religions do not dispute this fact. Where they do disagree on, however, is the identity of the sacrificial child? The Bible states that this child was Isaac.
Muslims on the other hand feel that Ishmael was the one offered up by Abraham. They believe that the Holy Bible supports this by its declaration that Abraham offered his only son (see above verses). Ishmael was Abraham's only son for over 13 years, which would make it impossible for Isaac to be the child of sacrifice.
The story of Mary (the mother of Jesus):
The Islam states that her brother was Aaron, while the Bible says that Aaron lived 1300 years before Mary. That she gave birth to Jesus under a palm tree, while the Bible says it was in a stable. That Jesus spoke and made miracles at the time he was a baby. The Bible has no record of that. That Zacharias could not speak for three days, while the Bible says he could not speak until the child was born (or for about 9 months).
There is no wind strong enough that can tear apart a flowing river like Nile or signs of the flood that landed Noah's boat on Mount Ararat. Wind or no wind, nothing ever bifurcated the Nile on the Red Sea. One of the examples of the greatest myth is ‘Upon seeing the Pharaoh and his army approaching the Israelites started to run but stopped at the seafront where they could not go any further. Here Moses used his staff to part the sea that allowed the Israelites to pass through, then the Pharaoh also followed but the sea closed on him drowning and killing Pharaoh and his entire army.’ No geographical signs of such a miracle exist.
God told Noah to build an enormous wooden boat and load a male and female of every animal species into it. Then God made it rain, flooding the entire earth with water to swallow up the wicked. Before we dive into the question of whether Noah and his ark existed, let's first ask if there's any evidence of ancient worldwide flooding. Scientifically speaking, such a flood would be impossible. It would take more than five times the amount of water in the oceans and atmosphere to submerge the earth up to its mountaintops [source: Discovery Channel and BBC]. And if that amount of water entered the atmosphere, the resulting pressure would crush people's lungs [source: Discovery Channel and BBC].
The scriptures also differ in the account of facts, the story of Noah and the flood:
Islam talks about one of the sons of Noah who refused to go into the Ark and was drowned in the flood, while the Bible says that all three sons of Noah went into the Ark with him and were saved from the flood. In Islam the Ark came to rest on top of mount Judi, while the Bible says that it was Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4).
Splitting of moon: Traditions transmitted on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud describe the incident as follows:
We were along with God's Messenger at Mina, that moon was split up into two. One of its parts was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. God's Messenger said to us.
It must be metaphorical incidence not an actual incidence as no geological or astronomical signs supports it, 65 million years ago, a piece of asteroid vanished every living thing on planet earth, half of the moon would not end up in peninslar Arabia without total destruction of earth.
Carl Sagan said, "I don't want to believe, I want to know." Nature has its own path to create balance and ensure survival of the fittest. Some 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived on earth are now extinct. The charges that we humans are causing the next mass extinction - the sixth in the history of life on Earth - are nothing but fiction. Accounts of scriptures are unverifiable myths bordering on plain fiction, for example, the myth of age of the earth; 14.7 billion years of universe age from the Big Bang and 4 billion years of Earth cannot be compressed in just 6000 years as Bible projects.
Islam describes the creation of the universe in "six days," but then in other passages indicates that a "day" to us is different than a "day" in God's reckoning of time.
Genesis 'The Creation Story Summary:'
The opening chapter of the Bible begins with these words, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God began to speak into existence his creation. The day by day account follows:
- Day 1 - God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light "day" and darkness "night."
- Day 2 - God created an expanse to separate the waters and called it "sky."
- Day 3 - God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters "seas." On day three, God also created vegetation (plants and trees).
- Day 4 - God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night. These would also serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years.
- Day 5 - God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life.
- Day 6 - God created the animals to fill the earth. On day six, God also created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in his own image to commune with him. He blessed them and gave them every
creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
- Day 7 - God had finished his work of creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.
If we agree as per 'Bible' that our planet’s age is 6,000 years then the laws of physics that help us run our everyday life, like the very computations we do or quantum physics or the ability of flying at the speed of sound or thermodynamics are incorrect, as quantum physics does not support the age of earth as 6,000 years.
Somewhere out in the void — about 13.2 billion light-years away, give or take — is a magnificent red blob that was recently discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. It's a galaxy — or at least it was; it has long since flashed out of existence — but it is far less beautiful or dramatic than nearly any galaxy the Hubble has spotted before. Its magnificence, instead, comes from its age.
The newly discovered star cluster — a hundred times smaller than our Milky Way — was formed just 480 million years after the 13.7 billion-year-old universe was born, making it the oldest galaxy ever found. As such, it provides astronomers with a first-time glimpse at the universe in its R&D phase, when small, sloppy galaxies were being formed out of hot gas, only to vanish shortly afterward — leaving the skies free for the huge and mature galactic swirls that would come along later. Carbon dating or half life cycle of radioactive material proves that.
Either we believe in laws of nature as highlighted in the Scriptures/biblical view on the age of earth, or support the way science is trying to find answers to the missing link and complete the story of our humble origins through evolution. The planned repairs to the Hubble will allow the telescope to function until at least 2013, when its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), is due to be launched. The JWST will be far superior to Hubble for many astronomical research programs, but will only observe in infrared.
The twains shall never meet. The scriptures' fictional stories should be treated like Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad. These are all great pieces and narration of human romanticism with afterlife and our banal existence.
Peering at the Big Bang singularity:
In principle, neutrino measurements could get to within one second of the big bang, but that
hasn’t yet been demonstrated. Though the observable universe is 14 billion light-years across, and our view is limited.
At the first annual Origins Symposium at Arizona State University a panel outlined the theoretical and technical challenges of peering still closer to that signal event in the history of the cosmos for clues about the nature and evolution of the universe we know today.
“There’s only so far back we can see, and that’s about 380,000 years” after the big bang, when detection of light particles, or photons, becomes impossible because of the high energies at that time, said physicist Michael S. Turner of the University of Chicago, who moderated the panel. “Within Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the big bang is a singularity—we can’t go beyond that singularity.” Five key problems to getting closer to that instant.
In its 4.6 billion year history, Earth has undergone massive geologic and climatic changes and provided habitat to an ever-changing cast of life forms. In recent years, the origin and early evolution of life has seen an unprecedented development. The Earth provides the requisite conditions of liquid water, an environment where complex organic molecules can assemble. In this 4.6 billion year history, we are relatively new entrants on the life scene, and inspite of it, have survived against massive odds.
Intelligent conscious man from inception, after definition of our origins, in the absence of science, wanted to romanticize and wrote the history of our life and post life the way he wanted an ideal life. Earlier on he created 'fictions' of Homer 'allegories and gods' and later 'prophetic' narrations and scriptures to help satisfy his needs to answer the burning question that this life is not going to end here, we are forever. It is left for us to decide to either follow the truths of ‘Hubble’ or truth of eons narrated by an enormously intelligent man which logically don’t add up.