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#61 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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I think it's rather like when someone says "and they lived happily ever after." Or expressions that use a big number, which really means as much as a person could possibly want.

It seems pretty clear to me that it is not possible to talk about days as we know them, at least in the beginning of the creation story. From a human perspective, a day is one revolution of the Earth on it's axis. But all planets that revolve that way have a day, and it varies in length. And clearly none of those really apply to God, since he isn't on a planet anyway. In the very first part of the story, it doesn't seem like there is even a planet to revolve, so what could a day mean then?
Words can't mean anything just randomly though. My point has been that "day" is a word chosen to depict a concept to an audience for whom "day" does have definitions. The story is not of god talking to himself with no intention to inform anyone. If I mean something is going to take a really, really long time, if I wish to be understood I'm not going to tell you, "oh, it'll be about a day," because that would necessarily be grossly misunderstood. It's not normal English. I'd just like to know if the original word being used in a non-literal sense is shown within it's own language in any context other than this one.
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#62 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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1littlebit, you've got the gist of it - and that would be what creationists would contend is micro-evolution.
If you are interested in learning more - read about Darwin's finches. I was just at a symposium with my son and a researcher who has been studying the finches for the past 20+ years was talking about how they are seeing the beaks beginning to converge into a more common shape, due they think to the fact that people are now feeding the birds using commercial bird seed and so the need for some of the diversity is disappearing.

The basis for the belief in literal Christian creationism is that humans and other animals cannot have common genetic ancestors as God created humans from dust to resemble basically who we are today. Evolution has proven otherwise beyond any doubt. If you accept the idea of micro-evolution, scientifically there is no difference between that process and "macro" evolution - perhaps with the exception of time over which it happens. There are numerous examples of transitional fossils in the fossil record and more being found every day.

A good starting point for understanding the science is the dvd Judgement Day Intelligent Design on Trial which goes over the arguments for and against creationism or "intelligent design" which was part of the Dover School Board court case. It's entertaining and quite informative.

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#63 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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is this totally incorrect? or not what your talking about? if it is what your talking about and is correct why is it not compatible with creationism?
1littlebit, you seem to have a pretty good understanding to me. You are right, that is what happens, that is evolution, and it doesn't have anything to say about how the universe began at all.
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#64 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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I think people think this because it is the Christian perspective. God created the heavens and earth for man, and he created the animals to be dominated by man. Many of the animals, such as dogs, are used as an example of mans natural dominion over them and their obedience to man. This is the perspective of many people because that is what the bible tells them, and they believe the bible. When we throw dinosaurs into the mix, or the fact that there are millions of galaxies and billions of other planets out there, you know, to be enjoyed by the hubble telescope, or, no one, I agree that it kind of throws a wrench in the human centric Christian perspective. But, that is not my perspective, I am simply questioning the Christian or biblical point of view. Personally, I don't think man was ever meant to be the center of the universe. I think dinosaurs rose and fell independent of man. And I thinks dogs were bred by man to achieve a trainable variety.
This isn't the Christian perspective. I'm not sure why you think it is?

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#65 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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This isn't the Christian perspective. I'm not sure why you think it is?
Isn't it? It could be for *some* Christians which is exactly the problem with the "Christian perspective" discussion- there is more than one. Far more.

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#66 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:46 PM
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I'd just like to know if the original word being used in a non-literal sense is shown within it's own language in any context other than this one.
Which is why I think the Qu'ran is much clearer that the bible... a lot of Muslims read and understand classical Arabic, but very few Christians read and understand classical Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew... if one could even find a bible still written in the original languages. Clearly there are are differing interpretations of the Qu'ran, of course, but at least everyone is reading the same book.

In Catholic high school, for example, I learned that the term usually translated as "coat of many colors" was actually mistranslated, and it should have been "coat with sleeves". Less colorful, but makes more sense, perhaps.

 
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#67 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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so the problem creationists have with evolution is that it means that god did not necessarily plop humans on earth exactly as we are right now? or is it that humans as we are right now may have evolved from the same creatures as other animals that are similar to us? really uber simplistically would that be like there was an animal many many millennia ago who had traits A B C D E changed over time b/c of weather, food, predators, etc reproduce, adapt etc into two (or three or four) separate and distinct species one of which has traits A C E and the other has traits A B D?
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#68 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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Words can't mean anything just randomly though. My point has been that "day" is a word chosen to depict a concept to an audience for whom "day" does have definitions. The story is not of god talking to himself with no intention to inform anyone. If I mean something is going to take a really, really long time, if I wish to be understood I'm not going to tell you, "oh, it'll be about a day," because that would necessarily be grossly misunderstood. It's not normal English. I'd just like to know if the original word being used in a non-literal sense is shown within it's own language in any context other than this one.
Yes, you could probably find good discussions of the use of the word day in this context in some scholarly journals about philology. I believe a pp has already alluded to it.

But I think the logical problem - what does a day mean when the story is being told from God's perspective, before a day could even exist, is also a good indicator that it is not meant in the usual way.

The creation story is one of the oldest sections of the scriptures, and has many interesting quirks of language that are related to it's very early date - although it was actually written down much later, the writers kept many of these strange language quirks that must have seemed rather odd to them. It can sometimes be hard to interpret these oddities, because we know so little about why they may have been used, if they are a remnant from the past or something added later when it was written down. THere are a lot of questions around the use of the word day in the creation story, but alas, no definitive answers.

You might find some stuff if you looked up Genesis and textual criticism, although there is a lot of very bad work done in that area, so it can be hard to sort the good from the bad if you are just starting.

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#69 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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1littlebit, you seem to have a pretty good understanding to me. You are right, that is what happens, that is evolution, and it doesn't have anything to say about how the universe began at all.
Phew! i was a little worried that i was totally missing something. i always thought that it was compatible b/c creation is about ... well.. creation and evolution is about what happens to living things once they are here.
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#70 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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But you haven't been taught it by any biologists. I highly recommend learning it from the people who understand and are expert in the subject.
Actually I have. But I don't see the real point in arguing that since I can't have them show up at your door to prove it or anything.

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evolution is about what happens to living things once they are here.
A lot of Christians have trouble with evolution because the root of it is in atheism.

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But you're not a chemistry or biology teacher, are you? Please, don't be embarrassed that you don't really get a field you haven't studied or been trained in, there's no shame at all in that.
I taught 8th grade science (so obviously I'm not at a professor/researcher level of understanding) and the curriculum covered physics, astronomy, and cell biology (including DNA). I went back and reread my post about micro and macro evolution and realized I incorrectly used the term amino acid in my description and I'm sorry for that! I'll blame it on my teething DD who has kept me up all night for days. :

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#71 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Didn't read the whole thread, but I'm a Bible believing Christian and here is my take...

Several times in the Bible it is said that HIS time is not our time. So the whole 'earth in 6 days' is more metaphor to me. I don't think it was LITERALLY 144 hours. I believe that GOD'S day can be anywhere from 10,000 of our years to a trillion of our years. So it happened VERY slowly. So the 5th day where GOD created the beasts of the water and the air and the land, that very well could have been dinosaurs, and then some trillion of our years later on the '6th day' when GOD created man the dinosaurs had already died off along with probably a zillion other species created on the '5th day'. And then on the '6th day' there were primarily the creatures we see today....minus a bunch I'm sure as different animals have become extinct over the years.

Once Man was created I believe it became more of a 24-hour period day.

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#72 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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why does the root of evolution have to be atheism? that doesn't even make sense really. god could have created the earth and all things on it and then evolution started happening. he could have intended for evolution to happen... or known it would happen. it doesn't say how everything came to be in existence it is just about was has happened during the existence.

isn't it possible that he created everything with the ability to change and adapt because it was necessary for survival? since i don't believe we are gods personal sims game he created everything including wind, water, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanos, snow storms, asteroids, etc. things can completely alter the earth. since he isn't up there making the wind blow, the birds migrate, the rain fall anymore then he is stopping hurricanes and tornados etc. living things had to have a way to survive under all different kinds of circumstances. why is it inconceivable to believe that god intended to give us the ability to evolve?
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#73 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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A lot of Christians have trouble with evolution because the root of it is in atheism.
How does evolution have it's roots in Atheism?

x-posted with 1littlebit so :

Evolution has no religious anything. It is not religion and it's not the denial of religion- it simply is. So I am not understanding how evolution=Atheism.

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#74 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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I think it wasn't mentioned in the Bible because it's totally irrelevant to spiritual growth. It can be very likely they didn't know they existed either but again that in no way matters in the long run, IMO.

This is why I am left wondering why people are trying to find a way to fit it in there. What's the point? It's like making a mountain out of a mole hill. Really dinos are just not that big of a deal on a personal spiritual level.
I agree with you. However, when people do start trying take Genesis as literal and fit dinosaurs onto the ark and support some kind of rapid evolution theory, then I think it is perfectly legitimate for me to ask what god did all that for. In other words, if a certain belief in creationism is not supported by science, then it better be supported by the bible. But, as far as I can see, it is not supported by either and I am left wondering why we are trying to fit it in?
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#75 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Didn't read the whole thread, but I'm a Bible believing Christian and here is my take...

Several times in the Bible it is said that HIS time is not our time. So the whole 'earth in 6 days' is more metaphor to me. I don't think it was LITERALLY 144 hours. I believe that GOD'S day can be anywhere from 10,000 of our years to a trillion of our years. So it happened VERY slowly. So the 5th day where GOD created the beasts of the water and the air and the land, that very well could have been dinosaurs, and then some trillion of our years later on the '6th day' when GOD created man the dinosaurs had already died off along with probably a zillion other species created on the '5th day'. And then on the '6th day' there were primarily the creatures we see today....minus a bunch I'm sure as different animals have become extinct over the years.

Once Man was created I believe it became more of a 24-hour period day.
see this seems reasonable to me. i am not christian anymore but if i were going to believe the bible stories are meant to be factual this is how i would interpret it as well. gods been around for a really really really long time maybe we perceive time just a bit differently then he does yk?
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who is supposed to have written genesis? since it is part of the old testament is it considered literal to people who practice Judaism? and if not why do christians take it literally and not Jews?
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#77 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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I agree with you. However, when people do start trying take Genesis as literal and fit dinosaurs onto the ark and support some kind of rapid evolution theory, then I think it is perfectly legitimate for me to ask what god did all that for. In other words, if a certain belief in creationism is not supported by science, then it better be supported by the bible. But, as far as I can see, it is not supported by either and I am left wondering why we are trying to fit it in?
It is a very human thing to try and condition things to fit *our* POV.

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#78 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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I didn't say that adaptation has it's root in atheism, but evolution - whereas everything started from an infinitesimal speck from which life sprang forth.

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#79 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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Which is why I think the Qu'ran is much clearer that the bible... a lot of Muslims read and understand classical Arabic, but very few Christians read and understand classical Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew... if one could even find a bible still written in the original languages. Clearly there are are differing interpretations of the Qu'ran, of course, but at least everyone is reading the same book.
With that I would agree. Such as the Qur'an reiterating the "six days" line, but alongside it being made explicitly clear in the same text and other period writings that both that measurement specifically and measurement terms in general are used in a flexible way. Anyone who speaks Arabic is able to pick that up; there's no question involved of the mysteries of obscure language. Were only translations widely available there might well be the same conversation going on about reconciling the Islamic creation account. We run into the problem enough when promises of X number of this or Y numbers of that are taken out of their linguistic context.

The fact of how it appears in the Qur'an is really the best indicator I have personally that the use might really be similar in ancient Hebrew -- different cultures, obviously, but still languages far more similar than Hebrew and English.

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But I think the logical problem - what does a day mean when the story is being told from God's perspective, before a day could even exist, is also a good indicator that it is not meant in the usual way.
To each their own view, but I really just don't see a logical problem involved. To me it's looking at a question of clarity in communication. Otherwise it starts getting a little "if a tree falls ..." What is a day before human perception of a day exists? What is light before our perception of light, what is rest before our perception of rest, what does it mean to create before our perception of acts of creation? Why choose those words to shape human perceptions of things existing prior to human perceptions? It would take a pretty strong faith in the deliberate obscurity of god for me to read in that way.

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You might find some stuff if you looked up Genesis and textual criticism, although there is a lot of very bad work done in that area, so it can be hard to sort the good from the bad if you are just starting.
Thanks for the suggestion.
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I didn't say that adaptation has it's root in atheism, but evolution - whereas everything started from an infinitesimal speck from which life sprang forth.
Please elaborate.

I am pregnant and tired and my brain just isn't picking things up as it should.

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#81 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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This isn't the Christian perspective. I'm not sure why you think it is?
Because the bible says it is, and that is the Christian's holy book.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
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#82 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I didn't say that adaptation has it's root in atheism, but evolution - whereas everything started from an infinitesimal speck from which life sprang forth.
no evolution does not address the origins of the universe at all. that is metaphysics, cosmology, ontology etc. totally different field of study. in college cosmic origins is generally an upper level astronomy class and evolution is a biology class.
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#83 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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Please elaborate.
Gladly. I totally understand the pregnant brain thing, I felt like mine had completely fallen out some days.

First off, I believe in a literal 7 day creation. Why? Because that's how it's written first off. I believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. God in his infinite wisdom could have the Bible written any way he wanted. If he had used evolution, he could/would have written it that way. If it didn't happen the way the Bible says it did, then why would to God of the Universe write it that way. That makes no sense to me. You can call it any genre you want to, but if God wanted to take the time to tell us how the earth came about, it doesn't fit in His character to not tell it accurately.

We have proof that people have changed slightly over time. Although I think most of those changes have been more of a process of falling apart than in adapting to a more highly evolved species so to speak. You can see changes in height, life span, body build, etc in people over time based on their surroundings. This is what I mean by adaptation.

I say that evolution has it's root in atheism because at it's core it takes God out of the equation because he is not needed. When you put biological processes as the creator, you truly don't need God.

If everything we see today could have evolved out of one thing, then why is it said that God created all things throughout the Bible? The God I believe in did not simply create a speck and then watch as it changed, he was the active creator of everything because of his vested interest in His creation.

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#84 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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I didn't say that adaptation has it's root in atheism, but evolution - whereas everything started from an infinitesimal speck from which life sprang forth.
That is not evolution, that is the big bang theory. Adaptation is evolution. The fact that the big bang happened is observable in our universe, yet we don't know how it happened. Believing in the big bang does not mean you are an atheist.
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erm i understand god inspired the bible but since humans have free will and are completely fallible and carry our own prejudices' isn't it entirely possible that god inspired a story that was then written down imperfectly by a human who is imperfect and limited by his humanity? is it also possible that these stories were also translated by fallible people and people who may not have always had the most honorable intentions. or may have been misguided or misinformed?

how do we know that god meant for this to be taken as irrefutable truth, a word for word account of what he did? could it have been a story of creation told in a way that humans would be able to understand and learn from?
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That is not evolution, that is the big bang theory.
I'm sorry I didn't explain myself well enough. I meant one speck as in the first single celled organism (or whatever it evolved from) that is spoken on in evolution, not the first speck referred to in the Big Bang.

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#87 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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Thanks, Evie'sMama!

Personally I do believe that God can be an active part in our lives and in our creation and still allow for the natural order. It doesn't seem contradictory at all but rather two pieces of the puzzle fitting in to help us understand the whole picture.

As for evolution making God unnecessary, I'll just simply disagree and leave it at that. It does not take God out of the equation because it has nothing to do with either proving or disproving Him. As I said before it just is what it is.

I really agree with Jennica here...
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The fact that the big bang happened is observable in our universe, yet we don't know how it happened. Believing in the big bang does not mean you are an atheist.
And it works for more than just the Big Bang, IMO.

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#88 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
I say that evolution has it's root in atheism because at it's core it takes God out of the equation because he is not needed. When you put biological processes as the creator, you truly don't need God.
So the thing to do to be able to still believe in god is to ignore the evidence for evolution? To choose not to believe in it, and to instead construct something far more fantastical to believe in; that god created humans and dino's to coexist, and they he put thousands of animals including dino's on the ark for only 8 people to care for, and once the ark landed, the dino's all died and the thousands of "kinds" of animals rapidly evolved to be hundreds of thousands of species? And none of this is explained in the bible? And we are just left to trust that this is what god did, despite the mountains of evidence against it?
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#89 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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I think the speck being referred to is an infinitesimal speck of the first bit of something that was alive. I currently have "The Tree of Life - The Wonders of Evolution" by Ellen Jackson from the library, and it refers to a new, very tiny thing that was almost alive and could divide itself again and again, with small changes existing in the copies once in a great while - the beginnings of variation.

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That is not evolution, that is the big bang theory. Adaptation is evolution. The fact that the big bang happened is observable in our universe, yet we don't know how it happened. Believing in the big bang does not mean you are an atheist.
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I didn't say that adaptation has it's root in atheism, but evolution - whereas everything started from an infinitesimal speck from which life sprang forth.

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#90 of 269 Old 06-09-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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I'm sorry I didn't explain myself well enough. I meant one speck as in the first single celled organism (or whatever it evolved from) that is spoken on in evolution, not the first speck referred to in the Big Bang.
Ok but even so for me I don't see where God couldn't have done that. Genesis is pretty to the point and the point is that God created man. Just because it doesn't go into detail on HOW doesn't mean there wasn't more of a process then a snap of the fingers and man appearing.

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