How many people do you think actually believe that Genesis is an accurate description of the origin of our universe? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? And how many think although it’s not true, we can learn from it and should seek wisdom within it’s pages? It’s that which I wish to bring into question in this series. So without further ado, let’s look at Genesis I – the first chapter of the first book of the Bible.
The Beginning isn’t Really the Beginning
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness fell upon the face of the deep.Genesis 1:1, 1:2
So the Bible starts us off explaining the origin of everything, or so evangelists would have you believe. The truth is, even in this wild fantasy in which God creates everything, we have no explanation for the origin of God. The very first line of Genesis is a fallacy – moving the goalpost from our universe to it’s alleged creator.
As much as proponents of the Bible will claim that Genesis describes the beginning of everything, as long as God is not included in that ‘everything’, this story starts in the middle. Not at the beginning.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.Genesis 1:3, 1:4, 1:5
Big day, huh? Even for God. Wouldn’t it be nice to witness this level of divine power? He’s presented as a limitless, all-powerful being capable of such direct influence on the reality we live in – the reality he apparently created – and yet in the world we live in today, it’s humans who have torn the earth to shreds in a fight for survival, not the earth that was ever so kind and generous to us to ensure our wellbeing.
The Second Day
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.Genesis 1:6, 1:7, 1:8
This is where things get a little bit crazy. Essentially, the earth was first a formless blob of water – and God created a dome, a sort of bubble, with water above and below the dome. The easiest way to picture it is as a snowglobe – a model that, in every depiction I found, seems to completely ignore the idea that the earth is spherical.
The Third Day
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas: and God saw that it was good.Genesis 1:9, 1:10
So Yaweh goes on to form the landmasses and the sea – and although science suggests the earth truly was covered in ocean from about 3 billion years ago up untill about 1.5 billion years ago, the forming of the continents and land masses we know today have been forming for as long as around 240 million years. The idea that this could all happen in two days – from nothing to a planet with land masses and oceans, is I suppose no more likely than it happening over billions of years – but it’s certainly inconsistent with everything we’ve observed about the formation of celestial objects.
I’d like to bring attention to the tail end of Genesis 1:10 – “and God saw that it was good”. Here, the God of the Bible begins bringing attention to a theme he will continue to bring up throughout Genesis. God observes that it is good – God is satisfied with his creation, and makes that observation alongside many of the steps he takes to lay out the world. In this we can be sure that God, the all-powerful, all-knowing creator, cannot have made a mistake, cannot have regretted his creation or any of the specifications thereof, and so it would not be unreasonable to expect the world he created to be perfect. Flawless.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the third day.Genesis 1:11, 1:12, 1:13
It’s hard not to observe how exactly God’s power seems to match his intention. God says let the earth bring forth grass, and so it does. He says let the herb yield seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, and that’s exactly what occurs.
There’s a dissonance here, between the God we can observe during the creation of our world and the God who works in ‘mysterious ways’ – the God who’s grand plan involves pain and suffering and evil but claims it all to be a means to an end. This God’s power is instant, his influence is undeniable.
The Fourth Day
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.Genesis 1:14, 1:15, 1:16, 1:17, 1:18, 1:19
We obviously know the idea that the sun was created after the earth – not to mention for the earth – is ridiculous. We also have yet to find Heaven in the skies but we know the exact position of the sun and moon in our solar system at any given moment. This entitlement of the sun, that it was created for humanity, for earth, that it belongs to us, is a central reason for the outward and inward geocentric belief that so many human beings have carried around with them.
My point is that these are the early signs of a common theme throughout this book – lies, misinformation, contradictions – all in vain of describing the truths we’ve come to observe about the universe. There’s not even a kernel of divine wisdom that could have possibly gone into these pages. To ignore the blatant dishonesty we’ll find scattered throughout scripture, and focus solely on a few abstract lessons we draw from it, is not a path to truth in any regard.
The Fifth Day
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.Genesis 1:20, 1:21, 1:22, 1:23
On the fifth day, God essentially looks upon his creation and begins to fill it with life. He fills the ocean and the sky with creatures and encourages them to breed and populate the Earth. The issue of course, is that evolution doesn’t work like this. There was no ‘first whale’ nor a ‘first bird’, and animals certainly don’t need a God to tell them to multiply.
The Bible can often seem to coincide with an abstract understanding of reality – it speaks not of a world we can’t imagine, but our world, it speaks of the sun, the moon, the birds and the fish, it tells us stories about origin akin to the conclusions of a child’s observation. That, however it may seem compelling to see as evidence of causation, is more likely evidence that whoever truly wrote the book of Genesis was ignorant to many things, and observant of others.
The Sixth Day
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and livestock after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.Genesis 1:24, 1:25, 1:26
This trend of a child-like perspective continues as God seperates the animals of the Earth not by classification, or identifiable relation to one another, but instead by “livestock” i.e cattle, sheep; “creeping thing”, i.e rodents, insects and the like, and “beasts of the earth” i.e wild animals.
So, according to the Bible, the domestication of animals is invalid, and certain animals were created to serve a purpose. To be seperate from the “beasts of the earth” at the moment of their very creation.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.Genesis 1:27, 1:28
That’s right. The birds, the fish, the beats of the earth and the creeping things upon it, they were all created for us. Humanity is once again demonstrated as entitled to everything upon the face of the earth, a christian narrative that has lead to heavy doubt on the topic of climate change and the irradication of species in the modern world.
You don’t have to give up meat or denounce the farming or fishing insdustries to recognise that the circle of life, our need for sustinence and our unique position at the top of the food chain don’t give us dominion over anything. Being more efficient, more intelligent and more productive than the animals of this world, it falls on our shoulders to provide for or at least not activley persue them, not the other way around.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.Genesis 1:29, 1:30
The real idea here behind the process of creation is to show that God creates things in the order of necesity. He creates the earth, then the life to grow upon it, then the creatures to populate it and eat from those plants, then humans, to reign over and live off of the creatures of the planet. In effect, it’s an attempt to show God as one step ahead of himself each day – but just when it seems God may just spend his infinite time as a divine being constantly adding to and improving on our earth, he’s finished.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.Genesis 1:31
“It was very good” he had said. It’s sort of a funny quote, really. If Genesis was true, and it really was very good at the time, the proceeding books of Joshua, Leviticus, Revelation, and many more would overshadow any innocence and goodness in the world that God created in the beginning.
And keep that in mind, this is only the beginning. There’s so much to unpack in scripture, and barely any of it is good. What are we to learn from Genesis I? Because I found nothing but lies, misinformation, and the planting of a seed in the minds of humans who follow the God we’ve been introduced to – that everything is about you. About your story. Your journey. This world, these plants, these animals, the sky and the very earth you stand on, it’s all for you. Not God.
God is simply a vessel your mind takes to reach new levels of entitlement and narcisism, and contradictory to what the church would have you think, Genesis is a great place to start when you’re on the path to realising that. I truly believe that the more you read the Bible, the more you disagree with theists, or at least, their advocation for their specific domination.