Gods Book: A Scientifical Mess

The Hebrew bible seems to have some mistakes and old ideas. It looks like maybe people of the time, not God, wrote it. Some people think God hid special messages in the text for us to find. For fun, let's look at some unusual claims in these books that don't fit with what science tells us.


Avi Shore

The interpretation of the Torah often falls into two main categories. Some believe it's the infallible word of God, meaning any apparent errors are due to our own misunderstanding or should be dismissed outright. Many see the text as metaphorical, not to be taken literally. But this perspective raises a question: if some passages once thought literal are now considered metaphorical due to progress, where do we draw the line? How do we decide which parts of the scripture, like the creation of the Earth or the concept of God, are metaphors and which aren't?

As we observe in today's society, everyone seems to draw the line differently, confident that their interpretation aligns with God's intent.

In this blog, we'll explore 20 instances where the Torah appears to conflict with established scientific facts. To reconcile these contradictions, we must either disregard scientific evidence or interpret the scripture metaphorically. Let's dive in.

1. Genesis 6-9 says, "all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered" by the flood. This contradicts geological studies showing rock layers formed over millions of years, and genetic studies revealing a long, complex evolution explaining the diverse species we see today.

Even setting aside the lack of geological evidence for a worldwide flood, the logistics of the Noah's Ark story present challenges. Take, for instance, animals like penguins, which are adapted for Arctic conditions. After leaving the Ark, these creatures would need to make an immediate journey back to the harsh Arctic without succumbing to the heat of more temperate regions, all the while leaving no traces of their journey.

The same applies to animals like kangaroos that are native to specific locations, such as Australia. There are no remains or fossil evidence of kangaroos found outside of Australia, which would have been expected if they had traveled from the Ark's landing point to their current habitat.

In terms of human diversity, if Noah and his wife were of one specific race, the genetic variations we see today, including different skin colors among various ethnicities, would need to have developed within a relatively short period of 2000-3000 years. Given our current understanding of human evolution and genetics, such a rapid, significant transformation is implausible.It's plausible that the story of Noah's Ark might have originated from an ancient local flood event. It's possible that one individual successfully saved their family and livestock during this catastrophic event. This event could have been so impactful that it was passed down through generations, its significance amplifying with each retelling. Over time, what might have been a regional flood could have transformed into a tale of a worldwide deluge, with the individual who navigated through the disaster morphing into the character of Noah in the enduring tale. Such processes are not uncommon in oral storytelling traditions, where stories often evolve and expand over generations.

2. Genesis 1:6-8 describes "a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters," which doesn't align with modern atmospheric science understanding the atmosphere as a layer of gases surrounding the earth, not separated by a firmament.

3. In Genesis 1:14-19, "God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night," after the creation of day and night, contradicting our understanding of astronomy that identifies the sun as the primary source of light predating the day-night cycle. Also They forgot to mention the moon does not produce its own light.

4. Genesis 1:20-23 states, "God created... every winged fowl after his kind," before the creation of land animals, in contrast to fossil records providing evidence of terrestrial animals existing before birds.

5. Genesis 1:24-25 suggests, "God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind," at the same time, conflicting with evolutionary biology which posits a gradual development and diversification of species over millions of years.

6. Genesis 2:7 asserts, "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground," which contradicts anthropological evidence that humans evolved from earlier hominids over millions of years.

7. Genesis 2:21-22 says, "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam... and took one of his ribs," to create woman, which doesn't align with genetic evidence showing both sexes have evolved from common ancestors.

7. Genesis 3:14 states, "upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life," referring to snakes, contradicting the fact that snakes are known to be carnivorous, feeding on small animals and eggs.

8. Genesis 11:1-9 mentions, "the whole earth was of one language," attributing language diversity to the Tower of Babel event, whereas linguistic science asserts languages have developed and diversified over tens of thousands of years across different geographical regions.

9. Exodus 10:21-23 talks about, "there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days," but there's no historical record or astronomical explanation for such a prolonged darkness event.

10. Leviticus 11:20-23 misclassifies insects saying, "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination," whereas entomology confirms that all insects have six legs.

11. Joshua 10:12-14 narrates, "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon... So the sun stood still," conflicting with our knowledge of Earth's rotation and the solar system which does not allow for the sun to stand still.

12. 2 Kings 20:11 recounts, "the shadow returned backward ten degrees," implying the sun moved backward, which contradicts known astronomy that understands celestial bodies' movements as regular and predictable.

13. Psalms 93:1 asserts, "the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved," contradicting our understanding of astronomy which verifies that the Earth moves, rotating on its axis and orbiting around the sun.

14. Job 9:6 describes, "Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble," suggesting Earth rests on pillars, whereas geological and astronomical evidence shows Earth is free-floating in space, held in orbit by gravity.

15. Job 38:22 questions, "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?" suggesting a misunderstanding of modern climatology, which understands snow and hail as products of specific weather conditions, not as 'stores'.

16. Daniel 4:10-11 recounts a dream of a tree, "The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth," contradicting our understanding of Earth's curvature and size, which limit line-of-sight distance.

The belief that God physically authored the Old Testament suggests one of two possibilities: either God wasn't fully aware of His own creation, or He deliberately included false information. Who, then, could have created these seemingly erroneous details?

Indeed, it was likely the humans of the time. They tried to portray as god, unfortunately their limited scientific knowledge gives them away. Their observations and beliefs about the world likely influenced the content of the book. For example, they would often see rain falling from above and notice the blue of the sky mirrored in the sea. This led them to conclude that there must be a large body of water above, from which the rain fell. Then, they were given a book that confirmed these beliefs! And as a bonus, this book also provided a list of moral guidelines.

The fact that the moral principles laid out in the Torah match those of the time it was written is also a point worth questioning. This could imply that the so-called divine book was actually influenced by human understanding and moral reasoning. For a more in-depth exploration of this idea, I invite you to read my blog post about biblical ethics and morals, and how they too, are likely to have been human-made.

The fact that the moral principles laid out in the Torah match those of the time it was written is also a point worth questioning. This could imply that the so-called divine book was actually influenced by human understanding and moral reasoning. For a more in-depth exploration of this idea, I invite you to read my blog post about biblical ethics and morals, and how they too, are likely to have been human-made.