Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bible: Inerrant Word of God?

IF the Bible is truly the “inerrant word of God” then it can have no errors, correct? It must be free of factual or religious errors. If there exists one such error – just one – all bets are off and the book becomes manifestly fallible.

Let us look at Genesis – Chapter One:

We read (Gen.:1: 1-5)

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 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”

Now, it is clear that the “light” referred to in the last three sentences is none other than the SUN. However, it is clear from reading each line through that the Earth was supposedly made BEFORE the Sun. (E.g. Earth without form, darkness upon face of the deep).

However, this is physically impossible. We know from modern astrophysics that the solar proto-nebula had to collapse first to yield the SUN. (No planets, since they had yet to spin off the collapsing nebular cloud – it hadn’t cooled enough to allow it). As the proto-solar nebula collapsed it also began spinning and gained angular momentum. This angular momentum was then transferred to regions of the nebula that cooled and separated from the whole, and these regions became separate clouds of dust and gas that aggregated into the planets.

Under a combination of electrostatic attraction (between larger charged particles) and gravity (attracting the whole mass from the center of the cloud) each planet was formed as what we call a “planetesimal”.

As more angular momentum was transferred – the planetesimals each acquired their own spin (in a period of revolution) and specific shapes. The giant planets (e.g. Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus) garnered more spin momentum than the more dense, terrestrial planets. Thus Jupiter’s planetesimal ended up as an oblate spheroid with diameter of about 88,000 mile and rotating rapidly with a day of ~ 10 hours. Earth meanwhile ended up as a relatively spherical orb with diameter of ~ 8,000 miles and day approaching approach 24 hrs. Mars ended up in a similar shape to that of Earth and a diameter of 4200 miles and day ~ 24 hours.

Thus, the Earth spun off about 1.1 billion years after the solar nebula fully collapsed, and it could not have come BEFORE the Sun. Indeed, the absence of the central mass of the Sun, or ~ 10^33 kilograms, would have meant the Earth- if made with no Sun present- would instantly have been hurled into a direction toward the constellation Hercules at 12 miles per second with no central mass to keep it in check. We can compute this exactly using the basic principles of celestial mechanics.

It is clear from this that Gen.1:1-5 has stated a patent impossibility which violates all known laws of physics and dynamics and is therefore WRONG!

It is clear from this that the Bible must be in error, certainly in this one passage – and if here then likely in many other places too. If this is so then it must have been written by flawed humans using limited conceptions of space, time and astrophysics which accounts are not even correct in their general form.

Conclusion: it cannot be a “divinely inspired” book. Rather it is a HUMAN-inspired work with all the errors we expect to see from a work of humans.