By Isaac Asimov
Construction. the start of time. The starting place of lifestyles. In our Western civilization, there are influential money owed of beginnings. One is the Biblical account, compiled greater than thousand years in the past through Judean writers who dependent a lot in their considering at the Babylonian astronomical lore of the day. the opposite is the account of recent technology, which, within the final century, has slowly equipped up a coherent photo of the way all of it all started. either symbolize the easiest taking into consideration their instances, and during this line-by-line annotation of the 1st 11 chapters of Genesis, Isaac Asimov conscientiously and even-handedly compares the 2 bills, declaring the place they're related and the place they're varied. "There isn't any model of primeval background, previous the discoveries of contemporary technology, that's as rational and as inspiriting as that of the ebook of Genesis," Asimov says. even though, human wisdom does bring up, and if the Biblical writers, "had written these early chapters of Genesis realizing what we all know this present day, we will be able to make certain they might have written it thoroughly differently." Isaac Asimov brings to this interesting topic his wide-ranging wisdom of technological know-how and history-and his award-winning skill to provide an explanation for the complicated with accuracy, readability, and wit.
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Extra info for In the Beginning: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis
It would take a metaphorical mind, indeed, to see the equivalence. The Biblical firmament was not viewed by the early Jews as very far above Earth’s surface. It had to clear Earth’s mountains, of course, but it might very well not Isaac Asimov 43 be much higher than that. In the Greek myths, the giant Atlas had to support the sky as a kind of living pillar, and at one time, Hercules, by standing on a mountaintop, was able to take over the load temporarily—that seems to have been a typical ancient view of the sky, its distance and its solidity.
It was hot enough, however, to possess neither atmosphere nor ocean to begin with. The light molecules that would have made 48 In the Beginning… up the atmosphere or ocean moved too quickly at Earth’s high temperature to be held by its comparatively small gravitational field. Yet some of the light molecules were held in more or less loose combination with other molecules that made up the solid substances of the forming Earth. After Earth formed, the chaotic mixture of substances that composed it to begin with gradually settled out over some millions of years.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”-and there it all was “without form and void,” created so out of nothing. Or we might assume that the first verse is a mere introductory summary, almost a chapter heading—The Creation of the Heaven and the Earth. Then there follows the actual description of how it was done. Modern scholars seem to think the second interpretation is the more likely. The Anchor Bible, published in 1964, begins Genesis thus: “When God set about to create heaven and earth—the world being then a formless waste…” This would make it seem that the raw material of the world was there all along and that God’s role in the Creation was that of shaping the raw material of the Universe into the finished form, much as a potter shapes the raw clay into a vessel.