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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Schroeder The Science of God Chapter Four


Updated 3/23/2016, 11/23/2016

{I have the 1997 edition. Schroeder has a newer edition - so the page numbers may not match up exactly. In addition, he may have changed his timelines a bit. Nevertheless, most if not all of my post will probably still apply to his newer edition.}

{12/31/2014 addendum - Schroeder's time line dated 10/2013 at http://geraldschroeder.com/wordpress/?page_id=53 is 

Genesis 
Day 
1 13.9 Billion years ago to 6.9 Billion years ago
2 6.9 Billion years ago to 3.4 Billion years ago
3 3.4 Billion years ago to 1.6 Billion years ago
4 1.6 Billion years ago to 0.7 Billion years ago
5 0.7 Billion years ago to 0.2 Billion years ago
6 0.2 Billion years ago to 6000 years ago 

Using this new time line will change this post very little if at all.}

For reference here is Genesis 1 

Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. 3 And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. {P}

6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' 7 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. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. {P}

9 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. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. {P}

14 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; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 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. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. {P}

20 And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.' 21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.' 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. {P}

24 And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26 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.' 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28 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 creepeth upon the earth.' 29 And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed--to you it shall be for food; 30 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 a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. {P}

Introduction and Schroeder's Formula 

{1/11/2015 I found some errors in my prior write up on the actual formula. But the conclusions did not change}

For discussion on the most likely translation of Gen1:1 see Kalam proof of god repudiated for theological reasons. For now we will mostly accept creation Ex-Nihilo as per the above translation.

This post will discuss Chapter 4. For others see Chapter 9 ,   Chapter 1 , Chapter 2 , Chapter 3 -section 1, Chapter 3 section 2,

Once again I will focus on our holy texts and how Schroeder uses/abuses them. There will be a limited amount of science.

Schroeder’s formula to shoehorn the billions of years of the big bang into the six days of genesis reduces to:

A=  (Cosmic Background Temperature at quark confinement divided by Cosmic Background Temperature now ) times (½) to the power of T. Dividing  365 turns days it into years.

'A'  is Earth time

T = 0 for  genesis day 1.
T = 1 for  genesis day 2. Etc:

Schroeder informs us Cosmic Background Temperature at quark confinement is 10.9 times (10^12)  Kelvin degrees,  and the Cosmic Background Temperature now is 2.73 Kelvin.

You can see the importance of what temperature is used in the numerator. Schroeder selection of quark confinement results in the duration since the Big Bang is about 15.75 Billion years ago. If he used the temperature say when Helium forms the temperature is cooler by about 1000 times and Schroeder would not be close to 15.7 Billion years. 

Why is Schroeder using a  (½) factor in the formula ? Why didn’t  he use a (1/3) or some other factor ?  Based on my reading he provides virtually no discussion and no sources advocating (½) for this important  factor. 

Schroeder is constrained by the requirement to get the resulting time periods and the activities that occur for each period according to science to match up Genesis activities for each day. 

To do this Schroeder will ignore the inconsistencies of science and genesis, sprinkle in some bizarre and novel ‘translations’ / ‘interpretations’ of Genesis, cherry pick and or misread some of our holy texts, speculate on what Genesis  and our holy commentators really mean, invent a formula to converge Genesis and Science, and ignore some science.  Intellectually honest ? No. Impressive ?  No.

But, how close does the formula correctly allocate the events of genesis to the billions of years of the Big Bang and Science ?

I wrote two posts exploring Genesis and Evolution, Genesis and Big Bang that outlines some of the disparities  between science and  Genesis. Maybe I have added a few more in this post. The obstacles required to overcome the science-genesis conflict in an intellectually honest way are insurmountable. In addition, if even one error is found in Genesis creation story, or in  any part of the Torah, it proves the Torah can not be divine.  I think there are more than one.


Genesis Day One: 15.75 billion years ago to 7.75 billion years ago

1a) Page 65 Schroeder cites Ramban Gen 1:4 the grabbing hold of time - see my discussion in Chapter 3 section 2, and the discussion of Schroeder’s formula above.

I will add another problem.... {ETA 1/10/2015 I deleted a  discussion that  'light' existing prior to  quark  confinement causes problems for Schroeder's time line. It gets complicated because of both the Science (did 'light' exist prior to quark confinement ?)  and interpretation of Torah verses.}

 1b) Page 66 - Genesis 1:2  Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters (מימ )


The Hebrew word מימ - (waters). Schroeder with no source support translates it as the universe. Schroeder  goes on to claim this verse is referring to the one Big Bang rapid inflation period, with no support except that God Hovering is a one time event in the Torah.  Maybe the Torah meant the spirit of God was hovering over the waters, just like it says. Rashi explains it as the throne of glory hovering over the water -  like a dove hovering over it’s nest.

And this brings up yet another conflict between Genesis and Science. Using Schroeder’s time line for day one, Science tells us there was no water in day one, yet Genesis has water on day one.

1c) Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago (wiki earth) putting the Earth within Schroeder’s Day 2 time frame.  But Genesis has Earth existing already on Day 1. A big  problem.

 Alternately Ramban has Earth formed on Day 3 which begins according to Schroeder 3.75 billion years ago. This is no good for Schroeder either.  

Is this one of the reasons for Schroeder’s odd translation of ‘water’ as universe in  Gen 1:2 ? To avoid this problem.

1d)  Page 65 Schroeder cites Ramban on Gen 1:5

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, day one.

Genesis writes  ‘day one’ as opposed to writing ‘first day’. Schroeder seems to insinuate some mystery to this - that Genesis is looking forward in time.

Ramban  explains it as follows:  The Torah writes  ‘day one’ as opposed to the ‘first day’, because ‘first’  would imply there are other days, which of course did not exist yet. Once day one is complete, The Torah can refer to day 2 as the second day. 

1e) Genesis - Does Genesis have Stars formed in day one ? Depends how it is interpreted. The plain reading Stars at Day 4. Science -  “Most stars are between 1 billion and 10 billion years old. Some stars may even be close to 13.8 billion years old—the observed age of the universe.” Wiki Stars.  So Stars would first appear within Day one per Schroeder time frames. A plain reading of Genesis does not have stars, sun or moon formed on Day one.

For alternate days for stars, moon, sun see discussion Day 4.


Genesis Day Two:  7.75 billion years ago to 3.75 billion years ago 


2a)  Schroeder claims the Genesis’s firmament formation is the formation of most of the stars of the Milky Way disc; and Sun formation.  This would conflict with Ramban’s interpretation of the events  - see day 4 below.

2b) Torah does not seem to have stars or galaxy formation on day one, yet Schroeder’s time line does. For alternate discussion of stars, moon, sun see day 4.

2c) Firmament  - does not appear at all in modern science and is relic of ancient science. See my Genesis and Big Bang post where this is discussed a bit more.

2d) Science says Earth appeared about 4.5 billion years ago, putting it into Schroeder’s Day 2. Depending how to interpret Genesis, Earth perhaps appears on Day one. Ramban has Earth created in Day 3 of Genesis. Not good for Schroeder. 


Genesis  Day Three:  3.75 billion years ago to 1.75 billion years ago 

3a) Genesis 1:11  And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so. 

Schroeder claims Genesis is referring to bacteria and algae. But Genesis has plants sprouting forth from earth , not water. This is inconsistent with evolution theory. Genesis was most likely not referring to microscopic bacteria and algae, but visible plants like grass etc:

3b) Page 67, 68, Schroeder claims the simple reading of Genesis 1:11 implying all types of plants is appeared on day three is wrong . He goes on to claim the Kabbala corrects this misunderstanding , that really plants only start on day 3 , but then develop during the following days, Schroeder  quotes Ramban “there was no special day assigned for this command for vegetation alone since it is not a unique work.”

Lets see what Ramban actually writes.

Ramban on Genesis 2:5 Citing Midrash Rabba 12:4 every herb of the field created on third day did not come forth above the ground but remained just below the surface of the earth  until it rains on the sixth day. 

[There is nothing about Plant creation taking place after day 3. It is just they are underground until day 6. According to science seed bearing plants appear  400 million years ago - within Schroeder’s Day 5 time line. This would be a  problem.]

But Ramban is of the opinion that on the third day the earth did bring forth grass and fruit trees in their full stature and quality. This is in contradiction Schroeder’s time line with plants only starting on day 3. And according to science flowers do not appear until 130 million years ago - Schroeder’s day 6. Kabala /Ramban had it wrong. This is another problem for Schroeder.]

Now onto Ramban on Genesis 1:12 Schroeder’s claimed source. I quote now in full.

Ramban writes “There was no special day assigned for this command for vegetation alone since it is not a unique work. The work of earth, whether it brings forth anything or is salt land is one.”

[Ramban may be teaching that the creation of plants was not a unique work because the earth was involved in it’s creation. He does not mention plants developing after day 3. Ramban even writes fruit trees develop on day 3 - see above. Schroeder’s claim that Ramban intends plants to only start on day 3 but continue after seems at best a poor speculation.]

Moreover, Schroeder is translating that the appearance of photosynthetic algae are included in the Torah’s plants. Yet, the Torah fails to mention the important simple cells (prokaryotes) which pre-date the cyanobacteria performing photosynthesis. The first living things are not plants.]



Genesis  Day Four: 1.75 billion years ago to .75 billion years ago 

4a) Schroeder on Page 69 -  cites Ramban, Talmud Hagigah 12A and Rashi to support the notion stars, Sun, Moon  were created during Day 4 as per Ramban or just became visible on Day 4.

Lets see what the sources actually write.

Talmud Hagigah 12A writes that according to Sages the light created on the first day is identical to the Luminaries which are created on the first day, but not hung up (in the firmament)  until the fourth day.  (Rashi just reiterates Talmud Hagiga 12A as the Luminaries are created on day one, but are suspended in the firmament of day four.)

The Talmud does not say became visible. It says hung up in the firmament. Also, according to the Talmud it maybe the Luminaries are actually created on day one. 

Schroeder claims: formation of the Firmament is Milky Way Disk 
Formation, and Sun formation occurring on Day 2. Then on day 4,  Earth’s atmosphere becomes transparent and so the Sun, Moon, stars become visible. 

Lets look at what Ramban teaches us regarding Genesis 1:14

Ramban explains as follows.  

First Day - light is created.

Second Day - Firmament made, which then blocks light from illuminating the lower elements.

Day Three - Earth is created and it is dark because the Firmament blocks light from reaching it.

Day Four - God desires there be firmament luminaries to light the Earth. God makes the light created on day one become corporeal.           
Do you see the problems for Schroeder ?

 First, the firmament per Ramban blocks light from hitting the Earth. This is not how Schroeder’s definition of the Firmament would behave.

Second, on day 4 Schroeder claims Earths atmosphere clears letting the Sun, Moon, and Stars become visible. This is not at all how  Ramban explains how light is received by Earth. 

Using Schroeder’s time line - Ramban has the Earth created on day three 3.75 billion years ago to 1.75 billion years ago. But Science says Earth appeared about 4.5 billion years ago, putting it into Schroeder’s Day 2.

Genesis  Day Five:  .75 billion years ago to .25 billion years ago 

Day 5  And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl   (עןף -   pronounced oaf )   fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.' 21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl (עןף ) after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl (עןף) multiply in the earth.' 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Rashi explains ‘swarms of living creatures’ include flies, beetles, ants, worms, moles, fish  and some others.

 This puts insects in day 5 of Schroeder’s with no problem. But Rashi says it also includes moles. But moles do not appear before 200 million years ago which is in Schroeder’s day 6. See the problem. 

Genesis -  Birds are also created on day 5. But evolution tells us birds evolve 150,000 million years ago putting them in Day 6 of Schroeder’s time line. This is a problem. { ETA 11/23/2016  Correction made to And in Hebrew עןף are birds, not winged insects.  According to the (Zoo Rabbi)Rabbi Slifkin's book the Challenge of Creation on page 188 'every winged עןף' INCLUDES both birds and winged insects.} {ETA 11/23/2106 So the problem still remains even with this correction.}  

Ramban’s commentary on Gen 1:22 - and let the oaf multiply - also uses oaf to mean birds. Ramban explains - fowl are created out of the waters, but their blessing was to be on earth. No fowl lays it’s eggs in the water, but only on earth. [And Ramban is wrong - fowl evolve from land reptiles, not water reptiles.] 

Besides, insects are already included in ‘swarms of living creatures’ according to Rashi, so oaf most likely does not mean flying insects. 

Here are several examples from among many in the Tenach demonstrating oaf means fowl, not winged insects and not other winged animals. 

Levit 11:13 And these ye shall have in detestation among the fowls [oaf]; they shall not be eaten, they are a detestable thing: the great vulture, and the bearded vulture, and the ospray;

Palams 104:12 Beside them dwell the fowl [oaf] of the heaven, from among the branches they sing.

Levit 1:14 And if his offering to the LORD be a burnt-offering of fowls [oaf], then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons.

Ezekial 31:6 All the fowls [oaf] of heaven made their nests in its boughs, and all the beasts of the field did bring forth their young under its branches, and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.

{ ETA 11/23/2016  According to the (Zoo Rabbi) Rabbi Slifkin's book the Challenge of Creation on page 188:  'every winged עןף' INCLUDES both birds and winged insects. Flying insects, when referred to in exclusion of birds are called sheretz ha-עןף. The Rabbi adds, even if you explain  'every winged עןף' as to be exclusively flying insects there is still a problem with Schroeder's time line:  Per Bible terrestrial insects are created on  the sixth day, and flying insects on the fifth day.  But according to science the terrestrial insects preceded the winged insects.}


Genesis  Day Six:  .25 billion years ago to 6000 years ago 


6a) Genesis  fails to mention the catastrophic extinction of 90% of life destroyed occurring within Day 6 of Schroeder’s time line. This occurred prior to the alleged flood during Noah’s time.

6b) Science -for the last 150 million years, birds; for the last 130 million years, flowers; 

These all occur within Schroeder’s Day 6 time frame.

But Genesis has Birds on Day 5 ending 250 million years ago. This is a problem for Schroeder.

Genesis - Flowers on Day 3 (so says Ramban too). Day 3 ends 1.75 billion years ago.  This is a problem for Schroeder.


Conclusion 

{ETA 11/23/2016 According to the (Zoo Rabbi) Rabbi Slifkin's book the Challenge of Creation on page 188: Science has birds appearing after terrestrial animals. Genesis has birds on fifth day and animals on the sixth. Genesis has the order is wrong}

{ETA 3/23/2016 Understanding Genesis by Nahum Sarna 1966

He translates Gen 1:1 “ When God began to create the Heaven and Earth..”

Beginning Page 2 Regarding Genesis Creation stories:

“It is obvious” none of the stories are based on human memory, nor are they modern science accounts of the physical world’s origin or nature. The stories are Non Scientific. It is a naive and futile exercise to attempt to reconcile Bible creation stories and modern science.  Any correspondences discovered or ingeniously established are nothing more than coincidence.  



The book also provide many points of contact with ancient near east mythology with Genesis creation stories. Beginning page 39 The  Flood story - The Torah used very ancient traditions adapted for it’s own purpose. }

My summary of Schroeder as in the Introduction of this post has been sufficiently demonstrated and moreover Schroeder's claim of the convergence of science and Torah is preposterous. Schroeder is bending and twisting them to converge. This is unbecoming for a Scientist and an Orthodox Jew such as Schroeder. 

I will end my non exhaustive review of Chapter 4 with the following quotes from Schroeder.

Page 70 “ Though the Bible is eerily true and filled with wisdom that would not have been known widely, if at all , when it was written , nowhere does it claim to have all the answers”

Schroeder has provided us with absolutely nothing in the Torah that could not have been known or guessed at in ancient times.  Also see proof of god from secrets in holy texts.

Page 71 “The discoveries of Science have brought forth the measurable indication that our world has an aspect that exceeds the materialistic” 

Does Schroeder means supernatural being(s) ? He has offered no evidence for the claim.

I then began to read Chapter 5. Page 72 “The God an atheist does not believe in is usually not the God of the Bible.

It is the very God of the Bible I do not believe in. Why I do not is one reason for this existence of my blog. Maybe Schroeder should learn about modern academic bible scholarship, ancient near east comparative religion-myth- rituals and  read the Torah with an open objective mind with no apriori religious dogma, such as it is a divine book and that it also has hidden secrets.

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