June 28, 2017
I watched the documentary Is Genesis History? because I wanted to try to understand what the “creationist” viewpoint is, beyond that of family members. I decided to watch with an open mind and really try not to be cynical, but it was downright dreadful. It actually made me sad to think that this is the best we can do. It was trite, unscientific, and downright silly.
Trying to make it fit. The narrator/host of the film interviewed quite a few “experts” in the field about their view of creation. Every single one of them quoted the Bible as a source for how they view the world. So, instead of trying to view the world and see if it “fits” with what the Bible dictates, they literally made the facts “fit” with what the Bible says. It’s completely backward and unscientific, without one single shred of proof presented anywhere. Using the defense “the Bible says so” it absolutely not scientific proof of anything.
Pesky Paradigms. Almost every expert in the film talked about the “paradigm” of believing in an old earth, and the “paradigm” of believing solely in creationism. They showed things like rock formations and the like, as well as fossils, but everything was very canned and simply presented. I didn’t see one shred of evidence pointing to anything scientific to prove that the earth was created in (6) 24-hour periods. Dumbing it down to paradigms was too simplistic.
It all comes down to the flood. The way the experts in the film explain away absolutely everything was the flood. My summation of the thought is that there was a big flood (think Noah’s ark) and that killed all the dinosaurs and everything else, and everything you see since then is the result of the flood. So, the Grand Canyon, shifts of continents, all the animals that survived – everything is the result of this massive flood that the Bible depicts in Genesis. They surmise that things like the Grand Canyon (and other places like it) didn’t happen over time, but rather in the aftermath of the Great Flood. Again, no evidence and nothing really scientific to help here.
What about the other side? Most problematic of all was the fact that the documentary did not present one single expert’s opinion from the “other” side. (This seems elementary to me – we all learn to do this very simplistically in high school English classes.) I would have liked to have heard from an evolution scientist. There was also absolutely no mention of those who believe in theistic evolution (myself included). I don’t have any problem believing in both God and evolution – I would have liked to have heard from an expert of that opinion, because I am positive I am not alone.
Neanderthal and other human-like species. This little section was positively disturbing. The purported expert who showed the skulls and discussed them indicated that Neanderthal survived the flood, but somehow all the other human-like skulls were just some other beings who existed before the flood and they just all died in it. Frankly, that seems like something out of a fantasy film. The only reason I can think that the expert accepted Neanderthal as intermixing with humans is because we can prove it with DNA. (Several family members have done genetic testing and I can actually show you where my father and mother have Neanderthal in their genes and the percentages and everything.) Explaining away other skulls as “oh well I guess they didn’t survive the flood” is unscientific and insulting to my intelligence.
In the end, I still don’t understand why this is such an issue between Christians and non-Christians alike. I don’t have any desire to explain whether or not God created the world. It is not paramount to my salvation, nor does it have any affect on my desire to serve God by doing as Jesus indicated by loving and serving my neighbors.
The most disturbing part of this film came at the very end, when the narrator spoke with a pastor, a PhD and one listed as one of the experts. He summed up (and I am definitely paraphrasing here) that if you don’t believe in a 6-day creation and the flood, as well as everything else in Genesis, then you can’t believe in the rest of it either and it must all be false. This goes right back to the heart of infallibility of the Bible which I have discussed at length in other blog posts. Again, believing in every single verse of the Bible or not does not affect whether or not I believe Jesus is God or that I was designed to serve Him by serving others.
It is also important to note that every single expert interviewed in the film was a white male. This may sound insignificant, but it was disturbing to say the least. In the end, if a committed Christian was completely unconvinced by the “evidence” in this film, I daresay a non-Christian would be equally unconvinced by anything in this film. If creationists want to sway people to their side of the fence (which, again, I don’t see the point) – they need better films than this one.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NRSV): for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Serve all with love.
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