Monday, March 16, 2009


The book of Genesis may in fact be one of the most crucial and hotly debated books in the entire bible. The entire "creationist" and "intelligent design" movements hinge on the events portrayed here as the core of their thinking. To them, not only are the first two chapters of God's actual creation of prime importance, but so are the ridiculously long life spans of the characters in the book, as well as the Noah's Ark story in Chapter 6 through Chapter 9.

In their views the events in the book of Genesis took place only 6,000 years ago (making that the age of the earth) while clinging to ridiculous theories, such as mankind and dinosaurs living side by side (as in "The Flintstones"). They come up with absurd theories that the levels of solar radiation were so vastly different 6,000 years ago, which accounts for human beings living well into the 800 to 900 year old life spans.

The danger in these modes of thinking is that these people believe that the book of Genesis is infallibly true and contradicts natural science including the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution; hence the attempt at hijacking our education system to teach their religious doctrine. Now regardless of where you stand on religious belief, the bible is *not* by any means a science book, and "creationism" and/or "intelligent design" is *not* a scientific theory and therefore does not belong in our public school systems - which are not meant for the promotion of religion.

Science is based on the study of the world around us and the gathering of information that supports claims that can be demonstrated and tested to produce results. While it is certainly true that science can sometimes be wrong, and has been wrong in the past, scientific theories have been disproved and overwritten by better research and investigation not dogmatic interpretations that refuse to budge from one group's interpretation of the bible's creation myth.

The difference is clear compared to the attitudes of religious theorists of the past, such as those in the 17th century who finally had to admit that the Earth was not the center of our universe, and that the sun does not revolve around our planet. They realized that they were not having to admit that the bible was wrong, only that the human interpretation of it was flawed.

Regardless of your personal views on religion, it has no place in our classrooms. If it is your choice to teach and supplement your children's education with and about religion, then there are plenty of options for you with Sunday Schools and Private Religious schooling.

As we have read together over the fifty chapters of the book of Genesis, here is my summary and interpretation of this book of the Old Testament:
  • God creates the earth, in the darkness, out of a shapeless mass in the sky. God creates:
    • Light, before the creation of the sun, hereby necessitating some other source of light that he worked by. For the sake of simplicity and modern understanding, I had dubbed this "God's Flashlight". He also defines "daytime" and "nighttime" without yet creating the sun which provides us with the amounts of these times, from the span of time it takes the Earth to revolve and face towards or away from the light of the sun.
    • God separates the water vapors to create the skies and the waters, hereby requiring "God's Flashlight" (or perhaps some other source?) to also provide enough heat for the waters to remain in liquid form and not to be a massive ice block.
    • God makes land masses emerge from the seas, and creates a bunch of plant life, once again necessitating "God's Flashlight" to provide similar qualities of the sun, needed to sustain this form of life.
    • Now God finally creates the sun - as well as the moon - and defines them as big lights in the sky. The stars, which are obviously much bigger than the moon, and some even larger than the sun are created almost as an after thought.
    • God creates the fish and the birds and lets them procreate.
    • God creates the rest of the animals, and finally man (and later woman).
  • God creates a garden for man to tend and places a magical tree with magical fruit in the center. Telling Adam (the first man) and his wife Eve, not to eat the magical fruit, telling them that they will die if they do so.
  • A talking snake tells Eve that God is pulling their leg about the whole bit about dying from eating the magical fruit, and explains that eating the fruit will make her and her husband more "Godlike", allowing them to discern right from wrong. Eve eats the magical fruit and then gives a bite to Adam, and they immediately become shameful of their nudity, trying to cover themselves with fig leaves.
  • God finds out about them eating the fruit and being tricked by the talking snake and kicks them out of the garden. He curses the woman most severely bestowing upon her the curse of menstruation and painful child birth, curses the snake to crawl around on his belly and become the enemy of all human females, and finally curses the man to have to struggle to grow food from the land. However, due to the fact that they are now allowed to feel shame for their nudity, God throws them a couple animal skins as a parting gift, and puts some angels on duty to guard the entrance to the garden with a big flaming sword.
  • Adam and Eve's children Cain and Abel grow up to become a farmer and a shepherd, respectively. When the boys share their spoils with God, God shows favoritism towards Abel's lamb chops, which makes Cain envious. In retaliation, Cain murders his brother.
  • God makes Cain an outcast, but puts a mark upon him to ensure that nobody tries to kill him in retaliation. Eve has another "good son" that she names Seth.
  • Cain and Seth live to ripe old ages of over 900 years old and spawn a slew of children and descendants.
  • God deems Seth's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Noah at the age of 500 to be the only righteous human being on the planet. He sees everyone else as evil and wicked and decides to see if anything will change over the next 120 years.
  • When nothing changes, he tells Noah of his great plan to kill everyone and everything with a mass genocidal flood, and tells him to get started on building a giant boat.
  • When Noah finishes building his boat, God tells him to scour the Earth and grab a pair of every animal on the planet - along with a few more to use in animal sacrifices - and load them all up in the boat with him. He lets him take his wife, his sons, and his daughter-in-laws on the boat ride with him.
  • God gives Noah a seven day heads up before the genocidal flood to make his final preparations. When they all board the boat with a pair of every animal in the world, he makes it rain for 40 days straight, lets the water cover the Earth for roughly five months and effectively kills every animal, plant, child, infant, and adult human save for Noah and his crew and the animals aboard.
  • After 9 and a half months aboard the boat, God tells Noah and his crew to let the animals loose, leave the boat, and start populating the world again. Noah's first act when he hits dry land is animal sacrifice.
  • Noah, gets hammered one night passing out naked in his tent and gets mad at his son Ham for seeing him naked. He curses Ham's son Canaan, hoping that the kid will serve the rest of his life as slaves to his uncles - thus identifying the Canaanites as terrible evil people.
  • A while later a bunch of people who settled near Babylon started getting pretty smart and crafty and start building a giant tower reaching to the heavens. God gets ticked off about this and gives all of these people a slew of different languages so that they won't be able to communicate with each other and stop doing things like building silly towers to heaven and progressing their knowledge.
  • Noah's son Shem spawns a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson named Abram, whom God now tells that he's been selected as his chosen one.
  • Abram marries his half-sister, but isn't able to have children with her, so she allows him to sleep with her slave.
  • The slave girl gets pregnant and becomes arrogant, so Abram's wife Sarai beats the hell out of her. God tells the slave girl to go back home and behave, apparently condoning the beating she received. She gives birth to a son named Ismael.
  • Meanwhile, Abram's nephew Lot is across town is living in Sin-City in a city called Sodom. God sends a bunch of angels down there to check out the town. Lot invites them to stay with him for the night, but when the townspeople find out they surround Lot's house, demanding that they bring out his house guests as they were in the mood for raping them. When Lot tries to offer up his nice young virgin daughters for them to rape instead, the towns people refuse and start busting down the doors to get at the guests inside. The angels help Lot, his wife, and two daughters escape, but tells them to run and not look back at the destruction. When Lot's wife does just that, God turns her into a pillar of salt.
  • Meanwhile Lot's daughters decide that if their dad won't let them get married, that they'll get him drunk and force him to have sex with them instead. They both manage to somehow get pregnant with their father's kids after two nights of boozing their dad up.
  • God renames Abram to Abraham in his old age, and tells him that him and his half-sister Sarah (also renamed from Sarai) will finally have a child together at their ages of 100 and 90 respectively
  • Sarah catches Ishmael teasing her son Isaac and tells Abraham to throw both Ishmael and his mother out on the street. Although reluctant, Abraham does so when God tells him that his wife is right.
  • God decides to try a little test out on Abraham, and asks him to instead of performing an animal sacrifice, to try doing a human sacrifice with Abraham's son Isaac. When Abraham goes through with it, God tells him that he was only kidding and just wanted to see how loyal Abraham was to him.
  • When Sarah dies, Abraham buys a family plot in the land of Canaan, complete with a cave, to be used as a cemetery for all of his descendants.
  • Abraham now hooks up his son Isaac with Isaac's cousin Rebekah, sending one of his slaves to travel out to Iraq to go pick her up and bring her back to Canaan.
  • Isaac has twin sons named Esau (the older one) and Jacob (the younger). Esau grows up to be a hunter, and Jacob is more of a homebody.
  • While coming home from an unsuccessful hunt, Esau, feeling starved trades away his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.
  • With Isaac on his death bed, Jacob and his mom come up with a scheme to trick Isaac into giving his death bed blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Somehow it works, and Esau swears revenge. Jacob's mother sends him away via the guise of finding a wife back in her hometown.
  • Jacob goes to stay with his Uncle Laban and falls in love with his cousin Rachel. He works out a deal with his Uncle Laban to work for seven years on his farm in order to pay the dowry for her hand in marriage. However on the wedding night Uncle Laban swaps out Rachel for his older daughter Leah. Jacob sleeps with her and gets stuck with being her husband. He works for another seven years in another attempt to get to marry Rachel, which works this time.
  • A rivalry and baby-making competition arises between the sisters Leah and Rachel, which also involves throwing their slaves in the mix for Jacob to sleep with as well.
  • When one of Jacob's daughters gets raped, her brothers decide that the best way to deal with it is to slaughter the entire town, taking the women and children as slaves.
  • The youngest son, Joseph is a tattle-tale and becomes hated by his brothers. He has a penchant for interpreting dreams and his brothers hate him for that too. They hatch a plot to kill Joseph, but instead sell him into slavery where he winds up in Egypt.
  • Jacob manages to have another child with Rachel, but she dies during child birth and he buries her on the side of the road leading to Bethlehem.
  • Joseph meanwhile manages to win the good favor of the Egyptian Pharaoh by interpreting his dreams and predicts a seven year famine ahead. When he comes up with a plan to survive the famine, the Pharaoh makes him the governor of Egypt and a wealthy celebrity in town.
  • Affected by the famine, Jacob sends his sons to Egypt to buy some food. They are unaware that it is their brother Joseph who's selling the food there - as he is dressed as an Egyptian and speaks the language, but Joseph recognizes his brothers. He messes with their heads, insisting that they are spies, and demands to meet their youngest brother - who didn't travel with them to buy the food.
  • When Joseph finally sees the brothers return with his youngest brother Benjamin, he reveals who he is and insists that his family all moves to Egypt to live.
  • When the family moves to Egypt, Jacob dies not long after, but angers Joseph by giving his better blessings to Joseph's younger son instead of the older son.
  • When Jacob dies, his family brings his body back to Canaan to bury him in the cave that Abraham bought long ago for the family.
  • Before Joseph dies he makes his brothers promise that their descendants are to take his body with them when they leave Egypt and return to Canaan. His body is put into a coffin in Egypt in the meantime

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