Snake 1 God 0:   A Paraphrase of the Genesis Creation Story

This is a somewhat facetious paraphrase of the Genesis creation story, true to the facts as recorded in the bible. It demonstrates how the story is illogical, self-contradictory and seriously at odds with the modern understanding of the world and universe based on observation. It is unlikely that such a piece of writing would have been produced by an all-knowing and all-powerful god or by humans under such a god's guidance.

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Temptation of Adam and Eve

God has always existed. Before he created anything, there was nothing apart from him. He sat by himself in the nothingness for an infinite number of years, before deciding to create the heavens and the earth – and man.

Chapter 1 of Genesis says that on Day 1, after making the heavens and the earth, he made light and darkness. As he hadn’t made the sun or stars yet, presumably he used lamps of some sort.

On Day 2 he made a firmament (a heavy-duty transparent waterproof dome over the Earth) to separate the waters above the firmament from the waters below it.

On Day 3 he caused the waters below the firmament, which up to then had been drifting around in a disorderly manner, to gather into one place to make seas, leaving dry land. Being on a bit of a roll, he also vegetated the land.

On Day 4 he made the sun, the moon and the stars and hung them on the firmament. Presumably he then got rid of the light that he had created on Day 1 or it would have been just too bright.

On Day 5 he created the sea creatures and the birds. (Note the chicken came before the egg.)

On Day 6 he made the land creatures. Then he said ‘Let us (sic) make man in our image’. And so they did.

The next day was Saturday, so God sat a day and rested. Despite being infinite and all-powerful, his energy reserves had run a bit low from all that creating.

Chapter 2 of Genesis says that God made Adam (on Day 6) out of dirt before he made the plants (on Day 3). (Presumably he used some sort of time warp.) He planted a garden and put Adam in it.

Then he realised that the man needed a helper, so he created all the beasts (another time warp). He made the beasts male and female so they could reproduce, though he clearly hadn’t thought about doing that with the man. Instead, he brought each beast to the man to see if it would be a suitable mate. God (who knows everything, past, present and future) was surprised that Adam didn't fancy any of them. So then he decided to make a woman. He didn’t make her out of dirt (maybe he had run out of dirt making the man), but instead put the man to sleep, took out one of his ribs and made the woman out of that.

Now God didn't want Adam and Eve to know about good and evil. This seems to have been very important. But still, he put a tree in the garden with fruit on it which would give them that knowledge. What's more, he stuck it right in the middle of the garden - and he pointed it out to them, piquing their interest by telling them not to eat it.

To make things even worse, he included in the garden a rather devious talking snake. While God wasn’t looking, the snake convinced Adam and Eve to eat the fruit. That wasn’t at all hard, because, not knowing about good and evil, they didn’t know it was wrong to disobey instructions – not until after they’d done it anyway. The trouble was of course that, if they were to be good, they had to know what was good and what was evil. But finding that out automatically made them evil.

Upon eating the fruit, they suddenly realised that the reproductive parts that God had made for them were particularly evil and covered them up with fig leaves so God wouldn’t see them. Later, when God saw the fig leaves, he got suspicious, thinking that they might have eaten the fruit, and he questioned them to find out what had happened. Adam and Eve could probably have got away with lying, but instead owned up and passed the blame. As punishment, Adam died, just 930 years later. Eve died too, though being female and of only minor importance, the time of her death wasn't recorded.

130 years after they were made, Adam and Eve discovered sex and had a kid called Cain. They obviously thought this new discovery was cool, so they did it again and had Abel. Cain and Abel decided to make a sacrifice to God by setting fire to some of the stuff they had produced. Cain set fire to some vegetables and Abel set fire to a sheep. God was appreciative of Abel’s sheep, but didn’t like the burnt vegetables, and he refused to accept Cain’s offering. This irritated Cain, so he killed Abel.

God made Cain a vagrant as punishment. Cain complained that anyone who found him would kill him (though the only other people in the world were his mum and dad who were both by now well over 130 years old).

Later, Cain had sex with his wife (presumably his little sister) and she gave birth to Enoch. At the same time, Cain built a city which he named after Enoch. This was probably because the three of them liked the city life.

Nine generations (about 1656 years) passed. During that time there were giants (nephilim) on Earth because the sons of God had bred with the daughters of men. At the end of the 1656 years, people were still evil and God began to regret making them. So he decided to drown them all (men, women and children) by flooding the whole Earth. The water came up to more than 20 feet above the highest mountain and everyone died.

Except Noah and his family who were warned to build an ark. All the animals died as well (they must have been bad too), except for the few million that came and got in his ark (many of which had to cross oceans and deserts to get there – no mean feat for a Patagonian snail!). Noah fed all the animals for the ten and a half months of the flood. (Presumably more than two seals turned up so that the polar bears had plenty to eat and he must have found some gum leaves for the koalas – and a means of keeping them fresh.)

The plants didn’t get on the ark. But they all survived, despite being submerged in the total darkness under 8 km of salty water for ten and a half months.

After the flood, the animals all went back to their respective continents. Noah and his family bred up and, to God’s dismay, just like before, people were bad. They didn’t really have a lot of choice in this because their ancestors had eaten that forbidden fruit and original sin had ever since been passed down from generation to generation making everyone depraved. In fact, they had gotten so bad that they started to build a tower out of bricks and tar. When God came down and saw this, he felt threatened by their amazing technological skills. Drowning them all wasn't an option this time because he had promised not to do that again, so he decided instead to confuse their language so they couldn’t understand each other. As a result, they scattered and the whole world got populated with sinful people. This probably wasn’t what God intended.

Looks like the snake won that one. God – the creator of the universe – outwitted by a reptile! God, who knows the future, obviously didn’t think things through when he created the snake and planted that tree.

An Alternative Account:

Nearly 14 billion years ago, God produced a lot of gas. And a lot of space to put it in. Over the billions of years, the gas, which was like the air on Earth, gathered together into stars and the stars produced dust. Some of the stars exploded, throwing their gas and dust into space. The Sun is a star which formed around 4 billion years ago from the gas and dust from earlier stars. Going around the Sun, planets also formed: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and others too far away to see.

The planet Earth is a ball of rock made from dust with soil and water on its surface and surrounded by a layer of air. The Moon is a smaller ball of rock going around the Earth.

Over time, living things developed on the Earth, at first too small to see. Their offspring were like them, though not always exactly. Some variations were more able to survive and reproduce, so over billions of generations, living things slowly changed, giving rise to plants and animals and eventually humans and the other life we have around us now.

Earth

Many say that Genesis 1 had to be written the way it was because that was all that people at that time could have understood. But they could have understood the three paragraphs above.

It seems that, instead of telling us what actually happened, God chose to tell us stories about making the stars after the Earth, about a firmament holding up the water in the sky, and about dust, ribs and talking snakes. If he did that, how do we know that anything else in his word is true?

If the creation story had been written like the above alternative account before we had discovered these things for ourselves, we would have had good evidence that the bible is indeed inspired by God and therefore that God exists. But it wasn’t.

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Image Acknowledgements

Adam and Eve: Marcantonio Franceschini - Adam and Eve - 316 - MauritshuisFXD - PICRYL - Public Domain Media

Earth: Freerange Public Domain Archives