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Creation, Evolution, History And Why The Bible Still Resonates

I obtained a book recently called The Penguin History Of The World. The book was originally put together back in the 1970s and has been updated a whole bunch of times as world history has progressed.

There are many different histories of the world. The Penguin one is much more objective - there are also People's History of the World and even more histories of just the United States alone (like the famous one by Howard Zinn), of South Africa, etc. This holistic history books are fun - they often weed out the confusion about why things have ended up like they have by creating a good, linear storyline of a people or country.

What is striking about the History of the World is its juxtaposition with the Bible. J.M. Roberts is not religious and, like People's History, spends alot of time exploring exactly what time mankind came out of trees, discovered fire and started making tools. In both People's History and History of the World, that time is pretty brief - only a chapter covers what were apparently hundreds of thousands of years.

Just like the Bible, human history doesn't really launch until roughly six thousand years ago. Mesopotamia is hazey and the first, real advanced human society occurs with the Egyptians. Roberts realizes the significance of the Bible - referring to Noah and its correlating tale of the Flood of Gilgamesh as the "greatest" stories of the Bible and wondering how the two myths synergized.

Even when I was conservative, I was dismissive of Creationists. I haven't suddenly become one - I think it's obvious that we are animals and I have seen excavated dinosaur fossils in South Dakota, Washington D.C. and elsewhere. I don't think those were fake - nor are the sabretooth tigers and wooly mammoths we have discovered. 

Nevertheless, I read the Penguin History of the World up until the history of India began and it became obvious why the Bible still holds water not just as a guide to life but as a temple of history for so many. The Bible documents pretty well the history of man leading in to the crucifixion of Christ. After the crucifixion, human history becomes very much Christian for the following millenia and even the most able bodied attempts to lead away from that fail pretty hard, offering nothing in contrast.

The like of Richard Dawkins have little at all to offer away from religion and even the late Christopher Hitchens, brilliant as he was, seemed powered more by disappoint and anger than with a genuine dispute with the tenants of Christianity. It is possible to believe in evolution and God simultaneously - after all, doesn't evolution occur according to natural powers much more significant than that of man alone? - and, likewise, it is possible to use the Bible as a genuine historical source in addition to others with a much less religious narrative.

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Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

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Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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