Talk:Genesis creation narrative/Archive 19

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 15 Archive 17 Archive 18 Archive 19 Archive 20 Archive 21 Archive 25

Genre - new section needed?

Some time ago there was discussion about having a new section to discuss the genre of Genesis 1-2. We agreed it was a good idea but nobody actually did it. Such a section might be useful in case this current discussion of the name of the article comes up again - as it surely will. I'll volunteer to do a first draft, based on pages 57-58 of Hamilton's Genesis 1-17 Commentary - he's pretty reputable (the book is already in our bibliography). PiCo (talk) 12:54, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

  • I commend your efforts. One source you will undoubtedly want to include is Bruce Waltke (admittedly a conservative evangelical viewpoint, but possibly the most scholarly of the bunch). See, for example, his article "The Literary Genre of Genesis, Chapter One," Crux 27:4 (1991) here, or "The Creation Account in Genesis 1:1-3," Bibliotheca Sacra 132 (1975) here. HokieRNB 13:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the suggestion :) PiCo (talk) 14:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • See also, John Feinberg in No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God (2001) pp 574-578 ISBN 1581348118; and John Sailhamer in Genesis Unbound: A Provocative New Look at the Creation Account (2011) ISBN 1935651218
  1. John Feinberg is not wp:notable. Further, the book No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God is published by Crossway, aka Good News Publishers which is also not wp:notable. According to the Better Business Bureau, Good News Publishers is not BBB Accredited. The BBB notes Good News Publishers's "failure to respond to one complaint filed against business" and that the "BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business." In another words, No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God is basically crap. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 15:23, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  2. John Sailhamer is not wp:notable either and NavPress publishers notability is questioned.
  • Further, there is too much Evangelical POV pushing with these Evangelical books referred by HokieRNB (talk · contribs). Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 15:32, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
  • ?Heh? Again with the anti-evangelical bias? Both of these scholars are (A) sufficiently notable for referencing in Wikipedia and (B) extremely relevant to the discussion. Feinberg is chair of the department of biblical and systematic theology at "one of the largest seminaries in the world" (according to Wikipedia), and Sailhamer is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Crossway and NavPress are both reputable publishers. The suggestions by HokieRNB far surpass the standards of WP:RS. As has been stated in the past, Wikipedia should include all major POVs - and for the Genesis creation narrative, evangelical Christianity is most certainly a major POV. Ἀλήθεια 15:57, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how notability applies. One needs to be notable to have an article created. One need not pass WP:N to be mentioned in Wikipedia or have his or her work cited here. What applies here is WP:RS. I have no idea whether or not the book in question meets WP:RS; I just want to clarify that no one needs to pass WP:N in this case. Joefromrandb (talk) 16:13, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
If a person/subject is not wp:notable, there is a strong indication that they are not a wp:reliable source. Both policies go hand in hand. wp:notable basically does not exist without wp:reliable. Let's take a look at Wikipedia's article on John Feinberg. Has anyone noticed what the John Feinberg#reference section looks like? Why... there are no proper references! This entire article is wp:unsourced and contains no wp:reliable references. Therefore, it is subject to deletion. We can argue over on that page about his notability, Ἀλήθεια. Do you see now how wp:notability is reliant on wp:reliable sources? They are hand in hand, and the John Feinberg page proves this assertion. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 20:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:RS (Reliable Source) is utterly unrelated to WP:N (Notability). Notability isn't even mentioned anywhere in the WP:RS guideline. That's because RS refers to the source for a statement, while notability refers to a guideline for keeping a WP article. There are literally countless academics who write papers for peer-reviewed journals or academic publishing houses who easily pass as a Reliable Source, but who don't merit a Wikipedia article. That said, there might be better reliable sources than the Evangelical ones that are being discussed, or perhaps a better spectrum of Christian academic views available. First Light (talk) 20:58, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
So First Light (talk · contribs), based on your in-depth knowledge of wp:reliable and wp:notability how do you justify the wiki-page: John Feinberg?

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Jasonasosa, wasn't it you who suggested that this talk page isn't the place to discuss the John Feinberg article? Having an article in Wikipedia isn't the criteria for evaluating whether his work is suitable for referencing this article. Ἀλήθεια 21:26, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree that sources need not pass WP:N to be considered reliable. But there is a vast array of literature about the subject of this article, representing a wide range of opinions, and very little that can be considered incontrovertible fact. We do have to be selective about which opinions to include, even before we get to fringe views. That, I think, is where some notion of notability applies, though I would not use the BBB rating of the publisher as the test.--agr (talk) 21:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
To Ἀλήθεια (talk · contribs), you make the statement, "Feinberg is chair of the department of biblical and systematic theology at "one of the largest seminaries in the world" (according to Wikipedia)". It's really funny how you say "(according to Wikipedia)" when you are the one who just created that article today! Good job creating an article that violates wp:unsourced, wp:reliable (For those who still haven't gotten yet), and wp:verify (Thus... hello, the John Feinberg page does not meet, what? oh that's right... wp:notable). Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 21:31, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Please see my response on your talk page, where stuff like this belongs. Ἀλήθεια 23:33, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Gentlemen and gentleladies (if any), please hold the dispute over sources until I have something drafted. Then you can dispute what I use. I had a quick look at Waltke last night and he seems to be useful. I know Wenham has something to say too. I'll try to rely mainly on major general works like Eerdmans' and Oxford guides and general commentaries - people writing for those tend to stick to what's generally accepted, and even say things like "most scholars believe". (And I tend to trust them when they do). Anyway, please wait a bit and keep the criticism for what I come up with. PiCo (talk) 22:47, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

I would just comment that on this topic nobody is reliable enough to give definitive answers, because there are so many points of view. We have to either say [[John Feinberg] writes ... (with reference) or many scholars believe ... (with multiple reference). I don't even put much credence on a single source saying "most scholars believe." -- 202.124.73.47 (talk) 23:45, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
FYI, a previous Genre section was deleted, see Talk:Genesis creation narrative/Archive 16#why was genre removed?. Keahapana (talk) 23:53, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with PiCo (talk · contribs)'s careful choice of sources, such as Eerdmans' and Oxford guides. I also agree with 202.124.73.47 about avoiding the use of "most scholars believe" even when used in wp:reliable sources. This is something that should be carefully considered when editing even if that's exactly how it is presented in the source. It is always better to determine which scholars the source is referring to.  — Jasonasosa 00:01, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
In any case, the notion that WP:N and WP:RS "are hand in hand" is simply something you made up. It is not policy-based in any way and should be ignored by all parties here. Joefromrandb (talk) 02:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I cannot believe I am forced to quote from WP:N in order to prove how WP:RS works "hand-in-hand" with WP:N. The bottom line is...without WP:RS you do not have WP:N. The following is just a handful of quotes that directly show WP:RS influence on WP:N. Quotes from WP:N:

  1. "We consider evidence from reliable independent sources to gauge this attention."
  2. "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article or stand-alone list."
  3. "* "Reliable" means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability, per the reliable source guideline."
  4. "* "Presumed" means that significant coverage in reliable sources establishes a presumption, not a guarantee, that a subject is suitable for inclusion."
  5. "* We require the existence of "reliable sources" so that we can be confident that we're not passing along random gossip, perpetuating hoaxes, or posting indiscriminate collections of information."
  6. "* If the article is about a specialized field, use the {{expert-subject}} tag with a specific WikiProject to attract editors knowledgeable about that field, who may have access to reliable sources not available online.

Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 03:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

You are absolutely right to say that Reliable Sources are needed to show Notability, but it doesn't work the other way around: No hint of WP:Notability is needed to demonstrate that a source is Reliable. You were and are utterly and wildly incorrect to say that "If a person/subject is not wp:notable, there is a strong indication that they are not a wp:reliable source." If you can show anything in Wikipedia policy to support that statement, please do so. In fact, WP:RS states "academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources." I guarantee that a quick perusal of authors of individual articles in scientific peer-reviewed journals on JSTOR would show that the overwhelming majority do not meet WP:Notability. First Light (talk) 03:24, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
The dog chasing its tail effect. At some point, you have to have something notable, such as how I indicated before, "a person/subject" to validate a reliable source. In your above example, JSTOR is wp:notable for its sources to be reliable. If, for example, JSTOR wasn't notable, you wouldn't have reliable sources. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 03:40, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That's absurd. Make that argument at WT:N or WT:RS if you like, but please don't try to rewrite policy here. A source that meets WP:RS may be used whether or not its author meets WP:N. Meeting WP:RS certainly doesn't mean something should automatically be used, but its author failing WP:N in no way disqualifies it. This attempt at policy creep is most unwelcome here. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:15, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
My argument is not limited to an author meeting WP:N. This is probably where the confusion lies even though I've already made this clear earlier. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 04:29, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:RS states, "The policy on sourcing is Wikipedia:Verifiability..." Verifiability includes Notability under Verifiability#Notability, right next to Verifiability#Original research. Verifiability#Notability states, "If no reliable third-party sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it." Thus, WP:RS relies on wp:verifiability which requires wp:notable, just as much as wp:notable is dependent on WP:RS. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 04:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
This is veering off course. Your original argument was Feinberg is not notable so his book can't be used here as a reference; that's simply not true. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:35, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You are welcome to argue for Feinberg's wp:notability at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/John Feinberg. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 04:40, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Indeed I am. But no one needs to prove Feinberg notable in order to cite him in this article. As you have correctly pointed out, that is a discussion for another page. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:44, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I just have one simple question for you then... How do you prove that Feinberg is a reliable source?   — Jasonasosa 04:49, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
In the hopes of putting an end to this foolishness, I have requested help at WP:RSN. Joefromrandb (talk) 05:09, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - John H. Sailhamer is definitely notable, and I have created his article, without prejudice to this discussion. StAnselm (talk) 05:13, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
No, scratch that - the article already existed, as John Sailhamer. StAnselm (talk) 05:15, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
They both seem notable. In any case, either may be cited here, as WP:RSN has confirmed. Joefromrandb (talk) 06:44, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Hah! That's hilarious...the WP:RSN closes immediately with "An editor reviewed this question, but it did not have the required level of detail necessary to provide a useful answer."   — Jasonasosa 07:16, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
WP:RSN did not confirm Feinberg or Sailhamer's reliability. What has been confirmed is StAnselm (talk · contribs)'a contribution to ensureing that John Sailhamer is WP:N. We still have yet to see about Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/John Feinberg. Thanks,   — Jasonasosa 07:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
The results of that AfD will have no bearing whatsoever on the reliability of any source. Everyone else seems to understand this concept. The RSN can help provide clarity on whether a specific source should be considered reliable support for a specific statement. A new thread there is likely to be helpful if a more actionable question can be formulated. VQuakr (talk) 07:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. There seems to be some confusion here. WP:RS does not require WP:N. Professor Smith (an expert, but not yet notable) can write an article in a newly-created journal (peer-reviewed, but not yet notable), and that will be a WP:RS. -- 202.124.72.77 (talk) 12:13, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
There's no confusion, only the continued WP:IDHT behavior of a single editor. This has been explained by multiple editors in multiple fora. This nonsense can safely be ignored from here on out. Joefromrandb (talk) 12:19, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

The renaming dispute

To summarize, a suggestion was made to move Genesis creation narrative to Genesis creation myth. There are also alternative suggestions to move it to Creation (bible) or Creation (Book of Genesis).

  • The reasons for this revolve around 'consistency' and non-preferential treatment in naming of Christian articles.
  • The reasons against revolve around scepticism that this is really motivated for reasons of neutrality and concern that 'myth' implies 'false story'.

I personally think that Creation (Book of Genesis) is a good compromise and I've said as much, but that's part of the problem. This is a charged issue that very quickly attracts walls of text and little reading. If people only only talk at' each other and not with each other, this issue will never resolve (and will likely continue to recurring). Is seeking mediation a good idea?
Sowlos (talk) 19:21, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Genesis creation story has also been suggested several times as a compromise, and as the one most supported by reliable sources. I'm only adding it here so the entire scope of proposed possible titles can be seen in one place. First Light (talk) 20:11, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
The point that is raised repeatedly, however, is that it serves the reader better to have the word "Creation" first, since it's more likely the first search term item. I would continue to hope that we can defuse some of this poisonous debate by getting words like "myth," "story," and "narrative" out of the title altogether, since I find it exceedingly unlikely that readers will be typing in such phrases. I would go for any title that begins with the word "Creation" and brackets a designation of the source that points the reader clearly enough in the right direction, whether that's (Biblical), (Genesis), (Book of Genesis), or what have you. It's really about finding the most accessible (aka most common) title. The only purpose of article titles is to alert readers as clearly and succinctly as possible that they're on the right page. If I were a certain kind of Christian believer, and I saw the phrase "Genesis creation myth" or even "Genesis creation narrative," I'd think it wasn't the article I was looking for: but I would recognize Creation in Genesis, or Creation (Biblical), or some such, and so would any atheist. Neither would have any grounds to object to a lack of neutrality. Article titles are supposed to be recognizable and natural. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:45, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I think one of the problems here has been the process, which has pitted one name against the other, mano e mano (reflecting the attitudes of the editors). I could support either Genesis creation story or Creation in Genesis (as neutral and natural). But neither has been put to a mano e mano !vote against the others. Maybe we need a poll, listing all possible choices—I know, we don't ordinarily do polls—but at least that could winnow the choices down. First Light (talk) 22:04, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
  • This ngram suggests that "Creation in Genesis" is the common name by a wide margin. Kauffner (talk) 15:14, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Or maybe we could drop the whole matter and move on... StAnselm (talk) 22:07, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
My point is that people wont drop this matter. This isn't the first time this has happened and I can't see it being the last if we don't find an equitable solution. This is why I want to know if there are enough disputants willing to seek mediation.
Sowlos (talk) 11:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. We already have an active move proposal (two, even). I don't think this new discussion thread helps the issue in the least. The proposals above are likely to close "no consensus" status quo ante bellum, and that will probably be true of every new proposal. Which is fine by me, because there's nothing really wrong with the present title. -- 202.124.73.26 (talk) 08:50, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm asking if we should seek mediation on the issue, not bring my opinions to a vote.
Sowlos (talk) 11:29, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought mediation was for content disputes. And I thought it was voluntary. Do you really expect everybody who participated in the move discussion to volunteer? There's nothing wrong with the present title, and no convincing policy arguments have been presented for changing it. -- 202.124.74.31 (talk) 12:17, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Regarding mediation, I agree with 202.* and StAnselm. This is just a requested page move. Many such page moves are closed as 'no consensus' without mediation, arbitration, etc., and with a small group of editors left feeling sad (I've seen far worse). Let an admin close it and let us all move on to more productive activities. Enough is enough. First Light (talk) 13:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought mediation was for content disputes.The guidelines are a unclear about that, but I think I remember seeing other naming disputes receive mediation. Naming and content disputes can both devolve into the same thing, edit war.
Do you really expect everybody...to volunteer?Well, depends on how many people are actively disputing versus how many just passed by and left.
There's nothing wrong with the present title...Obliviously, a lot of people disagree. Well, that may not matter if the dispute burns out.
Sowlos (talk) 13:56, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I've seen far worseLol; so have I.
Sowlos (talk) 13:59, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

This isn't going to be "just dropped", a gang of thugs can't just muddy the water of every one of these discussions and affect a "no consensus" and the impartial outside closer definitely didn't agree that the current naming is neutral. I second WP:RFM or even just skip to WP:RFAR since this might actually require some tweaking of established policy... — raekyt 14:13, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I would support taking action against editors that throw around terms like "gang of thugs." -- 202.124.75.106 (talk) 10:52, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
We could also vote for a moratorium on requested moves for a period of 1 year. Then editors could do more useful things with their time. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:04, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support one year moratorium on requested moves.--agr (talk) 12:21, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely not. WP:CCC, and right now we have "no consensus".   — Jess· Δ 13:13, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Creationism and the creation narrative

This article is linked via a template to the series of articles dealing with creationism. Yet it spends almost no time discussing creationism (about a paragraph in the Genre section). I'm wondering if there should be a new section, Creationism and Genesis 1-2? PiCo (talk) 01:07, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Requested Move: → Creation in Genesis

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. Consensus is strongly against the original proposal. The second proposal was much closer, but the majority of editors were against that one too. Both proposals have run for over two weeks and have had enough participation such that relisting is unlikely to be valuable. --BDD (talk) 22:56, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Genesis creation narrativeCreation in Genesis – Bible references generally give this subject as simply "creation", see Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 316), Browning's A Dictionary of the Bible, and Dictionary of the Old Testament (p. 156). "Creation in Genesis" has been suggested by several editors, notably Moe Epsilon, closer of the previous RM. Of the various suggestions that have been put on the table, I consider this one to be closest to the style of the reference works given above. I graphed the various possibilities on this ngram. Not only is "creation in Genesis" easily the most common form, but the second most common form is "creation story in Genesis", which I consider to be a variant. "Myth," "account", and "narrative" all lag far behind. The subject is of course a myth, an account, and a narrative, but it is not necessary to put any of these words in the title. Kauffner (talk) 01:54, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Survey

  • Oppose I'd like to stay with the current title. It's fairly stable (absolute stability seems impossible to achieve), and I think the idea is that it's in keeping with the larger family of creation-myth articles on Wikipedia - we have Chinese creation myth and no doubt a Hindu creation myth, so (the argument goes), why should the biblical one be different? So I'd say leave it.PiCo (talk) 23:24, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Comment Ok, I've figured out the ngram thing :). I don't think this is a very useful way toget a lead - it surveys absolutely everything, when what's needed it is to survey scholarly works specifically targeted on biblical creation (especially Genesis 1-2). When you get down to that level you get a different picture - Blenkinsopp, for example, has a whole section discussing the question of myth versus history and explains very objectively why scholars refer to the Genesis story as myth (see page 12). Even the Zondervan article on creation refers to it as a narrative (just "creation" in the header, but "narrative" in the text of the article.)PiCo (talk) 00:39, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
The issue here is what name should be used to refer to this subject, which is not quite the same thing. Blenkinsopp uses "creation in Genesis", but never "Genesis creation narrative" or "Genesis creation myth". Kauffner (talk) 04:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
In the book - a commentary on Genesis 1-11 - Blenkinsopp calls it a "myth", and explains why (because it's a technical term that locates Genesis 1-11 in a genre, basically - and he doesn't call it "creation in Genesis", by the way, as the full phrase is that this is "the priest-author's account" of creation [i.e., he calls it an account at that specific point]). As for us, we can't call it just "creation" because that leads to a disambiguation page; so what can we call it? Creation in Genesis would work, but given that we have a whole series of articles about world creation myths, and this is the creation myth of a group of early Jews c.500 BC, Genesis creation myth or narrative seems more appropriate. As I said above, even the Zondervan article calls it a narrative, so why shouldn't we? PiCo (talk) 05:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • It's narrative, story, myth, account -- all those things. But it is not necessary to put any of those words in the title. I think I have already explained the logic behind the proposed title: I am trying to make our title correspond as closely as possible to the common name, the title used by the reference works listed in the nom, namely "creation." I limited myself to the titles that have already been proposed to avoid excessive novelty. Kauffner (talk) 11:10, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you should move that para to the top - an explanation of what your reasoning has been. PiCo (talk) 11:34, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Extremely Strongly Against This seems yet another step in the appalling, non-encyclopaedic exercise of treating Christianity differently from all the other belief systems with creation myths. It's bad enough that the conservative middle American Christians have imposed their world view on the article to change myth to narrative. Christians, you're not special to Wikipedia! (Or you bloody well shouldn't be!) HiLo48 (talk) 23:40, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Wow, you come to a page called "Genesis creation narrative" and not only trash Christians, but Americans too? You're either not smart or you're looking for a fight. --Oh and prejudiced too.
As for a vote, I wouldn't be against the change, but I'm not really for it either. --Musdan77 (talk) 00:34, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Not prejudiced at all. That would mean PRE-judging. I don't have to do that. As I have pointed out, some of the conservative Christians have already pushed their POV onto this topic. It would be very difficult to argue otherwise. I want to see that POV pushing go no further. HiLo48 (talk) 01:07, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
You have your opinions (and you can thank Americans for you having the freedom to be able to voice your opinion), but don't try to stifle others' opinions because you think that theirs don't matter as much as yours. That's why we have consensus. --Musdan77 (talk) 02:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I have NOT tried to stifle opinion, nor have I criticised ALL Americans. Making stupid allegations like that only demonstrates your poor thinking on this matter, or poor reading of what I wrote. Anyway, a quick look at your user page tells me that you're not likely to have an objective view on the question of why Christianity should be treated differently from other belief structures. HiLo48 (talk) 02:13, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Americans invented freedom for Australia? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:37, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think the proposed title is slightly vaguer than the existing one. "Genesis creation narrative" clearly refers to the first two chapters - "Creation in Genesis" makes me think the article would be a discussion of the theme of creation in the entire book of Genesis. For example, this article suggests that Genesis 8:20-22 has the theme "God Continues to Create". StAnselm (talk) 00:53, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. That article is pointing to the "de-creation/re-creation" theme of the Flood story - God destroys the Earth by opening it to the waters of chaos, saves Noah and the animals in an Earth-shaped boat, and then restores the Earth in the same order as he created it. It's not discussed at the moment. PiCo (talk) 01:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I note that the linked article doesn't actually use the phrase this way. Just because a hyper-literal interpretation is possible doesn't mean it is common or likely. Kauffner (talk) 03:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Are you replying to me or to StAnselm? (Not sure what you mean by using a phrase "in this way" - what phrase, way?) PiCo (talk) 03:29, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: None of the multi-various names this article has had (not to mention the dozens more editors have suggested and failed to gain traction with) have been a satisfactory resolution as far as I'm concerned. But having tried to go back and trace the path this article has taken to arrive at this particular title, I came to appreciate how shamefully, freakishly much volunteer time has been sucked away in pedantics, "fairness", culture and dictionary wars over what the title should be here. I'm disinclined to entertain any changes that are (so absolutely sure to) further article disruptions by changing the article's name until a more decisive, objective AND less ambiguous means is recognized and accepted as useful for determining WP:COMMONNAME. Is ngram such a means? I don't think so, since I've "what-iffed" various alternatives that bested the chart lines of this one. I'm also unconvinced by the volatility over time, especially given that wp's creative commons license has resulted in an icky degree of wp glop showing up in google books. Professor marginalia (talk) 08:36, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose move per PiCo; let's try to stay consistent, and on the right side of NPOV. KillerChihuahua 02:01, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • No need to change the article name, status quo seems apt and is difficult to fault. (Sir Harry Nessbit 03:03, 1 February 2013 (UTC))
  • Oppose. The current title is highly problematic and reeks of ethnocentric chauvinism, but the proposal doesn't fix that at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:10, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment* Forgive me but I don't fully understand the issue here. IMO the current title does not offer a POV one way or another in that it does not validate or repudiate the topic discussed. The article is easy to find and, without a real alternative, I do not feel there is justification for another name change. (Sir Harry Nessbit 03:37, 1 February 2013 (UTC)) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Harry Nessbit (talkcontribs)
  • In that case, perhaps you could read the nomination? Kauffner (talk) 04:09, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. For the first time since I have been watching this page, the proposed title seems to me to be completely neutral, simple and appropriate. Abtract (talk) 18:28, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Although I don't see anything wrong with the proposed title, there are far too many debates here about changing the name. Just keep it the same for several years. It was hard enough to compromise on the current title. I suspect having the proposed name would stimulate even more rename requests. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:17, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Entirely neutral and appropriate. A narrative suggests a retelling of something that happened. There's not a shred of evidence that Genesis is an historical account of anything.Theroadislong (talk) 20:47, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The story or narrative or myth or whatever you want to call it is in fact just that, a story. I cannot see any good reason to remove that information from the title. Also, honestly, "Creation in Genesis" is more than a bit vague itself. While I can and do see some basis for trying to resolve the neverending myth vs. narrative vs. whatever debate, I cannot see how this change is likely to do that, and neither can I see any good reason to seemingly broaden the potential scope of the article with an even less specific title. John Carter (talk) 21:47, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While the current title is blatantly religiocentric, "Creation in Genesis" – which smacks of Creationism – is worse. "Creation in religion" redirects to Creation myth and "Creation in schools" redirects to Creation and evolution in public education. Keahapana (talk) 23:47, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose as a step in the wrong direction. The correct title is Genesis creation myth. The only problem with that title is that the term "myth" was originally created by Christians as a way to label stories like those in the Bible, only that they considered them wrong because they were the foundational stories of other religions. So the word had negative connotations. But nowadays "myth" is a neutral technical term that Christian theologists have no trouble applying to stories in the Bible as well. There is a competing meaning, that of a false story, but that is both obviously applicable in this case and obviously not connoted by the technical term "creation myth".
    And the argument for the proposed title makes no sense. "Creation in Genesis" is not a title. It just gets a lot of Google hits because it appears in descriptive phrases such as "[wo]man's creation in Genesis", "stories of human creation in Genesis" etc. In the vast majority of cases, the occurrences are of the form "X creation in Genesis", where "creation" binds more strongly with "X" than with "in Genesis". Hans Adler 00:16, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
    • That certainly isn't the argument I gave. The entry heading used by the reference works listed above is simply "creation." So "creation in Genesis" is the common name, plus a minimum of disambiguation. Kauffner (talk) 07:05, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
      • OK, sorry for having misunderstood that part. But I still don't agree with "Creation in Genesis". To me that's an OR name rather than a descriptive title. Proper disambiguation would be "Creation (Genesis)", but "(Genesis)" is not a particularly elegant disambiguator. I am also not convinced that "Creation" is used as a name in those reference works. After all, they have problems similar to ours and will in some cases use descriptive titles. I think most of these articles are articles about the general concept of creation, as it occurs in the Bible. The Bible hardly ever discusses the topic except in the two creation myths, which appear close to each other and got a joint end redaction. So an article on the general topic naturally focuses on this contiguous chunk of text. That doesn't make the name of the general concept the name of that chunk of text. Hans Adler 14:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose I, too, would like to stay with the current title. It represents blood, sweat, and tears from not that long ago. It represents a compromise that most could live with. "Genesis creation narrative" allows it to be in the first two chapters, while "Creation in Genesis" is more likely to imply the entire book of Genesis. The search algorithm has been improved and will find it either way. Neither is religiocentric. "Myth" is not a neutral term for the average person. We're not writing for theologians. Literally every Google-type search for "myth" brings up alleged falsehoods. Afaprof01 (talk) 00:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
If "myth" is not a neutral term, why do we still use it to describe creation beliefs of faiths other than Christianity? I still think it's very unhealthy for Wikipedia that the Creationist Christians here sought and gained special treatment over other religions, and truth. HiLo48 (talk) 00:30, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
That is not an issue here, it is an issue for other articles. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:19, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Please see WP:CHRISTIANPOV for an summary of how Christianity gets preferential treatment on wikipedia. The title of this page is only one of many examples. A neutral title would be "Genesis creation myth". Pass a Method talk 02:37, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that systemic pro-fundamentalist Christian bias is a problem for Wikipedia, and especially for articles like this. Inevitably there will be a disproportionately high number of hard core Christians watching and editing articles like this, and we're going through the farcical exercise of a "survey". I wish they could apply some real Christian ethical principles to their behaviour here, rather than hoping to please their god by pushing their POV onto this article. I don't think Jesus did that sort of thing. HiLo48 (talk) 05:08, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Yepp, also known as crypto-racist. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:53, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Our current concession to Christians desiring religious favoritism in Wikipedia is the camel's nose in the tent. "Creation in Genesis" seems like sleeping with the camel. Our rejected past title "Creation according to Genesis" came off more unbiased. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 14:12, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposal takes the title even farther away from what it ought to be (Genesis creation myth, for uniformity with other creation myth articles). —Psychonaut (talk) 15:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title in neutral and descriptive. Too much effort has been wasted on endless debates about this article. --agr (talk) 23:56, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • oppose Pass a Method talk 09:47, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Genesis creation myth is the appropriate title. This is what I posted last year regarding google hits: While I appreciate the arguments at previous discussions on the topic, I've never found our reasoning for the current title too compelling. The strongest argument for it has always been COMMONNAME, but then we have often used unfiltered search results which turned out to be mostly similar. I mean, the difference between 120 hits and 230 hits on a search engine is not worth discussing, IMO. If the whole academic community referred to this as "the GC narrative", my opinion would be different, but the fact is that this is referred to as a myth very commonly in secular sources, and commonly still even in religious ones. So for me, COMMONNAME doesn't really resonate as a strong reason to break convention for just one religion. It seems to me we can source "the GC myth" very well, and it fits with all our other articles on the topic, which means it won't create surprise for our readers searching for the topic, or finding it listed among a multitude of other "... myth" articles. Consistency and sourcing are important to me, not so much splitting hairs over similar and unexamined google hits.   — Jess· Δ 15:18, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support As the proposer points out, "Creation in Genesis" is by far the most widely used phrasing. Reliable sources also show it to be far more widely used than the almost artificially constructed (as it is used by so few reliable sources) "Genesis creation narrative." Google Scholar shows an underwhelming 135 results for "Genesis creation myth",[1] an equally underwhelming 235 results for "Genesis creation narrative",[2] and the expected 3,900 results for "Creation in Genesis"[3] (expected by editors who depend on reliable sources rather than bias and bigotry, and no, I don't always take the "Christian" side of these arguments, as you can see from some of my contributions). First Light (talk) 16:20, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
    • It's not the most widely used phrase. As I pointed out below, the results for "Creation in Genesis" are not all names; many are sentence fragments, or intended to be descriptive. For instance, "...describing the world's creation in Genesis." Conversely, Genesis "creation myth" returns more than 5,000 results, indicating 'creation myth' is a common label used in writing on the topic. This is further backed up by the quality sources we've actually examined, where the phrase is prevalent.   — Jess· Δ 16:58, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
      • I find nothing in WP:Article title to indicate that sentence fragments are not considered, and only titles are considered. In fact, the five criteria at the guideline are: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency. The use of the exact phrase, in context, to describe the subject in a sentence is exactly what at least four of those criteria are describing. First Light (talk) 17:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Please read through the search results instead of just mindlessly posting the numbers. It seems that a large proportion your "creation in Genesis" results aren't using the words as a single noun phrase which denotes the concept we are talking about here. The words are often used in reference to some more specific act or aspect of creation (e.g., "the account of Eve's creation in Genesis", "the order of creation in Genesis", "stories of his creation in Genesis 2"), or don't even form a cohesive unit as the words cross phrase or sentence boundaries (e.g., "…mode of creation. In Genesis 1…"). Sometimes the phrase is used in the sense we're discussing here, but only because it appears in the title of a cited work; one cannot therefore infer that the author is endorsing that usage. In still other cases, the words are used as part of a longer phrase which is much closer to what's being proposed below ("myth of creation in Genesis"). —Psychonaut (talk) 17:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
      • I did scan through the search results, rather than mindlessly pretending that such an overwhelming ratio (nearly 30:1!!!) is because 3,800 of those results are because of such anomalies. The numbers are so overwhelming in this case that the burden of proof is on you, not me, to show that there is some bizarre anomaly like an academic who changed his name to "Creation in Genesis". In fact, of the first page of Google Scholar results for "Creation in Genesis," the only five where I could read the text all used the term "creation in Genesis" in exactly the manner that is supported by the article title criteria: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency. First Light (talk) 17:41, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. The issue is article scope. As it stands, the article offers analysis of the account of creation in Genesis that draws on several strands of scholarship including narratology, comparative mythology, and history of religion. It is not confined to analyzing the account only as either a narrative or a myth (though the study of myth as an academic discipline is inherently multidisciplinary). The account of Creation in Genesis is complex in the traditions and sources it drew on, and IMHO it would be wrongheaded from a scholarly perspective to attempt to fragment those. My concern, however, is that if you change the title to "Creation in Genesis" (which is what I prefer at the moment), you'd lose the careful distinction between analyzing how the account of Creation in Genesis has meaning (mythological/narratological analysis), to what it means to believers—that is, the title "Creation in Genesis" would make it less clear that the article isn't about creationism as a belief system. Attempting to argue this question based on search engines seems futile and beside the point. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:29, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

New proposal

Genesis creation narrativeGenesis creation myth. I propose this title in response to all the feedback above. Pass a Method talk 17:13, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

But what has changed since last year's discussion? StAnselm (talk) 05:03, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
See WP:RNPOV and WP:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. Pass a Method talk 09:10, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
See them for what, exactly? A direct question has been asked, and the following statement does not seem in any way to even remotely address the question raised. John Carter (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, again. creation myth is accurate and more scholarly. Article titles should be consistent. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 03:53, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support — raekyt 04:13, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Change the rest of the articles too then (however, that should not be discussed here), your argument is invalid. House1090 (talk) 04:16, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Comment: I dont see the point of this as it has already been resolved in the past. House1090 (talk) 04:18, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Clearly not. Consensus can change. No past decision is resolute. — raekyt 04:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Nothing has changed since the previous decision for "Narrative." With due respect, if you want to change the other "Myth" articles, it's your prerogative to initiate proposals. I regret your apparent prejudice toward Christians with your repeated emphases on alleging preferential treatment to Christians. And we're not talking just about Christians here. The Old Testament is respected and used by the three major Abrahamic religions: Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam. Many sources say the Bible is the most-read book in the World, so we're talking about a lot of people when we include Jews and Muslims who respect the Book of Genesis as God-inspired. How do you think the word "myth" will be translated into the multiple translations of Wikipedia? What will the word become in Farsi?
Common sense says that the nearly universal connotation of "Myth" is fiction, and implying fiction is not NPOV. I challenge you to find even one (1) example from anything ordinary people read that uses "Myth" in the highly technical sense that you want. No academic or theologian will be offended by the word "narrative", but since Wikipedia cannot be used as an authoritative source in any academic setting, we really should be trying to reach the everyday average person.
Re: your complaint about the implications of the word "narrative": I've never heard the Encyclopedia Britannica accused of being slanted toward Christianity. They use the words "narrative" and "history" in their article on Genesis and I quote: " 'In the beginning….' Genesis narrates the primeval history of the world." (emphases added). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Afaprof01 (talkcontribs) 07:00, 5 February 2013‎
I hereby accuse Encyclopedia Britannica of being slanted towards Christianity. And now that we've taken care of that… —Psychonaut (talk) 08:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Afaprof01: Also quoted from Encyclopedia Britannica: "[A]ll theology and speculation concerning creation in the Christian community are based on the myth of creation in the biblical book of Genesis". While your quote describes some of what is narrated in the Book of Genesis, this article is specifically about the creation myth contained within that book. Genesis creation myth is the natural title for this article. Regards, Ben (talk) 09:06, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
There are no multiple translations of Wikipedia, there are 200+ different Wikipedias, and they don't all share the same policies and guidelines either. This argument is irrelevant. Dougweller (talk) 10:35, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
In response to Afaprof01, I would only note that so far as I can tell the better and most recent dictionaries of the English language to which I have access all list the academic meaning of "Myth" before the allegedly "popular" definition of myth, which gives the impression that, in fact, the "academic" definition is in fact the way in which the word is most commonly used. John Carter (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support for neutrality and consistency with other creation myths. —Psychonaut (talk) 08:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support for consistency with WP:RNPOV, our other creation myth articles, and the wider academic press. Cheers, Ben (talk) 09:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC).
  • Support I'm adding my vote because i did not indicate whether i support the move in my above proposal or why. My reasons for support are found in the wikilinks WP:CHRISTIANPOV, WP:RNPOV and WP:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. In other words, there are 4200 religions in the world; and wikipedia should not be in the business of promoting one over the other. We have Conservapedia for that. There is already a Christian bias accross several religion-related articles as mentioned in WP:CHRISTIANPOV, but i think expanding such bias to creation myth titles is a step too far.
Furthermore, this proposal would fall in line with WP:COMMONNAME and WP:NAMINGCRITERIA since "genesis creation myth" gets 124,000 his on google books, far more than any of the alternatives. Folk religions make up quite a large proportion of the world populaton with Chinese folk religion at 394 million adherents, primal indigenous at 300 million and African traditional at 100 million [4] with a total of 794 million people. If Christianity gets privileged treatment, we would have to set a precedent and rename all the indigenous/folk religions too since as a whole they are not fringe. Pass a Method talk 09:20, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
And, cough, Judaism!
  • Support. Wikipedia is not supposed to pander to fringe beliefs, even those which were once common in Western society and are still common in parts of the US. Creation myth is a technical term in all the relevant academic fields including Christian theology, and the hypersensitivity of some fringers w.r.t. to that term is totally out of place. Hans Adler 10:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose: "Narrative" is neutral and descriptive -- a good choice of word. Jheald (talk) 10:28, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support This is the grown-up Wikipedia, not Simiple Wikipedia. Ben is correct, "for consistency with WP:RNPOV, our other creation myth articles, and the wider academic press." It also isn't as though you won't find it used by theologians of various faiths as Hans points out. Dougweller (talk) 10:50, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose as POV title. This was rejected only recently. The problem is that this is not an article for academics and so should not have an academic title. It has to be a neutral point of view title. "Myth" is not neutral point of view in common English, but implies a disbelief. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:29, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Have you read WP:CHRISTIANPOV ? Pass a Method talk 12:13, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
With all due respect, Pass a Method, WP:CHRISTIANPOV is an essay that you wrote. It is not, itself, a policy, the way WP:RNPOV is. And in any event, the problem with WP:CHRISTIANPOV is that followed to the end, it ends up violating WP:IMPARTIAL. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:16, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support It's the actual term for such things. Adam Cuerden (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It is far more common to describe this subject as a "story" than as a "myth," as you can see in this ngram. "Story", "narrative", and "account" all mean about the same thing. But the word "myth" makes a judgement, and the vast majority of writers on this subject do not use terminology that makes this judgement. I note that it is Islamic creation belief, not Islamic creation myth. Kauffner (talk) 13:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there is no compelling reason to change the title of this article yet again. The words used are common in both scholarly literature and in everyday use. (Perhaps not the most common - plain old "Creation in Genesis" or "Genesis creation story" would probably be much more common.) The words are sufficiently clear to help readers find the correct article, they adequately disambiguate the subject, and they are neutral. The only reason to change is to push a POV. Ἀλήθεια 13:31, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. My opinion on this hasn't changed since last year, and I don't think the facts have either. RNPOV specifies that we should favor academic terms if they are used commonly, using "myth" as the example. To use "narrative" instead in order to avoid offense is contrary to policy and giving deference to the 'offense' of one religious group over all others. Myth means something in academia, and it is applicable to this topic, as our sources indicate.   — Jess· Δ 15:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Myth as an academic term is not used the same way as myth in ordinary, formal English. In ordinary English it explicitly carries a connotation of fiction. Do the following, really fascinating exercise, based on the website of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Compare the main dictionary's definition here with their Learner's Dictionary definition here and their student dictionary definition here. You will see that for anyone whose English is not at a fairly high level, the definitions given have distinct overtones of fiction. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:23, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Have you read WP:RNPOV? It is a part of NPOV which explicitly says we cannot avoid academic terms because their informal meaning may cause offense, and it uses the word myth as an example.   — Jess· Δ 16:48, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I take your point, but WP:RNPOV does not require that we use them if another term will do as well. IMHO, if another term would do as well without invoking unnecessary connotations, why would we not want to use it? In fact, based on WP:IMPARTIAL, it is probably to be preferred.
BTW: the very first sentence of the article calls this a creation myth. So the point is made, and fairly strongly, in my view. Why is changing the title in addition important? StevenJ81 (talk) 18:17, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Because a creation narrative isn't a thing. A creation myth is. They don't substitute for each other, so narrative isn't just another acceptable term we could equally use. RNPOV says that we should not avoid terms like myth due to their informal meaning, so the argument that "its informal meaning might be confused, so we should use this other term" cannot be compelling. We have to consider the other term on its merits, and I think the merits point to "creation myth", given that it is used widely in the academic literature, and that it has a specific and useful meaning which encapsulates the topic well.   — Jess· Δ 18:39, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
This is not a piece of academic writing. And we are not talking about comparing academic and informal uses of this word; we are talking about uses of the word that are not academic, but are perfectly acceptable formal English. In any event, I appreciate WP:RNPOV, but I would encourage you to look again at WP:IMPARTIAL. I think myth possibly violates that, in any event. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:49, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
And by the way, for the record, please see my additional comment here. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:52, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Read the beginning of creation myth. The use you are referring to is, indeed, the informal sense of the word "mythology", and that is the sense that RNPOV warns against (by using the example of mythology, in fact). We're not engaging in a heated debate, or taking any sides; no one in academia disputes that this is a creation myth in the formal sense. We're simply and dispassionately reporting that.   — Jess· Δ 19:15, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • RNPOV says, "Wikipedia articles about religious topics should take care to use these words only in their formal senses to avoid causing unnecessary offense or misleading the reader." If anything, that's a reason not to put "myth" in the title. Kauffner (talk) 23:08, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Huh? We're using it in its formal sense.   — Jess· Δ 23:18, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
How does the reader know that? In a title, there is no context to establish this. If Islam has a "creation belief", but Genesis is only a "creation myth," it's like we are ranking the religions. Kauffner (talk) 01:20, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
The context is in the lead. That's why we have articles and not just titles. We don't have any article titled "Islamic creation belief". Instead, we have an article on Islamic mythology which includes a section on their religious beliefs. See the word "mythology" in the title? Why is it so important we remove it here but not there?   — Jess· Δ 03:11, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Oic. You have the read the article to find what the title means. I don't think that's the way it is supposed to work. There is a Christian mythology article too, you know. Kauffner (talk) 08:14, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Those darned inconvenient Reliable Sources (Google Scholar in this case) show an underwhelming 135 results for "Genesis creation myth",[5] 235 results for "Genesis creation narrative",[6] and 3,900 results for "Creation in Genesis".[7] First Light (talk) 16:30, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
The results for "Creation in Genesis" are not all names. Many are sentence fragments or descriptive, such as "...documenting the world's creation in Genesis". The difference between 135 and 235 results is underwhelming, and not a compelling reason for change. This is particularly true since this is a descriptive title, and Genesis "creation narrative" return 2,750 results while Genesis "creation myth" return 5,280, indicating that "creation myth" is a more common descriptor on the topic.   — Jess· Δ 16:48, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
The fallacy of your argument has already been pointed out. Your example would include hundreds of references that make absolutely no connection between the terms "creation narrative"/"creation myth" and the word "genesis". Most notably, it would include many hits for sources that don't even discuss the topic at hand, which is the creation narrative found in the biblical text of the book of Genesis. By the way, there are other narratives, and they are frequently referred to as "narratives" or "stories". While we don't yet have wikipedia articles for these topics, one could compare for instance the frequency of terms like "exodus narrative" "plagues narrative" or "wilderness narrative". Only rarely will you find "wilderness myth", almost never "plagues myth", and most hits for "exodus myth" are specifically dealing with issues of historicity. However this article should be agnostic toward the historicity of the narrative. It should simply present it as it is - a biblical text. The word "narrative" is the best and most neutral way to describe the nature of the text. Its status as mythological, historical, scientific, or otherwise should be discussed in the body of the article, not the title. Maher-shalal-hashbaz (talk) 17:14, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I was responding to the suggestion that search results for "creation in genesis" were significant. They are not. Further, our quality sources commonly use the term "creation myth" with respect to the topic. In a formal sense, "creation myth" is entirely neutral. Only in the informal sense would it pose a neutrality concern, and per WP:RNPOV, we are prohibited from avoiding such terms because of possible confusion with their informal meaning.   — Jess· Δ 17:25, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
We do not avoid it. We call great attention to it. We mention it and link to it in the very first sentence. It is entirely unnecessary to use it in the title, much as it would be to rename The Hound of the Baskervilles to The Hound of the Baskervilles crime novel. Unfortunately for us, it was not popular to slap titles on ancient Hebrew texts (much less so chapter and paragraph headings, which is more akin to what these individual narratives are) until very recently. As I have argued before, the title of this article should stick to what is minimally needed to unambiguously identify the topic. Maher-shalal-hashbaz (talk) 17:39, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
You are, indeed, suggesting we avoid it in the title due to its informal meaning. That's prohibited by RNPOV.   — Jess· Δ 18:26, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, I am not suggesting that we avoid that specific word. I am suggesting we avoid introducing any additional words that are unnecessary, that don't help readers navigate to the correct article, or that introduce unnecessary bias. While it may be totally accurate to say "Creation story as found in the biblical book of Genesis", that's way too long. Calling it "Genesis 1:1 - 2:3" is also a very helpful description, and covers the scope of the article nicely, but readers aren't going to necessarily most intuitively look for that. It used to be "Creation according to Genesis" (for several years), which I thought was a very apt title. According to current consensus on wikipedia, the term "narrative" includes "any account that presents connected events" ... whether non-fiction, fiction, or fictionalized accounts of historical events (e.g., myths). That word leaves the most room for the article to address the topic in the most neutral way. However, just to address the specific argument that you are making, which is that somehow RNPOV demands the use of the term "myth" in the title, that's complete baloney. In fact, it would be easier to argue that WP:LABEL demands we do avoid the term "myth" until we "...establish the scholarly context for any formal use of the term" (such as what we do in the first line of the article, by linking to the term). Maher-shalal-hashbaz (talk) 19:08, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose once again. I would like to go on record now as also opposing the following suggestions: "Scientific explanation of origins in Genesis"; "Purely symbolic discussion of origins in Genesis"; "Silly fairy tale about origins in Genesis". Can we please just call it what it is and move on now? Maher-shalal-hashbaz (talk) 17:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, again. Myth is accurate and does not, in its scholarly use, carry any presumption of truth or falsehood. Giving special treatment to any one religion's beliefs is counter to NPOV. KillerChihuahua 18:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment (since I voted already): I would have been given Weak Support to the earlier proposals of Creation in Genesis, Creation (Book of Genesis) and related. What I oppose is the terminology myth, for the reasons I stated above. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:27, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. A lot of people have been appealing to WP:RNPOV, which says "Several words that have very specific meanings in studies of religion have different meanings in less formal contexts..." I would just like to point out that narrative is one of these words. StAnselm (talk) 19:41, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The word "myth" is unnecessarily; it implies fiction. JFW | T@lk 23:00, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Are you trying to say talking snakes are reality? Pass a Method talk 23:22, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
This article isn't about whether or not snakes talk. In fact, the narrative in question does not include a snake. (The following chapter has a serpent, which is probably what you are referring to.) Are you trying to suggest that by opposing the inclusion of the word "myth" in the title of this article, you must affirm belief in the current existence of talking snakes? There are clearly supernatural circumstances involved in this narrative. That's why it starts "In the beginning God..." It assumes supernatural invention. I can't expect for you to accept that, but that doesn't make it right to pass judgment on that particular belief. HokieRNB 01:51, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Either way, if it has so many supernatural and impossible occurances, one should not be surprised when others see it as fiction. Pass a Method talk 08:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with Jfdwolff's statement that the word "myth" implies fiction. As I have noted above, the definition of "myth" which specifically implies "fiction" is in fact one of the lower, and thus less-frequently-used, meanings of the term myth according to several dictionaries. On that basis, I believe his statement might also carry comparatively little weight. John Carter (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all of the reasons why it came to be the present title. This shouldn't even be discussed now, since it was already done before. --Musdan77 (talk) 04:27, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment all the opposes have failed to address the fact that the standard term for a creation tradtion is "creation myth". Why should it be different for this article? Pass a Method talk 16:54, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
That's not even remotely true. It has been addressed numerous times and in numerous ways. There is no compelling reason to make this article fit a mold that was created later. While it may be true that there are some other articles titled "creation myth", not all articles dealing with similar topics are titled this way. Some article titles use a specific name for the story, such as "Cheonjiwang Bonpuli" or "Enûma Eliš" while other article titles use the name for a central character, such as "Väinämöinen" or "Mbombo". The pattern is quite flexible based on the type of story and the prevalence of other appropriate titles. The so-called standard may in fact be more influenced by wikipedia than many care to admit. One of the primary differences that has been raised time and time again is that the Hebrew text does differ from other traditions of origins in very significant ways. As has been previously pointed out, the text in question is a carefully constructed narrative, with a canonical basis having very few and very minor textual variants. For as far back in history as we are able to tell, it has been passed down not orally but in complete and final written form. It is not merely Christians or Jews who are trying to distinguish this text, the text distinguishes itself. HokieRNB 17:29, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose by the way, just in case someone is counting votes instead of taking into account the arguments on their own merits. HokieRNB 17:37, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, let me take a brief try at this. In that context, please remember that not all of us who oppose "myth" are Fundamentalists (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other way), and not all of us who accept authority of the Bible are literalists in this matter.
I'd start out by noting, first, that WP:RNPOV is a guidance within WP:NPOV, not a separate policy itself. And while RNPOV certainly allows for the use of "myth", it equally does not require it, at least by my reading. Use of formal terminology is encouraged expressly to avoid causing unnecessary offense. Here, it appears to be causing offense. And while the majority of academic "reliable and notable sources" seem to like "creation myth", there are other types of "reliable and notable sources" that don't. It's hard for me to see a clear and convincing WP:COMMONNAME on that basis.
Second, it appears to me that WP:TITLE is getting short shrift in this discussion, in favor of RNPOV. That's not quite right either. Recall that where a true common name exists, a title is permitted to contain outright biased language (e.g., Boston Strangler). It is absolutely true that WP:TITLE likes consistency in titles as a general rule. But if you look at the very first section of WP:TITLE, which is WP:CRITERIA, you also get the following guidance:

The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists.

And under WP:COMMONNAME, two points:

Article titles should be neither vulgar nor pedantic. The term most typically used in reliable sources is preferred to technically correct but rarer forms [...].

And finally, back to WP:CRITERIA, after it describes the five characteristics of a good article title (recognizability, naturalness, precision, conciseness, consistency), it notes:

However, in some cases the choice is not so obvious. It may be necessary to favor one or more of these goals over the others. This is done by consensus.

It feels to me that those favoring a change here are placing consistency above all goals. For a general audience, the current title is at least as good on recognizability. And it is better on naturalness, because much of the general audience finds it very unnatural to refer to Biblical sources as "myth", because of the fiction connotation. (These are pretty much equally concise. And "precision" here does not mean accuracy of description, it means that it will get readers to the right place. Again, both are pretty much equal for that.)
Third and last, the article will de facto have all of these titles anyway, because they will all redirect here. So why all the fuss, anyway?
What we have here is an incredibly controversial move proposal, and to my eye absolutely no apparent consensus. The only naming criterion on which a title containing "creation myth" wins outright is "consistency". And it does win there. But it does not win outright on any other criterion, and it creates huge controversy. So I do not see it as the appropriate title. I commend the essay WP:NOWIN here. Time to move on. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:55, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Just a really brief note... NPOV should always trump MOS. NPOV is a pillar, where TITLE is "just" a policy, and if there were a conflict between the two, there should be a clear victor. I don't actually think there is a conflict between the two, since I don't think "Genesis creation narrative" is the established common name in academic writing, I think it's less precise, equally (or less) concise, and the opposite of consistent. But point being, if I'm wrong and TITLE were to support the current version (despite NPOV), then NPOV isn't the policy to ignore.   — Jess· Δ 21:32, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that NPOV trumps MOS. But this is assuming that "narrative" is somehow POV. Taken by itself, it isn't - it's a perfectly neutral scholarly word. Just like "myth" is a perfectly neutral scholarly word. So the only argument in favour of the proposed move is the argument of consistency, which means we're back to MOS issues. StAnselm (talk) 23:01, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, if the term "creation myth" were the appropriate term to use, but we settled for "creation narrative" instead to avoid confusion between 'myth' and 'false story', then that would be a violation of NPOV. It doesn't mean "narrative" is POV by itself. It means we're picking "narrative" in deference to a pov.   — Jess· Δ 23:24, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support This should always have been the title ... it is accurate and in line with other related articles. Abtract (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - I acknowledge and actually somewhat agree with StevenJ81's point that, in the eyes of committed POV pushers of either the fundamentaist Christian/Jewish/Muslim/etc. kind, or fundamentalists of the new thought/atheist/revisionist kind, no title will ever please all. I also note that this discussion seems to take place much more frequently, without any sort of apparent consensus, than just about any other. So, while I do support a move, following the logic of KillerChihuahua, Doug Weller, and others, I also hope that, one way or another, we don't revisit the issue again in just a few months. If there were any way to bring this discussion to the broadest possible number of editors, I would also very strongly support that, if it would mean not having to go through this discussion again in just a few months. John Carter (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Interesting discussion. It seems like the tension here is between the principle of least astonishment (readers who take "myth" to mean "a commonly-held but false belief" may be offended) and accordance with academic use (most scholars use the term myth). This tension is reflected in WP:RNPOV by the instructions to "take care to use these words [i.e. mythology] only in their formal senses to avoid causing unnecessary offense" and to "not avoid using terminology that has been established by the majority of the current reliable and notable sources." WP:LABEL clarifies this by saying "Avoid myth in its informal sense, and establish the scholarly context for any formal use of the term." But there is no context for a page title, so readers have no way of knowing whether we are using "myth" in the formal or informal sense. So it makes sense to me that we use a non-value-laden word "narrative" in the title to avoid offending casual readers, and then, in the article body, when we use the more scholarly term "myth," we can link to an article which explains how we are using the term. This is the status quo, and it seems to me like the best way to resolve the tension. --Cerebellum (talk) 04:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
    There is context in the title. "Genesis creation myth" is three words. The second word gives context to the third. The interpretation of "myth" as "false story" is impossible in the phrase "creation myth". That can only be a myth in the technical sense. Hans Adler 08:55, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't someone interpret it as "false story about creation?" --Cerebellum (talk) 13:42, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't someone interpret it as a "cloud of tiny droplets"? Normally we work under the assumption that readers have a basic grasp of language. Hans Adler 15:10, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, I guess our dispute then is about whether or not knowing the technical meaning of "creation myth" is part of having a basic grasp of language. I'm not sure how we can settle that. --Cerebellum (talk) 15:20, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. creation myth is accurate and more scholarly. Article titles should be consistent.Upper lima 65 (talk) 07:24, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. In line with proper usage in academic discourse. There is no reason to avoid this very normal, very appropriate scholarly term just because some agenda warriors might read something into it that it doesn't mean. Fut.Perf. 09:11, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposed title has been rejected before. The word "myth" has strong negative connotations in ordinary usage and Wikipedia is written for a general audience. There is nothing wrong with the present title.--agr (talk) 00:53, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
So I guess you oppose the use of the word "myth" to describe the creation beliefs of all other religions as well as Christianity? Of course not. You like it that way. You're just displaying the same appalling Christian bias of many others here. Is it really a Christian act to treat others so poorly? You give Chritianity a bad name. HiLo48 (talk)
And, cough, Judaism!
You are making a lot of assumptions about me and my views. Actually, I would prefer we treat the sacred stories of all cultures with respect and go out of our way to chose neutral titles. I would prefer not to use "myth" in any article title, except when it is part of subject's name, e.g. "The Mythical Man Month. As for your accusation that I "give Chritianity a bad name," all I can say is that it made my day. Cheers.--agr (talk) 20:14, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I for one have no problem using the term "myth" to describe, for example, the Tungusic creation myth or the Sumerian creation myth; these are pretty implausible and unlikely to be true, and are part of belief systems which are essentially defunct. For accounts of creation that are the subject of current debate and are believed by a large number of people, however, I do oppose the use of the word "myth"; I strongly oppose, for example, the title of Islamic mythology. The naturalistic worldview does not have a monopoly on truth, and wikipedia should not pretend that it does. At the same time, however, we should not treat all religions as equally valid. --Cerebellum (talk) 14:42, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Allow me to restate my argument in terms of Wikipedia policy: there are no reliable sources which argue that the Sumerian religion is true, so it makes sense for us to describe it in terms that imply that it is false. This does not mean that we should describe all religions in such terms. There are quite a few reliable sources which argue that Islam and Christianity are true, so per WP:NPOV we should describe them in a balanced way without implying any editorial judgment as to their accuracy. If you accept this argument, then the issue is whether or not "myth" is a neutral term. I (and presumably User:agr) claim that it is not. --Cerebellum (talk) 18:59, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Any source that claims the Christian creation story is true is, by definition, an unreliable source. We are NOT Conservapedia. HiLo48 (talk) 22:25, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
What definition are you using? I don't see that in WP:RS. --Cerebellum (talk) 22:46, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Using that logic, any editor who makes such a claim can, by definition, have their arguments completely discounted since they are clearly pushing an anti-religion bias. HokieRNB 01:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
You are suggesting we give preferential treatment to certain religions over others. This is not grounded in wikipedia policy in any way, and is entirely inappropriate for a secular encyclopedia. We do not, and cannot, treat Christianity as more valid than other religions, and such suggestions are why this topic keeps coming up and why some editors feel so strongly that it is a reflection of editor bias. Your response indicates that it is.   — Jess· Δ 19:05, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
And, cough, Judaism. Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
That is indeed what I am suggesting. Our NPOV policy calls for "representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources." Based on what we find in reliable sources, we feel comfortable describing the Paul is dead] theory as an urban legend and the Korean War as fact. I am proposing that in the same way, the preponderance of reliable sources should allow us to feel comfortable describing the Maya religion as myth but to use a different term for Hindu cosmology, if there are reliable sources arguing for the truth of the Hindu cosmology. Incidentally, I disagree with the idea that Wikipedia is a "secular encyclopedia." As I said above, secular worldviews have no monopoly on truth, and Wikipedia should represent the views of reliable sources without discriminating based on metaphysical presuppositions. I don't find, either in WP:NPOV or elsewhere in Wikipedia policy, anything saying that we are a "secular encyclopedia." --Cerebellum (talk) 19:40, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me that we are already making these sorts of judgments based on WP:FRINGE. The idea that the Maya religion is substantially accurate is a fringe view and can be treated as such. Major world religions should be treated differently. --Cerebellum (talk) 19:46, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
If you think wikipedia is a religious work, then you're welcome to propose foundational policy changes at WP:VPP or another noticeboard with that in mind. Until then, wikipedia is absolutely a secular encyclopedia, and I'll reiterate, to the editors who are suggesting this isn't and hasn't been an issue of religious bias influencing !voting, this is a clear example of why others have repeatedly claimed that it is. This is an issue of religious bias. Frankly, I couldn't care less whether the title is "narrative" or "myth", except that the arguments for narrative boil down to a preference for a particular religion, and that is unacceptable.   — Jess· Δ 02:16, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, in that case there may be something fundamentally wrong with my understanding of Wikipedia. What makes you say it is a secular encylcopedia? --Cerebellum (talk) 02:52, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
NPOV does, by definition; and NPOV is policy. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
My reading of NPOV is that we should avoid taking sides and should represent all significant published views. What am I missing? --Cerebellum (talk) 11:22, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
You are missing the meaning of the word "secular". It means neutral with respect to religion; therefore, with respect to religion, NPOV is the same as SPOV. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:28, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, that certainly sheds some new light on things! However, I can sense that I am rapidly getting both off topic and out of my depth conceptually, so I will take the liberty of responding to your broader argument on your talk page. Here, allow me to restrict myself to the point that the term "myth," used out of context, seems non-neutral per WP:LABEL. --Cerebellum (talk) 18:15, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose because the word "narrative" (see Wiktionary: Narrative) is both linguistically neutral as well as complying with WP:NPOV while on the other hand, no matter how much of a spin and pseudo-justification anyone comes up with, the word "Myth" is just terrible in this case as it specifically relegates the Bible as being equal to "Mythology" which no-one on WP is in a position to decide at this time since Wikipedia is not the supreme religious or secular 'council' of anything it can can only convey words in a neutral fashion, it cannot impose obviously biased POV interpretations on any as being "definitive". For too long WP has slipped into anti-religion and hostile atheistic POVs that seem to think they have a right to decide what religions and their ideas should think about themselves. IZAK (talk) 03:28, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose (yes, I was informed by the note on WP:JEW). It's nice to say in theory myth doesn't imply falsehood, but in practice it does. The whole essence (if not the literal meaning) of WP:COMMONNAME is that what most people use is what we should use. Most people use myth in its informal sense, which has decidedly become standard, common, usage. Usage of words is fluid, not fixed by some academic body somewhere. Myth is suggestive, narrative is not. -- Ypnypn (talk) 03:48, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose, weakly. After some consideration, I find myself moderately persuaded by arguments against it. Supporters have rightly pointed out that "creation myth" is a term in common usage among scholars, but Wikipedia is not written for scholars. Determining the common name of the topic in question would seem to be a difficult job, and not something that could be accomplished by something as simple as a Google search. Conversely, opponents of the move have claimed that myth always implies a fictitious contrivance to the average reader. I think this is generally true, though perhaps not a great reason to oppose the move. WP:RNPOV, however, is not as good a piece of evidence for the supporters as it might seem at face value. While it does state that scholarly terms are not to be avoided simply because they may cause offense, it does not say that consensus cannot decide on another, more accurate term where it is appropriate, clearer, and more helpful than its pedantic counterpart. In this situation, I see no good reason to move, and a few good reasons not to. The current title is neutral (I don't think anyone has disputed that so far), and is perfectly acceptible descriptive terminology that offends neither scholarly sensibilities nor others who would see the proposed title as non-neutral. And for the record, I have no objection to using the same "narrative" terminology in other articles where it is determined appropriate to do so. Inferences to the contrary should have some evidence behind them or risk running afoul of civility policy. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:56, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think characterizing this Biblical story as a "myth" constitutes gratuitous religion-bashing despite the occasional use of the term "myth" in relation to this story in academic settings. We as an encyclopedia should not be trying to make a point in our choice of title. A title is just a means of identifying the subject matter that is to follow in the article. The term "myth" is a declaration of "falseness". That is unnecessary. Communicating the quality of "falseness" in the title is in my opinion irrelevant to the identification of the subject in this article by means of a title. This is a drawback found in the term "myth" which is not found in for instance a term such as "narrative". Bus stop (talk) 04:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Religion-bashing? What nonsense. It's even-handedness. Or do the hard-core Christians demand that that their fairy tale gets special treatment. Appalling. HiLo48 (talk) 02:21, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I haven't seen a single person here asking for special treatment, and you should ensure that any accusations you make are well-founded in reality. It may also help if you stop assuming that everyone who disagrees with you is part of some shadowy conspiracy to hijack Wikipedia and turn it into a Conservapedia mirror. You don't have to agree with everyone who has posted on this page, but you do have to acknowledge that there have been far more arguments raised in opposition to the move than a simple "I am a Christian and I don't like it". Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 07:02, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Everyone in opposition is asking for special treatment for Christianity. That you cannot see that, proves much of what I'm trying to say. HiLo48 (talk) 07:28, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
And, cough, Judaism. Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Once again, you confuse good-faith attempts to maintain what many to believe a neutral and accurate title with a grand coup by creatonist Christians against the policies of Wikipedia. You have single-handedly taken what was a well-reasoned debate on the merits of different article titles and dragged it down into histrionic accusations of conspiracy and bad faith. Personally, I tend to think assuming a conservative Christian bias on my part is somewhat unrealistic, given that I am neither conservative nor a Christian, but why let facts get in the way of your inane rants? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 07:32, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I really don't care what your motives are, but there's something in your thinking that's preventing you from seeing the basic point made by me AND OTHERS that giving the Christian creation story a different name from those of other religions, for ANY reason, simply IS giving Christianity special treatment. If it's because what the sources say, that's because the sources are biased. If the sources come from a broadly Christian country, they will be. HiLo48 (talk) 07:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Or it's because the sources know that words mean different things in different contexts. Or it's because the authors of the sources flipped a coin and decided to use "narrative" rather than myth. It isn't our job to interpret why sources say what they say. We report it, and the story ends there. I understand what you're saying just fine. I'm just having a hard time finding any reason to agree with it. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 08:01, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per points made above and in the previous interminable discussions. Fails WP:COMMONNAME (unlike the other religions) and is POV since some people still believe it literally. If consistency is felt to override other policies, nominate the others. The present name is best, but "Creation in Genesis" has some merit from usage. It is less clear though. Johnbod (talk) 11:52, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Some users literally believe the earth is 6,000-10,000 years old. Age of the Earth does not, and should not, cater to their POV. People offended by facts should not read an encyclopedia. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 21:31, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support The title Genesis creation myth is in line with the title of other, similar pages. Either we should rename all similar pages and have "creation narrative" for every mythology (Chinese, Germanic, Greek, Persian etc.), or we rename this page in accordance with the similar pages. Giving special treatment to Hebrew mythology over other mythologies seem a rather strong violation of WP:NPOV.Jeppiz (talk) 18:25, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
WikiMyth The title Genesis creation myth is not in line with the title of other, similar pages. If you look at Category:Creation myths, you will see that the word myth is not used in connection with articles about works that have a literary title, even very obscure ones. It is only used in articles of the form {name of a people or culture} creation myth. In fact the majority of articles in that category do not use the word myth.--agr (talk) 19:09, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The majority are not myths, but mythological beings in the myths, general pages on the religon, or pages about manuscripts. If you actually READ the pages that don't say myth or mythology, you'll see that. The category is sort of a catch all for more than just STRICTLY creation myth pages. — raekyt 19:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this category may be bloated, but its "Creation myths" title belies the argument. Unlike the singular "creation narrative", "creation myth" encompasses all religions and cultures. Keahapana (talk) 00:49, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
This is all very interesting, but it fails to answer my point that Wikipedia does not add the work "myth" to the name of a literary work when forming article titles, which, in turn, refutes the claim that Genesis is somehow getting favored treatment.--agr (talk) 14:40, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. In closing the September 2012 title debate, Moe Epsilon made eleven conclusions, including "8. The current title as it exists is not okay, because based on your interpretation of the word and/or your religious values (or lack thereof), it is not neutral. Any votes saying the "current title is okay" is being oblivious to the fact this is being rehashed repeatedly." The self-righteousness that Christianity has "narratives" while other religions have "myths" should not be allowed in Wikipedia. Keahapana (talk) 00:49, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
And, cough, Judaism! One thing that the Genesis narrative is, and other creation myths are mostly not, is a story set down in a single ancient text, although apparently one somehow combining two somewhat different versions. Apart from the concept of a creation myth specifically, one general characteristic of a myth is that it is recorded in a number of variant versions, often very significantly different, with no single version having a special status. Genesis is not like this - only the one text has come down to us, from at least 2,500 years ago. That in itself is a significant difference, reflected in the range of terms used to describe the Genesis story. Johnbod (talk) 02:11, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
If you're going to appeal to those closing comments, it should also be pointed out that Moe Epsilon said, It is strongly recommended to achieve consensus by requesting a rename of the article not including the words "narrative", "myth", "story", or any variation... StAnselm (talk) 02:15, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you're correct, Johnbod — and Judaism. That's an interesting claim about the absence of variants. Would you please provide some references? A hasty Google search finds publications (like Hendel 1984, pp. 6-10) and websites (like this) that discuss textual variants in Genesis. Yes, you're also correct, StAnselm — along with "4. Genesis is a creation myth." But we're cherry-picking, I suggest everyone read all of Moe's 11 well-reasoned conclusions. Keahapana (talk) 00:40, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Textual variations no doubt, but all variants within the same text. Compare Ancient Egyptian creation myths (note the plural) which survive from much older manuscripts than Genesis, and are essentially different in every major city, often very substantially so. In other cultures, where the myths were only written down by missionaries/travellers/anthropologists in recent times, similar variation is normal. The Israelite situation may well have been similar once, but as it is now we have essentially one version in one text, although modern scholarship likes to think it can disentangle two versions within that text. I suppose the Quranic version of the Genesis story could be regarded as another version (though it is relatively close to Genesis in major points), but that is not covered in this article. By the way, I'm surprised to see from List of creation myths that the often-made assertion that all other such articles are called "Foo creation myth" is completely wrong. The titles are all over the place. Johnbod (talk) 03:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Do you have any sources backing up what you're discussing, and hopefully connecting it in relevance to this topic? Otherwise, we're just engaging in OR to justify putting this in a separate category. On your second note, no one claimed that every article in List of creation myths was titled "X creation myth". Many are proper names, but we already have Book of Genesis. This article concerns only the creation myth within the Book of Genesis, and all such articles which only concern the myth are titled as "...myth". None are "X creation narrative".   — Jess· Δ 03:40, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Not so - many of the others "only concern the myth" but are not titled as such. It is Islamic creation belief for a start, and Islamic creation myth redirected somewhere else until I redirected it yesterday. Get your facts straight. Johnbod (talk) 19:13, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
No it's not. The article is titled Islamic mythology. "creation belief" is a redirect.   — Jess· Δ 20:30, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment List of creation myths is useful for seeing what different creation myths are called throughout Wikipedia. I see no overriding consistency in titles, so the claim that the Judeo-Christian-Moslem creation myth is getting special treatment appears to be incorrect. "Cosmology" (e.g. Hindu cosmology) is a nice neutral term if there is no consensus among scholarly sources for a name, or if it is politically impossible to use the scholarly accepted name. So "Biblical cosmology" or "Judeo-Christian-Moslem(-etc.?) cosmology" might be a good title. Not that I'm trying to prolong an already too long discussion by suggesting another name, but I expect it will come up again.--Wikimedes (talk) 14:19, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Cosmology is a little different, and goes far beyond a creation myth. We already have Biblical cosmology, actually. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 14:25, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
You're right. I was thinking of cosmogeny (cosmogony). (The fact that Hindu creation myth redirects to Hindu cosmology helped throw me off.)--Wikimedes (talk) 15:40, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
"Cosmogeny in Genesis" has a lot of merit. It's neutral and much more specific than "Creation." Arguably the entire book of Genesis deals with creation, through the creation of the 12 tribes, but cosmogeny is what this article is about. Also the word cosmogeny does not presume an answer to scholarly debates about whether Genesis contains one or two distinct accounts of the creation of the world.--agr (talk) 18:49, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
The article cosmogony defines it as "any scientific theory concerning the coming into existence (or origin) of either the cosmos (or universe), or the so-called "reality" of sentient beings." (emphasis mine) Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 00:26, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I consulted several dictionaries and most define the word cosmogony to cover any theory of origins, not just modern scienitific ones. The word is often used in conjunction with ancient theories, e.g. "Aristotle and Presocratic Cosmogony" http://www.jstor.org/stable/310860. There are plenty of scholarly Google hits on "Biblical Cosmogony," and our own Biblical cosmology has a section on Cosmogony. --agr (talk) 00:55, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
That's what I thought. I strongly support moving to Cosmogony in Genesis. I'm certain someone will still find a reason to complain, however. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 01:00, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Hardly anyone knows what the word means, perhaps? Johnbod (talk) 01:27, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, we already tried WP:COMMONNAME, but that policy was clearly written by Christian conspirators in anticipation of this situation, so simply following the rules is obviously not an option. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 01:33, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we should use commonly known words in titles whenever possible, but I think what I said about "scholarly accepted name" applies as well to "common name". Also, because redirects are available, readers will be able to find the article even without thinking to search for cosmogeny. In a similar vein (haha) heart attack redirects to Myocardial infarction.--Wikimedes (talk) 02:38, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Have we considered "Creation in Book of Genesis"? Bus stop (talk) 04:20, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
We had "Creation according to Genesis" for a while. We might be avoiding "Book of" to focus on a particular Bronze Age creation myth passed down via oral tradition, rather than a particular book recording it. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 05:32, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Canvassing

It is my opinion that notifying only the Wikiproject Judaisman and Wikiproject Christianity noticeboards is canvassing, no matter how neutral the notification. The editor who did this probably didn't consider this aspect. Dougweller (talk) 10:56, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. So what's the best way of mitigating the problem now? Removal of the notifications? Adding the notifications to all other noticeboards of projects which could be reasonably considered relevant? Deferring the proposal for a few weeks? —Psychonaut (talk) 11:16, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's that bad. Not everyone interested in editing on a topic of an Abrahamic religion is automatically a fundamentalist nutter. I suggest notifying the fringe noticeboard as well for balance, because the argument against using the term "creation myth" basically boils down to: The one in Genesis is true, so it can't be called a myth. Hans Adler 11:46, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I take your point, and I realise I should have notified the other projects as well. I have now done so. StAnselm (talk) 21:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Best way would be notify everyone who has ever participated in the past discussions of this on their talk page. 100% neutral. Plus notices on ALL relevant boards. — raekyt 13:32, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

For starters, all the WikiProjects that are listed at the top of this page should be notified. They are: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Religion; Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Bible; Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mythology; Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism (already notified); Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Christianity (already notified). First Light (talk) 20:58, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
These are the users who participated in the last discussion, for what it's worth (not including ips).   — Jess· Δ 18:20, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
List
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
  1. Abtract
  2. Adjwilley
  3. Afaprof01
  4. ArnoldReinhold
  5. Avanu
  6. Cengime
  7. Cynwolfe
  8. Doc Tropics
  9. Dominus Vobisdu
  10. Dougweller
  11. Elizium23
  12. First Light
  13. Graeme Bartlett
  14. Haploidavey
  15. HiLo48
  16. HokieRNB
  17. In ictu oculi
  18. IRWolfie-
  19. IZAK
  20. Jasonasosa
  21. Jeffro77
  22. Joefromrandb
  23. John Carter
  24. JohnChrysostom
  25. Kauffner
  26. Keahapana
  27. Kerfuffler
  28. Lisa
  29. Maher-shalal-hashbaz
  30. Mann_jess
  31. Marcus Qwertyus
  32. Moe Epsilon
  33. Moxy
  34. Musdan77
  35. Pass a Method
  36. PiCo
  37. Raeky
  38. Robin Lionheart
  39. Roscelese
  40. Saedon
  41. Seb_az86556
  42. Sowlos
  43. StAnselm
  44. SudoGhost
  45. Tahc
  46. Telpardec
  47. Til Eulenspiegel
  48. Wasell
  49. Yobol
  50. Ἀλήθεια

Point of information; then general question

First, as a Request for information (parliamentary procedure), for lack of better phraseology:

What move is actually on the table now? Is it:

Or is it still just kind-of up in the air?

According to the info-box introducing Genesis creation narrativeCreation in Genesis, "the discussion may be closed 7 days after being opened, if consensus has been reached." It's not clear who is supposed to close the discussion, but it opened on 1 February, and there's no consensus in sight, so I guess the answer is that that discussion is more or less open. In the past these things have sputtered on till everyone got tired and went home. PiCo (talk) 22:10, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Once that is answered, I would pose the following question: For those who want a move away from the current title of "Genesis creation narrative", is there any name you are willing to accept that does not contain the word MYTH?

  • I really appreciate that in an academic sense, this is a creation myth. I'm an Orthodox Jew, but I get that. Really. I do.
  • However, it is the word MYTH, more than anything else, that is getting us hung up here.

It feels to me like

  • One side of this argument will not settle for anything else than the inclusion of MYTH. It's as if the whole mission of Wikipedia's approach to religion has to be to suppress Abrahamic-religious-centered bias, in favor of an academic approach to the subject that is presumed to be WP:IMPARTIAL–but which in reality may or may not be.
  • The other side replies tooth-and-nail, demanding no concession to the other side. It's as if Christianity, Judaism and Islam are relegated to the fate of Greek or Norse pantheism if a concession is made. That's just as crazy.

I think Maher-shalal-hashbaz (talk · contribs) put it best above:

In fact, it would be easier to argue that WP:LABEL demands we do avoid the term "myth" until we "...establish the scholarly context for any formal use of the term" (such as what we do in the first line of the article, by linking to the term)

So I ask again: Are those advocating a move willing to accept any name that does not include the word MYTH? If not, just say so and be done. If so, then let's discuss that proposal. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

I think the answer is probably going to be no. The reason we're having this discussion over and over isn't that editors are opposed to the current title on its own... it's that they feel "Genesis creation myth" is the appropriate title, and choosing something else (particularly for the reason of avoiding any connotation that Genesis is false) is giving deference to one religion over others. The current title was actually arrived upon after quite a bit of compromise, including a number of those editors who ultimately support "Genesis creation myth". If the title was something really objectionable, like "Creation in Genesis", I suspect the answer to your question might be yes; there would be quite a few better titles to choose from then. But at this point, the discussion has been whittled down to "why are we avoiding creation myth given RNPOV, consistency with other religious articles, sourcing, etc." The word "myth" is central to that.   — Jess· Δ 21:35, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Given that all the time zones of the planet have had an opportunity to respond, but haven't, I'm going to take this as representing, at minimum, a very good working hypothesis. <grin>
Your response stimulates a further question. You have stated that the title "Creation in Genesis" is "really objectionable." Please help me understand that. I stipulate:
  1. It's not "creation myth" or any variant. I fully understand your response just above.
  2. Per discussion just below the infobox, it's vague. Let's assume for the sake of my question that there is a way to "un-vague" it that is also suitably short for an article title. (Somehow, I don't think this type of problem is evoking the word "objectionable" from you.)
That said, it does seem to be (a) accurate and descriptive, and (b) completely neutral. So help me understand what makes it "really objectionable." Thanks. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:18, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I was primarily observing the strong opposition to it above. Personally, I happen to think it's a bad choice too, and I can tell you why.
  • My biggest issue is that it takes an almost religious stance. We don't call the beginning of the universe "Creation" except in religion, so using it in the title assumes a religious pov. "Christian beliefs on the origin of the universe" would be the same idea without assuming a religious stance, for example.
  • There is a rather stark inequity to titling many or all other articles Greek mythology, Japanese creation myth, Proper name of a specific book, etc, and then calling this one "Creation". If all other religious articles were called "Creation in...", then I would find the proposal less objectionable... but this discussion only ever seems to come up so strongly with respect to the Book of Genesis, and that is a concern for me.
  • The academic sources I have seen do not often refer to it as "Creation in Genesis". It is often referred to as a creation myth, sometimes a narrative, story or tradition. Sometimes just "beginning of the Book of Genesis", or just "Genesis 1". The search results provided above for "Creation in Genesis", for instance, show me that the majority of such appearances are either primarily religious sources, non-academic works, or (in many cases it seems) just sentence fragments and references to different topics. For instance, using Psychonaut's examples: "the account of Eve's creation in Genesis" and "…mode of creation. In Genesis 1…"
  • "Creation in Genesis", used as a descriptive title instead of proper noun, isn't very descriptive. Creation of what, exactly? In all of Genesis, or just part of it? What do we mean by "Genesis" - is it the "Book of Genesis"? This would be resolved only through expansion, such as "Creation of the world in the Book of Genesis", a less objectionable (but unnecessarily long) title.
  • "Creation in Genesis" does not sound neutral to me. When I read that title, I read "Creation, as (accurately) documented in Genesis". I understand it could be read differently, but it is a concern that I would like to avoid, if possible. "Creation narrative in Genesis" would avoid that problem, since the same substitution ("Creation narrative, as accurately documented in Genesis") is not making a stake in the accuracy of the religious beliefs... just the accuracy of the story as a story.
  • "Creation in Genesis" doesn't entirely encapsulate the topic. It is a fundamental narrowing of scope. Discussing the "creation myth" allows us to expand on comparative mythology, cultural influences, and so forth at length. Simply "Creation" implies that we are discussing only the "act of creation", and that other topics should be ideally relegated to other articles (like Book of Genesis and Christian mythology).
That's about it. I think any two of those issues, taken together, are enough for me to strongly oppose a move. Does that make sense?   — Jess· Δ 17:42, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Why ... why ... why, yes it does! <smile> No argument on the precision points. Re non-neutrality, I guess I don't read it quite that way. In particular, I don't read the implied (scientific or any other type of) accuracy into that title. But then, I don't read Gen. 1-2 as a Fundamentalist does; to some degree, I feel they've hijacked my Torah, too.
Look at what I wrote above. I was going to vet this general approach to you first (after you answered this last question), but felt I needed to air it now—and I have other things to do in real life now, too. I think the reason I'm willing to allow some inequity (such as in the current title) is that a wide range of people within the general audience would find the use of "myth" with respect to Biblical narrative uncomfortable (or, in terms of WP:CRITERIA, unnatural). To a material extent, that counterbalances the consistency criterion. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
During the big discussions that preceded the last renaming of this article, I did a lot of research, mostly in Christian theological works, but also some on mythology. Unfortunately I forgot where I found this, but if I remember correctly, a scholarly work that compared the known Middle Eastern creation myths explained the genesis of the term 'myth' roughly like this:
At a time when most European scholars still believed in the literal truth of the Bible and scientific research meant combining the evidence (e.g. geological) found in nature with the scriptural chronology, scholars suddenly became aware that certain foundational stories for Greek and Roman culture and religion, as well as various pre-Abrahamic Middle Eastern religions, are to some extent parallel to those in the Bible and possess very much the same inherent qualities. This was a threat to their beliefs, and they dealt with it in much the same way that we are dealing with the fact that there is life around us that behaves very much like we do, by calling this life with the exception of ourselves (at least historically and in normal speech): animals, or if it's even more like us, monkeys. So they came up with a name for all such stories which were not literally true because they were not in the Bible: myth. These stories were just myths, but those in the Bible were not myths, just like humans were not monkeys or animals.
Nowadays most people have no problem with switching between "animal" as an inclusive term for a category of living beings and "animal" as the opposite of "human" inside this category. The term "monkey" was narrowed to a category that doesn't include humans and we now have other terms ("ape" and "primate") that do. So it kept its original pejorative strength. (The article didn't actually mention animals and monkeys, but I have trouble formulating what I learned from it, and this seems to help.) The term "myth" evolved like "animal", not like "monkey". (End of what I learned from that article.)
Everybody now knows that humans are animals. But obviously we live in a human-centred world, and so tend not to make this explicit. Until we get the first conversations with gorillas, chimps and dolphins via brain implements and they start asking for equal rights, this systemic bias is not going to be a problem for Wikipedia.
With "myth" it's different. The majority of our readers either do not subscribe to an Abrahamic religion, or they do and don't take the Bible for literal truth in all details. For these, the opposition [non-Biblical] myth <-> true narrative in the Bible which just happens to look like a myth makes no more sense than the opposition [non-human] primate <-> human or [non-human] animal <-> human does for a hypothetical dolphin reader of Wikipedia.
Buddhist, Hinduist readers of Wikipedia, etc., are not dolphin readers. They exist today, in large numbers, and some of them want neutral information about the Jewish creation myth. If this article starts with a descriptive title that is unnatural and unnecessarily broad, apparently to avoid calling a zoo-keeper an animal calling the story of 7-day creation, Adam, Eve and the snake a creation myth, then that is a very bad start. What can we expect after such a start? Will the dating of the story be based on a best scholarly effort, or will it be fit into a creationist biblical timeline? Will all relevant earlier creation myths be mentioned, or will they be suppressed to prevent the appearance that this creation myth fits into a literary tradition? Maybe it's better to look somewhere else for more accurate information. Hans Adler 20:07, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
(Not advocating for "Creation in Genesis", but for retaining current title:) Do you really find the title "Genesis creation narrative" unnatural and unnecessarily broad, in comparison to "Genesis creation myth"? StevenJ81 (talk) 20:34, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I do. Creation myth is an established term for the genre that carries all the depth of the technical term myth ("sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form"). "Creation narrative" is an alternative term using the extremely broad technical term narrative ("any account that presents connected events"). So it's obvious why "creation myth" is the preferred term in almost all cases. The one in Genesis is the only exception, and the reason is not that it is less sacred or more prosaic than a typical myth. It obviously isn't. The reason is the traditional view that myths are only for heathens, while good Christians have the Bible.
"Genesis creation narrative" as a descriptive title is only slightly better than "evolution hypothesis" would be. (I am not aware of anyone arguing for the latter, just made it up for the argument.) Both are correct descriptions, but intentionally hide the obvious: that the creation story in Genesis is more than just any narrative, and that the theory of evolution is a full-fledged theory. The motive is (or would be) to avoid association with the other creation myths / with the other established scientific theories. Hans Adler 22:00, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
If we were discussing body text, I would agree with you 100%. It would be wrong for the body of this article to avoid the language, and it doesn't. But we're not discussing the body text, we're discussing the title. I personally read WP:CRITERIA as showing a preference for a less perfect title that people can agree on to a more perfect title that irritates people.
Think about it this way: If you want to change people's minds on the issue, or even if you simply want to educate them, throwing an uncomfortable title down their throats is not the way to get them to stop and read your article. The purpose of the title is to help people find the article, not to drive them away. The current title helps people find the article as well as the "creation myth" title does. StevenJ81 (talk) 22:46, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
"Genesis creation narrative" irritates no less than "Genesis creation myth", only different people. Unless by "irritate" you mean a feeling of dissonance between one's beliefs and a reality which refuses to conform to them. That's a kind of deep injury which they must be used to and which nobody here cares about in the case of other religions.
It's absolutely amazing to what extent the feelings of creationists and near-creationists are respected on this article. 5% of this consideration would have been enough to prevent this vote for multiple decorative provocation. (Images clearly have at least the same shock value as titles.)
Another reason why I am not really happy with the current title is that it has merely shifted the front lines. I guess you were not around at the time. Of course you know that now there are even attempts to get rid of "narrative" from the title. Here is what happened w.r.t. to article content shortly after the renaming: Talk:Genesis creation narrative/Archive 13#Change "myth" to "narrative" In talk page archive 10 I actually supported the current title, but due to later events I have changed my mind. It is not appropriate to give a little finger to those who are trying to rewrite this article as the main article on creationism. They are going for both arms and legs. Hans Adler 23:32, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
WOW lots to read here - not sure there is is much of a problem here as "Creation myth" is in the first sentence. Those that will read the article will see by its content that its just one of many guess works from ancient times on how the world was created.Moxy (talk) 20:21, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

For some perspective: There is an article epidemiology of teenage pregnancy. According to Merriam-Webster, in "epidemiology of X", X refers to a disease, and that's certainly what I would expect there. Turns out that this usage among medical professionals has broadened to risk factors, so that they are even speaking of "epidemiology of walking". I argued in the relevant discussion that to non-experts the title still suggests that teenage pregnancy is a disease (requiring abortion as a remedy?), but to no avail so far. For me this confirms how irregular it is that here we are pandering to sensitivities connected to an irrational belief. Hans Adler 20:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I can and do see that there is perhaps one basis for asserting that "narrative" is preferable to "myth," if it is thought by the academic world that the story contained in the first few chapters of Genesis is perhaps more than one original myth which somehow were edited together to produce a single coherent narrative. Honestly, I myself honestly at this point do not know the amount of support that opinion has in the academic world or elsewhere, but, if it is strongly supported, then I would prefer the word "narrative", because it would be a more neutral way of describing a text which might, perhaps, be regarded by academics as being a synthesis of more than one preexisting myth. But, again, honestly, I'm not sure whether I or anyone is willing to go through the mountains of text relating to this subject to determine what the consensus of the academic community, or even the academic community who have published reference works relevant to this topic, is. John Carter (talk) 20:39, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I am pretty sure that the relevant scholarly communities are all in perfect, essentially uniform agreement that the Genesis creation myth really consists of two separate myths that were written at different times in different styles, use different words for God, and are motivated by the explanation of different aspects of the world. Hans Adler 20:50, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
That's pretty much what I thought, but I admit I lazily hadn't read the article since the last proposed move, so I couldn't be sure if things had changed since then. But, that being the case, I guess that could be used to support the "narrative" title, with perhaps separate articles on each of the component myths if they are notable enough and have enough content to warrant separate existence. Considering the amount of material written about this subject, I have to assume that virtually any and all alleged components, including the idea of there being two myths of the origin of Adam and Eve rolled together, probably are notable enough for separate articles, although it might be the case that they might not have enough material to necessarily warrant separate articles. John Carter (talk) 22:01, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the idea is more that there are two sources behind the Genesis creation narrative, not that there are two myths laid end to end. The narrative itself makes up a single myth. It has contradictions and inconsistencies, not so much because the Priestly author(s) who made the final edit were slipshod, as because these things simply didn't worry them - they were telling theology, not science. It's interesting to compare this creation account with the Quranic one. The Quran doesn't have a creation narrative - its references to creation are dispersed, they don't make up a single story. You could therefore argue that there's no Quranic creation myth, since there's no coherent story - that assumes the definition of myth as a narrative about God or gods. There is, however, Islamic creation mythology - it's simply not in story form. Anyway, I hope you can tell what I'm getting at: Genesis 1-2 (actually 1-4) draws on two sources if we restrict ourselves to the Yahwist and Priestly authors/editors, and on many if we look more widely at the many myths (Enuma Elish and others) that lie behind those sources, but in the context of the Hebrew bible is a single myth. I therefore don't think it much matters whether we call it myth or narrative. PiCo (talk) 22:53, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
My choices: (1) Leave it like it is—Genesis Creative Narrative; or (2) Creation in Genesis. (3) In the Beginning: Creation in Genesis (4) In the Beginning, God (first four words in Genesis).

Afaprof01 (talk) 06:06, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

In the Beginning, God... I honestly cannot think of a less neutral title. Really.   — Jess· Δ 03:45, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
"Creative narrative", ha ha. Yes, it is quite imaginative. Doubt the theists will appreciate that, though. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 05:24, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Rahab (Egypt) vs. Rahab

The idea that Isaiah 51:9-10 is a creation myth is a B.S. theory. It does not accurately reflect the teaching of any Christian group or sect of Judaism, and this is a Hebrew Bible article. For balance it must be pointed out that Rahab (Egypt) (Nothing to do with Rahab) has always normally been interpreted as Egypt, and the commentary for the next verse also interprets it to mean the parting of the Red Sea, as opposed to the creation of the world or anything like that. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 03:54, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't think the idea is that Isaiah 51:9-10 is a creation myth - rather, it uses the imagery of Canaanite creation mythology to make a point about Isaiah's current-day world. This is what John Day says: "...Isaiah 51:9-11 dates from the exilic period and ... appeals to God's defeat of the dragon in the past as a basis of confidence in God's deliverance in the present..." This is from page 92 of Day's "God's Conflict With the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament" (1985). As the title of the book suggests, Day isn't saying that this was an active myth in Isaiah's day, simply that it has its origins in Canaanite myth.
In the same place Day identifies Psalm 74:12ff as a similar trope, but he doesn't go into detail at that point. (The three dots at the beginning of the quote are where he makes mention of the psalm).
To say that Rahab "has always been interpreted as Egypt" is going a bit far - it is so interpreted, but not always. For example, in the 1998 IVP Dictionary of Biblical Imagery edited by Leland Ryken, Jim Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III (Longman being as evangelical and conservative as anyone could wish), we find this under the entry for Rahab: "RAHAB: Storm, arrogance, bluster" The point being, not Egypt). It then goes on to quote from and refer to various psalms and from Isaiah, Job and Revelation, to set the contexts in which the name is found. It then describes the imagery in terms of the "primordial sea serpent" (i.e., primordial meaning mythological) "with whom it (Rahab) appears in parallel." In other words, Rahab is not identical with the mythological serpent, but appears in a similar context of creation mythology - which is not Egypt. Egypt is relevant, but not central: "Occasionally the imagery applies to present enemies. Among various other mythical animals, Egypt is a subdued sea monster, a "Rahab who sits still", in contrast to the thrashing, twisting serpent." ("IVP Dictionary of Biblical Imagery", page 171).
So, while you're right to say that these references to Rahab aren't evidence of an alternative mythology that the authors of Isaiah, the Psalms, Job etc believed in literally, they are evidence of (or remnants of) a Canaanite creation mythology that the Israelites once shared. I've made an edit to the section in question to bring it more into line with what the source (Brettler) actually says - he talks of Isaiah "referencing" an old myth, which is much the same as what Day says. PiCo (talk) 05:45, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
But it is complete intellectual dishonesty to pretend that yours is the ONLY permissible interpretation if Isaiah 51 and therefore it enjoys universal acceptance, and that no other view may be mentioned because there is complete acceptance of it. It is also a MAJOR "strawman fallacy" because it is missing what churches and synagogues actually DO teach concerning their own scriptures here by a country mile. It's one thing that you find the evidence personally convincing that Isaiah 51 is a polytheistic Canaanite myth. You can't force everyone else to swallow that lame hypothesis simply by pretending that "you done figured out" why we all are obliged to swallow it. But until you MAN UP and admit there is more than one side to the story and tell the other side and not just your side, the serious neutrality issues with this article making wikipedia look sloppy, heavyhanded, and blatantly one sided aren't ever going to go away. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 11:25, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
the only interpretation(s) that are relevant are those that are represented by reliable sources, presented in the proportion that they are held by academics in the field-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:45, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Funny, it seems Buddhist doctrines can be mentioned on subjects of Buddhist theology, Hindu ones for Hindu theology, Muslim ones for Islam, but when it comes to the Bible, the opinion of Church theologians is "irrelevant", they are not allowed to speak for their own doctrines, and instead we only allowed to read and swallow that "Scholars have now determined" Isaiah 51 is really a Canaanite creation myth? This reeks of unfairness and should go to arbcom. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 18:06, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
This is not merely an article on theology but on narrative and text. 71.82.49.78 (talk) 05:47, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Or put the other way, this is not merely an article on narrative and text, but also on theology! From your edit summary, the problem seems to be that in your world view, all the denominations of Christianity or Judaism who don't teach that Isaiah 51 is a creation myth (i.e. all of them), are so stigmatized that they don't even deserve a voice in the matter. Your head is so deep in it that you cannot seem to realize that to anyone else this is known as obviously "bias". This is still a Bible article, and Christian and Jewish viewpoints are significant enough to the topic to deserve representation as sure as are Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist ones on articles for their respective scriptures. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 06:46, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sources? Your WP:OR that this is biased is meaningless. Where's the proposed changes with sources. Also stop edit warring over the POV tag, there clearly isn't consensus that there is a POV issue, no other editor here seems to agree with you that there is, your not proposing any actual changes, not giving any sources to backup your assertions, and now your talking about arbcom? Serious? — raekyt 06:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Raeky, the article states that Isaiah 51 9:10 is derived from a Canaanite creation myth, and this is "just-so" because the authors who have theorize this are being endorsed as correct by Wikipedia. This is biased hogwash, and this matter will not go away until it is balanced with more viewpoints. I have already added a page full of different prominent theologians who in their writings and commentaries, interpret the verses in question to refer to the parting of the Red Sea, not the creation of the universe. And frankly Isaiah 51:10 is obviously about the parting of the Red Sea, you have to force it to mean anything else. The presence of the entire section in an article about Genesis is questionable, as all it does is posit that this reference in Isaiah somehow constitutes a Canaanite influence on Genesis, and surely even your sources don't go that far. And please - can we not link to Rahab? She has nothing to do with this. The usage of "Rahab" you want is at Rahab. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 07:15, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Til, the article doesn't say that Isaiah 51 9-10is derived from a Canaanite creation myth (it says it "recalls an ancient Israelite myth"), it's well sourced (Brettler is a leading scholar - if you disagree with him, write him az letter, but he's far from the only one who says that Rahab has a double meaning), and it's actually pretty reasonable for our article to point out that not everything in Genesis 1-2 is based on Babylonian myths. PiCo (talk) 07:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Pico, this is Genesis creation narrative and the section is entitled "Canaanite sources". This suggests there have been Canaanite sources on the Genesis Creation Narrative. Where are they? I'm not seeing any mentioned in the section. Please tell us what verses in Genesis are suspected of showing Canaanite influence. I can't believe you all are trying to make Isaiah 51:9-10 into a "Canaanite influence" on GENESIS, and you're telling me this is the best you've got? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 08:04, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Til, you're making a mountain out of a molehill. There's only a passing mention of Rahab/Isaiah in the article, and it's in order to give an example of the way that there are traces, but only traces, of older polytheistic (which is what is meant here by Canaanite) myths in the bible - in the bible, like in that passage of Isaiah, but not in Genesis 1. Genesis 1 was written specifically to create a new creation-story for Israel, one that would erase all races of the kind of mythology present in Isaiah 51. (Don't forget that the author of Genesis 1 wasn't aware that he was writing the first book of the bible - he didn't have Isaiah in mind, just an attack on polytheism). For that matter, I don't think that the author of Isaiah 51 was a believer in the reality of Rahab the chaos-monster either, it was just a convenient poetic expression for him, the way Shakespeare uses Greek myths without being a believer in Greek gods. Anyway, I think you're misunderstanding both me and Brettler, and creating a drama where none is intended. PiCo (talk) 08:24, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it was I who added the POV section tag originally, per the "Preservation of original polytheistic religion" section on this talk page. This tag was removed without the problem being addressed. StAnselm (talk) 06:36, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Pico: The article is making Isaiah 51:9-10 out to be evidence of Canaanite influence on the Genesis Creation narrative. This is plain misrepresentation. Either point out where the Canaanite influence is in the Genesis creation narrative, or get rid of it. And what about the overwhelming majority of commentators on Isaiah 51:9-10 who all interpret it to mean the Hebrews crossing the Red Sea? None of them count according to you? There is a SERIOUS under representation of viewpoints here; believe me you have not heard the last of this. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 08:33, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Til you're obsessing over Isaiah 51:9-10. The aim of the section is to point out that Genesis 1 is a replacement of an earlier creation-myth in which God's creative work was achieved through combat with Chaos, symbolised by the monsters of the original Ocean of Chaos. I've changed the title again to reflect this, and I'm willing to re-write the section to make it clearer if needed.
These next comments are aimed at other editors, who might not have the background: The normal Ancient Near Eastern creation-myth, or at least the Mesopotamian myth and so far as anyone knows the Canaanite myth (no Canaanite creation-myth has been preserved, there are only suggestions), featured a battle between a creator-god and a collection of monsters controlled by a goddess/god who personified Ocean or Water.
Ancient myths aren't just silly stories from primitive peoples who knew no better, they're deeply symbolic. Ocean/Water was the opponent of the creator-god because water is, by it's nature, chaotic - it has no form. Try to pick it up and runs through your fingers. Contrasting with Water/Chaos is formed matter, everything from earth itself to man. The creator-god had to tame chaos/water before he could create matter and form - water had to be separated from earth, that was the very basic precondition.
So in the Enuma Elish the god Marduk fights Ocean and her monsters and creates the dry land where men can live. But not in Genesis. In Genesis Chaos is not a god or goddess, it's just inanimate (a word that means, literally, not having life). In Genesis, God speaks like a king, and things are done, as they are for a king, because the God of the Jews is King of Creation.
Genesis 1 was probably written about 500 BCE; Isaiah 51 was probably written a little earlier, but not much. The author of Isaiah 51 was just as much a monotheist as the author of Genesis 1. He didn't believe that Rahab the sea-monster was real, but he did see her as a useful poetic image to use for his purpose, which was to entreat God to rise up and save his people again, as he had once saved them from Egypt. In other words, in Isaiah 51:9-10, Rahab is used as a symbol standing for Egypt. But she also stands for Chaos - poetry is polyvalent, it can mean two things at once.
Til lacks an understanding of the poetic use of language. That's all it is. PiCo (talk) 09:34, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
In any case, we shouldn't be putting wikilinks in quotes - if this needs an explanation/clarification, that can be added with reliable sources. Dougweller (talk) 11:28, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry but you've lost me - what are you referring to? PiCo (talk) 12:00, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I reverted Til at [8] - he'd added a wikilink to a quote " "Awake, awake! ... It was you that hacked Rahab in pieces, that pierced the Dragon! ...." - that's inappropriate and against our MOS. It may be accurate but that would need a sentence after the quote clarifying this with reliable sources, possibly atributed and showing any significant differing opinions. Dougweller (talk) 13:35, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I think the problem is that right now, the article presents statements like Isaiah 51:9–10 recalls an ancient Israelite myth in which God creates the world by vanquishing the water deities and The agon creation tradition preserves the original polytheistic religion of Israel in Wikipedia's voice as objective facts which are beyond dispute, when in fact many scholars would disagree. It would be better to attribute these statements to specific scholars and present the opposing view as well. --Cerebellum (talk) 12:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

That Isaiah's reference to Rahab recalls/references Canaanite/Israelite myth is supported by (to name just two) John Day's "God's Conflict With the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament" (1985) and the "IVP Dictionary of Biblical Imagery", (page 171). To ascribe it to Brettler as if this were his idea alone, or a new idea, would therefore be misleading. I'm not aware of any opposing views, but do you know of some? PiCo (talk) 13:26, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
After doing a little research I see that you are correct, it is a reference to an earlier myth. However, would you be okay with changing "ancient Israelite myth" to "ancient Canaanite myth" or "ancient Ugaritic myth"? This seems to be closer to scholarly usage (per Day and also Jeremy Hutton and John Oswalt). As Hutton says, "I argue that many within Yahwism had subverted contemporary Caananite literature through their reuse of a Canaanite hymn for a specifically Yahwistic purpose." The current wording risks conflating Caananite and Israelite/Yahwist beliefs about creation.
I also propose that the second paragraph of the "Creation-by-word vs creation-by-combat" be modified to include the opposing view, represented by Yehezkel Kaufmann in The Bible and Mythological Polytheism, saying for example, "mythological elements have nothing to do with the foreign idolatry which the Bible opposes, and their presence is no evidence for the influence of heathenism on Israel during the Biblical period" (page 182). --Cerebellum (talk) 17:01, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't mind changing "Israelite" to "Canaanite" if there's a source - but change the source also.
I don't think Kaufmann's view is mainstream these days. I think he was writing in reaction to the very tumultuous discussions of this question that were taking place in the 50s and 60s following the publication of work by Stephanie Daley (sp?) and Alexander Heidel (his book here) linking biblical imagery to Canaanite and Mesopotamian myth. Kaufmann and others, mostly Israelis and evangelicals, felt this was a threat to the uniqueness of Israel's religion. I think the argument has now died down and no doubt matured. The best place to go would be recent general texts such as standard biblical commentaries and dictionaries from Oxford University Press, Eerdmans, and the like, which would be careful to present non-controversial views (one hopes). Anyway, I wouldn't be coomfortable with presenting Kaufmann without knowing how accepted his views are by contemporary scholars. PiCo (talk) 03:46, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense, I'll content myself with changing Israelite to Canaanite using Jeremy Hutton as a source. This commentary says that the reference could be to either Babylonian or Caananite mythology, but note 211 seems to indicate that most scholars prefer a Canaanite origin.
With regards to mythology, I took your advice and found some good info on page 341 of this Eerdmans commentary, it seems like the conflict has indeed been settled in favor of the presence of mythological allusions in the Bible, though this doesn't necessarily compromise the uniqueness of the Israelite religion. --Cerebellum (talk) 04:20, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Anything more solid than a load of unattested, reconstructed tosh and gibberish about the "sea monster Rahab" - as long as everyone's required to interpret that way, and no possible source for the traditional interpretation of it being a reference to the Exodus may count? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 05:01, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, this commentary says that, "51:9b-10 must refer to the great deeds God did at the exodus, not at the creation of the world," though he acknowledges that, "Some view the mention of cutting up Rahab and the piercing of the monster as a reference to a victory over the chaos monster in Babylonian or Caananite creation mythology." He also seems to favor the idea of Rahab meaning Egypt. --Cerebellum (talk) 05:33, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Does it not strike anybody else as curious, that anyone researching it OFF of Wikipedia can easily find these sources acknowledging both sides of the story with at least some impartiality (as true scholarly works tend to do) -- yet ON Wikipedia, all they will find is a one-sided hack piece worthy of 1950s Kremlin stuff, coming down firmly on the side of the psychobabble and not admitting the validity of any other POV? That's usually a sign of something fishy. Just sayin'. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 12:22, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Once again you ascribe biased motives to editors who add information you disapprove of. You should try harder to assume good faith, Til. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 14:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
In that section just below here that you linked, Pico says: But while Rahab=Leviathan=primeval sea monster is certainly a conjecture, it's a widely accepted one. Does anyone disagree with this statement? Regardless of how "widely accepted" the conjecture is, it is still undeniably an unproven, unattested and reconstructed (hypothetical) conjecture that "Rahab=Leviathan=primeval sea monster" and there are in honesty plenty who disagree, plenty of sources for the traditional view that you will not even acknowledge, though they speak for the vast majority of people in the real world (as opposed to ivory towers) who do not believe the Biblical Israelites once thought YHWH slew a sea-monster to create the world. So yeah, that's an accusation of one-sidedness. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Preservation of original polytheistic religion

At the moment, this paragraph only references David Penchansky, yet states the theory as fact. Are there any other sources which support this? StAnselm (talk) 05:59, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

There are two paragraphs, one of which has several sources, while the second has just Penchansky. You have a point, and I'm looking into it. PiCo (talk) 06:04, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I have removed the paragraph. There is no evidence that Penchansky's theory is worthy of inclusion. Many scholars might accept that "Let us make man" refers to the divine council, but it is by no means unanimous that this has polytheistic origins. StAnselm (talk) 06:43, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I know what you want

What you guys would want it seems is for the wikipedia article to triumphantly crow: "Guess what, Christians! We've just figured out rock solid proof that Genesis 1-2 was plagiarised from a Canaanite creation narrative. Yep! Our scholars said so! The debate is over! You can all stop reading and following that book now! In fact you must!" As well as the gall to call this approach "unbiased". You want these scholars who say these things to enjoy a monopoly on telling people how to interpret the Bible with an unquestionable authority that surpasses even what priests ever had at any time. But it seems you are terrified of having to confront the actual quality of this compelling "proof" or account for it, don't want anyone asking too many questions, thinking about it too hard, or trying to understand exactly where it is, or why the Canaanite tablet is not being presented in a side-by-side comparison here with the allegedly influenced verses in the Bible. Hmm, maybe it's because there is no such Canaanite tablet, this is all just a certain unlikely school of conjecture that you are ramming down readers' throats. All other views on the matter have not suddenly been canceled out by this wonderful Canaanite hypothesis. Furthermore, in any other area of scholarship, an extremely high standard of evidence is usually required before influences of any kind can be claimed or suggested between two documents. But for this one special situation, it seems the lowest imaginable standard is applied and it is being hailed as incontrovertible 100% proof of directly borrowed material that no one may challenge or question.
You would love for people to swallow this Canaanite stuff blindly and say "well that's settled then, someone smarter than me has figured it all out for me" as if it were literally some kind of arcane rocket science, but you can't fool all the people all the time. Deep down I think you know full well that these past couple of millennia Christians have been studying the Bible, commenting on it, interpreting it, are actually quite informed about it, and have intelligent and educated arguments about it. It is only in the eyes of a bigot that their views would be so stigmatized that it becomes imperative to ensure that their voice is silenced, and their sources don't count for anything except to be assaulted in any way possible with skewed language. Those are the same eyes with which Dr Goebbels saw Jews and others. If you could possibly be honest with yourselves and estimate what portion of the public is actually convinced by these facetious arguments that any part of Genesis was lifted from some (non existent) Canaanite document, you would have to admit that it is probably way less than 1 %, including the scholars and scribes whose profession is telling people dumb ideas to think about these things. It may even be a fringe theory if you could admit the full range of viewpoints on the mysteries of Genesis. An article that is so obviously agenda-controlled to throw maximum weight behind these lame theories with no dissent from them allowed, is POV pushing and should never be able to withstand the light of day. I say it deserves serious scrutiny from a LOT more editors. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 12:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Godwin's law already? Do you have sources or you just want to continue this WP:NOTFORUM violation into warnings and bans? — raekyt 13:00, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Godwin's law is not a principle of logic and I don't adhere to it, it is a fallacy, or possibly a joke, that masquerades itself as a principle of logic, invented by people who wish nobody would remember what the Nazis did and would hurry up and forget. Once again, it is playground, peer pressure stuff (basically: "Anyone who remembers what the Nazis did or mentions them is UNCOOL!!!1!!") and it is no substitute for debate, it is only for squelching debate and discussion. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:10, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Again this is WP:NOTFORUM, specific article changes with sources please? — raekyt 13:12, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
This is all 100% about the appalling state of this biased article. And I already gave my suggested amendment with a reference, and no good reason was shown why it is wrong, but here it is:
  • Traditional commentaries on Isaiah 51:9-10 have always interpreted Rahab as a prophetic name for Egypt, and have considered this passage a statement about the parting of the Red Sea, rather than a creation myth or narrative.<ref>http://bible.cc/isaiah/51-9.htm</ref>
Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:24, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The verses from various translations is WP:PRIMARY so any real conclusion out of that is probably WP:OR, the commentaries at the bottom, doesn't support the phrase "has always" It better supports "Some bible scholars." Nothing on that page says it's the "prophetic name of Egypt" and I don't see anything that says it's about the Red Sea. — raekyt 13:31, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The page does NOT consist entirely of Bible verses from various texts. Yet another person who didn't read all the way to the bottom of the page? Be sure to read the next page too, with standard commentaries about 51:10, before you say nobody mentions the Red Sea.Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:39, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I did, one of those sources mentions the red sea, but it's not in any of the translations. http://kad.biblecommenter.com/isaiah/51.htm and that's one guy's opinion that "waters of the great deep" (tehōm rabbâh) is the "Red Sea." It doesn't demonstrate that it's a wide-held belief, or that it's not WP:FRINGE. — raekyt 13:43, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
And to add that source is a BIT old: Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch [1857-78] — raekyt 13:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Til that source wouldn't pass the RS test. Is there another one? PiCo (talk) 13:28, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Pico, it does not pass your RS test, because apparently your RS test is "if it agrees with my POV, it passes the RS test, but if it disagrees, it must fail the RS test". There is no reason other than bias why this would fail the RS test, these are only the most prominent theologians, interpreters and commentators, with the most widely known, exhaustive and well loved commentaries that are used by everyone. If these theologians cannot speak for an opposing point of view because you want to pretend it like there is only one point of view on this, then nobody can. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Then take the source to WP:RSN and see if they agree if it backs up your statement. — raekyt 13:37, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Raeky, maybe you aren't familiar with who these sources are, and are having a reading difficulty figuring out what they are saying. Every one of them says Rahab is Egypt, the serpent is the Pharaoh, and the event is the Hebrews passing over the Red Sea, and that this chapter is in the genre of prophecy, not creation narratives or whatever. Their reliability to represent a widespread and significant view on the topic (of Isaiah, the whole section is off topic to Genesis) is not seriously in question. Please stop with the desperately lame arguments to keep this argument one-sided and presenting only one POV that you happen to like a whole lot. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:47, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't give a flying crap either way, It's all made up fairy tails to me. What I do care about is reliable sourcing, and I don't see that here for your argument. — raekyt 14:07, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Til, your sources are mostly pretty old - you need something more recent than Matthew Henry. That said, they're not entirely wrong - yes, Rahab does signify Egypt. But Rahab is also, at the same time, the mythological sea-monster - Isaiah is calling on YHWH to wake, and do again what what he once did to Egypt AND to Rahab. Please have a look at the "IVP Dictionary of Biblical Imagery", page 171. PiCo (talk) 13:42, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The source for Rahab being a mythological sea monster traces to legends held by some groups of Jews in the middle ages, where else has it ever been found? (Not counting Isaiah itself using the words "Rahab", "Serpent" and "sea" in the same verse pair, before it manifested as the mediaeval "sea monster" legend) Sorry ggogle books is blocking that page for me and I can't see it! Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The IVP traces it to quite a number ofbiblical texts - Job, Isaiah, psalms, even Revelation. This is a direct link - maybe it will work.PiCo (talk) 14:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I read it now, but do any of those verses really spell out that "Rahab is a sea monster" or would that be a conjectural reading open to interpretation? What is the earliest source spelling out that "Rahab is a sea monster", establishing when this had clearly developed into a belief? And if we assumed for the sake of argument that Rahab can be a "sea monster" in Biblical times, it's a fantastic leap of faith from there to swallow the proposition that the passage is for sure a vestige of a lost creation narrative, in fact one that I'm having trouble following all the steps in, if you could explain that one a bit more. Surely this is just a hypothesis based on somebody's speculative reconstructions, and not a solid fact as it is being presented. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:25, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to sound as if I think I know the answers, so please take it as read that what follows is just my own personal understanding. Anyway, from the mentions in Job, Psalms and elsewhere, it seems that the ancient authors of those works believed - and truly believed - that there was a gigantic monster in the depths of the sea that caused waves and storms. That was Leviathan/Lotan, also the Serpent. Rahab is never explicitly identified with the Serpent, but frequently appears in parallel passages. It also seems that, at the level of mythology, the creator-god had to fight a battle with the Serpent in order to tame it - the purpose of this taming was so that the Sea would stay in its place and not overwhelm the land. (They seems to have had a deep fear of the sea - saw it as dangerous and forever a threat to the dry land). The creator-god (Marduk in Babylonia, possibly El or Baal in the Levant) tamed the sea-monster and made the land safe for human life.
If, by asking when this first appears, you're asking about when the myth first appears, I think there are hints in the Ugaritic myths - but I believe no complete Ugaritic account of creation has been found. If you mean when did Western scholars first start talking about it in terms of the biblical Rahab, I don't know.
I guess nothing is ever certain - once men knew that the sun went round the earth, it was certain, now they're certain of the reverse. We just have to go with the current opinion. Rather than me explaining this - who am I? - please read John Day and John Walton and others - you might not agree with them, but at least they can explain it more authoritatively than I can. PiCo (talk) 03:29, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
(Heidel in 1951 made the observation that Rahab and Leviathan are synonyms, and that both are simultaneously real animals and imaginary ones. That might be one of the starting points.) PiCo (talk) 03:37, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

The distinct picture that I keep getting is that none of this information about the name "Rahab" specifically meaning any of those things is attested in any Biblical era document that can actually be pointed to, whether in Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, or anything else. There seems good evidence that Canaanites and Ugarites had sea monsters in their belief system, but none of these has any kind of name said to be cognate with "Rahab", they all seem to have different names that are not cognate with "Rahab". All of this "information" that has accrued and developed around the figure of "Rahab the sea monster" then is thus clearly derived from scholarly reconstruction involving conjecture and inference, since none of it can be shown spelled out in an ancient document. Can you see that? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 03:59, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Sure. So far as I know (meaning I vaguely recall reading somewhere), Rahab, as a monster of some kind, is unique to the bible - not found in other sources. But while Rahab=Leviathan=primeval sea monster is certainly a conjecture, it's a widely accepted one. PiCo (talk) 06:40, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Don't you just love Arabic roots. I looked up RHB in Arabic, not knowing Hebrew, just to see if it helped. There are two Hs in Arabaic, just like in Hebrew, and I don't know which is the one in Rahab's name. If it's "hard" H then the root means wideness and suchlike (the sea is wide?). If it's "soft H it's much more interesting, but also weirdly Arabic:

رَهِبَ A ( n. ac. رَهْب 1 , رَهْبَة 1t , رُهْب 3 , رَهَب 4 , رُهْبَاْن 35 , رَهَبَاْن 36 ), a. Feared, dreaded. ا^َرْهَبَ IV , a. Frightened, terrified, alarmed. b. Rode a lean camel. c. Had long sleeves.

So there we are: Rahab was frightened, terrified and alarmed, rode a lean camel, and had long sleeves. PiCo (talk) 06:52, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Why not use Ethiopic Semitic languages? There the word Rahab is quite unambiguous; it means "famine". So there we are. Rahab was a hungry long sleeved sea monster who rode a camel in the Egyptian desert. I may have just now figured this out, and this may be entirely missing from Hebrew, Canaanite and Ugaritic texts of the period, but you can bet that my logic is so solid, we can go ahead and certainly say that that's what they believed 3000 years ago. They just didn't write anything down about it that has survived, so this is a perfect example of how we scholars can utilise "other means", like deductive reasoning, to discover what they really believed back then. Ain't science wonderful? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:10, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Sections 1.3 Mesopotamian influence and 1.4 Creation by word vs creation by combat could possibly be combined and shortened - it does possibly go on into too much detail. But any major edit would be bound to be controversial, no matter what direction it took. Anyway, the point the entire two sections should be making is simply that the Genesis story didn't come out of nowhere, it had a very discernible Ancient Near East background. And mythology isn't childish stories, it's a way of teaching theology. PiCo (talk) 03:08, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

They just didn't write anything down about it that has survived, so this is a perfect example of how we scholars can utilise "other means", like deductive reasoning, to discover what they really believed back then. Ain't science wonderful? You mean like assuming that the writers were referring to the Trinity in Genesis 1 even though its a later Christian doctrine? 71.82.49.78 (talk) 18:02, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

That's an entirely different (red herring) debate that I'm not currently engaged in. But since it is a controversy with more than one position, I would hope the relevant articles give room to laying out all the involved viewpoints, wouldn't you? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 18:15, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Not the viewpoints that are uninformed by archeology, literary analysis, the historical critical method ect. For example, the idea that the serpent in the garden is Satan, a viewpoint based on late interpretations and not all informed by the cultural context of the author. 71.82.49.78 (talk) 19:49, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment This is a waste of time unless it can be demonstrated that the content of the article diverges with the mainstream scholarly view. That is not the case here and so this is a pointless discussion. It is an implicit corollary of Godwin's Law that when a thread starts by making Nazi comparisons, you should just ignore it since it is over before it begins. Til - show in unambiguous terms the divergence from mainstream scholarly consensus, or else stop. Eusebeus (talk) 21:11, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Boasts of "mainstream" in a controversy (over undeniably reconstructed hypotheses) are divisive. The definition of "mainstream" people want to use here excludes mainstream Christianity among others. That's why this needs arbitration. Everybody want to claim to be "the mainstream consensus". Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 22:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Straw poll: Is Genesis a creation myth?

Following our latest failure to achieve consensus on the title, perhaps we could agree on an underlying question. Is Genesis (esp. 1:1-2:24) a creation myth (or myths)? "Creation myth" is defined as:

  • A symbolic account of the creation of the world / universe in a particular culture; often involving a creator deity. (Wiktionary)
  • Philosophical and theological elaboration of the primal myth of creation within a religious community. The term myth here refers to the imaginative expression in narrative form of what is experienced or apprehended as basic reality (see also myth). The term creation refers to the beginning of things, whether by the will and act of a transcendent being, by emanation from some ultimate source, or in any other way. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Although polling is not a substitute for discussion, surveying editorial opinions might reveal a path forward. Do you agree or disagree that Genesis is a creation myth? Keahapana (talk) 00:56, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Agree that is a myth according to Definition #2, disagree with it being a myth according to Definition #1 - I have problems with the designation "symbolic". StAnselm (talk) 01:10, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Useless section, of course it's a creation myth, that was never the issue, it says so in the lead; the issue was what to name this article. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:21, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
We can always change the lead if we judge it best not to describe it as a creation myth. StAnselm (talk) 01:33, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, that definitely ain't gonna happen... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Disagree, unless we're writing to anthropologists as our principal audience. Confession: I have an earned doctorate, but never once had come across this technical use of Myth until the Great Debate on Wikipedia.Afaprof01 (talk) 04:57, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

A thing can be described in numerous ways. Given a ball, I could say it's a toy, or I could say it's a sphere, or I could say it's a piece of exercise equipment. It all depends on context. Is it true that the Genesis creation narrative falls under the definition of "creation myth"? Given the second definition above, from the Britannica, it clearly is. Given the Wiktionary definition of the term, I would say no, since calling it "symbolic" begs the question.

If we use the Britannica definition and agree, therefore, that the Genesis creation story meets the criteria necessary to be described as a creation myth, is "creation myth" the most accurate or appropriate descriptor given the context of Wikipedia and the goals of Wikipedia? Again, that's a matter of context. In the title? No. In the lede? Probably yes. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 04:36, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment: Why are we bothering with the wiktionary definition, anyway? It's not even close to being a reliable source. StAnselm (talk) 04:39, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Seems to me like having a straw poll on the question of whether the Pope is Catholic, and unlikely to reveal a path forward like you hope. But for what it's worth, Agree ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 04:42, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no Pope, so obviously he's not Catholic... StAnselm (talk) 04:49, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Good point, that cliché fails while the Church is sede vacante. Bad timing. ~ Röbin Liönheart (talk) 11:53, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. Unequivocally, demonstrably, resoundingly verifiably yes, genesis creation is a creation myth. It should be defined as one in the lead. And I'm so done wasting anymore breath on proposals aimed at revising the title here. Professor marginalia (talk) 06:18, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Is Genesis 1-2 a creation myth? It all depends whom you ask, whose books you read. Many will tell you yes, many no. Since a vast proportion will say "Genesis is NOT mythological" and "That is polemic" and "Keep your beliefs to yourself, we'll obviously believe as we see fit, not as you force on us", etc. etc. I think we are obliged to steer a neutral course as possible to keep the peace and limit disruption. Several of you have probably already seen my take on the whole business of it being "neutral" (as opposed to say, just possibly maybe, "your Point-of-View") to label your neighbour's belief-system as "myths". But then, you probaby knew that already; is this really a a straw poll or a periodic head count ??? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:18, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Agree, though I must object to the 2nd definitions use of the word "myth" in it's own definition. A dictionary should never use part of the word to define the word. It doesn't help clarify meaning at all and now we need a definition of just plain "myth" to explain the definition of "creation myth".Farsight001 (talk) 16:20, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Why? I see no good point to asking this question again. It has been proven, time and time again, that secular scholarship sees this narrative through their worldview and identifies it with mythology. A significant minority set of scholars (primarily conservative adherents of both Judaism and Christianity) holds that the text was not intended to be symbolic, and thus should not be labeled as "myth". Furthermore, editors are divided about how and where to introduce the label "creation myth". To know whether it is or isn't, you would have to sit down in an interview the original author/editor. If someone is able to get an audience with God/Moses, they might be able to ask the question - did you write Genesis, and if so, why? I think barring that, this question is moot. Ἀλήθεια 17:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think statements by God and/or Moses would be considered reliable for the purposes of Wikipedia. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 22:11, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't use a definition from an encyclopedia or even a dictionary, but yes, it's considered by many scholars and non-scholars to be a creation myth and unless we are going to try to change the title or remove that from the lead there's no point in arguing about this. It's defined as such in The Oxford Companion to World Mythology and you will find that even scholars who are believers use the term. Minor problem, the Oxford Companion makes it clear that there are at least two creation myths in Genesis, does our article make this clear enough? Dougweller (talk) 10:09, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Probably not. But I'd disagree with Leeming (your source, author of the OCWM) - there are two sources (using "sources" in the specialised sense of Yahwist and Priestly), but only one myth or narrative. PiCo (talk) 11:36, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I also think this discussion is pointless - thought I left a message about enculment of flies, but maybe someone reads French and removed it. PiCo (talk) 11:40, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes Genesis 1-2 is a creation myth. No comment on whether or not the article should be moved. Agree that this discussion probably isn't going to go anywhere. ~Adjwilley (talk) 23:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

How many people believe it?

This article is part of a series on Creationism (the religious belief that life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being). I wonder if we are ever going to identify what percentage of people in general (or, say, Americans in particular), believe that the creation narrative is true - in a non-symbolic sense. Only then would it make sense to explore the connotation of labeling the narrative "a myth".

As it stands, the article is slanted toward the view that Genesis in merely "a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it" (see intro to Creation myth). I propose that we start to describe the degree to which various cultures or groups take the narrative to be true. Any takers? --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm sure there are polls on this, but I don't think this is any relevant. Why would it depend on how many people believe it? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:00, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It's not a bad piece of information to include, but agreed that it doesn't change how we title the article. According to a poll from nearly a decade ago, "61 percent of Americans believe the account of creation in the Bible’s book of Genesis is “literally true” rather than a story meant as a “lesson.”" That number rose to 75% for Protestants, and 87% for evangelicals.
("Most Americans take Bible stories literally". The Washington Times. Monday, February 16, 2004.  Check date values in: |date= (help)) Ἀλήθεια 20:24, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It is entirely relevant, because how we define a "significant point of view" includes one shared by a vast number or proportion of people. Aside from the US, there are countries in the Middle East where this is a very "significant point of view". But if you never go and visit these countries, the view from one's own armchair may be different. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 20:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
By that standard, nothing can ever be a myth (and maybe that was your point). Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:12, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
That's not quite it. Ideas that do not have any sizeable number of adherents, or where nobody has ever objected to their being called "myths" are not in the same category. A good example is the Norse myths. There is a tiny religion called Asatru that may have around 1000 members. In addition, they officially state that they make use of the Old Norse myths, but only as myths, not as literal truths. Since nobody today, not even Asatru, seems to be claiming that the Norse myths are literal truths, and nobody has objected to their being called myths, it should be uncontroversial to use that term for the Old Norse myths. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 22:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
However, I'm sure if you go to Africa and poll the 1000 or so practitioners of ceremony X, you'll get 100% who believe the story behind it is literally true. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

"Young Earth creationists hold that the world is no older than about 10,000 years - this belief is apparently shared by 47% of Americans and taught in 10% of American colleges." (Gebel, Creationism and Intelligent Design, 2008) PiCo (talk) 22:33, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

While Til E. is correct that close on 100% of people in the Middle East believe that Allah created the universe, they don't believe this because of the Book of Genesis, so the fact isn't really relevant. Nor are these Americans informed students of the bible, and our article should be about what those who know about the subject say, not about popular prejudices. I think this information belongs in the article Creationism, not here - this article should be trying to educate people out of their prejudices, not reinforce them. PiCo (talk) 22:38, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

That 100% "so the fact isn't really relevant" is a gross oversimplification. The Middle East includes Ethiopia, Armenia, Georgia, the latter two have governments that are officially Eastern Orthodox and Apostolic respectively, and there are also plenty of non-Muslim groups in Muslim countries. Let's not be so hasty to brush off the Middle East. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 23:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
By "middle east" I meant Muslims - I thought you did too. PiCo (talk) 23:34, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Til's point about the difference between regarding myths as literal history or as "myths" (meaning what?) is a good one. The idea that Genesis 1-2 is literal truth is quite recent, about a century old - prior to the early 20th century, ordinary Christians in America and Britain regarded Genesis as allegory. Fundamentalism took hold in America, but not in Britain, hence the quite uniquely US take on Genesis in the US today. (Unique within Christianity, I mean). PiCo (talk) 22:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

If it is taught in 10% of colleges, then certainly some creationists are "informed students of the Bible". Lots of scholars in accredited seminaries hold to a "literal truth" of Genesis 1-2. And I think you claim that "prior to the early 20th century, ordinary Christians in America and Britain regarded Genesis as allegory" is just plain wrong. Where on earth did you get that idea? StAnselm (talk) 22:50, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Til Eulenspiegel's point about African mythologies having few believers is false: Primal Indigenous religion - 300 million believers, African traditional religion - 100 million believers. All those myths are described as what they are; myths in the list of creation myths. Pass a Method talk 22:51, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Very clever, but I haven't said anything about African mythologies so not sure what strawman just bought it. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 23:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@Anselm: I'd say they're misinformed students :). The education system in America is pretty woeful - it's all devolved to local communities, so the general level is pushed down relative to Europe and Australia (although the top schools and universities remain the world's best). And yes, by the late 19th century, the mainstream popular idea was that the stories in Genesis 1-11 weren't meant to be taken literally. From Abraham onwards was taken literally, but not Genesis 1, and not even the Tower of Babel. I'll find you the sources. PiCo (talk) 23:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@Anselm: (Little later): Ok, here's the brief history of the evolution of Creationism that I promised you.
Ronald Numbers' "The Creationists" starts with a one-paragraph history: Darwin publishes Origin in 1859, and b c.1880 "virtually every naturalist of repute" in GB and the US had embraced it, liberal churchmen were following them, and a quarter to a half of Evangelicals likewise - but, says Numbers, "the majority of bible-believing Christians undoubtedly remained true to the idea of a specially created world." (Numbers, "The Creationists", page 3, first para). Note two words here: these Christians are "bible-believing", which rules out most Anglicans of the time and all Catholics - really it's just evangelicals, strong in the US, weak in Britain. The second word to note is "undoubtedly" - this is the refuge of the scholar who has no doubts, but no evidence either. Numbers go on (page 4): "Contemporary readers (i.e., modern ones) who associate creationism with the teachings of the so-called scientific creationists will no doubt (that word again!) be surprised by the small number of 19th century creationist writers who subscribed to a recent creation in six literal days..." Numbers then goes on to describe how the American Fundamentalist movement (a formal organised movement, not an intellectual current) turned this around in the US, but had no real impact outside, with the result that today Creationism in this literal six-day sense is very much an American phenomenon. PiCo (talk) 00:25, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't suppose you've bothered to check what early Church historians (eg Jerome) believed on this point, what Mediaeval historians believed on this point, and what Christians in some parts of the world I mentioned above that are nowhere near the US have continuously believed on this point even to the present. I never could follow why it is so crucial to paint it as an exclusively American phenomenon, but it is a false picture. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 00:40, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
As you said, PiCo, this is probably more for Talk:Creationism, but could be really helpful for expanding Creationism#Natural theology - which does mention, Luther, Calvin and Ussher as adherents of six day creation. I would have thought the vast majority of Protestants in the 17th century would have held to a "literal" 6-day creation. I also note the phrase "remained true" in your quotation. I have no problems with the idea that allegory would have dominated until the Protestant Reformation, and that a non-literal reading of Genesis is dominant among Protestants in the 19th and 20th centuries, but in between times, from the 16th to the 18th centuries, I think a literal interpretation would have held sway among Protestants at least - I don't know enough about Catholicism of this period to be able to say much about Catholics. Equating evangelical with Bible-believing is probably a more modern thing - and remember that "evangelical" means something different in England than in America. William Wilberforce, for example, was an evangelical Anglican. Anyway, this doesn't really help us improve this particular article. StAnselm (talk) 00:55, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Further on this, my comment that "allegory dominated until the Protestant Reformation" is probably wrong - in any case, it is generalising a whole bunch of different movements and emphases. Also, the section I mentioned at Creationism is quite poor. Why does it even have the title "Natural theology"? Now, I have avoided editing that article because I figured it would be a battleground, but someone really ought to do something to improve it. StAnselm (talk) 01:11, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I was making a general point. Pass a Method talk 00:32, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Pass, if your point is that it would be better to move those to "(African) creation narratives" as long as significant numbers of people today take them seriously, then I would agree with you - by all means. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 04:04, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Regarding belief in "six days" - as you know, with "Let there be light" and "darkness", this is said to constitute the first day, with the light and the darkness together. But I've never seen any source claim this day had to be a 24 hour Earth day, as the Earth isn't said to be created set in place yet. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 01:13, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, creationism is often described in terms of "six 24-hour days" or "144 hour creation". Gerald Schroeder has this interesting argument from relativity suggesting it could be both 24 hours and billions of years. StAnselm (talk) 01:18, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I think creationists (some of them) would say that the earth was created immediately beforehand - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". Darkness, of course, wasn't created, it was already there, and it wasn't enough to create light, it had to be divided from the darkness (by what? not stated).YECs certainly claim this was a 24-hour day, beginning on the first evening. PiCo (talk) 02:11, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed; that's why I struck out "created", apparently it is set in place relative to the Sun on the 4th "day", so what would you call those who say the first 3 days were possibly much longer than 24 hrs? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 02:32, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Day-age theorists, while the theory PiCo is alluding to is gap theory. StAnselm (talk) 02:36, 29 March 2013 (UTC)