Reading though Andrew White’s A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom I finally found the references I was looking for; the Genesis mythology at the beginning of the Bible is little more than Chaldean/Babylonian creation myths, just brought into a new religion. I had long known that the conflicting Genesis stories had their roots in the mythology of other groups, eventually incorporated into the Jewish faith, but I had not heard much beyond this (and now I’m going to have to read George Adam Smith’s The Chaldean Account of Genesis, among other things). The relationship between the earlier myths and Genesis has been long known (at least since White published his book in 1897), and coming across it again reminds me that (at least in my view) we should make greater use of theology and archeology in refuting creationism. Many opponents of creationism (myself included) focus on the scientific side of things; how the account in Genesis could not possibly have occurred in the way it is interpreted by groups like Answers in Genesis. Rarely, if ever, is the subject brought up that we know that Genesis is not a unique or telling story at all, linking it to earlier belief systems. Likewise, if the creationists claim that the earth was created in the year 4,004 B.C., then we should point to archaeological evidence of the people who existed and had civilizations during that time. Indeed, ancient history proves absolutely key refutations to young-earth-creationist dogma, and I think anyone who wishes to combat creationism should become well-versed in the theological and historical realities that show Genesis to be nothing more than another string of ancient thought whose sole virtue is reflecting the beliefs and thoughts of people during the time Genesis was conjured up.
Even beyond this, the Bible is a vastly outdated book, reflecting a square, flat world of relatively small size, the stars, sun and moon hung from the vault of heaven, and the Gospel having been told to every creature & every man of every land (even if there was another side to the world or the world was a sphere, theologians argued, there could be no people there as the Gospel was never preached there). Modern apologists over gloss over passages referring to this archaic world as being poetic, or try to change their meaning through wordplay, but the fact of the matter is that the natural world as described in the various books of the Bible does not accurately reflect what we now know to be true. If young-earth-creationists are going to reject Darwin, why not Newton or Copernicus as well? Truth be told, both men (and nearly any other who dared hypothesize about something that was not in line with religious orthodoxy) were vehemently opposed in their time, even though groups like AiG try to co-opt the faith that these men had to prove that the best scientists are Christian ones. Again and again, creationists prove that they do not know their own history, nor the history of science, and I think that those concerned with evolution/creationism should start using this ignorance to our advantage.