Happy Birthday

This morning, at nine o’ clock, I celebrated Adam’s birthday, for as we know

In the seventeenth century, in his great work, Dr. John Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and one of the most eminent Hebrew scholars of his time, declared, as the result of his most profound and exhaustive study of the Scriptures, that “heaven and earth, centre and circumference, were created all together, in the same instant, and clouds full of water,” and that “this work took place and man was created by the Trinity on October 23, 4004 B.C., at nine of the clock in the morning

or so said Andrew Dickson White in A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896). It has been suggested that White was rather selectively quoting Lightfoot, and there are arguments to be had. But let us not get into a kerfuffle about it. Clearly the important thing is that God knew what time it was, on what day, in what month, of what year. Being majestic and subtle and ineffable, He did not proclaim the beginning of all things as “Year Zero”, as the tiresomely literal-minded Pol Pot did, in spite of a French university education. I think we can all be grateful that the universe, with all its kinks and crooked timbers, was created by a mischievous beardy rascal and not by that Cambodian psychopath.

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