Why does that distinction matter, and why should you care? Well because the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible says the following:
In other words, God made the sun, God made the moon, and the stars were also made by Him. Unambiguously, the sun was the result of an act of creation. God created the sun. So says Genesis.Gen. 1:16 wrote: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the
Unfortunately for the Bible, stars are known to form naturally. This is confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Astronomy measures the rate of star formation in distant galaxies. Astronomers can characterize the young stars from the old ones. Modern science even has theories as to why new stars emerge in particular regions of a galaxy.
Mystical philosophers at all levels of academia , and Catholic apologists, are often concerned with creating a space in the public discourse for the Bible to still stand as an inerrant book of truths. They could adopt the position that the sun in its currently-existing form is the direct result of an abrupt, divine act on the physical substance of the universe. A true, honest-to-God creative act of magic. However, the professors, priests, and apologists are now equally aware that adopting that position would put them squarely at odds with physical evidence.
In response to this conundrum, the mystics perform a semantic trick. This is a clever switcheroo, wherein the verb "to create" is replaced instead by the phrase "...to set the conditions for the emergence of...". They can then continue on adopting the position that Genesis 1:16 is factually true, after having made this clever replacement on all contingent verbs. "God made the sun", they claim, "..and by `made`, I mean to say, `set the conditions for the later emergence of` the sun."
Some readers may still be wondering why this matters, or who would be compelled to play such transparent wordgames on the topic of creationism and divinity. In the next posts I will show two examples, both from youtube, one of a grad student in philosophy from California, and another of a post-doctoral professor of semantics from Michigan. Both are guilty of utilizing the create-versus-set-conditions parlor trick.
Again, did I "bake" this cherry pie? Or did I "set the specific conditions for the later emergence" of the pie?