Because this is a debate, though, there's another side: the side of people that argue that this Africa-as-myth nonsense isn't Conrad speaking, but Marlow. Marlow isn't getting any gold medals for heroism or even truth-telling—he's a flawed character, with a flawed view of the world. There are tons of other first-person narrators that believe and do terrible things—think of Mersault , or Humbert Humbert . We don't take the character of Mersault as proof that Camus believes that killing is a-okay, or the character of Humbert Humbert as proof that Nabokov thought molesting kids was fine.
So the preliminary question is this: Why should we think that bosom-burning is a reliable way of determining truth? We can’t use bosom-burning to answer this question, because that would just beg the question (. assume precisely what it is we are trying to determine). The evidence suggests that bosom-burning is affected greatly by the power of suggestion. When Mormons come to the door and suggest bosom-burning as a means of determining whether Mormonism is true, a higher percentage of persons will bosom-burn in the Mormon direction. But when other sects come to the door and use the same method (even if not the same terminology), a higher percentage of person will ‘feel led by God’ to join those other [non-Mormon] sects. All this implies that the method itself is a not a reliable way of determining truth, but is a psychological tool to get people to follow their own feelings while making them believe that it is not their own feelings that they are following but the leading of the Spirit. (They don’t stop to ask, “If this were just my feelings, and not the Spirit, how would I know?” They can’t answer that question, because the method prevents the person using it from discovering his error.)
The grammatical use of the Hebrew Waw -consecutive throughout Genesis 1, decisively argues for the sequential and chronological nature of the creation days. Another decisive point in favor of Genesis 1 as chronological description of nature is the use of the word “beginning” in Genesis 1:1 and the words “completed” and “finished” in Genesis 2:1–2. In addition to the numbering of the creation days and the implication of the repeated evening–morning phrases (indicating that each day has a start time and an end time), throughout Genesis 1, we also find the repetition of the phrases “and God said,” and “it is good.”