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Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Bible and science

In the dialogue between those who believe in evolution and those who believe in creation there are often misconceptions. Before the discussion goes any farther it is time to address some of those.

Theory - Neither evolution nor creation rises to the level of a theory. A theory must be testable and test results that support the theory must be reproducible. Independent test results must agree, and then the scientific community will accept a hypothesis as a theory. Every time someone says "theory of evolution" they are unwittingly furthering a lie. There is no "theory of evolution" just as there is no "theory of creation."

Macroevolution has been proposed by Darwinists as the means by which life developed into the various forms we see today, a process requiring many millions of years and countless mutations fueling the natural selection process by which organisms advance towards becoming more complex and/or better suited creatures to their environment.

Creationists and evolutionists alike point to the life now found on the planet and the fossil records in order to support their respective cases. One thing that creationists will bring into the discussion that often angers and frustrates evolutionists is the Bible. They will proclaim that the Bible is not nor was it meant to be a scientific textbook and should not have any part in the discussion of the origin of life nor of the present state of life on the planet today.

I freely admit that there is a segment of Christianity that goes overboard with their application of the Bible, proclaiming that the Bible is indeed a scientific reference book. But the Bible itself does not make that claim.

II Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..."

The Bible claims to be two things here. First, it is inspired by God and therefore must be true. Second, that the purpose is to teach doctrine, etc, for the purpose of instructing man how to be righteous. Nothing about being a scientific textbook.

Narrative - Now we get to whether the Bible is applicable to the creation versus evolution debate and I say that it is applicable because it is inspired by God and therefore must be true. The book of Genesis is a narrative inspired by God, a narrative that relates the beginning of all things and then also specifically the people of God from Adam up to the death of Joseph. The beginning of Genesis is an account of the beginnings of all things from the point of view of the Beginner Himself.

The creation narrative in Genesis tells a story that agrees remarkably well with the evidence found in the earth's rock layers and fossils. Creation scientists use the account in Genesis as a guide as they study the earth and the cosmos. They don't depend on the Bible for their evidence, just a guidebook to help them accumulate the evidence. So the Bible is useful to scientists but is not in any way a scientific text.

Some creationists have come to that position from outside of Christianity and the Bible but have simply concluded that the evidence found in the real world demands a Creator. Some are believers who see that a Biblical viewpoint fits the evidence better than that of a Darwinist. Some are believers first who then begin to fit the evidence into their viewpoint. Then there are the Intelligent Design proponents who are not willing to accept the idea of a God but do acknowledge the need for a Designer of some sort whose nature they cannot define. There are many flavors of non-evolutionists and not all use the Bible as a resource at all.

My personal journey was that of an agnostic seeker of truth, a believer in evolution who found that both his spiritual and his scientific presuppositions just didn't hold water in the real world. I have come to the place of believer and creationist by being willing to learn, be wrong when I'm wrong and to keep an open mind about things.

Darwinists have accused me of being "childish" or a "believer in fairy tales" because I believe in creation and the God of the Bible. These are people who really don't understand faith, for one, and usually they are also the people who cannot bring themselves to consider the evidence presented to them with an open mind because they cannot allow themselves to even consider the supernatural as being real. They cannot readily conceive of God and prefer that God just not exist. Oddly, some of these same people will read astrologer's forecasts and scan the sky for UFO's.

People trust in things that they can neither see nor explain every day. How many travelers can explain the forces that allow a heavier-than-air 747 to rise into the sky and carry them to Chicago? Baseball fans blithely discuss curveballs. These two groups wouldn't know Bernoulli's Principle from the Coanda Effect but they believe the curveball curves and the plane flies. The workings of computers and the internet might as well be magic as it is technology to the average web surfer. I cannot put God on a microscope's slide nor define him in the form of an equation but I do still believe He is.

From my perspective, many believers in evolution appear to be like children who cover their ears whenever they hear the word "God" and simply refuse to allow the idea of God to reside in their heads. They cannot see Him or explain Him and therefore can simply put the idea of Him aside. There is trouble ahead, for I truly believe that the advance of scientific discovery continually uncovers evidence that makes the entire idea of evolution more and more an impossible position to defend. At what point will they see the bankruptcy of evolution as an explanation for the life around them and then at what straw will they then grasp? I wonder...

Malcom Muggeridge gets the last word: "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has."

In a related post, Mark talks about the reliability of the New Testament and relates that to the China-Google controversy. Or is it the other way around?


Hawkeye® said...

Good thoughts Radar.

I think I'm in sorta the same boat as you. I know that the Bible is not a scientific textbook (thank goodness). I mean, there are a lot of old scientific textbooks from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, that are TOTALLY obsolete.

It's amazing that the New Testament has been around for going on 2000 years and it's not obsolete. The Old Testament has been around from 3000 to 5000 years, and it's not obsolete either... So much for science books, eh?

Simon Peter said...

Radar, I'm all for clarity of the terminology (I am a geek after all), but what word would you have us use instead of theory? Hypothesis, according to the definitions of theory and hypothesis offered at Wikipedia would seem to be a better word.

Of course, where evolutionists are concerned, the term "big hairy wild guess" seems to better suite their methodology.


augurwell said...

Interesting to wonder about.

Intelligent Design and Evolution are both evident in Formula 1 racing and to me not theories.

Simon Peter said...

Augurwell: We use the term "evolve" quite freqently in the world of rapid application development as well, but it's generally accepted to mean the same as "intelligent design". (That being said, I have seen some systems that looked like they crawled out of the mud! :-)

Life has a sense of humour!

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Victor said...

Solomon wrote that science is impossible, even under the sun man cannot discover. My Bible says God intends to triumph over science because he takes them with their own skills. The Bible even predicts the first principle of science. It was invented by a pagan Greek and is denied by the Bible.

The Bible Vanquishes Science