Search This Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Can science and Christianity mix?

I have heard people claim that Christians are "anti-science". Since so many great scientists past and present have been Christians, this is a ludicrous and stupid charge. Why do people say such things? It is largely due to the evolution versus creation debate. Since the majority of Christians do not accept evolution, they are bane to evolutionists. Since Christians like to point out flaws in the idea of evolution, they are therefore a challenge to evolutionists who adhere to the hypothesis primarily due to their worldview rather than the evidence available.

Let's be clear, Christians are not anti-science and neither is the Bible. A great hydrologist who recently passed away, Dr. Henry Morris, compiled a list of Bible references that illustrated an understanding of scientific principles or special knowledge of things not yet revealed to mankind at the time of the writing. Here is that list:

(Compiled by Dr. Henry M. Morris, Defender’s Bible)

Science

Phenomenon or Process

Scripture


Hydrology


Hydrologic Cycle
Evaporation
Condensation Nuclei
Condensation
Precipitation
Run-off
Oceanic Reservoir
Snow
Hydrologic Balance
Springs in the Sea


Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 55:10
Psalms 135:7; Jeremiah 10:13
Proverbs 8:26
Job 26:8; 37:11, 16
Job 36:26-28
Job 28:10
Psalms 33:7
Job 38:22; Psalms 147:16
Job 28:24-26
Job 38:16

Geology

Principle of Isostasy
Shape of Earth
Rotation of Earth
Gravitation
Rock Erosion
Glacial Period
Uniformitarianism
Dinosaurs

Isaiah 40:12; Psalm 104:5-9
Isaiah 40:22; Job 26:10; Psalm 103:12
Job 38:12,14
Job 26:7; 38:6
Job 14:18,19
Job 38:29,30
II Peter 3:4
Job 40,41

Astronomy

Size of Universe
Number of Stars
Uniqueness of Each Star
Precision of Orbits

Job 11:7-9; 22:12; Isaiah 55:9;Jeremiah 31:37
Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22
I Corinthians 15:41
Jeremiah 31:35,36

Meteorology

Circulation of Atmosphere
Protective Effect of Atmosphere
Oceanic Origin of Rain
Relation of Electricity to Rain
Fluid Dynamics

Ecclesiastes 1:6
Isaiah 40:22
Ecclesiastes 1:7
Job 28:26; Jeremiah 10:13
Job 28:25

Biology

Blood Circulation
Psychotherapy
Biogenesis and Stability
Uniqueness of Man
Chemical Nature of Flesh
Cave-men

Leviticus 17:11
Proverbs
16:24; 17:22
Genesis
1:11,21,25
Genesis 1:26
Genesis 1:11,24-2:7;3:19
Job 12:23-25; 30:3-8

Physics

Mass-Energy Equivalence
Source of Energy for Earth
Atomic Disintegration
Electrical Transmission of Information
Television
Rapid Transportation

Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3
Psalms 19:6
II Peter 3:10
Job 38:35
Revelation 11:9-11
Daniel 12:4


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Evolutionists like to make fun of Bible-believers because we consider the first chapter of Genesis to be evidence. Yet the evidence that they begin with is nothing more cohesive than a desire to ignore that evidence with all their might. The Bible reveals an understanding of the nature of the Universe and the world well beyond man's storehouse of knowledge during the time of its writing, thus, this is evidence that it was authored by the God who created all things and knows those things intimately.

Although comment threads have had me chasing down rabbit holes, I am intent upon getting back to the underlying issues regarding creation versus evolution. I also want to go back and discuss more on global warming. The next posts will follow those two themes.

For those of you who are unsure of which side to take, this should be fun. I am going to challenge the evolutionists to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, in the next few posts as you will see. It should be fun!

10 comments:

Lava said...

I have heard people claim that Christians are "anti-science". Since so many great scientists past and present have been Christians, this is a ludicrous and stupid charge.

I think people who say that are really talking about YECs.

Why do people say such things? It is largely due to the evolution versus creation debate.

Since most of science is not evolution, and what you try to term operational science, then it really doesn't matter what a scientist believes.

Since the majority of Christians do not accept evolution,

I would like to see a link or citation here.

they are bane to evolutionists. Since Christians like to point out flaws in the idea of evolution, they are therefore a challenge to evolutionists who adhere to the hypothesis primarily due to their worldview rather than the evidence available.

ummm....can we get back to the topic of the anti-god, anti-christian modern scientific community which seeks to wipe god from the table. Almost all of your posts imply that the modern scientific community is either (1) ignorant, (2) dumb, or (3) brainwashed. I would love to hear more on your thoughts on this.

While the majority isn't always right, in this case it seems as though the YECs are operating under massive presuppositions and the scientists who make up the scientific community aren't.

Mazement said...

I skimmed through some of the verses, and I think that Dr. Morris is joking. Most of the verses I looked at are vague enough to be meaningless, or just stating the obvious.

Here are some examples:

Evaporation - Psalms 135:7 "He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries."

The ancient Hebrews were probably smart enough to figure some of this out on their own without God telling them. They might very well have noticed that water evaporates, and that lightning strikes usually happen during rainstorms.

The last bit is odd. The current scientific thinking is that wind isn't a discrete object. When the wind isn't blowing, it's not sitting off in a treasury somewhere waiting to be taken out and used.

Do you suppose that the wind really is stored in treasuries, and that the Atheistic Meteorological Conspiracy is keeping this a secret from the public? (Possibly in order to promote their nefarious global warming agenda?) Or maybe that verse was poetry, intended to be read as metaphor and not interpreted literally? (If that's the case, I wonder if other parts of the Bible might also be metaphor?)

Condensation Nuclei - Proverbs 8-26: "While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world." I don't see the connection. I guess you could describe condensation nucelei as the "highest part of the dust of the world", but the verse doesn't link the dust to rainfall, so there's no reason to believe that the author was trying to make that association.

radar said...

"ummm....can we get back to the topic of the anti-god, anti-christian modern scientific community which seeks to wipe god from the table. Almost all of your posts imply that the modern scientific community is either (1) ignorant, (2) dumb, or (3) brainwashed. I would love to hear more on your thoughts on this."

Isn't "wrong" good enough? My posts do not imply, they categorically state that the majority of the scientific community that opines concerning origins is speaking from their worldview rather than simply according to the evidence. I am not implying, I am saying this straight out.

You cannot get away from worldview when origins science is concerned. It is completely fundamental to the question. How hard it is for anyone to put worldview aside and look at the evidence alone! Why, because the evidence is such that one must bring assumptions into the mix in order to come to any conclusions - we cannot go back in time to view beginnings, nor can we run tests in the past, we can only go with what we are able to observe today and any historical documents/records that are available. It is my contention that creation is the more logical choice based on evidences.

"Since most of science is not evolution, and what you try to term operational science, then it really doesn't matter what a scientist believes."

Yes, in normal operational science the worldview rarely comes into the equation. I have argued that myself.

radar said...

"Do you suppose that the wind really is stored in treasuries, and that the Atheistic Meteorological Conspiracy is keeping this a secret from the public? (Possibly in order to promote their nefarious global warming agenda?) Or maybe that verse was poetry, intended to be read as metaphor and not interpreted literally? (If that's the case, I wonder if other parts of the Bible might also be metaphor?)"

We use the terms "sunrise" and "sunset." Do you or I really believe that the sun itself actually rises, or are we using terminology common in our culture?
Psalms are the written record of songs written by, primarily, David and Solomon that used poetic language and dramatic language and also adhered to some rythmic and rhyming schemes.

Lava said...

Yes, in normal operational science the worldview rarely comes into the equation. I have argued that myself.

Then why did you list scientists and their religion in an earlier post?

I don't think anyone here said that if you believe in jesus you can't do science.

radar said...

"Yes, in normal operational science the worldview rarely comes into the equation. I have argued that myself.

Then why did you list scientists and their religion in an earlier post?

I don't think anyone here said that if you believe in jesus you can't do science."

What has been said is that creation science is unscientific and that a creationist point of view is unscientific and I am addressing that fallacy.

Lava said...

What has been said is that creation science is unscientific and that a creationist point of view is unscientific and I am addressing that fallacy.


So posting scientists, who believed in creationism(most of them before there was even a competing theory), who made scientific discoveries that dealt only with what you term "operational science" shows that creation science is scientific?

radar said...

"What has been said is that creation science is unscientific and that a creationist point of view is unscientific and I am addressing that fallacy." (I said)


"So posting scientists, who believed in creationism(most of them before there was even a competing theory), who made scientific discoveries that dealt only with what you term "operational science" shows that creation science is scientific?" (lava replied)

No, I am saying the reverse, that you cannot say that believing in creation or being a Christian precludes you from being a scientist, even a great scientist.

Secondly, the whole evolution idea had been around for centuries without being expressed in the way Darwin expressed it (and he got it from his father, Erasmus). It was simply that few scientists took the idea behind evolution seriously. It was philosophical changes that drove the popularity of evolution, the sexual revolution, the rise of uniformitarianism, the writings of Marx and Nietzsche all combined to make Darwin's ideas more acceptable to 19th century man.

Most of us now realize that Marx and Nietzsche were full of it, that uniformitarianism is completely wrong and the sexual revolution has been detrimental to women and families...yet evolution lives on.

Mazement said...

We use the terms "sunrise" and "sunset." Do you or I really believe that the sun itself actually rises, or are we using terminology common in our culture?

It's interesting to think about how the terminology got started. Sunrise and sunset are pretty easy. From our day-to-day perspective, it looks like the ground is standing still and that the Sun moves above it. It's a "common-sense" description, even if it doesn't match reality.

The wind business is more interesting. I think it traces back to pagan days, when people thought that the winds were minor gods or spirits. If the wind god isn't in one place, then he must be somewhere else. It's a fanciful kind of story, but it shows up in myths and fairy tales and we can understand it intuitively.

I think the verse is playing off that. "He bringeth the wind out of his treasuries" isn't an attempt to explain the science behind wind; it's a poetic way of saying "The winds are subordinate to God."

But that puts Dr. Morris' claim on shaky ground. If we read the Bible, how can we tell which parts are valid scientific claims, and which parts are metaphors that don't describe reality? The only way to do it is to put the Bible aside, do the science, and then come back and see if the Bible agrees with it. If the Bible disagrees, then we have to assume that the verse is metaphor.

(The current scientific thought is that the first couple of books of Genesis are probably metaphor. They don't seem to describe the sequence of events by which God created the universe, but they might be a poetic way of explaining that God created all things.)

Lava said...

No, I am saying the reverse, that you cannot say that believing in creation or being a Christian precludes you from being a scientist, even a great scientist

I think this point is completely uncontested here.