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Science or the Bible?

Discussion in 'Evidence & Prophecy' started by Chad, Jun 18, 2009.

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  1. Science or the Bible?
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    Ever heard one of these claims? Perhaps you’ve even said one yourself. Over the years, we’ve heard them all—but they’re all false, or at least they imply a falsehood.

    Common claims by non-Christians:
    “Science proves the Bible is wrong.”
    “Evolution is science, but the Bible is religion.”
    “Evolutionists believe in science, but creationists reject science.”
    Common claims by Christians:
    “I believe the Bible over science.”
    “Creation is religion, but evolution is religion, too.”
    “Creationists believe in the Bible and reject science.”
    The Bible’s account of beginnings cannot be tested in a laboratory, so secular scientists—and even some Christians—believe it is not science and must be classified as religion.

    Secular scientists claim that their view of beginnings (evolution) can be tested in a laboratory, so their view is scientific. For instance, they point to mutated fruit flies or speciation observed in the field (such as new species of mosquitoes or fish).

    But this is where many people are confused—what is meant by “science” or “scientific.”
    Before we get caught up in a debate about whether the Bible or evolution is scientific, we have learned to ask, “Could you please define what you mean by science?” The answer usually reveals where the real problem lies.

    Defining Science

    People are generally unaware that dictionaries give a root meaning, or etymology, of science similar to this one from Webster’s: “from Latin scientia, from scient-, sciens ‘having knowledge,’ from present participle of scire ‘to know.’”

    And most dictionaries give the following meaning of the word: “the state of knowing: knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.”

    Although there are other uses of the word, the root meaning of science is basically “knowledge.” In fact, in the past, philosophy and theology were considered sciences, and theology was even called the “queen of the sciences.”

    But over the past 200 years, during the so-called Scientific Revolution, the word science has come to mean a method of knowing, a way of discovering truth. Moreover, many people assume that modern science is the only way to discover truth.
    To help people clear up the confusion, we have found it helpful to distinguish between two types of modern science, and compare how each one seeks to discover truth:

    1. Operation science uses the so-called “scientific method” to attempt to discover truth, performing observable, repeatable experiments in a controlled environment to find patterns of recurring behavior in the present physical universe. For example, we can test gravity, study the spread of disease, or observe speciation in the lab or in the wild. Both creationists and evolutionists use this kind of science, which has given rise to computers, space shuttles, and cures for diseases.

    2. Origin science attempts to discover truth by examining reliable eyewitness testimony (if available); and circumstantial evidence, such as pottery, fossils, and canyons. Because the past cannot be observed directly, assumptions greatly affect how these scientists interpret what they see.

    So, for example, how was the Grand Canyon formed? Was it formed gradually over long periods of time by a little bit of water, or was it formed rapidly by a lot of water? The first interpretation is based on secular assumptions of slow change over millions of years, while the second interpretation is based on biblical assumptions about rapid change during Noah’s Flood.

    The Nature of the Debate

    At this point, most people realize that the debate is not about operation science, which is based in the present. The debate is about origin science and conflicting assumptions, or beliefs, about the past.

    Molecules-to-man evolution is a belief about the past. It assumes, without observing it, that natural processes and lots of time are sufficient to explain the origin and diversification of life.

    Of course, evolutionary scientists can test their interpretations using operation science. For instance, evolutionists point to natural selection and speciation—which are observable today. Creation scientists make these same observations, but they recognize that the change has limits and has never been observed to change one kind into another.

    Until quite recently, many geologists have used studies of current river erosion and sedimentation to explain how sedimentary rock layers were formed or eroded slowly over millions of years. In the past few decades, however, even secular geologists have begun to recognize that catastrophic processes are a better explanation for many of the earth’s rock layers.

    Also during this time, creation geologists have been identifying evidence that points to the catastrophic formation of most of the rock record during the unique global Flood of Noah’s day.

    These present-day observations help us to consider the possible causes of past events, such as the formation of the Grand Canyon. But operation science cannot tell us with certainty what actually happened in the past.

    After we explain these two types of science, people usually begin to recognize the potential problems with the statement “evolution is science, but the Bible is religion.” Molecules-to-man evolution is not proven by operation science; instead, it is a belief about the past based on antibiblical assumptions.

    The Bible, in contrast, is the eyewitness testimony of the Creator, who tells us what happened to produce the earth, the different kinds of life, the fossils, the rock layers, and indeed the whole universe. The Bible gives us the true, “big picture” starting assumptions for origin science.

    Different Histories

    Thus, creationists and evolutionists develop totally different reconstructions of history. But they accept and use the same methods of research in both origin and operation science. The different conclusions about origins arise from different starting assumptions, not the research methods themselves.

    So, the battle between the Bible and molecules-to-man evolution is not one of religion versus science. Rather, it is a conflict between worldviews—a creationist’s starting assumptions (a biblical worldview) and an evolutionist’s starting assumptions (an antibiblical worldview).

    The next time someone uses the word science in relation to the creation/evolution controversy, ask him first to define what he means. Only then can you begin to have a fruitful discussion about origins.

    Proven Facts

    Let us be clear. Accurate knowledge (truth) about physical reality can be discovered by the methods of both operation science and origin science. But truth claims in both areas may be false. Many “proven facts” (statements of supposed truth) about how things operate (in physics, chemistry, medicine, etc.), as well as about how things originated (in biology, geology, astronomy, etc.) have been or will be shown to be false. So, as best we can, we must be like the Bereans in <cite class="bibleref">Acts 17:11</cite> and examine every truth claim against Scripture and look for faulty logic or false assumptions.

    Which Worldview Is Correct?

    There are many ways to test the accuracy of the biblical worldview against naturalistic atheism (the worldview that controls most origins research). When our research is based upon biblical truths about the past, we find that our interpretations of the biological and geological facts make sense of what we see in the real world, whereas evolutionary interpretations don’t really fit what we see.

    Let’s look at an example. The Bible says that God created distinct groups of animals “after their kind” (see <cite class="bibleref" title="Genesis 1">Genesis 1</cite>). Starting with this truth of the Bible as one of our assumptions, we would expect to observe animals divided into distinct groups, or kinds. Creationists postulate that our creative God placed phenomenal variability in the genes of each kind, so there could be considerable variety within each kind. But the preprogrammed mechanism for variation within the kind could never change one kind into a different kind, as evolutionists claim and their belief system requires.

    Ken Ham is the founder and president of Answers in Genesis-USA. He has authored or co-authored many books concerning the authority and accuracy of God’s Word and the effects of evolutionary thinking, including Genesis of a Legacy and The Lie: Evolution.

    Dr. Terry Mortenson earned his doctorate in history of geology from England’s University of Coventry and his M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is a popular writer, speaker, and researcher for Answers in Genesis-USA.


    Both creationist scientists and evolutionist scientists have religious (or faith) components to their scientific models about origins. Yet both types of scientists are equally capable of doing both operation science and origin science.

    Operation science, whether done by an evolutionist or a creationist, has benefited mankind in many ways, particularly through technology. Creationists have contributed greatly in this area of science, including nineteenth-century physicists Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell, and more recently Dr. Raymond Damadian, who invented the MRI imaging used by medical doctors (see here).

    In origin science, creationists are discovering many things that honor the Creator’s wisdom and confirm biblical history.

    Visit Creation scientists and other biographies of interest for a list of creation scientists.


    Photo courtesy Fonar Corp.

    Dr. Raymond Damadian is a young-earth creationist who is also credited by many as “the man who invented the MRI scanner.” He has received numerous awards for his work and in 1989 was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  2. Here is my personal opinion. I believe when we try to 'prove' the Bible with science, we're giving some kind of higher authority to science over the Bible, although unintentionally. Science is just worldly wisdom, sometimes it may be right and sometimes wrong.

    There are so many things in the Bible that are foolishness to the scientific world. They can be understood only if the Spirit of God reveals it to them. That is why even gospel is foolishness to them but for them that believe, it is the power of God.

    "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21).

    I mean if you look at the Scriptures, most of the things it says are contrary to what science says. We cannot reconcile Scripture with science and in some cases even if we can, we don't need to and may be we should not!

    1 Timothy 6:20 *"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:"

    People who teach apologetics often quote 1 Peter 3:15 saying we should be ready to give answer scientifically, logically, etc., But that is not what the verse is saying. Please see the context:

    1 Peter 3:13-15 "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

    The passage is simply saying in the midst of suffering and persecution, be always be ready to give "REASON OF THE HOPE that is in you". Peter is telling us that we have hope and that hope is ridiculous in the eyes of the world (like coming of our Lord, resurrection, changed to glorified bodies, etc.,). The only "reason" that we can give for such a blessed hope is Christ (his death, resurrection and promise of His return). That is why even Paul says, "Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:22).

    It is THAT reason (Christ) that we should be giving when people ask about our hope. It is not scientific reasoning nor logical reasoning.

  3. One more thought about Science / Religion / Faith:

    The Bible gives the definition of Biblical faith:

    Hebrews 11:1 ¶Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    The scriptural faith is not just belief but that faith itself is an EVIDENCE of things not seen. It makes two things clear.

    1. The faith that we have is UNSEEN
    2. The evidence of that unseen things of faith is faith itself. That is true faith includes action which will be an evidence to others.

    To elaborate on point# 2, take Noah's example. When God told him that there would be rain, he believed even though he has NOT SEEN such a thing. And the evidence of whether or not he has truly believed was his MAKING (an action) of the ark as commanded by God. That ACT was sufficient evidence that rain would come. Please see Hebrews 11:7.

    Suppose on judgement day, the people of Noah's time could ask God something like this: "We had never seen such a thing as rain and Noah preached (2 Peter 2:5) about it, but how are we suppose to believe"? And I would imagine, God would answer, "Noah didn't see that as well but when I told him about rain, he was moved with fear (Heb 11:7) and started building the ark. That is sufficient evidence to believe it was going to rain!"

    So my point is, Christianity is NOT a religion, rather it is unique faith, which has evidence in itself. And that kind of faith doesn't need worldly scientific approval.

  4. Science vs. God

    Don't worry when people try to "validate" the Bible with Science. That is not something for Christians to do -- but it is a common step in the journey of the modern Gentile -- for what idol stands greater today than man's own "wisdom?" Even money is nothing more but a thing supposedly acquired as the result of man's knowledge and manipulation of the world around him.

    If the Bible is true at all, it only follows that *some* of it will continue to stand as "true" when held against what science claims to know so far. This is because all of our science is nothing more than man's observation and classification of how God runs His universe. The closer to correct we get it...the closer it mirrors the truth depicted in Scripture.

    Pure science is *supposed* to be nothing more or less than an observation of the way things are. Granted in most fields we no longer have science like that -- and in any case it will always be only as accurate as the perceptions of those observing it. As such, expect a lot of science to be like Balaam and his donkey -- the donkey (the DONKEY!) could see the angel blocking its path but Balaam could see nothing. However, a scientist who is also a man of God after the order of Melchizedek may very well be able to one day write out the mathematical expression that defines our Lord's creation of ... everything.

    Rather than be angry with those youngling Gentiles who just have to have some kind of scientifically verifiable experience in order to even be open to the possibility of God, let us be thankful that our Lord is merciful enough to provide a few bread crumbs even to the likes of these ever-so-prodigal children.
  5. This is what I am warning against. Why are we so obsessed with science? Why does God's creation have to be expressed in "mathematical expression"?

    Even if there are areas where science and the Scriptures are inline with each other, why do we need to be so excited when an inferior science is inline with the Scriptures (or vice versa)?

    Is it because we want to give some kind of evidence to the unbelievers to they can believe (because they see science approves Scriptures)? If anyone believes BECAUSE of any 'scientific proof', I'd say it is not true belief/faith. True Biblical faith in gospel HAS TO BE FOOLISHNESS to the world. If we somehow make the gospel 'presentable' by bringing Bible inline with science (or vice versa), it is not true gospel, neither the believer of THAT gospel is a true Christian.

    God bless!
  6. This is the wrong way to look at it.

    It should not be Science or the Bible. The Bible is God's Word and cannot be compared with anything else. Science is developed by man and even though it may be inspired by God, again it is totally different.
  7. #7 davidm, Jul 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
    TRUE and sincere science will always end up showing us more about the glory of God, because God didn't made things "randomly". Everything in His creation has a reason to be, mathematical functions and equations are found everywhere in nature, and true science will not so much prove God (that will never happen, otherwise the Bible wouldn't make such a strong point about faith) but just show us how awe inspiring, beautiful and perfect His creation is.

    Also, science is not a creation of man. God is the creator of all things, and He's also the creator (and the source) of all science and knowledge... the TRUE science of course, not the counterfeit "science" that dominates our world and tries as hard as it can to take God out of the equation (and fails every time, but people are generally too blind to notice).

    The Bible says that all creation sings the glory of God (I couldn't find the exact passage right now, but it's something very similar to that) so Christian science is to observe how the universe works and then recognize those observations for what they are: the result of God's glory. This is not the same as foolish and irrelevant man's wisdom (that would be "knowledge" that does not include God), and it's also not the same as trying to find a proof for God's existence in order to convert those that don't believe, because science will never be a source of faith in God (His Word is), but for some people, it can help to remove some stumbling stones out of the way.

    Speaking for myself, when I was trying to return to God after 5 years of living with my back turned against Him, I found myself with a lot of doubts in my way, many related with the false "scientific knowledge" that I absorbed during those 5 years, and Christian Apologetics\Science played a big part in removing some of those doubts that where in the way of my faith (but, again, it's not the source of my faith, that's a different thing).

    All things said, there's nothing wrong with Christian science (it should actually just be called science, because God is the source of ONE science, not many, but considering that fake ignorant "knowledge" is also considered science I guess we need to add the "Christian" to separate the true science from the other one). As an example from the Bible, Luke was a man of science (medicine).
  8. Isnt there a possibility there is something to both the Bible and science? If evolution is right, that doesnt mean God is wrong. God would still be the creator of all things, but it would be nearly the translations and interpretations of the bible over time that might have caused difficulties in modern understanding.
  9. Hi Zimm,

    Regarding evolution please check this out:

    Regarding Accuracy of the Bible Over Time:

    As I mentioned before to you, check out these sites also:

    CARM - Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
    Answers in Genesis - Creation, Evolution, Christian Apologetics
  10. That is exactly what happens if you give "science" more weight than Scriptures. The gentleman above is saying Bible could be wrong BASED ON so called science! The entire apologetics thing is nothing but undermining the authority of the Scriptures.

    I don't know what the true meaning of science is, but the "science" as we see today is nothing but OBSERVATION of certain things and coming to a conclusion BASED ON PATTERNS.

    Ecclesiastes 8:17 *"Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it."

    And the Bible clearly warns us to AVOID being concerned about the "oppositions of science falsely so called" (1 Timothy 6:20)

    It is like God's saying something (through Scriptures) and we're like "Lord, let me ask our scientists to make sure what you're saying is right, if they approve it, then I'll believe you"!

  11. The term "science" is a very broad definition which applies to alot of things. Surely, there are both good science and bad science. Science have helped alot in bettering the living conditions of mankind when it comes to treatment of the various illnesses we can be infected by.
  12. What is science?

    The strange thing about this argument of "science or God" is that when people are asking this question, they're really saying, "evolution or God". Science has nothing to do with it.

    There are two sciences - true, literal science and entrenched science. True science is a way for man to understand better the world and universe that he lives in. It is a methodical practice that takes countless hours of observations and tests to arrive at sometimes very rudimentary solutions or laws. Even those laws - that have been arrived at so meticulously - have been seen to have been broken at intervals.

    Then there is entrenched science, which is unproven or even disproven theories that, for whichever diabolical reason one wants to believe, have become platforms for the ungodly. Strangely, the same crowd that calls creationists "flat-earthers" are exactly that. Like the "flat-earth" crowd of Galileo's day, evolutionists sadly hold to a disproven theory much like an animal carrying its dead young - unwilling to admit its demise.

    But unlike that pitiful creature, evolutionists have used their fantasy to simply launch repeated attacks against God and His people. They've not used their religion for anything good or anything of value. Where true science has nothing to do with proslytizing or philosophy, evolution - true to form - has become everything a full-formed religion could ask for: 1) faith - faith in an outrageous, lunatic number of odds strung together to form an even more incredible equation. 2) Priests - evolutionary "scientists" who can't even agree amongst each other how old anything really is, or how life truly began, or what evolved into what and how. 3) Laymen and clergy - mindless sheep of men who simply read the newspaper for "truth", unwilling or uncaring to discover anything beyond what the media tells them, even if they know deep down it's a bald-faced lie.

    True science will prove God as far as you trust your senses. Do you look at the world and say, "wow, what a major mistake! Ain't it beautiful?" or "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork"?
  13. I've known of a few that believe the Big Bang was just God's awesome power creating the universe and I tend to agree with them. Logic says something of that magnitude had to have an intelligent force behind it.

    Also, take children or pets who were neglected and just fed but were not given what we refer to as love. If we are not loved when we're developing, we end up screwed emotionally. God means for us to be loved, it's a universal necessity so doesn't that say something?

    Overall, science and God don't contradict each other.
  14. Science can only discover what God in His wisdom has already put their for them to use.

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