This blog is the first in a series of three titled: God’s Black Box
DOES SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE AGREE?’
Side note ‘ An aeroplane’s black box, which is coloured orange, contains the last two hours of cockpit conversation and the flight data recorder.’ Information including airspeed, altitude, vertical acceleration and fuel flow. All this info is collated and used in the event of an accident to diagnose the cause. (1)ref
Before we start, a quick review.
Here are some of the scientific discoveries about the universe which are uniquely referred to in the Bible. (with one of the scriptural references)
1. The universe of space, time, matter and energy had a beginning. ( Genesis 1.1) (The Big Bang)
2. It did not emerge from within its own space, time, matter and energy. (Hebrews 11.3) (space-time theorems)
3. It continues to expand from its beginning (Isiah 40.22,42.5) (space-time theorems)
4. It operates according to a set of unchanging physical laws (Jeremiah 33.25) Astronomers have established the constant laws of physics which underpin the universe.
5. The law of decay (energy degradation or entropy) is prevalent. ( Romans 8.20-22) ie referred in science as the law of thermodynamics.
For thousands of years, the Bible stood alone in identifying these 5 features. Today astronomers and physicists have established the truth of all five. (2) ref
In this blog, I will deal with the creation of days 1-5.
When most people pick up the Bible they read Genesis as a creation text.
Written over 3500 years ago, the author has written it grammatically and chronologically and It reads like a historical account of actual events.
Many go on to say. “I can’t believe the Bible because science contradicts the Genesis account.”
However, in recent times the scientific record of the creation events has aligned with the Genesis account.
Also, what people have failed to realise is that there are other creation texts within the 66 books of the Bible and within these over two dozen extensive texts that deal with creation. When these are integrated they deepen our understanding of these events.
“But no one’s interested in what the Bible or Genesis says anyway!” I hear a few of you say.
“Really? ” Here are a few opening chance conversations between sceptics and Christian astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Hugh Ross.
While flying on one of his many journeys Dr Ross opened his laptop to do some work on his next presentation and the following conversation occurred.
Peering over his shoulder the man exclaims…
“How can you believe the Bible when everyone knows the Bible says the earth is flat?”
“Where does it say the earth is flat. ”
“I don’t know. “
“Well, it doesn’t say that the earth is flat but would you be interested to learn that Genesis has the creation accounts in the correct scientific order.
“Really, what do you mean?” and another conversation…
Overlooking Dr Ross’ shoulder the flight attendant asks, ” Do you mind if I ask you some questions? I’m very interested in what you’re working on.”… Before the end of the flight, people were bending over seats and moving into the aisle to listen to the conversations, ask questions and exchange business cards. And another conversation…
“While convalescing in hospital after surgery, I spent nearly all my waking hours answering questions… on the Big Bang, the first eleven chapters of Genesis, human exceptionalism, the fossil record and the creation texts elsewhere in scripture. Not just from clinicians, but five different chaplains visited me and brought their questions too.” The Chaplains believed that science had exposed multiple errors in the Bible concerning the creation account. (2)ref
It is interesting to note that it has only been since the evolutionary theory posed in the last century appeared, that the hostility toward an old earth view has surfaced. Early church leaders held no strong views for either. While the current debate between an old earth view and a young earth view exists. This hasn’t always been so prevalent.
In 1561 a Protestant document was agreed upon by the wider Protestant community called the ‘Belgium confession’ in which was stated (article two) “that the record of nature and the Bible provide trustworthy and reliable revelation from God, giving testimony to Gods attributes and handiwork.” (3)
More recently, it is with a similar intent that Jewish physicist and author Gerald Lawrence Schroeder pursued his studies of cosmology which gave him the view that scripture and the record of nature concur with modern scientific discoveries that present an old earth foundation. (4)
JP Moreland philosopher, theologian and apologist, in the book ‘Three Views on Creation and Evolution.’ said, “To believe that the Bible allows for millions of years is not something forced on the text from the outside. One can make a strong case for Biblical ambiguity regarding the age of the Earth without any references to geology or astronomy.” (5)
Michael Guillen, Christian physicist in his book ‘Amazing Truths, How the Bible and science agree,’ reiterated this view. Other influential Christian leaders who hold an old earth view include C.S Lewis, Francis Schaeffer Jack Hayford, Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson, William Lane Craig, Dr James Montgomery Boice, Nancy Pearcey and John Ankerberg.
Nowhere in the Bible is a definitive number put on the age of the earth. Although it’s antiquity is inferred. Theologians use different references and historical associations to come up with a view. Here is one view that is supported by scientific evidence.