Do science and scripture contradict each other? The answer may surprise you!
|It has often been said that science and the Bible conflict with each other and that religion in general is incompatible with scientific realities. Yet, science can prove the existence of God, even though many scientists would resist the urge to do so. There are three ways that science can testify to God’s existence, by emphasising the fundamental laws of physics in the universe, by refuting the alternative explanation to creation, and by confirmation of divine revelation contained in the Bible. I will cite some of the evidence for each of these facets further on in this article.
But first, I would like to pose an important question. Why is it necessary for science to provide this proof when the majority, yes the majority of scientists in the world are already convinced of God’s existence? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Today at least 80% of the scientists who deal with biology would probably admit that biology and life are regulated by some higher power”. Furthermore, according to the science journal “Nature”, “Almost 40% of biologists, physicists and mathematicians surveyed, believe in a God who not only exists, but also listens to and answers prayers”. There are also many scientists who would not admit to belief in a creator simply because of peer pressure and the adverse effect it may have on their careers.
The most famous scientists in history, Newton, Einstein, Kepler, Galileo, all believed in a creator. Why do all these scientists already accept as a fact that God exists? The answer is…. evidence. From the complexity of biological organisms to the infinite size of the cosmos, they see the clear shout of “design”!
But on to the evidence. The fundamental laws of physics known to man are a secure measuring rod for what he sees around him. We can rely on gravity, magnetism, the nuclear forces, etc. to regulate life around us. Those same forces testify to the existence of a lawmaker, a designer. For example, the 1st law of physics is “Matter can be neither created nor destroyed”. We know from Einstein’s formulae (E=MC2) that energy can be converted into matter and vice versa. But matter cannot be created by any known phenomenon. This leaves a predicament for those that deny the existence of a designer and creator of the physical universe namely, how did matter come to exist? It wasn’t too long ago that scientists generally denied that the universe had a beginning. This placed them in a smug and safe position where they were able to deny any reason for invoking a creator. However, with the introduction of the powerful radio telescopes of the twentieth century, this was proven to be a false premise because the universe was found to be expanding. Now scientists generally agree that the universe did have a starting point. The question is, what started it?
A simple equation can be used here to demonstrate the obvious conclusion;
Question - did the universe have a beginning? Answer – yes.
Question - was it caused?
Newton discovered many laws of physics, one of the most notable was the law of motion, cause and effect. Newton established that, for every effect, there must be a causal agent. So the next answer in the equation is - yes, it was caused.
Question - was it caused by something or someone?
Something would defy the 1st law of physics previously stated. Someone is more interesting. Design requires intelligence, supreme design, as seen in the complexity of the cosmos, requires supreme intelligence. When an engineer designs and programmes a computer, it is hard-wired to a system of routines and subroutines. It cannot act outside of those routines because it was not designed to. However, if the designer of the machine decides to, he can re-write the computer’s programme to perform a new function. Furthermore, the computer is unaware of the programmer’s control over it because it is an inferior form and is not sentient. The designer is not restricted by his own programming laws and he is able to operate in a sphere of influence unknown to the computer. The point is that, the only remaining possible explanation for the beginning of the universe (not to mention it’s complexity and beauty) is a designer who is outside the laws of his own creation, like the computer programmer.
The 2nd line of evidence is the proof that any alternative explanation for life on earth is not scientifically sound. Those scientists that object to the idea of God usually believe in biological evolution and the spontaneous generation of life. They often demand evidence for a creator, placing those who believe in a creator on the defensive and burdening them with the task of proof. Yet these scientists conveniently conceal the fact that their own version of how life arrived on earth has been proven to be scientifically impossible.
For example, evolutionists claim that life began in a “pre-biotic soup” when the earth was covered by water. But there are major problems with this theory. For this to happen, evolutionists claim that there could not have been any free oxygen in earth’s early atmosphere. But with oxygen in the air, the first amino acid would never have got started; without oxygen, it would have been wiped out by cosmic rays. Beneath the surface of the water there would not be enough energy to activate further chemical reactions; water in any case inhibits the growth of more complex molecules.
More damming evidence comes from Dr. John Rosholt of Miami University, working with Dr. Cesare Emiliani. They worked out an age prospectus based on minuscule amounts of uranium which have settled to the bottom of the seas as proactinium 231 and thorium 230. Uranium requires thousands of years to decay, and, by testing amounts found in sediment on the ocean floor, the so called warm period of the earth can be determined. Their tests show that, if man came from the sea as a two-legged fish, or as an ape, it took place 95,000 years ago. The time is too short for the fish (or ape) to have evolved into a two-legged man with a will of his own and the ability to impart knowledge to his young. In the universe, 95,000 years is nothing.
Commenting on the possibility of life originating by chance, Professor William Thorpe of the zoology department of Cambridge University told fellow scientists: “All the facile speculations and discussions published during the last ten to fifteen years explaining the mode of origin of life have been shown to be far too simple-minded and to bear very little weight. The problem in fact seems as far from solution as it ever was.”
Regarding the probability of such an event, Astronomer Fred Hoyle asserts, “If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated [spontaneously] on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court.”
Added to the above is the fact that the geological strata actually show a sudden explosion of fully formed life forms instead of gradual, partial life forms evolving through the geologic periods. This fact prompted biochemist D. B. Gower to comment, as related in England’s Kentish Times: “The creation account in Genesis and the theory of evolution could not be reconciled. One must be right and the other wrong. The story of the fossils agreed with the account of Genesis. In the oldest rocks we did not find a series of fossils covering the gradual changes from the most primitive creatures to developed forms, but rather in the oldest rocks, developed species suddenly appeared. Between every species there was a complete absence of intermediate fossils”.
Zoologist Harold Coffin concluded: “If progressive evolution from simple to complex is correct, the ancestors of these full-blown living creatures in the Cambrian should be found; but they have not been found and scientists admit there is little prospect of their ever being found. On the basis of the facts alone, on the basis of what is actually found in the earth, the theory of a sudden creative act in which the major forms of life were established fits best”.
Finally, Bryant Lecomte du Nouy, the first scientist to apply mathematical formulae successfully to the statement of biological laws gives mathematical formulae to show that “Inorganic matter acting in accordance with it’s laws could not have created even a single molecule of protein, let alone a living organism with powers of reproduction.” So insurmountable are the problems with the theory that life originated from non-living matter, that some of the top scientists who support Darwin's ideas have been forced to resort to absurd new theories of alien beings visiting the earth and “seeding” the life forms on it! Others have postulated that the first living organism was formed in space and then reached the earth. These theories though present new problems. Space is a vacuum without oxygen and it is exposed to severe levels of radiation. Furthermore, any matter that entered the earth's atmosphere would be instantly destroyed.
Now we begin to see the scientific reality presented by the evidence; namely, that biological evolution is physically impossible. Now most reasonable people would agree that there are only two possible explanations for life on earth and that these explanations are opposed to each other, evolution or creation. If the one is impossible, then the other must not only be possible but, it must be the scientific explanation. The evolutionist challenge has been met and, it has been met by science, not religion!
The last line of scientific evidence that proves the existence of God comes from an unusual, and unexpected source. Most ancient documents, particularly religious ones, are embarrassing when compared to modern scientific discoveries. There is, however, one exception to this…. the Bible. Science confirms what the Bible says about the origin of life and about life itself and the earth. The following are scientific facts stated in the Bible, thousands of years before scientists confirmed them through direct experimentation or observation. As you read the following statements from the Bible, ask yourself, “who gave these ancient writers this information“? The Bible contains the following;
The opening statement in the Bible that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” was ridiculed for centuries because scientists believed that the universe was infinite in size and age, with no beginning. Only in the mid 20th century was it finally established as a fact that the universe did in fact have a physical beginning. Add to these the facts that the Bible successfully lists all the geologic stages for the formation of life on earth, in their correct order and that the Bible states that life is formed from the “dust” (the chemicals found in the soil), this is while contemporary sources tell of mythological gods being split apart, turtles carrying planets on their backs and mankind being made from blood clots.
It is generally accepted now that the earth was in darkness at the outset and the surface was liquid, just as the Bible says (Genesis 1.2). The Bible then goes on to state that the waters were brought together and land appeared. This is further explained in the 104th Psalm, verse 6 where it says “The waters were standing above the very mountains.” Then in verse 8 it tells us that “Mountains proceeded to ascend.” We know from geologic studies that mountains did, in fact “ascend” in the past, due to tectonic plate movements in the earth’s crust. The correct order of life’s various elements requires light, an atmosphere, land, plants, sea life, land animals and, finally, mankind. This is the order that Genesis lists creation. It has been estimated that to simply guess this order, without the scientific knowledge to refer to, would be against odds of 1 in 3,628,080 yet, the Bible writer Moses correctly lists these stages. How?
Going back to the origin of the universe and Einstein’s formulae, the Bible states at Isaiah 40.26 that God creates things “Due to the abundance of dynamic energy” (remember energy = mass times the speed of light squared and, in reverse, energy is the productive agent for the material universe).
The Bible refers to the shape of the earth being a “circle” or “sphere” (Isaiah 40.22). It describes the water cycle in great detail, long before it was known (Ecclesiastes 1.7). The Bible acknowledges that the earth is “Hanging upon nothing” (Job 26.7)
Regarding health matters, the Bible has been recognised by many in the the medical world as offering the best medical advice available. Some of the advice was given thousands of years ahead of the medical world confirming it’s accuracy. For example, the Israelites were commanded to bury their waste, a habit which would have saved millions of lives during the middle-ages and beyond. The Bible instructs people not to touch anything dead and, if they did, to quarantine themselves for a period of time to avoid contamination. The Bible links physical health with mental health when it states that “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism” (Proverbs 14.30). It is medically recognised that stress and anger can cause rises in blood pressure, arterial changes, respiratory trouble, liver upsets, changes in the secretion of gall, effects on the pancreas. Anger and rage, as strong emotions, have been listed by physicians as contributing to, aggravating, or even causing such ailments as asthma, eye afflictions, skin diseases, hives, ulcers, and dental and digestive troubles.
The date of circumcision was stipulated as the eighth day of life, the optimum day for vitamin K levels in the blood which aid clotting of the blood.
“Hence God had a deep sleep fall upon the man and, while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and then closed up the flesh over it’s place.” This is the earliest reference to anaesthetic ever, long before medical practice incorporated such a procedure. Adam would logically be left with one less rib than the woman. Men would have one less rib than women. Scientists have discovered that the rib bone is the only bone in the human body which can be regenerated, thereby replacing Adam’s lost rib. The Bible writer named the correct part of the anatomy that God could use without affecting the physical appearance of the man.
The Bible advises quarantine for people suffering from contagious diseases (Leviticus 13.4). This was contrary to the practices of the nations around them and thousands of years ahead of modern hygiene procedures in hospitals and during outbreaks of disease. The Bible also instructed people to bury their excrement away from the community, this was at the same time that some nations around them were actually using human excrement to treat illnesses! (Deuteronomy 23:13).
Only with modern medical cameras and procedures have experts begun to view the human body in great detail and understand it’s functions, yet, over 3,000 years ago the Bible described God as “Seeing even the embryo of me” and that God has all human “Parts down in writing” (Psalm 139:13-16). This confirms what geneticists now know, that life is coded in DNA in a specific language that ensures cell reproduction.
The Bible states “The soul (life) of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11- 14). Modern medical knowledge confirms that all nutrients, oxygen and healing properties are in fact bound up with the blood. It is, in a very literal sense, “The life of the soul” (the living person).
Using poetic language to warn of the consequences of causal sex, the Bible says that to put oneself in such a risky position can result in “An arrow that cleaves open his liver and he has not known that it involves his very life” (Proverbs 7:21-23). It is a medical fact that, in the later stages of the sexually contracted disease, syphilis, a persons liver is severely damaged and can be fatal.
Under the Mosaic law recorded in the Bible, God forbade the consumption of certain animals. Among those not allowed as part of their diet were the predators. Modern scientists have discovered that, in the digestive system of animals that prey on other animals, there is a build up of certain toxins. These toxins are not harmful to the animal itself but, if a human being were to consume these creatures on a regular basis, they would become ill.
Jesus, himself a healer (by the power of God), urged “Those that are sick should seek a physician.” The Bible distinguishes between physical ailments, Palsy, leprosy, dysentery, fever etc. and other more sinister causes of illness.
It is science that validates the Bible’s statements and corroborates the things it says as reality. Now consider some further scientific truths contained in the pages of the Bible.
“When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God (spirit beings) began shouting in applause” - Job 38.7. This account describes the moment of the creation of the stars, the physical furnaces for production of all life.
Zoologists have spent hundreds of years studying the natural world and learning about (and from) other creatures. Yet the Bible shows amazing insight into some of the secrets of nature, thousands of years before experts became aware of them. For example, the Bible lists the Hare as a “Chewer of the cud” (Deuteronomy 14:7). This refers to the multi-chambered stomach that is used to regurgitate food for re-chewing. For years, the Bible was ridiculed by experts who insisted that the hare was not in this group of animals. Only in more recent years has it become an established fact that the hare is, in fact, a chewer of the cud.
Consider the Bible’s account of the stork. Solomon describes the stork as one which “Well knows it’s time to migrate” (Jeremiah 8:7). Again, ornithologists have only confirmed in recent years, by direct observation and data, that storks do, in fact, migrate.
The Bible says of ants that they “Have no leader” (Proverbs 6:6,7). Only today, with modern investigative techniques, have experts confirmed that ant colonies do not follow any individual member and that they are not given any instructions to operate in the amazingly efficient way that they do. In fact, it is still somewhat of a mystery to many scientists how ants co-ordinate their efforts in such an organised and efficient way.
In the very first chapter of the Bible, written over 3,500 years ago, it describes animals as reproducing “According to their kinds.” Many have doubted that this is a fixed genetic law and have tried, in vain, to produce new species from others. Despite hundreds of years of experiment and millions of pound beings spent on research, experts have finally had to concede that it is biologically impossible to produce an animal outside of it’s group or “kind”. Cell multiplication is rigid and unyielding to intervention and this simply confirms the Biblical, scientific truth that animals can only reproduce “According their kinds”!
It is interesting to note that nowhere in the Bible are there found any old wives tales or superstitions, the like of those quoted by all civilisations contemporaneous with the Biblical times and even in more recent centuries.
It is difficult to explain how the Bible writers knew all these scientific realities, if one denies the input of the creator of life. The Bible itself says that “Men spoke from God, as they were born along by holy spirit” (God's power) (2 Peter 1.20,21).
Added to this are the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies (history told in advance) in the Bible. These include worldwide events, even up to our day.
Surely the facts just discussed are a compelling reason to consider the Bible as a “supernatural book” from our creator.