Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Beginning and the Ending: Science Book

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch PDFBy

Some skeptics say about the Bible, "The Bible is not a science book, so we cannot take seriously what it says about scientific matters."

It is true that the Bible is not a science book, but it is also true that when the Bible speaks about scientific matters, it speaks with authority and truth. In fact, it would be impossible for the Bible to contradict true science because God is the author of both.

Below are listed some examples of scientific truth that can be found in the Bible, and these examples are only a few of those that could be cited. All these scientific principles were expressed in the Bible long before they were "discovered" by scientists.

  1. The earth is a sphere suspended in space (Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:7)
  2. Atmospheric circulation (Eccl. 1:6)
  3. Ocean currents (Psalm 8:8)
  4. The hydraulic cycle (Isaiah 55:10)
  5. Life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11)
  6. The First Law of Thermodynamics (2 Peter 3:7, 13) — this is the law of the conservation of mass and energy that was not discovered until 1850.
  7. The Second Law of Thermodynamics (Romans 8:21) — all of creation is in bondage to decay. (Also discovered in 1850.)
  8. Basic laws of hygiene (Leviticus 11-15)

Regarding the final point above, the basic laws of hygiene outlined by Moses in the book of Leviticus were far superior to anything practiced in ancient times, whether in Egypt or anywhere else.

During the period of the Great Plague in Europe in the 14th Century, the Jews were often blamed for it because their infection rate was far less than the general public. But their seeming immunity was due to the practice of the Mosaic laws of hygiene. (Keep in mind that this was a time in history when people took baths only once a year — and then, only if they really needed one!)

To further illustrate how far ahead of science the hygienic laws of the Bible were, consider the incredible story of Ignaz Semmelweis.11 He was an Hungarian doctor who was practicing medicine in Vienna in 1847 when he noticed the high rate of infection and death in the obstetrics ward. He observed that the doctors were performing vaginal exams after having done autopsies. Assuming they were transferring something from the dead bodies, he suggested they start washing their hands after completing the autopsies. This resulted in a dramatic improvement, but the idea was still rejected by the medical community as nonsense. He died before the germ theory of disease was developed in the 1860's by Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.12


So What?

Some of you may be thinking at this point, "So what? What difference does it make how the Genesis record of Creation is interpreted?"

Let me assure you that it makes a lot of difference.

For one thing, the integrity of the Bible as the Word of God is at stake. For example, if we cannot believe what the Bible says about the Creation, then how can we believe what it says about the Resurrection? Or what it says about the return of Jesus?

And that brings me to the ending of the Bible.


In the last part of this series on the beginning and the ending of the Bible, I'll look at why the ending of the Bible — Bible prophecy — is so spiritualized.


Notes

11) Wikipedia, "Ignaz Semmelweis," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis.

12) Wikipedia, "Germ theory of disease," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease.

1 comment:

John OEC said...

Dr. Regan, You claim that only the young earth viewpoint is Biblically-based. Psalms 93:1, 96:10 and 104:5 and 1 Chron. 16:30 literally say that the earth does not move. Also, in Joshua 10:12-13, Joshua asks the Lord to stop the sun from moving, not the earth from rotating. So, the most literal interpretation of these versus would cause us to support a geocentric viewpoint (that everything revolves around the earth). So, do you ignore the scientific findings that prove that the earth orbits the sun or do you support a non-literal interpretation of these verses? If you do not support the literal interpretation of these verses, why do you insist that the "literal" interpretation of Gen 1 and 2 is the only correct interpretation despite the ponderance of scientific evidence that the earth is billions of years old? Why the double-standard? One day, the Church will admit that it misinterpreted “yom” in Gen 1 and 2 as being literal 24-hour days (just as the Roman Catholic Church admitted 200 years later that Galileo and Copernicus were right about the earth orbiting the sun). Unfortunately, in the meantime, many lost people are rejecting the Gospel because they think the Bible is inaccurate since very vocal Young Earth Creationists insist the earth is only thousands of years old. YEC is keeping many away from the saving message of the Gospel. It is hurting the cause of Christ. -- So, why do you insist on a literal interpretation of Gen 1 & 2, but not of the verses listed above? Why the double-standard? I agree with you on 99% on everything else, but on this one topic, you are unfortunately both dead-wrong and very vocal. --
BTW, there are many of us who believe in an old earth, but reject evolution based on true, unbiased science. Romans 1:20 tells us that we can know God based on His creation and Daniel 12:4 says that in the last days (now) that knowledge and travel will increase. However, YECs act like man still doesn’t know hardly anything and that man cannot learn from observing God’s creation (if it contradicts the YEC interpretation). --
One more thing (although I could write pages in response to your article “The Beginning and The Ending”): Christians agree that God is not limited by time, however, the evidence indicates that He chose to use the Big Bang to initially create everything (let’s not ignore Romans 1:20). And we CAN observe the remaining cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang event and look into the past via telescopes and see the galaxies much closer together than they are today. We can see the past up to 380,000 years after the Big Bang event because it took billions of years for the light to reach us if we are looking at stars billions of light years away from us. God is not deceptive; He did not create light en route. And He is not stupid; He did not create the sun a day after He created the plants, causing the plants to freeze to death seconds after they were created. The Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek of the Bible are inerrant, not the six 24-day misinterpretation that is being justified by the YECs through their pseudoscience.