Do Science and The Bible Mix?
The Bible and science are compatible with each other. The Bible makes no claim to be a textbook on science. However, when the Bible makes a statement touching any field of science it is scientifically accurate. Science and the Bible are like two locomotives running on parallel tracts, they never collide. None of the writers of the Bible include the spurious scientific beliefs of their day. Though Daniel was “skillful in all wisdom, endued with knowledge and understanding science” (Daniel 1:4), he did not record any of that Babylonian science in the Bible. Actually, the Bible condemns false science “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).
Yet, how do we deal with contradictions between science and the Bible? Conflicts come between theories which are not proven laws of nature. The theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory are in direct conflict with the Bible’s explanation of origins. The word “science” is from the Latin word “scientia” meaning “knowledge” or “to know”. A thing is scientific when it is known. Science really involves experimentation, observation and classification of facts. Evolution and the Big Bag theories are merely philosophies of how the world came to be and not scientific fact. Neither they or creation can be demonstrated or observed scientifically. Both must be accepted by faith.
Another reason for conflict is those religious doctrines that are not part of the Bible, but are mere theories invented by men. For example, it has been argued that the Bible teaches the universe is geocentric (earth-centered) instead of heliocentric (sun-centered). However, as demonstrated below, the Bible teaches just the opposite. Some understood the phrase “the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12) to be Biblical proof that the world was flat during the days when the explorers were first trying to sail around the world. Yet even today the phrase is still used to refer to the four points of the compass (north, south, east and west).
The language of the Bible was popular not scientific. It used the common vernacular of everyday man and not the technical jargon of a specific science. Furthermore, the Bible language is phenomenal meaning “pertaining to appearances”. For example, the Bible as well as modern man uses “sunrise” and “sunset” though neither of these terms are technically accurate. Remember, it is perfectly scientific to speak of things as they appear and not always as they are in fact.
The Bible’s scientific accuracy demands an explanation. Not only are there no contradictions between true Biblical doctrines and genuine scientific teaching, but the Bible is also pre-scientific. It runs ahead of the scientists. The fact is, the same God who created this universe is the same God who wrote the Bible. God superintended the writing of the Bible to keep it from making scientific mistakes. Although other books written ages ago contained outdated facts about science, the Bible is never obsolete. It is a book which is new and modern, even though it is old and ancient. Nature’s Laws (which science is just now discovering) has the same author as the Bible, therefore, the two “books” cannot be contradictory.
Consider a few examples of the scientific precision of the Bible.
▸ Basic Principles of Science
The famous British philosopher, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) stated that there are only five basic scientific principles: time, space, matter, force, and motion. This is what all else in science is based on. In the very first verse in the Bible, we find: “In the beginning [time] God [force] created [motion] the heavens [space] and the earth [matter]” (Genesis 1:1).
▸ Suspension of the Earth in Space
Job said over 4,000 years ago that God “… hangs the earth on nothing” (26:7b). Ancient man did not know this. Egyptians said it was supported by large pillars. Greeks said it was supported by Atlas’ shoulders. They didn’t tell us on what Atlas was standing. Our astronauts have taken beautiful photographs showing that it literally rests “upon nothing”. Job did not reproduce the science of his day.
▸ The Hydrologic Cycle
The Mississippi River, when running at normal rate dumps approximately 6,052,500 gallons of water per second into the Gulf of Mexico. Where does all that water go? The wisest man, Solomon explains “all the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:7). Later he gives greater detail: “if the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie” (Ecclesiastes 11:3). Even the prophet Amos enlightens us as to the hydrologic cycle “He who builds His layers in the sky, and has founded His strata in the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth– the LORD is His name” (Amos 9:6). As far back as Job the process of rain is explained, “for He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man” (Job 36:27,28).
Not until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the experiments of Pierre Perrault and Edme Mariotte did modern man comprehend this law of nature,
▸ All Nations Of One Blood
As Paul stood before the Athenians upon Areopagus he said “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). Scientist can tell between animal blood and human blood, but not between the races of men. Transfusions can be given from one race of men to another without trouble. If all men descended from one man, they would all have the same blood. All ape and monkey blood falls in the category of animal blood, not human. Nor is there a category of half-human or half-animal blood. Therefore, the scriptures harmonize with medical science, but evolution which declares man descended from monkeys or apes does not. Evolution does not provide any answers.
The points mentioned above are just the beginning. The Bible also demonstrates scientific foreknowledge about static electricity (Jer. 10:13); air having weight (Job 28:25); stars are said to give off signals indicating radio astronomy (Job 38:7) light is a particle for it has mass, a photon (Job 38:19); light can be split up into component colors (Job 38:24); lighting and thunder are related (Job 38:25); Arcturus and other stars move through space (Job 38:32); plants use sunlight to manufacture food (Heb. 11:3); etc.
It is amazing the Bible is so accurate in all these sciences. Even in our own time most of the books which discuss science are outdated by the time they go to the press. The writers of the Bible such as Moses and Job could not have known these things of themselves. Their cultures were not advanced enough scientifically. The only logical explanation is that God revealed these Laws of Nature to them as He revealed His Spiritual Laws.
Though no one discusses whether or not the writings of Aristotle, Plato, Homer, and other early writers are scientifically accurate because the answer is so blatantly obvious, men are still discussing whether or not the Bible is scientifically accurate which is a tribute to the Book of books in itself.
– Daniel R. Vess