Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ten Questions: Number Four

Question #4: Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense? You have a college degree, so you know what I'm talking about. You know how science works. You happily use the products of science every day: your car, your cell phone, your microwave oven, your TV, your computer. These are all products of the scientific process. You know that science is incredibly important to our economy and to our lives.

But there is a problem. As an educated person you know that the Bible contains all sorts of information that is total nonsense from a scientific perspective.

    - God did not create the world in 6 days 6,000 years ago like the Bible says.

    - There was never a worldwide flood that covered Mt. Everest like the Bible says.

    - Jonah did not live inside a fish's stomach for three days like the Bible says.

    - God did not create Adam from a handful of dust like the Bible says.

These stories are all nonsense. Why would an all-knowing God write nonsense? It makes no sense, does it? So you create some type of very strange excuse to try to explain why the Bible contains total nonsense.


First, "anti-scientific nonsense". Whenever you have a particularly acrimonious debate, it is usually a consequence of a failure to define terms. When "science" has been defined in a strictly material sense, an a priori elimination of the supernatural, then any reference to divine intervention--whether it happened or not--will be anti-scientific. If, for the sake of argument, we assume that God created, by this definition it would be anti-scientific despite being a historical fact. What if we define science much more strictly: "observation → induction → hypothesis → test hypothesis by experiment → proof/disproof → knowledge"?

If we accept that, very tight, definition of science, evolutionary origins science becomes "anti-scientific nonsense". Why? Because we cannot observe what has already happened. With regards to the past, the series then becomes "observation of what exists in the present → induction of what happened in the past → hypothesis → inability to test, as it has already occurred → failure of scientific method." See It's not Science? for more on this theme.


Second, the examples of scientific progress given above are a result of the Baconian scientific method, as also given above. A failure to accept evolution would not prevent the development of the microwave.


Third, examples:

- God did not create the world in 6 days 6,000 years ago like the Bible says.

Why not? Imagine you are an omnipotent God. Would it strain you to create the universe in 6 days? Not if you're omnipotent. It would not strain you to create it in six seconds, or milliseconds, or with no passage of time at all. Why did God take so long? He did it as an example for us: Exodus 20:11 "
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." If you want more, see The Parable of the Candle and How Old is the Earth?


- There was never a worldwide flood that covered Mt. Everest like the Bible says.

First, probably not Mt. Everest, because Mt. Everest probably didn't exist. The problem with a global flood is that it is so many degrees of magnitude above anything we've experienced that it is almost inconceivable. For example, if catastrophic subduction was the physical cause of the Noachian flood, if would mean that almost every geological feature we see today is entirely different than the pre-flood conditions.

Second, Christianity depends on there being a worldwide flood, because God promised that he would never send another such flood (Genesis 9:11, 15). Since there have been countless partial and regional floods since then, if it was not a global flood, God has lied endlessly.

Third, if there had been a global flood, we would expect to find, as Ken Ham said, "Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth." Surprisingly enough, that's what we find. Evolutionists cannot permit a flood of such scope, even though it would eliminate many geological problems, because such a flood would have created most of the geological column.


- Jonah did not live inside a fish's stomach for three days like the Bible says.

I cannot say it as well as they can, but this also questions the ability of an omnipotent God. A God capable of creating the universe is surely capable of keeping someone alive inside a fish for three days.

- God did not create Adam from a handful of dust like the Bible says.

As opposed to creating him on an oxygen and ozone free planet, when
CO2, CH4, NH3, and H2 were in heated water (from a shallow water vent), and struck by lightning, and then followed by an appropriate introduction of minerals and metal ions. Suddenly, the handful of dust doesn't look that farfetched.


In sum, it is anti-scientific only if the definition of science is expanded to include historical induction and expanded again to include an a priori exclusion of divine action. If historical induction is left to the historians, origins science is no more scientific than creation science.

Back to the Ten Questions

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can Omniscient God
who knows the future
have the omnipotence
to change his own future?

the answer is no.
If you don't allow this to be posted then will have proved all athiests right. (Not that Darwin hasn't already)

4:24 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Can a God outside of time,
For whom time is meaningless,
Have a future,
Or a past?

The answer is, God is.

I allowed this to be posted because the question is meaningless.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

I've written a full post on your comment, so what readers I have will see your comment as well.

I hope you keep commenting. Blogging is more fun with someone critiquing posts.

10:25 PM  

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