Science versus The Bible – Fair Fight?
When I write I like to spill ink in an effort to discover the meaning of a given Biblical passage. I like to attempt to answer the question, “what did God intend for us to understand when He inspired human authors to put pen to parchment in the form of the Holy scriptures?” I have become genuinely disinterested in persuading people to my way of thinking. Over the years I have discovered my own lack of ability to convince people of the truth. I find it much more rewarding to allow the scriptures to speak. If I can do anything to lend clarity to the message of God’s Word without altering it, then I can claim success. It is incredibly fulfilling to study a passage of scripture, revealing the truth it communicates. This is why I write. I am truly delighted by the Word of God and wish to share my discoveries with others. Although often tempted, I refrain from using the medium of the written word to enter into debates. I leave that to others more disposed and hopefully qualified.
If what I said above is normal for me, then today is a bit of a departure from normal. I want to discuss declarative assumptive language. More accurately, I want to discuss a particular declarative assumptive statement with which you may be familiar. First let me define what I mean by declarative assumptive language. Simply put a declarative statement is positing a truth claim. Said another way, it’s declaring something to be true. Assumptive language is constructing the statement in such a way that the hearer/reader is expected to simply assume the statement to be true. No evidence of the statement’s truthfulness is offered by the person making the statement. Declarative/assumptive language is not inherently good or bad.
The statement I want us to consider at its root is actually just a phrase used in the construction of various sentences. The phrase is Science versus the Bible. One way the phrase has been formed into a complete thought is, “the discussion of Evolution versus Creation is really a matter of science versus the Bible. Fact versus Faith.” Several Biblically based scientific organizations have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that the Bible has never been proven to be scientifically unsound. It has never been Science versus the Bible. But I’ll leave that argument to others.
Although the statement might have been uttered by an evolutionist, it really is all secularists that consider the concept of Science versus the Bible to be foundational to their beliefs, or should I say foundational to their decision to not believe the truth claims of the Holy Bible. What if we were to put Science and the Bible in the ring? Would there be a clear winner? Would the contest be close?
In our society today Science is assumed to be the final authority in any conversation. One internet definition of the word Science is, “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
Two words jump out at me in the above definition. The words observation and experiment. According to the above definition science is a study founded upon the concepts of observation and experimentation.
The Bible declaratively and assumptively communicates that God created the world in Genesis 1. We have an eyewitness (God) relating the events of creation to a human author (Moses) who then penned the narrative in the first chapter of Genesis. I should point out here that science does not have the monopoly on declarative and assumptive language. You’ve probably picked up on it but when the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” it is using both declarative and assumptive language. Genesis 1:1 both declares and assumes a few things. The verse declares and expects the reader to accept (assume) the existence of someone named God, that this person named God created, and that when God created was in something called the beginning.
This thing called science, which most of the world believes is the finally authority, does not submit a conclusive argument for creation. It submits several differing ideas for the beginning of the universe. But why is this the case? If science was the final validator of a truth claim, then why has it allowed multiple postulations on the creation of the universe? Certainly not all the scientific posits for the creation of the universe can be true at the same time. The very nature of truth is its exclusivity from all other non-truths. In other words, there can only be one true explanation for the creation of the universe.
Science, according to the above definition really has no business declaring how the universe was created because it is based on observation and experimentation. No scientist was around to observe creation taking place nor can one experiment in order to draw conclusions.
I feel compelled to point out I have been talking in terms of what science does or doesn’t do. But the truth is science is not capable of doing or not doing anything. Science can no more declare something to be true than mathematics can construct a building. An Architect or builder may use mathematics to make calculations, but it is man the erects the building not math. In the same sense it is the scientist, not science itself that declares something to either be true or false. Additionally it is important to establish that the scientist in every case is a man or a woman.
To be fair the same needs to be applied to the Bible. It also is not capable of making truth claims. It is simply a written record of truth claims made by an author. That author, as recorded in the Bible, is none other than God speaking through human authors.
If we get down to the most atomic construct of the phrase “Science versus the Bible ” we discover it really is “Man versus God”. Stated another way, the matter of evolution versus creation really is the difference between what God has told us versus what man has concluded.
In my opinion God is the final authority, not the scientist. God wins every time.