Is science the true god of the Bible? Many Christians seem to think so. Please note that in this chapter we’ll be talking about cosmology and evolution (in more detail in their own chapters), not empirical (testable) science and engineering.
True science is the pursuit of understanding our world, but when it comes to claiming something is a scientific fact, certain procedures are required, called the scientific method:
If something is not a naturally-occurring phenomenon and cannot be tested via the scientific method, then no theory about it can be called scientific.
A past event, such as the Big Bang or abiogenesis, cannot meet the standard required to call itself a scientific theory, much less a fact. So such theories are mere philosophical assumptions and guesses. Investigating the past is in the realm of probability and is highly subjective. In fact, science prides itself on its instability, since what it theorizes today may be abandoned tomorrow. So pseudoscience is the only thing that really evolves, since interpretation of data is according to the philosophical bias of the interpreters. And by the way, since it’s always changing, its defenders shouldn’t get upset when people disagree with current theory.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines cosmology as:
(emphasis mine; also note that cosmogony deals only with the origin of the universe)
Given the definitions of empirical science and pseudoscience, which should cosmology be classified as? Metaphysics is not physics; doctrine is not observation; relationships among entities in a hypotheical realm (space-time) is not observation of the natural realm. In fact, so-called space-time is conceptually impossible, since nonphysical entities cannot be bent or considered a physical dimension— and if not physical, then not scientific. The scientific method is bound entirely by naturalism, which by definition must exclude the nonphysical or supernatural. Since space-time is nonphysical, then it cannot even be a scientific theory.
If we accept that the Bible is inspired by God, then it must follow that the Bible is not false and does not teach (rather than merely report) inaccuracies. So let’s take a look at the cosmology presented by the Bible, in Genesis 1, Job 38 and 40, and Joshua 10:12-14. Context is everything, and these contexts, while sometimes poetically expressed, never paint a picture of the universe that matches modern cosmology.
Without getting into the details of a debate over the size of the universe or shape of the earth, consider these questions in light of how scripture presents them:
evening and morning, the __th day?
wandering(the meaning of planet). On what Biblical basis do we believe that
planetsare not stars?
Should the Bible bow to an unstable patchwork of guesses and philosophy? Do we trust God or man? The Bible has passed every test of its claims about history, so why do we not trust its claims about nature, which God created? Instead, we try to force-fit scripture into the latest philosophical framework, or dismiss it as allegory or
theological messaging. Who is really our God? Who is the the most trustworthy source of truth and fact? Scripture must be read in context, so if the context is historical narrative rather than moral lessons or wisdom literature, we must take it as factual. And if current claims of scientific fact don’t match, we can only hope that someday those claims catch up to reality.