Are the Bible and Science compatible? It is certainly a fair question.
The idea that science is not compatible with the Bible has often persuaded people that Bible-believing Christians are ignoring basic observational science to believe the creation account of the Bible. However, we would not dispute the findings of observable, testable and repeatable data. It is in the field of historical science and the study of origins where the disagreements arise, as assumptions are used to hold a theory together – it is these assumptions are primarily based on the observer’s worldview. Worse still, it is when “assumptions” are framed as “facts” that it becomes misleading.
Although we are not scientists, we love science and believe immense value comes from studying the world around us. However, can science ever answer questions about the purpose or significance of our universe? Let’s look at some of the incredible evidence…
Beliefs arising from the knowledge of our existence has changed with time due to the information available. Long-held beliefs that the Earth was the centre of the universe were proven incorrect with Copernicus’ theory showing the earth, and all the planets, orbiting the sun. Thanks to the Hubble telescope we can see far into our universe and study amazing photos taken of distant stars and galaxies. Now we can see there are billions of galaxies, each made up of billions of stars, with our own Milky Way galaxy having over 100 million stars.
A cursory look at our planet in such a big universe could initially cause us to agree with Carl Sagan “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.”.
But are we a “lonely speck”, here just by chance, part of a big accident? Or is there something special about our planet Earth and its position in our galaxy?
The search for habitable planets continues but still nothing has been found that vaguely matches Earth’s unique features. Scientists are still learning and the list of factors needed to provide the conditions for a habitable planet keeps growing. The typical list has about 20 conditions, including:
- Within Galactic Habitable Zone
- Orbiting main sequence G2 dwarf star
- Protected by gas giant planets
- Within circumstellar habitable zone
- Nearly circular orbit
- An oxygen-rich atmosphere
- Correct mass
- Orbited by large moon
- Magnetic field
- Plate tectonics
- Ratio of liquid water and continents
- Terrestrial planet
- Moderate rate of rotation
These are not insignificant small details, without any one of these we would simply not be here!
Our atmosphere has the correct combination for complex life and water.
The habitable zone in our solar system is narrow; 5% closer to the sun – temperatures rise to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, 20% further from the sun – carbon dioxide clouds would form in the upper atmosphere.
If Earth was any smaller the magnetic field would be weaker and allow solar winds to strip away our atmosphere. Earth would become a dead barren place like Mars.
We can witness a perfect eclipse of the sun, many factors are needed for this. The sun is 400 times bigger than the moon and the sun is 400 times further away from the moon are two – a coincidence?
We are the only planet with a transparent atmosphere.
Our own solar system is in a special position in the Milky Way Galaxy, in what is called the Galactic Habitable Zone. We are placed in the best position for discovering more not only about our Galaxy but also other galaxies. We could not be in a better place for scientific discovery!
Our world appears to be finely tuned piece of apparatus.
There are many factors necessary for a habitable planet, the probability of all the factors for a habitable planet is 1 x 10(15) (1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000). It is simply not plausible that this happened by chance.
Are you feeling special yet? You should do, we are in a special place!
The world we live in is screaming that it was the product of design and intelligence. Everything is created for us to not only live but also to discover! It is not luck, we did not win the cosmic lottery! We are here with reason and purpose. That is certainly not to say the world is perfect – however, it is clearly designed.
The human body
We observe huge diversity and immense complexity when we examine the workings of the human body. Most of the mainstream media and popular science will tell us that “molecules-to-man” evolution provides the explanation for the origin of human life. For us to make an informed decision we need to look at evidence before accepting this claim.
Charles Darwin argues that “All life was the product of undirected natural forces”, meaning that our existence originated from a common ancestor with numerous, slight modifications giving us all the diversity we observe across humanity. This is known as natural-selection but has quickly been used to explain far more than it can actually prove. Natural selection does explain the diversity we see in humanity and as well as the diversity we see across other species – however, it does not explain the staggering complexity we see in the human body. Neither does it or can it explain the origin of life itself. The problem is that assumptions have been subtly added to the observable evidence of natural selection to lead to the theory of evolution – that one form of organism gradually changed into another through natural selection (eg. fish became birds). Ultimately we end up at the point where we are informed the human body is the result of random, chance and unguided modifications that originated from its simplest form as a simple single cell. We are going to discover that single cells are anything but simple!
For example, Darwin’s studies on the Galapagos islands included the observation of many types of finches and he was perfectly placed to watch “natural selection” in action. He observed generations of finches adapting to their changing environment for survival. Only the finches with longer beaks survived in rocky terrain (where they could reach food sources in between the rocks) whilst the finches with longer or shorter beaks could survive in less rocky terrain. What this phenomenon with the finches show is that through many generations of finches, the ones that were surviving on rocky terrain with longer beaks were LOSING genetic information instead of gaining it. Over many generations of finches, the genetic information for having short beaks would slowly weaken as it was no longer needed until a point was reached where shorter beaks would no longer be possible. The finches moved from a point where they could have either long or short beaks to ONLY being able to have long beaks i.e. genetic information is lost, not gained! In addition to this, they ALWAYS remained finches – they did not mutate into some other creature.
Today we have the technology to see the human body in microscopic detail. This was not possible in the 19th century when Darwin was studying. Darwin himself even made the following statement that evolutionists keep hidden:
Darwin had no access to the tools for the detailed observation that we have at our disposal today. The amazing complexity of even “basic” organisms was an unknown quantity at that time. But even though we now have this, the theory of evolution is widely accepted and even promoted as the truth and proven fact, which is not what the evidence shows!
Our body consists of many amazing features that provide functions, e.g. the eye, which itself is made up of many individual parts. But if any of these individual parts are not present then the eye would not function – this is known as irreducible complexity. When looking into the cells in our body they are full of miniature molecular machines, molecular trucks that carry supplies from one end of the cell to the other. Machines that capture energy from sunlight and turn it into usable energy. Machines for hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling. One example is Bacterial Flagellum.
Bacterial Flagellum is a rotary motor (image shown on the right) and contains all the parts you would expect in any motorized device but this has even more capability! Its features include:
- Drive shaft, propeller, motor
- Self assembly and repair
- Water-cooled rotary engine
- Speeds of up to 100,000 rpm
- Forward and reverse gears
- Ability to stop within a 1/4 turn and change direction!
There are many protein parts required for this motor to operate – if any are missing then it simply would not work. How do we build this system gradually with natural selection? This video shows the self-assembly of the bacterial flagellum and it in action. While you watch this, ask yourself where the instructions (or information) came from to put this together:
It has irreducible complexity i.e. multi-component parts that ALL need to be present for it to function. Remove a single part and the function of that system is lost. Natural selection does not explain the “creation” of the bacterial flagellum, it only explains bacterial variation after the bacterial flagellum exists!
Evolutionists would say the power of natural selection is underestimated and that the flagellum motor could have been constructed from parts used to build simpler molecular machines. This is known as co-option. The flagellum motor has 40 structural parts, 10 of them are similar to parts in other molecular machines but the remaining 30 are unique so where were they borrowed from? And how were the simpler parts built in the first place?!
Even more complex is the assembly instructions, which opponents of irreducible complexity argument never address. As the video shows there is a precise sequence of assembly, constructed from the inside out. Co-option does not explain this. When you open the bonnet of a car and look at an assembled motor engine – are you naturally inclined to suspect that it simply found it’s a way there by chance and had no designer?
We have looked into only one molecular motor but there are many more, each has all the qualities and evidences of a design.
Proteins do all the jobs within the cell and each cell is made up of thousands of different types of proteins. They can be structured together to form bigger constructions. Each protein is made up of amino acids that need to be arranged in a precise way to perform a function, an arrangement is critical or a protein will not be formed.
DNA stores the instructions for sequencing these amino acids. DNA contains instructions to build every protein within an organism. Which is why the chemical code inside DNA is known as the “language of life”. The first proteins could not have existed without these genetic instructions.
What is the source of the biological information in DNA?
Darwin tried to demonstrate how the branches on the tree of life originated, how natural selection could have modified existing organisms to produce the diversity we see now. But Darwin did not even cover the origin of the first living cell his Origin of Species!
Evidence shows the replication process of natural selection actually reduces information an organism has instead of increasing it. Natural selection cannot and does not explain the staggering complexity of life, it explains the minor changes within a species, but not the origin of the organism itself. If genetic information is lost through natural selection, there must have been a higher amount of information/complexity at the beginning which is impossible for Darwinian evolution to explain. But more fundamental than this, natural selection could not have existed before the function of the first cell, it can only act on the organisms replicating themselves. Without DNA there is no self-replication. Without self-replication, there is no natural selection. So natural selection cannot be used to explain the origin of DNA! In fact, this strengthens the case of those that believe in a creator.
Looking into the inner workings of a single cell is simply mind-boggling, the video below shows a glimpse of life in a cell. The finely tuned apparatus working together is compelling evidence of a designer and the evidence speaks for itself.
There is no entity in the known universe that stores and processes information more efficiently than the DNA molecule. But where did the information come from in the first place? There is no naturalistic cause that produces information – the presence of intelligent design is the only plausible explanation.
There are some scientists that accept that Darwinian evolution does not explain how life began. They acknowledge the complexity in the cell and some go on to say there must have been something that caused the information to come into existence. Richard Dawkins admits “nobody knows how life started, we know the kind of event it must have been, that must have happened for the origin of life, an event caused the origin of the first self-replicating molecule. No idea how it started.”.
Dawkins, also stated:
The signature has been discovered – DNA is no secret. This is why DNA has become known as the language of life as it contains the instructions to construct all living organisms. Dawkins believes that there could have been a higher intelligence but that this intelligence must have originated through the same evolutionary processes before it and so on, continually going back forever. Other scientists believe that all the complexity of the cell began as a result of crystals….somehow! Or that life was seeded by aliens many years ago. Basically clinging to any far-fetched theory as long as it denies the existence of God the creator.
There is abundant, clear evidence for an intelligent, amazing mind that created us and the universe we live in. God has given us overwhelming proof of His existence that is often overlooked completely. He has revealed Himself through the creation and verified Himself through prophecy. It is a proud heart that prevents many from accepting Jesus Christ as their saviour:
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)
You can believe in God AND be an exceptional scientist. More importantly, evidence should always, where possible, be looked at without a biased worldview and it should be recognised that some things will fall outside the boundaries of scientific exploration anyway. The failure to recognise this makes the pursuit of scientific discovery arrogant and foolish:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm 14:1 NIV)
It is foolish because denying God is not something that can be done rationally or logically as a result of simply following the evidence. It is an emotional reaction to a preconceived view that forces the evidence to fit around it.
In fact, the Bible contains many scientific facts that were written centuries before we even discovered them! These include:
- The Earth is round (Isaiah 40:22) – discovered in 15th Century
- Earth is held in place by invisible forces (Job 26:7) – discovered in 1650
- Infinite number of stars exist (Genesis 15:5; Jeremiah 33:22) – discovered in 1940
- Earth’s weather follows rules and cycles (Genesis 8:22) – discovered by Galileo around 300 years ago
These alone should be cause to consider what the Bible has to say! But this article contains more Scientific Facts in the Bible.
Science is a virtuous pursuit and the discoveries we are making about the universe and our bodies are breathtaking. But it is essential to understand the differences between historical and observational science. The observation of immense complexity is now available for everyone to see, we can make our own conclusions. Society in many areas is telling us that there is no God – are you prepared to take the risk and believe them?
All of the evidence points an intelligent designer, it all points to God.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NIV)
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3 NIV)
Look up to the skies at night and know that every star you see, and the billions you cannot, have names:
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 147:4 NIV)
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26 NIV)
In our current fallen state, it is difficult to comprehend everything as our vantage point and perspective leaves us very limited. One day we imagine we will be able to understand the universe fully when we meet our Creator and possibly see every part of it – what an amazing thought. But only those who know Jesus as their Saviour will get that freedom!
Look at the human body and know we are created in His image:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26 NIV)
Human beings are unique among all of God’s creations. The human body displays amazing evidence of God’s power. We do live in a fallen world, the original design has been corrupted but, as we are told in Scripture but it will soon be corrected. In the meantime, all credit and praise should be given to our Creator!
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)
Does the evidence show the hallmark of a Creator to you? There is no conflict between observable science and scripture. If anyone studies the evidence unbiasedly we see that the Bible and science are 100% compatible. You have the freedom to make your own decision – distraction and influence will come at you from every angle but it is what you believe in your heart that matters! Be prepared for judgment day – How to be Saved!
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NIV)