Multiple discovered natural aspects are referenced throughout this paper from concrete sources which enhance the credibility of this research. Research sources include documentation from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which provides a solid reference for a popular theory that, although not yet proven to be a law, certainly raises eyebrows when considering scriptures that have been read for hundreds or even thousands of years. This intriguing comparison is noted throughout this paper in both the Old and New Testament books of the Bible.
Scientific Research Supports Biblical References in Scripture about Nature
Science and religion are often areas of intense debate because of dogmatic unwavering views from either side of intellectual discussions. Although there is often disagreement between scholars and well educated theologians regarding the validity of scriptures and why humans exist, this research exposes the possibility that both the knowledge of science and the understanding of scripture can reason together. This paper will not explore such controversial areas of faith and belief, but rather provides a fact based comparative view of scientific research and Biblical writings.
Scientists and Religionists Can Agree
Many respected writers and well-read publications have made a comparison between science and scripture. In an article written for USA Today titled “Creation ‘Science’ vs. Religious Attitudes” McCollister writes (1996), “most scientists would agree with pro-evolution religionists that, when properly understood, religion and science enhance and complement each other, but only if the means, aims, methods, and ground rules of each are clearly understood.” (McColloster, 1996). Ms. McColloster is a freelance journalist and editor of Voices for Evolution, her articles have been published by notable publishers such as the National Center for Science Education in addition to USA today. McColloster’s peer reviewed articles and view points are recognized as an authoritative unbiased source dedicated to education and science.
When two areas of study provide information about similar subjects, it is logical to consider the material from both sources in a methodical comparison. Although science provides information as to how nature exists and functions, and the religious point of view is a theological answer as to why creation exists, valid scientific support can be recognized when the context of each source is considered. Ernest Lucas (2005) wrote in the journal of science and Christian belief that “there is no incompatibility between the biblically-based classical Christian doctrine of creation and modern science, provided one understands the different levels at which science and theology work and the limitations this puts on each of them.” (Lucas, 2005, p. 140). In consideration of the credibility of Dr. Lucas’ publications, The Faraday Institute (2009) wrote that “Ernest Lucas has a MA in Chemistry from Oxford University and a PhD in Chemistry from Kent.” He then studied theology at Oxford and was ordained a Baptist, later obtaining a PhD in Oriental studies from Liverpool. “Lucas was Associate Director of the Institute for Contemporary Christianity in London before moving to Bristol Baptist College, where he is Vice-Principal and Tutor in Biblical Studies.” (The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, 2009). Ernest’s diverse background in science and religion provides an expert reference from both an educated scientific and religious point of view.
The levels of information and the methods by which scientific and Biblical knowledge is presented may often seem difficult to comprehend. In order to understand the rationalization for science and scripture coinciding together, it is necessary to begin with some questions.
- Are there documented scientific facts of nature that support scriptural references to “The Beginning” in the Bible?
- Is there specific scientific knowledge of natural characteristics that are evident in the Bible regarding the areas of matter, time, the weather, the Earth’s geology and human biology?
Science is a very diverse and in depth area of study and it would be seemingly impossible to cover every branch of research. As well, classic Biblical scriptures, some written hundreds of years ago, and others written thousands of years ago, all in different languages, make the Bible alone a vast area of study. In order to address this subject in a time efficient manner this research documents four basic areas of study. Research has revealed that scientific evidence supports Biblical accounts of the natural characteristics relative to the composition of the universe, the nature of time, the Earth, and human biology.
The Beginning: The Big Bang Theory Supports the Beginning as Written in the Bible
The first area of research to address will appropriately be “the beginning” of the universe and time itself. As each day passes the progression of time is evident all around, and the questions of when everything began, or has everything simply existed, has been a puzzle that scientists have researched for hundreds of years. Until recently there was only speculation and belief about a beginning of the universe.
In 2003 NASA revealed an amazing discovery about the beginning of the universe. Dan Vergano (2003) wrote in an article for USA Today titled “NASA peers back to the beginning of the universe”. In this article NASA is noted for strengthening the Big Bang theory with a one hundred fifty million dollar project and Charles Bennett of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. is quoted stating “Astrophysicists will no longer have the freedom to invent whatever theory they want about the universe,” Bennett says, “We’ve ruled out a lot of the easy explanations.”(Vergano, 2003, para. 17). NASA is one of the world’s most recognized authorities on scientific exploration into the unknown. When comparing the science of a beginning to the Biblical account of a beginning, as written in Genesis “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1 KJV), it is easy to understand that there is a complementary correlation between the two areas of study. Scientific theory clearly supports the fact that there was a beginning of time and matter.
When considering the theory of the Big Bang it is logical that in the progression of time and natural order that the Earth itself would begin to form. (The theory about how fast the formation of the Earth took place is not addressed in this research, as this would incorporate areas of faith and belief. The focus for this research is directly related to facts and science.)
Once the Earth was formed it is safe to consider that an atmosphere and water developed and that certain areas of the Earth were covered in water and other areas were exposed as dry land. The scientific theory for a mass continent called Pangaea supports the distinct likelihood that a super continent existed. This one mass of land is theorized to have drifted apart according to the pre-existing theory of Continental Drift. However, in the past 30 years continental drift has been explained through the forces of plate tectonics which explain how the plates of the Earth’s surface move (Kious, Tilling, 1996).
The Beginning: The Theory of Pangea Supports the Formation of Land on the Earth in the Bible
A very interesting correlation is able to be seen between the Biblical reference of the formation of a super continent and the supporting scientific evidence. As the scripture states in the book of Genesis “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Genesis 1:6). In addition to this scripture we see also another scripture written which states “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear” (Genesis 1:9). In these scriptures we see a reference to a firmament and that the waters are gathered together into one place. This scriptural reference clearly is supported by the scientific theory of a single land mass and a single body of water.
The Beginning: Science States the Earth is Suspended by Gravity as Written in the Bible
The forces of nature which formed the Earth are not only at work on the surface of the Earth, but the very planet itself is suspended by gravity, floating in the midst of space held by natural forces which are yet to be completely understood. According to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs or IIP (2008) “in 1972, astronauts on board Apollo 17 captured the first full view of Earth suspended in space, exposed in full sunlight” (U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs, 2008). This wonderful picture clearly shows the Earth suspended in space as has been known and recognized for hundreds of years. This scientific evidence supports the Biblical reference to the gravitational forces of “nothing” suspending the Earth in the book of Job (Job 26:7). It is quite interesting that this scientific evidence supports scriptures which clearly indicate that the Earth is suspended by forces which are not seen even with today’s modern advances in technology.
The Beginning: Gravitational Forces Affect Celestial Objects in the Bible
The gravitational forces suspending the earth in the picture taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts affect all celestial bodies throughout the universe. The scientific documentation of planetary gravitational forces is noted in the writings of astrophysicists. In a book titled “A Year in the Life of the Universe: A Seasonal Guide to Viewing the Cosmos”, the authors write about the gravitationally bound Pleiades star cluster. Gendler & Ferris(2006) state that “the Pleiades will probably travel through space as a bound cluster for another 250 million years” (Gendler, Ferris, 2006). These stars are able to be seen by the unaided eye. In the ancient Biblical time of Job the forces of gravity of the star constellation was used in a rhetorical question. The Bible states that God asks Job, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” (Job 38:31). It is obvious that binding the influences is referring to the gravitational forces which hold the stars together. The fact that the stars are bound together by gravity is a documented scientific fact which supports the natural occurrence of gravity documented in the Bible.
Relevant scientific research supports the facts which have been mentioned so far, and this documented research is shown to compliment and correlate with scripture which address very similar areas of science and knowledge. Scientific support for the beginning of time and matter are not the only occurrences which have been noted in research. Specific examples of natural facts in the areas regarding the end of matter, time zones, weather, and geology are also noted and provide further affirmation which anchors the fact that science and scripture can and do complement each other in many relevant fields of study.
The Nature of Matter: The Second Law of Thermodynamics Supports the Destiny of the Universe in the Bible
Mankind has theorized and speculated about the end of the world and the universe as long as documented history can record. This question has fascinated everyone from common men and women to distinguished scholars. As science has progressed, the understanding of matter and the makeup of matter has advanced as well. When a scientific theory is tested over and over again, it is proven to be law; a scientific law typically does not change. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a law which addresses the statistics of the order of molecules which make up matter. In his paper titled “Things Fall Apart: An Introduction to Entropy”, Gary Felder (2001) uses the example of a dandelion and spores. The statistical probability of dandelion spores being blown from the stem is much more likely than the dandelion spores re-attaching themselves to the stem from which they grew (Felder, 2001). This is an example of the statistical law of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Research and statistics show that in every area of matter which includes everything on the Earth, the Earth itself and the entire universe is gradually falling apart through the progression of time. Although you cannot see the hands on a clock move they are still moving and this is simply how the Earth is breaking down as time progresses.
The second law of thermodynamics supports scriptures that were written in the Bible concerning the end of all creation. In the book of Psalms the scripture states “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment;” (Psalm 102:25, 26). In this scripture we see the words “perish” and “wax old” used describing the Earth itself and the heavens describing the universe and stars. Dr. Felder (2001) describes the end of all matter in the following statements “So far as we know entropy will continue increasing until someday the universe is filled with nothing but weak, uniform radiation.” He also states that “this scenario, known as “the heat death of the universe,” referencing that there will be a period when all matter experiences this ultimate progression of scientific law (Felder, 2001). Again this research supports additional scriptures one of which reads “the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10).
The Nature of Time: The Science of Day and Night During one Time Period Supports Scripture
Although the progression of entropy may be very slow in the short life spans that humans live, the twenty four hour cycle of night and day is evident. Modern science and the ability to travel great distances has allowed people to go from time zone to time zone in a matter of hours. The Lunar and Planetary Institute (2004) explains how the Earth experiences this cycle because of the rotation of the Earth on its axis. It is interesting to note that New Testament scripture is supported by this ever occurring fact of science. In the book of Saint Luke, Jesus makes a statement about people sleeping in a bed and others working in a field; inferring that it will be night one place and day in another when He returns (Luke 17:34-36). This inference makes an interesting correlation between the science of time zones and scripture.
The Nature Weather: The Science of Jet Streams Supports Biblical Scripture
In 1920 a discovery was made which drastically affected the study of weather patterns and air travel in modern avionics. This discovery is thought to have been made by meteorologist named Wasaburo Ooishi. His discovery was made possible by the use of a weather balloon which revealed the pattern of wind known today as jet streams (Sapojnikova, 2010), The air currents which travel at very high altitudes (some as high as 52,000 feet) help to increase the ground speed of jet airliners thus saving fuel and time. The jet streams are today well known facts of science that determine many factors of the Earths changing weather. Amazingly the circuits of the wind are noted in scripture which was written by the very wise King Solomon. In the book of Ecclesiastes it is written that “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.” (Ecclesiastes 1:6). It is well known science that supports the fact that wind currents move toward different southern, northern and other points on the map, it is also known that these powerful wind currents whirl about and around the Earth returning to the same place as they circle the planet.
The Earth’s Geology: Oceanic Geological Science
Supports Biblical References
From the heights of the clouds to the very depths of the sea, sciences supporting biblical scriptures are recognized in nearly every area of study. A question was posed to Job by God saying “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” (Job 38:16). From a theological perspective this was asked of Job in order for Job to realize his limited ability, to know or be able to do as much as God, even though Job was a good man. But from a scientific perspective research has shown that scientific discoveries were made in 1977 that support the science of this scripture. Watson (1999) from the U.S. Geological Survey writes that in 1977 “scientists discovered hot springs at a depth of 2.5 km, on the Galapagos Rift” (Watson, 1999). Although there had been pre-existing theories about these springs since the 1970’s they had not been captured by a camera.
So far scientific research has supported the creation of time and the universe; as well as theories, facts and laws that have correlated with the principles of gravity affecting the Earth itself and stars. In addition research has shown specific examples of the destiny of useful matter, the affirmation of time zones, jet streams and oceanic springs. All of these areas of science specifically focus on the Earth and other natural surroundings. It is therefore necessary to explore the biological science and the interrelation of biblical scripture regarding the human body itself.
Human Biology: Recent Scientific Theories Support the Account of a Type of Adam in the Bible
Recently DNA research has revealed an interesting theory regarding the early origins of mankind. This DNA research has led to the close consideration that early mankind developed from one man or one small group of people. In a National Geographic article Hillary Mayell (2003) writes “geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago.” (Hillary, 2003). Albeit Dr. Wells theory is still a theory which requires much more additional research in order to become fact, this modern discovery reveals an amazing basic support for the oldest Biblical accounts for mankind’s origin. As stated in the beginning of the book of Genesis, God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and then in the New Testament a scripture describes “The first man Adam was made a living soul” (1 Corinthians 15:45). Still research continues to reveal if not only an inference, a direct resemblance to this carefully studied theory of the origin of mankind.
Human Biology: Science Supports an Admonishment to Immoral Sexual Behavior in the Bible
The creation and growth of man will likely always be a subject of intense study that may never be completely understood. However, one area of research that has grown to epidemic proportions in modern science and medical study is the analysis of sexually transmitted diseases. In the British Medical Journal an article written by Ebrahim, McKenna & Marks (2005) provides statistics which expose that in 1990 thirty thousand deaths were attributed to sexual behavior. Sexual behavior is not only attributed to death but to other detrimental consequences as stated in the article “Sexual behaviour leads to a variety of harmful consequences, such as unintended pregnancy, social stigma, infections, and chronic psychological or pathological sequelae.” (Ebrahim, McKenna & Marks, 2005). Clearly the medical evidence shown throughout modern history underscores the fact that immoral or unrestrained sexual behavior is detrimental to the human body. Biblical scriptures are clearly supported by this fact which is identified by the Apostle Paul as he admonishes the church of Corinth. The New Testament scripture declares “he that commiteth fornicationsinneth against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Fornication is the practice of immoral sexual activity outside of wedlock. It is well known and documented that sexual promiscuity leads to many of the diseases that modern day society faces in monumental proportions.
In light of the research presented in this paper it is evident that science supports Biblical scriptures and in return that Biblical scriptures reference documented scientific facts of nature. These written references affirm the many areas of study in which science references subjects that have been written and discussed in scriptures for hundreds of years. The scientific facts have been presented in these various areas, subsequent scriptures are then documented which are obviously supported by modern evidence.
Although much discussion and many debates have taken place about the validity of scripture in the context of known scientific facts, many respected scholars such as those from the Institute for Creation Research (2010) agree that there are valid and considerable comparisons in the studies of both. When the application of science and scripture are properly addressed accounting for the time period in which they were documented, the authors of the content, and the method in how they both are compared, it becomes apparent how these areas of study compliment one another.
The focus and research of this paper is to establish the fact that modern science supports many Biblical scriptures. One must realize the limitations of the compatibility of science and scripture, yet at the same time research clearly presents facts. In this research science supports a theory of a beginning in time and space, and then the scripture is presented which represents the beginning of time and space. The scientific evidence for the forces and laws of gravity are presented, subsequently the scriptural references are recorded which reference these areas. Research presents the second law of thermodynamics and then similar accounts of the Biblical record for the end of all matter are exhibited. Not only is scientific evidence presented which clarifies support for the Earth, space and time but research also supports the biology of the human body itself.