Is the Bible Consistent with Science?

Last time we studied the Bible’s rational, unified themes which would be expected if it is truly God’s Word. That is our first line of evidence that the Bible at least could be God’s special message to us. Let’s look at how other evidence lines up.  Our next question is:  Is the Bible Consistent with Science?

Many people don’t believe in the Bible because they think it contradicts science. But new scientific evidence has changed that thinking, even for many agnostics. In fact, many scientists have radically changed their minds about the Bible, and are now talking openly about “God” or a Creator behind our universe. (See http://www.y-origins.com/index.php?p=quotes)

While many scientists remain skeptical of the Bible, others admit that they’ve been wrong by saying it contradicts science. Stunning new scientific discoveries have changed their minds. Let’s look at this new evidence.

Origin of the Universe: One notable distinction between the Bible and other holy books is its assertion that everything in our universe was created from nothing.¹ Imagine a potter who had no clay from which to make his pot or an automobile factory with no raw materials. Creation from nothing contradicts human logic. The accounts of creation in most religions involve fanciful tales of elephants, turtles and other material elements to explain how our universe began.

Such a unique act of creation from nothing spoken of in the Bible would require a transcendent Creator with unimaginable intelligence and power.  Yet for centuries, scientists called the biblical view impossible.

However, in the 20th century, astronomers discovered that our universe did begin from nothing! What they call the “big bang,” the Bible calls “creation.” Even agnostics saw the obvious parallel between the Bible and science.

Dr. Robert Jastrow is one such scientist. Although he was an agnostic, Jastrow wrote these thoughts regarding this new scientific evidence:

“Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.”²

Another agnostic, George Smoot, the Nobel Prize winning scientist in charge of the COBE experiment that confirmed the one-time creation of the universe, also admits to the parallel.

“There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”³

Origin of Life: The Bible clearly states that God created life.[4]

Scientists have discovered that the laws of nature had to be perfectly fine tuned for life or we couldn’t exist. Even agnostics and atheists agree that life wouldn’t exist if all the conditions weren’t perfectly fine tuned.

Although he remains an atheist, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking acknowledges,

“The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”[5]

How did we get so “lucky” to have had such perfect fine-tuning for life? Many scientists believe it wasn’t luck at all. Astronomer Fred Hoyle was struck by the remarkable fine-tuning. Although an agnostic, he admitted,

“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”[6]

If one accepts the biblical account of creation, fine-tuning would be expected. It is scientists, not believers, who are baffled and looking for other explanations.

Another area of science baffling atheists is the intricate complexity of DNA, which caused its co-discoverer, Francis Crick, to call it “almost a miracle.”[7]

As the essential molecule of life, DNA operates like a language with its own extremely complex software code. Microsoft founder Bill Gates says that the software of DNA is “far, far more complex than any software we have ever developed.”[8]

The question is: where did the software in DNA originate? Darwin’s theory can’t explain it because natural selection doesn’t function without life already existing. And life couldn’t exist without the complex coding of DNA.

So where did it come from, if not from a superintelligent programmer? Even many skeptics believe DNA is pointing to a Creator. That view was stated by none other than the world’s leading atheist for over 50 years, Antony Flew.

In Flew’s fifty years of teaching atheism in university classrooms, books, and lectures, his arguments persuaded many that God doesn’t exist. However, when Flew was confronted with the intelligence behind DNA, the leading atheist shocked the world by reversing his anti-God belief.

“What I think the DNA material has done is to show that intelligence must have been involved…. It now seems to me that the finding of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”[9]

Although Flew didn’t believe in a personal God, the evidence convinced him that a superintelligence both designed and created life, a position consistent with the Bible.

Origin of Man: Darwin taught that man isn’t really unique among the living creatures on earth. According to Darwin, we are simply a highly advanced species that evolved from lower forms of life.

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that we are a unique species. It teaches that God created us in His own image. But does science reveal us to be unique or simply an advanced ape or hominid?

Although fossil hunters have discovered a few extinct species of hominids that resemble man, these creatures are vastly inferior to humans in their intellectual capacities. In fact, there is a huge jump from such hominids to our own species. Ian Tattersall (curator at the American Museum of Natural History) is an evolutionist who believes that humans descended from hominids. Yet after examining the fossil evidence, he remarks in his book The Fossil Trail:

“Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species….Homo sapiens is as distinctive an entity as exists on the face of the Earth, and should be dignified as such instead of being adulterated with every reasonably large-brained hominid fossil that happened to come along.”[10]

In fact, the evolution of man remains an enigma with Darwinists. They believe we have descended from hominids, but are unable to explain how such an enormous “jump” from hominids occurred.

What really baffles evolutionists is how humans alone developed the ability to speak. Several physiological changes would have needed to take place–simultaneously–for us to verbalize language. This mystery led reputed evolutionist Ernst Mayr to state,

“Man is indeed as unique, as different from all other animals, as had been traditionally claimed by theologians and philosophers.”[11]

This statement from a leading evolutionist is astounding! He is affirming what the Bible said thousands of years ago about the uniqueness of man.

The Bible also teaches that all humanity originated from one man and woman (Adam and Eve), living in one area. Yet many Darwinists assumed that man evolved from several different areas, and didn’t share a common ancestor.

The discovery of DNA now makes it possible to trace human ancestry. Does it confirm or negate the biblical teaching that we all came from one ancestor? Several studies all point to one conclusion: We all descended from one person—just as the Bible teaches!

Evolutionist Steve Olson, in Mapping Human History remarks of his astonishment at the discovery that we all come from a single person.

“The first time I heard this statement I thought it highly implausible.  All 6 billion people on this planet descended from a single ancestor?  Yet this is one of those wonderful scientific conclusions that is not only true but has to be true.”[12]

Olson and other evolutionists were stunned at the conclusions of their own DNA research. Incredibly, it wasn’t until the 21st century that science confirmed what the Bible taught about human origins thousands of years prior.

(For additional information, see http://y-jesus.com/more/science-christianity-compatible/.)

Now that we’ve seen even great scientists acknowledging that the Bible and science are consistent, next time, we will move to the question of its historical reliability.

[1] Hebrews 11:3

[2] Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, (London: W. W. Norton, 1992), 14.

[3] George Smoot and Keay Davidson, Wrinkles in Time (New York: Avon, 1993), 17.

[4] Genesis 1; Isaiah 45:12; Colossians 1; Hebrews 1.

[5] Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1990), 125.

[6] Fred Hoyle, “Let there be Light,” Engineering and Science (November 1981).

[7] Francis Crick, Life Itself, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981), 88.

[8] Quoted in William A. Dembski and James M. Kushiner, eds., Signs of Intelligence (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2001), 108.

[9] Quoted in Gary Habermas, “My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism”: Interview with Antony Flew, Philosophia Cristi, (Winter, 2005).

[10] Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 219.

[11] Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 252.

[12] Steve Olson, Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and our Common Origins (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002), 87.