It is often said that the Bible is not a book about science. Skeptics maintain that it contains no scientific facts within its pages. Furthermore, it is said that accounts in Scripture that deal with scientific things, (in particular the account in Genesis describing the origin of the universe, the stars, planet Earth and life on Earth) are merely poetic allegories, which should not be taken literally.
Despite this feeling in the general culture, the biblical account of origins continues to enjoy wide acceptance among Americans. A 2006 CBS poll found that 82 percent of people polled believed that either “God created humans in their present form (55 percent),” or that “…God guided the process (27 percent)” of human origins.
What Americans Don’t Believe
In 2007, a Gallup poll revealed that “48 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution.” This resistance to full acceptance of evolution among the American public is quite different in Britain where a late 1990’s study of over 100 clergy showed that, “97 percent do not believe the world was created in six days,” and “80 percent do not believe in the existence of Adam and Eve.”
(See http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm for more information on this topic).
In response, many scientific organizations and school districts have prepared position statements dealing with the creation/evolution controversy. Some of these statements are posted prominently on websites and are available for review. (See http://ncseweb.org/media/voices/science for a list of about 85 such statements).
For example, the Geological Society of America (GSA) wrote, “recent years, certain individuals motivated by religious views have mounted an attack on evolution. This group favors what it calls ‘creation science,’ which is not really science at all because it invokes supernatural phenomena. Science, in contrast, is based on observations of the natural world. All beliefs that entail supernatural creation, including the idea known as intelligent design, fall within the domain of religion rather than science. For this reason, they must be excluded from science courses in our public schools.”
Sadly a large number of church and/or denominational organizations have followed suit and have posted anti-creationist statements as well (See http://ncse.com/media/voices/religion for further information.)
These strong statements equate creation science with religion and the implication is that the Bible, being a religious book, has only religion in it and not “science”.
Of course these anti-creationists have overlooked that the etymology of the word science derives from the Latin (scientia), which means knowledge, not “observations of the natural world.” Knowledge comes from many sources–not just observations of natural phenomena.
As an aside–consider also the phrase “mounted an attack on evolution” in the GSA position statement. If evolution is based on observations of the natural world and is indeed fact, it is absurd to even consider any attack against it as an actual threat–thus rendering any need for a position statement unnecessary. Creation science should simply be dismissed as the vain babblings of village idiots. That is the position posited by Richard Dawkins, a vociferous anti-religion/anti-creationist, who says God is a delusion and that creationists are idiots or even worse, crazy (see www.richarddawkins.net).
Science in the Bible
Nevertheless, the question must be asked, “Is there any science in the Bible at all?” The resounding answer is a strong “YES!”
Microscopes have been in existence for about 450 years. It was not until the 1700s, however, that quality optics and mechanical technologies were available to construct the compound microscopes that ushered in the microbiological basis for disease that we know so well today.
It is now a well-established fact that many human diseases have a microbiological basis for infection and disease transmission. We have entire medical schools dedicated to the science of microbiological epidemiology. The science of epidemiology owes it existence to microscopists like Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch who in the 1800’s proved beyond all doubt that microbes cause many diseases.
What does this have to do with the Bible? The book of Leviticus, written 3300 or more years before microscopes were invented, carefully and succinctly describes the same isolation and therapy modalities that modern scientists use today to retard or halt the spread of disease in human populations. (See Leviticus 13 for some examples.)
Simply stated, the Bible has recorded in its pages the same kind of modern medicine technology that you would find in manuals supplied to physicians around the world by the Centers for Disease Control. This knowledge was painstakingly assembled and gathered over hundreds of years in hundreds of laboratories by hundreds of well-educated scientists. How on earth did Moses know these things when he penned the book of Leviticus in 1400 BC?
The answer is Moses did not know these things. He could not have possibly known any of these things. The logical conclusion is that only a Super-intelligence could have known these things. That is why Scripture says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”(1 Peter 1:21 NIV).
My training in microscopy started at the National Youth Science Foundation summer camp program off the coast of Maine in 1969. From there, my microscopy career led me to the University of Florida, to three of the largest microscope companies in the world and to a modern research and experiment station at the Creation Research Society Van Andel Creation Research Center in Chino Valley, Arizona.
My early years of training were exemplified by a thorough indoctrination in evolution. Since my conversion to Christianity in 1977, however, my faith in God’s Word has deepened and grown dramatically. I now find the Bible to be supremely accurate when it discusses matters of science.
© 2010. Used by permission.
Mark Armitage is a research scientist with the Creation Research Society and he manages a working electron microscope laboratory at the Van Andel Creation Research Center in Chino Valley, AZ. Additionally Mark runs an electron microscope laboratory at the Biology Department, California State University Northridge and has been the President of the Southern California Society for Microscopy and Microanalysis for five years.