The Bible is the most widely read book in the history of the world. It has been translated, either in part or in its entirety, into over 2,000 languages. Its message is so compelling and life-changing that people have been willing to suffer and even die for it.
Though the Bible still retains great popularity, more and more people today are questioning its validity. "Is the Bible really God’s Word? Or is it just a man-made book? What about science? Hasn’t the Bible been proved wrong? What about other religious books? Aren't they all acceptable guides for spirituality? Why makes the Bible better?"
These are legitimate questions that deserve reasonable answers. Christians are called to give reasonable answers to those who ask about our Christian faith. 1 Peter 3:15 declares, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." In other words, Christians are called to know not only what we believe, but why we believe.
Let's consider 3 questions.
1. Is the Bible inconsistent with Science?
Sadly, many today think it’s not possible to take science seriously and still believe what the Bible has to say. They might say, for instance, “The Bible is true when it comes to 'spiritual' matters but not when it comes to scientific issues. It’s 2019 so we must leave the physical realm, the 'Real' world, to science and let the Bible deal with 'spiritual' matters."
But wait a minute. Is the Bible really inconsistent with Science?
Let's consider the difference between Facts and Theories. They are often lumped together and called "Science" but they are not of equal value.
An Observable Fact is something that can be proved beyond doubt. Observable Facts are tangible, measurable, and repeatable. They can be experienced through our senses. A good example is Gravity. We all experience the effects of gravity every day of our lives. Whenever we drop anything, it always falls to the ground. When we throw a ball into the air, it always falls back to us. Scientists have done experiments and understand gravity enough to launch rockets into space and put satellites into orbit around the earth. Gravity is real and it can be experienced, measured, and repeated. It is an Observable Fact.
Based on Observable Facts, scientists create a Theory about something they want to know more about. The Theory will be based on a set of Assumptions. This theory should be the best explanation of the Observable Facts. The scientist could, for example, have a theory that gravity acts upwards. It would be obvious to anyone that this does not fit the Observable Facts. Such a claim is not credible and would need to be ignored.
But sometimes we have no way of knowing whether the Assumptions used in a Theory are right. This is often the case when considering what happened in the Past. We can’t do experiments to test the theory and check the assumptions.
It is imperative we know what can be proved and what is only a theory we cannot prove.
For example, Evolution is taught, not as a theory, but as fact. You are considered very foolish if you do not believe in evolution.
But is Evolution an Observable Fact or a Theory?
Since evolution has not shown to be measurable and repeatable, it would be hard to make a case for it as an Observable Fact.
And there are some other problems with the theory of Evolution.
First, the Lack of Transitional Forms in the fossil record.
These are sometimes referred to as "Missing Links" - missing being the key word.
Darwin himself described the perceived lack of transitional fossils as, "... the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory," but explained it by relating it to the extreme imperfection of the geological record.
What does that mean? In other words, according to Darwin, we haven't yet found the Transitional Forms because they are still waiting to be discovered. The more you dig, the more you will find, so keep digging!
But Darwin died in 1882 and, during the 137 years since his death, the lack of transitional forms is still a problem. They are still missing!
You might remember when the bones of "Lucy" were found. She was hailed as a legitimate missing link and our evolutionary ancestor. But, according to the article, Abandoned Transitional Forms at Creation.com, "Today detailed analysis of their anatomy has shown that Australopithecus are not intermediates but are a unique, now extinct, ape-like group of creatures that 'are more different from humans and African apes than humans and African apes are from each other'. However, evolutionists have nothing to fill the hole left by 'Lucy' and so she is still erroneously included in most treatments of human evolution" (see article for quote citations).
Second, the problem of the need for "Simultaneous" evolution.
I learned in my college Biology class that the "simple" cell is anything but simple! It is composed of tools, machines and is very complex! It would be quite a feat to be able to evolve even one "simple" cell.
Add to that the fact that the human body is made up of, not millions or billions of cells, but 30-40 trillion cells. A trillion is a Huge number. It is a million million (1,000,000,000,000). Wow!
So, to come up with a human, we would need to evolve not only one "miracle" cell but also 30-40 trillion more. Every cell would have to be perfect in itself and every other 30-40 trillion cell would have to perfectly match. It would be quite a miracle. And it would result in only one human!
Of course, even if we could evolve 30-40 trillion perfectly functioning cells for one human, that would not solve the problem. If there was only one human, that person would die and there would be no others.
So we would need the miracle to happen twice for 2 humans to evolve at the same time.
And they would need to be in the same location.
And they would need to be perfect in every detail.
And they would need to be the exact opposite of each other with regard to their reproductive system.
And they would have to be able to mate and reproduce and have a child.
And that child would also have to be able to mate and reproduce with another child of the exact opposite gender.
Wow! It gets pretty complicated. And this all has to happen at the exact same time and in the same location!
So what's the verdict?
When it comes to evolution, the reality is there is a lot of Theory but not many Observable Facts.
When it comes to science, the Bible might be inconsistent with some unproven theories but is absolutely consistent with the hard science of observable, measurable and repeatable facts.
By the way, the Bible tells us we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).
Note: We will look at Questions 2 and 3 next time in part 2 of "Why Believe the Bible?"