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Christians and scientists ask: Can the Bible co-exist with science?

Written By | Jun 20, 2018

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS: Scientists and Christians have a common goal, They seek the truth and want to understand and explore their biosphere. Humanity longs for the cure of cancer, the eradication of AIDS. They seek an understanding of the universe, the promising possibilities of DNA research and how it can better the lives of all living things.

Most Christians and non-Christians readily agree that the hard sciences are legitimate areas of study. They include the natural sciences such as classical physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, and medicine. Even the theoretical sciences which include the formal more abstract sciences like mathematics, logic, and most social sciences are equally accepted as genuine sciences. However, when discussing issues of the science of evolution, the tone of the conversation often turns into heated debates, either ad hominem or mocking the opponents’ views.

Evolutionary Science vs. Biblical Truths

To many, the introduction of evolution as a science brings with it the challenge to Christianity and the Bible. Many, if not most, would argue the two cannot co-exist. The study of evolution versus Christianity and creationism often ends civility and respect.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written outlining arguments for or against evolution.




DNA, fossils, and dating techniques are used to support evolution . While the Bible, as the source for Christianity, has been relegated to an archaic book with no modern relevance.

If the Bible is used to support creationism or suggests an argument against evolution, the discussion terminates and the biblical arguments are dismissed as the product of superstition.

Any conversation must begin with an argument that the Bible should be taken seriously in any argument about evolution and creation. Without some common ground, conversation is silent. The Bible, for sure, is not a book of science nor does it claim to be. Neither is it a fairy tale conjured up in the minds of biblical writers interested only in controlling the thoughts of peasants.

And, at the same time, Christians must take the evidence of evolutionists seriously–fossils, DNA. etc. No one should stop thinking or be evaluating evidence and presuppositions.

The two issues then must be addressed:

The Bible is a historical document with truth found in its pages and the findings of science bear examining.

Named for The Beatles song, the famous fossil called Lucy has become another link in establishing the legitimacy of evolution. Enthusiastic evolutionists proudly proclaim she has redrawn “humanity’s evolutionary tree,”

Lucy is a 40 percent skeleton (hominin) dated to 3.2 million years ago.. She was uncovered by Donald Johanson in the northeast ravines near Hadar, Ethiopia, in 1974.

Scientists classified her as an Australopithecus. She has long arms, short legs, an ape-like chest and jaw, and a small brain. Lucy’s pelvis is similar to humans and she believed to have died at around 12 years of age. The skeleton tells us she was a mobile biped 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighed about 60 pounds.

Lucy is currently on display in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after a controversial visit to museums in Houston and Seattle.

Bible readers take exception to this interpretation of Lucy. The biblical creationists believe that God, with his omnipotent power, created man on the sixth day in His own image from the dust of the earth (Genesis 1:25-27). The theistic evolutionists (also referred to by some as BioLogos) combine evolutionary hypothesis with the Bible’s teaching. Their viewpoint is that the Adam and Eve (Hebrew, man and woman) of the Bible are references to mankind not individuals.



As one evolution skeptic representing many others put it,

“What confuses me most about Darwinian theory is the belief that all life evolved through a series of random mutations with no intelligent influence.”

On the other hand, the anti-Bible sentiment views the Bible as a long history of fairy tales. Who has the most creditable evidence? And whose view demands more faith?

The conversation often boils down to this: If you trust the Bible, is evolution necessary? If you support evolution, is the Bible irrelevant? These issues need probing to find truth.

 

Lead Image: By Mpinedag - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18344549

 

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Donald Brake

Donald L Brake, PhD is Dean Emeritus of Multnomah Biblical Seminary, past president of Jerusalem University College; and is author of: They Called Him Yeshua, How 30 Missing Years Changed Human History, a novel coming in 2018 (with Shelly Beach) Jesus, A Visual History, Zondervan 2014 (with Todd Bolen) A Monarch’s Majestic Translation: The King James Bible, Christian Faith Pub, 2017 A Visual History of the English Bible, Baker Books 2008 A Visual History of the King James Bible, Baker Books 2011 (with Shelly Beach) A Royal Monument of English Literature 2011 (Leaf 1611 KJV) Wycliffe New Testament (facsimile) 1986, IBP