Science and the Bible [Part 3]

Evolution is the next topic Morris covers. It is a brief but necessary discussion, and Morris covers a large range of issues in what I think is an excellent treatment of the issue for anyone wanting to quickly familiarize themselves with the subject from a biblical standpoint. Morris argues that the “theory” of Evolution is not a science so much as a worldview, or philosophy. No one was there at the beginning (although “beginning” is difficult to define from an evolutionary standpoint), no one observed how the earth came into existence, or plants, or fish, or people. We are all trying to interpret what happened in the past from our viewpoint in the present. We cannot observe it, so we must interpret the world we observe. The conclusion we come to about the past will depend on our worldview. An evolutionary starting point will dictate that we explain things only by what we can observe today (this becomes an issue for evolutionists since we do not observe evolution taking place today). If we start with a biblical worldview, we will take the description in Genesis as a record of events given to us by someone who was there, and in fact, started it all by creating the universe and everything in it.

Morris then deals with the issue of Christians compromising with evolutionary thought. He says that they are in fact incompatible. According to evolution, once life started (which was millions of years after the rest of the universe got under way), the first multi-celled invertebrate marine animals evolved from one-celled organisms in the ocean. Eventually, marine vertebrates developed, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals, then birds, and land plants developed long after.

However, as Dr. Morris points out, that order of events does not fit with the Genesis record at all. The Bible says that land plants were created on the third day of Creation, whereas marine animals were not created until the fifth day – and the birds at the same time! All land animals, as well as humans, were created on the same day, the sixth and last day of Creation. Morris discusses other issues regarding evolution, but time does not allow me to go into further detail right now.

Morris then talks about the global flood of Noah’s day. He discusses the evidence for a worldwide flood as opposed to a local flood from the text of Scripture (e.g. “the water rose above all the high mountains”), as well as from geological evidence, such as marine fossils deposited on top of high mountains. This is a good example of where a belief in the veracity and inerrancy of Scripture can actually aid the scientist in interpreting the evidence around him. The account of the global flood recorded in the Bible gives a solid explanation not only for the marine fossils on the tops of mountains, but also for such things as the geologic column, and even the conditions that caused a great Ice Age! Morris also discusses issues such as how Noah could have fit all those animals on the ark, and how the animals spread out across the whole earth after the flood.

Morris then discusses issues of chronological history, showing how the time references in the Bible can be reconciled with secular dates, and in fact how the time frames given by the Bible actually make more sense of archeological evidence. He then discusses the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the role they played in further establishing the veracity of the Old Testament canon, as well as the increasing number of Greek manuscripts which are enabling translators to be even more sure of what the original authors actually wrote.

Science and the Bible was an excellent resource for showing that one can trust the Bible as the inspired Word of God, while also honestly engaging in scientific inquiry. One must be careful of theories such as evolution, since it is also a belief system and a worldview, just as biblical creationism is, but science and the Bible are not inherently opposed to one another. And although it is a tricky voyage to search for the truth while trusting both (good) science and the Bible, Dr. Morris shows that trusting in the Bible’s record of history may actually enhance one’s ability to accurately interpret scientific observations.

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One Response to Science and the Bible [Part 3]

  1. Mike says:

    Great review, Christopher!

    Like

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