People of the World Fellowship

Cherrydale Baptist Church

Dr. Robert C. Newman

27 August 2000

 

Creation, Science and the Bible

 

The Bible=s Opening Words (Genesis 1:1-3)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, ALet there be light,@ and there was light.

 

The Problem Stated

!Don=t the teachings of science contradict these words from the Bible?

!Isn=t it impossible for a person to be a scientist and believe in God?

!No, that is what I am.

!It is true that many scientists have interpreted nature in ways that contradict the Bible.

!It is also true that many Bible believers have interpreted the Bible in ways which contradict nature.

!But to see whether there is any real contradiction, we have to see what the Bible and nature actually say.

!That is the purpose of this talk.

 

Cosmology:  the Origin of the Universe

!The Bible says there was a beginning, when God created heaven and earth (Gen 1:1).

!Until recently, many scientists claimed that the universe has always existed.

!Now evidence has accumulated that the universe apparently began (from nothing) at a finite time in the past.1

!Nature says there was a beginning.

 

Fine-Tuning: Design in the Universe

!The Bible pictures God as having made the universe by His wisdom (Prov 8:22-31).

!Scientists who are atheists claim that the universe is the way it is merely by chance.

!In recent years, strong evidence has accumulated that the universe is marvelously adjusted to allow life to exist.2

!Nature says the universe is designed.

 

Origin of the Earth: the Nebular Theory

!Bible believers often claim the earth was made instantly in its finished form, just a few thousand years ago.

!Nature seems to teach that the earth has a long history before it reaches the form it has today.

!The Biblical account of creation in Genesis 1 is consistent with this evidence from astronomy and geology.3

 


Origin of Life

!The Bible says that God created life (Gen 1:11-27).

!Some scientists claim that life arose from non-life by purely natural processes.

!The complex functionality of living things seems clearly to surpass what could happen by chance in our universe.4

!Nature points to something beyond itself by containing this phenomenon we call Alife.@

 

Diversity of Life

!The Bible says God made the diverse living things, but it does not give us much information about how He did so (Gen 1:11-27).

!Many scientists claim that all the variety of life evolved from the simplest living things by purely mindless, random processes.

!Detailed studies of the fossil record and of the nature of living things point to some sort of intelligent guidance or intervention.5

 

Origin of Humans

!The Bible says God made humans in His own image (Gen 1:26-28).

!Many scientists claim humans developed naturally from the apes.

!Though humans are physically rather similar to the apes, there is a great chasm between them in regard to intellect, initiative and spirituality.

!This does not look like something that happened by chance.

 

A Tour of Genesis One: Comparing Science and the Bible6

 

In the Beginning God created heaven & earth (Gen 1:1)

A beginning, perhaps the big bang

The earth was formless and empty (1:2)

Earth (and sun) formed from a thin, shapeless cloud of gas and dust.

Darkness was over the face of the deep (1:2)

As it contracts, the gas cloud becomes dark within.

God says, ALet there be light@ (1:3)

With further contraction, the cloud heats up and begins to glow.

God separates light from darkness (1:4)

Material that will later form planets is pushed outside the central bulge.

God calls the light Aday,@ the darkness Anight@ (1:5)

The planet earth forms, its rotation giving the day/night sequence.

Let there be an expanse to separate the waters (1:6)

The earth=s atmosphere forms by outgassing from within the planet.

Let the waters be gathered, let the dry land appear (1:9)

Earth=s crust forms into moving plates, which open to produce ocean basins, collide to make continents.

Let the land produce vegetation (1:11)

Plant life appears on the land.

 

 


Let sun, moon and stars appear in the sky (1:14)

The plants oxygenate the atmosphere, removing carbon dioxide, weakening greenhouse effect, lowering temperature, clearing atmosphere so sun, moon, stars become visible, providing breathable air for animals.

Let waters and air fill with animals (1:20)

Marine and animal life appear.

Let land produce various animals (1:24)

Land animals appear.

Let us make mankind in our image (1:26)

Humans appear last in the fossil record.

 

Conclusions

!A striking correlation between the two.

!Both picture:

"A universe with a beginning

"A designed universe

"An origin of life that surpasses chance

"A diversity of life that suggests intervention

!The details of Genesis 1 match our best scientific model for the early earth.

!The God who made the heavens and earth also wrote the Bible.

 

For Further Reading

 

See the websites www.ibri.org and www.reasons.org

1Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos.

1Fred Heeren, Show Me God.

2Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos.

2,4Michael Denton, Nature=s Destiny.

3John Wiester, The Genesis Connection.

3,6Robert C. Newman and Herman J. Eckelmann, Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth.

4,5Michael Behe, Darwin=s Black Box.

4,5Robert C. Newman and John L. Wiester, What=s Darwin Got to Do With It?

5William Dembski, ed., Mere Creation.