Science and the Bible

Not-a-question-as-such from Joel:
I don’t have a question as such. But I just wanted to point out my views…I am devout Christian.I am in fact very rational. I know the first thought that you will have when you hear the word Christian and Rational in the same sentence will be “Bull shit”. But I was on verge of becoming an atheist…And I had this thought.

Science is a continuous process of understanding the laws of nature and coming to a conclusion with a set of irrefutable equations. It is finding answers for the universe that we live in. Trying to explain the Universe that we live in.

But the Bible on the other hand (I will use the Bible cos Religion is an institution created by man and it is highly influenced by man’s thinking and principles) was written by God to answer and guide humans. It is the ANSWER and not a changing set of theories…It stood and it still stands and has been going on for thousands of years.

But science grows continuously, one theory postulated today can be nullified tomorrow. So unless and until science explains laws for everything (I MEAN EVERYTHING) in Universe and it contradicts the Bible. Till then people have no right to call the Bible false. Science is changing who knows what theory or findings might just come up tomorrow, Maybe someone will prove evolution false. We Don’t know.

The Bible never was against science in the first place. The Creation being the biggest of the problems…But I somehow feel that isn’t the problem..God didn’t specifically say ..There may be a hidden meaning? Maybe the days were the stages of evolution and creation of earth. first the light (maybe a big bang) then the separation of water and air and so on. May be god wanted to say that there were 6 stages of creation and evolution. We don’t know..But what Christians believe, is that. It is better to take the bible literally than to make assumptions and misinterpret it. They are correct in their way.

And the fact that it was written at a time when people were not knowledgeable to understand various complexities of physics and biology. It just makes sense that God wrote the process of creation in this manner..And the highlight of it not being the way he created universe but what he thinks of humans..a creation in his own likeness.

So lets just stop all this bickering. I don’t care what you believe. But do not blame Mans mistake on god. And science never contradicted religion.. for me its like

L.H.S (Science) = R.H.S (Bible.)

Answer by SmartLX:
Funny you should say that science is on the left hand side; in the context of God, Jesus is on the right, so the left is usually reserved for the damned.

Science adjusts its views based on new evidence, it’s true, so it’s always possible that the scientific facts we know today could turn out to be wrong. Putting it like this, however, unfairly categorises it as a dichotomy between knowing something absolutely (which might be impossible) and throwing it out altogether, when the truth is in between.

A good scientific theory explains a great deal while making as few assumptions as possible. If the facts explained by the theory or the assumptions on which it relies are found to be incorrect, the theory must itself change or perish. At any given point, though, a large amount of confidence in the theory can be well justified, especially if new evidence either supports the theory or only requires minor adjustments to it. For example, the age of the universe (since the Big Bang) had been estimated at 15 billion years, and there was a lot of evidence to back up the estimate. Then more evidence emerged, and the age of the universe was revised downwards – but only to 13.7 billion years. All the principles that led to the earlier estimate were still intact, but the measurements were better honed and scientists were able to be more accurate. Confidence in the means that led to the discovery of the magnitude of the universe’s age was unshaken, and likely even reinforced. There may be future revisions, but the next one is much more likely to be something like 13.6 or 13.8 billion years than to continue downwards at the same rate to 12.4 billion. The odds of a new estimate getting anywhere near 6000 years (with an inception period of six literal days for the Earth and all life on it) are infinitesimal.

You’re free to assert that the Bible is the word of God, but for people who don’t start with this presumption it’s just an old book, and if it wasn’t right on a particular point to begin with, then it never will be. The difference between the word of the Bible and a current scientific theory is that there is evidence contradicting a literal (sometimes even a figurative) reading of many passages from the Bible, whereas a current scientific theory is still current because it has weathered all criticism thus far without the need to change more than it has. The Bible simply ignores criticism because it is dogmatically unable to change.

It is a very weak position to say that the Bible is right because everything else might be wrong. Some aspects of science do have to be wrong for a literal reading of the Bible to hold up, but there’s evidence for these aspects of science and no good evidence that they’re wrong. Until contrary evidence turns up, the word of the Bible is not the rational choice over science in such a case.

2 thoughts on “Science and the Bible”

  1. Well, Joel, you started off well enough …
    “I don’t have a question as such. But I just wanted to point out my views…I am devout Christian.I am in fact very rational.”

    Then your arguments became specious/ duboius …
    “But the Bible on the other hand (I will use the Bible cos Religion is an institution created by man and it is highly influenced by man’s thinking and principles) was written by God to answer and guide humans. It is the ANSWER and not a changing set of theories…”
    “So unless and until science explains laws for everything (I MEAN EVERYTHING) in Universe and it contradicts the Bible. Till then people have no right to call the Bible false.”

    And you positively end with a rant …
    “So lets just stop all this bickering. I don’t care what you believe. But do not blame Mans mistake on god. And science never contradicted religion.. for me its like
    L.H.S (Science) = R.H.S (Bible.)”

    Unfortunately, that’s the pattern most religious folk I have talked to show in their arguments. And here, you weren’t even arguing with anyone … it wasn’t a point-counter-point.

    Anyhow, the arguments you’ve made fall short for the reasons SmartLX’s indicated.
    I’d like to address the rant …
    1) There is no bickering. A prolonged exchange of ideas may be considered as bickering by the side that’s losing its patience. People tend to lose patience when they run out of ideas. Religious folk tend to lose their patience for similar reasons.
    2) Whether you care what we believe is irrelevant. What matters is whether what you (or we) believe is factual. As I go through religious texts and beliefs of any religion, I encounter stuff which simply cannot be factual (like 6000 years since the world began (Christian) or that a person’s soul goes thru 8.4 million births and deaths to get to the human form (Hindu) etc.). Sometimes the numbers are correct by fluke (there are close to 10 million species, so 8.4 million births and deaths seems plausible). But that does not mean the underlying statement is a fact.
    3) Given the above, its obvious that science contradicts religion flat out on a number of issues, which is why religious folk start interpreting their holy books instead of taking them literally …
    4) Thus LHS (Science) RHS (Religion – christianity, islam, hinduism, buddhism etc).
    I’d rather say that productive value wise, LHS (Science) >> RHS (Religion). Maybe religion gives more mental comfort and a feeling of community to some than science. But mental comfort is not a good measure of productive value.

  2. Before reading any body elses reply to you Joel, here are my thoughts. It’s good that you understand the worth of science (not that I’m a huge advocate of science, but I do at least feel it is idiotic to deny the basic principles of it.)

    But Joel, consider this. What if the Bible wasn’t written by god? What if the bible was simply written by men who wanted to make it seem as if it were written by a god (or by the influence of god)? …OK now remove “what if” from my previous two sentences and replace the question marks with exclamation points. Not that my personal beliefs mean anything, but I would bet my life, the life of my unborn children, and the life of every person on this earth, that there was no divine influence in creating the bible. I would bet anything, money, life, humiliation, that the bible was written by humans, and these humans did not have contact with or messages from a god or gods. …but like I said, my beliefs probably (well, definitely) don’t mean anything to you. But you should at least consider that perspective as there is no reason or evidence that suggests that the book called the bible or quran or torah…no evidence whatsoever to suggest that these books had an ominipotent being involved in their creation. The only evidence of this that you have is that you were told this by somebody you trust.

    That being said, there is no reason a Christian person cannot be rational. Christians can be just as intelligent and logical as anybody else. Being human means that we are creatures of emotion. And religion (involving worship and rituals) is the biggest exploiter of emotions known to man. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and I don’t blame you for it. It’s a hard trap to escape from, and I doubt you ever will escape. But you are just human. Being Christian doesn’t make you stupid, illogical, or anything of the sort. Those attributes are earned in other ways besides how one chooses (or is indoctrinated into) their religion.

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