In the Beginning: Science and Genesis 1-11
Class Three - FOUNDATIONAL QUESTIONS
The fact that most of the major disciplines of science were founded by individuals possessing a Biblical worldview is a direct result of that Biblical worldview. The God of the Bible is an immutable, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God and of course would create an intelligible, rational, orderly universe with consistent laws. Hence, the laws governing that universe and the living things in it would be intelligible and consistent and therefore discoverable by those He created in His image. That presupposition of the intelligibility of the laws of nature led to the birth of the scientific method by Sir Isaac Newton PP
, who stated in his seminal science book Principia: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being.” So one can expect a consistent result when performing experiments in the same manner with the same materials. PP
Sir Robert Boyle is known as the first modern chemist and clearly attributed the ability to repeat his experiments to the ordered natural laws created by the God of the Bible. While sadly lacking such clarity, Albert Einstein PP
also clearly saw design, and hence a designer, in the universe.
Contrast those statements with the statements we’ve already seen by renowned scientists with the naturalistic worldview who therefore believe that the thoughts you are thinking right now are simply the result of chance chemical reactions in your brain!
In order for a worldview to be rationally defensible, it must be internally consistent, non-arbitrary (doesn’t just assume things) and provide the precondition of intelligibility. Yet the naturalistic/evolutionary worldview violates all of these. It irrationally claims that science has demonstrated that life arose through solely random, naturalistic (matter is all there is) processes, yet to do the very science yielding those claims presupposes an intelligibility and consistency that their worldview denies exists! And to any evidence that appears to contradict their irrational position the response is simply the arbitrary statement that “given enough time we’ll find the answer.” The naturalist also often turns to the laws of logic to defend his position, yet naturalism leads to the inescapable conclusion that there are no laws of logic, which are intangibles, since they are not part of the physical universe.
Amazingly, while these scientists state that science has disproved God, the basis of the science they perform requires a foundation to their discipline that is only possible if God exists! In other words, when they perform an experiment and expect to be able to get consistent, intelligible results, they are stepping off of their worldview and onto the Christian worldview! If their worldview of randomness and materialism was correct the very science that they claim supports their position would be impossible! You’ll see in this class that the rational Biblical and Christian worldview is strongly supported by the scientific evidence.
So to have the secular humanist, or someone that believes the naturalistic evidence is compelling, view the evidence with the right glasses you must first expose the irrationality of their current worldview. First Peter 3:15 dictates how this should be done: PP
“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Certainly share the evidence with them, but again be aware that what is compelling to you will not be until they wear the proper worldview glasses.
Now, let’s look at the first of the questions that are foundational to this course. PP
Why should we take seriously what the Bible says over any other “religious” book?
As we viewed the Ken Ham video on The Relevance of Genesis in Today’s World, what was the assumption inherent in the discussion? That the Bible is truly the inerrant word of God. But the Muslim would state that the Koran is truly the inerrant word of God and has in effect trumped the Bible, which has supposedly been corrupted by Christians and Jews. So we need to address how we know the Bible is in fact the one and only word of God.
How many religions are there in the world? There are three; evolution is a religion that is worldview driven and PP
that wrongly teaches that man created God. It’s view is capsulated in what I call PP
the evolutionist’s John 1:1. Then there are what I call PP
the recipe religions. There are probably hundreds of variations, but in the end all the religions that rightly teach that God created man but also teach you can earn salvation through your deeds are recipe religions. If we could earn our way to heaven Christ did not need to die for our sins. Then there PP
is the one true religion, Christianity, which rightly teaches that we have all transgressed against God’s laws and rightly deserve an eternity in hell but are given salvation by grace alone (unmerited favor), through faith alone, in Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9).
But how do we know the Biblical story of grace is true? We say the Bible is the Word of God, but the Muslim says the same thing about the Koran, which states that Jesus was a prophet but was not crucified and denies the trinity and the resurrection. At least one of these two religious books is false. Perhaps the polytheistic Book of Mormon, which teaches eternal progression and that Jesus Christ is a son of God as we all are, is the true religious book? Or perhaps the evolutionists are right and all of the religious books of the world are false?
Thankfully, God has given us clear proof that the Bible is truly inspired by God as stated in PP
2 Tim 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” We know the Bible is the truly inerrant Word of God because of fulfilled prophecy. The Bible is the only truly prophetic book in the world. PP
The information we are about to cover is found in my book Show Me You Are God, which is available on Amazon.com in paperback or e-book. Our faith as Christians is based on a book that claims to be the inerrant Word of God and then has the audacity to make prophecy after prophecy. Hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, including the resurrection of Christ as prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled by Jesus, authenticate the claims of the Bible. PP
The Bible in fact contains 1817 prophecies covering 737 different subjects. 27% of the Bible is prophetic and those fulfilled to date have been 100% accurate! By way of comparison, the Koran contains one specific prophecy in Sura 31 which was very short-term in nature. And Isaiah 64:6 clearly shows God’s view of our supposedly righteous deeds: PP
“And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” Why is that the case?
Please turn to Luke 19:41-44. Someone please read that. The end of Luke 19:44 states PP :
“because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” What is Christ referring to?
is confirming the prophetic nature of Scripture by stating to the religious
you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and
We don’t have time to delve into the specifics of this prophecy, but Christ is saying in Luke 19 that he was fulfilling prophecy by appearing in Jerusalem as the Messiah on the exact day that Daniel had prophesied and the scribes and Pharisees were ignorant of Daniel’s prophesy.
I became a believer in the truth of Scripture and Jesus as the Messiah where I saw those verses in Daniel unwound in this church at the age of 43. But on to the subject at hand, should we take scripture seriously in the realm of science?
It is impossible to reject the historicity of the book of Genesis without repudiating the authority of the entire Bible. If Genesis is not true, then neither are the testimonies of those prophets and apostles who believed it was true and that were confirmed by Jesus as we just saw re Daniel. In the Old Testament, for example, Adam is mentioned in Deuteronomy, Job, and 1 Chronicles, while Noah is mentioned in 1 Chronicles, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. There are at least 100 quotations or direct references to Genesis 1-11 in the New Testament. Furthermore, every one of those eleven chapters is alluded to in the New Testament, and every one of the New Testament authors refers somewhere in his writings to Genesis 1-11.
In not one of these Old or New Testament references to Genesis is there the slightest evidence that the writers regarded the events contained in Genesis as myths or allegories. The word genesis means "beginnings" or "origin," so Genesis 1-11 records for us God's provision of the only reliable account of the origin of the universe, the solar system, the earth, the atmosphere, and the oceans, of order and complexity, life, man, marriage, evil, language, government, culture, nations, and religion, not to mention rocks and fossils. Thus Genesis 1-11 is of such foundational importance to all history that without it there is no true understanding of ourselves or our world.
So the answer to our first question is yes, Genesis should be taken very seriously and where it deals with science it will be factual. Now for our next question. PP
Aren’t science and religion separate disciplines that do not involve each other?
The Bible is not a scientific book, but if the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, which it is, science clearly viewed will never contradict it. However, secular humanists laugh at the creation and catastrophe events in the Bible as being unscientific. Attempting, in their view, to be gracious they segregate religion or spirituality from science. In other words, feel free to have your religious views, but keep them compartmentalized from science and intelligent thought.
This is certainly the current position of the evolution-friendly National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which was incorporated in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. In 1999 in its PP
publication Science and Creationism the NAS stated PP
that "Scientists, like many others, are touched with awe at the order and complexity of nature. Indeed, many scientists are deeply religious. But science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience. Demanding that they be combined detracts from the glory of each." This is known as Non-overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA for short. The term magisterium is defined as "a domain where one form of teaching holds the appropriate tools for meaningful discourse and resolution" and the NOMA principle is "the magisterium of science covers the empirical realm: what the Universe is made of (fact) and why does it work in this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for example, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-overlapping_magisteriaThe late Harvard paleontologist PP
Stephen J. Gould, perhaps the top spokesman for evolution before his death in 2004, stated relative to Non-overlapping Magisteria: "the reason why we support that position is that it happens to be right, logically. But we should also be aware that it is very practical as well if we want to prevail.” What do you think he meant by “prevail?” He means to convince “religious” people that they can embrace both their religion and evolution as well. You will learn in this course that such a view, known as theistic evolution, leads to the compromise of the clear teaching of Scripture and in fact contrary to the scientific evidence. Sadly, much of the Christian world has embraced theistic evolution, with even Francis Collins, the professed Christian head of the US Human Genome Project, author of The Language of God and current nominee as head of the National Institutes of Health, has adopted that position. Based on the knowledge I have regarding those scientists that have met with Collins regarding the strong scientific evidence contrary to his position, I believe he is willfully ignorant of the evidence of design in life.
“The hypothesis of special creation has, over nearly two centuries, been repeatedly ...considered and rejected... In the forms given in the first two chapters of Genesis it is now an invalidated hypothesis... PP
Confronted by this challenge to the integrity and effectiveness of our national education system ... the Academy states unequivocally that the tenets of ‘creation science’ are not supported by scientific evidence...and creation has no place in a science curriculum at any level.”
The intelligent design movement has also been strongly attacked and labeled as pseudo-science because it posits an intelligent designer is the only logical option for the biological complexity we see increasingly as we delve deeper and deeper into the cell. They have even succeeded in defining science as the search of naturalistic explanations for phenomena, which is a dramatic shift from the definition of science that has existed for hundreds of years. We don’t have time to delve into the history of that transition in this class. I refer you to the blog section PP
of the PSSI website at www.pssiinternational.com Sadly, those in academia doubtful of evolution’s veracity pay a stiff price, as documented in PP
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which I highly recommend. PP
(This is a picture of me standing next to Ben Stein, with
John Stemberger of Florida Family Policy Counsel
making introductions, at a
So the answer to our question has two parts: 1) science and Scripture clearly overlap as the Bible addresses significant creation and catastrophic events and 2) secular humanists have begun an aggressive assault on religion with the goal of eradicating it from society, using science at the tool to accomplish that. Let’s move on to the third question we need to answer, which relates to what I just said. PP
Isn’t Genesis just an allegory and not intended to be read as a narrative of how the earth and all that is in it was created?
Jesus certainly didn’t think it was an allegory. In Mark 10: 6 he states PP:
“But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. For THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH…” Here Christ is quoting from Genesis1:27 and then Genesis 2:24 as the literal Word of God. Notice the beginning of that verse clearly state when that occurred – at the beginning of creation, which in this instance means the creation week set forth in Genesis chapter 1. But is it to be taken literally or as allegorical poetry? Perhaps Christ was just being poetic. Is Genesis simply poetry as some claim and therefore not to be taken seriously as a description of the Earth and universe’s creation and catastrophe events? Or are they claiming it’s not to be taken literally because they have been evolutionized in their thinking? All if us in this class have probably done that many times without even realizing it. We have been guilty if filtering God’s unchanging, inerrant Word through dynamic, ever-changing science.
Contrary to what many people think it’s not impossible to ascertain the answer to that with clarity. Genesis chapter 1 was written in the Hebrew language, which is consistent in using one structure for narrative and quite a different one for poetry. Linguists divide the world’s languages into groups according to the structure they use for their normal matter-of-fact statements, as opposed to questions, literary devices and so on. No language has been discovered which doesn’t have sentences, and sentences have in them bits we call subjects (S), verbs (V) and objects (O). Not all sentences have all three, but they occur in all languages.
Languages differ in the order in which these parts appear in basic sentences. For example, PP
English is called an SVO language, Hebrew is VSO, and Japanese is SOV. Let’s take a sentence like: ‘Our cat caught a mouse’. The sentence would appear in the three languages roughly as follows PP:
English-our cat (S) caught (V) a mouse (O)
Hebrew-caught (V) our cat (S) (a) mouse (O)
Japanese-our cat (S) (a) mouse (O) caught (V)
You can work out for yourself that ‘our cat’ is subject, etc., and see why we call Hebrew a VSO language. To find out which is which you say ‘What was it (subject) did what (verb) to what (object)?’
But English doesn’t always put things in that order. If I rephrase my sentence as a question, we have roughly VSVO: ‘Did our cat catch a mouse?’ In stylish writing, and poetry, and all those fancy things they do in literature, languages often change order. Hebrew poets, like David in the Psalms, used an SVO structure like English. In general then, if the Hebrew goes VSO it will be narrative, but if it is SVO it will be poetic. How does Genesis 1:1 go?
created (V) God (S) the heavens and the earth (0).”
verb(V) subject(S) object(O)
Genesis 1:1 is written in standard VSO, so it is narrative, not poetry. The same pattern goes all the way through Genesis 1 telling of the things that were created on each day. So we are dealing with narrative, or better still, history, because if the Hebrew writer was just telling a tale he’d make it stylish and use a lot of other devices. This means that the words in the passage have literal meaning unless such meanings can in no way be fitted into the text. So Genesis stands as narrative of the creation and catastrophe events of the universe and the earth and therefore if true will be in concert with science. PP
Time for a little quiz! I always give quizzes on subject matter we haven’t covered yet just to make it interesting! This one is easy and you should all make a 100, however, most of you will fail. You can grade your own answers. PP
Which of these is not a pre-historic animal? a) saber-toothed tiger, b) mammoth, c) tyrannosaurus rex, d) archaeopteryx.
Let’s check our answers. PP
Please read Genesis 1:23, 25, 27 & 31. Anyone want to change any of his or her answers? When did God make man?
Gen 1:27. When did God make all the mammals? PP
Gen 1:25. PP
During what day of creation were they made or created? They were all made/created on the sixth day. When did history begin? That’s right, with Adam. PP
Therefore, there is no such thing as a pre-historic animal!
That is an example of how we have all been brain washed with the evolutionary doctrine. I imagine the majority, if not everyone, in this class began classifying most of those animals as pre-historic! And we supposedly know and follow the Bible!
And yes, that obviously means that man and dinosaur lived at the same time. Let this picture PP
of the footprint of a dinosaur stepping on a human footprint pique your interest, but you’ll to wait until we get to the creation of mammals to address that.
But what are those that take an allegorical or other compromising positions regarding Genesis, many of whom are Christians, guilty of? You will hear this many times in this class and it’s something I hope you will no longer be guilty of after this class.
They compromise Scripture by filtering the immutable, inerrant word of God through dynamic, ever changing science, rather than filtering dynamic science through the immutable, inerrant word of God. Again, I guarantee you that any scientific theory or supposed “fact” of science that is obviously contradictory to the clear reading of the word of God will eventually be proven false.
Let’s see PP
how even most versions of study Bibles have been evolutionized. By that I of course mean the uninspired notes in those Bibles. The exceptions I am aware of are the MacArthur Study Bible, the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible and The Defenders Study Bible. Those that have a study Bible other than those - I have a NASB Ryrie Study Bible – PP look up Job 40:15 (just before Psalms). What does your footnote say about Behemoth? Mine says he was a hippopotamus. Read verse 17. Does a hippo have a tail like a tree? PP More like a sprig don’t you think? Those verses are clearly describing a large dinosaur PP
, not a hippo. By the way, the term “dinosaur,” which means “terrible lizard,” wasn’t coined until 1842. Before that the term “dragon” was most commonly used.
Now read PP
Job 41:1. What does your footnote say about Leviathan? Mine says he was an alligator! If you read Job 41 it describes a combination of a great sea serpent and a medieval, fire-breathing (verses 19-21) dragon - not an alligator! PP
Isaiah 27:1 also refers to Leviathan as a sea serpent. We won’t take time to go there. Psalm 118:8 PP
states: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”. Without even realizing it we have been evolutionized! What has caused that? Remember the filter I referred to?
Let’s examine our fourth and last foundational question.
Don’t the days indicated in Genesis Chapter 1 really mean long periods of time and not literal, 24-hour days?
We have seen that Genesis 1 is meant to be a narrative of the creation story. But does Chapter 1 cover six literal 24-hour days or six eons of time? Or maybe there were two creation events, with a huge gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? Many Christians have adopted a theistic evolution approach to Genesis, which believes that God used, and science dictates, evolution and millions of years in the creation of the earth and man, or a progressive creation view which has God becoming involved in creation events periodically throughout the earth’s 4.5 billion year history. After all, 2nd Peter 3:8 PP
says: “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” So doesn’t that support the view that the days in Genesis 1 are not to be taken literally? Let me hear your thoughts please.
That verse is simply saying that God, as the creator of time, is outside of it and not at all constrained by it. Before I give you an example of what I mean, please keep God’s admonition found in PP
Isaiah 55:8-9 in your mind and heart throughout this class: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
In our human pride we often feel that anything we cannot understand just cannot be. As the above verse clearly indicates, the Creator of the universe, and you, is far more intelligent (if that is even an appropriate word to use regarding God) than everything he created! Furthermore, we read in Hebrews 11:6 PP
: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him…” As clearly indicated in Isaiah 55:8-9, you will never have all the answers regarding creation and many other things. If you did, you would need no faith, yet faith is the critical element in your salvation!
Let’s get back to the discussion of time by looking at the dimension of time on the earth. Time as we know it is linear. If we use this line PP
to represent time, as we know it, it consists of the past, the present and the future. But we are a point on the line and we can’t go backwards or forwards. Let’s just make time two-dimensional, which is the constraint of this screen PP
and see what happens. Now we can move over these two dimensions at will. Imagine if time PP
were like a cube! We have trouble conceiving of more than three physical dimensions, but omniscient God doesn’t have those constraints. Someone please read John 20:19 PP:
“… and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Why do you think it was particularly appropriate for Jesus to say “Peace be with you?” He just appeared in the midst of a closed room! Since God is outside of our dimensions, since he created them, of course Christ can do what this verse clearly indicates he did! Isn’t our God an awesome God! PP
Exodus 20:11, among other verses, clearly indicates that the days in Genesis Chapter 1 were intended to be literal, 24-hour days: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them....” And I firmly believe that the scientific evidence, as you will see, confirms such an approach.