genesis, science and history

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Genesis, Science and History. John Oates October 20, 2014. 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Genesis, Science and HistoryJohn Oates*

  • What this Class is AboutWhat this class is NOT aboutThis class is not an attempt to prove that God exists through science or reasoningSeveral books take this approach by highlightingArchaeological discoveries proving the accuracy of the BibleDietary laws of the JewsApparent design in natureThesis:God has so designed the universe that you will not find explicit evidence in nature for his existenceHe has never desired mere intellectual belief, never sought that kind of faith: The demons believe in God, and shudder.What this class IS aboutUnderstand what the author is trying to communicateShow that there is no fundamental inconsistency between science and the BibleAll apparent inconsistencies arise from eitherIncorrect scientific assumptionsIncorrect Biblical interpretationsMany traditional Biblical interpretations are inconsistent with science

  • Outline of Topics to be Covered1) Introduction2) Creation, the Age of the Earth and the Big BangIn Search of Adam3) The Hominid Fossil Record4) The Human Diaspora5) Adam, Lost and Found6) The Flood7) Evolution8) The Origin of Life and Intelligent Design

  • Overview for TonightImportance of reconciling the Bible with scienceThe history of the conflict between science and the religionThe Bible must be correctly interpretedScientism

  • ImportanceMost issues of Science and the Bible are not essential points of doctrineBelieving in the resurrection is an essential point of doctrineBelieving the earth to be 4.5 billion years old rather than created in six days around 4004 B.C. is notYet in some cases scientifically-minded people have been driven away from the church for rejecting traditional interpretationsWe need to know what beliefs do and do not contradict the BibleA 4.5 billion year old earth does not contradict the BibleBelieving humans to be merely biological machines does contradicts the BibleDoes evolution contradict the Bible?What about the naturalistic origin of life?What should we believe about the Flood, miracles, the Big Bang, Bible directivesAlways be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15

  • ImportanceScientific education What should we teach our kids?Many of our kids will lose their faith between their freshman and senior years in college (James Leuba, 1916)Scientific ideas taught in schools, if not well-addressed, can be a serious stumbling block to our children, if not ourselvesAlan Hayward: But it is quite another matter for recent-creationists to argue that the astronomers, the astrophysicists, the nuclear physicists, the geologists, the geochemists and the geophysicists are all on the wrong track, too! When they have had the time to ponder the implications, how many educated young people will accept such a sweeping dismissal of so large a part of science? And what will happen when they finally turn and reject it? Is there not a danger that many of them will swing to the other extreme and reject the Bible altogether?If we fail to handle this correctly our kids may brand us as simpletons and find reason to ignore ChristOur own faithSome of us undoubtedly are insecure regarding some of the apparent inconsistencies between the Biblical and scientific teachings

  • Overview for TonightImportance of reconciling the Bible with scienceThe history of the conflict between science and the religionThe Bible must be correctly interpretedScientism

  • Conflict Between Science and ReligionThe war between Science and ReligionJohn William Draper: History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science, 1875Andrew Dickson White: A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom, 1896That Science and Religion have always been at war is contentiousNevertheless, everyone acknowledges that the current relationship is accurately described by war

  • Flat Versus Round EarthDid man from his earliest day believe that the Earth was flat?Early Greek philosophers knew the world was roundAristotle (~350 BC) reasoned that the earth was spherical since only a sphere would cast a circular shadow on the moon regardless of geometryCombining astronomical observations with geometry the early Greek philosophers calculatedThe earths diameter, with high accuracyThe distance from the earth to moon, more or less correctlyThe distance from the earth to the sun (less accurately)By 1492 it was generally agreed that the world is round, at least by the educated classesEratosthenes (ca. 276 - 194 BC)

  • Flat Versus Round EarthSeveral of the early church fathers believed that the earth is flat based on a literal reading of the BibleCosmas Indicopleustes (547 AD)Lactantius (245-325 AD)Flat-earth scriptures:He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. Psa 104:5He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. Job 9:6After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, Rev 7:1The Flat-Earth Society is still alive todayTheir beliefs again based on a literal reading of the BibleThe Bible does not say that the earth is flat the early church fathers misinterpreted poetical passages as literalHave you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? Job 38:12-13

  • The Ancients View of the CosmosHe sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. Isa 40:22

  • The AntipodesAugustine (~400 AD)But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground credible. For Scripture, which proves the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, gives no false information; and it is too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are descended from that one first man. (City of God, XVI.9).Augustines deductionsVerses like Acts 17:26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth indicate that all men are derived from AdamGiven, therefore, that the antipodes where unreachable from Eden, if they exist, they must be uninhabitedAugustine used the scriptures to support the view that there were no people on the opposite side of the earth, yet at that time the Mayan and Teotihuacan (Mexico) cultures were fully establishedAlan Hayward (Creation and Evolution):Augustine, of course, believed that he was demolishing bad science with Scriptures. In fact, he was unsuccessfully opposing good science with his own incorrect deductions from Scripture a mistake which has been repeated all through history

  • Nicolaus CopernicusCopernicus published De Revolutionibus in 1543, supporting the idea that the earth rotates every 24 hours and that it orbits the sun every yearHe immediately came under attack from both Catholics and ProtestantsPeople give ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the Earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon This fool Copernicus wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth. Martin LutherPassages Luther and his contemporaries used include"So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, " Joshua 10:13In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. Psalm 19:4-6"The Earth is firmly fixed; it shall not be moved" Psalm 104:5Just like Augustine, Luther misinterpreted the scriptures, ridiculing those who held the truthand it is too absurd to say AugustineThis fool Copernicus Luther

  • Galileo GalileiGalileo Galilei became persuaded of, and championed, the heliocentric solar systemIn 1610 he discovered 4 moons orbiting Jupiter, now known as the Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and CallistoHe also found that Venus was a planet, with phases like the moon In 1616 Pope Paul V notified Galileo in writing to not hold or defend the Copernican theoryUnder the Copernican theory man and the earth were no longer at the center of the UniverseIn 1632 Galileo published his Dialogue on the Great World Systems, The Ptolemaic and CopernicanImmediately the wrath of the catholic church fell on GalileoHe was summoned to Rome to appear before the InquisitionThe church produced a written memo, purportedly given to Galileo in 1616 indicating that he not hold nor defend nor teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing the Copernican theoryHe was sentenced to recant his views under a charge of heresy and then placed under house arrestCompared to Giordano Bruno Galileo got off easy Bruno had been burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600The Dialogue was added to the index of banned books where it remained until 1832

  • From Conflict to all-out WarIn 1650 Irish Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) arrived at a date 4004 BC for creation, 2349 for the FloodBy the mid-1800s the Uniformitarianism of James Hutton (1726-1797) and Charles Lyell (1797-1875) became the universally accepted geological theoryIn the second half of the 19th century various interpretations of t