Science in the Bible

Is there some science in the bible?
Is there some science in the bible?

Mankind has always been curious about why things are the way they are. In its infancy, the human race had no way of understanding the world around them. That is until a select few started observing the environment and working out explanations for different phenomena. I'm constantly amazed at how the ancient scientists, using very archaic methods, reached certain level of truth by their observations.

I believe that religion appeared as a medium by which these scientists could explain their findings to their fellow men. There seemed to be an order in the universe, a force that made everything fall perfectly into place. They called this force God.

Of course, many of the early scientists' observations were way off, but some of them are scarily accurate. I'm going to focus on the myth of creation as written in the book of Genesis. Here's a comparison between that myth and the current understanding of the beginning of the universe:

Order of creation in the bible:

  • Creation of the heavens and the earth. (existing yet shapeless)
  • Creation of light
  • Creation of the seas
  • Creation of land
  • Creation of plants
  • Creation of the sun and the moon
  • Fish and birds
  • The rest of the animals
  • Creation of man

Now, lets take a look at the scientific version:

  • The Big Bang happens. Immediately afterwards, The four fundamental forces are established (one of them is electromagnetism, of which light is a part).
  • As matter in the universe aggregates, the solar system forms. At first, the earth's surface was a volcanic chaos, but slowly it cooled off, and oceans and continents came to be.
  • Jumping ahead a millions of years, life appeared in the oceans. This life slowly evolved into all kinds of marine creatures, including fish.
  • The first forms of life to colonize land were plants. They flourished in the ancient continents. Animals followed and diversified into multiple species.
  • After all of this, a very special species evolved from the apes. Man was born.

Of course, in the first version this all happened in six days. But if you ignore that bit, the two aren't that different. What amazes me is that the authors of Genesis, more than 3000 years ago, had a basic understanding of the history of the universe. They somehow reached the conclusion that the earth was shapeless at first, and that light was one of the first things to come into existence. They knew that plants colonized the earth before the animals did, and that the first animals were marine creatures (well, they were wrong about the birds being there at the same time, but lets cut them some slack). They place the appearance of man as the last event to take place in creation.

Is all of this a coincidence?

Speaking of men, I find that the author of Genesis could also have believed on the transformation of ape to man. The whole "Tree of wisdom" and its forbidden fruit could be interpreted as the detachment of man from its innocent, unthinking, unashamed, instinctual self, leaving behind the simple life of an animal and taking on the woes of the human being, like work, and emotional and spiritual suffering.

I don't mean to say that the bible contains all truth, but it sure is a glimpse into the mind of the bronze age man and its views on the universe. Some of these views are interesting foundations of both natural and social sciences, public health, among other things.

A lot of people claim that the Bible is the word of God, and that all that's in it is true. These people should take a closer look, because they usually overlook the parts that do make some serious sense.

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Comments 7 comments

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Well that's possible David..that God and religion were employed by these early scientists to give structure to their discoveries. I suppose, not only was it a way for them to get their ideas across but it was also a means by which they could try and make sense of those ideas.

Interesting too, what you wrote about the tree of man.

Cheers


zrichards profile image

zrichards 6 years ago from Madison, WI

If you're curious about this stuff I highly recommend you read the book "The Science of God" by Gerald Schroeder, it will blow your mind. To add my own comments:

Many people see a clash between the the bible saying everything was created in 6 days, but science has hard evidence that it took millions upon millions of years to happen. Most people skip over the simple concept of a day and take it for granted. To quote the bible (roughly)"On the first day God created light and darkness." See the problem with this statement? God created light on the first day, but the earth still doesn't exist (according to both science and the bible). The day the bible is referring to cannot be equivalent to an earth day because the earth doesn't exist yet. A "day" is a relative term, it varies depending on what planet you're on or more specifically your place in the universe. Einstein goes deeper into this concept with his theory of relativity, which basically states the perception of time is relative to a matter's mass and therefore its gravity.

Fascinating stuff.


Ann Lee profile image

Ann Lee 6 years ago

In The Beginning (time) God (force) Created (action) The Heaven (space) And The Earth (matter)


SamboRambo profile image

SamboRambo 5 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

There's another thing in the Bible that seems to support a scientific theory - that of evolution, of all things: Genesis 1:20 says, "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." This verse suggests that the waters brought forth birds that fly in the sky. How can that happen, except through evolution?

I believe in the Bible, and I believe that the Bible and Science will some day agree. We know the Bible has undergone many millennia of translations and reprints, and that changing times has changed some of the meanings in the Bible. Science, too, has changed in its theories, and is, indeed, a mechanism designed to permit change in its conclusions, given the changing nature of our data-gathering efficiency or methods.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Very interesting hub!

I am truly fascinated by the apparent knowledge and abilities of the writers of the Bible, at a time when most people would have been totally uneducated.


The Fanboy profile image

The Fanboy 5 years ago from South Africa

A thought provoking hub David. Keep up the good work!


DavitosanX profile image

DavitosanX 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comments, Trish and Fanboy!

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