Sometimes when we say “if you know what I mean….” we’re really saying “I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to explain what I mean right now. Mark‘s open-mindedness has impressed me and I’m still exploring some of his statements. I am grateful for his willingness to share his thoughts. I’m still working out some of what I mean.
In his response to my comment on his post, he states:
It just doesn’t jive with me. You say that you’ve read the bible and put it to the scientific process and nothing can be disproved. I’ve had the opposite experience. I would say that the whole thing has been scientifically disproven—from Adam and Eve to the flood to the virgin birth to the resurrection.
The last I checked, the scientific community was fairly certain that the Earth is around 4.5 billion years old and that life evolved from microscopic organisms in the oceans. I don’t recall seeing any serious scientific studies about how life started at the Garden of Eden. Or that it’s possible for a snake to talk Eve into eating a piece of fruit. I don’t know any scientists who would say that it was physically possible for Noah to gather two of every species of animal from around the globe and fit them into a space of 300 cubits by 80 cubits by 40 cubits. Last time I perused the scientific journals, I don’t recall reading about the mounds of evidence showing human virgins giving birth or women turning to salt or how science had finally figured out how to end world hunger by feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
These things aren’t scientifically provable… which is why the Bible has to be taken with a good dose of faith.
…and then later:
It’s obvious that our ideas on science are different. If you are willing to wait for eternity for something to be disproven doesn’t that mean it’s impossible to disprove anything? It’s possible that Jesus walked on water. It doesn’t mean I’ll be attempting to take an evening stroll out in the Pacific any time soon. When you have some time, please let me know which miracles of the Bible you have found to be proved true.
First, I’ll comment on the prehistoric bits by quoting Mark again. In his post he stated “I just don’t think our human brains are capable of understanding what is really out there and what this is really about. And they don’t need to be.”
I think this is probably true for the person who penned Genesis. I trust that in the beginning there was darkness. Over time, the earth was formed. Land masses emerged, separate from the great bodies of water. A day is not a day is not a day, at least not by a modern definition of 24 hours made up of 60 minute cycles of 60 seconds, etc. If the first day is defined as the cycle of light and dark, I doubt very seriously that cycle took the equivalent of today’s 24 hour cycle. I would argue vigorously that trying to make that argument is silly. And to try to take literally that the creation of the earth and the evolution of man during the symbolic six-day period? Well, I don’t believe it is meant to be literal or scientific. I would argue that all of the scientific evidence that shows how the earth was created and how man evolved does nothing to refute that God is the Creator of all things and the catalyst behind what science has shown us.
How could early man have explained this? I don’t think their human brains were capable and I don’t think they needed to be. They were able to take these things on faith. Are you?
And now, a word about “Scientific Method“. All of the forms are effectively the same:
1. Form a hypothesis or theory.
2. Research/Gather data.
3. Consider the opposite consequences in order to disprove
4. Evaluate the hypothesis. If “False” go back to step 1, forming a new hypothesis.
Unfortunately it seems that Scripture doesn’t lend itself to Scientific Method. For example, I believe that Jesus walked on water and that Peter, before he succumbed to fear, also walked on water. The fact that the Mythbusters team couldn’t walk on water doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t. If I were to walk on water today, it wouldn’t prove or disprove whether Jesus did. It’s a question of probability not possibility. I can’t gather data, analyzing the behavior of a thousand Jesus’ to see if I can get one to replicate the miracles of THE Christ, our Messiah. No…this is what faith really comes down to. In the absence of proof, what do you believe?
Since there are plenty of hours of television devoted to proving or disproving Biblical claims, I would argue that nothing definitive has been put forth. Otherwise you (agnostic/atheist) or I could clearly be marked a fool and we wouldn’t waste time debating the subject. We’re both going to have to wait out eternity, or our own death, to see who’s right. Or perhaps the 2nd coming (aka “the Rapture”) will put an end to the debate. I don’t think the argument that belief in God just doesn’t jive with what you know bears up any better while we wait.
In the end, we are in glorious agreement: “These things aren’t scientifically provable… which is why the Bible has to be taken with a good dose of faith.” I embrace my faith. My life is better for it. I am enveloping all who doubt in a special prayer tonight.
In the absence of proof, may we all believe.