Possibly the greatest conflict between science and religion has been creation. The Bible “clearly” says the world and everything else was created in seven days, well six days plus one. Every fact and theory that science has ever uncovered indicates an earth and universe much older than that.
Since around the mid-1800s, when science, with Darwin’s help, uncovered that the Earth may in fact be a little older than the Bible leads us to believe. Religion, Christianity, has struggled to either disprove science or convince the world that religion and science do not belong in the same sentence. Dinosaurs have really mucked things up because it’s hard for religion to deny that they existed. And so, the task is to disprove the science used to date them. Carbon-14 dating has been proven to be inaccurate, though I still feel it’s proven that dinosaurs are older than the Bible is interpretted to state. There are other methods, including the completely inductive analysis of the layered organization of fossils within the substrata. Anyway, my point is not to go over all that again.
Let’s assume that science is inaccurate. Christian groups make the claim that scientists use their findings to support their atheistic beliefs. In many cases, they’re right. However, this is obviously true for Christians who attack science in this matter. So my purpose in this blog is to see if the “data” in the Bible is manipulated and misinterpretted to wage war with science.
We’re told that the universe was created in six days. There is a stubborn insistence that a “day” represented a 24 hour cycle. Even Christians have argued that a day could mean many things. What if God was standing on Mercury when he called out his commands of creation? Then his day would have been a 4,224 hour cycle, at Mercury’s current rotation. And on Mercury, he would have completed two years in that time one day. So creation would have taken 12 years.
We measure a day roughly by the length of time it takes for the Earth to revolve around its axis. As a result of this rotation, the Sun is able to light and warm the entire earth. The purpose of a day is to set a timetable for the light and warmth that the Sun provides us. God seems to has used this purpose as his measurement. He has called the “light” day and the “darkness” night. He called the evening and the morning, the first day. The strange thing is that God did not create the Sun, “the greater light to rule the day”, until the fourth day. In verse 14, he clearly states that these ruling lights would distinguish the days. So how did he measure the light and the dark for the first three days?
Another curious thing that I just noticed is the distribution of work in the creation process. God created the heavens and the earth on the first day alone. From what we know of the heavens and the earth, this task alone was infinitely larger than the remaining five days put together. We could always say that it’s really no work for God, after all, he is God. But that begs the question, why bother taking 6 days then? Why not snap your fingers once and be done with it? And why did he rest between each day and at the end? Maybe the key in this whole time paradox is the rest that he took.
Anyway, at this point, I’m just arguing for the sake of arguing. I’m sure there are enough “God works in mysterious ways” arguments to defend any interpretation of the Bible. That’s the nature of religion, and science is in a losing battle.
Then again, I’ve never felt that science was ever fighting the battle. And I’m not even sure it’s the Bible that’s fighting with science. Religion itself has always been the dogmatic parent to science, the stubborn and curious child. When science ardently and repeatedly asks “Why?”, religion simply yells “Because I said so!”
I guess, I have one last argument left in me.
“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” – Psalms 90:4
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” – 2 Peter 3:8