Recently there was a large march in Washington, D.C. called the March for Science. I love science. God is the author of science. But if the march participants hold to these statements, I really question their view of science. What is science? Simply stated, science is knowledge. More specifically, science is “systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation…” (Webster’s New World College dictionary). The Bible says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7).
Politicization of Climate Science
Dr. Judith A. Curry, the former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has done 30 years of research as a climate scientist. On 8 December 2015, she testified before the U.S. Senate on the topic “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate Over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Climate Change.” Her statement below speaks to the problem of climate science being affected by politics.
“Over the past decade, I have become increasingly concerned about the integrity of climate research, which is being compromised by the politicization of the science. My research on understanding the dynamics of uncertainty at the climate science-policy interface has led me to conclude these dynamics are not operating in a manner that is healthy for either the science or the policy process.”
Undoubtedly there were many smart science-oriented people at this march. But there are still many well-credentialed scientists who are skeptical of the claim that man is causing dangerous climate change. These skeptics are labeled “climate change deniers,” but they know that the earth’s climate has gone through many cycles of warming and cooling over the centuries, well before man was pumping extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Man’s activities are only one of about 20 different factors which affect the earth’s temperature variation. Therefore, there may be consensus that the earth has recently warmed, but there is no consensus that man’s burning of fossil fuels has been the major contributor? Notice in the graph of global temperature change below that warming occurred from 1910 to 1945, then there was a slight cooling until 1975, then a warming since then. Surely man did not reduce his burning of fossil fuels between 1945 and 1975. As Dr. Curry alluded, there are those in the science community who are trying to shut down debate on this issue, claiming that catastrophic man-made climate change is a fact.
Figure 1: Global surface temperature anomalies from the UK HadCRUT4 dataset
To say that man can catastrophically change the planet’s climate is arrogance of the highest degree. God said, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22). God is going to decide when and how He remakes the earth.
The Bible and Science are Totally Compatible
The Bible and true science are totally compatible. We do not ignore science when we believe the Bible. But the Bible gives us the framework upon which to interpret scientific evidence. We must not interpret the infallible Bible based on man’s fallible scientific theories. Many great scientists of the past and present were and are Bible-believing Christians. Although the Bible is not a science textbook, it makes a number of accurate scientific statements, which were written well before scientists discovered them. For example:
It refers to the roundness (sphericity) of the earth (Isa 40:22),
It says that the earth “hangs on nothing” (Job 26:7),
It refers to the water cycle (Eccl 1:7),
It states that the Life is in the blood (Lev 17:11), and
It mentions the disinfecting (cleansing) quality of running water (Lev 15:13).
A Conflict of Belief Systems
Creation versus Evolution is not religion versus science, but a conflict of belief systems. Creationists agree that, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” (Hebrews 11:3). But note the following two quotes by evolutionists – and there are many more.
“We take the side of science (evolution) in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs (ideas) … because we have a prior commitment to materialism … for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
(evolutionist) Richard Lewontin
The New York Review
“The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone.”
(evolutionist) Dr. Louis T. Moore
As stated initially, true science requires observation and experimental testing. The experiments must be repeatable as well. Obviously, the origin of the universe and earth is not observable or repeatable, so it is a belief system, not science.
Evolution and the Age of the Earth
To state that it is a fact that the earth is 4.5 billion years old is also very unscientific. This of course is based on the theory of evolution. John Ambrose Fleming, the father of electronics, stated, “Evolution is baseless and quite incredible.” It is a theory fraught with problems: How could a “Big Bang” explosion evolve into our well-ordered information-rich universe? How could life come from non-life? Why is there not one single example of a transitional fossil where one “kind” of organism evolved into another kind? Why is radiocarbon (C-14) still increasing in the atmosphere when it should have reached equilibrium millions of years ago? Why can we radiocarbon date specimens at thousands of years when they are supposed to be millions of years old? Why do we find soft tissue in dinosaur bones? Why is there still lots of helium in rocks when it should have diffused out millions of years ago? Why do we measure different rates of decay in radioisotopes when the assumption is that the decay rate has been constant for millions of years? And the list goes on.
Evolution Taught as Fact Everywhere
Unfortunately, evolution, or some form of millions and billions of years of earth history, is taught as undeniable fact in our public educational institutions and even in most Christian colleges. Those of us who believe the Bible teaches a 6-day Creation about 6,000 years ago are in the minority of the minority. But truth has never been by majority rule. Bill Nye “the science guy” says Creationism is a danger to our youth. Theologian William Lane Craig said that young earth creationism is “an embarrassment” to Christianity. That’s okay. Jesus said, Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets (Luke 6:26). God’s ultimate rebuke is found in Romans 1:19-22:
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
I believe it’s more honoring to God to interpret Genesis as the historical narrative of earth history that it is. I’ll take the Bible as the framework for our scientific investigations any day.