June 3, 2011

The Bible and Science

I received a response on Facebook about my last post. Basically, arguing that there are passages in the Bible that show how much the people of that time knew about science, and that it was because God told them about it. Therefore, I'm assuming that to mean, that the stories in the Bible are facts for scientific discussion. This is my response.

Here is one collection of examples of where the bible is plain wrong about science, or contradicts what we currently know according to visible evidence.  This is not the only list like this of its kind.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. That doesn't mean it's a reliable source for me to know what time it is.

The Bible is not to be generally discounted, but science relies on empirical evidence, not someone's stories about what is true or not. Many experiments and challenges have been made to evolution, and that's where it holds water. The challenges to the bible are unanswered other than more "it's in the Bible." That's not science. Again, not to be discounted, but it's not the scientific method.

The people who lived long ago were right about a lot of things. The people who made Stonehenge, before there was written language, probably used ball bearing technology to erect the 40 ton stones, and it wasn't until DaVinci's time that it was used again. That doesn't mean that the people of Stonehenge's time understood gravity, astronomy, chemistry, or even basic biology. We don't know what they knew, but even if we had written language from their time, we can't base today's understanding on their understanding unless we can reproduce their findings.

It's impossible to reproduce the findings that the people in the Bible have asserted - the existence of God, how plants and animals came to be, etc. They are stories that have no meaning or proof in today's science, but were probably very meaningful at their time. Until the stories of creation in the Bible are scientifically challenged and then proven to be the most likely scenario based on those results, it is not science. It not science any more than I can assert that a giant turtle rules the galaxy and kills people at will because he is actually a carnivorous turtle and is hungry and expect it to be taken seriously. Science takes what we see today, in our world that we live in right now, and uses that information to make an assessment of what is the best explanation. Belief takes stories, either of our own making or that have been handed down or read in a book, and then looks around to see proof.

I came to my belief in reincarnation by reading, listening to stories, and my own internal ideas. No empirical evidence at all. It's how anyone comes to believe in God, how anyone comes to believe in the afterlife or the beforelife, how anyone comes to believe that the world is here for humans' benefit. These things are told to us, so we believe. Or its something we've developed over time because it makes sense to us or we like them. Depending on where we grow up, we were taught to believe different things. And depending on whether we embrace science and spirituality together, but different, or whether we try to make science or spirituality the only thing that matters, will also affect what we believe.

Long ago, the church used to own science. When true scientists challenged the belief that the earth is flat, or that the earth revolved around the sun, they were rejected and even put to death, because belief resists change. Science encourages change, and it lends itself to being upgraded.

I determine the difference between science and belief like this - If an alien came down from another planet and looked at our claims to what we know, science would be the things that we can reproduce without language or words, and show them how it works. Beliefs are the things that we would have to explain with stories. It's impossible to explain creationism without language. Science, doesn't need language, it's simply there. For us to be truly human, we need both, although they are very different from one another.

1 comment:

Carlos Provencio said...

Most likely Jesus was a student of Buddhism. He attained enlightenment in the same fashion as many beings are attaining enlightenment and happiness by purifying their minds.