Saturday, December 16, 2006

In Defense of Science

"Honey" continues her defense of Answers in Genesis (AiG) at my blog. Instead of concentrating on specific claims of that group, she has chosen instead to deliver a broadside attack against the validity of mainstream science in general. I respond once more in defence of mainstream science. (Click here to read more.)

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know what Merle, I do not concede that what you say is right and what I say is wrong. I see that you have very good manipulation skills and that my debate skills are nowhere near up to par with yours (this I believe is due to the difference in our experience levels). There are so many issues from this post that I could address and so many more from previous posts that to date I have left untouched, but I see due to your strength and my weakness, that I am making little headway. What I am willing to concede is that to date I have not presented my cases nor expressed my opinions in a manner sufficient to be of major significance. Now that I understand your methods, I will abandon everything that has been discussed in the scientific vein (you are free to interpret that as you may), referring only to it if brought up as “post questioning method” or PQM, so that I may begin over using the method you endorse – QUESTIONING.

I apologise for repetition – I am attempting to lay the ground work for easy reference in future scientific discussion)

Can we agree on the following points?

1. I respect science and scientific study as it is defined here.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Science&r=66

2. The peer review system is a valuable scientific tool.

3. The peer review system does have problems as are stated in the article
Peer Review: Crude and Understudied, but Indispensable
Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, Edward W. Campion, MD

"We know that peer review is not perfect. It does not eliminate bias, on the part of either the reviewer or the editor. It does not weed out fraudulent research or even all flawed research. It cannot guarantee the truthfulness or the validity of the work. Although much has been written about the defects of peer review…”

4. Legitimate science can exist apart from the peer review system.

I have directed my questions to a simplified answer. This question requires only a yes or no at each point – not that I am telling you how to answer, but the answer I seek is yes or no (for the purpose of making it simple for even the youngest and most inexperienced reader to follow) and I will reword questions until we are able to achieve a yes or no answer.

Honey

Merle said...

"Can we agree on the following points?

1. I respect science and scientific study as it is defined here.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Science&r=66"


Actually, there are 12 definitions there. One definiton refers to the so-called "Christian Science", an unproven mind-over-matter healing cult. And no, though I try to respect all people, I don't respect the ideas promoted by that cult.

How about this for a working definition of science: "Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research." Source: Wikipedia.

"2. The peer review system is a valuable scientific tool."

Yes.

"3. The peer review system does have problems as are stated in the article
Peer Review: Crude and Understudied, but Indispensable
Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, Edward W. Campion, MD"


Yes.

"4. Legitimate science can exist apart from the peer review system."

Yes, it can, just like gardens can exist without fighting weeds. If the gardener makes no attempt to fight the weeds, he will have a jumble of good and bad. If there is no peer review (or its equivalent) then science could exist, but it would be very difficult for anybody to see what was true science and what is junk science unless they were experts in all fields.

For instance, if a rock sample had xenoliths that the researchers failed to take into account when dating it, then this research might be flawed, and might not prove what the researchers claim. Those who are not experts in the field would not think to ask about xenoliths. Science uses peer review to weed out such flawed studies. If you removed peer review, and put nothing equivalent in its place, how would you tell the true science from the junk science in fields in which you are not an expert?

Anonymous said...

I should have specified that I was referring to the first seven points.

1.I respect science and scientific study as it is defined in the first seven instances here.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Science&r=66"

I cannot accept your definition when ‘scientific method’ includes as an essential, publishing in peer review journals. Peer review was not considered obligitory for the period of greatest scientific discovery, and I don't believe it should be now. And that is not to say it isn't extremely valuable.

Also, weeds will proliferate when our gardens are planted against nature. The more natural the garden the less weeds will need to be removed. And again, that's not to say there will be no weeds.

I hope we understand each other.

Honey

Merle said...

Honey, See my response.

Noogatiger said...

Honey,
As you have stated to me before, "the bible is not a science book, although it contains some science". You say it is concerned only with the spiritual and the afterlife.
I can accept this statement, however when the little bit of science the bible does give us is worthless and wrong, why should I trust the other parts of this book.

As I said before science has given us:
Penicillin
Automobiles
Housing technology
Heating and cooling technology
Computers
Cancer treatments
Surgery
Infectious disease treatments
Better and safer ways to help mothers give birth
How to avoid bacteria in our food and water
The discovery of DNA, and the sure advances in medical treatments to come from it.
Beer
Coffee
Toilets


Now, what did God see fit to tell us about our scientific world:
Insects have 4 legs, according to the bible..
The earth is flat according to the bible.
The sun revolves around the earth according to the bible.
Rabbits chew the cud the Bible teaches.
All species of animal and living thing were not created in one day, like the bible teaches.
All species of animal could not have gotten to their locations on the earth from Noah's ark in the Bible either.
All races of humans could not have descended from Noah's family.
The rainbow in the sky is simple light refraction of sunlight through the mist, not a sign from God, as the bible teaches.


So who has more credibility, science or the bible?
WINNER = SCIENCE, by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

You people need to stop looking to scientists for answers. It is all in God's Holy Perfect Word.

The earth is fixed and immovable and lies at the center of all things. The sun moves about the earth, not the other way around. Use of the phrase "solar system" should therefore be avoided in favor of the more accurate "geo-system."


The earth is flat and finite. Its boundary may be circular, but the earth is most certainly not a sphere as was hypothesized by Eratosthenes (a pagan scientist who lived two centuries before the birth of Christ). The placement of globes in public classrooms can only serve to promote ecology as a possible state religion.


The sky is the roof over the earth -- a solid impervious barrier that protects both believers and non-believers from the waters beyond. The term "outer space" is a notion perpetrated by secular humanists, new age gurus, and other freethinkers.


The stars on the sky are much smaller than the earth. (The word "on" is not a typographical error here.) The notion of "distant suns" is nothing more than a theory entertained by misguided scientists.


The laws of physics as they exist on the earth are different from those of the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Astronomers should look to the Bible and not the Principia before they aim their telescopes. The former is the unerring word of God while the latter is merely the word of Isaac Newton.

This is the Biblical view of cosmology. Which are you going to believe, scientists or God?

Look in your bibles people, everything is laid out just as I stated it. Either the earth is flat with water below it and the sun revolves around it with the stars just little bodies hanging from the sky, or none of the rest of the Bible is true!

If we don't defend the Bible and the perfect truth in it from all this pseudoscience of a round earth revolving the sun and stars and galaxies, millions of light years away, then we are likely to start believing all kinds of lies, like evolution.

Everytime we let science shape our view of the world instead of the Bible, we go down this slippery slope of critical thought, which God says is a sin, because we start to doubt his word.

Think about that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Born on Christmas day in 1642, the same year that the tragic figure Galileo died, Newton discovered the binomial theorem, the method of fluxions (calculus), the law of gravitation and the composite nature of light—all before the age of 30. The foundations of modern astronomy and physics are still largely based on theories Newton first presented more than 300 years ago.
A humble and reclusive figure, Isaac Newton was a Christian who studied the Bible daily and believed that God created everything, including the Bible. He believed that the Bible was true in every respect. Throughout his life he continually tested biblical truth against the physical truths of experimental and theoretical science and never observed a contradiction, according to his many biographers. Newton's writings reflected his belief that his scientific work was a method by which to reinforce belief in biblical truth. After he completed his monumental Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he began to devote more and more of his time to researching the Bible, eventually writing a book he believed unlocked the prophecies contained in Daniel and Revelation, two Bible books he viewed as intertwined. The great bulk of his writing went unpublished, however, even though according to one writer, Newton believed that a scientist who had the ability to explain the workings of the world and did not explain and share it with mankind, was denying God one form of adoration."
http://www.biblecodedigest.com/page.php/74

Now let me see...Newton or anonymous...Newton or anonymous...hmm. Yep I've thought enough. Thanks very much for that :).

I would also like to note that the article makes reference to Newton as an eccentric Christian, and cites evidence of this to be the belief that God was not a Trinity. This however is something I believed purely from reading the Bible in English (and contrary to my upbringing), long before I knew anything of Newton's beliefs, so that doesn't strike me as being at all eccentric.

Think about that.

Honey

Anonymous said...

P.S. Thank goodness Newton let the Bible shape his view of Science, maybe we would make greater advancement in a much shorter time if we did the same today.

And Einstein's idea that there was a God of order (whatever he understood that to be) was certainly a corner stone of his work.

In his case, I would like to point out that Einstein's Jewish heritage precluded him from a faith in Christianity as stated in the Bible at John 12:37-40, Romans 11:24-26, Romans 9:30-33, and if all you have to go on is an understanding of Jewish tradition then it does seem a little deficient, which Einstein observed. This is because Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. When you are looking at a locked door you may be thinking, 'what the?', but when you are given the key you open the door and see the wealth of what is behind the door.


Honey

Anonymous said...

...And while we are on scientists, let’s have a look see what some great ones really thought about God and the Bible.


JOHANN KEPLER – Founder of physical astronomy

“I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him” (it appears he was the one to coin this phrase)

“Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”


MICHAEL FARADAY –Physicist; discovered electromagnetic induction, and invented the generator.

“The Bible, and it alone, with nothing added to it nor taken away from it by man, is the sole and sufficient guide for each individual, at all times and in all circumstances…Faith in the divinity and work of Christ is the gift of God, and the evidence of this faith is obedience to the commandment of Christ.”


JOHN HERSCHEL – Astronomer (son of John Herschel also a devout Christian)
Discovered 500 nebulae, and catalogued the stars and nebulae of northern and southern hemispheres.

“All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths come from on high and contained in the sacred writings (the Bible).”


SAMUEL MORSE – Invented the telegraph.

“The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible, the grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated, and the future is illuminated with hope and joy.”


JEAN HENRI FABRI - Father of modern entomology

“Without Him (God) I understand nothing; without Him all is darkness…Every period has its manias. I regard Atheism as a mania. It is the malady of the age. You could take my skin from me more easily than my faith in God.


LOUIS PASTEUR – Microbiologist Physicist and Chemist. Founder of medical microbiology, pasteurization being named after him.

This quote is not from LOUIS PASTEUR but one of many opposed to his theory.

“Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”

Unfortunately he was intensely opposed due to his own opposition to Darwinism and spontaneous generation. Shows what they knew.

He is another example of suppression of genuine science. If you're interested you can check out the movie “Story of Louis Pasteur”. He was a committed Christian.

http://www.amazon.com/Story-Louis-Pasteur-Paul-Muni/dp/B00003OSTS


GALILEO GALILEI– Philosopher, Astronomer and Mathematician

Galileo's Letter to the Church (1632)
"The reason produced for condemning the opinion that the earth moves and the sun stands still is that in many places in the Bible one may read that the sun moves and the earth stands still. Since the Bible cannot err, it follows as a necessary consequence that anyone takes an erroneous and heretical position who maintains that the sun in inherently motionless and the earth movable.
With regard to this argument, I think in the first place that it is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the Holy Bible can never speak untruth—whenever its true meaning is understood. But I believe that nobody will deny that it is often very abstruse, and may say things which are quite different from what its bare words signify. Hence in expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might fall into error. Not only contradictions and propositions far from true might thus be made to appear in the Bible, but even grave heresies and follies. Thus it would be necessary to assign to God feet, hands and eyes, as well as corporeal and human affections, such as anger, repentance, hatred and sometimes even the forgetting of things past and ignorance of those to come. These propositions uttered by the Holy Ghost were set down in that manner by the sacred scribes in order to accommodate them to the capacities of the common people, who are rude and unlearned. For the sake of those who deserve to be separated from the herd, it is necessary that wise expositors should produce the true senses of such passages, together with the special reasons for which they were set down in these words. This doctrine is so widespread and so definite with all theologians that it would be superfluous to adduce evidence for it. “
What was that again Galileo?
“I think in the first place that it is very pious to say and prudent to affirm that the Holy Bible can never speak untruth—whenever its true meaning is understood. But I believe that nobody will deny that it is often very abstruse, and may say things which are quite different from what its bare words signify. Hence in expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might fall into error.”
That’s what I thought. If only men without and even within the church were more like you Galileo, opening their hearts and minds to spiritual truth rather than wasting their time bogged down in their own misunderstanding.


And last but not least

FRANCIS COLLINS M.D., Ph.D. – Geneticist, Director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute. He led the research team who mapped the working draft of the Human Genome, considered by some to be one of the greatest scientific achievements of modern history.

Francis is a Christian who converted from atheism.

“I was very happy with the idea that God didn't exist, and had no interest in me. And yet at the same time, I could not turn away. I had to keep turning those pages. I had to keep trying to understand this. I had to see where it led. But I still didn't want to make that decision to believe…That day of making the decision was a whole mix of emotions. There was this sense of great relief, because I felt like I had been running from this for a year, and maybe for my whole life. And finally that pursuit was over. But there was also this sense of deep discomfort. Even in my rudimentary way, I had a sense that if you're going to accept the existence of God, at some level you have to give up control, and you can't just do what you want to because it feels good. And I liked very much being in control. I liked not having to answer to what was holy and vote for what was right. Maybe in some way, I was aware already without having put words to it, of the moral law — and aware that I wasn't living up to it…So in recognizing my desire to have relationship with God, I also had to come face to face with my own massive imperfections….I guess at that point, as an early believer, I had the sense that I had to fix all of those to become acceptable. This was before I really figured out that even though I'm imperfect and God is perfect, the person of Jesus Christ is that bridge that brings us together. And that's what Christ was all about. That took me a long time to begin to really absorb and accept and feel comforted by.”
P.S. Speaking of genetics, the Father of genetics, Gregor Mendel, was also a Christian and chose life as a monastery abbot over the furthering of personal scientific pursuit. Actually Mendel’s work was ignored for the first thirty-five years after it was published. Science can be lonely and thankless – he died before he received his due recognition.

There are so many other important scientists who were and are devoted to God and his Scriptures, but I could be here all night. The question every nonbeliever needs to ask is 'what did these intelligent and knowledgeable men know and see, that I am not knowing and seeing?'

The fundamental issue is that they trusted God. When you put your trust in Him you demonstrate yourself viable. Should He hand over the secrets of heaven to fools ?

I mean look at FABRI, the father of modern entomology. Insects with four legs? Do you think Fabri missed that? I think not. Open your heart to God and you will find the answer, or wait on Him and the answer may find you. The answer is there, in the Bible.

Honey

Anonymous said...

I don't quite follow your posts honey.

You say the answer is there in the Bible. This is what I said, and this is how I know that the earth is not a sphere revolving around the sun. The Bible says the sun revolves around the earth, and the earth has ends and stands on pillars and has a solid firmament where the stars are hung.

Bottom line, if the Bible is wrong on this issue, we can't trust it on any issue.

If the Bible says there were insects which had four legs and rabbits which chewed the cud, then I am sure there were insects back then which had four legs nad rabbites which chewed the cud. There is nothing to say they haven't evolved since then.

Don't let science shape the word of God. Take God at his word.

LorMar said...

I'm not an expert on any of this. However, "parody posters" usually hinder discussions rather than help.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I suggest you read again what GALILEO GALILEI wrote, maybe several times. And a course in literature could be of considerable benefit to you in broadening your understanding of the texts you appear to have difficulty with.

Honey

Anonymous said...

What is the parody really?

This IS what the Bible teaches.
I did not make this stuff up, it is in Gods word. If you deny this, then you have no basis to believe the rest of the book.

Do we keep re-adjusting our interpretation of the Bible just because science, or our own investigation of the real world tells us something different. This is the Word of God people. If it is wrong about cosmology, the most basic of God's building blocks, then none of it can be trusted, plain and simple.

Either the earth stands on pillars, with ends and edges, four corners and the sun goes around us, or the Bible is a mythical fairy tale. Parody or not this is the absolute undeniable truth of the matter.

Who am I, or you, to question the Word of the most Holy Perfect God?
If science can disprove God's word, then it can't be God's word.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

What translation does your evidence come from, and what is your rationale for choosing that translation?

Honey

coljac said...

Merle, you're a patient guy. Why keep banging your head against this wall? I'm amazed at how you politely and diligently come back to refute the same crazy assertions over and over again.

LorMar said...

Funny you responded to the parody comment ;-) In my experiences in various online forums, parodies are nothing more than annoying inaccurate portrayals and stereotypes of something or someone. This is an interesting debate, and I don't see the connection between your comments and the discussion at hand. If you believe the Bible is nothing more than a fairy tale, just say so. It's no big deal, you are entitled to believe as you wish.

lormar

Noogatiger said...

Scriptural Cosmology
When more than one citation is presented below a descriptive paragraph, their order on the page is the same as their order in the Bible.

The mobility of the sun
The most important biblical quote supporting a geocentric universe can be found in the Book of Joshua. This will be used as the starting point for our scriptural cosmology.

Joshua 10:12-13
Then spoke Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon." And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

The miracle of Joshua appears again as a reference in The Book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 3:11
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear.

The evidence in support of a geocentric model is overwhelming here. Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. He did not order the earth to cease rotating nor did he qualify his statement with the divine knowledge that the sun was merely made to appear stationary. The sun was commanded to stand still because it is the sun that moves. Descriptions of its motion can be rather poetic.

Psalms 19:4-6
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.

Ecclesiastes 1:5
The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

The stability of the earth
On the other side of the geocentric coin, if the sun moves then the earth must not move. There are a few passages which more-or-less forbid the motion of the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:30
tremble before him, all earth; yea, the world stands firm, never to be moved.

Psalms 93:1
The Lord reigns; he is robbed in majesty; the lord is robbed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Psalms 96:10
Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

In addition, the notion of an earth with a "foundation" is quite common. This leads one to conclude that the earth is quite stable.

2 Samuel 22:16
Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

Psalms 18:15
Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare, at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

Psalms 102:25
Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

Proverbs 8:27-29
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

Isaiah 48:13
My hand laid out the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.

John 17:24
Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.

The firmness of the earth's foundation is open to some discussion, however. Earthquakes may or may not be allowed.

Psalms 104:5
Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken.

Job 9:6
who shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble.

Isaiah 24:18
He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.

The earth's geo-architecture is also uncertain. Compare the following passages.

1 Samuel 2:8
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world.

Job 9:6
who shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble.

Job 38:4-6
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements -- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?

The shape of the earth
In any case, the earth is not spherical. According to the Scriptures, from a very high spot (heaven, for example) one could see the entire earth such that nothing would be hidden. Such a thing is not possible with a spherical earth as the opposite side can't be seen directly. This implies that the earth is flat.

Job 28:24
For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.

Psalms 19:4-6
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.

Daniel 4:10-11
The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;

Isaiah 40:22
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

From a great distance, a sphere would look like a circle. Perhaps the phrase "circle of the earth" refers to the outline of the earth? Perhaps. But then how could one see "all the kingdoms of the world? Those on the back hemisphere would remain hidden. The next passages should remove this confusion.

Psalms 136:6
to him who spread out the earth upon the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Isaiah 44:24
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb; "I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth -- Who was with me? --

If the earth were spherical, one would use a verb other than "spread out" to describe its creation (balled up, gathered up, gathered together, anything but spread out). One might say they "spread out" batter to make pancakes but no one would ever say they "spread out" hamburger to make meatballs. The earth in the Bible was "spread out" because it is flat.

This next verse appears to describe an earth that tele-literate humans would recognize.

Job 26: 7
He stretches out the north over the void, and hangs the earth upon nothing.

The highlighted portion reads like a description of the earth as seen from outer space. The remainder is entirely obscure, however. What void are they talking about? What does it mean to "stretch out the north"? Help me somebody.

The extent of the earth
Not only is the earth flat, it is also finite.

Psalms 103:12
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

On a spherical earth, one could travel east or west indefinitely. This passage seems to be saying that there is a limit to the directions east and west. That is, after some long journey, one would run out of east or west having reached the end of the earth. This contention is further justified in numerous passages.

Deuteronomy 28:64
And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.

Deuteronomy 33:17
His firstling bull has majesty, and his horns are the horns of a wild ox; with them he shall push the peoples, all of them, to the ends of the earth; such are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and such are the thousands of Manasseh.

1 Samuel 2:10
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.

Job 28:24
For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens.

Job 38:13
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

Psalms 19:4-6
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.

Psalms 22:27
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

Psalms 46:9
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire!

Psalms 48:10
As thy name, O God, so thy praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Thy right hand is filled with victory;

Psalms 59:13
consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more, that men may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth;

Psalms 61:2
from the end of the earth I call to thee, when my heart is faint. Lead thou me to the rock that is higher than I;

Psalms 65:5
By dread deeds thou dost answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and of the farthest seas;

Isaiah 41:9
you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off";

Jeremiah 51:16
When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.

Daniel 4:10-11
The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

Mark 13:27
And then they will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The edge of the earth
The phrase "the midst of the earth" from Daniel implies that not only does the earth have a boundary it also has a center. Since trees grow only on the earth's surface, the earth's center must also be on its surface. A sphere has its center beneath its surface which means that the earth is not a sphere but some sort of plane geometric figure. This raises another question. What is the shape of the earth's boundary? The answer is somewhat puzzling.

Job 26:10
He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

Job 37:3
Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.

Proverbs 8:27-29
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

Isaiah 11:12
He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 40:22
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

Isaiah 41:9
you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off";

Ezekiel 7:2
"And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.

Revelation 7:1
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on the earth or sea or against any tree.

Revelation 20:8
and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

The nature of the sky
There is far less confusion when it comes to the heavens. The sky covers the earth like a tent and we live under it. The is no mention of an atmosphere in the Bible, nor of the preferential scattering of blue light by nitrogen molecules (nor any mention of nitrogen nor of molecules). The sky protects us and keeps us safe not by filtering out ionizing radiation but by its sheer strength. The sky of the Bible is solid -- a firmament.

Job 22:14
Thick clouds enwrap him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.

Job 37:18
Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a molten mirror?

Proverbs 8:27-29
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

Isaiah 40:22
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

Isaiah 44:24
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb; "I am the Lord, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth -- Who was with me? --

Isaiah 48:13
My hand laid out the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.

2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Not only does God walk around on the heavens, so too does the sun, or rather it runs around on the heavens.

Psalms 19:4-6
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.

The nature of the stars
The stars are exactly as they appear -- mere points of light fastened to the sky that would fall to earth were they ever dislodged. Distant suns, far larger than the earth could not fall to earth but small points of light could.

Isaiah 14:12-13
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north;

Daniel 8:10
It grew great, even to the host of heaven; and some of the host of the stars it cast down to the ground and trampled upon them.

Matthew 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;

Mark 13:25
and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Revelation 6:13
and the stars of the sky fell to earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale;

Revelation 12:4
His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth;

Saint Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians spells it out more clearly -- the sun and the stars are different.

1 Corinthians 15:40-41
There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

The next verse describes an actual astronomical event.

Acts 19:35
And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?

Today we call these stones meteorites. Note how the contemporary connection between meteorites and shooting stars is not made. The Bible's authors appear not to care about its use as a scientific reference by future generations.

The water surrounding the earth
There are some truly odd references in the Bible (beginning on page one, no less) to there being waters above the heavens and beneath the earth. These references do not seem to describe rain or ground water as would be reasonable. Instead, they seem to promote the idea that the firmament of the heavens are holding back some unbelievably large reservoir and that the solid earth is floating in the ocean like a dumpling on soup.

Genesis 1:6-9
And God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.

Psalms 136:6
to him who spread out the earth upon the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Proverbs 8:27-29
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

The waters behind the sky are kept in place by the strength of the firmament. Openings (windows) in the firmament could be the source of the flood that wiped out humanity in the time of Noah.

Genesis 7:11
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventh day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth and the windows of the heavens were opened.

Genesis 8:2
the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained,

Isaiah 24:18
He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.

The waters beneath the earth are far stranger. I can't say that I've ever seen them, but the Israelites must have. They were prohibited from worshiping graven images of the creatures that inhabited this subterranean sea. It wouldn't make sense to prohibit the worship of creatures that don't exist so therefore they must exist.

Exodus 20:4
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Deuteronomy 4:16-18
beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figures, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.

Deuteronomy 5:8
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth;

The celestial and the terrestrial
Newton's great triumph was the unification of the terrestrial gravitation described by Galileo with the celestial gravitation described by Kepler. Much as a falling apple accelerates downward in free fall, so too does the moon accelerate radially in its orbit. Each body obeys the same law of universal gravitation. Had Newton read his Bible literally he would have seen the impossibility and insolence of his actions.

Genesis 11:4-7
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Behold they are one people, and they have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

Psalm 115:16
The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth is given to the sons of men.

1 Corinthians 15:40-41
There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.


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Conclusion
The Bible cannot help us to understand astronomy. It disagrees with centuries of observation so dramatically that it fails at even the most elementary level. Telescopic observation is five hundred years old and portions of the Bible predate that by another couple thousand years (more or less). The cosmology of the Bible is the cosmology of the Prophets. On this account and at this time it is useless.

LorMar said...

noontiger,

Just trying to understand. How did you come to the coclusions you have? I've always wondered why people look to the bible to explain anything scientific. I'd think the bible is as scientific as the average memoir. But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Many men of science (as I have demonstrated) have considered the Bible to be a wealth of scientific information.

The quote from Psalms 18:15 from the extensive list of verses given, reminds me of Matthew Maury, who was the father of modern oceanography and hydrography. His reasearch and contribution to science including the mapping of wind and ocean currents came directly from his faith in the Bible with specific reference to Psalm 8:8 ...the paths of the sea.

The sun as the central force for the earth's gravitational orbit is also supported by the Bible. Unfortunatly some prefer to make much ado about a legitmate matter of perception. For example a son can be a father, and a brother. Now to a father a son is not a father, he is a son, likewise the son to his son is not a son but a father. And to a brother a brother is neither a son nor a father, but a brother. In one circumstance one is correct. In another, another is correct. The same with the earth, sun perception. Clearly from an earthly perspective the sun moves across the sky. This is in no way an incorrect statement, but is fact from an earthly perspective. That God demonstrates both is just more conformation of His widsom. Some people perhaps would prefer if the Bible were a science text book, falling into line with man's expectations rather than accepting with awe the wealth of diversity God chose to reveal to us through the Bible.

For someone to say that the Bible cannot help us to understand astronomy when great men of science have said otherwise is nothing but nonsense.

The Bible never fails. What fails is man in his ignorance when he does not understand.

Honey

Honey said...

Sorry about the typos :-S.

Noogatiger said...

Lormar,
I do not view the bible as a scientific book. That is what my blog entry is all about. It is wrong about science. (flat earth, stationary earth, edges) It is wrong about historical events. (exodus). It is wrong in it morals. (women, slavery, genocide, rape).

Why should I believe that this junk came from God?
It is a mythical book, from slave owning, women haters and the God they made.

Noogatiger said...

From the National Academy of Sciences:

"Geologists have constructed a detailed history of sediment deposition that links particular bodies of rock in the crust of Earth to particular environments and processes. If petroleum geologists could find more oil and gas by interpreting the record of sedimentary rocks as having resulted from a single flood, they would certainly favor the idea of such a flood, but they do not. Instead, these practical workers agree with academic geologists about the nature of depositional environments and geological time. Petroleum geologists have been pioneers in the recognition of fossil deposits that were formed over millions of years in such environments as meandering rivers, deltas, sandy barrier beaches, and coral reefs.

The example of petroleum geology demonstrates one of the great strengths of science. By using knowledge of the natural world to predict the consequences of our actions, science makes it possible to solve problems and create opportunities using technology. The detailed knowledge required to sustain our civilization could only have been derived through scientific investigation.

The arguments of creationists are not driven by evidence that can be observed in the natural world. Special creation or supernatural intervention is not subjectable to meaningful tests, which require predicting plausible results and then checking these results through observation and experimentation. Indeed, claims of "special creation" reverse the scientific process. The explanation is seen as unalterable, and evidence is sought only to support a particular conclusion by whatever means possible."

In other words there was no worldwide flood and if geologists had looked to be Bible for their science, we wouldn't have much oil or gas. Thank goodness scientist did not get their science from the Bible, or we would still be riding horse drawn carriages with no space program, no advances in medicine, and still looking for that unicorn.

Anonymous said...

Well Here is a site by a geological engineer who has found that his work in the field only supports his belief in a world wide flood. Apparently the National Academy of Sciences hasn't confirmed their facts.

Anonymous said...

Site address:

http://www.biblicalgeology.net/