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Gaps between Science and the Bible

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Gaps between Science and the Bible is a set of Biblical scientific foreknowledge claims from a Christian textbook, which appears to be aimed at students of approximately middle school age.[1]

The book claims "Many important scientific truths were revealed in the Bible thousands of years before they were discovered by scientists."

Interestingly, quite a few of the biblical references provided have no relation at all to the "scientific truth" they supposedly reveal.

The claims are almost entirely a duplicate of Ray Comfort's Science Confirms the Bible.

A neat table of things[edit]

Amazing factoid Citation[2] Science finally catches up,
lag time in years[3]
Comments by the sane
Earth is a sphere Isaiah 40:22[4] 240 BCE, 760[5] Sounds more like a flat circle under a tent. A drum circle, maybe?

Also note that the Bible says the Earth has corners, which requires a flat square, cube, tetrahedron, or other non-spherical object.[6]

The water cycle keeps the land watered Job 36:27-28[7]
Ecclesiastes 1:7[8]
Amos 5:8[9]
350 BCE, 1600 Pretty good here. Jesus is my weatherman.

...Of course, these do appear to attribute the process to direct divine intervention, rather than the action of evaporation and air currents. Even if that part is meant to be interpreted figuratively, the lack of specificity as to the mechanisms involved makes these passages of limited use as a work of, you know, science.

It should be noted that third passage also references sunrise and sunset as occurring by divine action, making no mention of the rotation of the Earth.
Earth is suspended in space Job 26:7[10] 1700 CE, 3600 What they never tell you about this verse is later, in Job 38:4-6, God directly contradicts Job on this and rebukes him for his insolence.[11] They also fail to mention that the Earth doesn't "hang on nothing" but instead is held in constant free-fall by the Sun's gravitational pull, as well as rotating on its axis. Far from a massive stationary object that's suspended by Divine Will. This statement is also at odds with one found in Psalm 104:5[12]
The universe is running down Isaiah 51:6[13]
Psalm 102:26[14]
1800 CE, 2500 Apparently entropy will not affect Isaiah's attitude problem. The Psalms reference could mean almost anything. Also, that even permanent-seeming things die or wear out eventually is not clearly outside contemporary knowledge. Finally, the Earth will not wear out like a garment, it will be swallowed by the expansion of the sun during our star's red giant phase.
Ocean currents flow through the sea Psalm 8:8[15] 1800 CE, 2800 I see no reference to the Gulf Stream here. Must be a mistranslation.
Blood sustains life Leviticus 17:11[16] 1800 CE, 3300 The fact that blood has a visible relation to life is not something people needed divine wisdom for. In this case it appears that the blood also has magical atoning properties.
The universe is made of invisible things Hebrews 11:3[17] 1900 CE, 1900 Based on the context provided by the first half of the passage, this verse is merely asserting that God, who cannot be seen, made the world we observe. Even if we assume that this passage is somehow despite all context meant to be taken as revealing the existence of subatomic particles, the complete lack of specificity makes it useless as science.
The Earth's crust rests upon a foundation Job 38:4[18]
Psalm 104:5[19]
1900 CE, 4000 The Earth's crust does not, in fact, rest upon a foundation. It rests on the plastic mantle, which rests on the liquid outer core. The inner core is solid, but the crust does not rest upon it any more than a ship floating on the sea rests upon the foundation of the seafloor.
Stars produce sound Job 38:7[20] 1900 CE, 4000 Infrasounds, yes of course, but nobody can hear it for the interstellar vacuum. (Asteroseismology)
The stars cannot be numbered Genesis 15:5[21]
Genesis 22:17[22]
Jeremiah 31:37[23]
Jeremiah 33:22[24]
1600 CE, 3000 Only the fourth citation supports the claim, which is in any event false. While the number of stars in the visible universe is very large, it is not infinite. All four citations in fact use the analogy of the "numberless" stars to indicate a very large, but not infinite, number. This is still not an example of biblical scientific foreknowledge, as all that a person must do to learn that there is a very large number of stars is to look at the sky at night!
Stars are incredibly distant from the Earth Job 22:12[25] 1700 CE, 3800 But how much more distant than the Moon? The lack of specificity again makes this useless to science. Also, the passage refers to the stars as being high above the Earth, not distant from the Earth. Height above the Earth's surface is not a meaningful metric outside the immediate vicinity of our planet.
Stars differ in magnitude 1 Corinthians 15:41[26] 1650 CE, 1550 Interestingly, it does not identify the sun as a star. We now know that it is. Also, all that must be done to learn that stars differ from each other in brightness is to look at them. This factoid is therefore not outside contemporary knowledge.
The winds form a circulating system Ecclesiastes 1:6[27] 1800 CE, 2700 Actually, the winds blow horizontally, from west to east—the verse specifically says north to south.
Earth rotates on its axis Job 38:12,14[28]
Luke 17:31,34[29]
1600 CE, 3550 These verses have nothing to do with this claim, unless they are in some sort of code! Perhaps the author of this claim confused a seal with a potter's wheel? Even if these verses did suggest that the Earth rotates, they would be at odds with the numerous references of the Earth being stationary
Man's body is composed of the same materials as the Earth Genesis 2:8[30]
Genesis 3:19[31]
Psalm 103:14[32]
1800 CE, 3200 The first passage has zip to do with the claim, and, as to the other passages, 'dust' is a spectacularly vague term, encompassing everything from little bits of dead human skin (how circular!) to tiny bits of sand (how inaccurate!). Where would biochemistry be without this important "inside information"?
The universe suddenly appeared out of nothing Genesis 1:1[33]
Psalm 33:6,9[34]
1900 CE, 3400 Actually, these say God made the universe. That's not "appearing out of nothing". Also, the heavens do not stand firm.

References[edit]

  1. Science:Order & Reality. 1980,1993 Pensacola Christian College, A Beka Book. Page 357
  2. All the following verses are NIV, from http://www.biblegateway.com
  3. Dates are very approximate, read from the chart in the book
  4. He sits enthroned above the circle of the Earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
  5. cf., EratosthenesWikipedia's W.svg
  6. I took you from the ends of the Earth, from its farthest corners I called you. — Isiah 41:9
  7. He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind
  8. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
  9. he who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns blackness into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land — the LORD is his name-
  10. He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the Earth over nothing.
  11. Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone?
  12. He set the Earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
  13. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the Earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the Earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
  14. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.
  15. the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
  16. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.
  17. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
  18. Where were you when I laid the Earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
  19. He set the Earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
  20. while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
  21. He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars — if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
  22. I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
  23. This is what the LORD says: "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the Earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done," declares the LORD.
  24. I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
  25. Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars!
  26. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
  27. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
  28. Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,… The Earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
  29. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.… I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
  30. Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
  31. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
  32. for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
  33. In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.
  34. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. & For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.