Science and the Bible

I am a person of Faith.  And I am also a scientist (well, almost – I’m an engineer).  I’ve often tried to understand the Bible in the context of what we have learned through science.  This is kind of like a science of the Bible.  In contrast, sometimes it seems impossible to understand God’s Word in the context of scientific knowledge.

ImageFor example, Exodus tells us that God sent nine plagues to the Egyptians so that Pharoah could see God’s power.  Were these plagues caused by something that can be explained by our scientific knowledge, like the plague of darkness by an eclipse, or the plague of blood by red tide?  I find this to be an interesting question.  Arguably the biggest question is how to reconcile the story of creation in Genesis with our scientific observations that, for one, date the earth at billions, not thousands, of years.

I suppose that one could put these inquiries and others on a firm scientific foundation by using God’s Word as an axiom.  Thus, all scientific observations at odds with God’s Word would be either incorrect or incomplete.  This seems like a difficult standard to me.  I do believe in the scientific process.  I’ve seen that some of our knowledge gained through this process has seemingly been at odds with God’s Word.  However, I wouldn’t dismiss that knowledge as being false.  There is a lot of activity in this area of science and God’s Word; the notion that science and Faith cannot coexist is anathema to me! 

In contrast, who says that God has done everything in ways that humans can or do understand?  For example, perhaps God simply made Egypt dark through his direct action.  This is by definition incomprehensible and not really science. 

Ultimately, it does not matter how God works.  However, this seems to contradict the fact that we were made in God’s image as scientific, knowledge-seeking people.  Science will never provide evidence of God, but maybe it can help us understand our relationship to him.

 

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