Science and the Bible
Civilization has made enormous leaps in science and how we view the natural world, but it seems that with each stride toward progress we discover more conflict between science and the bible. Today, scientists use evidence and testing to understand the natural world, while much of the bible’s content cannot be proven or tested. This lack of evidence that can be proven in the bible leads a misinterpretation of the bible, which in turn leads to conflict between science and religion. Modern science and the bible are seemingly in conflict, but in reality what if it’s only one’s interpretation of both that are in conflict. In fact the bible contains many concepts that sparked further questioning and experimenting, which helped developed science as we know it today. Many of the most influential scientists in history have their roots in biblical backgrounds. Science and the bible are not in conflict, but are very closely related, as modern science could not have developed without concepts that originated in the bible. By fixing misinterpretations people have in the bible we can come to resolve this conflict that exists.
Throughout history theologians have considered the Bible and nature as the “two books of God”, and it’s how we interpret these books that lead to conflict, not the books themselves. The first of these two books are the scriptures from Jewish and Christian faiths that form the Bible. The biggest misconception about the Bible is that it is a book of science, yet it contradicts with the findings of modern scientists. "the Bible is, after all, not a textbook of science, but rather of religion." (Morris). The stories in the Bible contain the literary styles of the authors of the time, and if it is read too literally the message is distorted. When read literally the stories of creation become a story of how the world came into being, while the reader misses the main focus of the story, which is to simply state that the world was created. Though hermeneutics, the science of interpretation, we can better study and discover the true meaning behind the stories in the Bible. By analyzing the literary properties of the scriptures, such as genre and language, theologians have been able to better interpret the Bible as a book of religion and spirituality, instead of a manual about the creation of the universe. When we can correctly interpret the first book it can coincide with the second book harmoniously.
The second of the two books of God is the book of nature. “This is the implied record about our Creator that is discovered in the natural world around us” (Ohlman). The mere existence of the second book, our natural world, implies that we are encouraged to understand and discover it for ourselves. By questioning the phenomenons that occur in the world we gain perspectives of “God’s work” not found in the first book of God. The very definition of science is the “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation” (Webster). The act of studying God’s second book is called science, so in a religious point of view science is encouraged to understand the world. “Science, at its best, is an attempt to read and understand the book of nature (or God’s works)” (Ohlman). Science, with all of its finite measurements can provide a better understanding of the natural world, but lacks in infinite measurements such as faith and belief, which the first book of God can provide in the Bible.
From a theologian point of view, it is important to read both books of revelations to understand creation. Since science and the Bible can be both classified as books of revelations, the two are actually closely related. Christians who fear and deny the discoveries of modern science hold the misconception that science contradicts the bible, when instead it is only an attempt to read the second book of revelation. “These two forms of revelation mutually...