Sunday, June 05, 2011

Reinterpret the Bible, or Science?

Reading about the latest sad deception going on at Christianity Today, it reminds me that presuppositions really do matter. How do I form a worldview? With human knowledge? With the smartest theologians, philosophers and scientists by my side? Or with the Word of God? Where does the authority to discern reality really lie: with God or with Man?

Let's start with this simple fact that many stumble over: Science is not the Word of God. It never was and it never will be a sufficient means to give us clear knowledge of God or the world He made. (Rom. 10:14) It is only natural (pun intended) to conclude this when we realize that even the smartest of us own a mere six-pound brain and have a mere five senses to work with. No one can go back into history and do science there. All of us are stuck in the present with clues that are much more complex than anyone can imagine. To compound the problem, God is a supernatural God and has never confined Himself to working in a natural way only. In fact, the God of the Bible has often worked outside natural confines to accomplish His purposes and to reveal His glory.

Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell writes about the current debate over the historical Adam & Eve:

Search the recent Christianity Today article as much as you will, it never explains how the conclusion that there had to be 10,000 original people [to arrive at the genetic diversity we have today] was reached. Oddly enough, neither does the BioLogos website. The latter does tell where to find the information. According to a footnote in one of its articles, “The genetic evidence [of a population of several thousand people from whom all humans have descended, not just two] is explained in: Francis Collins, “Deciphering God’s Instruction Book: The Lessons of the Human Genome,” in The Language of God (New York, NY: Free Press, 2006).”2

So what evidence for this starter population does Dr. Collins provide in his book?

None. On pages 126 and 207, the conclusions presented about the required population size are simply repeated. They are said to come from “population geneticists” who “look at the facts about the human genome.” They assure us that “studies of human variation . . . all point to an origin of modern humans approximately a hundred thousand years ago, most likely in East Africa.” That’s it. And since the magazine article offers no new information, it seems this faith-shaking data is just a rehash of the mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam data.

All scientific facts are interpreted according to the biases of the observer. Consequently, the things a scientist assumes are true will greatly influence his interpretation of the data. What does Dr. Collins assume is true?3 He says that “we [evolutionists] do agree upon descent from a common ancestor, gradual change over a long period of time, and natural selection operating to produce the diversity of living species. There is no question that those are correct. Those are three cardinal pillars of Darwin’s theory that have been under-girded by data coming from multiple directions and they are not going to go away. Evolution is not a theory that is going to be discarded next week or next year or a hundred or a thousand years from now. It is true.” Given that Dr. Collins plainly states his unswerving faith in the idea of common ancestry—the only reasonable explanation he acknowledges for similarities in genomes—and in eons of time, we know that he will necessarily interpret the data from the Human Genome Project in that light...

Bottom line: the science cannot possibly be wrong, so we must re-interpret the Bible. Find some way to let Adam and Eve be real people but just leaders among the population, the magazine counsels. “That suggestion has the virtue of embracing both a prehistoric couple and a prehistoric population.” That suggestion also has the “virtue” of embracing the Serpent’s words to Eve, “Yea, hath God said?” Either we trust what God said, or we don’t.

Read more here.

Word to the wise: Let us be careful of our starting points. This is not a small issue.

1 comment:

philip.eapen said...

Well stated! Keep up the good work.