Have you ever heard the origins debate framed as “science vs. faith?” Or perhaps you’ve heard someone say that they prefer the scientific view of origins to the creation view. Those who hold to a secular view of origins often like to present their belief as the “scientific” view in contrast to the faith or “religious” position of biblical creation. But in reality, it is biblical creation that is the scientific view. It must be somewhat embarrassing for an evolutionist to learn that biblical creation is actually what makes science possible. Indeed, if evolution were really true, there would be no reason to trust in the methods of science. Let’s explore why this is so.
The methods of science presuppose that the universe works in a consistent and predictable way. We are often able to write down equations that describe how the universe functions under certain conditions. Newton’s law of gravity or Einstein’s famous equation (E=mc^2) are examples. Scientists presume that such laws of nature operated in the past, and will continue to operate in the future. Scientists further suppose that these laws are the same in deep space as they are on Earth – that’s what makes the field of astronomy possible. Science would be utterly impossible if we could not rely upon the universe to behave in such a consistent fashion over time and over space.
But why does the universe have such properties? Biblical creation can make sense of this. According to the Bible, God upholds the entire universe by His power (Hebrews 1:3). It is ultimately God that causes the universe to behave in a consistent manner. There are laws of nature because there is a Law-Giver: God, who is logical and consistent. The laws can be understood by the human mind because God made our minds and made them to (at least partially) understand the way He upholds the universe.
Biblical creation also explains why the laws of nature are the same over the entire universe: the same God that controls the Earth also controls the Andromeda galaxy. It also explains why laws of nature do not arbitrarily change with time. The Bible teaches that God is beyond time (2 Peter 3:8), and God has promised to uphold the future just as He upheld the past (e.g. Genesis 8:22). But none of these things would make sense if Genesis were not literally true. In a chance, evolutionary universe, why would we expect there to be laws at all? And why would they be the same everywhere? Why would the mind be able to understand laws if the brain is just the result of mutations and natural selection. And how could we know that the laws of nature do not change with time?
Think about it: if there were no laws of nature, or if they were constantly changing, or were different from place to place, science would be utterly impossible. You would get a totally different result every time you did any experiment, and would not be able to learn anything about the universe. It’s hard to even imagine such a universe. But if the universe were not upheld by the mind of God, what would be the reason for its orderly and logical behavior? We all expect that gravity will work the same tomorrow as it has today. But in a chance universe, why would that be? The evolutionists really cannot give a cogent answer to that question.
Those who deny creation cannot give a logical reason for why they expect the laws of nature to be in the future as they have been in the past. Yet all science depends on that crucial fact. An evolutionist might argue “well, it’s always been that way in the past.” But this doesn’t prove anything about the future unless you already knew some other way that the future will be like the past in terms of how the laws of nature work. Past experience would be irrelevant to future success unless God upholds the future like the past. But how can a human being know anything about a future that none have experienced?
But the creationist has some “inside information.” The creationist has a good reason to believe that the future will be like the past in terms of the laws of nature because the creationist has the promise of God (who is beyond time and thus knows the future). God upholds things in a consistent way. This doesn’t mean that God cannot do a miracle; but these are by definition rare and temporary. The normal way God accomplishes His will is the very essence of natural laws. God has promised that the basic cycles of nature will be in operation as long as the Earth remains (Genesis 8:22). The evolutionist denies the history of Genesis, and therefore has no reason to expect laws of nature to be in the future as they have been in the past. If his belief in evolution were really factual, science would be without any foundation. Evolution truly is the enemy of science. But biblical creation is what makes science possible.
Robert Byers says:
They do indeed, without integrity, strive to define it as science versus religion etc.
So one is forced to reject the glory of science in order to believe in religion.
This is their best point because they don't have good points.
How to beat it?
I say the objective is the truth.
We start from received information, the bible, and use our intelligence to weigh the evidence of nature as to it supporting the bible or not.
We find natures evidence always fits and never contradicts .
We can take on any critics of the bible that use natures evidence.
We can take on them using natures evidence for wrong conclusions.
In short we use the same excellent investigative methods of studying nature and drawing conclusions.
We do the same science or better.
We are not doing religion. We just have presumptions.
This seems wordy but it hits the spot.
Peter you said - "Today, the most reliable explanations are naturalistic." Okay what naturalistic explanation answers the origin of the laws of physics? What naturalistic explanation answers the origin of life on earth? What naturalistic explanation answers the origin of the universe documented in modern astronomy today?
Peter J. Hart says:
Of course biblical creation "can make sense of this." Biblical creation makes sense of why the universe has its particular properties because it says that God made it so. That is all the explanation you need.
The biblical account of creation explains the universe as a whole, but the problem is in the details. Look at the trend of what we have learned in the past 300 years. So often, when we look for a naturalistic explanation for a particular characteristic of the universe, we find one. The best explanation for weather, diseases, mental illness, and politics used to be divine or demonic. Today, the most reliable explanations are naturalistic.
The bible says that matter and the universe holds together because God makes it so. That is all the explanation you need. Science may never give a naturalistic explanation of why things are. But we do know that there are a handful of strong and weak forces that do quite a lot for the universe. The bible says that God sets the courses of the stars in the sky. Besides the rotation of the Earth, we know, scientifically, that the courses of planets, stars, and galaxies are affected by gravity (which is an insanely weak force).
So the point that biblical creation is the scientific view is not adequately made in this article. If it was, we would have easily and swiftly reached the point in discovery that no other naturalistic explanations exist and the work of God is obvious.
Thomas Bronk, good question about RATE and changing decay rates and this article. If I understand RATE, the changes took place during Creation Week and Flood year but not always changing. Uniformity of physical law does make astronomy and other disciplines possible today and appears to be consistent with Genesis 2:1-3, a finished Creation. Perhaps the Creation Week in Genesis 1 and Noah's Flood in Genesis 6-9 had a period of non-uniform physical law operating. Concerning our universe and uniform physical law and origins, many cosmologists would likely claim a multi-verse where many other universes exist with different laws and rates so the universe we live in is a fluke and accident, something denied by Scripture.
Thomas Bronk says:
This piece states what I've always believed. There are laws of nature that cause systems and things to remain constant everywhere. However, doesn't the ICR RATE study prove that decay rates changed over time. Doesn't this contradict this piece. I'm having a little trouble with this matter because the RATE study was such a break through in proving that the old earth theory is probably incorrect because of changing decay rates.