Science In Scripture

Yes, folks: That's a Video!

The That’s a Fact video series from the ICR has returned after a short absence. The first video for 2012 is Science in Scripture. If this year is anything like the last, the video should appear below by the end of the week. In the meantime, watch the first of Dr Shorey’s videos on the ICR here. It’s much better than the ICR’s own ones, trust me.

Before we begin the transcript, note the text to the side of the video:

Some say that the Bible is religion and science is truth, and that means the two are incompatible. But if the Bible is only a religious book, then we might as well not study gravity, the hydrological cycle, and the importance of blood in living things, because Scripture describes all these scientific facts.

Want to dig a little deeper? Click here: icr.org/scientific-accuracy/

It should be fairly obvious that, as it stands, the quote makes no sense at all. If we “dig a little deeper” and click the link provided, we find that it doesn’t really help.

But [SPOILERS!] the text is more-or-less a quote from the video itself. Thus, they have one more chance to demonstrate why it is that “if the Bible is only a religious book, then we might as well not study gravity.” To begin:

Scientists find inspiration in all sorts of places. One famous example is the story of Isaac Newton’s falling apple.

We’ve already encountered Newton in the That’s a Fact videos. Of interest here, also, is that the apple story is probably apocryphal – that is, it never happened.

Many engineers today look to shrimp, bees, woodpeckers, fish scales, the human brain, and other places in our world, to design faster computers, better shock absorbers, and even stronger body armour.

Yes, Biomimetics is a thing. But, thankfully, we wont be going down that path again today.

Archaeologists and geologists have even been inspired by the ancient writings of Plato, who described the lost city of Atlantis more than 2500 years ago.

Not that the city actually existed (or that it was described as anything like the popular perception of it). Also, we don’t actually get the Atlantis story (and ‘story’ it is) from Plato himself. The last time a similarly unfortunate comparison was made between Atlantis and Creation Science was in An Apt Comparison, and as an interesting note the ICR even uses in its video the same image that I did in my post there. We’ll get to precisely why the comparison is ‘unfortunate’ (and ‘apt’) in a minute.

But what about scientists who get ideas from the bible? Some argue that scripture is religion, and science is truth, and that the two are incompatible. But that didn’t seem to be a problem for men like Newton, or Johannes Kepler, or Charles Bell, whose medical texbook is considered the Magna Carta of Neurology.

“The Magna Carta of Neurology”? By whom, and do they know what the Carta actually is any better than these crazy legislators?

Here’s an interesting paragraph from the Wikipedia page on Bell: (emphasis mine, obviously – text from this revision)

Bell published his detailed studies of the nervous system in 1811, in his privately circulated book An Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain. He described his experiments with animals and later emphasised how he was the first to distinguish between sensory and motor nerves. This essay is considered by many to be the founding stone of clinical neurology. However, Bell’s original essay of 1811 did not actually contain a clear description of motor and sensory nerve roots as Bell later claimed, and Bell seems to have issued subsequent incorrectly dated revisions with subtle textual alterations. Charles Darwin (and others) found in Bell’s published views more evidence of his personal ambitions than of proper scientific enquiry. Bell’s studies on emotional expression, flawed though they were, played a catalytic role in the development of Darwin’s considerations of the origins of human emotional life; and Darwin very much agreed with Bell’s emphasis on the expressive role of the muscles of respiration. Darwin detailed these opinions in his The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), written with the active collaboration of the psychiatrist James Crichton-Browne.

Some interesting omissions there – and before you protest that this is only a short video, note that the ICR has an entire article on the man, and it misses it all out as well. It’s possible that the Carta quote is genuine, though the ‘founding stone’ one in the wikipedia article is better.

These brilliant scientists found great inspiration for their research through the careful studies of scripture.

That’s nice. So?

So, if the bible is only a religious book, and not valid for science, then we might as well not study gravity, the hydrological cycle, the spherical shape and rotation of the Earth, and the importance of blood in living things, since the bible describes all of these scientific facts.

I told you it was a quote. But where’s the justification for the statement? Nowhere to be found.

I think the confusion (whether intentional or not) lies here: If “the bible is only a religious book, and not valid for science” that would mean that it was irrelevant to scientific inquiry, and not that it gets to take all things that it comments on with it.

This is where the ‘apt’ comparison with Atlantis comes in. If we consider Atlantis a myth, which it is, and declare it “not valid for science,” in no way does that mean that we should stop studying subsidence, or any other subject that it may touch on.

I looked up ‘the hydrologic cycle in the bible’ on the web, and discovered this page which, among other things, promised “reasonably complete descriptions of the hydrologic cycle” from the bible. It gives the following verses:

Psalm 135:7
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.

Jeremiah 10:13
When He utters His voice,
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
“And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

Job 36:27-29
For He draws up drops of water,
Which distill as rain from the mist,
Which the clouds drop down
And pour abundantly on man.
Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds,
The thunder from His canopy?

And so on, also including Ecclesiastes 1:7, Isaiah 55:10, Job 26:8, Job 37:11.

Now, if we declared the bible “not valid for science” we would have to disregard those verses in our study (and what a terrible loss that would be) but how can you possibly conclude that we must not study the subject altogether?

So, what’s left for the scientist who ignores the bible? Science fiction.

What? You can tell, I hope, at this point that this video (as always) has straw man qualities to it. Do they really think that, or do they just want their followers to?

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