Are The Laws of Nature?
Does the supernatural violate the laws of nature?
section of our web site answers over 180 accusations against the Bible. These
web pages are the first draft of the book... Did
God Really Say?. Get your copy today. It's now available
THE CLAIMED PROBLEM: The
Bible and Supernatural Events
By claiming that supernatural
beings intervene in the world, the Bible opposes the scientific principle of natural
laws operating uniformly and unvaryingly. As a result, the Bible discourages a
scientific approach to problems.
Ahhh... so that's the problem. Humanists
don't like the supernatural... because... well, it reveals there is a God. And
if there is a God, they are accountable for their actions to that God... and that
is not acceptable.
We talked about this on
the previous page, but for those just jumped into this chapter lets
do a quick review: As in the past we need to start by defining our terms. For
example, what does the phrase "laws of nature" mean?
nature" is a man-made term that refers to what we observe in the universe.
If we observe something that is uniform and consistent throughout the universe,
we assign the phrase "law of nature." In other words, the laws of nature
are a reflection of what we observe.
HOWEVER... and I put that in all caps
because it is a huge HOWEVER... humanists have flipped the definition of "law
of nature" on its head. Instead of the "laws of nature" being defined
by what we observe, they say that what we observe must conform to and be defined
by the "laws of nature." Instead of being the result of what we observe,
these "laws" now define what we can observe, and the supernatural is
in the category of not allowed. That's NOT science.
How Are The Laws of
The answer is, supposedly by observation. Scientists
observe the world around us, and not those things that appear to be constant and
define them as laws of nature.
So, it seems to me that, if
the laws of nature result from our observations, then we should include all observational
data? Thats makes sense, right? Of course we should, otherwise the "law"
does not include all relevant data and is thus not always valid.
have humanists left out? What they have left out results in circular reasoning
and results in some major problems and errors.
They have excluded God's
supernatural actions from the observed data. Formulating their "laws of nature"
they come up with "laws" that exclude the supernatural. Then they say
(see above) that God's supernatural actions violate the laws of nature, so that
means there cannot be a God (God does not exist). Or in this case, their statements
that Bible must not be true, and by reporting the reality of supernatural events,
the Bible discourages the scientific approach.
If you've read the previous
chapter, you know that this statement directly contradicts the observed historical
evidence, as well as its circular nature violating logical and rational thinking.
The Bible Discourage Science?
The humanists are saying that the Bible is
anti-science, and harmful to scientific learning. So lets look at that.
Historically what is the relationship between Christianity and science?
May 2011 James Hannam, PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science, wrote about
the relationship between science and Christianity in Nature magazine's blog (www.tinyurl.com/kdjqlhz).
"The ongoing clash of
creationism with evolution obscures the fact that Christianity has actually had
a far more positive role to play in the history of science than commonly believed.
Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress
turn out to be bogus."
That's an interesting statement,
and something we should keep in mind as we continue to examine the humanist's
accusations... especially the part about examples of religion holding back scientific
progress being bogus. Dr. Hannam backs up his statement with facts from history:
"Until the French Revolution, the Catholic Church
was the leading sponsor of scientific research... By the seventeenth century,
the Jesuit order had become the leading scientific organization in Europe, publishing
thousands of papers and spreading new discoveries around the world."
wasn't until the 1830's that] "the German chemical industry started to employ
their first PhDs. Before then, the only reason to study science was curiosity
or religious piety. It was faith that led Copernicus to reject the ugly Ptolemaic
universe; that drove Johannes Kepler to discover the constitution of the solar
system; and that convinced James Clerk Maxwell he could reduce electromagnetism
to a set of equations so elegant they take the breathe away."
not only was Christianity and the Bible not harming science, it was because
of Christianity that science made huge advances. Have you ever wondered why science
blossomed in Europe, but not in the great civilizations of China, India or the
Islamic Empire? It was because Christianity provided a worldview in which God
upheld order in the universe. As the humanist correctly stated, understanding
that reality is uniform and consistent is the foundation of science. Other civilizations
did not have that understanding, and thus they did not have the needed foundation.
Continuing with Dr. Hannam, he explains what happened to get us where we are today:
"It was only during the 'enlightenment' that the
idea took root that Christianity had been a serious impediment to science. Voltaire
and his fellow philosophers opposed the Catholic Church because of its close association
with Frances absolute monarchy. Accusing clerics of holding back scientific
development was a safe way to make a political point."
the belief that Christianity was holding back science got its start as a political
tool. It had nothing at all to do with science.
Well wrap up this
chapter with a couple of quotes from Sarah Salviander, from an article titled:
There is no modern
science without Christianity
often do you hear that Christianity is not compatible with science? The next time
you hear that claim, refer the critic to this list of Christians in science and
technology and ask how its possible that so many Christians were able to
make significant contributions to science and tech in spite of that incompatibility:
[What followed was a long list of 168 names. Use the above link to go to
the web page and see the complete list.]
of the greatest achievements of modern atheism has been to divorce Christians
from their scientific legacy. Modern science is one of the crowning achievements
of Western civilization, built upon the foundation of Christian faith, belief,
and purpose. But how many Christians are aware of this? Instead of questioning
the source, many Christians have willingly accepted the lie that Christianity
and science are mutually incompatible. This is the classic mistake of accepting
an adversarys frame. Christians must reject it by educating themselves on
the history of their faith and the great part it played in the development of
CONCLUSION: Instead of discouraging
science, history shows that it was because of Christianity that science bloomed
in Europe. God is the creator of the laws of nature, and it is God that gives
them their consistency.
NEXT ACCUSATIONS: (We've lost a page and are recreating
it. For a short time the link at the bottom of the page will skip this accusation.)
The Bible has stories about a talking snake (Genesis 3:4-5); a tree bearing fruit
which, when eaten, gives knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17; 3:5-7); another
tree whose fruit bestows immortality (Genesis 3:22); a voice coming from a burning
bush (Exodus 3:4); a talking donkey (Numbers 22:28); rods turning into serpents
(Exodus 7:10-12); water changing into blood (Exodus 7:19-22); water coming from
a rock (Numbers 20:11); a dead man reviving when his corpse touched the bones
of a prophet (II Kings 13:21); and other people rising from the dead (e.g., I
Kings 17:21-22; II Kings 4:32-35; Acts 9:37-40).
go on to add more examples: There are also
accounts of the sun standing still (Joshua 10:13); the parting of a sea (Exodus
14:21-22); iron floating (II Kings 6:5-6); the suns shadow going back ten
degrees (II Kings 20:9-11); a witch bringing the ghost of Samuel back from the
dead (I Samuel 28:3-15); disembodied fingers writing on a wall (Daniel 5:5); a
man living for three days and nights in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17); people
walking on water (Matthew 14:26-29); a virgin impregnated by God (Matthew 1:20);
a pool of water that can cure ailments of those who dip in it (John 5:2-4); and
angels and demons influencing earthly affairs (e.g., Acts 5:19; Luke 11:24-26).
look at these next. Click here...