What Are The Laws of Nature?

Does the supernatural violate the laws of nature?

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 let’s 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?

Law of 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 Nature Formulated?

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? That’s makes sense, right? Of course we should, otherwise the "law" does not include all relevant data and is thus not always valid.

What 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.

Does The Bible Discourage Science?

The humanists are saying that the Bible is anti-science, and harmful to scientific learning. So let’s look at that. Historically what is the relationship between Christianity and science?

In 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). He states:

"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."

[It 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."

So 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 France’s absolute monarchy. Accusing clerics of holding back scientific development was a safe way to make a political point."

So the belief that Christianity was holding back science got its start as a political tool. It had nothing at all to do with science.

We’ll wrap up this chapter with a couple of quotes from Sarah Salviander, from an article titled: “There is no modern science without Christianity

“How 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 it’s 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.]

“One 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 adversary’s frame. Christians must reject it by educating themselves on the history of their faith and the great part it played in the development of modern science.”

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).

The humanist 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 sun’s 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).

We'll look at these next. Click here...


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