Are The Laws of Nature?
Does the supernatural violate the laws of nature?
CLAIMED PROBLEM: The Bible and Supernatural Events
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.
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?
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.
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.
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? Thats makes sense, right? Of course we should, otherwise
the "law" does not include all relevant data and is thus not always
What have humanists left out? What they have left out results
in circular reasoning and results in some major problems and errors.
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.
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?
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
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:
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
"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...