The Bible and Modern Science
The Bible has gotten the chronological sequence of events strikingly accurate! Modern science has been increasingly conforming to what the words of scripture say over time. It is incredibly improbable that a person making up the creation story should get so many details about the origin, structure and history of the universe so remarkably accurate if he was just conjuring up a work of fiction! Everything from The Big Bang, to the formation of landmasses, to even the order of animals that appeared on the planet is even what modern evolutionists would tell you in your science class!
The Bible’s prophets and apostles stated explicitly and repeatedly the two most fundamental properties of the big bang, a transcendent cosmic beginning a finite time period ago and a universe undergoing a general, continual expansion. In Isaiah 42:5 both properties were declared, “This is what the Lord says—He who created the heavens and stretched them out.”
The Hebrew verb translated “created” in Isaiah 42:5 is bara’ which has as its primary definition “bringing into existence something new, something that did not exist before.” The proclamation that God created (bara’) the entirety of the heavens is stated seven times in the Old Testament. (Genesis 1:1; 2:3; 2:4; Psalm 148:5; Isaiah 40:26; 42:5; 45:18). This principle of transcendent creation is made more explicit by passages like Hebrews 11:3 which states that the universe that we humans can measure and detect was made out of that which we cannot measure or detect. Also, Isaiah 45:5-22; John 1:3; and Colossians 1:15-17 stipulate that God alone is the agent for the universe’s existence. Biblical claims that God predated the universe and was actively involved in causing certain effects before the existence of the universe is not only found in Colossians 1 but also in Proverbs 8:22-31; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; and 1 Peter 1:20.
The characteristic of the universe stated more frequently than any other in the Bible is its being “stretched out.” Five different Bible authors pen such a statement in eleven different verses: Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 48:13; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 10:12; Jeremiah 51:15; and Zechariah 12:1. Job 37:18 appears to be a twelfth verse. However, the word used for “heavens” or “skies” is shehaqîm which refers to the clouds of fine particles (of water or dust) that are located in Earth’s atmosphere, not the shamayim, the heavens of the astronomical universe. Three of the eleven verses, Job 9:8; Isaiah 44:24; and 45:12 make the point that God alone was responsible for the cosmic stretching.
Finally, the Bible indirectly argues for a big bang universe by stating that the laws of thermodynamics, gravity, and electromagnetism have universally operated throughout the universe since the cosmic creation event itself. In Romans 8 we are told that the entire creation has been subjected to the law of decay (the second law of thermodynamics). This law in the context of an expanding universe establishes that the cosmos was much hotter in the past. In Genesis 1 and in many places throughout Job, Psalms, and Proverbs we are informed that stars have existed since the early times of creation.
Therefore, according to The Bible, the universe should get colder and colder as it gets older and older. According to the laws of thermodynamics, as a system expands, the temperature goes down. For example, in an automobile; the more the piston chambers expands, the engine gets cooler, as the piston chamber compresses, the temperature goes up. The engine takes advantage of the 2nd Law Of Thermodynamics.
That there was darkness over the face of the Earth (Genesis 1:2) because of “clouds” (mentioned in Job 38:8-9) before that cloud layer was removed to let light pass through,. This “cloud layer” is known by scientists as the thick primordial atmosphere that covered the primordial Earth. Much of it was removed by a Mars sized planet crashing into it, (the moment God said “Let There Be Light”). Venus and Mercury still have their thick atmospheres, but thanks to the Mars sized planet, we have a very thin atmosphere, just the right density to maintain the presence of liquid, solid, and gaseous water which is necessary for life. We also don’t have a runaway greenhouse affect which would leave Earth as a completely dry planet and a surface temperature of 800 degrees. This primordial atmosphere was completely removed on day 4. At that point the sun, moon and stars became visible for the first time since the Earth’s formation. Genesis 1:15 tells you why it’s important for the sun, moon and stars to be visible: so that they can serve as signs to mark seasons, days and years. For whom? For the animals that will be creation on creation day (creation eon) 5; swarms of small sea creatures (i.e the Cambrian Explosion). The Cambrian Explosion is when God creates life so advanced that they need the visibility of the sun, moon and stars to regulate their biological clocks. Verse 16 then says that He made the sun, moon and stars. But it’s in the completed form of the verb in the Hebrew language which means that God made the sun, moon and stars at some unspecified time in the past. Which means He could have made them on day 3, day 2, day 1 or in the beginning, but based on the testimony of Job 38, as well as the data from modern science, we can conclude that they were formed “in the beginning”. “In the beginning” is the portion of time before the planet earth is formed. Once our galaxy cluster, galaxy, solar system and planet formed we went over from the “In The Beginning” section to the start of creation age 1.
Modern Science also tells us that when Earth was only 1 billion years old, there was water covering the entire surface of the Earth and that there was a heavy atmosphere of gases that formed when the planet formed (the primordial atmosphere that was already discussed above). Scientists say that sometime after the late heavy bombardment (not mentioned in The Bible because The Lord probably saw it as really relevant since Genesis 1 is supposed to tell us a summary of what He created and what order He created, not necessarily every detail of what went on during those 14 billion years of creation. He wanted to keep it short and sweet but not leaving out vital information). Scientists say that after the late heavy bombardment and after the moon formed, the planet experienced extremely aggressive tectonic processes which brought landmasses out of the oceans, tectonic processes that were strong enough and rapid enough to far overwhelm the rate of erosion. Nowadays, the tectonic processes is much less severe (which is a good thing otherwise we wouldn’t be able to exist with all of those devastating earthquakes).
The Bible told us all of this long before the scientists got around to it. Originally, scientists held that the Earth has always had landmasses, that there was never a time when there weren’t landmasses on the planet Earth. Eventually though, they came around to agreeing with the words of scripture. Earth really was originally a water world with no landmasses. Also, the appearance of plants came right after the appearance of landmasses. Just like The Bible said.
"And God said, 'Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.' And it was so. God called the dry ground 'land,' and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day." - Genesis 1:9-13
Even the order of appearance of the animals in The Bible matches up perfectly with what modern science tells us. If you examine the evolutionary timeline, you will see that before humans came beasts, cattle, and rodents, etc. Before those, there were birds. Before birds were reptiles. And before reptiles were sea creatures. So it goes like this: sea creatures, reptiles, birds, beasts and cattle, man. In Genesis, you can see the very same timeline, except for the reptiles. Why it says nothing about reptiles, I do not know. What are the odds that the author of Genesis; if he were just making up the creation story out of thin air, would get the sequence of the appearance of animals DEAD ON? What are the odds that he wouldn't put man at the beginning of the chain of animals and fish at the end, or some other scientific blunder? Even the fossil record testifies to the scientific accuracy of Genesis 1.
For more information: check out Hugh Ross' book "The Genesis Question".