The Bible Vs Scientism

sOhhhhh, how does that help Denis? Ultimately how do we connect the evolving ethics of the Jews to Jesus’? Going forward? Going backward is a different matter.

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The Bible is a process…the investigation and collection of raw data. It wasn’t written all at once or by one person or by God directly reaching a hand down to take up a pen. It’s only a collection of many different people writing down their experiences of God. Then flawed human beings interpret that data in many different ways. Those interpretations are not the written word of God Himself, but conclusions based on the data which was collected over time from many different people’s experiences. Those conclusions come complete with personal biases, and much conjecture and speculation.

Fundamentalism is a blind belief in those INTERPRETATIONS/CONCLUSIONS.

Sooner or later, as a civilization, we need to figure out how to cooperatively crunch data and come to conclusions. How to figure out when we’re wrong and correct it. It’s not something to be scared of, it’s just part of being intelligent beings.


I personally do not recognize the Bible as a scientific text. I recognize it as a magnificent collection of historical stories, poetry, parables, and writings that point us towards Gods relationship with his creation, man.
That said, the creation narrative can be summed up in the first four words, “In the beginning GOD”. Outside of that, what else needs to be said?


Just to push back, because, hey, that’s what I do, what experiences of God? By whom? When?

Again, as immediately above, where’s the relationship? Which way?

Objective evidence for God’s providential interventions into the lives of his children.

When you find a scientist who is free of bias and completely disinterested, please let us know. It certainly wouldn’t be those like Charles Lyell who proposed an old earth in order “to free science from Moses” without even the flawed evidence from radiometric dating.

You are right that “science” doesn’t say anything. It is scientists who speak, and sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. Sometimes scientists make statements about things that are not even about science, but attribute their statements to “science” which gives them a false aura of authority. That annoys me too.

For example, Stephen Hawkings said something like this: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” This only shows that nonsense remains nonsense even when a brilliant a scientist as Hawkings says it. Actually, this can legitimately be labeled as “scientism,” as he has done very bad philosophy and called it science without recognizing the limitations of science.

But I think we need to be careful about what “scientism” means. I like the following definition, as it includes both weak and strong scientism: “Scientism is the opinion that science and the scientific method are the best or only way to render truth about the world and reality.” Wiki. (“Best” is weak scientism; “only” is strong scientism.)

“Scientism is a blind belief in those INTERPRETATIONS/CONCLUSIONS”—not quite. Scientism is not about the quality of conclusions reached, but about claiming that science can tell us more than it really can. Scientism does not recognize the legitimate boundaries and limitations of science.

As mentioned by others, both the conclusions of science and theology are based on the conclusions of people who can be biased and mistaken about either or both. But the evidence from nature, and the statements of scripture, properly understood and properly interpreted will not and cannot be in conflict, because nature and scripture are both sources of God’s truth. But let me go a bit farther. Scripture is primary, and nature is secondary as to the witness from God. But when scientists began to claim that the earth and universe were certainly millions and billions of years old, theologians felt they needed to come up with interpretations of scripture that were consistent with the new understandings of scientists. And so they did, one of the first being the “gap theory.” See Creation and Change by Douglas F. Kelly page 119. From this deep time paradigm, biological and then cosmic evolution followed.

As far as what the Bible says about the age of the earth—the Bible gives us chrono-genealogies. In other words, it tells us one person’s age when a future generation is born. So there is no issue of “missing generations.” It also gives us a record of how long kings reigned. So when we consider co-regencies and other minor factors, we can pretty well calculate the time of the Genesis flood and the date of creation from these biblical records. So yes, contrary to some statements, the Bible does say something about the history and age of the earth and the universe.

Quote: “ NO. It is not any kind of “cult of scientism” that tells us that the universe began about 14 billion years ago. It is measurement. The age of the earth is determined by measuring things.” It is measurement, xcept of course, when what it measures is not accurate. For example, 100 years from the date of the eruption of Novarupta in Alaska, samples from the volcanic rock from the eruption were measured at 5.5 million years old, using the same laboratories that the deep time advocates use. Other dating discrepancies abound, and many are likely discarded before we even see them. Generally when an assumption is made, like how radioactive dating works, we test the assumption to see if it works. When it doesn’t, then we go back to the drawing board. Or illegitimately, we make up “just so stories” and dismiss the evidence.

And then to the question, “Which doctrine is more important—the Gospel or Creation? My answer is, “Which blade of the scissors is more important?” One depends on the other. Without creation and the fall, we cannot understand clearly why we need redemption and a redeemer. Most or all of our biblical doctrines have foundation in the early chapters of Genesis.

And no, humans are not clueless about the age of the earth or the universe. It is either about 6000 years old or 15 billion years old, both simultaneously (physicist Gerald Shroeder, Science of God ) or something else. Now it is for us to sort out the evidence. Deep time advocates think that all the evidence points to deep time. I think that the only historical account we have, the Bible, strongly favors 6000 years as does the evidence from nature. But that takes an extended argument, and I am leaving town in two days. Besides, I doubt anyone will be convinced to change their mind on either side in this forum.

A lot of us came from YEC backgrounds before we understood the science – I am one of them, so gullible am I. :slightly_smiling_face: (I think Schroeder’s relativity days argument is fun, but I don’t think it really reflects Genesis 1.)


And I’m quite sure you’ve never answered this well, the multiple times you must have known of it by now… (oh, I’ve already posted it above, along with a few other links that I think are pretty cool):

Even if you don’t believe in God at all, I think it’s pretty firm footing to say that people have recorded experiencing events which they attributed to God’s presence, actions, or directions. Moses, Abraham, Israel, and Joshua are some of the earliest; the prophets and other writers generally also recorded a bunch. Some authors of what we know today as the Bible are known, some will probably never be known. Likewise, we have pretty good ideas of when some of it was written, but we may never know precise answers to many questions.

Ah hah. A question of attribution. I can believe in God all I like, but He isn’t God the Killer. And I used to like Him. And all of those people are mythical, characters in much later stories. The later prophets are more intriguing. We don’t need precision, except in our epistemology.

Stop it right there, Craig. Just stop. I’ve explained this one to you repeatedly and you haven’t paid a shred of attention.

One of the most fundamental principles of measurement is that inaccuracy must be quantified. The fact that random error and systematic errors are a thing is not a free pass to let you discard every form of measurement that you don’t like. You can only claim that the measurements could be out by the size of the measured discrepancy and no more.

5.5 million years may sound like a lot, but it is just 0.12 percent of the measured value of the age of the earth. It tells us that a rock formation that is measured to be 550 million years old could be 545 million years old and no younger.

What you are doing is like taking one set of bathroom scales, and claiming that just because it reads 0.1 kilograms when I am not standing on it, when I stand on a completely different set of bathroom scales and see a reading of 90 kilograms, that somehow means that I could plausibly weigh nothing.

Once again, there is nothing whatsoever that is “evolutionist” or “secularist” or “naturalist” about this. It is how measurement works in every area of science.

And just how many such discrepancies do you think are being discarded in this way?

For the earth to be only six thousand years old, and radiometric dating to have no merit whatsoever, scientists would have to be routinely discarding up to a hundred readings for every one that gets published. There are tens of thousands of readings published in the scientific literature every year, and each one costs thousands of dollars to obtain and process.

What you are describing here is widespread, systematic, wholescale scientific fraud on an industrial scale over many decades at the cost of trillions of dollars. If such a thing were happening, it would be the mother of all conspiracies. NASA faking the moon landings, 9/11 being an inside job, covid being genetically engineered from scratch, alien spacecraft in Area 51, and the US Navy covering up the existence of mermaids would be child’s play by comparison. Conspiracies on that scale do not happen, it’s as simple as that.

Well if you want to change anyone’s mind, you need to address the specific objections made to the points that you’ve raised. And you need to do so in a coherent and consistent manner that respects the basic rules and principles of how measurement works. Just repeating the same point over and over again when it has been refuted a thousand times already is only going to waste everybody’s time.


What about Smith, some of whose work was published as part of a book entitled something like “The Vindication of Moses as a Historian” (demonstrating that history is not eternal and cyclic)?

Most of the first pieces of evidence that made geologists think that the earth was probably more than 5,000-10,000 years old were of the following nature: “Mount Etna erupted recently [1669 eruption], we have historical records of about another 6 eruptions, each corresponds to a lava/ash alternating layer. At that rate, it would have taken a lot more than 5,500 years to build Mount Etna.” or “These mountains in southern France look just like modern volcanoes, if they got eroded down a lot. There are no records or legends of volcanic eruptions near here, and the erosion would take a while, thus they are probably older than 5,500 years.”


You wouldn’t have to say that if the evidence were on your side. If you have to throw out evidence because it conflicts with your interpretation of Scripture then there is a serious problem with your approach.

Same thing happened when Galileo’s work demonstrated that the Earth moves about the Sun. If scripture were the primary witness, then why do we not embrace Geocentrism? Are you a Geocentrist? Do you reject the science of Heliocentrism because you accept the Bible as the primary witness?

"First, . . . to want to affirm that in reality the sun is at the center of the world and only turns on itself without moving from east to west, and the earth . . . revolves with great speed about the sun . . . is a very dangerous thing, likely not only to irritate all scholastic philosophers and theologians, but also to harm the Holy Faith by rendering Holy Scripture false. "–Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615


So then two tests, each relying on many assumptions, arrived at a similar age? Does this multiple-tests method ever produce vastly different ages? Give me an example.

A YEC fabrication? Um… you can just check in the Bible and see that it is true.

But let me give you a test, jammy. If I spoke of, “Back in the day of my grandmother”, would I be talking about a literal day, or an unspecified general period of time? Which one?

Now, if I said, “Back in the morning of the third day of my grandmother…” , would I be speaking about a literal day, or an unspecified general period of time? Which one, please.


Joshua 6:2-4… Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.

Wow, it even contains a command to do something for six days, and then something else on the seventh day. Where have we all seen that before?

Exodus 20:9-11… Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work… For in six days the LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.

Jammy, will you assert that “march once for six days, and seven times on the seventh day” refers to literal days? And also assert that “work for six days and rest on the seventh” refers to literal days? But only when it comes to “I created for six days and rested on the seventh” will you assert that they are NOT literal days?

Is that the story you’re going with?

Hosea 6:1-2 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Applying the YEC rule doesn’t work so it must not be an ironclad rule. Or as I like to say, “It’s the rule, except when it isn’t.”

There’s something very important that you need to understand here. There is a difference between “doesn’t always work” and “never works.” There is also a difference between “occasionally out by a few percent” and “consistently out by a factor of a million.” To portray occasional disagreements as evidence of total meaninglessness is to exaggerate both their extent and significance. And the technical term for exaggerating something’s extent and significance is “lying.”

As far as I have been able to ascertain, different methods disagree with each other 5-10% of the time at most. That only proves that some methods are inaccurate some of the time. In such cases, scientists study the circumstances carefully to see if they can identify where the errors have come from and whether they can glean any additional information from the discrepancies. Most of time, they can.

If radiometric dating really were so unreliable that it couldn’t distinguish between thousands and billions, you would see different methods disagreeing wildly with each other every single time. Agreements such as what we see in the Hawaiian islands would be at best rare and at worst nonexistent. As it stands, they are the rule, and discordances are very much the exception.

And no, this isn’t “relying on many assumptions.” This is testing many assumptions. And as I’ve pointed out, tests of assumptions are not assumptions themselves.


A good example of how Genesis 1 is meant as an example by God for man to follow rather than an a scientific or historical description.

To everyone commenting here, let me better explain myself. I came to this forum based on this article on the BioLogos website: The Firmament of Genesis 1 is Solid but That’s Not the Point - Article - BioLogos

I assumed that I would be talking to Christians who believe the Bible… many of whom would presumably try to twist the scriptures into allowing them to accept both the Bible AND big bang/deep time/uniformitarianism/common descent Scientism.

And then I would delve into the scriptures with those people to show them that, taken at face value for what the words actually teach, there is NO way to even come close to aligning God’s written word with Scientism.

My hope was that some of those people (maybe even just one of them) would open their eyes and see this undeniable fact, and then when faced with the dilemma, would realize that the only reason they actually believe in that big bang/deep time/uniformitarianism/common descent Scientism is because they’ve blindly believed things they’ve been TOLD. And then maybe they’d be prompted to throw all of that nonsense away, and put God’s written word back as their ultimate authority. Because after all, there is not ONE of you on this forum (or in the history of mankind) that could possibly even come close to proving any of those Scientism claims. Not even one of you could prove even one of those claims. Let that sink in, because it’s the God’s honest truth of the matter.

So just to be clear, rsewell and everyone else, I have no desire to argue on endlessly about how the age of this rock WAS PROVEN to be a billion years old, or how that fossil WAS PROVEN to be some intermediary link. I’ve been through that for many years already. It is boring for me now.

So if any of you want to try to ALIGN the Bible with your current beliefs about the age of the earth, common descent, big bang cosmology or whatever, I’m all ears and willing to let iron sharpen iron. Just please let your comments to me have something to do with the Bible, so I can use God’s written word to answer them.

Thank you and God bless.