Category Archives: Science in the Bible

Science in the Bible: Lifting Waves

For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. Psalm 107:25

Ever been to a beach on a NOAA Photo Library: ocean wavesstormy day? The waves crashing into the shore can be awesome if you keep your distance, or terrifying if you get too close!

It doesn’t take much scientific observation to realize the wind and the waves are connected. A few waves, like tsunamis, are caused by earthquakes, the moon’s gravity, or things pushing the water, but most waves are caused by wind. How?

What causes ocean waves? Ocean waves are caused by wind moving across the surface of the water. The friction between the air molecules and the water molecules causes energy to be transferred from the wind to the water. This causes waves to form.” Ducksters.com Earth Science, Ocean Waves and Currents

NOAA Ocean Explorer: DART bouy Seems obvious enough. We aren’t surprised the writer of Psalm 107 recognized wind caused waves 1,000s of years ago. But there’s more.

If you blow on your soup to cool it, you make little waves by pushing the water down. But the verse says, “which lifteth up the waves thereof”. Now that’s interesting!

The turbulence in the wind produces random pressure fluctuations at the sea surface, which produces small waves with wavelengths of a few centimeters (Phillips, 1957). Introduction to Physical Oceanography

Wikipedia.nl: Globe shaped Barometer

barometer

In English this means the wind keeps changing air pressure: sometimes high and sometimes low. This is what gets a new wave started. So, sometimes the wind is pushing the water like you see with your soup, but it also sucks it up higher.

Notice when we discovered how this all works?*

1957

I bet you know someone who remembers that year. Before then, people knew the wind was connected to the waves, but we didn’t know how. Yet, the Bible knew about it 3,000 years ago!

People will tell you the Bible was invented by Bronze Age goat herders and it doesn’t connect to modern life, science, or reality. Have those people been reading their Bibles carefully?

God wants us to trust Him. He doesn’t have a sign saying “I am God and you must worship me” in the sky. Jesus didn’t show Himself to the whole world when He rose from the dead. Someday He will, but when that happens, it will be too late for anyone to choose Him as their Savior.

At the same time, if we want to believe God, He gives us lots of answers. This little verse about the wind and waves in the middle of Psalms is one example.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 

Thank you, Father, for not asking us to have “blind faith”. Thank you for giving us so many ways to recognize you are real…. and smart!

Learn more:
How Waves Are Made: Surfing-Waves.com

Waves | Coastal Care.org (detailed, no ads)

eHow: Science Projects on Water Waves (most are simple enough to do on your own)

How Surfing Works by HowStuffWorks (best graphic of wave motion)

*It was hard to find any history of wave science. The O.M. Phillips paper seems to be the main study on the subject.

Science in the Bible: Earthquakes

If you pay attention to what’s going on as you read the Bible you will catch on pretty quickly that the Holy Land is located in an earthquake zone. Sometimes earthquakes are even major players in the action of Bible events.

I’m going to send you to a video with Dr. Steve Austin in a minute, but let’s see some of the times where earthquakes had a part in events recorded in the Bible:

“And the Lord began to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He caused fire and burning sulfur to fall from the sky. He destroyed the whole valley—all the cities, the people living in the cities, and all the plants in the valley.” Genesis 19:24,25

Although an earthquake isn’t mentioned, how did God get the volcanic stuff to come out? Volcanoes and earthquakes are bosom buddies.

JSC the battle of Jericho

So then the priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpets, they began shouting. The walls fell down, and the people ran up into the city. So the Israelites defeated that city. Joshua 6:20

Again, the earthquake isn’t mentioned, but God doesn’t do magic; there was some physical cause for the walls to drop.

And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer slew after him. And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow. And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.  I Samuel 14:14,15

No explanation needed here!

Suddenly there was an earthquake so strong that it shook the foundation of the jail. All the doors of the jail opened, and the chains on all the prisoners fell off. Acts 16:26

This wasn’t in Israel, but shows God controls events anywhere.

Every once in a while God uses His natural world to accomplish His plan for history. He has more subtle ways of doing this, but when he uses big things like meteorites (Joshua 10:11) and earthquakes, people pay attention! They also have a much harder time hiding the evidence. 😀

One other thought that came to me while watching Dr. Austin: just as God has positioned the world so we can study space, so He prepared the way for us to study these earthquakes. How many lakes in the world are lifeless, so the sediments settle undisturbed for millennia? There are a few, but it is cool to know one of them is perfectly located to preserve a record of God’s truthfulness.

Our God is great, with the most mind-boggling foresight imaginable!

The video starts just a tad dry through the first part of the talk, but after the break it is WAY COOL.

The captain of the guard and those with him, when they saw the earthquake and everything else that was happening, were scared to death. They said, “This has to be the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54 The Message

I was alerted to this video by Creation Sensation, you can follow them for yourself to keep up with lots more.

Dr. Austin’s findings have been available at the Institute for Creation Research for some time, which is where I first read about them.

PS I’d really like to ask him just how certain that AD 33 crucifixion date is. It could settle a debate that goes back to the AD 300s!

Rocks, Stones, and Dirt do What?

memorial stone, hartuv, israel

Memorial stone, Hartuv, Israel

I read this verse the other day and noticed something rather odd. Have a look:

And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. Joshua 24:27

This isn’t the only place the Bible talks about minerals listening:

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Deuteronomy 32:1

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. Isaiah 1:2

Now that’s some strange stuff! But pretty cool for geologists and astronomers.

c. 1150

c. 1150 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turns out this is only the beginning of what the inanimate [unconscious] world does in the Bible. You might remember this first one from Palm Sunday:

And [Jesus] answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Luke 19:40

And who can forget what happened when Abel was murdered:

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

But there’s more!

For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Habakkuk 2:11

If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; Job 31:38

Well so far things have been rather distressing for the poor planet. Let’s see what it does when Jesus returns to set everything right again!

Háje, Prague, the Czech Republic. The farm of ...The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing. Psalm 65:13

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: Psalm 96:12a

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. Psalm 98:8-9

See file nameThe wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

ButchartGardenBCCanada

Butchart Gardens BC Canada

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:9

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Sure, we are the only part of God’s creation made in His image, but God cares about everything He makes. Even the misuse the ground goes through because of sin today will one day be corrected.

Am I likely to start talking to the gravel out back now? Probably not, but these ideas give a whole new dimension to this verse:

Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21

Men as Trees Walking: Jesus’ Double Miracle

Stained glass, All Saints, Nazeing

Stained glass, All Saints, Nazeing (Photo credit: TheRevSteve)

Jesus and his followers came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch the man. So Jesus held the blind man’s hand and led him out of the village. Then he spit on the man’s eyes. He laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see now?”

The man looked up and said, “Yes, I see people. They look like trees walking around.”

Again Jesus laid his hands on the man’s eyes, and the man opened them wide. His eyes were healed, and he was able to see everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25 Easy-to-read Version

What’s going on here? Why did Jesus have to lay His hands on this man twice to restore his vision? At first glance, it seems like Jesus had to double the amount of power before the miracle could be finished. But that doesn’t match the limitless power of God!

When I was growing up, I only thought how fun it would be to see “trees walking.” The story is part of the 6% of the book by Mark not repeated by the other gospels so it’s easy to miss. But, there is so much we can learn from it!

Seems like the only explanation I ever heard from a pastor or Sunday school teacher was that maybe the man didn’t have much faith, so it was his fault Jesus had to do it twice. But there are no signs of this in the passage. In fact, you see Jesus expecting the man not to see properly.

Years later, I read an article on doctors restoring sight to the blind. The more I read the more I recognized what Jesus was doing.

Baby Colt 3

Baby Colt 3 (Photo credit: xopherlance)

When a baby is born, they spend the first year building brain connections like crazy. Even a newborn who seems to do nothing but sleep, eat, and fill their diaper is developing nerves they will use their whole life. The more interactions they have with people and objects, the more brain connections they make.

These connections don’t have a chance to form when a baby is born blind; the part of their brain designed to help them understand what they see has nothing to do. We’ve found they start using this area to help them understand language and even to read Braille. But their brain never practices figuring out what their eyes see.

Jesus designed our eyes and brains. He knew how big a task it was to heal this man and apparently decided to use him to prove He knew. When He first spit on the man (I wonder if this means Jesus didn’t have any bad germs in His mouth?) and put His hands on him, He healed him perfectly. The man’s eyes were able to instantly see 20/20 or better.

But Jesus didn’t heal the man’s brain and He made sure the disciples and everyone who read the Bible would know it by asking what the man could see. Then, He touched him again and instantly gave the man all the brain connections he needed to perfectly interpret what his eyes were telling him.

Blind children and teachers at work!.

Blind children and teachers at work!. (Photo credit: Community Eye Health)

Jesus was way ahead of His time. In 1688, a man named William Molyneux wondered what would happen if something like this occurred. He realized sight is a complex thing. It took over 300 years before doctors could answer his question.

No, it isn’t an automatic thing for the brain to interpret images, but the younger a person is when they gain vision, the better their chances.

At least one adult has learned to get around pretty well with her new vision, but it will never match what a person who has seen since infancy can understand. This is why doctors are extra careful to screen babies for vision problems. If there is something wrong which can be corrected, like cataracts at birth, they usually try to take care of them within 3 months.

Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.  John 9:32,33

This is still true. These men not only had eyes to see but a brain to understand!

For more, check out Phys.org: Out of darkness, sight: How the Brain learns to see

Science in the Bible: Floodwaters “Going and Coming”

icr-home2

One of the most exciting things about the modern Creation Science movement is how each group fills a need and appreciates the others, recognizing them as other members of God’s ministry. The Institute for Creation Research is one of the big players in this movement and without their science, we would have a much harder time exposing reality.

Although all science will support the Creator, there are some areas where Evolutionary thinking will never do the work needed to seek out the truth. The last thing radiometric dating worshipers would want to know is how many millions of years old newly laid lava dates to. Many areas like this would be very difficult for us without scientists who believe the Bible doing the work themselves.

This is something ICR is on the cutting edge of and I am very grateful!

Another area where ICR is top notch is deep Bible study. Since my teen years I’ve been bugged by OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApreachers who say, “I’ve barely scratched the surface” of the Word and just go on to the next topic/passage. I don’t want to just “scratch the surface”, I want to mine the depths of God’s treasures! When I read ICR’s Days of Praise, I find men who are willing to get down and dirty with the Scriptures. I’ve even written to tell them how much I appreciate this during times when it isn’t possible for me to do it for myself (if you write a nice note, they’ll probably publish it, too).

Today I want to talk about my favorite example of this kind of study. The Hebrew words in Genesis 8:3 hold a wealth of meaning that would be impossible for a normal translation to even touch on. Then, when a geologist gets ahold of the original text, all kinds of realities come into focus.

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. Genesis 8:3

Hebrew Torah Scroll

Straight forward enough isn’t it? If you look at a bunch of translations, you aren’t likely to find out anything more than in the KJV. But, that’s before you break into the Hebrew!

I’d really like you all to check out the article on this over at ICR, so the rest of the post will just cover the basics for the under 12 year old crowd.

  • The word they interpreted as “continually” is really two words in Hebrew.
  • These two words mean: “to go” and “to come” plus that they kept doing it (which is why we translate it “continually”)
  • So, a more precise translation of the verse would be “the waters returned from off the earth going and coming.”

What great science can we dig out of these two words? Geologists talk about things called a “megasequence”,  “cratonic sequence”, or even just a  “sequence.” These are enormous layers of sedimentary rocks laid down one on top of another. In all, geologists recognize 6 great “sequences.” Although there are some sedimentary rocks underneath, most of them begin with the “Middle-Cambrian” layers, which we put well into the Flood Year.

These sequences are so big they cross whole continents. Not only are they well known and studied in North America, but these same layers are recognizable in Brazil, Russia, and Africa!  Of all things, you can find sequences that look “strikingly similar” across “all southern continents and also in India”.

Sounds to me like something was moving huge amounts of sediment around the world, dropping its load and then picking up more to dump in one layer after another. Maybe, instead of having to see this as an incredibly slow process, we could speed up the tape with a World Wide Flood?

Oh, but then the Bible might be telling the truth!

Something else I don’t have space for is the “going” part of this process. Geologists call it “regression” and, guess what? We are living in one: “the present has one of the lowest sea levels of Earth History.” Are you surprised?

 

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. Genesis 9:11