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!

Genius Babies: Automatic Transforming Systems: Breathing

CS4K-Lungs

Trying out those new lungs….

Six times I’ve gotten to see the brilliance of a tiny baby entering the outside world… really the brilliance of their Creator and Designer. Every person you meet, even you yourself, have accomplished something so complicated it takes a lot of scientific knowledge to even understand. What was this amazing feat?

You started to breathe

Think about it. Before you were born, you floated happily in a hot water bottle. You were never cold (this will be important later), you were never hungry, and there was no air to breathe. Everything you needed came through the supply line in the middle of your tummy connected to your mom’s body. Even the oxygen you needed.

But when you study the human body, you learn all your blood flows through the lungs to drop off carbon dioxide and pick up fresh oxygen supplies. If your growing baby-lungs had that much blood flowing through, it would just get in the way. Your brain is what needs the most help, not the lungs. So, before you were born only about 10% of your blood visited the lungs to keep them happy. How?

Special blood vessels

As a baby you had a blood vessel going right to the supply line, the umbilical cord. Then most of the blood visits the liver before going to the heart. Just look at a drawing of the way the blood flows through you inside your mom. Pretty complicated!

  • Some blood takes a short cut around the liver to go to the heart.
  • In a couple places, blood with lots of oxygen mixes with blood that’s given away most of its oxygen and sent back out to the body
  • There’s a special hole (called the Foramen ovale) in the middle of the heart to let blood from one side through to the other

You can do more studying on this system for yourself on these sites:

The most detailed is on CreationWiki. For some reason we don’t mind admitting how complex the system is and how quickly it must change at birth!

WebMd has the best drawing of the blood vessels in color

How we switch from “breathing” through our belly button to breathing with our lungs

When you come out of your mom’s tummy, you only have a tiny amount of time to switch from never having used your lungs to using them all the time. How do we do it?

For weeks before we’re born, the lungs have been practicing moving in and out to get ready for the big day. They’ve had a little special fluid in the spaces soon to be full of air. In this wet stuff is something called a “surfactant”, a little like dish soap to make the fluid non-stick. Without help, a baby born too early won’t be able to pull his lungs open because this surfactant isn’t there yet.

Remember how the womb we grow in is warm and wet? When we first come out, we aren’t dressed and we’re soaking wet. All of a sudden– we’re cold! Our body was designed to react to this by taking a great big breath. It usually doesn’t take us long to tell the whole world how awful this new place is, and where’s our mommy?

High Pressure- Low Pressure

As our lungs fill for the first time, something amazing happens in our blood system. Squashed lungs push hard on any blood trying to squeeze through them, but lungs full of air aren’t nearly as much work. This means blood suddenly finds it way easier to flow into the lungs.

This next bit is the coolest of all!

When the blood starts flowing into the lungs, it pushs the blood the other way through the heart. That special hole to help blood go around the lungs has two flaps that immediately get pushed together- closing the opening. Soon, cells on both sides begin to grow together sealing off the old opening for the rest of our lives!

And, what happens to the blood vessels that used to flow to our belly button and around the liver and lungs? After a while, they turn into ligaments holding our body together!

Which seems more logical to you: random chance making these systems come together with such great timing, or our genius Creator God?

In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10 

You can read more about how our bodies switch from living inside our mothers to being outside here: ICR: Made in His Image: Baby’s First Breath

And here: National Library of Medicine: Changes in the newborn at birth

Links: Learning Creation is Important for Kids

I’ve had my hands full recently and just can’t squeeze in a post needing a lot of research, but I have been keeping up with the creation materials flowing into my inbox and facebook newsfeed. It was exciting to see a couple of them focusing on the next generation; so exciting I decided to collect all the examples I could find into one place for all of us.

Enjoy!

Creation Moments has been producing radio segments for 50 years now. March 24, 2014, they shared a testimony of a young man who found great assurance in the Bible by learning creation science. Then they had this to say about too many Christian young people:

“They grew up learning about creation and Adam and Eve in Sunday school. As they were exposed to evolution, they desperately wanted the Bible to offer an intelligent alternative to evolution. But no one could ever offer it to them.”

Today, there’s no reason for such a tragedy to still happen!

The Creation Today Show with Eric Hovind has redesigned its format and is now including an experiment segment! It’s buried in the middle, but the rest is well worth watching. The first episode like this is up online and uses a thin garbage bag and hot air to show us something about air and… the Holy Spirit.

Keep it up, Eric! 😀

In case you hadn’t visited them in a while, Answers in Genesis has claimed this as their theme this year:

Standing our Ground, Rescuing our Kids

What’s more, they’re putting their money where their heart is by offering free admission for kids to the Creation Museum through the end of 2014!

Recently, I read the testimony of Dr. Rob Carter, who found Jesus as a child, but felt his faith slipping away until running into creation materials in college. 

I also heard what happened to Albert Einstein when he was left to read secular science books for himself:

“. . . I came—though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents—to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true.” Einstein, Albert (1979). Autobiographical Notes

It’s enough to break your heart knowing the difference it could have made if he’d heard the truth about science!

Checking around on Creation Ministries International’s website, I ran into an article written so long ago I wished my parents had happened to read it. Of course, being based in Biblical thinking it’s just as useful for us today:

Your children and evolution
Hints for Christian Parents

Most of us are well aware of the need to reach our young people before the world gets its hands on them. The difficult thing is presenting engaging materials worded for people who haven’t gotten to Collegate Dictionary level yet. Praise God, He’s called a number of us to provide these resources!

CS4K-Remember-CreatorP

Quotes by Great Scientists

The other day I was reading a paper and ran into this quote from Michael Faraday:

“Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” ~copied from WikiQuote

He had been asked if he ever wondered what would really happen to him when he died. His answer showed how confident he was in Jesus (he quoted what Paul said about nearing death in II Timothy 1:12). This is such an awesome thing to know about one of the fathers of electrical science!

Many people today want to make being unsure about everything the great virtue of science. According to them, showing absolute confidence in anything is horribly arrogant. So, we creationists are automatically considered bad scientists because we are absolutely confident there is a Creator God who made the universe like He tells us in the Bible.

What would they have thought of Faraday?

Since I’d looked up one quote, I thought I would research more. Here are a few whose names are still famous enough our kids ought to know about them. Why not let them see their faith in God, too?

Each name is linked to a biography page so you can find out what they contributed to our scientific understanding.

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler: “We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing.” ~WikiQuote

Galileo Galilei: “But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.” ~TodayInSci

Sir Isaac Newton: “The most beautiful system of the Sun, Planets and Comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent being. All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.” ~Buzzle

Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus: “All the species recognized by Botanists came forth from the Almighty Creator’s hand, and the number of these is now and always will be exactly the same, while every day new and different florists’ species arise from the true species so-called by Botanists, and when they have arisen they finally revert to the original forms. Accordingly to the former have been assigned by Nature fixed limits, beyond which they cannot go: while the latter display without end the infinite sport of Nature.” ~TodayInSci

Do you know what Linnaeus means by “species” here? A lot like what modern Creationists call Kinds (or Baramins for fancy)! I could have picked many more quotes of him giving God the glory, but you can look them up for yourself on WikiQuote. How amazing it will be to talk to him in heaven some day!

Samuel Morse: “It is His work,” he reminded them; “and He alone carried me thus far through all my trials and enabled me to triumph over the obstacles, physical and moral, which opposed me.  ‘Not unto us, not unto us, by to Thy name, O Lord, be all the praise.’”  ~SoulLiberty (the article has lots more great quotes)

These are just starting to show how common it is for love of God to work with love of science. For many of us, learning more about the way God works in the natural world helps us appreciate and understand our Creator in a special way. It sure helped King David praise the Lord….

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. Psalm 145:3-5

I searched for names on the Creation Science Hall of Fame: Deceased Inductees page

And ran into a super-long page covering the World’s Greatest Creation Scientists on the Creation Safaris site for those hungry for more!

Is Your Family Watching the Cosmos Series?

My family doesn’t have time to watch anything on Sundays, so we aren’t keeping up with this program, but that doesn’t mean you all aren’t!

In fact, if you have kids 12+, I recommend watching shows like this. Eventually, one way or another, your kids are going to hear the kinds of ideas presented in the series. The last thing you want to do is leave them ignorant until they’re out on their own, never having thought through the worldview, logic, and assumptions presented as facts by the world.

If you sit down with your kids and examine things like this carefully, they will develop the spiritual muscles they need to discern the difference between fact and fiction. But, this doesn’t mean you have to get a degree in science to help your kids. Others have already, and they love to share with us!

Since I can’t tell you what I think, I’ve looked around for those who have already put up reviews. There aren’t too many yet, but here’s what I’ve found:

Answers in Genesis has a lengthy article just on Episode 1

Creation Evolution Headlines has one that’s not so long. As usual, the editor’s thoughts are in green toward the end.

Then the other day I listened to a podcast on Challenging Cosmos (it doesn’t matter if your kids are in a school system instead). Starting just after the 12 minute mark, the host talks with Jay Ryan of Classical Astronomy, about the first episode of Cosmos. Ryan likes to ramble, so the show is almost an hour long, but you’ll learn a lot if you have the time! You’ll also see not all creationists walk in lock step. In fact, I don’t know too many who do. It’s a science community after all. 😀

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16 

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith

by Mike Berenstain, published by Zonderkidz

Every once in a while, I’ll run into a book to check out on a general Christian review list. This one looked extra interesting because it’s a kids’ book and the preview mentioned science. So, I asked my 5 year old if he’d like to read it with me and we ordered it. Here’s what I think:

The book is a great way to get kids thinking about why they believe in God while others around them don’t. I was especially pleased that they recognized many non-believers use science to say there is no God.

First, we are introduced to many of the bear cubs’ friends, leading us to a special friend, Ferdy. His dad runs the science museum and they’ve learned all kinds of cool things from him, but then they find he doesn’t give God the credit for the things they see:

“I don’t believe that God created the world,” said Ferdy. “In fact, I don’t believe in God, at all.”

“You don’t believe in God?” asked Brother, surprised.

“No,” said Ferdy, “I believe in science–in things you can see and test and prove.”

Well done! Mike caught a big part of the issue we face. For this alone I‘m glad to have the book around.

Naturally, the bear cubs don’t know what to say to their friend, and soon Mama Bear finds out what’s bugging them. She explains we believe in God because of the Bible and choose to have faith. We also experience God for ourselves in our hearts. Again, kudos to the author!

From this point on I got more annoyed at the book. Unfortunately, I bet it’s all too realistic. When the cubs want to know what faith means, both Mama and Papa pass the buck. At least they know where to take the cubs: the pastor.

The pastor does something wise and gives them a Bible example, telling them the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. That’s fine, the author of Hebrews does the same thing.

But the book gets to the thought: faith = trust and stops.

In fact, Sister’s practical use of her new understanding of faith is rather scary. The family walks home in a thunderstorm and she decides not to be scared.

What was Mama thinking taking her family for a stroll with lightning around?

Plus, neither Sister or Brother do any actual talking to God to strengthen their faith. Prayer wasn’t once mentioned.

So, if you can fit this book in your budget (it retails for $3.99) or run across it somewhere, get it. Your kids will have their appetite whetted to think about this super important question. Then, take the time as their mom and dad to develop answers to questions like theirs.

If you’re a pastor, please give your flock more substance than just saying Daniel had faith and trusted in God’s love!

So, how do we teach our kids about faith?

Looks like I could (and should) write a whole post on this, but here are some resources to get you started:

A great article for parents by Eric Hovind starting with his experience growing up in a Christian home and guiding parents in what to focus on with the next generation.

Answers in Genesis has a set of books for students and leaders. I found the list of topics on the Student Workbook helpful to know where to start.

Apologetics Press has a bunch of articles on Faith and Reason

Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8b

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith from the publisher in exchange for my review. All thoughts are my own.