ICR: The Bible Is the Source of All Science

We delight in bringing you the latest news from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their latest article is Scientific Accuracy. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Many would suggest that the Bible is an antiquated religious book, filled with scientific fallacies and mistakes. Others believe that the Bible is a book of true religion, but dealing solely with spiritual subjects, with any matters of science and history to be interpreted spiritually or allegorically.

We’ve all heard both views. Here’s what ICR says:

Either the Bible is wholly reliable on every subject with which it deals, or it is not the Word of God.

Bad move. That means the tiniest inaccuracy discredits the whole thing. Let’s read on:

Although the Bible is obviously not a science textbook (otherwise it would be continuously out of date), the Bible does contain all the basic principles upon which true science is built.

Really? Somehow we never noticed. ICR continues:

The Bible abounds with references to nature and natural processes, and thus frequently touches on the various sciences. For instance, there are many passages that deal with principles of hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, physics, cosmology, and the grand principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum.

We’ll leave it to you to comment on that paragraph, dear reader. Here’s more:

One often hears of mistakes or errors in the Bible. Seldom, when confronted, is there an example provided. When such “errors” are cited, they fall into three kinds of alleged mistakes: 1) mathematical rounding, 2) relative motion, or 3) miracles.

“Mathematical rounding” is apparently ICR’s attempt to deal with The Scriptural Value Of Pi. What of “relative motion”? It probably refers to the fact that the bible is geocentric — see The Earth Does Not Move! Somehow, we don’t think “miracles” deals with the fact that, according to the bible, The Earth Is Flat!, however it can be applied to a great many other matters — but miracles aren’t scientific. Here’s what ICR says about their three excuses:

Obviously, mathematical rounding is both scientific and in constant use today, as is the use of relative motion for all sorts of navigation and distance calculations. To deny the miraculous is to assume that one is omniscient.

Okay, let’s get to the end of the article:

Just as the Bible has become a source book for history and archaeology, so it is also a source book for the foundational principles of science. Those who ignore the information of Scripture will be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” [Scripture reference omitted.]

There you are, dear reader. If you would understand science, read the bible.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “ICR: The Bible Is the Source of All Science

  1. Retired Prof

    ICR complains that critics of Biblical inerrancy seldom supply examples. Then they didn’t supply any either, leading one to conclude they thought examples would so easy to find it was not necessary to supply them. However, when I looked in my concordance for the terms on the ICR list–“hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, physics, cosmology, and the grand principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum”–I came up blank. Maybe ICR could cite chapter and verse?

    In fact, they could do a whole series of articles here. How about one titled “The Biblical Source of Newton’s Observations on the Spectrum of Visible Light”? Then they could show in detail how the “just so” explanation about the rainbow following Noah’s flood tipped off Sir Isaac to experiment with prisms. And maybe this: “God Gave Nuclear Secrets to Joshua at Jericho: The Biblical Evidence.” Or this: “Today’s Weather Forecast Derived from Jeremiah 10:13.” Or this: “‘Four Corners of the Earth’ Is God’s Secret Code for ‘Four Dimensions of Space-Time.” You know, stuff like that.

    In each article, ICR would need to document a clear line of transmission from biblical source to modern scientific development. If they can pull this off, they will revolutionize the history of science.

  2. For instance, there are many passages that deal with principles of hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, physics, cosmology, and the grand principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum.

    Of course, they do not provide a single example.

    It’s also interesting that ICR states that if the bible were a science textbook, it would be continuously out-of-date. Think about that. They believe God pretty much dictated the bible verbatim, that it’s all literally his word. Even the erotic stuff. So, if that’s true, how could it ever be out-of-date? Doesn’t God know all of science? What discovery could possibly prove God wrong, and thus make his previously dictated bible obsolete? That would imply that he isn’t omniscient. It just makes no sense.

  3. You beat me to it, Prof ! And more eloquently, to boot.

  4. “…there are many passages that deal with principles of hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, physics, cosmology, and the grand principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum.”
    Does the article provide any examples? No.
    Then they say:
    “One often hears of mistakes or errors in the Bible. Seldom, when confronted, is there an example provided.”
    I really would like to see what they consider an example of a passage dealing with “principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum.”
    On second thought, no, I don’t.

  5. Great minds must think alike, and in threes, evidently. Just some type faster than others.

  6. To deny the miraculous is to assume that one is omniscient.

    Science doesn’t deny specific wierd events in principal. It just asks for confirmable evidence before accepting any hypothesis. Denial is tentative and open to revision based on further evidence. All they have to do is supply it.

  7. “Just as the Bible has become a source book for history and archaeology”

    It was not until the Bible was discounted as as a source for both, that progress in these areas for the Middle East started to improve. Trying to match what they were finding, with what was stated in the bible, was making researchers jump through hoops in trying to bring them together. It was only when they started ignoring the Bible as a guide did things become much clearer. So to say the bible has become a source is to ignore history, it used to be a source until it became abundantly clear to everyone in the two fields that it was too unreliable. Unless they mean it has become a source for Christian Fundamentalists. .

  8. “Miraculous” is such a marvellously stretchy word, though, isn’t it? You don’t need (or really even want) evidence for the undefined, you only need to assert it. “Poof! Goddidit!”

  9. Retired Prof

    Yes, “miraculous” causes all kinds of trouble, partly because its parent noun has developed two meanings that we often do not differentiate in our minds, so that a reader or listener may understand one whereas the writer or speaker was thinking of the other.

    The original meaning of “miracle” was “something extremely unusual; something to marvel over.” I have a promotional T-shirt given away by an association of cotton growers that exemplifies this meaning. On the back it reads, “Cotton is a miracle of nature.”

    The second meaning is, “something supernatural; a thing or event that violates the laws of nature.” I have always been partial to Ambrose Bierce’s definition in *The Devil’s Dictionary*: “MIRACLE, n. An act or event out of the order of nature and unaccountable, as beating a normal hand of four kings and an ace with four aces and a king.” In other words, in order to accomplish this kind of miracle, somebody has to cheat.

    Obviously this later meaning turns the motto above into nonsense, an oxymoron. However, the original meaning makes sense if we tone down the hyperbole with a paraphrase: “cotton is a natural product with remarkable properties.”

    The later meaning applies to Jesus; if god actually did impregnate Mary via his spirit and then resurrect the offspring that resulted, he violated his own rules about birth and death, and the events were miracles in the second sense of the word.

  10. The citing of “hydrology” would likely be a reference to Noah’s flood. If ICR is seriously saying that everything in the Bible follows scientific principles, then they (and AiG as well) should be able to provide a reasonable explanation for where all that water came from, and where it all went afterwards. To anyone’s knowledge, have the fundamentalists ever done that?

    Sure, the rain came from the sky. But as every fourth-grader knows, it got into the sky by evaporating from the ocean. If it came out of the ocean, the sea level would drop, not rise, and then as the rain fell, it would go back into the ocean, bringing it back to its original level — but not any higher.

    Ok, maybe it came from “heaven”, in other words, space. Maybe a huge, water-logged comet made a soft landing on the earth, bringing a biblical flood of new water onto the planet. If that’s the case ICR wants to push, then where did all that water go once the flood receded? Where could it recede to?!?! It’s already IN the ocean!

    If they are going to claim the Bible follows hydrologic principles, then they can’t be given a “miracle pass” to just poof away a few million cubic miles of water. (Man, that must have been one big comet!)

    Perhaps Ken Ham will read this and find an “answer in Genesis”. Or will ICR do some creative “creation research”?

    If the fundamentalists claim that the entity they call God created the universe and everything in it, including the laws of physics, then God must follow His own laws. As stated in a post above, a miracle would be an example of God cheating. So, ICR and AiG are claiming that God is a cheater?

  11. Why not just have them read the book of Ezekiel? Try to explain how two prophecies could fail, and the text admits it.

  12. RetiredSciGuy: They actually have tried to come up with some theories to explain the flood waters, usually involving “canopies” of thick clouds that covered the Earth from the time of creation all the way up till the flood when they dumped their water and dissipated.

    Kent Hovind came up with an even more implausible idea, involving a comet coming by the planet right after it was created, causing a thick ice shell to form around it. Then I think the flood was supposed to be caused by the melting ice. I don’t remember it exactly but the early “Why Do People Laugh At Creationists” videos show how ludicrous it really is.

  13. John Farrell at the Forbes website has an article on a similar phenomenon going on in Islam, Straining for Science in the Quran.

  14. TPK: Kent Hovind came up with an even more implausible idea, involving a comet coming by the planet right after it was created, causing a thick ice shell to form around it…

    Sounds like Velikovsky. He claimed the planets moving about in their orbits explained not just the flood, but the sun standing still and many other biblical claims. I don’t think the guy ever met a mythical claim he didn’t try to explain via seriously crazy celestia mechanics.

  15. TPK: Even if creationists could come up with a plausible (snicker!) source of all that water, there’s no way it could recede. It would still be here on earth today.

    Seriously — if the earth was totally flooded, you would need enough water to raise sea level 29,000 feet to cover Mt. Everest. That’s nearly SIX MILES! Multiply that times the total square mile area of the earth (197,000,000 sq. mi.), and you come up with nearly 1.2 Billion cubic miles of water. (I purposely used miles rather than kilometers so the fundamentalists could understand the size of the problem.)

    Many years ago, before I realized that there were so many people that actually believed a literal interpretation, I asked a fundamentalist to explain where the water all went. He replied, “Why, back into the sea, of course, like all floods!” He didn’t have a clue why that was a problem, and I bet we’d get the same answer from 99% of the fundamentalists if we asked the same question today.

  16. If you want another explanation for where the water came from and went to, try Dr Silvestru: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-BaMAt4dnE

    In the celebrated style of ’50’s Science fiction movies, the event was caused by mysterious beams of radioactivity which struck ocean basins, causing them to swell up and causing land masses to indent. The video was placed on Youtube by a coworker of mine – sigh.

  17. @RetiredSciGuy: According to my scientific calculator, I get 1.08 billion square miles of water. I subtracted the volume of a sphere (earth with ave radius of 6371 km) from a larger sphere (earth covered by 8.848 km of water). Actual value would be slightly less since the mountain ranges would displace some of the water.