I have heard that Christianity is at odds with Science so many times it makes me sick. Let me define two things. First, science focuses on the natural, and religion (in general) deals with the supernatural. The next is that there are various pieces of misinformation on each side that cause science and religion (and in my specific argument, Christianity) to grind against each other. Here is my approach to apologetics in regards to science.
Evolution is a huge argument, and there are terms that are often misunderstood. Evolution is a broad term that really is the combination of micro evolution and macro evolution. Micro Evolution is when an organism has minor changes over time. Macro Evolution is when all the minor changes from micro evolution cause such a change that the organism is now a new/different species. There are a few notes that should be made, but don’t just take my opinions – look up my information. The whole basis of new species has to be based on Micro Evolution, so there is no point even discussing Macro Evolution until we can find that basis. The big thing with micro evolution is that over time, genetic material is lost. By lost, I mean completely gone, not dormant in your genetic structure, but I mean gone. Your body doesn’t replace this genetic material. Now, to complement this, when breeding, genetic material from both spouses, so in light of genetic material being lost from one spouse, the other spouse may have this missing genetic material, and there is a chance that the new organism produced will have that genetic material. Regardless, over time, genetic material will be lost, and at best, maintained. There is absolutely no natural process that creates new genetic material. This could be countered by saying that natural selection introduces new genetic material, but the material isn’t new at all, in the sense that it didn’t exist before. This new material is reintroduced into an organism that has lost it from the process of natural selection. This is where macro evolution pokes it’s head out. A term that needs to be covered to better understand macro evolution is species. Species is defined by biological classification, which is done in many ways. To be honest, I would have to devote a whole blog post to this, but essentially, a species is a group of organisms that behave in similar manner with similar genetic code. This is a super-simplified definition, and to be honest, I don’t have a better one, as I haven’t studied this, but I do have a friend that is taking veterinary courses, so I’ll update this post with a better definition from him. Now, this is the real question. Does micro evolution justify macro evolution? There are people on both sides of the fence, some who say definitely, and others who disagree completely. Also on both sides are Christians and non-Christians. For Christians, there is a need to reconcile the Genesis account of creation to science. In Hebrew, the word “day” could also be translated to mean a general period of time. If a Christian understood this word to mean a general period of time, it is possible for a Christian to still remain evangelical and firmly believe in evolution. So, in essence, this doesn’t really destroy Christianity at all. People like to argue this, and I think it’s worth enough thought to have a stance in it, but realize that there are two sides of the coin.
The Age of the Earth is another popular debate topic. People generally assume that all Christians believe in a “young Earth creationism” (Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old) and scientists believe the Earth is about 4.5 Billion years old. These numbers are obviously in tension against each other. Many young Earth creationists discredit the dating methods used to establish an Earth older than 10,000 years. Most articles I have read lack enough authority to discredit radiometric dating, and some people would say that it is because scientists silence people who disagree with evolution – I’m not that paranoid, but I’ll leave that up to you to believe or not. To be honest, the Bible does not give any particular date to creation, and at best, young Earth creationists are guessing the age. Mind you, this is a reasonable guess based on Biblical genealogy. One should also take into their own account whether or not they can justify macro evolution, which adds considerable more years to the age of the Earth. Debates like this need to be taken at face value, because some people are very hardened in their opinion on the topic, and others simply don’t care. As far as a solid apologetic, I don’t have one, and this is because it doesn’t change anything that Jesus did or any of His’ significance in the Bible.
The bible teaches that there was a firmament of water around the Earth, but it doesn’t make scientific sense. This took some digging around, because Genesis 1:6-10 seems to make a reference to water in the sky. I recently watched a video that was critical of Kent Hovind, specifically where he explains that there was a shield of ice around the Earth. So, the critique was that it does not make scientific sense, and I had to agree. At this point, there are two options: a) there was still a water/ice bubble around the earth or b) this is a bad interpretation. Well, as much as I want to explain the supernatural with the ice bubble, I wanted to see if there was an evangelical stance that did not affirm a bubble of water. Well, I could find a specific theological title to this, but I did find some people who pointed out some things in this passage of scripture that allow for an alternative view. The Hebrew word used for firmament is “raqia” and this has some implications that are seem to go against a water-bubble theory. This Hebrew word specifically means an expanse, but there isn’t a lot of information on the translation of this word, so many people go to the Greek Septuagint word, “stereoma,” which means a solid/firm structure. There are two routes we can go: a) there seems to be a difference between expanse and a structure or b) maybe the authors of the Septuagint knew the meaning of raqia more than we do. This is the deal-breaker for how you want to interpret it. I think both sides are evangelical, but if you take a side, make sure you can defend it. This topic has a lot of apologetic value because it is something that we can find evidence for in the bible, and it is something that can have a scientific theory attached to it.