Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
The revelation of science is not the purpose of the Bible. Its object is the revelation of the origin and destiny of man, and to reveal the will of his Maker to him. If the Bible had been a revelation of science, it would have been in the nature of it a premature announcement of scientific discovery, and a direct communication to men of matters in the realm of human knowledge which are left for man to ascertain for himself.
But the Bible is truth, and though its language is not scientific, in the academic sense of the term, every reference in the Bible to science is scientifically accurate; every mention of things geological is geologically correct; and every word in it touching things astronomical is astronomically true. Thus while science searches and revises its findings, the word of God is settled and fixed. It is by reason of this fact that the Bible, though not a revelation of science, anticipates the discoveries of science. Therein lies the incontrovertible proof of inspiration. The scientific truth and accuracy of the Bible are witnesses to its divine origin as the inspired word of God.
In the cosmogony of the Bible it never mistakes fables for facts. For instance, the delusions of astrology are not confused with the researches of astronomy. The former is superstition, the latter is science. In all the writings of men certain errors and misconceptions of the times in which they lived are found in their books. What kept those errors and superstitions out of the Bible? No endorsement of such is to be found in it.
To the contrary, in times of such misconceptions, the Bible anticipates with scientific accuracy the truth in whatever realm the reference is made. The examples of this fact are numerous. Time was when men believed that the “firmament” was solid. But in Psalms 19, the Spirit of God had David to use the Hebrew word “expanse” for our word “firmament” in that passage, thus anticipating science. When men thought the earth rested on some sort of a foundation such as huge rock pillars, Job declared that it was hanging”on nothing” (Job 26:7).
Genesis And Geology
The same is true of the geology of the Bible. The geological order of the scientist is the exact creative order of Moses. Geology teaches that a vast, watery waste existed; Moses said the earth was void and without form and that darkness was upon the face of the deep (Gen. 1:1-2). Geology claims that watery vapors were lifted and formed into an expanse; Moses ascribes the same procedure to the creative act of God. Geology asserts that the earth pushed itself up from below or beneath the waters, and vegetation followed; Moses wrote that the dry land appeared and yielded grass, herb and tree.
Geology says that the heavens then were cleared of the dense atmospheric expanse hanging over them, and that the luminaries of the heavens began to shine on the earth; Moses records that on the fourth day of creation God made these luminary bodies of the heaven to give light upon the earth, to divide the day from the night, for seasons, for days and for years.
In the order of animal creation, geology gives the order from the lower to the higher—fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, which the geologist lists according to the “proportion of brain to spinal cord.” But Moses records the exact order of animal creation. What did Moses know about comparative anatomy, that fish are lower than reptiles, and reptiles lower than birds, and lower than mammals, of the geological discoveries?
The record of creation in Genesis, centuries before science was born and ages before geology was known, tabulates the order without a geological error or a scientific blunder. This undeniable agreement between the Bible record of creation and the modern discoveries of science is indisputable proof that He who made the world wrote the Book.
The efforts of some of the critics to create contradictions between geology and the Bible on the basis of the age of the earth and the date of fossils have proven presumptive and futile. Geology cannot date the age of the earth, and the Bible does not date it. How can there be disagreement over a date, when one cannot fix it and the other does not set it? Neither biology nor geology can set dates. Nobody knows the date of a fossil. But it is known that fossils have formed in ocean beaches within a half-century; and fossils of Indian tracks made no earlier than the War Between The States are in evidence here in the U.S.A.
Even the dinosaurs, identified as pre-Colombian Indian origin, perished when a geological catastrophe occurred. Actually, it is now a demonstrated fact that artificial fossils can be produced by chemical process. If artificial fossils can result from chemical action in a short time, why should it be judged incredible that the natural conditions, such as geological upheavals, crustal disturbances and volcanic eruptions, could cause a chemical process that would produce the same result naturally in far less time than the eons that geological speculation arbitrarily decree?
Once we were told that the earth was a few million years old. Later, we were readvised that it was a billion; only still later to be re-instructed that the age of it is 10 billion; again, 100 billion; once more, 300 billion — and now comes one who avows that the rocks, the formations and the fossils all prove it to be not less than 500 billion years—perhaps!
One thing we may know—and of that we can be assured—that the science of geology will never read into the records of the rocks a layer of strata, nor find from the fossils a skeleton of fact, that contradicts a syllable of the word of God. It remains that the question of origins is philosophical, not scientific.
But the propaganda of pseudo-science shows itself everywhere. Official guides for the parties of tourists at Carlsbad Cavern and the great Grand Canyon are turned into teachers of evolution. They lecture their parties on the million-year geology of the stalagmites and the stalactites of the Caverns, and the 100 million years that it supposedly took the river to cut the Canyon. Everyone who has ever visited these sites has heard the guides prattle their story.
But their tales do not allow for earthquakes, crustal disorders, volcanic eruptions, and other geological upheavals, which could shake the earth and loosen the strata, so that the river could and would obviously cut its way far more rapidly than their 100 million year schedule. Such upheavals could, in fact, cause such changes in the conditions of rocks and strata as to destroy all timetables and calculations of the computer who seeks to upset the Bible.
The fact remains that rocks have no anniversaries and rocks are not dated. There is actually no science of origins.