Science and the Bible

How can I believe the Bible in light of what science tells us? I recently went with my family to see the fossilized remains of some dinosaur tracks and bones. I was impressed with what I saw, but I also went away feeling troubled. These tracks and bones, which are said to be millions of years old, are obviously very real. Don't they contradict the scriptural account of the world's creation? Why aren't dinosaurs mentioned in the Book of Genesis? And how is it possible to believe the Bible's illogical claim that the first humans lived to be 800 or 900 years old? Statements like this make it extremely embarrassing to be a Bible-believing Christian.

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First: why do you assume that the evidence for the existence of dinosaurs contradicts the biblical account of creation? The facts don’t necessarily lead to any such conclusion. In the first place, the Bible doesn’t claim to provide us with an exhaustive list of all the animals that have ever lived on the face of the earth. In the second place, it does contain hints of the existence of ancient creatures of monstrous size, both on the land (“Behemoth;” Job 40:15) and in the seas (“Leviathan;” Job 41:1; Psalm 104:26).

As for the great age that scientists have assigned to dinosaur bones, this is simply a matter of interpreting the fossil record in a particular way. Not everyone agrees about this. Certain creation scientists – for example, Dr. Henry Morris in his book The Genesis Flood – have postulated that the arrangement of the fossils in the strata of the earth can be explained in terms of the effects of the worldwide flood described in Genesis 7-9. Other Bible-believing scientists see no contradiction between the Genesis creation account and the idea that the earth is millions of years old. There is plenty of room here for divergence of opinion.

Second: we see no reason to presume that there is anything “illogical” about the Bible’s claim that some of the patriarchs lived to be several hundred years old. If environmental conditions have changed since the earth’s earliest days, then it is entirely possible that human life-spans may have changed along with them. And the Bible gives us reason to believe that those conditions have been dramatically altered: first, as part of the fallout of mankind’s sin (Genesis 3); and second, as a result of the effects of the flood. If you go back and re-read Genesis, you will notice that the length of human life-spans begins to diminish steadily and irreversibly after Chapter 9.

More could be said, but we don’t claim to be experts on the chronology of Genesis. We certainly aren’t qualified to make authoritative statements about the science of paleontology. Still, if you’d like to discuss your concerns about the reliability of Scripture with a member of our team, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone.


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Created Cosmos

The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God

Signature in the Cell

Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups

Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living

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