Is Science the Source of Truth?
I. Mankind has long fooled themselves into thinking they can accurately determine the truth
A. We call this search for Truth “Science”
1. “Knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.” - Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
2. Science is a way of thinking, an error-correcting process by which we figure out what is true and what is not. -- Carl Sagan
B. Often this search leads to contradictions
1. Daily our papers publish “new findings” from some study that contradicts the knowledge we previously had.
2. Philosophers sometimes take the easy way out and declare that Truth must be relative to the beholder.
3. When Jesus claimed to be the witness of the Truth, Pilate replied “What is truth?” - John 18:38
a. Pilate didn’t think this question had an answer
b. But the Bible claims otherwise
C. Sometimes Science conflicts with Biblical teachings
1. Through many influences we are encouraged to believe that Science is more accurate than the Bible “in its own realm.”
2. After all wasn’t Capernicus ridiculed by the religious people of his day for thinking that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe?
3. How often are we told that Science is based on the observation of facts. Religion is just based on faith in the unobservable and the untrue.
4. Too many religious people and too many Christians have accepted these lies.
II. The Bible is the Truth
A. John 17:17 - God’s word is truth.
1. It is true that the Bible deals with spiritual matters.
2. It wasn’t written to teach physical science or history, but it sometimes mentions things in these realms.
3. Just because it is not a teacher of physical science, doesn’t mean that when it mentions a physical fact it cannot be trusted.
4. This is the way we deal with the writings of men, not the writings of God.
B. Heb. 6:18 - It is impossible for God to lie
1. If the Bible is found false or even misleading in these incidental facts, then it means the book as a whole cannot be fully trusted
2. Either it does not come from God or we claim that God is fallible.
C. If we study the teachings of God, then we will come to know the truth - John 8:31-32
III. Man is not known for accuracy
A. Jer. 9:3-9 - Men are full of lies, deceit and treachery
B. People prefer to follow a lie - II Thess. 2:9-12
C. Science doesn’t have the truth
1. It is based on the works of fallible and erroneous men
2. “Science thrives on errors, cutting them away one by one. False conclusions are drawn all the time, but they are drawn tentatively. Hypotheses are framed so they are capable of being disproved ... Science gropes and staggers towards understanding.” - Carl Sagan
a. In other words, Science doesn’t have the truth right now and will not in the future, but we are getting closer all the time.
b. Contrasted to the Scriptures, which claim to be truth.
c. The Bible talks about people like this - II Tim. 3:7-9, they are false teachers!
3. Sagan goes on to say that a scientist has no more trust of science as an authority than he does of religion, government, or superstition. Science teaches a distrust of authority and a distrust of your own hypothesis.
D. And people actually prefer to listen to the teachings of people with Ph.D.s behind their names over the plain teachings of God?
1. I Tim. 6:3-5 - If we do not consent to God’s teachings we are proud, ignorant people without truth in our lives.
IV. But what about all these facts that contradict the Bible?
A. Here I could go on and on about how men, in the name of Science, have duped the unsuspecting. We will look at just a few conflicts.
B. The Bible says the world is about 6,000 years old, but Science has proved the world to be billions of years old.
1. First note that if a person doesn’t want to believe in God, they did an explanation of how this world came to be without God. Without a designer, you must rely on chance to get things into being. But the odds against it are so long, you need large quantities of time to even make such a solution thinkable.
2. There are many ways to measure the age of the earth, but the ones trumpeted are the ones that give the longest answers. The short answers are rarely mentioned!
3. [Foil of candle] Suppose you walk into a room and find a candle burning. You watch and find that it is being consumed at a rate of one inch per hour. How long has the candle been burning?
a. What a minute! How much candle was there originally? Can I be certain it burned at a constant rate? What if it was tapered at the top and is thicker where it is currently at? What if a stiff breeze fanned the flame earlier and made it burn faster at some point?
b. How old is the earth? No one can know unless you are shown how it began and how rapidly it changed since then?
c. Since the world was created for man (Ps 115:16; Isa. 45:18), does it make sense that God waited billions of years to accomplish His purpose?
4. [Foil of volcano] “Sidney P. Clementson, a British engineer, has analyzed the published studies of rock samples from twelve volcanoes in Russia and ten samples from other places around the world which show ages from 100 million to 10 billion years by typical radioactive dating methods, whereas it is known that these volcanic rocks were formed within the past 200 years!”
a. Remember reading about Austrailopithicus and their 4-5 million year age? How did they arrive at these dates?
b. They were found buried in volcanic rock. The age of the bones are assumed to be approximately the age of the surrounding rock.
c. I don’t know about you, but when I die and am buried 6 feet under, I hope no one thinks I’m as old as the dirt I’m buried in. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “old as dirt.”
d. Also, ever notice that with each new discovery, the finder declares an even older date? Sounds like “my bones are older than your bones!” competition.
5. I love looking a cave formations, but without fail, the guides will tell you about the millions of years it took to form the various formations. It is true that at their current progress, it would have taken a long time. But who says the rate is constant?
a. [foil of Lincoln Memorial] Some of these stalacites are over five feet long! The Lincoln Memorial was built in 1923 and this photo was taken in 1968.
b. Stalactite and stalagmite formation’s grow are dependent on the rate of water drip, the concentration of the minerals in the water, and the rate of evaporation. All of which are highly variable factors over time.
c. [foil of bat] Evidently, stalagmites can form so rapidly at times that a bat can be entombed before bacteria can decay the body or predators can consume it.
C. There are more evidences available showing the world is young than there are showing the world is old. Why are the old dates preferred? Because it proves a different goal - that God does not exist!
V. I will stand for truth
A. Ps. 26:1-12 - Try me; I will walk in the Lord’s truth
B. There is no need to feel we must harmonize the Bible with Science by compromising the truth. Science is still looking. Maybe, one day, they will catch up with the facts that every Christian knows.