This is my third entry in a new series of posts called "The Bible Scientific." Each post will examine a verse or two directly from Scripture and try to explain that Biblical quote from a scientific perspective.
It is often stated that the Bible and Science are not compatible, that the Bible is not a scientific text and that you can not believe the Bible and also believe science. I think this is short sighted as there are a number of places in Scripture where scientific facts were stated even before man understood them. The Bible is not a scientific text in that it is not meant to be the full explanation of scientific fact, but it does direct us to understand the nature of God scientifically as well as spiritually. It complements science. God uses His Word to help us understand Him and His creation with our mind, soul and spirit.
Galileo Galilei said:
If you have a favorite scientific verse or have a verse you would like reviewed, just send a note in the comment section at the bottom of this blog post. I will try to include it in a future blog entry.
Now lets move to:
Science is just now wrestling with the concept of the earth as the only source of life. Science is starting to find exoplanets, planets outside our solar system, and claiming that they may be suitable for life (any life, not just intelligent life). But on the other hand, science is also finding specific conditions that must exist on such a planet, hundreds of them in fact, such that the earth is the only planet so far that seems to meet them all. It is estimated that there is about 1024 planets in the visible universe.
That even one planet capable of supporting life would occur anywhere
In the universe without invoking divine miracles. - Reasons.org
Even then it is a wonder the earth does meet them as the odds are strongly against it, even to the limits of an impossibility (only one planet in over 30 trillion universes in a multiverse existence might meet all of the hundreds of known specific conditions that a planet must have to sustain intelligent life). Reasons to Believe (Reasons.org) has lists of these specific conditions that must be met for life to exist. One such list claims 501 specific conditions just for bacterial life to survive for 90 days. The odds of even one planet meeting all 501 conditions is less than 1 in 10311.
The Hebrew words used in Genesis 1:2 point to a formless earth (the primordial soup?), and God hovering over it. The Hebrew word for "hover" is "rachaph" which implies a watchful, loving attention to the entire creation process, much like a mother eagle hovering over her chicks. God watched over His creation, and still does, to bring it to its full glory (reducing those 1 in 10311 chances down to 1 in 1).
Genesis 1:2 also portrays a world covered by water, before the formation of the continents, with a thick blanket of clouds (water or other vapors?) surrounding it such that much of the light from the sun was blocked out (could not see the sun as a sphere from the surface of the earth). The temperature of the surface was no doubt warmer too - possibly a perfect incubator for the creation of the beginnings of life - microbes.
Next up: Job 25:2 (NIV) - “Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.