“When science and the Bible disagree, just wait around a few decades and science will eventually catch up”. It was a funny line, and it got the expected laugh from the youth group. I was a teenager then, and part of that group – and the line stuck. But then I studied science through high school, earning a distinction for it and being infused with a passion for it by one of the best science teachers of all time, Graeme Crawford. He eventually went on to found an entire group of schools that now bear his name in South Africa – but he was just my science teacher, and he was brilliant.
I am no scientist, but I know enough science to know that if science and the Bible disagree, it’s now very unlikely that this is science’s fault.
Here’s something your church should say more often: listen to the scientists.
The issue is not that the Bible is wrong either. It’s our understanding of the Bible that needs correcting. And quite a lot of that correcting seems to be focusing now on how to interpret Genesis 1-11, and how literally we take these chapters. This is being challenged by issues as diverse as the age of the earth, our understanding of the Higgs Boson, the definition of marriage and our understanding of what forms of homosexuality are acceptable to God. All of these issues – and more besides – ultimately come back to Adam and Eve and what was going on in the Garden.
I’ll be posting on this over the next few weeks, but as a starter, you might enjoy this infographic from the clever people at Biologos forum on how we know that the world is billions of years old: