Quick recap for those who haven’t read the previous blogs in this series. I have a friend. His name is “Brad”. He doesn’t believe in God. He’s intelligent and generally open to debate on the topic. We are discussing his objections to my beliefs.
Brad’s only comment about our last subject was an objection to my applying the seemingly southern moniker “Jimbo” to Little Jimmy Click Click Dirt who is clearly African. Today he asked about thirty more questions, but we narrowed in down to a general objection to Biblical history.
It’s taken me a few days to figure out how to approach such a broad topic. I have read books that have hundreds of pages of detailed references in support of the Biblical account. I’ve decided to give a general overview of historical and Biblical history and then explain, albeit vaguely, why I believe the Bible is true.
Our view of natural history today is much removed from what was believed 20, 40, 60 or 100 years ago. It seems that accepted belief is constantly changing. Based on public education and liberal media our history looks as follows.
- Big Bang Theory-All of the matter in the universe was once together in a really dense ball, floating in space. Where this matter came from or for that matter where the space came from is not addressed. This ball exploded. And the universe was formed.
- A kazillion years later, on a piece of shrapnel called Earth, there was a puddle of amino acids. These acids were, perhaps, struck by lightning and an amoeba was formed. We’ll call him Bob. Despite being formed by coincidence, Bob has all the necessary components to reproduce asexually and he does. Now we have two Bob’s. They decide to reproduce together even though they can do it alone. Soon we have tons of Bob’s. Long story, short; Bob’s kids are fish, their kids have feet, and out pops a monkey that we’ll call…. “Brad”.
- A competing theory that is gaining traction is that aliens planted their seed here and that is where we came from. This, of course, shifts the question to another planet but does not answer it. It seems that as long as a theory doesn’t resort to “God” then it is at least possible.
The main goal of natural history is to explain everything “naturally” (unless God is, in deed, “natural” because He made nature). Unfortunately for scientists today, this is impossible. The only thing they can do is come up with theories that are built on even more theories and cannot be proven or even partially proven. The only thing for sure is that nature cannot include God. This conveniently relieves us from being accountable to God as well. Coincidence? I think not!
The historical record found in the Bible has taken a more circular route in common belief. It was, of course, believed by B.C. Jews and then by A.D. Christians throughout much of the middle ages. The advent of Darwinism and other “natural” theories decreased the level of this belief significantly at the turn of the 19th century. Even much of the church embraced these theories and began to adjust their theology to fit. This, however, was not the end of Biblical, historical belief. As the 20th century wore on, it became glaringly apparent that Darwin’s theories were not proving true. Where was the fossil record that even Darwin said must be found or his theory was false.
“Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Silurian age to the present day; and that during these vast, yet quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures. To the question why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer.” -Charles Darwin-The Origin of Species
Archeological discoveries made during the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries have also continued to validate the historical record of the Bible. Many locations, events, and people that were though by “academics” to be myth have proven to be true. Here are a few examples:
- Walls of Jericho—discovery in 1930s by John Garstang. The walls fell suddenly, and outwardly (unique), so Israelites could clamber over the ruins into the city (Joshua 6:20).1
- In 1993, archaeologists uncovered a 9th century B.C. inscription at Tel Dan. The words carved into a chunk of basalt refer to the “House of David” and the “King of Israel.” And the Bible’s version of Israelite history after the reign of David’s son, Solomon, is believed to be based on historical fact because it is corroborated by independent account of Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions.2
- The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. Evidence at the site seems consistent with the biblical account: “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens.” The destruction debris was about 3 feet thick and buildings were burned from fires that started on the rooftops. Geologist Frederick Clapp theorizes that that pressure from an earthquake could have spewed out sulfur-laden bitumen (similar to asphalt) known to be in the area through the fault line upon which the cities rest. The dense smoke reported by Abraham is consistent with a fire from such material, which could have ignited by a spark or ground fire.3
- Confounding earlier skeptics, but confirming the Bible, an important discovery was made in Egypt in 1896. A tablet—the Merneptah Stela—was found that mentions Israel. (Merneptah was the pharaoh that ruled Egypt in 1212-1202 B.C.) The context of the stela indicates that Israel was a significant entity in the late 13th century B.C.4
At this point, archeology continues to support the Bible, but has done nothing but damage Darwin’s theory.
- Evolutionists themselves, archeologists, paleontologists, curators of the worlds greatest Natural Museums of History…all have long pointed out the problem for the evolution theory, namely that all the major groups (phyla) of life which we know today appear in the Cambrian with no evolutionary ancestors.
There is even a good argument that the Earth is far younger than believed.
- According to astronomical observations, galaxies like our own experience about one supernova (a violently-exploding star) every 25 years. The gas and dust remnants from such explosions (like the Crab Nebula) expand outward rapidly and should remain visible for over a million years. Yet the nearby parts of our galaxy in which we could observe such gas and dust shells contain only about 200 supernova remnants. That number is consistent with only about 7,000 years worth of supernovas.5
- Natural radioactivity, mutations, and decay degrade DNA and other biological material rapidly. Measurements of the mutation rate of mitochondrial DNA recently forced researchers to revise the age of “mitochondrial Eve” from a theorized 200,000 years down to possibly as low as 6,000 years.6 DNA experts insist that DNA cannot exist in natural environments longer than 10,000 years, yet intact strands of DNA appear to have been recovered from fossils allegedly much older: Neandertal bones, insects in amber, and even from dinosaur fossils.7 Bacteria allegedly 250 million years old apparently have been revived with no DNA damage.8 Soft tissue and blood cells from a dinosaur have astonished experts.9
- Uranium and thorium generate helium atoms as they decay to lead. A study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research showed that such helium produced in zircon crystals in deep, hot Precambrian granitic rock has not had time to escape.10 Though the rocks contain 1.5 billion years worth of nuclear decay products, newly-measured rates of helium loss from zircon show that the helium has been leaking for only 6,000 (± 2000) years.11 This is not only evidence for the youth of the earth, but also for episodes of greatly accelerated decay rates of long half-life nuclei within thousands of years ago, compressing radioisotope timescales enormously.
- With their short 5,700-year half-life, no carbon 14 atoms should exist in any carbon older than 250,000 years. Yet it has proven impossible to find any natural source of carbon below Pleistocene (Ice Age) strata that does not contain significant amounts of carbon 14, even though such strata are supposed to be millions or billions of years old. Conventional carbon 14 laboratories have been aware of this anomaly since the early 1980s, have striven to eliminate it, and are unable to account for it. Lately the world’s best such laboratory which has learned during two decades of low-C14 measurements how not to contaminate specimens externally, under contract to creationists, confirmed such observations for coal samples and even for a dozen diamonds, which cannot be contaminated in situ with recent carbon.12 These constitute very strong evidence that the earth is only thousands, not billions, of years old.
I could go on. There are a lot of evidences for the history that is represented in the Bible and nothing any more solid or believable that contradict it. The most alarming fact is that scientists and archaeologists are ignoring or even hiding evidences that contradict the atheistic worldview over fears of incrimination from their peers and the media. If they come out and say that their studies have led them to a belief in the God of the Bible, they will be ridiculed and their observations discounted as worthless. There is even a law in Britain that say you cannot teach creationism as science.
As I study history, I am more convinced than ever that the Bible is, in fact, true. I realize that this does take some measure of faith, but no more than the faith required to believe in evolution or aliens or whatever else you think put us here. My observations may be influenced by my beliefs, but no more than an archaeologist’s observations are influenced by his. I still fervently believe that we keep trying to disprove God because of our depraved and sinful condition. We don’t want God to be real, because we don’t want to answer to anyone. In that, we are no different from Eve when she thought she could gain the knowledge of God by eating the forbidden fruit. We are no different than Lucifer when he decided that he should be equal to God.
1 Kenyon, Excavations at Jericho, 3:370.
2 “Issue 200: Ten Top Discoveries.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug Sep/Oct 2009, 74-96.
3 M.D. Coogan, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), 1984, 255, p. 80.
4 Redmount, Carol A. (2001). “Bitter Lives: Israel in and out of Egypt”. In Mchael D., Coogan. The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Oxford University Press.
5 Davies, K., Distribution of supernova remnants in the galaxy, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (1994), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 175-184, order from www.creationicc.org/proceedings.php.
6 Gibbons A., Calibrating the mitochondrial clock, Science 279:28-29 (2 January 1998).
7 Cherfas, J., Ancient DNA: still busy after death, Science 253:1354-1356 (20 September 1991). Cano, R. J., H. N. Poinar, N. J. Pieniazek, A. Acra, and G. O. Poinar, Jr. Amplification and sequencing of DNA from a 120-135-million-year-old weevil, Nature 363:536-8 (10 June 1993). Krings, M., A. Stone, R. W. Schmitz, H. Krainitzki, M. Stoneking, and S. Pääbo, Neandertal DNA sequences and the origin of modern humans, Cell90:19-30 (Jul 11, 1997). Lindahl, T, Unlocking nature’s ancient secrets, Nature 413:358-359 (27 September 2001).
8 Vreeland, R. H.,W. D. Rosenzweig, and D. W. Powers, Isolation of a 250 million-year-old halotolerant bacterium from a primary salt crystal, Nature 407:897-900 (19 October 2000).
9 Schweitzer, M., J. L. Wittmeyer, J. R. Horner, and J. K. Toporski, Soft-Tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex, Science 207:1952-1955 (25 March 2005).
10 Gentry, R. V., G. L. Glish, and E. H. McBay, Differential helium retention in zircons: implications for nuclear waste containment, Geophysical Research Letters 9(10):1129-1130 (October 1982).
11 Humphreys, D. R, et al., Helium diffusion age of 6,000 years supports accelerated nuclear decay, Creation Research Society Quarterly 41(1):1-16 (June 2004). See archived article on following page of the CRS website: www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/4
12 Baumgardner, J. R., et al., Measurable 14C in fossilized organic materials: confirming the young earth creation-flood model, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, vol. II, Creation Science Fellowship (2003), Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 127-142. Archived at www.icr.org/i/pdf/research/RATE_ICC_Baum
gardner.pdf. See poster presented to American Geophysical Union, Dec. 2003, AGUC-14_Poster_Baumgardner.pdf.