Created: September 9, 2015
Revised:Synopsis Sept 2017  

The Creation Narrative of Science and the Bible
 

Dr. David C. Bossard

Dr. David C. Bossard
Biographical Information

The Purpose of this website

This website concerns the Creation Narrative of modern science and of the Bible. A creation narrative describes how the universe and the earth came to be in their present state. Our purpose is to explain how the two narratives—of Science and of the Bible—compare, a comparison that has been possible only within recent decades. They agree quite well, if one lays aside old misconceptions in the true spirit of a search for truth wherever it can be found.

A full Creation Narrative begins with the creation of the universe, and ends with the Creation of Man. What this website attempts to show is that there is an astounding agreement between the Bible's Creation Narrative (CNB) and the Creation Narrative of Science (CNS). Both narratives, if properly understood, are full narratives in this sense. Each narrative, of course, emphasizes the aspects appropriate to itself: thus CNB emphasizes the activities of the Creator God, and CNS emphasizes the discoveries of science. Each aspect has its proper place.

The full Creation Narrative of Science is quite new, developed only within the past 50 years—and of course continually advances to provide fuller detail. Until the 20th century few scientists thought that a factual scientific narrative was even possible: cosmology was viewed as something beyond the reach of objective science. But scientists today know that a full, scientific narrative is possible, and many (not all) of its parts are now in hand.

The Bible's Creation Narrative has existed for over 3,000 years—but one's understanding of the basic facts of science affects how one understands the Biblical Narrative. Even if you disagree with a particular contemporary scientific view, your understanding of the Bible depends on how you view science. And since science has evolved over time, then naturally and inevitably the interpretation and understanding of the Biblical account has also evolved over time. Even yours has: you no longer think (I trust) that the sun goes around the earth, although that is the superficial appearance of observations, and many very sincere Bible scholars and scientists thought that the Bible took that view.

Science would be impossible if the Divine Creator had not embedded into creation an extensive and detailed narrative line written in a language
that can, with effort, be understood by the persistent investigator. This is a basic theme of the 19thpsalm.org website. The Psalmist explains this in the immortal line, "The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork." That glorious statement is followed by an assertion that the Creator has embedded a "line gone out through all the earth" into the natural world, a silent voice that makes this proclamation. This line  can be understood with persistent and determined effort: that is the essence of science and it is not given to us without effort!

Within the past century science has interpreted that line with the result that the world today is blessed with a fairly comprehensive description of that Creation Narrative of Science, from the very beginning of the universe through the creation of the elements, of earth, and of life on earth. This narrative has vast gaps which time may fill, but the main outline is now known with some confidence.

The approach used here is to construct a consistent narrative using a number of short presentations. The intent is that these presentations give the essential development in a fairly accessible way, and then point to further resources with various excursions on the general theme.

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Other websites that I have developed or helped develop (and which you, of course, are welcome to visit), are:

- The HMS Challenger Library and the Golden Age of Geology Library
        These libraries are part of my 19thcenturyscience.org website;

- The 19thpsalm.org website which gives a more comprehensive discussion of the various stages of the Genesis creation narrative; and

- The website of the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute,  IBRI.org.
        See that site for a statement of IBRI's purpose and  membership.

These sites record, for the most part, the thoughts and views of many people with expertise in science and theology (although my own views appear on occasion), but this website gives my own views, for which I alone am responsible.



Scattered throughout are some theme boxes, explained here:

silent speech
Silent Speech

sharp points
Sharp Points
connections
Connections


Synopsis: Creation Narratives of Science and of the Bible

The creation texts of the Bible have been established unchanged for almost 3,500 years. This text has led to many diverse narratives, as  Bible scholars and theologians attempted to interpret the text.
My own interpretation (CNB) is based on a valid interpretation of the Bible's text.

Over history scientists and philosophers have also given many narratives based on their best understanding of the science of their day. The latest generally accepted creation narrative of science (CNS), the Standard Cosmological Model was developed within the past century.

This website argues that the two narratives
agree on the essential points.  This agreement has been possible only within the past 50 years or so.

Here are Synopses of the Creation Narratives in pdf and word formats:
     Creation Narrative of Science (CNS): CNS Synopsis(pdf)  .doc
     Creation Narrative of the Bible (CNB):
CNB Synopsis(pdf)  .doc

This website gives some of the details that provide additional support to these synopses.



 

If there was a beginning to the universe, what was there before the beginning? Genesis 1:2 describes this strange situation, also described in Proverbs 8:22ff and the Hindu poem Nasadiya Sukta. In my view both of these accounts come from a common ancient source.




All of the matter in the universe began as radiant energy, that is, as light. This is a fact of science discovered only within the past century. Thus the 3,000 year old Biblical account, puzzled over by St. Augustine and many other theologians, is literally correct.




Day One states separates the creation of Darkness from the Creation of Light. This separation puzzled early theologians such as St. Augustine. But science recognizes this separation as the transition between a radiation-dominant plasma universe and a matter-dominant universe of neutral atoms. The transition took place about 300,000 years after the Big Bang, and so it amounts to a separate step that followed the Big Bang creation of light.



Most of the elements (other than the primordial elements, Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, and Boron) were forged in the stars. A famous paper in 1956 described this complex process for the first time (See Reference
B2FH below).


  Preparation of a haven for life included the critical placement of the Solar System within in the Milky Way Galaxy, creation of a stable orbit for the Earth, and the preparation of a number of shields to separate outer space from inner space.



Creation of microbial life and plant life. Bacterial Life and Eukaryotic Life. The Second Creation: Eukaryotic Life. Vast complexity of life. Life on earth unique in the universe.




The creation of Dry Land was only scientifically explained in the 20th Century.




The "greening" is essential for the advanced plants and animals, because the more complex life becomes the more it depends on pre-packaged nourishment. It simply can't take the time or energy to prepare its own food. In particular, no visible plants or animals can fix nitrogen, so it had to be stockpiled in place before the movement of plant life to dry land.



The Beginning of the sciences. Astronomy and Record-keeping.




First use of
barà = to create (by God). The Animal Soul (Nephesh Hayah).



Day Six celebrates the creation of land animals, and finally of Man, the crowning event of the entire creation narrative. This signals completion of the Ozone shield which was necessary for survival of life on land and air.



Triple use of barà = to create (by God), to emphasize the special creation of Humans in God's image.



The apparent co-existence of Neanderthals and True Humans suggests that Neanderthals were the "Giants in the Land" and Neanderthal males may have mated with human Females. This suggests that this made it necessary for the Flood to return humans to the pure human race.



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MISCELLANEOUS COMMENTS AND TOPICS



Questions related to the creation narrative.



Remarks on natural evolution.



This concerns the question, Is Scientific evidence falsifiable? The Philosopher Karl Popper gave this as an ultimate test for the validity of empirical science.



This is the subject of a 1998 National Academy of Sciences symposium. The symposium estimated the  minimum size in terms of physical dimensions, number of genes and DNA size.


A feature of the fossil record is that the first appearance of novel kinds often is more advanced species, which later simplify and specialize. The fossil record gives many examples of this.



All of life, every living species, uses the same scheme of digital coding to specify everything that defines and is characteristic of that physical species. It involves many complex innovations that, as far as is known, must all work together before anything can be called "living".  There are no exceptions to this. The scheme is so complex and apparently contingent (accidental) that most knowledgeable scientists agree that all life we have observed must have arisen only once.



Photosynthesis uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into fixed carbon (found in carbonates and in organic waste). This conversion involves the carbonase molecule RuBisCO, which is the only known biological molecule to fix carbon.



Nitrogen gas is abundant on earth, but must be "fixed" to break the strong triple bond in di-nitrogen (N2). Normally this requires that it be fixed to form ammonia or some similar mono-nitrogen product. Virtually all such ammonia and nitrogen salts are fixed biologically using the elaborate and rare nitrogenase molecule, the only known way to fix nitrogen at normal conditions of temperature and pressure. Nitrogen-fixing is so slow and energy-intensive that it literally took billions of years to distribute enough fixed nitrogen to provide the needed food for living cells. No eukaryotes and only a few bacteria are able to fix nitrogen.


The Eukaryotic "Big Bang"
"The origin of eukaryotes is a huge enigma."

The (unknown) common ancestor of the six major groups of eukaryotes must have been more complex than any existing group. Many traits are unique to eukaryotes and have no analog in bacteria.



Many of the activities of a cell require actual motors. These include (See Hoffmann):
ATP Synthase which forms the ATP molecule that is the universal battery of life (both bacteria and eukaryotes)
• Motor molecules needed to transcribe the genetic code
• Motor molecules needed to carry out cell duplication and reproduction
• Motor molecules needed for cargo transport within a cell.
• Motor molecules to flex muscles.


Production of life by purely natural means has to face the following four paradoxes:
• The Combinatoric Paradox
       Randomly-generated DNA genes will never come up with the genes needed for living species.
• The Eigen Paradox
Genes over a modest size (100 bp) must have error correction code that is more complex than the gene itself.
• The Levinthal Paradox
Proteins can be folded in many ways. How does the protein "know" which is correct to produce the required function?
• The Regulatory Paradox.
Regulation has to do with when and where a given protein is active. This often requires a configuration change. The paradox has to do with the coordination of this regulation.


The Anthropic Principle

Our universe, galaxy, solar system and earth appear to be particularly suited for human habitation. This is called the Anthropic Principle and is the subject of the book, Barrow & Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. One conclusion of this principle is that a life-supporting universe is exceedingly rare because of the exceedingly precise physical features needed; and a planet suitable for life of any sort is  also exceedingly rare within this special universe -- to the point that life on earth is highly likely to be unique in the entire universe; that is, it is highly unlikely that more than one  planet capable of supporting life exists among the billions that exist in our universe.

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REFERENCES
Many references appear in the above text and footnotes

Douglas Axe (2017)   Undeniable; How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life is Designed.

Luke A. Barnes & Geraint F. Lewis, A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos (2017).

Barrow and Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1986).

B2FH = Geoffrey Burbidge, Margaret Burbidge, William Fowler and Fred Hoyle, Synthesis of the Elements in Stars, Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (1957) p547-650. See the Wikipedia article. See also a brief preceding article by the Burbidges, Cosmical Alchemy (1956).
For a Forty year update see: G. Wallerstein, Synthesis of the elements in stars: forty years of progress (1997).

Robert Chambers (1845?)  Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation.

Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Free Press, 2009.

Michael  J. Denton,  1998 Nature's  Destiny: How the  Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, (1998) is a recent  update and strengthening of Henderson's thesis.

Other books by Michael Denton:
2002 Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
2016 Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis
2017 The Wonder of Water

Henderson, (1917) The Order of Nature.
Peter M. Hoffmann (2012) Life's Ratchet: How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos.

G.J. Leigh, The World's Greatest Fix (2004).

Jo Marchant, 2009, Decoding the Heavens. This describes the Antikythera Mechanism, discovered in early 1900 in a 2000 year old ship wreck.

E. Walter Maunder, Astronomy and the Bible (annotated) 4th Ed. (1922). Annotated by Robert C. Newman and David C. Bossard (2017).

Fazale Rana, Too Good to be True: Evolution and the Origin of Bioinformation (2013)

Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms, Proceedings of a Workshop of the National Academy of Sciences (1999) (available as a PDF download)
.

David Wolfe, Tales From the Underground (2009)G.J. Leigh, The World's Greatest Fix (2004).

Vale, The Molecular Motor Toolbox for Intercellular Transport.

This Website is developed and maintained by Dr. David C. Bossard, who is solely responsible for its contents.
mailbox Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Please email:
Dr. David C. Bossard.