Sarah was recently invited, along with two other scientists, to take part in a panel discussion for a group of mostly Christian students. After the main discussion, students were invited to submit questions via text message; there was very little time to address them, so only a few were answered. The questions were quite good, so over the next few weeks, Surak and Sarah will answer most of them here. All of the questions are listed in the Intro to this series. See also: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9.
Outside of the creation story, have you found other parts of the Bible that support what you have observed scientifically?
There are many passages in the Bible that speak about the ‘laws of the heavens,’ the way God created and ordered the universe through wisdom, and how God ‘stretches out the heavens.’ But one of the best examples of the scientific nature of the Bible is provided by physicist and theologian, Gerald Schroeder, who demonstrates how a 13th century biblical scholar was able to anticipate modern science by using a literal interpretation of the Bible. He quotes Nahmanides (1194 – 1270),
At the briefest instant following creation all the matter of the universe was concentrated in a very small place, no larger than a grain of mustard. The matter at this time was so thin, so intangible, that it did not have real substance. It did have, however, a potential to gain substance and form and to become tangible matter. From the initial concentration of this intangible substance in its minute location, the substance expanded, expanding the universe as it did so. As the expansion progressed, a change in the substance occurred. This initially thin noncorporeal substance took on the tangible aspects of matter as we know it. From this initial act of creation, from this ethereally thin pseudosubstance, everything that has existed, or will ever exist, was, is and will be formed.
As Schroeder points out on page 56 of The Science of God, “This seven-hundred year old insight could be a quote from a modern physics textbook.” Think about the fact that the best scientists in the world were not capable of this level of understanding of our universe until the 20th century.