Fact Check of “Scientific Unknowables Of The Bible”

Part 1

The Bible says time had a beginning. Scientists also say time had a beginning. Therefore the Bible was written by God.

False: The Greek word that is translated several times in the new testament as “Before time began” or similar, is the word Aion. It's direct translation to English is “Eon”. “In the translation of 'aion' in well-known English versions (of the Bible), the following forty different renderings appear: Age, eon, time, period, today, the future, universe, course, world, worldly, world without end, since the world began, from the beginning of the world, ever, evermore, for ever and ever, end of my days, eternal, everlasting, always, permanently, constantly, of old, ancient times, all time (since) time was, (since) time began, (before) time began, all time, (since) the beginning of time, eternal ages, eternal life, eternity, course of eternity, utter (darkness), (the son) does (remain), ages of the eternities, (in and through) the eternities of the eternities, etc. For 'aionios" the English versions use:- everlasting, eternal, eonian, age lasting, age during, age duringly (sic), age abiding, (in) the time of the ages, age times, (before) the ages of time, of the ages, (in) the periods of past ages, (before) the ages began, for the ages of time, (before) the beginning of time, since the world began, (before) the times of the world, (before) times eternal, from eternity, from all eternity, for ever, unfailing, final, unending, permanent, immemorial, enduring, lasting, eternally, long, perpetual, an immeasurable eternity, last, heavenly.” - J. Kirk, Eonian, Everlasting or Age-lasting? (Sacred literature Concern, Los Angeles, undated) So, “before the beginning of time” is a poetic way to say “a long time” and it only appears in the English translation. ● Abiogenesis, also called Spontaneous Generation, was proven wrong by scientists hundreds of years ago. Therefore Evolution can't be right.

False: Abiogenesis and Spontaneous Generation are not at all the same thing. This is a perfect example of the logical fallacy of equivocation. Spontaneous Generation was the idea of Aristotle and was used as an explanation for why plants grew, why maggots appeared in meat, and where small animals like mice and bugs came from. One of the great proponents of Spontaneous Generation was a Christian writer named Augustine of Hippo who claimed that Spontaneous Generation was proof that the Bible is true (he referenced Genesis 1:20 and also mentioned the generation of animals at various times in the narrative of the Exodus, and the incident of the beehive generated in the carcass of the Lion in the story of Samson in Judges chapter 14). Louis Pasteur soundly disproved Spontaneous Generation with his experiments in 1859.

Abiogenesis on the other hand is a collection of competing theories and a field of current research to determine if and how life could have formed on Earth from non-living material. The jury is still out on Abiogenesis. The brief mention of chemosynthesis here (although this video never elaborates on the subject) warrants comment too. Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of one or more carbon molecules (usually carbon dioxide or methane) and nutrients into organic matter using the oxidation of inorganic molecules (e.g. hydrogen gas, hydrogen sulfide) or methane as a source of energy, rather than sunlight, as in photosynthesis. Many microorganisms in dark regions of the oceans also use chemosynthesis to produce biomass from single carbon molecules. Dr. Colleen Cavanaugh showed that giant tube worms survive by chemosynthesis in the late 1970's. Since then many other species have been discovered that can perform chemosynthesis. My assumption here (Based on the reference to chemosynthesis being in close proximity to Abiogenesis which they had previously claimed was false.) is that the writers of the video wish to imply that chemosynthesis does not happen because it is a process that changes non-living material into living material. (N.B. There is a straw-man fallacy in this section as well. Scientists do not claim that exposing rocks to radiation will produce life or that life came from “an explosion of rocks”. This is made up nonsense. And the bit about killing frogs and demanding that evolutionists bring them back to life and if they can't then their theory is wrong is a bunch of hogwash. Evolutionists don't claim to be able to raise the dead, but Christians do claim that God can. So that challenge can only go to the ones making the claim i.e. Christians.) ● Disclaimer: “... The producer of this film recognizes that some people have a difficult time distinguishing fact from illustrative fiction. :-)”

True. Many people can not tell the difference between an illustrative work of fiction written by a primitive people thousands of years ago and facts derived from peer reviewed and thoroughly tested research. ● Oh no. A whole section on numerology. Ok, here we go.

False. Let's look at the biblical significance of the number 42. “Number 42 is the number associated with the Coming of Jesus: both His first coming and the two manifestations at His second advent (He came into the world the first time in the 42nd generation from Abraham). He is coming back for His saints before the 42-month reign of the beast, perhaps 42 months before the beast's reign begins. He will return to the earth at the end of the 42-month reign of the beast to put an end to the wicked reign. The marvelous way in which this number works is the wonder of all wonders. My children of God, the time is at hand! "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." That is in Matthew 1:17. Here are 14 generations three times over. Three

times 14 makes 42. Here is the number three for the Resurrection, and 14 for Salvation.” www.fivedoves.com There are 42 generations of Abraham to the Christ in the Gospel according to Matthew and 42 generations from David to the Christ according to Luke. (Oh, wait. Those don't match up.) Well, the current distribution of the Revelation is 22 chapters, adopted since the 13th century. But Swete (1909, deep commentator, scholar and pious) had divided it into 42 sections, in three series of 14, making thus the relationship with the 42 generations represented by the sum of the three series of fourteen generations starting from Abraham to the Christ. For this reason, he considered 42 as a Messianic number: the second advent of the Christ, in Revelations, would be prepared by 42 divisions of time, just as the first had been it by the 42 generations of believing of the elected people. And, In the Talmud it is written that the divine name of 42 letters is the greatest of the mysteries. These 42 letters contain the names of the ten Sephiroth. Also, according to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the defunct, at his death, passes ahead of 42 judges. And then, according to the Mesopotamian tradition, the surface of the Tower of Babel occupies 42 agrarian measures. And back to the Egyptians, they divided their country into 42 parts. And, oddly enough, the number 42 is used 8 times in the Bible. And, the numbers 11 and 15 are used 42 times in the Bible. (that might mean something... or maybe not.) Then again, 42 books of the Bible use the number 7. So that's something. And in the book of Revelation (in the original Greek Text) there are 42 proper nouns. Oh, and the word star is used 42 times in the Old Testament. But in Japan, wearing the number 42 is a sign of misfortune because it is told that Shi-Ri, uses that number to symbolize death. If this all sounds like gibberish that's because it is. And the claim in the video that the odds of their selected phrase from the Bible having seven words and the letters adding up to 777 is 1 in 823,543 is pretty close to the odds that I would watch this video. Assuming 6 billion people on earth and 10,000 DVD's made of the video that means my odds of seeing it were 1 in 600,000. A totally random statistic which they describe as a “Exponentially amazing impossibility”. Here they show the words “(7 factorial)”. Seven factorial (or 7!) is not 823,543 or 777 or even 79976 (the number of words in the Torah). It's 5,040. I don't know what they meant by that but I'm sure it's significant somehow. I would also like to point out that this business about sevens is not in any way a “Scientific Unknowable Of The Bible”. ● “And God said, 'Let there be light'.” Quanta (sic) particles or “light particle wave packets” make up atoms. Therefore God created light and light makes up everything.”

False. Quantum particles (quarks, muons, bosons etc.) make up atoms, that much is true. But here again we have an equivocation where they try to make “quantum particle” analogous to “Light”. A photon is the particle that is the carrier of the electromagnetic force and is what we see as visible “light”. Atoms can absorb or release photons, but they are hardly “made” of

photons. So to answer the question in the video “How could the writer of Genesis have known such a truth...?” He didn't, because it isn't true. ● Because men have a Y chromosome and women don't that means that Man had to have been created first and then women (like in Genesis). (Note: I like how they show the words “Scientific Fact” while the narrator says “Scientific possibility”. Because that's not misleading or confusing at all.)

False. People have often wondered why men have nipples. They are useless on a man (since he is incapable of producing milk) so why have them. The answer is that gender differentiation does not occur in human fetuses until the second trimester of pregnancy. Up until that point the fetus is default female, it is only after the 9th week that the Y chromosome is activated and causes additional changes and growth. Without Y chromosome activation (or incomplete activation) the fetus will continue as a female. (see Pseudohermaphroditism.) This fits with current evolutionary biology theory very well. Sexual reproduction emerged early on in the history of life and then the genders diverged. The fact that males have genetic material not present in females implies that males diverged from females. So the Bible is wrong. Females came first, then males. ● Scientists proved that we all came from a single woman called “Eve” so the Genesis story is true.

False. They reference an article written by scientists that claims that mitochondrial DNA (which only comes from the mother) can trace all humans back to a single mother in Africa 200,000 years ago. The narrator says that this is a case of science proving the Bible. I thought this video was arguing against evolution. The evolutionary biologists who wrote that article were talking about tracing our lineage back to the first hominid that could genetically be considered “human” and the researchers giving that creature the name “Eve” was rather a tongue in cheek reference to the biblical myth of creation. Also their research disproves a “young earth” or “literal” creationist stance since their genealogy goes back 200,000 years. ● Science has confirmed that monkeys have always been monkeys and men have always been men.

False. The video does not go into detail here (It seems they don't go into detail on many of the things they mention.) but I think that they are referring here to a common argument used by creationists that goes something like this. “If evolution is true and man evolved from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?” or a variation “... then why don't monkeys still give birth to people?” This is called the argument from ignorance, an informal logical fallacy. Evolutionary biologists do not assert that humans evolved from monkeys, but rather that humans and modern day monkeys and apes evolved from a common ancestor. So we are more like cousins to modern monkeys. The analogous question (with the same form) is “If I

descended from my grandfather then why do I have cousins?” or “... then why aren't my cousins giving birth to my children.” which is nonsensical. A look at our DNA shows that Humans share 98% of the same DNA with chimpanzees (Which is still 20 times the genetic difference than between individual humans). And that chromosome 2 in humans is a combination of two separate chromosomes found in chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. The vestigial telomeres and extra centromere left over from where the ancestral ape chromosomes 2a and 2b fused are clearly visible in human chromosome 2. ● “Scientists have proved that there are genetic 'Locks' in DNA that prevent one 'kind' of living thing from turning into another 'kind'.”

False. Science hasn't proved anything of the sort. The fact that one thing can evolve into another thing is the whole basis of evolution. In fact, there are literally mountains of evidence for evolution in the genetic history of animals, genetic comparisons between animals, the fossil record, and in laboratory experiments. If there were “locks” on DNA then evolution would be impossible, but there aren't. They don't cite any source here so I don't know where they think they got this “fact” from. They do acknowledge here that variations within “kinds” of creatures (like cats) do occur. This is called micro-evolution and is an easily proven and observable fact. This is often given as the answer for how Noah fit all of the animals on the arc. Modern Christians say that Noah only took samples of each “kind” of animal (i.e. two cats instead of 41 pairs of each sub-species of cat.) which modern day biologists would call the “Family” of animals. Then after the flood the sample animals evolved into all the diverse species we see today. ● The Bible says that man was made from dust and returns to dust. All of the elements found in the human body are found on earth. Therefore the Bible was right.

What? That's not even an argument. You would expect the same thing if evolution is true so just saying that we're made up of things from earth doesn't prove anything. All the elements on earth came from fusion reactions inside a star if you want to get really technical. So we are star-children made of stars and to the stars we shall return. Sounds better to me and it's just as correct. ● Blood is the basis of life and the Bible knew it first.

False. Blood is the basis of life, but the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks, and the even more ancient Sumerians understood the importance of blood. The concept of “life-blood” is sort of key to the use of swords in war (Which long predates the Bible). This requires a basic understanding that if you let out enough of a person's blood, they will die. This was not news to anyone when the Bible was written.

In more recent years we have clarified exactly how important blood is for life, but the basic idea has been there since the earliest humans.

Part 2

Back to Numerology. “Is this only coincidence or the mark of God?”

Coincidence. (see earlier section on numerology.) Also the book of Genesis is slightly different in the earliest manuscript (the Dead Sea Scrolls) which throws off the word count. And again they mention an “astoundingly impossible” statistical likelihood of this happening. By their reasoning no one has ever won the lottery due to the “astoundingly impossible” odds of winning. This is known in logic as the Prosecutor's Fallacy. The narrator goes on to try to argue this time that the numerology in the Bible fits the criteria for science because it is observable, testable, repeatable, predictable, and falsifiable. And scientists have tested these things and they have found that, given a large enough set of words (one famous experiment with the Bible code and Moby Dick comes to mind) these things happen and they are pure coincidence. ● The Hebrew word “bereshiyt” (translated in Genesis 1 as “in the beginning”) corresponds to hydrogen.

False. The two words are not even remotely related. Bereshiyt literally translates to “in a beginning” and not “in the beginning” (because of the indefinite Hebrew article “:” under the first word). The word “Hydrogen” comes from the Greek roots “hydro”, meaning water, and “Gen”, meaning producing. I have no idea how the writers of this video connect the two words and they do not explain how they came to that conclusion either. ● If the ancient biblical authors had made up the creation story they wouldn't have written it the way that it is written. “An intelligent faker of the time would have spun quite a different tale for the sequence of the Genesis events.”

False. The simple answer here is that the author of Genesis was not particularly intelligent. Trying to rationalize the intent of any author (ancient or modern) is the realm of pure speculation. As to assuming what people would or would not do. I could argue that a smart man would never steal anything and conclude therefore there are no thefts in the world. And you might just as easily say that the gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is true for these same reasons. ● “Many story.” other reasonable sequences seem far more logical than the Genesis

True. That's because the Genesis story was made up by ancient people who were trying to explain a world that they didn't understand. ● ● More Numerology Scientists believe that everything formed in the same order that Genesis says it did. Therefore Genesis is true.

False. The list given in the video is as follows: “Space, Atmosphere, planets, Stars, Sun, Earth, Dry ground, Plants/Fauna, Ocean animals, All other animals/birds, Man – came from monkeys.” Again with the monkey thing. It's the same fallacious Straw-man argument as before. The rest of the list is bogus too. Space is fine, but then atmosphere? On what? How do you have an atmosphere with no planets? Then they have planets, but not without stars (which they list next) and the sun is a star, those both go in front of planets. Then the earth, that goes with planets. Dry ground actually comes after ocean animals. Then they have Plants/Fauna. This should be after dry land and fauna are animals so those go with the animals section, not with plants. Then man which falls under animals. The correct list should read: “Space, Stars, Planets, Atmosphere, Ocean Animals, Dry Land, Plants, and then Animals.” This is a hugely simplified list, but at least it's generally in the right order now. ● The Bible tells that Time, Space, and Matter had a beginning just like science does. “In the beginning (Time) God created the heavens (Space) and the Earth (Matter).”

False. This is just the writers of the video inserting words into a verse (in parenthesis) and then saying that is what the biblical author meant. You cannot add words to a quote and infer any fact from the amended quotation. “We (several wealthy and powerful 18th century men) hold these truths (beliefs) to be self evident (well, pretty obvious anyway) that all men (white landowning males) are created equal (as long as they were politicians).” So wealthy men in the 18th century believed that it was pretty obvious that white landowning politicians were all equal right? That's the same thing right? It's called contextomy in logic and it is a fallacy. ● The Entropy Argument. Therefore the Bible is true.

False. This is an old and worn out argument and is so common that it is simply referred to as “The Entropy Argument”. It is a sure bet that anyone positing this argument has never taken a college chemistry class because if they had then they would know that this argument is fundamentally flawed.

The argument goes like this: “The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy (or disorder) of a system must always increase. So evolution can't have happened (i.e. the emergence of order from disorder) because that would violate the law.” The problem with this is that it only works in a closed system. The same principle applies to your ice maker. Ice freezes (decrease in entropy) because your refrigerator pulls heat energy from the freezer compartment and dumps it out into your kitchen (that's what those radiator coils on the back of the fridge are for). This increases the entropy (and heat) of your kitchen. So the overall entropy of the system in your kitchen hasn't changed, it has only been rearranged. Water freezing is an exothermic reaction, endothermic reactions require the addition of energy to decrease entropy. This is true of the Earth too. We get energy from the sun which fuels chemical reactions allowing an overall decrease in entropy. On the larger scale though the universe is a closed system and the overall entropy is increasing. An analogy would be the stock market. The Dow Jones plunges 400 points in one day but your friend the stock broker still made money. How? Because not all of the stocks in the Dow have to decrease in order for there to be an overall decrease. Some stocks still make money even though the larger trend is downward. ● The Bible referred to hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor 300 years before they were discovered.

False. (I will point out here too that these same hydrothermal vents are the ones that are home to the creatures that live off of chemosynthesis which was mentioned earlier.) The verse referenced is from Genesis talking about the flood and says “fountains of the deep”. The Hebrew words are “Ma'yan rab thown” Ma'yan means spring or fountain (it is used in other places to describe above ground springs). Rab means great. And Thown means deep. So springs of the great deep. Says nothing about the fact that they are caused by subterranean volcanic activity or that they are often chock full of nasty chemicals that you would not want to drink. The ancient Hebrews knew that water came out of the ground and it would be a fair thing for them to assume that there is a spring at the bottom of the ocean (well, the Mediterranean sea in their case) that keeps it full. I don't see how anyone would have read this and gone “Oh, they must be talking about hydrothermal vents.” ● The Bible mentioned paths of the sea, mountains and valleys of the sea... etc.

True. The ancient peoples of the Mediterranean coastal regions were avid fishermen and they had some idea of currents. The pearl divers in the Persian Gulf had a good idea of what the sea floor looked like. There is no revelation here of anything that wasn't already known at the time. ● The amount of water on the Earth has not changed. The Bible predicted this in Genesis 2:1 “The heavens and the Earth were completed in all their vast array.”

False. What does this verse have to do with the water on earth? And the narrator adds that this verse includes all the elements and compounds also. Well this is definitely not true. There are elements being created (in the fusion cores of stars) and destroyed (in radioactive decay) all the time. ● Air has weight. Job 28:25 mentions weighing the air. Bible wins?

No. As much as Carl Gallup's Ministries seems to like to twist the meanings of Bible verses this one is not twisted, it is only out of context. The author in Job is asking where wisdom comes from and is talking about how much God knows. He says that God knows the weight of the wind and the weight of the seas. This is clearly a poetic comparison of extremely heavy and extremely light things. In the previous verse he says that God can see to all the ends of the earth. Because, as we learned later through science, the world is flat and has ends... oh, wait, no we didn't. Perhaps the previous verse was just poetic license. Just a figure of speech you know, “I'd follow you to the ends of the earth.”. Well then why is the verse immediately after it taken literally by the producer of the video to mean that the air has weight? Go back one more verse and Job tells us that Death and Destruction are real beings and have ears and can hear things. Hows that for scientific fact? Or mayhaps he was using a literary technique called “personification” in which inanimate objects or ideas are given human attributes. ● Hydrological Cycle in the Bible? Psalm 135:7

No. Again taking poetry literally and also this time vapors rising directly off of the edges of the flat earth. Flat Earth = bad science. Also, where exactly is God's treasury located geographically? ● Job 36:27-29 asks “can anyone understand the spreading of clouds...?”

Yes. They are called meteorologists. ● The Bible tells us that the Moon is smaller than the Sun. Genesis 1:16

Maybe. This is a translation question and the difference lies in the translation of the word “lesser” (Qaton in Hebrew) which means diminutive in size, quantity or number, or in age or importance. The Moon being less important seems to be what's implied here but it can also mean size so there is no clear answer. Gadol is the word used to describe the Sun and it means “greater” with an implication of age or position. This is definitely not a clear-cut “unknowable”. ● The Bible said the number of stars are as many as grains of sand on the beach. We now know that there are an almost countless number of stars. The Bible was right.

True. But this is not a scientific unknowable. Anyone who has been to the desert at night has seen that you could never even begin to count, by hand, the number of stars just in the visible sky. This was not a revelation. Hipparchus and Ptolemy both identified roughly a thousand nearby stars which they carefully plotted and mapped, but neither ever suggested that those were all the stars in the sky. ● The Bible says the Earth is round.

No it doesn't. I have already pointed out places where the Bible says the Earth is flat. They spend a lot of time here trying to stretch translations of verses to make it sound less like the Bible is saying that the Earth is flat. Isaiah 40:22 “It is he who sits above the circle (not sphere) of the earth...”. Once again, the Hebrew word is “Chug” it does not mean sphere, it does not mean arch, it does not mean roundish ball-type thingy. It means circle. Just circle. As Hebrew words with their multiple meanings and nuances go, “Chug” is as simple as it gets. Circle. Flat. ● The Book of Job says that God hangs the Earth on Nothing. (Job 26:7) Other religions thought it rested on something. The Bible was right.

True. A few issues here though. Once again we have reference to “spreading out” land as though it were flat instead of round. You can't spread out a sphere. Also, the dates of the authorship of the book of Job are disputed. This video sets its date at 3500 B.C.E. Although the earliest copy is The Targum of Job found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (so at least the 4th century B.C.E.) and that text differs greatly from the modern story. There are indications that this was originally a poem that the semitic people of the region picked up from Arab traders. There are references to, and stories about, Ayob (Job) as a prophet in the Koran and other Arab writings. That being said, we finally have something that can be remotely construed to be a “Scientific Unknowable”. Although, for a religion that believes in only one God and was a pioneer in the field of de-personifying nature, there's not much other choice. Either God himself holds up the Earth or he just hangs it there. It's a pretty flimsy argument to say that the only way this could be in the Bible is if God put it there. (and there's always the risk that it came from the Arabs which would make them right.) Oh, wait but there's the translation to consider too. “Tohu” is the Hebrew word here translated as “the empty place” but literally means desolation (of a surface), desert, or a worthless thing. And to hang the Earth on nothing above the desert is not exactly the same as saying the Earth floats in space.

Summary
So, out of the whole Bible Mr. Carl Gallup's group managed to find two verses that might possibly (depending on how you translate them) be a reference to something that wasn't known

for sure until later in history. No matter how much they strained the translations, or took verses out of context, made up things about science, or butchered history they just couldn't get anything to stick. If there is some great scientific truth in the Bible that just couldn't have been known without divine inspiration then the authors did their best to hide it from us.

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