Do Calculators Lie?
By David B. Smith
There’s a math formula we know as “PERT” — and I’m not getting ready to wash my hair. A = Pert is the secret to unlock the time codes of carbon dating, the half-life decay rate that proves an archeologist's’s rock is some 25,000 years old. (You need a calculator with an ex key on it.)
As a Christian instructor who walks into college classrooms, I’ve had to grapple with what scientists say in contrast to Genesis 1. The numbers in the laboratories suggest a universe that is millions of years old, that blindly pushes its way forward with mutations and black holes, with humans evolving from apes. On the other hand, the Bible assures us: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
I’m not one who sneers at science, or who just covers my eyes and turns up the volume on my praise music to drown out secular evidence and Bill Maher’s anti-creation jokes on HBO. If God is the Creator, then He also created science and the flood of data that is here for us to explore and weigh. So here are my (lay person’s) observations . . .
First, scientists haven’t mastered time travel any more than devout believers have. The Los Angeles Times routinely publishes scientific findings, where the opening paragraph confesses: “Top scholars used to hold to such-and-such theory. But this latest discovery has upended their long-cherished evolutionary model.” Time and again, so-called settled facts have been scuttled in favor of updated proposals.
Second, even the most hardened lab veterans admit that there is an unfathomable design to our universe. How did the first spark of life appear? They don’t know. Why is this planet seemingly the perfect size, perfect shape, perfect distance from the sun, operating at the perfect orbital speed to sustain life? Why does water freeze in a manner contrary to settled principles? Where did a child’s intricate and fully developed eyeballs come from? Evolutionists admit to an anthropic principle — but beyond that, they don’t know. You’ve heard the illustrations: could you shake a bowl of watch parts for a million years and finally have a Rolex appear? Could a million typing monkeys on a million laptops ever produce one sentence, let alone a dictionary? If you play poker long enough, will you get five royal flushes in a row? Or is it easier to accept that in a world with such order and beauty — as we look at the perfect form of a newborn — a loving God must have had a part?
The spiritual implications of a divine Creation are sobering . . . and frankly staggering. On the other hand, if we arrived here by chance, by the fluttering dance of molecules, then we owe God nothing. Why would we worship? Why would heaven offer a rescue plan, a Cross, to fallen human beings it had not brought into existence? If God did not create us, what is the point of fellowship? If this planet spun itself into orbit after bumping into some other random world, and more collisions are perhaps lurking in our future, then the idea of environmental stewardship diminishes. Pure evolution admits that the universe has no purpose, no guiding principles, no loving overseer, no redemptive conclusion. The world is not “good” — it is starkly neutral, sterile and bereft of hope.
Even our weekly calendar hints at the reality of Creation. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day (Exodus 20:11). We have days and months and years for scientifically observable reasons . . . but why are there weeks? Why is seven days — six of work, one of rest — the optimal rhythm for a weary humanity? Societies have tried other schemes; they fail every time. Why? Is it perhaps because at the end of the [sixth] day, we are wired by a caring Father to rest and fall in love with the Person who shaped us?
It’s okay to look at the time-line behind us and confess: “I don’t know everything.” But it’s also good to hold fast to the Bible and say, “In ways that perhaps I don’t yet fully grasp, God is eternally present in the miracle of Creation.”
David B. Smith writes from California. (6 of 28) His web page is Copyright © 2014. Click here for content usage information. Biblebay