Can science prove the Bible?

By Wayne Spencer

Before answering this question, first understand that there are two types of science, experimental science and origins science. What is experimental science about? It's about measuring and watching what happens in nature so that we know exactly what nature does.

When you observe or measure nature in experiments, you are always using the five senses in some way. You might measure the time it takes for a ball to drop to the ground in order to learn about gravity, for example. This is something you can repeat over and over and get the same result so you know you are right. Sometimes we help our five senses using special equipment. For instance, a microscope helps us see things much smaller than we can see with the naked eye. If one scientist wants to be sure another scientist is right, in experimental science he can do the same experiment someone else did to make sure he gets the same result. If a certain result has been verified many times by many experimenters we may say that it has been "proven."

But, in origins science, scientists are studying something in nature that only happened once a long time ago. God was there in the beginning; no human was there videotaping what was happening. Events of the past like creation can't be repeated again today. So, this means that experimental science can prove things in a way that origins science never can. So, if you talk about scientific proof in experimental science that is a stronger kind of "proof" than in the study of how life got here.

Now, lets get back to the question of can science prove the Bible. Experimental science deals with things in nature that scientists can measure today. Experiments can't measure things in the past.  The Bible is not written to give the scientific details of a science textbook, but it does describe some things in nature. Some things the Bible describes about nature can be seen in the Earth today, such as in Ecclesiastes 1 where Solomon describes the water cycle. Other things the Bible describe tell about how Earth was in the past or about what happened to the Earth in the past. It tells, for example, that there was a world-wide Flood in the time of Noah.  Science gives us facts about the world that agree with what the Bible says happened in the past. This is not experimental science since we can't repeat the past, it is origins science (also often called forensic science). Science can't prove everything the Bible says, but it doesn't need to really.

There are facts about the Earth that agree with there being a world-wide Flood in the past, but they do not really prove it. There are facts about biology that agree very nicely with what Genesis chapter one says regarding living things. These facts show us that God's word is plausible and realistic regarding nature, in matters that do not involve God's supernatural intervention. But, there may be plenty of reason to believe God was involved, even though science cannot make it conclusive that He was involved.

Learning about what God made and how it relates to Biblical Christianity encourages our faith in the Bible and shows that Christian faith makes sense. But it does not prove the Bible in the sense that experimental science proves things. As human beings, we do not have to have everything literally proven to us in order to have plenty of reason to believe it.  Science can only verify or confirm certain kinds of information in the Bible such as descriptions of nature or details about how some event affected the Earth for example. But science cannot confirm or deny spiritual truths. It is our lives and character that should confirm those truths.

There are also lots of reasons to believe the Bible other than what science tells us. There are objective truths and subjective truths in the Bible. Science and archeological research can confirm many of the objective truths in it. The Bible has stood up to challenges very well over the years. Science can be one of several things that confirm our Christian faith and give us confidence in the Bible.

This article exerpted from the June 2000 issue of Creation Answers.