Since Cerbie/Paulus decided to bring science into the debate (instead of answering a simple question about what Jesus said to the high priest 🙂 ), let us explore some of the embarrassing scientific errors in the Bible. These are taken from an earlier article “Science in the Bible and the Quran: Searching the Holy Texts for Evidence of Scientific Knowledge” and is just a sample. For more errors and for citations, please see the article.
- First, Genesis 1 states that the act of creation took 6 days. During this period, the heavens and the Earth were created and the latter was populated with plants and animals as well as the first humans (Adam and Eve). This conflicts with scientific data since it is firmly established that the formation of the universe and even the Earth took billions of years.
- Moving on, Genesis 1:6-8 states that water was placed on the Earth on the second day. However, scientific data shows that the formation of the oceans took much more time:
“Ocean formation probably began during the first 500 million years of Earth’s history, when the planet first cooled sufficiently to allow water molecules to condense, fall onto the surface, and persist as free-standing water bodies. Zircon mineral grains laid down by water have been dated to over 4 billion years old, indicating that some surface water existed at that time. […] Australian limestone formations known as stromatolites, which were formed by microscopic blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, indicate that fully saline oceans existed around 3.5 billion years ago.”
- Another problem with the Genesis account is the creation of the stars. Genesis 1 claims that the sun was created after the creation of the Earth. Yet, this contradicts established scientific data, which shows that:
“The Solar System began to form about 4.56 billion years ago, when an immense cloud of gas and dust, the solar nebula, started to collapse under gravity. As it collapsed, the cloud flattened into an ever-faster spinning disk, with a bulging center that heated and condensed to form the Sun. The orbiting debris formed the four inner rocky planets.”
It should be noted, however, that the moon was certainly formed after Earth, as Genesis accurately states. However, Genesis states that the sun and the moon were both formed at the same time, which contradicts the scientific evidence.
- Having dealt with the creation of the universe and Earth, let us now consider the Genesis account of the creation of life on Earth. It is claimed in Genesis 1 that vegetation appeared on land on the third day. On the fifth day, marine life and birds appeared, while animal life appeared on land on the sixth day, shortly before the creation of man. This account contradicts scientific facts since the fossil record conclusively shows that plant life did not appear on land until the Ordovician period, becoming more common only in the Silurian. Meanwhile, marine invertebrates had existed as early as the Proterozoic eon, which lasted from 2.5 billion to 542 million years ago. An example of such an invertebrate was Spriggina, a segmented animal which existed in the Precambrian.
- Another difficulty with this account is that birds were created before land animals, which would include reptiles and mammals. This directly contradicts the fossil record which shows that there were many different animals (such as dinosaurs) which preceded the arrival of birds. An example is Dilophosaurus, a 20-foot long theropod dinosaur from the early Jurassic period. Even as early as the Devonian period, arthropods like Pleophrynus, a spider-like arachnid, lived on land.