In his April 1 article, Cameron Clarke asked a poignant question, “Why must we attack the results of scientific inquiry when the results themselves may hold true?” However, I think Clarke forgets something important — the conflict in question stems from a disagreement about the very nature of truth.
Let me explain. When I, a Hebrew scholar or anyone else reads the creation account as recorded in the Christian scriptures, there is no indication of evolutionary abiogenesis, or “life forming from inanimate matter.” What is recorded there is better described as “ex nihilo” or “out of nothing.” In the Genesis account, God speaks and things come to exist across the span of seven days. That’s the story as it reads from the book.
So, Clarke asks the question, “could God have ordained abiogenesis?” Maybe God could have, but that’s not the point. If the Genesis account seems to describe creation from nothing, but the scientific community says the evidence points toward abiogenesis, then there’s a conflict. Only one of these two can be true. We can’t have creation from nothing and creation by evolution from inanimate matter.
Clarke’s proposal is pretty simple, I’ll grant him that. He says “relax literal interpretations of scripture.” But look at what this does. He is basically suggesting that when there is a conflict between scripture and scientific consensus we should alter how scriptures are interpreted. Wait, really?
Clarke is suggesting that Christians interpret this text differently than what the text seems to say pretty plainly, even though the Christians claim it’s inspired and preserved by the same God who did the creating (and they’ve been claiming this for 2,000 plus years) because of the speculative theories of scientists? Theories without hard data (I mean, no one was there. Hard to have real data from an event no one was present for), barely 150 years old and completely irreproducible (I mean, no one’s ever been able to reproduce either creation ex nihilo or abiogenesis). Wow, Cameron. That’s actually kind of a big deal.
Christians are claiming God is truth and the Bible is the accurately preserved record of his doings. If there’s a conflict with what a group of scientists say and what the Bible says, no one should be surprised if Christians very staunchly refuse to give up what the scripture makes plain.
Clarke asks a good question, “Why must we attack the results of scientific inquiry when the results themselves may hold true?” Because I, as a Christian man, have a primary source of truth, and for me, scripture will always interpret my science. Not the other way around.