The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hollywood's Noah Brings Out Closed-Minded Views Again

(Please note:  This is not a review or critique of the new movie Noah.  I have not seen it and have no plans to see it.  Rather, this is a commentary about the lack of understanding people have about Biblical events and teachings.)

Here's the Nonsense:  Hollywood and others may change the Bible's stories, but it's no big deal because the Bible is all fables and doesn't know anything about science anyway.

Here's the Horse Sense:  As a former skeptic I can attest to how a closed mind keeps us from seeing truth.  The Bible has taught scientific truth long before man figured it out.

With the attention being given to Hollywood's new mega-movie Noah, it is not surprising that there are renewed debates on Biblical themes popping up all over.  And, of course, the Hollywood elites are trying to defend their new tale as one that honors the Biblical account, when in fact about the only similarity is the title and name of the main character.  The Biblical account is an entirely different story, but ignored and discounted because it's religious.  Yes, it's treated the way it is because it is from the Jewish and Christian religions and those are hated belief systems throughout the world.  So, it is no surprise when the closed-minded people lead the attacks on these two religions.  

I was an atheist and then an agnostic for years, finally opening my mind and studying caused me to change my beliefs.  Prior to that I wasn't open enough to consider religion.  But since I come from the same background as the skeptics and attackers I would like to address a general attitude that is prevalent these days.  That is, that people who believe are people who are backwards, embracing unscientific views that are ignoring the "facts."  Of course, the people who are like I used to be are the ones who define the facts, they don't rely on objectivity or rationality.  I know.  I was one of them.

I'm certainly no scientist, or even very knowledgeable regarding the sciences compared to many people.  But I do know that what those who reject the Bible refuse to see is what it really teaches.  Contrary to what those people claim, the Bible is a very scientifically accurate book, even though it wasn't written as a scientific textbook.

Over the years I've learned a few things about the Bible that most people don't think about or even know.  And instead of sitting back and listening to the attacks on orthodox beliefs, I wanted to take a minute to share some things that I've learned the Bible teaches that not only support science, but that God revealed in the Bible long before man figured them out.

When modern science is seen through the lens of the Bible there are not the conflicts that people assume there are. For example, Isaiah 40:26 says it is God who created the universe. He holds the stars together by His power and not one of them is ever missing. Here we have the Bible confirming the first law of thermodynamics which says that nothing is ever wiped out, all mass and energy continue.

Ecclesiastes 1:10 says: "Is there anything of which one might say, 'See this, it is new'?" And then answers with: "Already it has existed for ages which were before us." The Bible, thousands of years before the laws of thermodynamics had been discovered by man, affirmed the conservation of mass and energy.

The science of hydrology studies the cycle of water, which is made up of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. As clouds move over land and drop water through precipitation, rain runs into various streams, the streams run into the sea, and as this happens the evaporation process takes place. The Bible describes this process in Ecclesiastes 1 and Isaiah 55.  There it says about the water cycle: "All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again" (Ecclesiastes 1:7). "For . . . the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth" (Isaiah 55:10). And Job 36:27-28 shows us about evaporation and condensation when it says that God draws up the drops of water, they distill rain from the mist, which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly.

Copernicus presented the idea that the earth was in motion in the 16th century.  People previously believed that the earth was flat and that if you went through the Pillars of Hercules at the Rock of Gibraltar you would fall off the edge. Then, Kepler and Galileo started modern astronomy in the 17th century. Up to that time the universe was thought to contain only about 1000 stars (that was the number that had been counted).  

But in Genesis the number of the stars of heaven is equated with the number of grains of sand on the seashore. God told Abraham, "I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore" ( 22:17 ). Jeremiah 33:22 says that the stars can't be counted: "As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I [God] will multiply the descendants of David." Today several million stars have been cataloged, though hundreds of millions or even billions remain unlisted.

In Job, the oldest book in the Bible, it says in 26:7, "He [God] hangs the earth on nothing." In the sacred books of other religions you may read that the earth is on the backs of elephants that produce earthquakes when they shake. The Bible is in a completely different class. It says, "He . . . hangs the earth on nothing."

Job 38:14 also says that the earth is "turned like the clay to the seal." In those days, soft clay was used for writing and a seal was used for applying one's signature. Often used was a seal that was a hollow cylinder of hardened clay with a raised signature on it. A stick went through it and it was rolled like a rolling pin. The writer would roll their signature across the soft clay and in that way sign their name. Saying the earth is turned like the clay to the seal could imply that it rotates on its axis. 

The earth maintains a perfect balance as it rotates. If you've ever seen a ball that's out of balance, you've seen it rotate unevenly. The earth couldn't survive if it rotated like that. It is perfectly balanced. The oceans in their depths have to be balanced with the mountains that soar skyward. Long before man's scientific studies came up with this idea, in Isaiah 40:12 said that God "has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales."

Early in the 20th century Herbert Spencer applied scientific discoveries to philosophy.  He came up with 5 categories in the natural sciences: time, force, motion, space, and matter.  Interestingly, in Genesis 1:1, it says: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." When we read carefully we see the 5 categories of the natural sciences:  In the beginning (that's time) God (that's force) created (that's motion) the heavens (that's space) and the earth (that's matter)

The Bible said it all in it's very first verse. When we see the Bible with an open mind and not the closed, preconceived views of the skeptics, it's amazing what we find is really there.  It's not a scientific textbook, but it has shown man scientific truths long before man discovered them on his own.