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Bible's accuracy on other scientific points shows overall accuracy (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Bible's accuracy on other scientific points shows overall accuracy (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH130:

The Bible's accuracy on various scientific and historical points shows its overall accuracy.

Source: No source given


CreationWiki response:

This is a misstatement of the concept. A more accurate statement is: "The Bible's accuracy on various scientific and historical points support its overall accuracy." These points show that the Bible can be trusted in areas that can be tested, suggesting that it can be trusted in areas that cannot be tested.

(Talk Origins quotes in blue)

1. The accuracy of the Bible is not remarkable. All of its accurate points can be explained by simple observation of nature or by selective interpretation of scriptures.

This is a baseless statement and it is also irrelevant since the point is that the Bible is accurate on these scientific points. Furthermore, while some cases are simply matters of basic observation or have alternative interpretations, some do not.

  • Job 38:19 speaks of the fact that light is always moving. This fact is not easily observed, and it is the most natural interpretation of the verse.
  • Job 26:7 speaks of the fact that the planet Earth moves freely in space suspended over the sun, by centrifugal force. This fact is not easily observed, and it is the most natural interpretation of the verse.
  • Ecc 1:6 is a clear description of the wind cycle. This fact is not easily observed, and it is the most natural interpretation of the verse.

There are others as well.

Reference: Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bible

Furthermore, one is inclined to question why science is considered truthful if not because "All of its accurate points can be explained by simple observation of nature"? Isn't the accurate reflection of nature what one would consider science in the first place? If so, TalkOrigins has just grudgingly conceded the Bible contains accurate information about basic science despite having been written thousands of years ago.

2. Accuracy on individual points does not indicate overall accuracy. Just about every thesis that is wrong overall still has some accurate points in it.

True, but it does support overall accuracy. Accuracy on particular points shows that the Bible can be trusted in areas that can be tested, suggesting that it can be trusted in areas that can not be tested. Evolution for example is a generally wrong theory on macroevolution and the origins of life, but has some accurate points such as natural selection and microevolution.

3. Claims about accuracy assume that the purpose of the Bible is to document scientific data.

WRONG! It only assumes that where the Bible talks about matters of science, it does so accurately and therefore that it can provide scientifically useful data.

There is not the slightest indication that the Bible was ever intended as a scientific textbook. It is intended to teach people about God; even those who claim scientific accuracy for it use it with that intent.

It is true that the Bible is not intended as a scientific textbook, but it is accurate about matters of science, even if not in a scientific way. The Bible does not present itself as the figurative storybook critics want to call it, stating that the scripture is in its entirety given by God profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, and perfection (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20), written for our learning and hope (Romans 15:4), that they are pure words like silver refined in a furnace 7 times to be preserved for all time (Psalms 12:6-7), and that the Law and prophets (Old Testament) are to be utterly fulfilled with not so much as a punctuation mark failing from their prophecies until the passing of both Heaven and Earth (Matthew 5:17-19). Jesus and the Apostles quoted Scripture frequently, showing their trust that God would preserve and fulfill the "Law and the prophets" completely, and that the preservation of these is a sure foundation of belief.

For at least some of the Bible's teachings, scientific accuracy is unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive.

Such as what? What does Talk Origins' mean by this statement? This statement is so vague that there is no way of telling if it has any truth or relevance to the issue at hand. Some examples would help.

4. The Bible is not entirely accurate. If its value is made to depend on scientific accuracy, it becomes valueless when people find errors in it, as some people invariably will.

Except for the fact that it is the alleged errors that are in error. Some claims of alleged errors result from taking verses out of context; sometimes they result from a failure to check to see how the Bible uses a particular word; sometimes they are based on out-of-date scientific concepts; sometimes they are a result of a translation error; and sometimes they result from trying to force a modern scientific definition on an ancient Hebrew word. In any case, none of Talk Origins' alleged errors stand up to scrutiny.

5. If occasional scientific accuracy shows overall accuracy of the Bible, then the same conclusion must be granted to the Qur'an, Zend Avesta, and several other works from other religions, all of which can make the same claims to scientific accuracy.

Except for the fact that the Bible is not just occasionally scientifically accurate. Where it can be objectively checked, it is invariably so. Not to mention the large number of examples from the Bible.

With regard to the Qur'an, Talk Origins does a good job of showing that it was actually lifted from a passage in the Bible which predates the Qur'an, by at least 1000 years. The other example seems to be consistent with the level of knowledge in that part of the world at the time.

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