Bible got water cycle right (Talk.Origins)
- Ancient people thought that the water from rivers flowing into oceans spilled over the ends of the earth. On the other hand, Ecclesiastes 1:7 says, "All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again." This shows the Bible's unexpected accuracy.
- Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 201-202.
CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)
1. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy.
True, but accuracy on many points supports overall accuracy.
Job 38:22, for example, says that snow and hail are kept in storehouses.
Talk Origins is taking this verse out of context.
Verse 23 shows that this is not a reference to the normal source of snow and hail, but a special holding area for snow and hail to be used in a future judgment. Revelation 16,21 speaks of hail stones weighing a whopping 100 lb towards the end of the tribulation. These are not normal hail stones, which would explain why God has them in cold storage until the day when they are needed.
Genesis 2:5-6 contradicts the water cycle.
Genesis 2:5-6 is talking about a time before the Flood when it did not rain. There is some debate as to whether or not this indicates that it did not rain before the Flood, but this reference has nothing to do with the post Flood water cycle.
Furthermore, TalkOrigins is ignorant of the fact that science has shown this kind of cycle does exist today in rare circumstances, giving credence to the claim the earth's water cycle once operated this way, since forests have been found that water themselves using seasonal fog exactly like the Genesis 2 account. In fact, the California Redwood Forest waters itself also, and the Amazon Rainforest is almost completely self-watering as well through use of a process called transpiration.
2. Eccl. 1:7 does not describe the water cycle. It merely says that water returns to the source of streams; it does not say how.
Yes, it is not a complete description of the water cycle, but then again the above quote of the claim does not say that it is. Interestingly Talk Origins totally ignores the previous verse (Ecclesiastes 1:6) which does an excellent job of describing the wind cycle.
It was once believed that the water returned underground.
But Ecclesiastes 1:7 does not say this.
3. Interpreting that passage literally completely rejects its context. The chapter says, briefly, that "there is nothing new under the sun," and gives several examples. If, in fact, knowledge of the water cycle were interpreted as a new bit of knowledge, it would contradict the chapter as a whole.
Note the misinterpretation of the Bible here. The verse says "there is nothing new under the sun", not that "there is no new knowledge under the sun", what TalkOrigins concludes. In fact, a clear reading of the verses in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 (KJV) shows that it's referring to historical events, essentially the origination of the saying, "History repeats itself", and has nothing to do with human knowledge, the misinterpretation made by TalkOrigins.
TalkOrigins completely ignored phrases like "thing that hath been" and "that which is done" showing this was referring to actions and events, not human knowledge. They completely ignored the surrounding verses to seemingly intentionally misinterpret what the Bible said.
There are three main ways of viewing this reference that render this moot.
- Solomon was referring to his own time in history.
- Solomon was only talking generally.
- Pre Flood man developed a level of knowledge, that even in the 21 century A.D. has not been totally caught up with or surpassed.
4. Attributing a requirement of some special knowledge to account for this verse assumes the ancient Hebrews were idiots. Knowledge of a spherical earth is ancient, and with it no edge for water to spill over. It is theologically reasonable to assume that God is not constantly creating new water [Gen. 2:3]. It is easy to see mists rising from waters and rain coming from clouds. A water cycle would be difficult not to deduce.
No problem since the point is not special knowledge, but overall Biblical scientific accuracy.
- Thompson, Andrea (2006, September 20). "Desert Forest Waters Itself." LiveScience.
- Dawson, T.E. (1998, September 1). "Fog in the California Redwood Forest: Ecosystem Inputs and Use by Plants." Section of Ecology and Systematics and the Laboratory for Stable Isotope Research and Analysis. Cornell University. Ithaca, NY. In Oecologia (1998) 117:476-485.
- National Geographic. "Rain Forest: Incubators of Life."