January 19, 2018

Faith in Fact or Fairy Tale (1)

Emmett L Williams

Is Science Bad? Many Fundamentalists look askance at anyone with a scientific background. Immediately the theory of evolution faith-for-the-familylooms in their minds. Since this anti-Biblical theory has been used to destroy the faith of many, this suspicion may be justified. But should the complete area of science be condemned because of the theory of evolution?

Scriptural Justification for Scientific Activity

This writer believes that God has given man the command to practice science. After God created man and woman, He blessed them, told them to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Also they were told to subdue the earth, that they had control over every living thing (Genesis 1:28). Here was a newly-created man told to subdue and control a created earth and its inhabitants; and he was the last to arrive on the scene. This was quite an order, indeed! How would Adam accomplish this task?



[Click to enlarge.]

Scientific Activity

Suppose someone told you that you would have to subdue a large piece of earth-moving equipment, such as a road grader. You had no idea how to handle or manipulate the metal monster. What would you do? Probably you would ask to go to some school to learn how to operate the machine. Assume this is impossible. You might then ask an experienced operator to teach you. Suppose he refused. You would still not be thwarted: you are determined to subdue the grader. You would spend days, even weeks, observing the various operations. Although this would be the hardest way to learn, you would eventually acquire knowledge of how to do it. Through the use of your senses, mainly sight and hearing, you would learn how to subdue that road grader.

This is the way I learned to operate an automobile. When I was young, only one member of my entire family had a car. Today, this situation could qualify us for the poverty program; but in those days we didn’t know anything about things like that.

An uncle of mine had a 1939 Plymouth sedan. It is now quite fashionable to get an automobile with four on the floor, six on the dashboard, or twelve on the ceiling. Back then, you got four on the steering wheel and that was it. Choice of exterior colors was all shades of black!

My uncle took me hunting and fishing in his car. I watched with consuming interest as he changed gears, stopped and started the car and steered it. Then after a fishing or hunting trip, he would park the car in his basement garage. I would stay in the car and imagine I was driving it on many secret missions. I would change gears, stop suddenly, and steer the car around hairpin turns-all in that basement garage. I am sure I logged ten thousand miles!

One of the greatest desires of my life was to drive that car “for real”. But in those days, children did not demand anything of adults or they might get cuffed. So I anxiously waited through the years, watching my uncle drive and “practicing” in his garage. One morning about four o’clock, when we were going on a deer hunt, my uncle stopped the car on U.S. 29, north of Lynchburg, Virginia. He got out, came over to my side of the car and told me to drive! He and I were just about the only fools out on the road that early· in the morning, so I couldn’t kill anyone but us.

My years of scientific observation and. experimentation paid off. Although I almost ripped the gearshift out of the car, I got it going; and I actually drove the car well, considering it was the first time I had actually driven it. I had used my senses (scientific activity) to learn to drive a car.

As a further example of scientific activity, let us suppose a mouse and an elephant had come to Adam in the garden of Eden and asked to be fed. Adam could observe the size of the two animals and deduce that the elephant would need more than the mouse. The elephant would get bushel portions, whereas the mouse would get thimblesful [sic]. Adam, in providing food for the animals in this hypothetical situation, performed scientific work in determining the proper amount of food.

The use of the senses, taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, to learn how to do things is what science is all about. Adam could use these senses to subdue the earth and have dominion over every living thing. This is one command of God that man has followed completely and successfully. All of our modern conveniences and amazing accomplishments, such as space flight, are the result of scientific activity.

I conclude, then, that scientific work is God-ordered and has been very helpful to man.

Science and Origins

Science is a man-directed activity. Man must be on the scene for scientific work to be done: without man, no science is possible.

The theory of evolution is a theory of origins; the origin of living organisms, the origin of the earth, the origin of the solar system, the origin of the universe. It offers an explanation of how everything got here without creative activity. But man, according to the theory of evolution, was one of the latest evolved species. Since no man was there to observe anything that happened previously, it is not science. Origins should never be discussed in a science course for it is beyond the scientific method to determine anything about them.

If you are a creationist, as I am, you believe God created everything in six days. However man wasn’t created until the sixth day and anything that happened before that day is beyond scientific investigation. The Creator was there and told us what He did. The first two chapters of Genesis are the only accurate account we have of how everything got here.

So whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist you cannot scientifically prove your position. No man was there to observe either creation or evolution. You must take creation or evolution by faith. Is one a more reasonable faith than the other?

To be continued…

This article originally appeared in Faith for the Family, May/June 1973 and is used by permission.

The following is the biography originally published with the article:

Dr. Emmett L. Williams, Jr., teaches physics and chemistry at Bob Jones University. Prior to joining the BJU faculty in 1966, he was development specialist in the Chemical Development Department at Y-12 Plant, Union Carbide Nuclear Corporation at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A native of Lynchburg, Va., Dr. Williams received the bachelor of science and the master of science degrees in metallurgical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg. Clemson University conferred upon him the doctor of philosophy degree in metallurgical engineering. He also has studied at the University of California at Los Angeles. The BJU professor is listed in “American Men of Science” and in “Who’s Who in American Colleges.” He holds memberships in the Creation Research Society; American Association of Physics Teachers; and Gideons, International.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

Submit other comments here.