My Musings – Call me an optimist, but I actually believe that creationism and science must be compatible. God is a God of order. From disorder (“void and without form“) He brought about order. This includes the underlying laws of science. To the extent that current scientific theories appear to contradict intelligent design, means that science has not yet caught up (if it ever can). But science is handicapped to the extent “as a matter of principle” it automatically rules out a hypothesis that has never been disproven – God created.
As it stands today, the differing viewpoints (the Word of God versus the word of man) appear to be irreconcilable. Let’s take a look, but I’d bet on the words that are capitalized.
The Word of God – “In the beginning [time] God [cause] created [energy] the heavens [space] and the earth [matter].” (Moses, he spoke with God face-to-face).
• In the Beginning – No scientist or historian can improve upon this simple statement. It refutes the atheist, who says there is no God; the agnostic, who claims we cannot know God; the polytheist who worships many gods; the pantheist, who says that all nature is God; the materialist, who claims that matter is eternal and not created; and the fatalist, who teaches that there is no divine plan behind creation and history. God’s personality is seen in this chapter, for He speaks, sees, names, and blesses. The scientist may claim that matter just came into being, that life happened, and that all complex forms of life gradually evolved from lower forms, but he cannot prove his claim. (Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
• God – Elohim (sometimes El or Elah), the English form “God,” the first of the three primary names of Deity. This name is formed from El, strength, or the strong one, and Alah, to swear, to bind oneself by an oath, implying faithfulness. (Scofield, C. I. (Ed.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (p. viii). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press).
• Created – The word means that which did not exist before was now made, for the Hebrew word used is not yatsar, which signifies to frame or form, but bara, which signifies to create. This means that the world was made from nothing, refuting those who claim that unformed matter existed from eternity. (Calvin, J., & King, J. (2010). Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (Vol. 1, p. 70). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software).
• The Heavens and the Earth – This phrase refers to the entirety of creation (Cosmos, Universe). The Old Testament often uses opposing word pairs to refer to a totality. (Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 1:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press).
The Word of Man – “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” (Job 38:2-4, NIV 1984).
• Time – “Our universe is simply one of those things that happen from time to time.” (Edward Tryon, scientist and a professor emeritus of physics at Hunter College of the City University of New York).
• Cause – “The most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by nothing, for nothing.” (Quentin Smith, professor emeritus of philosophy at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan).
• Energy – “Almost everyone now believes that the Universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big Bang.” (Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge).
• Space – “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” (Richard Dawkins, ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science).
• Matter – “There is nothing unusual about the earth. It’s an average, unassuming rock that’s spinning mindlessly around an unremarkable star in a run-of-the-mill galaxy – a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.” (Carl Sagan, astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences).
Third Rock from the Sun: Expanding Our Understanding – Adapted from The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel.
• Average Unassuming Rock? – Planets require a minimum mass to retain atmosphere (form oxygen, retain heat). If too big, the surface gravity would be less likely to form ocean basins and mountains (whole earth would be smooth and covered by water). Continental drift, which is found only on earth in our solar system aids in the formation of mountains (no water world). This helps balance greenhouse gases (regulates livable temperatures). The earth’s location, its size, its composition, its structure, its atmosphere, its temperature, its internal dynamics, and its many cycles (carbon, oxygen, etc…), which are essential to life, testify to the degree that our planet is exquisitely and precariously balanced.
• Spinning Mindlessly? – Planets in other solar systems usually have elliptical orbits, taking them, at times, too close (too hot, water, critical for life formation evaporates) to their “sun” and at other times too far away (too cold, water freezes, ice ages). The Earth’s orbit has an eccentricity of less than 0.02, which means that it is very close to being circular. In our solar system, Jupiter, because of its mass and gravity, attracts comets before they can penetrate the inner solar system and endanger the earth. Inner planets (Mars and Venus) do the same with asteroids. Our moon stabilizes the tilt of the earth’s axis, making seasons possible. Without the moon, the tilt would swing wildly with major temperature swings. The moon also increases tides, which helps distribute ocean nutrients moderate temperature. The moon “just happens” to be the right size and right distance to help create a habitable planet.
• Unremarkable Star? – Our sun is among the top ten percent in mass. With smaller suns, a planet would need to orbit closer to maintain enough heat for liquid water (needed for life). But this would be too close, causing the planet to stop spinning (same side always facing the sun) and large temperature variances between sides. The effect of the flares of our sun compared to most other stars is less heat spike and radiation. Many other stars do not produce enough ultraviolet light, which is necessary for oxygen to build. Light is stable preventing temperature swings. The sun’s metallicity is near golden, which contributed to formation of its planets. The sun’s circular orbit is unusual compared to other stars its age, keeping our solar system (and hence the earth) from getting too close to spiral arms in the galaxy.
• Run of the Mill Galaxy? – The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with “safe zones” between the spiral arms (such as where the earth is) for habitability. These zones are away from exploding star formations and the nucleus (black hole) that has destructive energy and high radiation. Outer regions do not have enough work heavy elements to form planets. Elliptical galaxies are less massive and luminous, and do not have enough heavy elements for planets to form. Irregular galaxies are distorted and appear ripped apart, with no safe zones for planet formation and existence.
“And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him!” (Job 25:14, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Don’t bet against intelligent design. It “might” not be an intelligent bet.