I would like to address this question directly, but because there are so many side-issues involved, I must start somewhere else.
This question the historical reality of the Bible is often asked by adherents of an evolutionary hypothesis, some of whom are agnostics and atheists. Let me begin with the concept of evolution because that is normally the direction of the question. Let’s look at three words.
HYPOTHESIS: an assumption; an unverified idea; something assumed to be true for the sake of argument or investigation. Hypotheses are starting points.
THEORY: a speculative or conjectural viewpoint; a plausible but unproven concept; a potentially reasonable hypothesis with some substantiation.
FACT: a proven theory; knowledge based on reality; proven or demonstrated to exist or have existed; an actual, verified event.
The basic concept of evolution – the universe originating from a bang, and organic life evolving from rocks – is an hypothesis, which is called a theory, and taught as fact; and that is not science. In every other scientific endeavor, a concept must be proven to be called a fact. But if you study the evolutionary hypothesis critically, it falls light-years short of explaining how humanity and the cosmos originated.
Remember: matter (atoms, energy, mountains, water, air, whatever) can be neither created nor destroyed. That is a well-established scientific principle, and that negates a big-bang hypothesis. Matter can change form, shape, or nature (ice to water, water to vapor, etc.), but it cannot be destroyed or annihilated.
I am aware of the anti-matter concept, but it is merely hypothetical.
Now: since matter can be neither created nor destroyed, yet the universe does exist, we add the phrase “except by a force outside time and space.” That supports both the science aspect and Biblical creation; therefore, it introduces the supernatural.
Treating hypotheses as facts and arguing over them is waste of time. Without proof, call it what it is: an hypothesis. Then teach and debate it as such. Don’t mock true science and don’t deny the reality of a Creator. Since it is impossible for stuff to magically appear out of nowhere, let’s admit that someone had to create it.
Actually, it takes faith to believe either way: Biblical creation, or in the evolutionary origin of the cosmos. But it takes an unsubstantiated faith – almost blind faith – to believe in a spontaneous, self-materialized cosmos where rocks morph into organic life. Why? Listen carefully now.
In the spontaneous, self-materialized cosmos, nothing or no one created everything out of nothing. (Read that again.) However, Biblical faith rests on the acceptance of a self-existing Creator. He is the first cause outside of time and space who designed and created the invisible stuff out of which everything was created. (Read THAT again.)
You’ve probably heard that there are over 6,000,000 parts to a Boeing 747-100, with over 3,000,000 of them being rivets, screws, bolts, etc. Each rivet, window, cable, seat, etc. has a position to fill in order to complete the 747. Can there be variations in placement of parts? Yes. Seats are interchangeable. Rivets can exchange places with like rivets. And so on. Every part has a place it must fill; but when like parts are shuffled, the plane does not change.
There are also four complete computer systems in the plane. The primary computer system runs the plane, with three complete in-line backup systems. We have proof that every individual part of the plane was intelligently designed and purposely placed in their strategic locations. I know because I helped build them.
But you probably know that the Boeing 747 cannot self-assemble no matter how many billions of years the pre-fabricated plastic, aluminum, steel, wiring, etc. parts are tumbled together.
Now, let’s get really simple: DNA is needed in order to create RNA, and RNA is needed in order to create DNA; therefore, neither one can self-generate or evolve. Not only that, I read that there are over eighty-one billion trillion possible combinations in the human genetic code, and each sub-microscopic piece of the strand has its own individual place it must fill. Chance? More like a miracle.
This introduces God into the equation, but that invalidates modern evolutionary synthesis, natural selection, cosmic evolution, population genetics, and all the rest.
If you read this article critically, you find that spontaneous self-materialization is impossible. Rocks cannot become organic. An intelligent designer-creator is mandatory. There must be a first cause and that first cause, by nature, will not be bound by time and space. This first cause will be intelligent because design and order do not result from time plus chance. Chaos is the product of time plus chance. Ask any farmer or botanist.
Now, since inanimate material cannot think (that sounds silly, but follow the thought), stuff cannot modify itself. It takes a person – one who can rationalize, understand consequences, set goals. It takes One who is outside time and space; One Who is not affected by any process or lack of process. And One Who is not affected by whether or not someone believes in Him. Since God, Jehovah, our Creator, fills that status, we revert to the Bible because that is where we learn about God.
And let’s get real: since creation – in any way you want to consider it – requires a creator, stop making up fantastic hypotheses to rationalize God out of the picture. Our Creator has already made Himself known to us. He is what the Bible is all about.
Next time we’ll look at the other side of this story: history.