For many of us, the reality that the Bible isn’t a science book basically goes without saying.
Even if the Bible had been intended to be a science book (it wasn’t), it would now be a couple of millennium out of date. Not to mention the fact that it was written in a prescientific age, so any passages which may seem to be about science are really not much more than brush strokes in the story the writer was trying to tell.
Just a few short years ago, I would have never felt like this was a problem that really needed to be addressed. I mean, sure, there were people who felt like the Bible was the “inerrant Word of God” and because of it dedicated themselves to some pretty spectacular high-wire tomfoolery just to make what they wanted to be true and reality kinda’ sorta’ match. But the reality was that they really weren’t much of a concern.
After all, people can believe what they want to as long as it’s not hurting other people – right?
There are actually several concerns related to Trump that now make me feel like it needs to be addressed again. One is the heavy Evangelical support Trump received during the election and continues to carry. A sizable portion of that community are the very people I spoke of earlier who have dedicated themselves to the “inerrant Word of God” even at the cost of basic logic.
Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVoss as Secretary of Education also makes me concerned. Most folks probably remember that she has said pretty clearly that she wants to use America’s schools to build “God’s Kingdom.” Add to that her history of financially supporting groups that support various forms of Creationism as scientific fact and you get a formula that could set American scientific education back hundreds of years.
Why hundreds of years?
Because that’s when people first started believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible as it applied to science – in the 19th century. That’s right, the Christian Bible was complied about 1,692 years ago and it has only been in the last 300ish years (or about 17% of the time it has existed) that folks have found it necessary to use it as science book.
So, what could have necessitated this non-traditional move?
Specifically, a scientific theory that emerged in the 19th century: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
Think about that. Using a prescientific age book as a science book began in an effort to discredit actual science.
If it wasn’t for the serious damage that the current administration could inflect on the budding scientific minds of America, I’d laugh.
It’s strange, isn’t it? Folks who see themselves as conservatives and traditionalists in both politics in religion, are promoting something counter to the long standing traditional understanding of what the Bible is and isn’t.
It isn’t and never has been meant to be used as a science book.
Those who insist on the Bible being a reliable science book are actually making a mockery out of it and its original intent which was to tell the story of a remarkable teacher, known as the Son of God, and to guide his followers in how to relate to God and one another.
As a minister, I find the idea offensive.
As a bit of a science geek, I find it insulting.
As an American, I find it repulsive and dangerous.