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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 6. May 28, 1958

The Bible and Science

The Bible and Science

The relation between Biblical truth and scientific work has been stated in three different ways. First, that the Bible is a scientific textbook. This conception will not be supported by a study of the Book or by the results of research itself. Opposing this idea, which has been and still is an obstacle to a free development of scientific theory, it has been maintained that the Bible belongs specifically to religious literature and has nothing to do with scientific activities.

However, a third way is possible by an integration of Biblical facts and natural science, and this may be achieved without any sacrifice to 'the freedom of science". Some will, however, disagree strongly, saying a God has no place in scientific thought. But those who hold that God's directive will was behind the preparation and fitting of the earth for man, whether by an instantaneous act, by a succession of steps, or by a continuous change, have two strong arguments on their side. The first is the argument of balance, based on the conception of nature as very delicately poised.

A Mediterranean plant called the Yucca opens its flowers for one night only. If fertilised, each flower produces 200 ovules. One insect only can effect fertilisation, the Yucca moth. This it does by kneading the pollen into a ball and carrying it to the stigma of another flower. The moth exacts toll from the Yucca by piercing the stigma with its ovipositor and laying four eggs, no more and no less, in the ovary of each flower. Each developing larva eats 25 seeds, thus leaving 50% for propagation. The arrangement is thus of benefit to both partners, but a slight modification of the proportions would result in both moth and flower being stamped out. It is hard to conceive how such an arrangement could arise gradually without some directive mind to control it. Or are we to imagine that the Yucca moth can count?

The other argument is that of instinct. A spider spins a web by a long chair of processes which are unchanging and mechanical. But of what use were the half formed webs of the countless generations of spider who learnt the process bit by bit? Without the final viscous spiral the web is useless to the spider. What mind directed the chain of operations? The spider's?

Jesus once said to His critics: "How on earth can you believe while you are forever looking for each other's approval and not for the truth (or glory) that comes from the one God?" (John 5. 44 Phillips Version). As long as the Jews maintained that attitude, personal faith was an impossibility. And likewise with so-called modern man. But His promise to all was "My teaching is not really Mine but comes from the One Who sent me. If anyone wants to do God's will he will know whether My teaching is from God or whether I merely speak on My own authority" (John 7.17 Phillips Version).

From June 7th-15th the V.U.W. E.U. will be holding a Mission. If God knows the intricacies of the natural order do you not think that He will likewise know every thought and intent of your heart? Do you know Him? If not, why not attend some of the meetings to be held during the above week and hear how you can?

—B. M.cC.