8 BIBLE VERSES
Supported by Science
By Eldrin Veloso
Since the age of Galileo and the Inquisition, science and religion have been slated as archenemies advocating different approaches to the truth. With modern technology, however, many scientific findings have been found to support its nemesis’ venerable reference book, the Bible.
To quote the book Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, “Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.” If interpreted correctly, science can actually strengthen your belief in the Bible and Christian faith.
In short, why argue when you are both telling the same story? This holy week, while we celebrate Jesus Christ’s selfless sacrifice, let’s look at some of the verses in the Bible that have been verified by modern science.
8. The Spherical Earth
To put this whole article in context, the Bible, especially the Old Testament, dates its conception as far as 14th century BC. We gravitate towards scientific explanations because they are based on facts and logical observations but somehow, the Bible has been proposing the same theories, albeit in a literary form.
For years, the belief that the earth is flat prevailed. Not until Aristotle proposed in his book On the Heavens, 300 years after the book of Isaiah has been made public, that the earth may be round. When Christopher Columbus started sailing, conclusive proof to support the spherical earth was made.
The word “circle” in the Isaiah verse is chuwg in Hebrew, which can also be translated as “circuit,” or “compass” (depending on the context). That is, it indicates something spherical, rounded, or arched—not something that is flat or square.
7. Chickens Came First
Long before the age-old debate of which came first, the chicken or the egg, the Bible answered with its Genesis verse. Now, researchers have cracked the philosophical mystery. Apparently, the formation of the egg’s shell relies on a protein called ovocledidin-17, or OC-17, which can only be found in a chicken’s ovaries.
6. One Man, All Nations
Is it really possible that we all came from one person? In an attempt to trace the ancestry of humans, evolutionary biologists Robert Dorit (Yale University), Hiroshi Akashi (University of Chicago) and Walter Gilbert (Harvard University) looked for genetic differences in the Y chromosome of 38 men living from different ethnic backgrounds, living in different parts of the world. To their great surprise, they found no nucleotide differences at all in the non-recombinant part of the Y chromosomes of the 38 men, as if it was patterned from single genome. This non-variation suggests no evolution has occurred in male ancestry.
5. The Incalculable Stars
In this verse from Jeremiah, God is describing His might by telling David that he would give him so many descendants that he won’t be able to count them, just like the stars.
To understand this, during David’s time, the stars were believe to be finite and within a 5,000 count. The verse was merely exaggerating. Not until the 17th century did Galileo glimpse the immensity of our universe with his new telescope. Today, astronomers estimate that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars out there–and that’s just an approximation! Again, the Bible was able to come to a conclusion before science did.
4. Sodom and Gomorrah
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the most argued stories in the Bible, what with the rains of fire and brimstone and all. Archaeologists have found the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah (modern names are Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira, respectively), locations that perfectly fit the Bible description of the plain cities. Along with the location, they also discovered evidence that they used to be home to a civilization.
Both ruins were destroyed at the same time by an enormous conflagration. The destruction debris was about three feet thick. Startling discoveries in the cemetery at Bab edh-Dhra revealed that buildings were burned by a fire that started on their roofs. What’s more intriguing is the significant difference of the shade of ash over the plain city, and the darker color of the formations around it. The whole city is also covered with sulfur–some balls of sulfur can still be found in the vicinity.
3. Bricks Without Straw
Exodus is home to the story of Moses freeing the Hebrews out of Egypt. The Hebrews were enslaved by the Pharoah to build the treasure cities, Pithom and Ramses. Bricks for the construction were made with straws as a cheaper alternative to baked clay. Some bible skeptics doubt the plausibility of the Exodus story, but the scientific reason for using the straw is that they release humic acid into the mud, assisting in hardening the bricks.
When Moses and Aaron attempted to free the Hebrews by giving the Lord’s message to the Pharoah, this angered the latter. The Pharoah then ordered his slave drivers to stop giving the workers straws for brick-making (from which the idiom bricks without straw came from). Again, many who maintain that the Exodus is fiction did not believe this until the archaeological discovery of the city of Pithom. The site of Tell el-Retaba in Egypt resembles the ancient treasure city, including the Pharoah’s bullish statue. What’s more interesting is that archaeologists have found three layers of brick: made with straw on the bottom, which phases out as the bricks go higher. And by the time the top brick is reached, there are no straws.
2. Pleiades and Orion
According to the book of Job, he was extremely wealthy man who had a large family until tragedy struck and he lost everything. Job accused God of being unjust and complained about his difficult life. In response, God challenged Job’s authority and power relative to His own with questions to demonstrate His might in comparison to Job’s weakness. One of the questions talked about the constellations Pleiades and Orion.
Binding Pleiades and loosening Orion’s belt seemed only to be a metaphor until astronomers dug deeper and proved that God may have meant this verse literally. Pleiades is classified as open star cluster because its stars are: 1) formed from the same cosmic cloud, 2) approximately the same age and chemical composition, and 3) bound to one another by mutual gravitational attraction. Renowned astronomer Dr. Robert J. Trumpler said in the book Wonder Worlds that “the Pleiades stars may thus be compared to a swarm of birds, flying together to a distant goal. This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are not a temporary or accidental agglomeration of stars, but a system in which the stars are bound together by a close kinship.”
On the other hand, the stars of Orion’s belt, formed by two stars (Alnilam, and Mintaka) and one star cluster (Alnitak), are not gravitationally bound and do not share the common trajectory. Astronomer Garrett P. Serviss, in his book Curiosities of the Sky, said “In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam, will approach each other and form a naked-eye double, but the third, Alnita, will drift away eastward, so that the ‘Belt’ will no longer exist.”
1. The Dimensions of Noah’s Ark
Hands down, the tale of Noah’s Ark is one of the most celebrated (and contested) Bible stories. In 1977, Ron Wyatt discovered a formation near the top of Mount Ararat in Turkey that greatly resembled the ark; this discovery references Genesis 8:4 (“and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.”) The government of Turkey then declared the area Noah’s Ark National Park and built a museum beside it, where some of the petrified wood collected from the formation can be found.
At a time that sea voyage was not yet known to man, the specific instructions, including the measurements, of building the Noah’s Ark are quite staggering. In a scientific study by Dr. Seon Hong’s team at the world-class ship research center KRISO, they compared twelve hulls of different proportions to discover which design was most practical. “No hull shape was found to significantly outperform the 4,300-year-old biblical design. In fact, the Ark’s careful balance is easily lost if the proportions are modified.”
The study also confirmed that the Ark could handle waves as high as 100 ft (30 m). To this day, modern cargo ship builders approximate the proportions of Noah’s Ark.
Know any other Bible stories that have been proven by science? Share them in the comments below!