National Geographic reports that the science of geology grew, in part, out of a search for evidence of Noah's Flood. Astronomy developed because of the desire to investigate God's cosmic creation. Where did science lose its way? When did the study of God's creation turn into the conviction that the universe created itself?
Somewhere along the line, as science answered more and more questions about the natural world, scientists began to believe that science could answer every question about the natural world—that the material stuff of the universe would reveal its own secrets. This new point of view grew in momentum until God was taken out of the picture entirely and only the material stuff mattered. Everything from rock layers to starlight had a story, and scientists listened.
That story is a slow, long tale. It speaks of rivers eroding canyons and light taking millions of years to reach our telescopes. Tiny changes in physiology that gradually accumulate into new species. There is sudden violence in the story—ice ages and giant meteor collisions and even the effect of humanity on the surface of the earth. But after the initial moments of the big bang, most of cosmology is a steady drone.
There is nothing slow about the biblical creation story. The entire cosmos, from light to humanity, took six days. Elements just were; they were not formed over millennia in the heart of a star. Man just was, without going through any kind of evolutionary intermediate stage.
The character of the earth took a little longer, according to the Bible, but was still far too quick for evolution. A global flood mixed with the violent upheaval of earth and the down-pouring of the sky shaped a canyon with a bare trickle of a river in the bottom over thousands of years rather than millions.
Barring any personal motivations for rejecting God, this is probably the main reason most scientists don't believe in creationism: they can't accept that catastrophic miracles (beyond, perhaps, the flick that turned on the big bang) were used to create the cosmos. Instead, they believe the current conditions of the universe—from the acceleration of galaxies to the volumetric rate of the Colorado River—have remained basically the same since their institution. It's possible that God nudged creation. He may have determined the physical laws that govern the elements. And He may have given the spark that created the first living amoeba. It's even possible He occasionally created new species—including man. But, they believe, the stars and the planets and the volcanic eruptions that hardened into the Hawaiian Islands are all subject to the exact same laws that have ruled the universe since its inception.
Atheists, of course, don't believe in creation because creation requires a Creator, but this becomes a problem for Christians (scientists or not) who are persuaded by evolution. Because if creation was formed by evolution and not miracles, what do you do with Genesis 1? It is the story of the catastrophic involvement of God in creation. Not only sudden and miraculous, but in a way counterintuitive to what current physical law would tell us—Light before stars? Birds before lizards? Heaven and earth and seas and plants before the sun? Nothing in the scientific data would suggest any of this was possible.
And yet, they believe, God is, and God created the world (through evolution), and the Bible is right, so, they surmise, Genesis 1 must not be literal. The cadence and the repetition—it must be allegorical poetry. Yes, God was involved, but not like that. That was just a pretty word picture given to a primitive civilization that didn't even know the Earth revolved around the sun.
That is the simple reason why scientists don't believe in creation: the physical laws we are subject to now infer a world that is much older. They think that God, although possibly involved in small, and even foundational ways, did not have a catastrophic, miraculous role in creation. He may have created and established governing laws of physics that can eventually lead to the evolution of a species that can acknowledge Him, but He couldn't have made birds before lizards. And maybe He can save humanity's souls from eternal damnation, but He can't make light without stars.
To those claims, God replies: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7
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