I was in Denver, Colorado in 2009 at the Geologic Society of America conference and the man standing in front of me had just made a statement that seemed incredible to me. I had just spent over 20 minutes walking him through our research from the Grand Canyon, a year-long project during which time our team painstakingly collected, processed and interpreted our findings.
As I directed his attention to the oversized poster behind me with dozens of pictures, charts, maps and X-Ray traces, and explained the implications of the data, he seemed to understand and even agreed with my presentation of the findings. That’s why it was so surprising when he said, “I just can’t personally agree with the conclusion.”
A bit confused, I replied, “But you said you agreed with my interpretation of the data, right?” to which he answered, “Yes, your interpretation makes sense.”
“But you still don’t agree with my overall conclusion?” I asked, still very confused.
“No I just can’t personally agree with your conclusions,” he replied as he walked away.
What I didn’t know at the time was that this man was in charge of the geology department of the National Center for Science Education, a group that specializes in ‘evolution evangelism’ in the US.
What was the conclusion that he couldn’t ‘personally agree with’ even though he agreed that the data lead to this conclusion? Our research gave strong evidence that a particular layer of the Grand Canyon, which is used as a template of an aeolian (desert) formation, was actually a marine deposit, basically, supporting Noah’s flood.
As a Christian and a scientist, I love the fact that the Bible is not divorced from the real world. Before modern technology and scientific breakthroughs, no one could even attempt to study where and how our planet was created. For all they knew, the Earth was riding on the backs of four elephants which stood on top of a giant sea turtle swimming in a sea of milk. Or maybe the Earth was being held up by a god as a divine punishment for choosing the wrong side in a war. By the way, these are references to the Hindu and Greek creation mythologies, respectively. It is not a stretch to say that their religious texts are obviously disconnected from the real world.
In contrast, the Bible is unique and relevant to this day because it makes connections to the world around us through archeology, geology, biology and other scientific disciplines that can be observed and tested. This is why we can search and find physical evidence in the Grand Canyon for the Genesis account of Noah’s flood.
However, most people believe there is a conflict between religion and science and are more comfortable separating them. That is what makes the Bible, and very specifically, the words of Jesus so amazing because He compels us to engage our bodies, minds and soul in our relationship with Him.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Jesus (Matthew 22:37)
As Christians we are to love God by how we live our lives, how we see the world and how we engage our hearts and minds in the process. And what I realized on the Denver convention floor was that loving God this way does not handicap me intellectually but it actually makes me a better scientist. I am free to follow the data to where it leads.
That was not the case with the scientist I met in Denver. While he had no conflict with my data or interpretation his personal beliefs got in the way of following the science to the obvious and natural conclusion.
Five months after the conference, when I was back in Calgary, I came across a blog post from this same man commenting on our research. To paraphrase, he concluded, ‘… make no mistake, these are definitely anti-evolutionist Christian researchers. You can’t really tell by their research and there are no Bible verses in their presentation, but they are definitely creationists.’
He was implying that our science was compromised by our Christian world view. Ironically, he was the one who was biased, by his own admission. He was not open to where the data would lead him and that is to confirm the Biblical account of the flood.
Many Christians, like the atheistic evolutionists, believe they can’t reconcile both heart and mind; they think they have to forfeit one in favor of the other. If you find yourself in the position where you can’t acknowledge the truth about scientific evidence because it might put you on the wrong side of popular scientific thought, I would encourage you to reconsider Matthew 22:37.
God’s Word can stand up to any amount of scrutiny and testing because its scientific statements describe what we actually observe in the world around us!