In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
STOKER, P.H.. Natural science knowledge and the Word of God. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.4, pp.825-848. ISSN 2305-0853.
The Greek philosophers denied that true knowledge could be obtained by observing the sensory world. True knowledge related only to things that were unchanging, immutable. For Pythagoras and Plato that meant, first of all, mathematics. Following the Pythagorean-Platonian tradition, many early scientists held that mathematical order represented the most real and certain aspect of the world. Galileo moved science away from ordinary observations toward mathematical reasoning. For Galileo the abstract, idealistic world was the real world. However, in the natural world, which is anarchic and far from equilibrium, energy transfer represents a source of order, creativity and growth. Also, new assemblages of species appeared after large numbers of species had gone extinct in earth's history. These surges of energy transfer cannot be described by linear time. Scripture does not reveal to us the workings of nature - we can only learn about it through scientific methods. However, those who do not acknowledge God's supernatural acts of creation are forced to search for other answers through their own thinking about the origin, purpose, meaning and interrelatedness of everything. It is shown that the successive acts of creation in Genesis 1 are reconcilable with current knowledge of the natural sciences.