God, Science and the Bible
Genuine science confirms the Bible’s amazing message
Arnold V Page
URLink Print and Media
ISBN: 978-1-64753-299-4 (sc)
Copyright © Arnold V Page 2020
Arnold V Page asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
God, Science and the Bible is an expanded edition of the first half of Z: The Final Generation, which was published in 2018 by the Westbow Press.
NOTE ABOUT SPELLING
British spelling (e.g. 'centre', 'defence', 'favourite', 'judgement', 'sceptical') has been used throughout.
People used to say that you have only to look around you to know that God exists. They’d say that only someone far greater than us could have created everything, therefore there has to be a God. But then we were told that life as we know it evolved bit by bit from something far simpler without God's help, and that even the physical universe evolved from some inexplicable explosion of concentrated matter and energy without the help of any guiding hand. So now a quarter of the UK’s population no longer believes in God’s existence, and many more don’t know what to believe.
Does it matter if people don’t believe in God any more? Well, it might not matter to you if you have survived abortion, abandonment, bullying, abuse, theft, mugging, rape, marital infidelity, scams, slavery, terrorism, stabbing and murder by a population that no longer believes in the God of the Bible and therefore has no respect for his commandments. In fact not believing in God might not matter at all if there were nothing beyond this mortal life. Saint Paul wrote, ‘If for this life only we have believed in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.’ (1 Corinthians 15.19)
But what if there is something more than life as we know it? What if this life is supposed to be only a preparation for proper life, a life that will surpass this life as your current mortal life surpasses the brief dark time you spent in your mother’s womb? And what if this proper life to come is only for people who believe in God, or at least for people who would believe in him if they knew about him? In that case believing in God would be a matter of life or death.
As I write this preface the EuroMillions lottery jackpot stands at £167 million or US$205 million. I’ve just bought a ticket for it. I’ve never bought one before and I'll probably never buy one again. But suppose it were a paper ticket and I threw it away, deciding it was probably worthless. If it had the winning numbers on it that would be the worse mistake I ever made!
God has told us through his son Jesus Christ that something far better than even the EuroMillions jackpot is on offer, and it’s free of charge because Jesus paid for it with his life. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6.23) God is offering us the prize of never-ending life in a recreated earth no longer spoilt by sin, decay and death. But Jesus said it is only for those who believe in God. “He who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5.24)
Therefore if what the Bible says is true, believing in God and in what he says does matter. It matters more than anything you can possibly think of. So whatever you believe right now, come with me on a journey through the rest of this book. Let's find out together why genuine science – based on scientific laws and evidence rather than mere speculation - confirms God’s existence and the truth of what the Bible tells us about him. Let's discover what the Bible really says about God's amazing purpose in creating us, and let’s seize hold of it for ourselves.
Please don’t end up gnashing your teeth when the results are announced on the day of judgement and you discover that you threw your ticket away too soon.
Arnold Page, High Wycombe, 2020
I want to dedicate this book to my darling wife Ann, who left this world soon after the book was finished. She had total faith that God wanted me to write it, and she willingly allowed me all the time I needed to do so. Her prayers and encouragement kept me going to the end, so if you or anyone else puts their trust in God for everlasting life as a result of reading God, Science and the Bible it will be due to Ann as much as to me.
1. Is there a God?
2. The Evidence of Design
3. The Evidence of the Resurrection
4. The Evidence of Experience
5. Six Thousand Years and Six Days
6. The Universal Flood
7. The Fossil Record
8. The Ages of Rocks and Trees
9. The Bible as the Word of God
10. Epilogue: The Ultimate Good News
Annex 1: Seven Days of Expanding Time
Annex 2: Fifty-day Bible-reading Plan
Other books by Arnold V Page
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: The geological column, simplified
Figure 2: Growth ring chaining
Figure 3: Growth ring matching (1)
Figure 4: Growth ring matching (2)
LIST OF TABLES
Table A.1: Comparison of calculated and accepted dates for the formation of the world.
‘For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.’ (Romans 1.19,20)
What could it be?
“I AM GOING TO SPEAK TO YOU, but first I want you to pray that you’ll understand what I say."
I was about to begin my morning Bible reading in the office I shared with José Pulgar, the Methodist Minister in Punta Arenas. Situated beside the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas is the most southerly city on the South American mainland. It was an important seaport before the Panama Canal was built. Nowadays it’s a major stop-off for cruise ships on one of the world’s most scenic voyages. It is where I was living with my young family back in 1980.
All at once those words had come into my head, as clearly as if I had heard them aloud. “I am going to speak to you...” Weird. Exciting. Awesome, even. All right, I’d better do as I’m told.
“Lord God, please help me to understand what you are going to say.”
I waited. Nothing. The line had gone dead.
I decided to read the Bible passage set in the day’s Bible-reading notes. It was a story Jesus told about a man who had no food in his house to offer to an unexpected guest. Although it was late at night the man cheekily knocked at his neighbour's door to ask him for some bread.
“Who’s there? What do you want?”
“It’s me, Zak. Can you let me have a loaf of bread?”
“What? No I can’t. We’re all in bed. Go away and come back in the morning if you must.”
“I can’t. I’ve got a visitor and nothing to give him. I can’t send him to bed hungry.
(Hospitality was a big thing in those days.)
“That’s your fault. Go away or you’ll wake the kids up. I’m not getting out of bed for you, do you understand?”
“Oh, for goodness’ sake! All right, I’ll give you what you’re asking for.”
I scratched my head. (Actually I didn’t scratch my head, but you know what I mean.) Was God trying to say something to me through this? Was there something I had asked for without success, something he wanted me to ask for again? What could it be?
An amazing offer
Don Double, the founder of what was then called the Good News Crusade, had written to tell me that he and his fellow evangelist Mike Darwood were going to visit the Chilean capital, Santiago. He asked if I would like to meet them there. José suggested instead that I invite them both to come to Punta Arenas.
“Foreign missionaries never come down here,” he said.
Don agreed, and I set to work recruiting the leaders of all the evangelical churches in the city to help prepare for a major four-day interdenominational event in which their members could participate. The church buildings all being on the small side, we sought other venues. We tried two sports halls, a small theatre off the main square, and even the main Municipal Theatre, but all were booked for other events. And now we had a problem: Don’s and Mike’s visit was only a fortnight away!
I thought again about the Bible reading. Of course! That must be what God meant. We were to ask again for one of the venues where we’d previously been turned down. All right, which was the best one? (The Lord must love it when we finally work out what he’s getting at!) There was no question in my mind that the Municipal Theatre was the number one choice. It was large and central with car parking space, and it had comfortable seats.
I explained to José what I believed the Lord was telling me to do.
“We have to ask again if we can have the Municipal Theatre,” I said. “We need it for four evenings, Thursday to Sunday.”
“I think the Mayor might be the person to speak to,” José told me.
“Will you speak to him? Your Spanish is better than mine.”
There was no way I was going to try persuading a Roman Catholic mayor, who probably wouldn’t even approve of evangelizing his citizens, to change his mind.
José returned from the telephone.
“I spoke to the Mayor,” he said. “He asked me what we wanted it for and he had a look in the diary. He said the theatre is booked for the Thursday and Friday evenings, but Saturday and Sunday are free, so we can have the theatre for those two days at least. What’s more, he says we can have it free of charge as his contribution to the crusade!”
In the end we held the first two meetings in the Methodist Church, which was quite big enough, and the two main meetings in the theatre, which was nearly full. I’ll tell you more about that later.
Most of us at some point in our life ask some pretty important questions. Is there more to life than this? Does human life have any purpose other than its continuing existence? What is my own purpose in life? Is there a God, and if so can we know him... or her? Is the Bible true, or is the Qu’ran true? Is there anything beyond death? Will Jesus really return as he promised? What about evolution and the Big Bang theory? What is the future of our planet?
We may not put such questions into spoken words, but I’m pretty sure that most of us ask them in our heads at least. We ask them and we either decide they’re unanswerable or we accept whatever answers seem to be the most likely. We probably base such answers on what most people believe, or else on what seems most reasonable in the light of whatever we’ve read or been told. Fair enough.
But what if there are answers to all these questions, true answers that will revolutionize our lives when we discover them? Like Semmelweis’s discovery that surgery should be carried out in antiseptic conditions. Or the discovery by Jesus’s disciples on the first Easter Day that he was alive again and that they too could live forever if they would commit their lives to him.
I don’t know how you have answered questions like those above. You may have decided that a belief in God is not essential. Whether you regard yourself as a Christian or not, you may have adopted a number of beliefs that are contradicted by the Bible. You asked the questions once, and you answered them as best you could. But perhaps you are not entirely, totally, completely sure that you got the answers right. All I am asking you to do is what I did back in Punta Arenas: ask again. Try to put aside your current answers for the moment, and consider the possibility of some different ones.
According to Saint Mark, Jesus’s opening words were, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the good news.” (Mark 1.15) I believe that the kingdom of God is indeed at hand. I didn’t always, but I do now. I changed my mind. That’s what the Greek word translated ‘repent’ literally means: ‘change your mind’. And it’s what I’m asking you to do, if what you believe doesn’t yet match what is in the Bible, because Jesus said that what is in the Bible is true. (John 17.17) If you really believe that what God says in the Bible is true your whole life will change. You’ll come into a personal relationship with God now and start to live the way you were always meant to; and eventually, when God recreates the earth in its original perfection and Jesus at last reigns as king, you’ll live with him there for ever. (John 8.36; 10.10; 14.19; Revelation 21.1-5)
It may be that God is saying to you what he once said to me: “I am going to speak to you, but first I want you to pray that you’ll understand what I say.” Why don’t you try it?
1 Is there a God?
Does God exist?
The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Let’s begin by trying to answer the question, “Does God exist?” If your immediate answer to that question is “No” then I hope I can at least change it to “Don’t know”. If it is “Don’t know” I’ll try to move it in the direction of “Yes”. And if it is already “Yes”, then read on to learn how better to answer those who question why you believe in God. Wherever you stand on this question, I’m convinced you are about to read things you’ve never thought of before!
In this short chapter I want to tackle briefly what I think are two arguments that people use against any belief in God’s existence, namely the evils of religion and the problem of pain. Other arguments about how a God of love could have destroyed the world in a flood, or command Joshua and his army to destroy the indigenous inhabitants of Canaan, or possibly threaten eternal punishment in hell for those who reject him, are not arguments against the existence of God but against his perceived injustice. That is a different kind of question. I thought some of my schoolteachers were extremely unjust to me, but unfortunately that didn’t stop them existing. Such arguments are not about God’s existence but about his nature, so I won’t address them here, but I will touch on them later.
Like other human inventions religion can be a force for good or evil. People who believe it is mainly a force for evil tend to conclude that believing in God is evil and that therefore God does not exist. I’m not sure that this argument is logical. Nevertheless the fact remains that some people find religion an obstacle to belief in God, so I need to address this matter in case you are one of them.
It has been said that more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. Certainly religion has been responsible for some wars, but the number of deaths that have actually been caused by religion is tiny compared with deaths from warfare in general. The Encyclopedia of Wars lists 1763 historical wars, of which only 123 or 7% have been identified as motivated primarily by religion.  Ancient wars, most mediaeval and Renaissance wars, the Napoleonic campaign, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the American Civil War, World War I, the Russian Revolution, World War II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam – none of these was religious in nature or cause. According to the Wikipedia article on ‘Religious War’ religious wars have accounted for less than 2% of all people killed in warfare. The statement that more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason is totally untrue.
It is true that religions have been responsible for some hideously barbaric practices, such as the burning of children as sacrifices to the god Moloch by the local inhabitants during the period of the Hebrews’ conquest of Canaan, gruesome tortures during the Spanish Inquisition, and in recent years the terrorist bombings and atrocities committed by ISIS in the name of Allah.  Such practices certainly bring some religions or at least their devotees into question, but not the existence of God. If I were to start a religion based on worshipping Queen Elizabeth II and I taught my followers to kill everyone who wanted to abolish the monarchy that wouldn’t mean that she suddenly ceased to exist. Similarly pointing to the evils engendered by some religions or their followers is not in fact an argument against the existence of the god that they worship. It is an argument against the truth and morality of some religious teachings, or the way that some religious leaders and their followers interpret those teachings.
In reality religion has been responsible for infinitely more good in the world than evil. In an extraordinary book entitled An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off with Religion Than Without It, Bruce Sheiman produces countless arguments for the benefits of religious belief – whether or not God exists! 
Sheiman’s arguments apply particularly to the benefits that the Christian faith has brought into the world. Strictly speaking Christianity is not a religion at all. Religions generally consist of rules and rituals invented by men to seek the favour of whatever notion of God their adherents may have. Basically Christianity is not about rules and rituals, neither is it of human invention. It’s about a personal relationship with God, a God who initiated such a relationship by coming to the earth in the person of his Son, Jesus, to meet us where we are. Unlike other religions, Christianity is not an attempt to win God’s favour by fulfilling rules and rituals. It is a grateful response to his love for us, which we express by living as he intended us to live with the help of his Holy Spirit. And this Christianity and this faith began changing society for the better from its very beginning.
Paul’s statement, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3.28), was a direct challenge to first century society. Jews and non-Jews hated each other; the Roman Empire’s 60 million slaves were regarded as living tools to be thrown out once they were too sick or too old to be useful; women had no rights at all, and girl babies were often left in the street to die or to be picked up for later use in someone’s brothel. A man could divorce his wife for adultery, drunkenness, or merely for making copies of the household keys.  A divorce could be formally granted on the request of one spouse even if the other was not informed. 
As the Christian faith took hold of people’s minds and hearts, Jesus Christ’s respect for non-Jews, slaves, women, children, the sick and infirm and for marriage revolutionized the ancient world. Christians founded hospitals, schools and universities for men and women. In Great Britain many of the oldest and most famous hospitals, university colleges and schools are named after Christian saints because they were founded by Christians in the conscious service of Christ. The founding fathers of the USA were mainly practising Christians who wanted their national life to reflect Christian principles. If I understand correctly their decision to separate religion and state was primarily to prevent the state interfering with religious faith rather than vice versa. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Christians in the British parliament led the fight against slavery, and even today Christian charities such as World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Christian Aid and Caritas are among the world’s leading aid and development agencies. I would argue that it is because British society and British values have been shaped by the Christian faith that even today Great Britain is the chosen destination of many refugees and economic migrants from North African and Arab countries.
Religions have occasionally been responsible for wars and other evils, and some still are today, but that is no reason at all not to believe in God!
The problem of pain
A second major reason that some people don’t believe in the existence of God, or at least in the existence of a loving God, is what C.S.Lewis called ‘the problem of pain’. (Lewis is most famous for his children’s stories about Narnia.)
Human suffering is often terrible but it is simplistic to blame it all on God. Natural disasters and diseases do cause suffering and death, and mental and physical handicaps can make life very difficult for the people concerned and their carers, but the vast majority of human suffering is caused by human beings. Warfare, violence, tyranny, corruption, terrorism, injustice, oppression, slavery, crime, starvation, homelessness, family breakdown, abuse of all kinds and many other evils are all caused by human beings. They are the result of man’s selfishness, greed, laziness, dishonesty and cruelty, in other words what the Bible calls sin.
Even the effects of natural disasters like earthquakes and floods would be greatly lessened if people made more of an effort to build safely and if wealthier countries helped poorer countries to do this. In January 2010 an earthquake in Haiti killed an estimated 230,000 people. Only two weeks later an earthquake 500 times more powerful struck the coast of Chile affecting a similar number of people, yet the death toll amounted to only 525. Similarly many diseases are caused by malnutrition, contaminated water, gluttony, alcohol consumption, lack of medication, and sexual promiscuity, all with causes and solutions that are in our own hands. We cannot on one hand demand to be independent of God and on the other hand complain about the consequences.
Secondly, if it is hard to believe in the existence of a good and loving God because there is so much suffering in the world, it should be equally hard to believe in the existence of an evil and hateful God when there is so much love, kindness, goodness and beauty in the world. Would an evil God create a mother who risks her life to save her child, or allow the founder of an international IT organization to donate billions of dollars to eradicate disease, or produce volunteer aid workers who daily risk their lives to take supplies into towns under enemy attack and to attend the victims of cluster bombs even as they are falling? Sunshine and rain, earth and sky, trees and flowers, food and drink, above all our amazing minds and bodies – all these are blessings that God freely gives for our benefit or use every day. Put all these blessings and more into the scale pan of God’s existence before you conclude that suffering tips the balance against belief in a good and loving creator.
Thirdly our view of suffering is completely distorted so long as we think that human life is limited to 80 years or so in our current bodies. If a baby’s life were limited to nine months of an uncomfortable existence in its mother’s womb it could rightly complain about the cruelty and meaninglessness of life. And if this present earthly life were not the essential preparation for an eternal life in a world that will be unbelievably better than anything we can imagine, then sickness, pain, mental and physical handicaps, and even death would indeed be hard to reconcile with the purposes of a loving creator. But if such sufferings are a necessary reality in a world that the Bible tells us has been damaged because of sin, and if nevertheless they are somehow intended to prepare us for something far better that is going to last for ever, then any defiant outcry against the idea of a God of love shrivels into a snivelling whimper.
“Are we there yet?” is the universal cry of children who hate long, boring car journeys, but they know in their hearts that the journey will have been worthwhile when it ends at their holiday destination. Several of the New Testament writers urge us to adopt this same viewpoint when we suffer. Paul suffered far more than most of us will ever do, but he had no complaints. ‘I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,’ he wrote. (Romans 8.18)
Having tried as best I can to deal with two major obstacles against belief in God, it is time now to consider evidence for his existence.
 Encyclopedia of Wars, Facts on File. A.Axelrod & C.Phillips, Richard Deem, November 2004.
 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-release-chilling-video-english-7310064; https://www.zerocensorship.com/uncensored/isis/foreign-children-executing-kurdish-fighters-other-handgun-beheading-executions-syria-graphic-video-314801. While most Muslims would denounce the activities of ISIS as being nothing to do with true Islam, the ISIS leaders themselves believe that they are acting in the name and will of Allah.
 An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity Is Better Off With Religion Than Without It. B.Sheiman, Alpha Books, 2009.
 The long good-bye. B.Holland & L.Yerkes, Smithsonian 28, no. 12: 86, March 1998.
 Divorce Roman Style: How easy and how Frequent was it? S.Treggiari in Marriage, Divorce, and Children in Ancient Rome, Ed. B.Rawson, Oxford University Press, 1991.