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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > March April 2016 > Does the Scientific Method Have Biblical Origins?

Does the Scientific Method Have Biblical Origins?

Two astounding claims of a Christian ministry are evaluated: that the scientific method originated in the Bible and old-Earth creationism is vastly superior to naturalistic evolution in predicting scientific discoveries.
Hugh Ross, founder of Reasons to Believe.

Hugh Ross is the founder and charismatic leader of a Christian ministry named Reasons to Believe (RTB) that promotes old-Earth creationism. Although RTB has been active for twenty-five years, it holds the least popular creationist viewpoint among Christian fundamentalists and the least known among Christians of all persuasions. This is most likely because RTB accommodates three major conclusions from mainstream science.

Specifically, RTB creationism stands apart from its creationist competitors (Answers in Genesis, Discovery Institute, and Institute for Creation Research) in adopting the 13.5-billion-year-old universe and the 4.5-billion-year-old Earth and rejecting the biblical worldwide flood. Reasons to Believe maintains that the Noachian Deluge was a regional flood that drowned all humans (except eight), since they all lived in a small area of the planet. Also, while endorsing the Adam and Eve narrative, Reasons to Believe dates the event to about 50,000 years ago. These RTB postulates are anathema to the dominant young-Earth proponents, because they contradict the literal truth of the Bible. Consequently, the other creationist groups consider RTB creationism to be unbiblical.

What is overlooked by the critics of RTB’s old-Earth viewpoint is that Reasons to Believe unabashedly accepts almost all other standard inerrantist biblical beliefs. Examples are the reality of a supernatural realm and interventionist miracles, the existence of angels including Lucifer, the historic personage of Adam and Eve who lived in a God-designed Middle Eastern garden and are the ancestors of all people, the dominionist distinction between “soulish” animals and spiritual humans, eternal life for believers in a “new creation” with God and Jesus, and the doctrine that those who reject Jesus will be “removed from his presence.”

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