on Creation August 2000
Copyright © 2000 All Rights Reserved
For many superficial detractors, the " language of appearance " used in the Bible would be the cause to discard its veracity and literalness of the scientific accounts. For the faint hearted Christians it would be a motive of an embarrassment. With no adequate answer they would surrender to this rationalistic approach and give up any further apologetics of the sacred Book. Expressions like "sun rise" "sun set", they say, is completely inaccurate, untrue, unscientific and not trustworthy. So, the Bible would not be a science book, but a mere record of dictations given by a "god" to an ignorant, inferior and retarded people that was unable to grasp with the modern concepts that we, smart people of this generation, have. The following conclusion is that the Bible would not be trustworthy in spiritual matters either, emptying completely its authority. It's the goal of this brief article to show how this statement is completely false, and, as any grossly mounted fallacy, is easily dismantled.
THE "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" IN THE BIBLE
The famous passages that are used to debate this matter are: Joshua 10:10-13,27; 2 Kings 20:9-11; Ecl. 1:5 The Bible talks about sunrise, sunset: "...the sun stood still, and the moon stayed..." ( Joshua ), "The sun also ariseth and the sun goeth down..." (Ecl. 1:5). They say that these, and other similar statements, would give a false understanding of the scientific phenomena. In other words, the Bible would be a lie. This argument is a complete nonsense as we will see in the next demonstrations:
THE "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE " IN CLIMATOLOGY
In meteorology however, as in many others sciences, we do have "language of appearance". For example, we have complex tables about sunset and sunrise time in which when inserted: the day, month, latitude and longitude of the specific place, you come up the actual sunset and sunrise time to perform many other calculations as weather forecast. We have also measurements of relative humidity. When you say that the relative humidity is, for example 95 percent, you are not breathing liquid water, of course, but you are breathing a portion of the atmosphere gas mixture that has 3,8 percent of its volume compounded by water vapor. This is apparent language that nobody argues about. Our 20th. century meteorologists certainly are not retarded people!
THE "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE " IN AVIATION
As we travel in this more and more aviation dependent world, thank God we have competent and state of the art aerospace industry in US and in many countries that follow its experience. Thank God the airline pilots are not retarded, but top professionals of great responsibility.
Following are only10 few and clear examples of language of appearance in aviation:
1. It is amazing that right in front of an airline pilot eyes while flying, there it is! The detracted Bible " LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE " again: AIRSPEED. Even in a calm atmosphere, I need some 140 Knots of AIRSPEED to get off the ground. But somebody would say: "The air is not moving! The airplane is..." Every pilot knows that. It is obvious. Nevertheless, he has in front of him an instrument that indicates AIRSPEED: "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
2. When the dispatcher, all of a sudden, comes with the load sheet showing full cargo, passengers, and fuel, if I am in Denver, Colorado (5,400 feet above sea level), I have to check with the tower, if I get HEADWIND so I can put it in my graphics, to check if it can help me get off the ground within the limited length of runway I have in front of me! Question: Does an airplane have HEAD? There is the... "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" again.
3. When the aircraft is loaded and best possible balanced, depending where the center of gravity is, I have to insert the setting of the stabilizer trim in some degrees NOSE UP or DOWN. Question: Does an airplane have NOSE? "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" again.
4. After lift off, my co-pilot would say: "positive climb". Then I call: "gear up". Gear up? The device I am referring to, is the mechanism composed by tires, wheels, strut etc. The gear of this whole thing is already inside the wing! It will not come up, but only rotate in its position. It is already and always up and we want that thing there: "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
5. After take off, the air traffic controller would tell me: "Maintain present HEADING ("LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE"), and altitude, there is a traffic at , 10 miles, one thousand feet above you" What does time have to do with relative position? Is a kind of tradition started in modern times. You look your 12 hours analogical watch placed at horizontal plane and the hours pointer will tell you what angle you should look when the 12 hour reference is forward: "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE"
6. Every test pilot knows what "COFFIN CORNER" is. It doesn't have anything to do with a possible crash or how small your cockpit is! If you are flying very high in a subsonic airplane, you have a small margin of airspeed in which safe flight is possible. If you slow down, you stall. If you increase you airspeed you may reach the maximum speed. The difference in those speeds sometimes is only 50 miles an hour. You are in a COFFIN CORNER. "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
7. WIND SHEAR is not an object used to cut the air, but a dangerous meteorological phenomena which is hold responsible for many aeronautical accidents. It is the abrupt change of wind speed and direction in a very small portion of airspace. "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
8. GLIDE SLOPE. You can't glide on a slope. This slope is an imaginary one. "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE"!
9. GLASS COCKPIT. The computer technology invaded the aerospace industry in such manner, that the cockpits are now completely new. Compared with two airplane generations ago, the changes are so drastic that you don't see those old fashioned instruments and pointers anymore. You have now some few Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs), which are small screens that are information centers about what some dozens of computers are doing! "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
10. PUSH THE ENVELOPE. It is not the act of putting your letter in a mail box! Every test pilot knows that he has to confirm in flight, all the wind tunnel data and the computer predicted aerodynamics behaviors of a new airplane. The results are put in a graphic which resembles an envelope! You PUSH THE ENVELOPE, when you gradually expand the test points that will confirm the predictions! "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" !
You see, we have it around us all the time! Thousand of examples could be given! ("Cut" the engine...)
THE "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE " IN ASTRONOMY
Right now, I have in front of me, my astronomy software working. It is called EZCosmos 3.0. I like it very much because it has a function called "Plot the sky". Within a press of a button and a click of a mouse, there it is! The whole sky in my computer screen! I can pick up any celestial body and have its information. But, wait a minute! There it is! The detracted Bible "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE" again! The Antares star has a "rises" time of and a "sets" time of . How come we accept the language of appearance everywhere as scientific except in the Bible? This is pure emotional bias against the Creator.
THE CORRECTNESS OF THE "LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE "
The language of appearance in the Bible is absolute correct because when it talks about the position of the celestial bodies it is about relative position of them. In relation to the horizon the sun really sets and rises! . In relation to the horizon the sun really stood still when Joshua prayed to the Lord! No one can blame the Bible about the wrong conclusions of man, because, for example, it is clear that the earth is rounded (Job 26:7; Isa. 40:22). That's the obvious conclusion Galileo arrived because he started with the Bible and he was an intelligent observer watching ships disappear over the horizon ! The Galileo controversy was not Bible versus Science, but Galileo ( with the Bible - he was a studying the book of Job) against the wrong Aristostlelian philosophy embraced by the heretic and arrogant catholic church! Consider what Dr. Henry Morris wrote about it in his book "Science - The Bible has the Answer":
" One common criticism of the Biblical record of the long day is that its language is unscientific. It says, for example, that "the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day" (Joshua ). Critics say that the earth, rather than the sun, would have to "stand still" for the day to be prolonged, since normally its axial rotation controls the length of the day.
But such a criticism itself is unscientific! All motion is relative motion, and the sun is moving as well as the earth. No one knows where in the universe there may be a fixed point of zero motion. That being so, all velocities must necessarily be measured with respect to some arbitrarily assumed fixed reference point. The proper point to choose is normally the one which is most convenient to the observer. In the case of the relative motion of the sun and the earth to each other, it is almost always most convenient (and therefore most "scientific") to consider the earth as fixed and the sun as moving around it. Joshua’s language, therefore, is perfectly modern and correct.
As a matter of fact, since the account says that the moon also stood still (Joshua ), it may be that the entire solar system stopped in its tracks for a day, with all relative positions and motions simply suspended. This seems no more difficult to believe than that only the earth stopped rotating.
The natural reaction to the idea of a "long day" is one of incredulity, of course. It would certainly constitute an amazing miracle. The Bible itself says "there was no day like that before it or after it" (Joshua ).
But to deny the possibility of the miraculous (and, after all, how do we measure the dynamics of one miracle against another?) is to deny the existence of God. That the earth should stop rotating on its axis for a time is no more inexplicable than that it should start rotating in the beginning. The Creator who started it could also stop it if He so desired. The question is not whether an alleged miracle could occur, but whether it did occur. The testimony of Scripture, as well as the many supporting traditions, confirms that it did.
There was presumably a gradual deceleration of the motions, rather than instantaneous, so that no catastrophic geologic changes need have been caused by the long day. However, the circulation of the atmosphere and the hydrologic cycle are both controlled to some extent by the earth’s rotation, so that such an event would undoubtedly disturb the atmosphere to a profound degree. This is indirectly confirmed by the devastating hail storm which accompanied the long day as recorded in the Bible (Joshua ) and by the many evidences of atmospheric violence noted by Velikovsky in his collection of ancient traditions of the miracle.
Although no amount of evidence could prove a miracle to someone who does not want to believe they can occur, there is certainly adequate reason for the Bible-believing Christian to accept Joshua’s long day as a real fact of history. "
THE ADVANTAGES OF THE " LANGUAGE OF APPEARANCE "
The language of appearance is honest, correct and wants to convey the principle of simplicity! God didn’t need to include in His sacred Book all the unending mathematical formulas of all the celestial bodies trajectories so that the arrogant and atheistic astronomer could believe it. It would be a huge waste of time! Millions more would be in hell before coming to a conclusion that everything was "all right"! God doesn’t waste anything! God never does what is man’s responsibilities. Jesus said in John 11:39: " Take ye away the stone..." Is man’s responsibility to unveil the natural knowledge that is out there to discover. Without the special revelation, only relying on incompetent and corrupted science, the conclusions are always misleading. Man would deal with science correctly and honestly when he pays due respect to the Bible, confessing his Creator, Jesus Christ, as his personal Savior!
1. D.B. DeYoung, Science and the Bible, Baker Books,
, 1994. Grand Rapids
2. D.B. DeYoung, Astronomy and the Bible, Baker Books,
, 1988. Grand Rapids
3. D.B. DeYoung, Weather and the Bible, Baker Books,
, 1992. Grand Rapids
4. J.C. Whitcomb Jr., Creation According to God's Word, Booklet, Grace Theological Seminary,
, 1966. Winona Lake
5. J.C. Whitcomb Jr., The Moon, its creation, form and significance, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1978.
6. J.C. Whitcomb Jr., The Origin of the Solar System, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., Philipsburg,, 1962.
7. J.C. Whitcomb Jr., The World That Perished, Baker Book House,
, 1988. Grand Rapids
8. J.C. Whitcomb Jr., The Early Earth, Baker Book House,
, 1972. Grand Rapids
Elaborado por: JPMA