Evidences

Medical evidence that the Bible is supernaturally inspired!

In numerous instances the Bible contains medical information that far predates man’s actual discoveries of related principles in the field of medicine. The medical instructions given by Moses to the Israelites some 3500 years ago were not only far superior to the practices of contemporary cultures, they also exceeded medical standards practiced as recently as 100 years ago. Where did Moses get this advanced information? Following are some examples of the medical knowledge afforded the Israelites in biblical times:

Sanitary Practices

For centuries doctors denied the possibility that disease could be transmitted by invisible agents. However, in the late 19th century Louis Pasteur demonstrated in his Germ Theory of Disease that most infectious diseases were caused by microorganisms originating from outside the body. This new understanding of germs and their means of transmission led to improved sanitary standards that resulted in an enormous drop in the mortality rate. Yet these core principles of sanitation were being practiced by the Israelites thousands of years earlier.

The Israelites were instructed to wash themselves and their clothes in running water if they had a bodily discharge, if they came in contact with another person’s discharge, or if they had touched a dead human or animal carcass. They were also instructed to wash any uncoveredvessels that were in the vicinity of a dead body, and if a dead carcass touched a vessel it was to be destroyed. Items recovered during war were also to be purified through either fire or running water. In addition, the Israelites were instructed to bury their human waste outside of camp, and to burn the waste of their animals (See Numbers 19:3-22Lev. 11:1-4715:1-33Deut 23:12).

These sanitary practices without question saved countless lives in the Israelite camps by protecting them against infection caused by unseen germs. Meanwhile, their Egyptian peers were dying by the thousands due to “remedies” that almost always consisted of some amount of human or animal dung1. As mentioned earlier, the sound sanitary practices that we take for granted today only began to flourish about a 100 years ago.

Bacteria

Some time after I wrote these web pages, a Bible skeptic unwittingly showed me yet another example of advanced scientific/medical knowledge in the Bible. He posted a message on a discussion board that ridiculed some verses in Leviticus 13 and 14 that mention leprosy on walls and on garments. He felt this was silly and an error since leprosy is a human disease. What this skeptic was unaware of is the fact that leprosy is a bacteria, a living organism, that certainly can survive on walls and garments! In fact, the Medic-Planet.com encyclopedia noted that leprosy “can survive three weeks or longer outside the human body, such as in dust or on clothing2. It is no wonder that God commanded the Levitical priests to burn the garments of leprosy victims! (Leviticus 13:52)

Laws of Quarantine

In the same Med-Planet encyclopedia cited above we read that “It was not until 1873 that leprosy could be shown to be infectious rather than hereditary.2 Of course God knew this all along, as His laws to Moses reveal (Leviticus 13, 14, 22Numbers 19:20). His instructions regarding quarantine to prevent the spread of leprosy and other infectious diseases arenothing short of remarkable, considering that this life-saving practice was several thousand years ahead of its time. Infected persons were instructed to isolate themselves outside the camp until healed, and were to shave and wash thoroughly. The priests that administered care were instructed to change their clothes and wash thoroughly after inspecting a plague victim.

It should be re-emphasized that the Israelites were the only culture to practice quarantine until the last century, when medical advances finally demonstrated the importance of sanitation and isolation during plagues. The devastating black plague of the 14th century that claimed millions of lives was not broken until the church fathers in Vienna began encouraging the public to start following the guidelines as set forth in the Bible. The promising results in Vienna compelled other cities to follow suit, and the dreaded plague was finally eradicated3.

The First Antiseptic

Hyssop oil was charged by God to Moses to be used as a purifying agent. Hyssop oil has been shown to contain 50% antifungal and antibacterial agents (Numbers 19:18Psalm 51:7).

Circumcision and Blood Clotting

For centuries scholars must have been perplexed by God’s law of circumcision which required the procedure to be performed on the 8th day after birth (Gen 17:1221:14Lev 12:3Luke 2:21). Medical researchers recently discovered that the two main blood clotting factors, Vitamin K and Prothrombim, reach their highest level in life, about 110% of normal, on the 8th day after birth. These blood clotting agents facilitate rapid healing and greatly reduce the chance of infection. You can verify with any Obstetrician that the 8th day of life is the ideal time for a circumcision, and that any circumcision done earlier requires an injection of Vitamin K supplement.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The earliest recorded observation of the link between alcohol use and harm to the fetus was made by prison physician Dr. William Sullivan in 18994, after he noted that higher rates of stillbirth was occurring in alcoholic female prisoners. The first journal paper on the link between alcohol and harm to a fetus or FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) was published in 19685. The syndrome was officially identified and named in a 1973 paper by Drs. Kenneth Lyons Jones and David Weyhe Smith of the University of Washington Medical School6. Yet this knowledge was already conveyed in the Bible long ago, when Samson’s mother was told to avoid alcohol when she was pregnant with Samson (Judges 13:3-4).

Dietary Guidelines

By the 1980s, all the health organizations of the United States had adopted low-fat, high fiber dietary guidelines.  This was the culmination of numerous scientific studies that had demonstrated that diets high in vegetables, fruits, and grains reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases.  Secular physicians generally agree that these dietary guidelines that were producing longer life spans were first developed by religious movements founded in the 1800s, particularly by the Seventh-day Adventists.  Where did the Seventh-day Adventists get their guidelines?   From a meticulous and careful study of the Bible7.  It appears man has finally caught up to the dietary recommendations given by God to the Israelites some 3500 years ago!

 

Anthropic Constants: Fined tuned conditions required for life on Earth

Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level—On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an anthropic constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25 percent, fires would erupt spontaneously; if it were 15 percent, human beings would suffocate.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency—The small window the astronauts must hit reflects the exacting standards by which the universe has been designed. While the atmosphere presents a reentry problem for the astronauts, its present qualities are absolutely essential for life here on earth. The degree of transparency of the atmosphere is an anthropic constant. If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent, we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation down here. (In addition to atmospheric transparency, the atmospheric composition of precise levels of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ozone are in themselves anthropic constants.)

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction—As the astronauts begin to sling around the moon, they encounter another anthropic constant. This one regards the gravitational interaction that the earth has with a moon. If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. In either event, life on earth would be impossible.

Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide Level—Of course such a rig is not necessary here on earth because just the right level of carbon dioxide is maintained naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. This is another anthropic constant. If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up). If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis (we’d all suffocate).

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity—The gravity that is pulling the astronauts back home is still another anthropic constant. Its strength may be terrifying, but it couldn’t be any different for life to exist here on earth. If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore, neither would we. Talk about precision!

  1. If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.
  1. If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, expansion would have stopped, and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.
  1. Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.
  1. If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life; if they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth too cold to support human life.
  1. If Jupiter were not in its current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike earth.
  1. If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.
  1. If the rotation of the earth took longer than twenty-four hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be too great.
  1. The 23-degree axil tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.
  1. If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less, there would be too little nitrogen fixing in the soil.
  1. If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there was less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (Yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it!)

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants—122 in all—would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance (i.e., without divine design). Assuming there are 10^22 planets in the universe (a very large number: 1 with 22 zeros following it), his answer is shocking: one chance in 10^138—that’s one chance in one with 138 zeros after it! There are only 10^70 atoms in the entire universe. In effect, there is zero chance that any planet in the universe would have the life-supporting conditions we have, unless there is an intelligent Designer behind it all.

Geisler, Norman L.. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 98-106). Crossway. Kindle Edition.