Book Review: God Answers Science by Gary W. Driver


God Answers Science: From Origin to End provides an overview of the role that God played in creation from the beginning of the universe today. Gary W. Driver takes the reader on a chronological journey from the very beginning of time through to the end of time, and at each step he explains how scripture not only agrees with the scientific data, but also how it could be understood to have predicted the very phenomena described by the data. Driver’s emphasis in this book is identifying phrases used in scripture as descriptions of the universe as metaphors that, when understood correctly, match modern cosmological phenomena.

Scripture and the Universe

Driver opens up with the beginning of the universe, an event he argues requires the existence of a being that transcends space and time. In defense of the beginning, he discusses the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which is radiation leftover from the initial expansion of the universe that can be observed to have near-uniform temperature.

He quickly moves the discussion into the realm of general relativity, drawing a parallel between the fabric of spacetime and the description found in scripture of the universe being covered in sackcloth (Isaiah 50:3). A few sections later, Driver enhances this sackcloth analogy by connecting it with the Higgs field, which permeates all of space, providing mass to different objects. Driver then sees a testament to God in the eternal nature of matter and energy. Because matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, God must exist as an uncreated Creator of the universe.

Driver identifies mathematics as the language used by God to reveal truths about His creation. While our knowledge inevitably grows with time, mathematics is eternal, and is the very foundation of the sciences used to probe the depths of God’s creation. Relatedly, the universe has been governed by a set of laws since the very first moment of creation. These laws must have not only been present at the moment of creation, but must have been themselves governed by a higher power that existed outside of the time and space described by them. Having universal authority over the matters of this universe, the laws of nature ultimately reflect the authority of God, the one who created them.

Isaiah 40:22 describes the universe as being spread out like a tent. Driver picks up on this metaphor and draws a few more connections to the fabric of space. Just as a tent is spread out, space itself is being spread out. Furthermore, just as it is important for a tent to be laid out flat before it is spread out, the universe in which we live must have been geometrically flat in its earliest moments. In addition, driver draws a parallel between the inevitable irregularities that will occur when laying out a tent flat on the ground and the irregularities we see in the temperature of the CMB.

Driver then comments on God’s display of intricate knowledge of the universe as recorded in scripture. For example, God asks Job a set of rhetorical questions about the constellations of the Pleiades and Orion. While the questions were unanswerable in ancient times, a surprising parallel is found when comparing modern astronomical understandings of the stars in those constellations with the terminology used by God.

Scripture and the Solar System

Driver narrows his focus from the universe to the solar system, explaining how each Day in the Genesis creation narrative reflects a distinct period its formation. Day 1 describes the Hadean Eon, which is the initial geological timescale of earth from 4.6 billion years ago to 4 billion years ago. At that time, earth was a chaotic sea. Day 2 describes the Archean Eon. This is the period when the earth’s crust had become cooled, but the atmosphere as we know it had not yet been created. This environment was not conducive for life.

On Day 3 the Proterozoic Eon begins. Here, land emerges from underneath the waters, just as described in scripture. Day 4 brought the end of the Proterozoic era, which is when light began to reach through the atmosphere, allowing the sun to kickstart plant life. This is the beginning of life on earth. Day 5 brings the emergence of animal life in the Phanerozoic Era. There is a great parallel between God commanding the waters to produce life and the sudden emergence of major groups of animals in a relatively short period of time, an event known as the Cambrian Explosion.

Day 6 is identified as the Cenozoic Era, which is the current geological era known as the age of the mammals. Here, scripture states that land animals came into existence. Most importantly, mankind was formed from the very same elements found in the planets crust, or otherwise known as “the dust of the earth.” Finally, on the seventh day, God rested. This does not mean the absolute end of God’s work, but it does mark the significant milestone in God’s creation.

Scripture and Earth

Driver later discusses the providence of God as reflected in the design of earth. God initiated the formation of this planet such that it would develop the features necessary to sustain intelligent life. As an example, Driver provides details of the water cycle, explaining not only the importance of this cycle for life on earth, but also how seemingly-unrelated characteristics of this planet – such as the presence of deserts – are essential to the function of this cycle. Similarly, Driver explains the importance of the polar jet stream on earth’s atmospheric conditions. Additional examples are included, and in each case, Driver connects the stated phenomenon with passages in scripture that he takes to be a demonstration of both God’s knowledge of and power over the functioning of the earth.

Scripture and the Future

Due to the second law of thermodynamics, the universe is heading toward a state of increasing disorder, a phenomenon known as the increase of entropy. Driver understands the biblical metaphor of vanishing smoke as a description of this phenomenon. However, while the physical law alone leads to the heat death of the universe, God is the sustainer of all, and therefore is able to guide this world to match His will.

While discussing entropy, Driver makes a point to comment on how this relates to the Fall of man. Although some believe the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to be the initiator of this trend toward disorder, Driver is adamant that the law of entropy was in full force on Day 1. In this case, physical death was already around before the Fall, and therefore Adam and Eve only initiated their spiritual death through their sin.

With all that said, God is all knowing, all powerful, and all present. While both the physical and spiritual state of the universe lead to death, God placed in scripture his plan for the new heaven and new earth. Driver emphasizes that this concept involves the creation of a whole new universe, not merely a renovated version of our current planet.

Final Thoughts

All in all, God Answers Science is an interesting read. Driver demonstrates a strong ability to take complicated concepts from within the field of astronomy and explain them such that they are understandable to the layman. However, what truly sets this book apart from the rest is the myriad examples of biblical metaphor being related to physical phenomena as described by modern science. Admittedly, some readers may view the abundance of metaphors with skepticism since metaphors, by their very nature, tend to be vague and consistent with multiple interpretations. Nevertheless, Driver’s analyses are sure to provoke thought regardless of whether or not the reader ultimately agrees with him.

You can purchase God Answers Science: From Origin to End here.

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