science and scripture

i’ve always learned that science and faith cannot be at odds with one another.

how to reconcile the fact that genesis 1:30 said that animals only ate plants with the possibility of carnivores eating other animals before the fall?

also, noah’s flood, there is currently no evidence for a global flood.

of course i’m not saying science is right about everything. but these are some main topics of current theory that i need to be able to talk about if i want to evangelize others in my field.

In your field do you mean to say your a scientist?

It seems that the Church teaches that Genesis is meant to be taken metaphorically not literally. However it does say on the account of origins of the universe. That Catholics can believe in any form of creation (big bang or literal genesis) as long as God is the creator.

If you are one who takes Genesis literally you might be interested in Dr. Hugh Ross’ we

Ross is an evangelical astronomer and while he isn’t Catholic his information might be helpful to your goal.

lol sorry, i meant to say field of study. yes i’m in sciences.

and i was wondering with the specific questions i posted. noah’s flood or carnivorous animals before the fall

I see nothing in Genesis that says that lions at grass or sharks kelp.

That is not how God made those creatures and Genesis 1 simply says God provided food from the earth for the animals. Indeed a lion is nourished from the grasses consumed by the gazelles.

God made the world perfect. Part of that perfection is the food chain and it’s checks and balances. God made spiders to keep bugs in check.

As for the flood, I used to hold the idea that the flood was regional from melting ice caps and a possible breach of a natural dam. That the “known world” to man was completely flooded.

I still see it as a possibility, but am trying to take God out of the box of naturalism I have him in. If he can create this world from nothing he can flood it without a trace too. That said. There is lots of evidence that most of the land on earth was underwater at some point.

what about genesis 1:30 where it says he gave every creature green things for meat. not just some.

Genesis 1:30 says:

And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

This is very much in line with the idea that energy and organic material derives ultimately from producers (plants) in the food web. The primary (herbivores) and secondary (carnivores) consumers all benefit from plants. Green plants are the basis of the food supply on planet Earth. There is nothing in the Genesis verse that logically entails every animal ate plants. Every animal does depend on plants, however. That much is clearly true.

That every animal has been “given every green plant for food” is not an imperative command that every animal must only eat green plants. That is reading INTO the text a point of view that is not implied. Would this exclude animals from eating non-green fruit or brown, yellow or orange roots, since, on your reading, they could ONLY eat green plants?

In addition to the replies above, know that:

  1. Catholics are not required to believe that those passages are literal and

  2. Even if they are literal, they certainly aren’t designed to be a science textbook, and so while they may (and in fact do - even if they aren’t literal) give a general overview of how the world works, this purpose is not the same purpose as that of modern science. If modern science disagrees with some particulars (my favorite is “the bile says that pi is 3 isn’t that silly 111!!11!”), I strongly suspect that if the inspired authors were questioned on this they would look at us blankly and say “who cares? That’s not what we were talking about.”

A good example of point 2 in action somewhere other than scripture: some physics text books leave out details or butcher the details of the math behind the physics, and they do this because the differences between what they say about the math and what is true about the math don’t matter for physics, and because while the authors could go into the correct math, that would take up quiet a bit more time and frankly that’s not what they’re trying to talk about. Usually, of course, they point out when they’re doing this, but they do it all the same - I had a Quantum text book that said something like “the objects we will be dealing with aren’t really Hilbert spaces, but we will proceed without caution anyway, because pretending that they are tends to work.”

But the physics books do need to give some math background, as it is related to the physics. Likewise, scripture can be looked at as a collection of spiritual text books that give some general background on the nature of created things, because in humans the two are related. But that sort of thing isn’t their point, it’s just sort of there so that we can know enough to move on the physics (in the analogy) that they really want to talk about, and so using it as a math (in the analogy) textbook would be ill advised.

This !

(Which I am pretty sure I explained in my post :shrug:)

I wonder what baleen whales ate? Did they sort the plankton sifted up so that only phyto plankton (plants) were consumed rather than zooplankton (animals)?

??? Seriously folks???


how to reconcile the fact that genesis 1:30 said that animals only ate plants with the possibility of carnivores eating other animals before the fall?

The passage does not say that. You’ve added the word “only.” The passage says, “And to every beast of the earth…I have given every green plant for food.” Amen, we believe that. God gave green plants for their food. But it does not say He gave green plants for their “only” food. The carnivores could eat other animals too.

just from a superficial reading though, you wouldn’t deduce that they ate animals just from it. and he gave a similar command to adam and eve and they dind’t start eating meat until God allowed Noah to. also, he said that thistles and thorns would appear against adam in gen 3:18. i’m sorry, i’m just trying to make sense of it all. i know it’s not a science book but it is a bit hard to reconcile, inlight of fossil findings and all that. which may not be absolutely correct either.

Your thinking is illogical.

Did Mosquitos eat plants?
Did spiders eat leaves?
Did a whale sift out zooplankton?
What about other ocean filter feeders?
Did a great white nibble on seaweed?

If you know anything about marine science you would know very very few sea creatures eat exclusively plants. If say less than 5%,

This is the common MISunderstanding. However…

The aspect that is being entirely glossed over by those (you?) who claim God did not allow humans to eat meat until Noah is that Cain was, in the Genesis account, the “tiller of the soil,” while Abel, was the one who raised livestock, ostensibly to eat and certainly to kill as a sacrificial offering to God. Recall, also, that God was pleased with Abel and not so much with Cain. It is pretty clear that Adam’s children did kill and eat animals. That did not begin with Noah.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. (Gen 4:1-5)

It will have to be explained how Abel could offer the “fat” of his flock without first killing at least one. Note God did not “respect” Cain or his offering, even though he was the more likely, of the two, to be the vegetarian.

The Noah movie, for example, makes a big deal of Cain being the evil one for killing animals. This is a reading of a modern sensibility back into the stories of Genesis.

Science comes from the devil and he wants to discredit everything from the Bible.

the devil … wants to discredit everything from the Bible

The devil may use science or an illusion of science but I wouldn’t say this tremendous gift is from the devil.

Some current scientists take our entire universe as merely one in what they speculate is an infinity of universes.

I think an infinity of universes is a deeper mystery than dark matter. But, I don’t want to go too scientific here. An infinity of universes is definitely not scientific except as a hypothesis that will probably never be tested or verified; making such a hypothesis is the thinnest veneer of science. As Pope emeritus Benedict xvi said, science has the limitation that it cannot prove religion.

Life saving medications and doctors and surgeons come from the devil?

All the priest scientists come from the devil?



with respect, I think you need to come to terms with two things.

  1. what the different books of the Bible are; and what they are not and

  2. what science is and how it has developed.

There is a lot of evidence for a global flood. When Mt. St. Helens erupted it laid down layers of dust very quickly. Then a lake over flowed causing a canyon to be carved out from the layers of dust. It showed what can be confirmed in a laboratory. Layers as shown in the Grand Canyon are laid down simultaneously. The different shapes of molecules separate out depending how they interact with the fluid flow. In the Grand Canyon there are petrified trees that extend up through the layers as if the layers were laid down around it very quickly.

Also, on the scriptural side, 2Peter 3:3 “Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts,[4]Saying: Where is his promise or his coming? for since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.[5]*For this they are wilfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God.[6]Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”

The first Pope in Sacred Scripture is saying that if those who don’t believe in a world wide flood are scoffers. When Sacred Scripture interprets Sacred Scripture it is a confirmation of the interpretation.

Sometimes this is true. Scientists are human and they may have their own (hidden) agenda. This is useful for governments because they can give out grant money depending on how they want people to think. This is true in the case of Global Warming and it is also often true when it comes to many of the natural sciences.

In the Global Warming case it is an excuse to place us under more governmental control, but I would argue that perhaps dictatorial control is what our culture deserves and God is allowing it.

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