Last issue we looked at the supercontinent Rodinia. In this blog I will discuss science and how I used it.
First of all when discussing science you must decide which of the three viewpoints of science to which you adhere.
- True Science
- Evolutionary Science
- Creation Science
Many of you might say that you adhere to true science. Unfortunately, that is impossible. True science, you see, is not really a viewpoint (yes, I tricked you). True science is the raw scientific data that exists in our knowledge base. It must be interpreted and interpretation rests upon viewpoint or theory.
Evolutionary science is a theory that believes that man evolved over millions and billions of years and interprets true scientific facts accordingly. At one point it held the day but today more and more scientists are questioning its validity.
Creation science is a theory that interprets true scientific facts according to its belief. It believes that a Higher Being, Who we Christians and Jews call God, created the world and man. There was a day that Creation science held the day, but then Evolutionary science came along and people thought it was better and more intelligent. But now the pendulum is swinging back to Creation as an increasing number of scientists are returning to a Creationist viewpoint.
I am a Christian who accepts the Creationist theory as the correct theory. Which brings us to today’s topic. Most writers don’t have to worry about such things, but when writing Biblically based stories it is a must.
Because the Bible record of events is at odds with evolution. It is true that people often twist the Bible to mean anything they want, which is why it is important to always read “in context.” When you read it that way it removes a lot of silliness.
So how did I use science? Being a Creationist I chose sources that I had complete confidence in having their facts straight. Two of these are Institute for Creation Research (ICR) and Answers in Genesis (AiG). There are others, of course, but those are in my opinion the best.
When writing the story of Creation itself I found these resources to be highly accurate and informative. I was able to draw out the knowledge I needed to undergird my book Perished: The World That Was. Not only for Creation, but also regarding the earth itself (see Rodinia) and the Flood (see Historical Perspective).
Science is a useful tool. Once you know which theory you embrace you can start researching your novel. Now, I will say this: If you embrace evolution you will have a very difficult time writing a Bible based novel or non-fiction book. Evolution simply doesn’t work well with the Bible. And, unfortunately for you, there is no middle ground such as Theistic evolution (a belief that is largely discounted by Evolutionists and Creationists).
So settle that in your mind. That is your starting point.
Actually when writing about Biblical events and people you will find you are using both the historical and the scientific resources at your disposal. I did. My primary was, and is, the Holy Bible. I rely on the King James Version because its history traces all the way back to the beginning (another subject) while other versions have broken histories and are suspect in their accuracy.
The best way that I have found to understand the science of Creation and other Biblical events is to:
1. Let the Bible first interpret itself.
2. Then use science to help understand.
Always use the Bible first. If you use science first and then try to fit the Bible within its realm, you will have problems. God gives us wisdom (science) to help understand not contradict His Word.
If you follow that simple rule you will do fine. You have no reason for hesitating at using science. It is a tool that can enrich your writing when done properly.
Will you be criticized? Perhaps. But such criticism will more often come from either non-Christians or Christians who don’t really believe that the Bible is inspired. (How can you know you are saved if you don’t believe the Bible is the Inspired Word of God? How do you know that Jesus really said you must be born again?)
Now be forewarned. When researching science there is a lot of information available. And it can get boring. So you will have to dig deep and persevere. You will learn more than you will ever need to put in your story, but you may need it to understand how best to use the information.
Remember this truism: Scientific and Historical data need to be accurate in your story, but they should not be the primary thing.
If you write science fiction novels the science will play a much bigger role. But in writing Bible based novels, the Biblical story is paramount.
What if you are writing a novel not based on the Bible? You still want your science and historical data to be accurate. All sorts of people will read your novel. Some of these may have a deep understanding of science, or of a particular historical era. You make a mistake and they will see it.
So how did I use science in regards to the Ark? First it required a lot of research. For Perished I used the latest scientific knowledge then available. Currently I am writing a Special Edition book about the Ark. There is much more information available. Back when writing Perished there were theories abounding about the Flood and the Ark, but now there has been more scientific discoveries both about the worldwide Flood and the possible construction of the Ark.
I have investigated these new facts and have used them where appropriate. As stated above, I learn more than I ever use. But that gives us another principle: New discoveries are always being made, so you need to keep in touch with the facts even after you have published your book.
Because you may some day write another book that would need the same facts or you may rewrite the book you just published. Your readers will be current so you should be also.
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R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. Authors Academy offers training in writing, publishing, and marketing.