THOMAS Edison was a great inventor, but he could not predict airline travel.
“It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane have been exhausted and that we must turn elsewhere,” he said in 1895.
In the same year, Lord Kelvin, president of Britain’s Royal Society, declared: “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
How could they get it so wrong?
“Space travel is bunk,” said Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, in 1957, two weeks before the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik started the space age.
The Spanish Commission, rejecting Christopher Columbus’s proposal to sail west, argued: “So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.”
It’s amazing how often theories that seem solid are found to be in error.
There’s a commonly held theory that the Bible stories, particularly the ones about Noah and his Ark, Moses and the Red Sea and the Tower of Babel cannot be scientifically proven.
But there is some evidence that, although the Bible is not a book about science and is sometimes more about analogies, it is also often scientifically and historically accurate.
The Ark story, with its logistical problems of how Noah and his family managed to get at least two of each species on board, is generally accepted as at least partly mythical. But in 1609 at Hoorn, in Holland, Pieter Jansen produced a vessel after the pattern of the ark, only smaller, and said he proved it was well adapted for floating, and would carry a cargo greater by one-third than any other form of ship.
Lloyd’s Register of Shipping has commented that the Ark’s design revolutionised shipping up until 1900 when every large vessel on the high seas was inclined toward the proportions of Noah’s boat.
Shipbuilders during World War II, using the same ratios as the Ark, built a boat that came to be known as the ugly duckling, a barge-like boat built to carry tremendous amounts of cargo.The Bible writers somehow portrayed astonishing scientific truths far ahead of their time.
At a time when it was commonly thought the Earth was perched on giant spokes, the Old Testament spoke of the planet free floating in space. There was no scientific proof of that until the 17th Century.
The Book of Isaiah, written about 28 centuries ago, spoke of the Earth being spherical about three centuries before Aristotle suggested the same thing and 2000 years before Columbus proved it.
In another astonishing piece of foreknowledge, the Bible talked of cycles of air currents around the Earth a couple of millennia before scientists discovered them.
The Bible says the universe began in an instant. Science once theorised the universe and all life forms evolved over time. Now scientists believe the universe began in an instant — a Big Bang.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said the religion that was afraid of science dishonoured God.
Writer Gary Zukav said acceptance without proof was the fundamental characteristic of Western religion; and rejection without proof was the fundamental characteristic of Western science.
The Bible is all about real things, the real origin, history and destiny of man and the universe.
It’s also about love and, as Albert Einstein said, gravitation cannot be responsible for people falling in love.
Einstein also said religion, arts and sciences were branches of the same tree.
“All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom,” he said.
The Bible has always proclaimed that among God’s gifts are human minds capable of critical thought.