Do Science And Religion Mix? 12

Charmed-dia-wThere are lots of people on both sides of this issue that will tell you that science and religion do not mix. Evolution is the hot button for many, and there has sprung up a counter idea called Creationism. I am not sure what it is about Creationism that appeals to people, but since it supposedly challenges evolutionary theories, lots of people will string along.

Notice that I said that I really don’t know about Creationism. Well, I really am not deeply conversant with evolutionary theory, either. I will say that I am a Christian, and I am also a person with a scientific view of the world. This is not a contradiction

Let me quote someone from the religion side of things:

“I don’t think that there’s any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make the Scriptures say things that they weren’t meant to say, and I think we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science.” — Rev. Billy Graham

Some evolutionary enthusiasts may say that Billy Graham was dodging the issue. Certainly, the first chapter of Genesis explains in detail how God created the world. Isn’t the Genesis version of creation a fairy tale? How do you explain the second creation story in Genesis? Why are they in conflict as suggested by Carl Sagan in his book, “Contact”?

I have never considered the Genesis 1:1 account as a literal description, even when I first read it when I was elementary school age. Read it yourselves. It is a beautiful story, poetic, and satisfying for someone trying to tell the story. The second story reverses part of the time line, but it starts a different part of the story. Carl Sagan was simply misguided, and not knowledgeable about the Scriptures, or how a stone age culture would tell a story. The writers of Genesis simply did their best to explain how God did what He did.

Evolutionary theory partly says that humans are descended from apes. Now, my wife will take exception to that, but will somewhat agree that I may be a bit ape like. Ah, the vicissitudes of life and marriage. For millions of people, the fossil record upon which the evolutionists depended was not satisfactory at all. Indeed, the record jumps around all over the place, and it makes you wonder why scientific people were making the assumptions they were. But, that is not the whole story.

It is easy to visualize evolution as a viable way for creation to have happened. Even now, there is substantial debate as to whether evolution can be correct. Enter the science of genetics.

Genetics ruins it all for Creationists. The Creationists who insist on some alternative way people evolved, or worse yet, appeared on earth as functioning, modern adults, have to wake up and take stock. Genetics is not a assumption like the fossil record. Genetics is legitimate science.

Live with it, folks. It certainly looks like some form of evolution has been at work for a very long time. There a lot of questions to be answered, but the truth will be made clear, eventually.

As a Christian I have no problem with genetics, or the idea of an evolutionary process in human development. However, I do not believe in random.

Random is just another word for uncertainty. I cannot buy the idea of a magical, random march of quarks, protons, electrons, and other esoteric particles in the origin of life, and the progression of mankind. I believe in a causal world. For every action there is a cause, and we have not ascertained the cause of every action, much less understand the cause of life,

So, Christians let science do what science does. I don’t think there are any conflicts.

Scientists, let it go about criticizing religion. After all, we are seeing new religions spring up, one of them being that of Science itself. Be careful about what you worship.

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12 comments

  1. I’m mostly with you on this…Here’s a wonderful few lines from Dr Ben Carson I thought you might enjoy:

    “I remember a few years back I was engaged in a debate in Hollywood with a leading atheist. This guy thinks that anybody who believes in God is a total moron. And as we got to the end of the conversation, you know, and he’s denigrating anybody who could believe in Creation, I said, “You know what? You win.”
    I said, because, “I believe I came from God, and you believe you came from a monkey, and you’ve convinced me you’re right.”” !!!

    Bob, I have had non believers say “What about the BING BANG!?” and I answer “Why couldn’t GOD have caused THAT?”

    this is a very thoughtful piece…thanks.

  2. Z: I cannot believe how much Ben Carson has improved in the polls. The guy is smart. Ditto Fiorina. I am glad CNN is relenting and allowing her on the stage with the rest of the front runners.

  3. Ed: I watched most of the film before I fell asleep. It’s not that the film is boring, far from it, but old guys like me are supposed to fall asleep whenever we sit. I like the film, and will resume it when I get some more time.

    I like the term, The Goldilocks Planet. Everything is just right. Thanks for posting it/

  4. Good post. At present, this topic is very much on my mind as Ken Ham’s influence has cost my friend his job as Christian high school teacher for the second time. So, he and I have written a number of posts recently on this topic. Currently, I am developing a page of good books that will help people navigate this debate (it cannot be called a dialogue). Please come and take a look. I love the title and tag-line of your blog. #popchrist http://www.popchrist.com

  5. Ian: I appreciate you opinion and good words. As you know, I did visit your blog and read the referenced article. Good stuff, and I just bought the Ernst Mayr book, too. I am sure you will see a credit on your Amazon statement 🙂

    Thanks for the comment.

  6. Bob – Wow. But yes, I could not come up with any facet of this subject that you did not touch on or that I could add an opinion for or against. A truly excellent statement on this subject.

  7. I enjoyed reading the article and comments so far, but I’m going to return to the question in the headline and say – it depends. It depends on your particular preferred flavor of religion, and also your branch of science. Some kinds of science are highly theoretical, others are concrete and practical, and there are many broad philosophical differences between science disciplines, just as there are between religions and sects. Ben Carson is a surgeon (applied medicine), but he doesn’t know sh*t about geology, archeology, meteorology or even psychology. So he says a lot of wacky stuff that sounds “anti-science” because he’s also an atypical type of Christian, a Seventh-Day Adventist.

    But an Episcopalian, a Reformed Jew, a Mahayana Buddhist, and an ethical atheist would not have problems accepting all scientific discoveries, including the revisions of knowledge that accompany science in all branches. To them, there is no conflict between science and religion. Those whose kind of religion emphasizes unchanging doctrine and literal interpretations of scripture (a recent historical phenomenon), would tend to have more problems reconciling their beliefs with scientific fact.

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