Summary: Our faith in the God of Creation is NOT blind or without reason. As Believers we don’t need to fear looking at the evidence around us.
Why> Series # 5
Why> the Conflict: Science and the Bible
Scripture Reading: Psalm 19:1-6
INTRODUCTION: FISH WARS power point and comments.
1. Science and Faith are not Enemies
Hebrews 11:1 says Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This scripture does not mean that faith is without evidence to support it. Some people seem to think you have to turn your mind off before you can turn your faith on. They seem to agree with what Mark Twain’s once said: “Faith is believin’ what you know ain’t true.”
When people claim that Science and Faith are at odds often point out that back in the Middle Ages the Catholic Church refused to accept Galileo’s theory that the earth revolved around the sun. (rather than the other way around.) That is true --- but the Church did not reject this theory based on the Bible. It was the teachings of Greek philosophy which held that the sun revolved around the earth, not teaching that came from scripture.1
Besides that, the Church was not alone in rejecting scientific theories back in the Middle Ages. Listen to what Galileo Galilei said about the University Professors of his day. In a letter to fellow-scientist, Johanas Keplar, Galileo said, “I wish, my dear Kepler, that we could have a good laugh together at the extraordinary stupidity of the mob. What do you think of the foremost philosophers of this University? In spite of my oft-repeated efforts and invitations, they have refused, with the obstinacy of a glutted adder, to look at the planets or Moon or even at my telescope.”2
Like Galileo, Johanas Keplar was a Mathematician, Astronomer, and also a Christian. In 1595, he wrote this to a friend: “I wanted to be a theologian; for a long time I was unhappy. Now, behold, God is praised by my work even in astronomy”3
On another occasion, Keplar said that to practice science was “to try to think God’s thoughts after him.”
We could pull similar quotes from early scientists like Albert Magnus, the grandfather of Geology, or Newton who founded Calculus, or Robert Bown who founded modern Chemistry, or Copernicus, the Astronomer. In large part, those who launched the Scientific Revolution believed in the God of Creation.
And you might be surprised to know that many scientists today believe in a Creator. Physicist Paul Davies, wrote a book called The Mind of God where he talks about how the study of Physics pointed him to a Creator … to Someone beyond.
Physicists have recently uncovered sub-atomic layers of reality which they have given names like quark. These quarks are so tightly bound within protons and neutrons that they are completely invisible even with the most powerful microscope. We may never be able to see one.
An award-winning Physicist named John Polkinghorne said this: “You know what? I believe in quarks. Do you know why? Because it makes sense of all the other evidence that’s available.”
Then he continued along the same line of reasoning, “I also believe in God. Why? Even though I’ve never seen Him, it makes sense of all the evidence I see out there ---- of the incredible complex nature of the world, of the multi-faceted levels of reality, of the fact that people long for worship and hope, the fact that there is a phenomenon of Jesus throughout the world.”
The Apostle Paul made a similar point in Romans 1:20: "Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." That is as true today as when Paul wrote it. The more we learn about the complexity of the world, the more reason there is to believe in God.4
2. The Theory of Evolution is a Theory
If we see a clash between science and scripture today, it usually has something to do with the Theory of Evolution. Now, this is a big subject and can be confusing, so I want to make it clear that we are talking about MACRO evolution, not MICRO evolution.
MICRO evolution is simply small changes within a species --- not to be confused with the kind of Evolution that would cause one species to change into another species.
We see evidence of MICRO evolution all around us. The complexity of various breeds of dogs and cats would be a good example of MICRO evolution. But when cats breed they still produce cats, and when dogs breed they still produce dogs. As far as I know, no one has ever come up with a dat or a cog.
MACRO evolution is where the clash between Science and Religion comes up. Evolution is often defined as random change over billions of years, by which life came from non-life and complexity came from simplicity. There are some who believe in both Evolution and Creation. They would say that Evolution tells the HOW --- and God tells the WHO. That is called Theistic Evolution.