God and science

God and science
5 comments, Saturday, February 15th, 2014, by ., in Opinions

Sean Stoker, Staff Writer

Illustration by Trevor Robertson

Growing up, I was raised to look at the universe with two eyes: one being logic, the other faith. I vividly remember being five-years-old and camping with my father, the two of us looking up at the brilliant night sky you can only see in the wilderness. He tried his best to teach me the constellations–which he knew by heart—explaining to me that each star was at least thousands of times larger than the earth, and millions, billions of miles away.

“God created this all for you, son, for all of us,” he told me. My grandfather was a rocket scientist for ATK Thiokol, my father is a biomedical engineer and my older brother is a materials science engineer. But each one of these men was and are devout men of faith, which doesn’t strike me as odd at all. Brushing elbows with these men has blurred the line between theological and scientific discussions. Both have become essential tools for deciphering the mysteries of the universe.

Recently my childhood idol Bill Nye “the Science Guy” debated Ken Ham, CEO of the Creation Museum, on the evolution vs. creationism argument. The debate has drawn the religious and scientific alike out of the woodwork, adding fresh fodder to the timeless debate: logic or faith?

I submit to you, why not both? I’m not suggesting that the Spock-like scientists on the left, and the religious zealots on the right have to join me here in the middle of the spectrum. To each their own. But I want to point out that there is a middle ground between these two views, and that it’s a great place to hang out.

CreationismEvolution

One major bone of contention between the religious and the scientists is the Big Bang theory. Based on scientific observations, we know that the universe is constantly expanding, and mathematical models imply that the whole universe originated from a single point. Literally, at the moment time began, this speck exploded outward, creating the universe as we know it.

Many religious people have a hard time with the big bang because, to someone who believes in an intelligent Creator, it can seem kind of random and anti-climactic. The universe exists…just because?

Though you may believe whatever you choose, I see no reason why the Bible creation story and the Big Bang theory can’t coexist or even work together. After all, who pushed the start button on the universe? Would it be unreasonable to reconcile one’s beliefs with science by considering that God might have initiated the big bang? The Bible tells us that God created the universe, but it doesn’t explicitly state how, which is where I believe science can fill in some blanks.

The same goes for evolution. Since Charles Darwin published his theory of natural selection, many religious people have seen it as blasphemy to suppose that mankind, created in God’s image, could have descended from chimps.

While personally, I’m not sold on the concept of man evolving from lower life forms (I can hear the staunch scientists slapping their foreheads, but my faith guides me here), I am completely open to the concept of species changing over time. We have known for years that animals can adapt to their environments over the generations to survive. And what more is evolution than an accumulation of adaptations leading to the dawn of a new species?

I understand that not everyone is comfortable with mixing science and religion. But if there’s anyone out there who, like me, likes to dance in the middle ground, they should know that there’s no shame in being a moderate.

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5 comments

  1. Cody Bair
    February 20th, 2014 11:17

    If god created the Big Bang, who created god? What about the biblical creation of life? It only took 6 days, 6,000 years ago? The religious advocates would argue the days back then could of been billions of years long. That argument does not suffice. It is not how we use the scientific method to gain factual, testable knowledge. We know how long the days were 6,000 short years ago (almost exactly similar to todays time and not billions of years long). Science has filled in the huge blanks left by the bible and other religions in finding how the universe was created, and so far it has not pointed to any god. And which god created the universe? Which of the thousands of gods “pushed the button” on the Big Bang? Your second to last paragraph just shows how much you do not understand evolution. Your faith is deeply misguided assuming you believe a rib was taken from a male to make a…

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  2. Cody Bair
    February 20th, 2014 11:18

    ……Your faith is deeply misguided assuming you believe a rib was taken from a male to make a female with some soil. I will have to disagree and say it is extremely shameful to be so incredibly ignorant to facts while having faith in an invisible being who watches every time you masturbate.

    Reply

    • Sean Stoker
      February 21st, 2014 9:39

      Cody- I get completely where you are coming from, and I admire your passion, man. Some people believe that everything in the Bible should be taken literally. I don’t begrudge them, but personally I believe many parts of the Bible, the early Old Testament especially, were written in figurative language. After all, Jesus often spoke in allegory, so maybe parts of the Adam and Eve story, and others were metaphorical? My point in writing this was to illustrate that I don’t know everything. None of us do. In the meantime, my personal paradigm is that the humility of faith and the cold hard facts and data of science can work in tandem to create a fuller picture. If you disagree, I totally respect that, bro. We’re both trying to make sense of the universe through the tools we have. Keep fightin’ the good fight!

      Reply

  3. Cody Bair
    February 25th, 2014 14:02

    Hey thanks for replying Sean. I agree that we don’t know everything. My point is that science has not proven the existence of a god and actually cannot prove its existence. Faith is the ultimate key to the delusion of god. The only “evidence” for a god is faith in her/him/it. If science could prove a god, then faith would not be requirement. Science does not use faith in gaining information about real things. Imagine a scientist publishing a paper that says to have faith in his experiment and it will work. It just doesn’t happen. The bible does not hold up to scientific scrutiny concerning the flood, DNA, wars, or even the magical powers of jesus (unless his 40 days and 40 nights fast was figurative and literally only 4 hours long). How are we supposed to know what is figurative and what is meant to be taken literally? The probability of a possible god with the evidence we have is…

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  4. Cody Bair
    February 25th, 2014 14:02

    ….The probability of a possible god with the evidence we have is slim to none. Again, faith is not a scientific tool for gaining an understanding of anything besides the flying spaghetti monster or any one of the other multitudes of gods.

    Reply

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