God and Science
There exist a major conflict between science and religion. Science believes the universe was created by millions of chance chemical reactions and life came to be because of evolution. No Supreme being was involved. Fundamentalist Religion believes that God created the Universe in 6 days.
Recently I published the Hub “Intelligent Life In the Universe”. It has received a moderate amount of traffic so far and a few comments. I try to respond to each of the comments made with a paragraph or two in response. But one made got me to thinking. The more I thought about how I was going to respond, the longer my response became, until I realized the response would make a good Hub on it’s own.
Before I start, let me say I am neither a Biblical Scholar or a Scientist. I’m just a normal, well read person who has a curiosity about the world around me. The theories I have may not be original but the way I have interpreted them is. I don’t mean to offend anyone. These are the opinions of just one man.
I grew up Roman Catholic. I spent the first five and a half years of school being taught by nuns at St. Stephens School in Worcester, MA. While there I was fully educated in what is called the Genesis Creation Narrative which explains that God created everything in Six Days, including the first 2 humans, Adam and Eve. No mention was ever made of science’s role in creation. If it is not in the Bible, it was not taught. When I was in 4th grade, I saw a show on TV that said Man had evolved from monkeys. This certainly did not jive with what I was learning in school. When I naively mentioned it in class the next day, the flabbergasted nun quickly changed the subject. Later on in the year, when another student asked her the same question, she said “who are you going to believe TV or God?” Being 9 years old, I knew I should “believe God” but I could not forget about the monkeys.
A couple of years later, I left the school when my family moved to a suburb. For the first time in my life I attended public school. One day in science class, another student asked a similar question about evolution and the Bible. I was surprised when the teacher actually answered. She said God had created the Universe and used evolution to create life
Over the last 40 years or so, I’ve given this idea much thought. And it makes sense. The Genesis Creation Narrative and Evolutionary science both claim that the universe came in stages (the Six Days of creation) and roughly agree on the order that things came to be. These days are not 24 hour periods but million and billion year epochs. (remember, when the Bible was written, the only time period people understood was a day. They may not have understood any term that was larger).
This concept of Evolutionary Creation basically states that God created the universe (“Let there be light”. Was that the Big Bang?) and set into motion the creation of the planets, stars, plants, animals and a billion other natural interactions. Evolution is a tool that God used to develop all life, Including human life. This concept allows one to believe that the teachings of religion, (the existence of God) and science need not conflict.
But what is God? Does He exist and are God and Science compatible? The Bible said God made man in his own image but I believe it was the other way around. Humans made God in their own image. The Christian God is portrayed as a creator, organizer, and operator of the universe. He is our guide and our ultimate judge. His image is that of a wise old bearded man with flowing white robe. He is our symbol of light and love. Many believe that he is involved intimately in every detail of our lives. I believe that God is slightly more detached. He is like a farmer. He plants and cares for his crops with the hope he will have a bountiful harvest. No matter how much we desire and believe it, I don’t think he is involved in the details of our lives.
I understand many may disagree with this piece. Science basically says that the universe came to be through billion and billions of chance chemical reactions and through evolution, life came to be. Scientists do not believe that a superior intelligence had anything to do with it. On the other end of the spectrum, some religious fundamentalists believe that God created the universe exactly as Genesis says, and is intimately involved in the function of everything.
I can’t look at a human body and think of all the interactions and systems inside and believe that we are just a happy accident. I look up into the night sky and think that what first looks to be chaos is actually a fine symphony of stars, planets, comets, novae and black holes. There must be a superior intelligence behind it all. I believe there is and science is the way to explain the existence of His work.