Thursday, November 14, 2013

God in science...and science in God

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Those are bold words, spoken by a man who wasn't afraid to stir things up a bit--Albert Einstein. And though it may go against my better judgment (or maybe it just makes me nervous) I'm going to take a chance at stirring things up a bit myself...

I still find it hard to believe at times, but I'm in the world of science. I still hesitate to call myself a scientist and don't know if I'll ever really feel like I can call myself a physicist, but after all life's twists and turns I've found myself right in the middle of a world that somehow seems both disconnected and intricately blended with the world of faith in which I grew up.

Some people, it seems, think those two worlds--one of science and one of faith--should never collide. I'm not sure what chaos they think might come about as a result, but surely it would be something terrifying and life shattering.

You know what?
I think that's a tragedy.

I have never been one who was content with the answer I was given just because somebody told me it was true. I've always wanted to find things out for myself, to test what people tell me. I'm a questioner.

There's a sad tendency in Christianity for questions to be discouraged. So many people are taught that having faith means believing blindly, just going along with whatever is preached from the pulpit. Being a good Christian means never wondering or digging or probing--
--almost as if people are afraid that if they dig too deep, they might uncover something they don't want to find.

It frustrates me to see how some Christians react to advances in science. They attack without first studying, and in doing so they seem almost afraid of science. It is as if the words "scientific advancement" are synonymous with "anti-God" in their minds.

Because surely anything that comes from the world of science is heretical and shouldn't be trusted.

On the other side of the battlefield, there are many in science who think all Christians are unintelligent, uneducated, naive people who believe a fairytale mainly because they haven't gotten the chance to see how the real world works.

They look at the power man has gotten through science--
the power to kill or heal
to harness the energy of subatomic particles and use them for our own purposes
and now even the power to control life to an unbelievable degree--
and come to the conclusion that there is no need for God, therefore He doesn't exist.

They dismiss those of faith without hardly even a second glance. They seem to see themselves as too intelligent to be misled by myths.
 Here's another radical thinker: Galileo Galilei. He said, "I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

Everything should be scrutinized. It should be studied and tested and double checked. If something can't stand up to the scrutiny, it should be disregarded and thrown out. In science, that's part of the scientific process. If you ask me, it's a great process.

That thought makes some Christians nervous, but you know what?

Not me.

You see, I believe in a God who is strong enough to stand up under the pressure. He can be 
scrutinized 
poked and prodded
or examined
and what will be revealed is
ultimate creative power
the One who glues protons together in a nucleus
and wisdom beyond compare.

In Job we are told, "To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His." (12:13)

Jeremiah 10:12 says, "But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding."

In Colossians, Paul tells us that he wants everyone to "know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (2:2-3)

One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:3 that says, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

I look around me and I see amazing details and unbridled creativity that can be explained in no other way than is laid out in Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

I see natural phenomena like lightning that physicists are still trying to model with equations (I've played around with some of those equations--believe me, they are a bit overwhelming) and am nothing short of in awe of the One who "sends lightning with the rain" (Jeremiah 10:13).

I am saddened by the fact that so few seem to be willing to mix science and faith mainly because I see so much beauty in how the two fit together. 

I see the physics hidden not so subtly in verses like the one in Hebrews which tells us that everything is made of subatomic particles (come on--you see it, right?). 

Even less subtly, I see God in the amazing design that went into our DNA and how it is replicated and repaired.

I would love to see what could happen if both sides of the argument would take off their blinders for a bit and look around, maybe take a chance and talk to one another. It would be amazing to see the great things that could be accomplished.

2 comments:

  1. Sometimes I am truly inspired by your words and this is one of them. Please continue.

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  2. I know this is constantly hard for you being around these issues... Anyways, I am glad you wrote this. It is such a difficult topic. I think sometimes the largest problem we have with science and the BIble is that we think they cannot mix and thats just horribly wrong because it puts limits on GOD and he has no limits. He knows it all and we cannot.

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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy