Science and Christianity
November 12, 2011 at 6:36 am #15673biologyproParticipant
Science and Christianity does not conflict.
People thought that science and Christianity conflict. Science is based on experiment, calculation and evidence. Christianity is a belief by faith. Scientists tell us that the Universe is started by the Big Bang millions of years ago. But Christians believes in the Bible which states that the whole world was created by God and our earth exists only for thousands of years. Some scientists believe human came from evolution accidentally but Christians believe we are the precious one made by God. Science try to rationalize everything by logic and experiment, but Christianity tells us that it cannot work sometimes.
I think science relates to Christianity. They both reflect the image of God. Scientific discovery helps us to understand God. God is the Creator of all things including the world, animals, human and even science. Science is based on what people can see but there is something greater than what we can see. Science discovers things based on logical observation, measurement, test and experiment. But today scientists have new findings to replace the wrong idea or concept from time to time.
Science is still discovering about the world. One day scientists may be good enough to answer all the questions then they will know the truth that God is the creator of everything. I think that Science and Christianity have no conflicts at all.
November 12, 2011 at 6:40 am #108062biologyproParticipant
"It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human. Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles—he can only discover them."
— Thomas Paine
November 12, 2011 at 11:10 pm #108071DanielSanParticipantquote biologypro:
Scientists have actual proof that the earth is 4.5 billion years old (radiometric dating). Creationists have a lot of faith and weird explanations, but no proof whatsoever.quote biologypro:
Scientists do not "believe" in Evolution- they have solid evidence which supports the theory. And Evolution does not happen accidentially…quote biologypro:
November 13, 2011 at 11:32 am #108075quote biologypro:
Yeah, because religion is not human invention 😆 😆
November 13, 2011 at 11:35 am #108076quote biologypro:
you sure this is not a conflict? Seems like huge conflict to me.
November 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm #108078GavinParticipant
Are science and religion compatible?
November 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm #108107zombiesaganParticipant
The more and more science discovers, the less there is for God to do. Besides, how do you make the jump from "God created the universe" to "the Christian God (Yahweh) created the universe"? There’s a big difference because you not only need to provide evidence that a divine being created the universe (and so far no one has been able to find any evidence of that), but you then need to prove that that divine being is Yahweh and not Allah, Zeus, Cthulu, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s a task no one has successfully accomplished and I don’t think anyone ever will. Science wins.
November 16, 2011 at 7:24 am #108147MakyhgParticipant
couple of days back i heard somewhere about this subject on which we are talking about. But you know has science killed God, or has it simply revealed that He never existed in the first place? In that clip from the movie Contact that we have just seen, did you notice the implicit assumption made by Jody Foster’s character, Dr. Arroway? The assumption was that belief in God and belief science are fundamentally incompatible. Dr. Arroway does not argue for this position, she simply assumes it. She takes it as a given. Why? What exactly is it about science that conflicts with belief in God? Do they conflict? Is one more rational than the other?
On some levels, I can identify very much with the character of Dr. Arroway portrayed in this movie. Like her, I tend to have a skeptical bent towards many things. As a physics major, I am, like her, deeply interested in science. Unlike her, I am also a Christian. I have a deep and meaningful faith in Jesus Christ which is the most important thing in my life. Contact is one of my favorite movies, in part because the questions it addresses are close to many of the same questions that I have personally struggled with. Is there a conflict between my faith and science in terms of what each tells me about the world? If not a conflict in the realm of facts, is there, perhaps, a conflict in the methods and attitudes of each toward finding truths about the world? Must I, to be consistent, choose between my love of God and my love of science? Because of these and other questions, and my search for answers to them, I found myself adding an additional major to the physics major I started out with, a major in philosophy and religion.
The issues involved in these questions, I have found, are very deep and trace themselves back to some of our most fundamental beliefs about reality. Brilliant people spend their entire lives studying these questions and often come to very different conclusions. So what is it that makes me, just an undergrad at Truman like yourselves, qualified to stand up here and address this subject? That’s a good question. The only answer I can give is that I believe that my own personal involvement with these issues, as well as what I have learned in both of my majors, gives me something of a unique perspective on the whole question of the relationship between science and Christianity. I often find that many of those who see a conflict between science and Christianity (on both sides) have what I call a sort of "tunnel vision" — they often seem to be blind sided by a single perspective and are unable to see the bigger picture. Other than that, I don’t claim to be any more qualified to address these issues than the rest of you. My purpose here, then, is not to give you some definitive resolution to this issue, but, hopefully, to give you some perspective that will help you think more about it.
It is my conviction that if this is a barrier in your spiritual search, it does not need to be, and there are answers.
That being said, I would like to begin addressing this topic by looking at what I believe to be three very common misconceptions about the nature of science and religion that often figure prominently in the whole "science versus religion" debate.
The first misconception is that the scientific method is the only reliable means of obtaining knowledge about the world.
This position is known as "Scientism," and it is one that many in our modern western culture, either consciously or unconsciously, assume to be the case. Often, for example, we use the word "scientific" as a synonym for the word "rational." Something can only be proven, we think, if it can be "demonstrated scientifically." In our culture, science is often regarded as the final judge in all matters of truth. To disagree with science, is to disagree with reason itself. Despite its popularity, however, this position is false, for two basic reasons:
First, it is false because it is self-refuting. The statement "the scientific method is the only reliable means of obtaining knowledge of the world" is itself a statement which can not be known through the scientific method. By its own standards, then, scientism is a position which must be accepted solely on the basis of blind faith, and one which cannot be known to be true.
Second, this position is false because it contradicts many things in our own experience. How do you know that you are in love with someone or that someone genuinely loves you? How do you know that things like racism and the killing of innocent people are wrong? How can you verify scientifically that life is meaningful and worth getting up in the morning for? None of these things are things that can be verified scientifically, but that does not seem to make any of them any less meaningful or less knowable.
November 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm #108161
Science supports or rejects, it doesn’t not prove, but does the best it can. Some people try to say "Water boils at blah blah blah", and state it as fast. However, that is incorrect. Water boils at that temperature at a certain elevation, with certain applications present (environmental), etc. It also applies to our atmosphere, perhaps gravity, etc. There are many variables which change it. Therefore, no, water does not boil at that temperature. However, one can assert that it is a fact contingent upon where/how/etc it boils. But is it truly fact, or just a very well supported theory whose results are reproducible time and time again?
As a scientist, I don’t believe in fact. I believe only in supporting or rejecting things. If I cannot rule out all of the variables, I cannot say for certain something is fact.
That being said, and getting onto the point… Science and religion do not conflict unless a theory explicitly supports otherwise, such as god making it rain. Of course, that isn’t to say a god didn’t, because that god may have used their power to cause the rain, which may have occurred naturally. Or, one could hypothesis that every cycle and process on the world is a result of creation due to a god. The Christian god can still work in this situation.
As for creation, interestingly, the timeline of Genesis seems to match the evolution of our universe, even down to our planet, from the information we do have regarding both. As for the evolution of life, it also seems to match in the timeline of biopoesis to where we are now. It’s actually quite interesting…
As for everything else, it’s muddy, and I am extremely tired, I haven’t slept since Sunday… Trying to work on things for school, such as this 100 page CDC epidemiology case study. It’s killing me, literally.
I will add more at another time. I am sitting at campus before class and I am falling asleep while typing…
November 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm #108165quote ChesneMD:
really? And I thought that the Earth is old like 6000 years in accordance to Bible and all the living things were created in only one week. That doesn’t seem to correlate to me.
November 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm #108172quote JackBean:
You would be entirely incorrect, then. The bible does not state either directly nor indirectly, not so much as a hint, toward the age of the universe, let alone the earth. The only time it does state is 6 days, in relation to the creation of everything. However, as I am sure you are aware, there are many debates as to what that means. I am under the assumption that it means something other than a literal day. Also, if it was a literal 6 days, that still doesn’t mean it couldn’t all be fashioned faster than normal by a god. Instead of taking a million or billion years, he could’ve made it happen faster.
But regarding what actually happens sans time is what I was referring to, the steps therein contained.
Yet do bear in mind I am a scientist, and I am not a Christian.
November 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm #108173
Firstly, I think the 6000years come from Christian "scientist", who have calculated the age from Bible somehow. Secondly, that’s the problem with all the divine "creatures", because you can always say they made the day longer or they created everything but since that time they didn’t bother to show up and proof their existence etc.
November 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm #108174zombiesaganParticipant
What JackBean is getting at is that claiming that a supernatural being can do basically anything is a non-falsifiable hypothesis. You can always just say, "Well, actually, nothing existed until NOW. God created everything AT THIS MOMENT, including fossils and memories, etc." This is a useless statement though, because if you take this as your premise then how can you ever discover anything meaningful beyond the answer, "God did it." The scientific answer is not only more rationally sound but also offers the far more interesting story. "God did it." has no proof to back it up and makes no predictions. It is not a scientific theory.
November 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm #108179
Well, given my brief suggestion, I had stated that a god could have potentially made millions of years happen in 6 days. To put it on a scale, I’d not consider it. I would say that god placed the processes and everything perfectly and let nature, which doesn’t exist either, not even in science, work its magic. This would the "6 days = billions of years" suggestion. It is also interesting to note that it is said god works in perfection, and evolution is a concept where things strive for perfection, in a loose definition. It isn’t great if you’re going for highly accurate, as things are never perfect, but some traits are more adaptive, others being maladaptive. But in a non-scientific theory, or layman’s theory, things are constantly evolving for perfection to survive, though in this case perfection is still subjective.
With that in mind, you could suggest (I know I am saying suggest a lot, but since it is not a testable hypothesis, I can neither support nor reject it) that this is one of his perfect creations, where things are constantly changing to survive. Another perfect process or creation could be one of the numerous on Earth or of the universe. Specifically related to Earth, you could mention the Water Cycle, for instance.
And yes, it is non-falsifiable. At least, currently. You could just as easily, however, say that the M-theory, or String Theory for those not familiar, is like the god debate. Of course we’re trying to test it, but how can you test multi-dimensions that may or may not exist, and supposedly existed before the big bang? How do these multi-dimensions exist? We haven’t even explored the deepest, or oldest, parts of the universe yet. We’re getting there, though.
So, that’s a mess… what am I saying? There are countless things in which we cannot support or reject simply because we cannot test them, either because we do not have access or the information, like the theory of abiogenesis or biopoesis. There’s the theory that it started with self-replicating molecular systems, then gave birth to the RNA world, then DNA. The Fox and Miller-Urey experiments have brought great insight into this. And even more recent research is stunning. But we really are not any closer overall. It’s the same with the first law of thermodynamics and conversation of mass and the fact we exist, along with biopoesis and spontaneous generation. The first two state that neither of their contents can be created nor destroyed. Spontaneous generation, taught in biology that it is false (though I prefer rejected or unsupported), is that life can come from nonliving sources. Yet in all 3 of these, something obviously had to something, because energy and matter exists, it had to have a beginning. The multi-dimensions in M-theory had a predecessor. Abiogenesis or biopoesis says that spontaneous generation has to have occurred at least once before, also given the fact that life simply just exists. We are also made up of the same atoms that all objects are.
It isn’t that farfetched to believe an entity or some cosmic force that breaks all laws of the universe caused all of this supposedly impossible things to happen. Whether it is specifically a god or not, or the Christian god, is irrelevant. What should be focused on is the entity or force itself.
I could go even more at length, but I haven’t slept since Sunday, I’ve had a lot of work to do, and I have a class starting, so I must take my absence. I look forward to your replies and insight.
P.S. I find the fact that something which breaks all things as we know it, to have created something from nothing (Regardless of the fact they, too, would need a beginning), extremely more fascinating and interesting because it’s something infinitely more awesome to try and study how it behaves.
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