Science And Religion

Religion without science is lame.

Science without religion is blind.

…Albert Einstein

 

Prior to the Big Bang theory, many scientists thought the universe was static; meaning that it was continuous, i.e., it had no beginning, and was unchanging. 

Well, the Big Bang Theory turned the Static Universe Hypothesis on it’s head.  This theory proposed that the entire universe is actually “evolving” from it’s formation – when a super-hot singularity suddenly expanded and then exploded, approximately 13.7-billion years ago.

While the expanding universe theory actually satisfies predictions made in “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity”, Einstein himself had “difficulties” with the Big Bang Theory.  So much so in-fact, that he proposed a rival theory of an infinitely old and infinitely large static universe.  (He actually had to change some of his general relativity equations to obtain this result.)  But, actual observations did not support Einstein’s “new’ theory; and, he was later quoted as saying his static universe theory was, “…the greatest mistake of my life.”  Einstein finally accepted not only a “beginning” but also the presence of a superior reasoning power.   There is no evidence, however, that Einstein ever accepted even the presence of a personal God.1

So, what’s the purpose of the above discourse?  Well, science is based on observation.  And, so is something else.  In the Bible, the 1st Chapter of Romans, in verses 19 through 20 you will read (Paul’s writing):  “They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature.  So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (NLT)

And now, if you’ll turn to the Book of John, Chapter 14, verses 9 through 11 (Jesus is speaking):  “…Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!  So why are you asking me to show Him to you?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?  The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does His work through me.  Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.  Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.”

Two very powerful, and life altering statements about “observation,” which I’ll mention again, later. 

But, science and religion?  Really…?

Yes, I think we must agree that Einstein got it right in the quote at the top of the page; …and a lot of people, today, are getting it wrong, …dead wrong! Science and religion are not the antithesis of one another. The Bible does not discuss the subject of evolution… in any form. Rather, the Bible’s worldview assumes God created the world.  And, the biblical view of creation is not in conflict with science. Rather, it is in conflict with any worldview that starts without a creator.2

It is “generally accepted” in scientific circles that current science says the universe came into being 13.7 billion years ago, when a volume of space one hundred billion billion times smaller than a proton expanded (extremely rapidly) to a volume about 4” across. (This is the Inflation theory in a nut-shell.)  At the end of this inflation, the universe is a 4” fire-ball of energy.  The fireball continues to expand as a result of the “push” from the inflation and becomes what we call the Big Bang.  The Inflation and Big Bang theories predict certain patterns of ripples which provide the irregularities from which galaxies and clusters of galaxies can grow as the Universe continues to expand.  Scientists should also see radiation left over from the Big Bang’s fiery explosion.3 And, astronomic observation matches the predictions of both theories.

Never-the-less, scientists do not agree on exactly how that singularity formed, and where all the energy and mass (of the entire Universe) actually came from. 

Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1:  “In the beginning God…” (let’s pause right there.)  We are told that God was present at the beginning.  A rather significant statement.  Can anyone prove it wrong?  You may choose to believe it false, but can you prove it?  Moving on (in the same verse), “…God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Scientists don’t know how this creation event was triggered.  Nor do I know how He did it; I just know God did it.  God, who calls himself, “I Am” or “I Am Who I Am”, spoke.  And, in a hundredth of a billionth of a trillionth of a second the entire universe came into being – along with the laws that govern it.

At this point I’m going to tell you that I will not get into a discussion of whether planet Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old or 10,000 years old.  Yes, I have an opinion.  But, really, I don’t think it matters one way or the other.  That is not the important point.  The important point is that God tells us He created planet Earth, and that He is responsible for everything on it, flora and fauna.  I believe it.  Why?  For way too many reasons to cover all of them here.  However, I will give you four.

1. God says He did.  And, there is no proof that He didn’t.  Nor can I find any evidence (anywhere) that tells me God has ever lied… about anything.

2. I believe God created me.  He gave me free-will.  He gave me a brain.  God expects me to use my brain to evaluate teachings as either true or false, not only for my own protection, but for the protection of others. Jesus says:  “And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.”  (Matthew, 24:11)  So, lets scientifically examine a few claims that you may think are true, but I believe to be false.

3. Let’s look at Biochemistry/Mathematics.  Here is where Evolutionists say it starts.  Again in condensed form, Evolutionists say that on the early Earth all the chemicals were available to produce small molecules, which combined to form larger molecules, which organized themselves into one-cell living organisms. OK, why not?

Evolutionary biology is not very quantifiable.  Never-the-less, some laws of chemistry and genetics can be expressed in equations which provide probability of change over time.  In other words scientist can estimate the time it would take to originate a single cell; and, the time it would take to evolve a complex life form from that cell.  So, what is the answer?  Scientists show that the probability of complex life (plants and animals) evolving by this method is extremely small – statistically Zero.  According to most mathematical calculations it would take over 100-billion years for a single cell to have developed on Earth.  Oops.  Earth, even at 4.5 billion years – and the Universe at 13.7 billion years….  Well, statistically, you see the problem. 

But, there is that old saying:  “Statistics never lie, and liars use statistics.”  So let’s take a different tack.  If life evolved from chemicals by chance, why not replicate the environment under laboratory conditions and see how the chemicals respond.  I mean, if there is any probability that something can occur, it will likely occur.  The real question is when.  The more time, the greater the chance of occurrence.  And, it could occur quickly.

And, that’s exactly why scientists got very excited when, in 1952, Stanley Miller exposed a simple mixture of gases to a spark source and produced small organic molecules – including amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  But, there is more to the story. Decades of follow-up research showed that the amino acids – when left alone in their chemical  mire – degraded and did not form the “rich organic soup” it would have taken to possibly produce life. Oops… again.

4. More Biochemistry:  Moving ahead to 1953 the double helix structure of DNA cleared up many mysteries of how genes (and proteins)  acted and reacted within living cells.  Suddenly, we understood that genetic information can exist in stable form for thousands of years, yet can be copied easily when cells divide.  It is even possible to manipulate DNA, transferring it from one species to another, and even cloning animals.  It became apparent that natural (or random) occurring mutations on a single part of a DNA molecule could result in biological variation.

Thus, Evolutionists expected that an improved understanding of mutations, amino acids and DNA should put their theory on firmer ground, but instead biochemistry has raised challenging new questions. 

a. The molecular clock showing how long ago each species branched off from its common ancestor in the evolutionary tree has been called into question.  The problem is that the molecular clocks run at different speeds for different species and for different positions along the DNA module.  The result is very large uncertainties in time and data that does not compare favorably with fossil records.

b. Perhaps the most significant finding is that scientists compared the protein’s amino acid sequences  they found it impossible to arrange them in any sort of evolutionary series.  “Thousands of different sequences, protein and nucleic acid, have now been compared in hundreds of different species but never has any sequence been found to be in any sense the lineal descendant or ancestor of any other sequence.  In terms of their biochemistry, none of the species deemed ‘intermediate’, ‘ancestral’, or ‘primitive’ by generations of evolutionary biologists, and alluded to as evidence of sequence in nature, shows any sign of their supposed intermediate status”.4This is just the opposite of what Evolutionists had expected.  Ouch!

Now, in all fairness, Darwin published Origin of the Species in 1859.  We have learned a tremendous amount in the intervening 150+ years!  Stop and think about how much knowledge has been added in the fields of Astronomy, Geology, Paleontology, Biochemistry, Biology, Micro-Biology, and Genetics since Darwin died in 1882.  There are so many things he simply did not know or understand.  They weren’t available to him, for crying out loud.  Was he brilliant?  Yes.  Was he correct?  Certainly not in the field of Macro-evolution.  Has his theory been the impetus for the discovery of much of the knowledge we now have in the above mentioned disciplines.  Absolutely. 

So, the way I see it, just as Genesis claims, God is the creator and designer of the Universe, Earth (part of the Universe), and all life on planet Earth.  When scientists work to gain understanding of how things came to be and how they “work”, they are simply trying to understand the mind of God.  (I think a growing number of them would admit that).  Is trying to understand the mind of God a bad thing?  I don’t think so… not in and of itself.  However, if the knowledge we gain is used inappropriately – for instance, to try to prove there is no God – oh yeah, …that’s BAD! 

The Bible has much to say about false teachers and false teaching.  (Just look up those terms in the Concordance of your Bible.)  In it’s worst forms they are used to lure people away from God, and to create dissension within the church.  So be careful.  And, remember, we all have responsibility in this area.

Among the Christian community we need to stress unity – not uniformity. Different Christians can, and will, have different opinions about these beginnings.  Remember, when I said my opinion about the age of Earth doesn’t matter?  It doesn’t… because the important thing is not how old Earth is, the important thing is God Created it!

Likewise, the important thing is not the process by which life got started on Earth; and, how all the animals, and man, appeared. The important thing is that God created us, and designed each species to produce offspring of it’s own kind. 

Here is the most important point to keep in mind.  The Bible doesn’t only tell us what God did.  The Bible also tells us who God is. The Bible reveals a personal God who loves His creation.  A God who has a plan for His creation – including you and me.  A God who thought so much of us that He gave us the capability to either break His heart or to bring Him great joy.  That is our choice. 

God created the Universe.  God created us – here on the planet He also created.  God has a plan for us.  We have observed  much of what God has done.  We have the evidence.  And, we will make a decision.  (Ignoring the decision, is a decision.)

Whether we realize it or not, we are eternal beings.  Our decision is, in effect, where we will spend eternity.

A. Are we going to live God’s plan for us?  In which case we will spend Eternity with God. 

B. Or, are we going to reject God?  In which case we will be separated from God for eternity.  Imagine a place devoid of anything good, or moral.  A place with no honor, no integrity, no peace, no love, no joy, and devoid of even, hope.  (And, that’s just for starters.)

 

God is waiting for our decision.

 

Avery

 

______

1. Note: Beginnings, Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.(2007), pg 5.

2. The Big Bang, and Inflation,  30-Second Theories, Edited by Paul Parsons.  MetroBooks. (2009),   pp 116 and 120.

3.   Out of My Later Years, Einstein, Albert. Philosophical Library, New York (1950). pp 27-28.

4. Natures Destiny, Denton,F., The Free Press, New York.  (1996) pp 279-280.

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One thought on “Science And Religion

  1. Grandpa,

    I really like that you addressed this in your blog. It’s something that I have tried to say for awhile but didn’t have to words to express. I don’t understand it to the extent that you do but I have felt the same way for quite some time. I have felt that this “war” between science and religion has probably been a stumbling block in different people’s path to God. The idea that you can either believe in science OR believe in God is something I have rejected for several years now. As a human and as a nurse I consider myself a scientist. Christianity is a part of what I do on a daily basis in my personal as well as professional life. It’s who I am. The Scientific process is very much the same way. I feel like if they can coexist in me why can’t it be accepted by more people.

    Anyways, it’s been a bit since I have caught up on your blog. I am glad that I happened upon it today.

    Love you Grandpa,

    Andrea

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