Science and Belief in God

Do Science and Belief in God really conflict?

We may admit that some Christians do bad science.
This may be especially true of those who argue for a young earth (e.g.
one less than 50000 years old). But belief in God and even the Bible itself
does not require one to believe in such theories. Even the word for day
“yom” in the Biblical accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 certainly need not stand
for 24 hours. See Reasons to Believe
and other writings by Dr. Hugh Ross and others for more on this. The best
astronomical estimates indicate that the Big Bang happened about 17 billion
years ago. It turns out that even with billions of years of time, there
still just isn’t enough time for life to appear by random chance.

Click here for some recent quotes
by secular astronomers

Science is a method in which observations about
the physical universe are made, patterns are observed, theories
and mathematical models are proposed and experiments are constructed to
verify the accuracy or otherwise of the theory. Understanding more about
the normal operation of the physical universe will never demonstrate that
a spiritual world does not exist. In fact, for theistic thinkers, the incredible
‘lucky’ co-incidences in the laws of physics which make a physical universe
like ours possible strongly suggest that there must be a Designer out there.
Even a famous agnostic physicist has said, ‘It seems that someone has monkeyed
with the laws of physics’. This evidence for design extends to the realms
of chemistry and biology.

Many of the greatest scientists the world has
known were Christians (e.g. Pasteur, Pascal, Newton, Faraday). Many more
scientists, although not Christians, were convinced by what they
observed in the Universe that there must be an intelligent Designer – a
Creator God. Albert Einstein was in this category. Although the religion
of secular humanism has largely hijacked the sciences and the education
system in general, there are still many brilliant Christian scientists
in the world today (e.g. Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. A.E. Wilder Smith et. al.).

A lot of scientists may come out in favor of an
agnostic, materialistic world-view. It is the natural tendency of any kind
of specialist to try to reduce the world to the terms of his particular
field of interest. Remember that not everything scientists say is scientifically
based (just ask their wives – or husbands!) It is actually outside the
scope of science as such to make pronouncements on the existence or otherwise
of things not describable by mathematics. Science can never prove that
there is no God, because science can never reveal everything, even about
the physical universe. (The uncertainty principle of Heisenberg is a small
example of this). Science can help us see how things work, but not why
they exist. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a spiritual
world.

What we actually see on the earth and in the cosmos
would lead us to doubt that this Universe and all it contains is actually
the product of time, chance, matter and energy.

It is outside the scope of this page to cover
ground that others have already covered better than myself. You don’t have
to believe everything “Creation Science” people insist on in order to believe
that God created the world. Let every theory stand or fall on its own merits.

Suggested Links for Further Study

Reasons to Believe
– Dr.Hugh Ross, former research fellow at Caltech, with his colleagues
bring scientific evidence virtually proving scientifically the existencee
of a Creator God.

Recent Quotes by Secular Astronomers

From “Creation and Time”, pg. 126, by Dr. Hugh Ross:

Since 1985 the evidences for a divinely caused and designed universe
have been accumulating dramatically. Consequently, a growing number of
astronomers and physicists have been making theological inferences. For
example, American astronomer George Greenstein, in The Symbiotic Universe
(1988), concluded:

    As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that
    some supernatural agency – or rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it
    possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific
    proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and
    so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?

British scientist Paul Davies in his 1983 book, God and the New Physics,
denied the possibility of God as Creator and promoted an atheistic interpretation
of the universe. But, just one year later, his thinking had begun to change.
In his 1984 book, Superforce (pg 203), he wrote:

    The laws [of physics] … seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly
    ingenious design … The Universe must have a purpose.

In his 1988 book, The Cosmic Blueprint (pg 203), Davies expressed further
change:
    [I see] powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it
    all. The impression of design is overwhelming.

Agnostic Robert Jastrow described the path travelled by his fellow astronomers
as:
    scaling the mountains of ignorance, … conquering the highest peak,
    … pulling [themselves] over the final rock … [to be] greeted by a band
    of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
    (God and
    the Astronomers: W.W. Norton, 1978), page 116.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. Cleanasfire says:

    cleanasfire loves you in Jesus’ name. Everything is basically a Biblical conjecture. God did what he did the way HE did it and I am glad he did it that way. Jesus is the King of Kings and The Lord of true Peace forever…Amen

  2. (I’m submitting this a second time because the first time I tried IE died on me… So apologies if this posts twice!)

    Hi Michael. Thanks for responding to my comment. I think you’ll be glad to find that AIG doesn’t believe that salvation is based on belief in a six-day creation.

    Below are three snippets of articles from Answers In Genesis.

    1. From a Letter to AIG: I am a HS senior entering the field of biology. I love the sciences and I am secure in my faith in God as the creator of the universe.

    AIG response: This is great to hear. I presume you are referring to the God of the Bible. The one and only triune God. By this statement I think it is safe to assume that you are a Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. HOWEVER:

    Letter to AIG cont…: I think the idea of “creationism” that you push is childish and frankly, ridiculous.

    AIG response: The “idea of creationism” that we espouse is none other than the one that God has told us about in His Word. This is not our idea; God gave us His eyewitness account of His creative acts. So, why do you think that Jesus Christ’s written account of how and when He created is childish and ridiculous? Because of what some teacher, TV program, or textbook says? Your disagreement is not with us but with God and His Word.

    The above response was written by David Wright at AIG. The full letter and response can be read here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/06/29/feedback-childish-belief

    2. This is a quote from the AIG Founder:

    “It is true that whether one believes in six literal days does not ultimately affect one’s salvation, if one is truly born again.” -Ken Ham (Founder of AIG) & Dr. Terry Mortenson

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wow/whats-wrong-with-progressive-creation

    3. Another AIG Quote:

    As this chapter shows, compromising God’s Word is never a good thing. While not believing in six literal days does not ultimately affect a person’s salvation (if one is truly born again), it does lead down a destructive path that impacts entire generations.
    -by Pam S. Sheppard, staff writer, AiG–USA

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/wow/preview/part7.asp

    Anyways, I hope those three examples revealed that the folks at AIG are not basing salvation on the six-day creation belief. They make this clear often and you can find many more quotes like these throughout their site. I’m sorry you find them arrogant… I think they are quite friendly folks.

    “In so doing, they are turning a lot of thinking people AWAY from the gospel.”

    Many non-believers are highly intelligent ‘thinkers’ (but so are many believers). As for myself, I just happen to believe a day means a day. Six days of work, and a day of rest. It’s the perfect example of a working week too. (If a day meant a thousand or million years apiece we’d be quite tired by the time Sunday rolled around, wouldn’t we?) Christ died then rose in three days. If a day doesn’t mean a day then why not reinterpret that as well? Where does the reinterpretation end? Can you say that the ‘Interpretation of John is not the same as John?’

    I think the Bible is very straightforward and its message is easy to understand. But I know this belief doesn’t qualify me as very intelligent (by the world’s standards). You’re probably well aware of how much we Christians get mocked by the world.

    Anyways, as of now I also don’t believe any of the star-light theories that AIG has authored. However, I think they put these out as theories only, and make it clear that they are only speculations on a mystery (I’ll go back to the site later and check on that). I know that there are many scientific mysteries still out there and I also believe that some mysteries will never be solved until we are in Heaven with the Lord. (One example: Quantum Physics!)

    As to your question I believe God could’ve created the heavens and the earth in a nanosecond if He wished it.
    (God created time too after all).

    ~Syrena

    • It is true that God could have created the universe and the earth with the appearance of age. He could have made it look like there are really stars out there that are millions of light years away, but in reality, the stars could be 6000 years old along with the light that is coming to us now that we only thought was from those stars.

      This is all possible. The problem is that, once you say this, you have to say that science has nothing reliable to say about what has been going on. And you have to say that God deals in optical illusions represented as reality. The universe could have also been created one second ago, and everything we think we know could have been an implanted memory. That is also philosophically possible (though it is not biblically possible).

      I’m not sure if you got my point about Genesis 2. It said there that there was a DAY in which the Lord made the heavens and the earth. Which of the seven days of creation was that? It only makes sense if DAY refers to a period of time. I am contending that DAY can mean in the Bible something other than a literal 24 hour period.

      I am glad that AIG don’t make their beliefs a requirement for salvation in Christ. But even on the quotes you give, what I refer to as their arrogant attitude clearly comes through. I quote:

      The “idea of creationism” that we espouse is none other than the one that God has told us about in His Word …

      Translation: we are right, all we say in creationism is right, and it is the only way anyone who believes the Bible can think. To attack our way of seeing things is to belittle Jesus Christ and to believe the fallible opinions of men blah blah blah.

      Let’s consider an over literal interpretation of this verse:

      Isa 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

      This verse is actually a powerful verse demonstrating the scientific accuracy of the Bible. It teaches that the earth is a sphere, and that space and time can be rolled out (i.e. there are more dimensions of space than just 3). All things we know to be true by science as well, but only relatively recently.

      But if I want to take an ARROGANT over-literalistic view of this verse I can say that IT PROVES THE EARTH IS FLAT.

      I can say that “Don’t you see that the Word of God clearly teaches that the world is like a CIRCLE. Not a sphere! If God had wanted to say sphere, he would have. Don’t give me this stuff about the meaning of words in the original. The KJV is clear! It is a circle! So the earth is 2 dimensional, and God sits above it. If the earth was not flat, how would we know which way was “above” and not “below”. Furthermore, the sky is like a big tent, a big curtain, and God painted the stars on them 3 days after he made light. Anyone who does not believe in my ideas does not believe the Word of God! This is exactly what Jesus Christ taught, because don’t you know he quoted from the book of Isaiah? Down with our enemies. We are right! God has spoken!”

  3. The question is not which parts of the Genesis you believe, but which interpretation of Genesis you believe. For example, Genesis chapter 2 says that God made the heavens and the earth in a day. Do you believe it was a literal 24 hour day?

    Gen 2:4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the DAY that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens …

    I believe in Genesis, but I don’t believe in all the teachings of the people at Answers in Genesis. They have a very arrogant attitude, and almost imply that if you don’t believe the way they do, you cannot be saved. They are quick to do bad science if they believe it will back up their agenda. A good example would be the way they fudge the figures in trying to prove that the speed of light has been slowing down (hence no star is more than 10000 years away, yet so many have the appearance of being so many millions of light years away). In so doing, they are turning a lot of thinking people AWAY from the gospel. This is my view, I have listened to some of their videos, they can make some good points, but any and all interpretations of the scientific meaning of Genesis 1-2, including mine, ARE up for debate.

  4. Hi, thanks for that Reasons To Believe link. I haven’t seen that site before.

    Here’s my two cents on Christians who either don’t believe, or are embarrassed by Genesis:

    Once Genesis is dissected, and the reader picks what he wants to believe and what he doesn’t, you can begin picking apart the entire Word of God (and we are warned against taking away or adding to the Word). Jesus said that those who do not believe what Moses wrote will not believe Him. “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
    But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” I find it very easy to believe that God created just as his Word proclaims it, in six days. Why limit God by adding faulty human tradition and philosophy to His Word? “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

    Answers in Genesis (www.answersingenesis.org) has an incredible library of articles on this subject. 🙂

    ~Syrena

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