SCIENCE OR FAITH – DO WE HAVE TO CHOOSE?
Though many scientists would say science has made faith in God obsolete, I would say not. But just as many scientists would state that science is the only option, I think it is clear that our universe has room for both what science and faith have to offer.
I think it would be like living in the “dark ages” to suggest that science has no voice in our world, as many fundamental Christians do. To deny the many findings of science is to be ignorant at best, and blind at worst. Science has actually opened up God’s world to us like never before. And when I use the word “science” I am referring to many fields of study including anthropology, archeology, medicine, psychology, sociology, chemistry, astronomy, and biology to name just a few. To deny science and its findings would be to deny much of the truth that God has revealed to us in our natural world.
In fact, several noted scientists have come to faith in God because of what they have observed in the natural world. For example, read what these two scientists state:
"The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine." Dr. Vera Kistiakowski, MIT
"I stand in awe of God because of what He has done through his creation. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God" Dr. James Tour, scientist, Rice University
So, while I don’t believe science or faith reveals all truth about our universe, I think when integrated together, we have a much fuller and richer picture of both the God who has created our universe and how He has done it. I further believe science shows us much about how God created the universe and how it sustains itself (natural revelation); while the bible reveals why God created the universe and what it means for us to live as part of this created world (divine revelation).
So, here are four reasons that I believe we don’t have to choose between science or faith to understand our world, but rather it is both.
1. Jewish History is Credible
I won’t get into the details here, but there is enough evidence from archeology to suggest that much of what is recorded in the Old Testament of the bible to be historically accurate. Archeology or science has not confirmed everything in the Old Testament, such as Noah’s flood, but much has been. Based on this, coupled with what science is confirming about our world, it is reasonable to believe that a “thinking” Being has created the world. We will say more on this in point three.
For scientists to suggest that science is the only way to know about the origin of our world and because of this, religion is not factual, but rather just a myth or speculation seems to be both ignorant and arrogant.
2. Science Has Now Confirmed That the Universe Had a Beginning
Science use to believe that the universe always existed. But almost all scientists and astronomers agree today about two things:
(1) Our universe had a beginning point
(2) There was a time when our universe didn’t exist
What is the significance of this? It is this: whatever begins to exist must have a cause.
Here is how the argument would proceed:
(a) Whatever begins to exist must have a cause
(b) The universe began to exist
(c) The universe must have had a cause (to get it started)
(d) The most reasonable cause would have been a thinking and orderly Being.
This raises the question: Who made God? The very definition of God leads to God being the first cause and without a cause for His own creation. Hank Hanegraaff, in Fatal Flaws states it this way:
…to suppose that because the universe had a cause, the cause of the universe must have had a cause simply leads to a logical dead end. An infinite regression of finite causes does not answer the question of “source;” it merely makes the effects more numerous
Even science confirms our universe had a beginning. So we then have to decide for ourselves as to whether God created the universe or it randomly came into existence through some “big bang” theory or some other random method. In the next point, I will delineate my argument for why I think it is far more reasonable to believe God created the universe than it randomly just happening.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God
3. The Universe Was Created By a Conscious Being-- God
We have to ask ourselves when looking at the universe – or even shrinking our vision down to our own bodies – could this have simply randomly happened? Is our human body with trillions of cells something that happened randomly? Is the complexity of our bodies with the mapping of DNA that science and medicine have discovered, is it easier to believe that a rational and conscious Being created it, or did it just happen randomly?
The more we learn about the human body, our world and the universe; we realize just how complex all of these systems are. Because of this, I don’t believe we are just random results of evolution or are simply here by accident.
While I do believe science has proven evolution to be a tool used in the forming of our world, I believe even it is a process used by a rational Being in the overall creation of our world.
Physics continues to show on a daily basis just how finely tuned our universe is. It has proven that even the slightest deviations in our world and universe would not allow for life to be sustained. When you observe the laws of physics, gravity and that of constant energy, you realize how incomprehensibly the precision of our universe has to be. Did that just come about randomly? I for one don’t think so.
It is sort of like this story – if you are walking along and stumble onto a beautiful beach with billions of grains of sand, you might conclude that it was there randomly without any rational being having anything to do with it. However, if you stumble onto that same beach and then see written in the sand “Joe loves Susan”, you probably wouldn’t conclude that this happened randomly, but rather a rational being intentionally wrote this upon the sand.
I think this story is relevant when observing our world. There is too much intelligence, rationale and intentionality to conclude it has all just happened randomly.
One of the most famous atheists of our time, philosopher, Anthony Flew, was converted to believing God created our universe rather than it randomly occurring based on what science has proven about our universe. He wrote this:
I now believe the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine source
4. Our World Was Created By a Moral Being – God
Perhaps this one more than the previous three is the most compelling argument for God. As you read through the bible, you get a real sense that God was intentional about fairness, justice, ethics and morality.
While our bodies function on a medical science level, we are much more than chemicals, cells, organs and biology. There is another dimension to us that science can’t quite put its finger on – namely our conscience and moral compass.
What tells us that some things are right and other things are wrong? What tells us what is good and what is evil?
And if we possess this, is it not reasonable to conclude that the Being who created us first had this and then designed it into us?
The laws that govern humanity don’t come from science. Our response to heinous crimes seems to come naturally and deep from within us. Science can’t explain this either.
It seems clear that there is a spiritual or unseen dimension to life that we are endowed with from a Creator.
Science isn’t the ones to tell us that torturing babies or child incest is wrong. These kinds of incomprehensible evils can’t be measured in a laboratory or observed under a microscope. No, these are laws that are written into the human heart by a good God who has designed us for a purpose.
Science is clearly one way to observe and make sense of our world and universe, but it is not the only way. Faith in a good God that is described and revealed in the bible is not only confirmed by science, but takes life to another dimension and gives us both meaning and purpose. The one who designed us has not only equipped us for life, but has written into our hearts and minds how to know God and how to live life as He has designed us to live it!
In conclusion, do you see what science is observing and how it confirms the fingerprints of God in our universe? Do you see the fingerprints of God on your life personally? Here are some thoughtful words to think on in conclusion by Francis Collins:
Will we turn our backs on science because it is perceived as a threat to God? Abandoning all the promise of advancing our understanding of nature and applying that to the alleviation of suffering and the betterment of humankind?
Alternatively, will we turn our backs on faith…concluding that science has rendered the spiritual life no longer necessary, and that traditional religious symbols can now be replaced by engravings of the double helix on our altars? Both of these choices are profoundly dangerous. Both deny truth. Both will diminish the nobility of humankind.
Both will be devastating to our future. And both are unnecessary. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful – and it cannot be at war with itself. Only we imperfect humans can start such battles. And only we can end them.
Francis Collins, (Head of Human Genome Project, one of the world’s leading scientists on human DNA and author of The Language of God)
By: Jack Guyler