How Can You Reconcile Belief in God with Science and Especially Evolution?
Question in Response:
Are you aware of the fact that many of the world’s greatest living scientists as well as famous scientists of history are Christians?
Why do you think it is that science has flourished in cultures where Christianity is the dominant world view rather than animism, Islam, eastern mysticism?
One Minute Response:
1. Could it be that science has flourished in cultures dominated by Christianity because Christianity is the world view that sees reality as it really is?
2. The idea that all scientists and educated people are atheists is a myth. The Sigma Zi Scientific Honorary Society did a poll of 3,300 PhD’s and concluded that scientists are anchored in the US mainstream and that 1/2 participate in religious activities regularly.
Apparently many scientists have found no difficulty in reconciling what they know about science with what they know about God and his son Jesus Christ.
Richard Feynman (Nobel prize in physics) has said, “Many scientists do believe in both science and God, a God of revelation, in a perfectly consistent way.”
1. There is an overwhelming amount of literature for and against this theory. I don’t claim to be an expert on it.
2. I do know that there are some great Christian scholars who believe the Bible is true and that evolutionary theory can be reconciled with the Bible.
3. I know that there are also famous non-Christian scientists (see prolonged response) who believe evolution is a theory in crisis.
4. The real issue still comes down to the person of Jesus Christ and what you and I are going to do with him.
To the issue of compatibility of Science & Christianity
1. Science can only make sense in a certain kind of world–the kind that was, in fact, first envisioned by Christian theism. Consider the following philosophical base created by the Judeo-Christian world-view contrasted with other worldviews:
• The world is real. Science is dependent upon this belief and yet not all world-views supply this basic assumption. Hinduism, for example, conceives of the world as unreal, and the chief goal is release from this world.
• The world has been created by a rational being. The universe, therefore, is intelligible. Science is dependent upon this assumption. Taoism teaches that the real causes of natural patterns are spiritual and hidden. Empirical endeavors have not found much success in such a world-view.
2. Some apparent conflict may be explained by the fact that science and religion approach issues at a different level. Science seeks the causes of events and theology the meaning of events. Both may be true and complete at their own levels.
3. Christian ideas can inform science. In fact, the Bible, in terms of its ability to inform mankind on reality, has pre-dated science by as much as 3,000 years. (See Hugh Ross Creator and the Cosmos).
To the evolution issue:
- Define Terms: (Evolution, Biological macro-evolution, Biological micro-evolution, Young earth creationist, Old earth creationist)
- Many theists have no problem reconciling Scripture with macro-evolution, nevertheless, macro-evolution seems to be a long way from being shown to be true. Many thinkers consider macro-evolution a theory in crisis. • Non-Christian molecular biologist Michael Denton, in his book Evolution a Theory in Crisis argues that recent developments in molecular biology demonstrate the impossibility of evolution occurring between classes of living organisms (e.g., a reptile to a bird).
- Three scholars, Thaxton, Bradly and Olsen, in their book The Mystery of Life’s Origin, demonstrate the failure of abiogenesis (pre-biotic soup) experiments in the past 50 years to show the feasibility of life evolving from non-life.
- The troubling absence of transitional species in the world or in the fossil record have resulted in:
- A formerly outspoken evolutionist Colin Patterson (who wrote a book entitled Evolution and who held the position of senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History) standing up in two prestigious groups of evolutionists and admitting that after 20 years of studying evolution there was not one thing that he knew about it.
- The most outspoken evolutionist of our time, Stephen Gould (Senior Paleontologist at Harvard) proposed a whole new theory of evolution called punctuated equilibrium. This new theory of evolution asserts that evolution has not taken place gradually, but in spurts or spasms. This is the only way to rescue the theory from the lack of support (the overall stasis) in the fossil record.
- Scientist M. Ridley in an article entitled “Who Doubts Evolution” New Scientist, “No real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution.”
Some questions to ask an evolutionist:
- Are evolutionists as confident as they claim?
- Where are the abundance of transitional species?
- Are recent developments in molecular biology showing the impossibility of macro-evolution?
- Why have abiogenesis experiments failed to produce living cells?
3. Not all Christians are young-earth creationists.
Michel Behe Darwin’s Black Box
Michael Denton Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
Phillip Johnson Darwin on Trial & Reason in the Balance
J. P. Moreland Christianity and the Nature of Science & The Creation Hypothesis