“Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
©Rhonda Pethoud 11/30/2014
Creation vs. Evolution: I’ve been troubled about this for a very long time. I believe in Science: the ability to explain the world and that which inhabits it; reasons for certain phenomena and how they come to be, and how things work in and on this earth. I like answers. I am comfortable with the absolute. I’m glad there are people who are willing to sit in front of a microscope, painstakingly examining a virus and making notes on changes and how it multiplies so the rest of us are safe. When one wants to know why the clouds are puffy or how many galaxies make up our universe, there have been scientists who have studied these things, carefully noting their findings and publishing their journals. We need to know what the next diseases that threaten us will be and try to find cures. The age old questions Where did we come from? How did we get here? still fascinate us today. Science is necessary.
So how does Science fit with Religion? How can one believe in a Creator when Science believes there is a cause for everything and a reason why every bit of matter exists and that evolution caused spineless creatures to one day stand erect? How can one believe that this most perfect universe could be the result of some chaotic explosion that sent bits of matter hurling into space and over time, and created things like eyesight and blood and human intelligence? What about chromosomes? And blood? Blood can’t be replicated by science. So, Creation or Evolution? Big Bang or Genesis? I’ve been operating in the somewhat comfortable space of, ‘I-don’t-always-need-to-know-because-I’m-not-a-scientist’. But that doesn’t answer the questions.
Recently, I started reading the “Outlander” series of books by Diana Gabaldon as a result of the Starz TV series, “Outlander”. I don’t often read books like this (historical romance genre) but I wanted to know about this story because the tv series is pretty good so far, and what’s not to love about the Scottish countryside and men in kilts? The books are good too, depsite the rampant paganism which is sometimes much more than I want to know – but history tells us that pagan rituals were a big part of the birth of Christianity. (Paganism was precisely the reason why God told Abrahm to leave his family and go – Abrahm’s family were pagans – idol worshippers. Paganism was rampant throughout the Old Testament and many of those bloody battles were fought to eradicate it. Abrahm obeyed God and left his homeland to become the Father Of All Nations, “Abraham”. The pagan rituals found in Galbadon’s books bring focus to our need to obey God and rid ourselves of any pagan activities or idols that may yet remain in our lives. His reasons for demanding this are clear: paganism invites demonic presence in our life – God knows this and instructs us to flee from these types of activities.)
Quite by accident, in one of the books, I found an explanation of science – not looking for it of course, but it hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it, because it puts a voice to a concept I’ve been struggling with for so long, especially with regard to evolution. Here it is:
“It is the place of science only to observe. To seek cause where it may be found, but to realize that there are many things in the world for which no cause shall BE found; not because it does not exist but because we know too little to find it. It is not the place of science to insist upon explanation but only to observe, in hopes that the explanation will manifest itself. It is for this reason that a scientist constructs hypotheses – suggestions for the cause of an observation. But a hypothesis must never be confused with an explanation – with proof.” (Diana Gabaldon)
That’s not all she wrote though, the character who purportedly said the piece above went on to argue that faith was perhaps more dangerous than science – I disagree, faith is not dangerous but necessary for survival – but her words about what science should be struck a chord for me. Science shouldn’t tell us that there’s a disconnect between what we believe God created and how it works. Science shouldn’t be telling us that a theory is truth when it clearly has holes in it. Science should be able to recognize the limitations of science itself, without disparaging those who believe, and have not seen. We can’t possibly know “how” God created the world, nor can we know if there are others like it “out there” somewhere. At least, not yet. Our limited minds cannot possibly perceive God’s infinite knowledge. Perhaps He had a blueprint and there are other “earths” just like this one and He built it like contractors build tract homes. A silly analogy, but let’s not be so hasty to assume that God wasn’t involved, when we can’t prove that He wasn’t. There is order in the universe that man simply cannot explain or replicate. I’m sure God loves to see science making such great strides because I believe He gave us the intelligence we possess. What if we make God a part of the study and allow Him to lead us in those studies? How much farther might we go?
Yes. I believe, even though I have yet to see. One day we’ll all have the answers we seek and I think we should continue to press on, trying to answer the questions. But we can believe as well.