Thursday, November 17, 2005

Science Vs Religion

“Darwin's Theory of Evolution appears to do away with God.”

Nobody has adequately explained that statement to me. Usually attempts to do so turn out to be answers to totally different questions, like what is wrong with evolutionary theory, or why I am an idiot for believing in God.

At its heart, the evolutionist’s typical answer to the question goes something like this: “Biological history is not short and static, but a cascade of creatures and forms over millions of years.” So far, so good, but this is then concluded by a mind boggling leap of logic: “And, thus, Evolution completely refutes Genesis, proving beyond a doubt that there is no God!”

In religious lingo, accepting such a poorly explained statement is called a leap of faith. But I am quite sure that’s a no-no in science.

Ask the same question to an anti-evolutionist, and they launch into a very long argument detailing all of the pitfalls in evolutionary theory. They line up every scientific factoid that contradicts evolution and use them to verbally make rubble out of Darwin's ideas.

While this makes for a very clever argument, the anti-evolutionist has failed to disprove evolution scientifically. That is just not how science is done. Science is done bit by bit, through blood, sweat, trial, and error. It is not accomplished through debating.

Regardless of the inherent errors on both sides of the evolution debate, the battle lines are drawn.

If we look to the Bible for answers, they are there, but just the ones that concern our salvation. The Bible answers the "Who?" question about creation and it answers the "Why?" question about creation, but it does not concern itself with the "How, exactly, did He do it?" question about creation. The How question is not strictly necessary for salvation, so it is not in the Bible. That question is left up to our God-given intellects to find the answer to.

Could it possibly be that both sides of the divide possess at least part of the truth? Could it be that God created the universe but in a much more imaginative and complex way than we have yet to realize? Could it be that this evolution idea gives us a very rough approximation to begin understanding how God created everything? I am a Roman Catholic, so I am already quite comfortable with vast yet contradictory statements (like the Trinity, or the Resurrection). I think we will eventually find out that the two ideas, evolution and creationism, are not so contradictory after all.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with most people on either side of the controversy. And history will go on repeating itself as long science and religion continues with this 'tragic mutual incomprehension', to quote Pope John Paul II. Both sides will continue to trade off, one playing Galileo, the other playing the 17th century-style reactionary oppressor.

But let us endeavor to open our minds instead. Let us abandon our narrow little points of view and attain a higher view-point. Only a handful of anti-evolutionists are actually scientists. Most do not really know that much about science. These folks should exert themselves to delve more deeply into the difficulties and details of the hard sciences (pull out your old college algebra text if you have to and start there). And as for the other side, they should find a Bible and READ it. And if they think they have already read it, they should RE-READ it. Only this time they should read it with AN OPEN AND CONTRITE HEART, BEFORE THEY ARE CAST HEAD FIRST IN TO THE UNQUENCHABLE FIRES OF HELL AND BURN THERE FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER!!!!!!!!