Keeping the Creator and science in proper order and perspective.
It’s not unusual for science to be used as a tool to discredit the existence of God. There is a growing movement in our society that we no longer need God because we now have science to explain our environment. As we humans develop more and more understanding of our environment, we develop a prideful attitude; an attitude of independence. We were given the gifts of intelligence, our desire to discover, our ability to understand, and we shake these gifts towards God like a fist in the air. These very gifts God gave to us, we use to justify driving Him out of our lives. We turn our back on the very God who gave us life and brought us into the world. It’s tempting to give into these prideful feelings, but this does not need to be the case. It really doesn’t have to be a choice between God and science. As we will see, it is possible to retain our relationship with God, while also embracing the gifts of science and its wonderful discoveries.
Let’s start off with the word “evolution” that has become a point of contention between our belief in God and embracing science. Evolution has become a word that causes Christians to throw up their shields. Use the word “evolution”, and instantly we become defensive. However, evolution simply means the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. If a person believes in evolution, this does not necessarily mean the person believes that humans were created from an arbitrary process (i.e. evolutionist). For me personally, I believe that things do change over time, even us humans. We have become more dependent on technology and so our physical form is changing over time (Do you wonder what we’ll look like in 100 years or more?). However, just because I believe that things change over time, this does not mean I have abandoned God. I very much believe in God. I believe God set things in motion and through His other creation, what we call “time”, things do change over time. Animals adapt to their environment, viruses adapt to antibiotics, rivers change their course, and yes, we humans change over time as well. So believing that things change over time is not going against God. In fact, change over time can be seen as the gradual creation process by God.
Science appears to collide with the Bible in several other areas as well. One of the most common is the discussion centering on the age of the earth. The Bible leads us to believe the age of the earth is approximately 6,000 years old; however, by using carbon dating, the age of the earth is calculated to be billions of years old. Why would a Christian believe, based on science, that the earth is only 6,000 years old? The beginning of the universe is another popular discussion. Cosmology, which is the study of the origin of the universe, discounts that a single entity (God) could be so powerful to create the entire universe, so the “Big Bang” theory is used as an explanation of the beginning of the universe. Then we are presented with the view of evolutionists who believe that animals and humans evolved over a long process starting from single-cell entity in a pond millions of years ago. Evolution seems logical because we see evolution today in how both animals and humans change over time. None of these topics is really a problem, in fact, God calls us to understand and explore. The real problem arises when our growth in understanding causes us to feel we no longer need a “mystical god”. We no longer want to give God credit for the creation of humans, the earth, and everything contained in the universe.
So we humans become divided as we try to win an argument between “God” and “science”. For every argument based on scientific theories, a Christian can come up with logical arguments to refute those theories. Some of these arguments go somewhat like the following: Science uses a theory called “Big Bang” to explain the beginning of the universe. To a believer, the Big Bang theory to explain the beginning of the universe seems illogical. Big Bang suggests that out of nothingness a huge explosion took place and the beginning of the entire universe began. So how was the universe created if there was nothing to start with? Could the universe really have been built from nothingness? Another analogy that refutes the Big Bang theory goes somewhat like this: If you were to set off several sticks of dynamite in a pile of junk, what are the chances that an automobile would be created after the dust settles? Assuming we believe there is no chance a car can be created using an explosion, then how can we believe that planets, humans, stars, dimensions, and the countless forms of creation were created from the chaos of an explosion? Another argument often used to support the Christian belief system explains creation in very simple terms. If we were to be walking in the woods and we see a cabin, we could logically deduce that something (creator) was around to build the cabin, and so the same is with the universe. Everything we see around us leads us to believe there must be a creator. The argument and counter arguments between those who strictly subscribe to science for explanations, and Christians who rely on the Bible, seem to never end. The bottom line is that each of us, without definitive proof from the other side, will find comfort in our original position. These discussions tend to lead each of us right back to believe what we originally believed!
Scientific theories and Christians both find comfort in relying on a set of beliefs, and as we know, a belief is something we subscribe to as truth even though we do not have proof. Christians can no more prove through science there is a God than science can prove theories of creation. We’re all in the same boat!
But as Christians, we have something beyond mere speculation to base our beliefs. We have the wisdom that is contained in the Bible. As we read the Bible, we need to look a bit deeper than the words on the paper, and instead, seek the “truths” in the Bible. In Matthew 13:1-17, Jesus was asked by one of the disciples why He taught in parables. Jesus answered by saying that He taught in parables because those who were seeking the truth will find it, but for those who were not sincere in their endeavor to understand will only see falseness. And isn’t this an accurate statement! As long as we are sincerely seeking the truth, we will find it! What a wonderful thing Jesus said!
One example of where wisdom exists in the Bible is mentioned in the following verse:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
In the verse above, we begin to have a glimpse of God introducing the concept of “time” as being part of His creation. There can only be a beginning and an end if time exists. If everything stood still (no time), then nothing can be created! Everything that is created, being created, or will be created, is because God allows it to be created. Revelation 22:13 written thousands of years ago reflects wisdom because it suggests that “time” is an entity necessary for the proper functioning of the universe. Yet, science has only recently discovered that “time” exists as an entity. In very generic terms, science refers to time as “Space-time” or 4th dimension. The 4th dimension (time) allows movement of everything in the universe. As water enables fish to move through the ocean, time allows everything contained in the universe to move and evolve. Did you know that time moves more rapidly in the Earth’s orbit than it does on the surface of Earth? Yes, if you lived in orbit around the Earth you would age more quickly than your friend on the surface! The wisdom contained in this Bible verse could only have come from another source other than the person who penned these words on paper. And so who is correct? If God uses time to create and change, well then, I guess an evolutionist is correct with believing in change over time, but so is a Christian. The only difference is a follower of Christ looks beyond the process of change (evolution) to give credit to the one who is making the change (God).
As a side note, I have personally speculated that God manipulated time to advance the age of the earth to be billions of years old, but did this in a short period of time (i.e. six days). Consider how a carpenter is able to take new piece of furniture and age it in a short period of time to be an antique. If God created time, then He is truly the master of creation. But, it doesn’t really matter how God created, as long as we see the universe and everything in it as a creation of God.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Science has always been struggling with the size of the universe, and recently there seemed to be proof that the universe is expanding. From Psalm 103:11-12 the words, “east from west” is really saying, “incomprehensible distance.” In this verse, God is comparing infinite distance to His Mercy; His mercy is infinite. But if we were to use only the first sentences from each verse it would read, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, as far as the east is from the west.”, it clearly states that the universe is expanding. This may appear to be a stretch of logic, but no matter how we read it, it definitely alludes to the fact that the heavens (universe) is expanding. The words, “above the earth” are not being literal in the meaning, as if to suggest that the earth sits below the universe. The words “above the earth” mean it is out of our reach, beyond us. The universe, because of its expansion, can never be completely comprehended, which is clearly the case for humans.
Through our human pride we must appear to be very naive to God. Have you noticed that the more we humans learn about the universe, the more we realize just how little we know. One question answered tends to lead to many more questions that need to be answered. The universe is beyond us and our comprehension. We’re not nearly as smart or intelligent as we might think. As a way of putting this into perspective, think of how an ant discovers its environment. An ant crawls around in a yard spending days discovering its very limited surroundings. The ant may feel content with what it knows, until such time as it crawls up a blade of grass and looks out over the entire yard. The ant sees how vast the yard is and becomes, yet again, challenged to discover more. What the ant does not realize is that beyond the yard is yet another field, and beyond that field is another field, a forest, a dessert, a canyon, an ocean, mountains, and an unending universe. As humans, we become prideful in the things we have discovered. However, instead of being prideful, we should humble ourselves by acknowledging the vastness of what we do not know. The reward of pride is destruction; while the humble will inherit life (“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”, Matthew 23:12).
Science is human’s continuous effort to study all things within the universe; while wisdom leads us to acknowledge the Creator behind what it is we are studying. Humbleness is our acknowledgement that God is infinite; and that we are the ones who are limited. Science is wonderful. Knowing how our environment works is great, but we should not be so involved in the science as to remove the fact that there is a Creator. A carpenter uses a hammer, and although the hammer is a wonderful tool, it is only in the capable hand of a carpenter that a hammer can bring together pieces of wood to create something worthwhile. And as a hammer is used by a carpenter to create, God uses time to create the universe and everything that is contained within it.
We need to avoid becoming wrapped up in the nuances and the endless discussions of God and science. Ultimately, and eventually, we are left on our own to either believe in God or not believe in God. The Bible is consistent with stating that nobody, not our parents, not our spouse, not science, not this article, and not even God Himself will make this decision for us. We’re all left with the decision to place our faith in God, or our faith in the concept that of out the chaos of an explosion came order. I personally take comfort in what the Bible teaches us. The Bible teaches us that we are to believe in God through faith, and since the Bible has demonstrated its wisdom over thousands of years, I will place my life in the teachings contained within the pages of the Bible.
In humble service to God, I submit these words to you for discernment.