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March 09, 2014

Science and Faith

A recent debate on origins between Bill Nye and 6-day creationist Ken Ham http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/04/creation-debate-recap-science-religion-and-terrible-jokes/?iref=allsearch brings again to the forefront the seeming disconnect between science and faith. It is unfortunate that to some Mr. Ham is seen to represent Christians. That is not so. He represents a fundamental belief in six day creation that is anathema to science. As such he represents a small segment of Christianity. Bill Nye knows this, and took advantage of a debate he could easily win, but without persuading anyone of anything. Of course, Ken Ham’s premise is that Genesis is literal, that God created all and did it in 6 days, less than 10,000 years ago. Many -or most- Christians understand that the Genesis account does not purport to be science, but figurative ways to acknowledge God, the creator, and envision his creative acts. If Genesis is knowledge, in the scientific sense, it would have to be verifiable. What truth reveals is an earth that is 4 billion years old (and a universe much older) with species appearing over millions of years.
The debate, therefore, avoided the real debate, between atheistic evolution and belief in a creator God. There should be no mistake, the clear and often stated goal of evolutionists is not just scientific inquiry, but excluding God, at all costs. Darwin understood this well, and thought he had discovered truth without God. If Christians, on the other hand, are compelled to use the Bible for science, they will be misled and do not bring honor to God. Our belief is that this is God’s world. Let science explain what it can; there really is no fear of what science can do to God. Science means “knowledge”, and as such it is truth. God is truth. God and science must converge on matters of nature and the universe, if we are all honest. What we all should do is hold science and scientists to their own rules. Frankly, many, especially atheistic scientists, are all too glad to exaggerate what we know about origins and development, or willing to lie. Their fear is that a slightly open door gives God a foothold. You would think truth should be adequate, and if God somehow slips in that could be a good thing. Not so for them.
The debate would have been more useful if science was the basis for arguments and a qualified scientist faced Bill Nye. There is plenty of science to debate. At different junctures, Darwinian evolution has had credibility; I would have no problem with this theory, but the major evidence over the years has not really supported the theory. First, the expected fossil evidence for progressive forms of development (that is evolution, after all) never materialized; and in fact, the fossil evidence points in another direction, sudden appearance of complex organisms. The discovery of genes, and then DNA and molecular biology was expected to explain the mechanisms of evolution by natural selection. Here too, not very supportive, as modern science only makes it harder to explain mutations and chance producing nature as we know it. Atheistic scientists are unwilling to admit the failures of the evidence to support Darwinism. They also fear the implications from the universe beginning in a moment in time (the big bang), which the evidence widely supports. What we have here is a battle between atheism and faith, not between science and faith.
Pure science will collect and follow the evidence. If science were ever able to disprove the basis of my faith, I would want to know the truth. So far, science has found the fingerprint of God in everything, to the dismay of the atheist. In fact, some scientists recognize that nature has the “appearance” of design; their goal is to explain away that appearance. Creation is more complex than ever imagined and as beautiful in detail as experienced in the visible. So much supports a designer, an intelligence involved in all of nature. It is flat wrong not to consider this in any hypothesis, as it is, so far, the only credible explanation.
These considerations are more than academic. Since Darwin, science has marched on to the exclusion of God. People have assumed science has answered all the basic questions and disproved the role of God. The result is our secular humanist world and a complete shift in morality and conscience. The bottom line is that science does not have an answer for how evolutionary mechanisms produce life. In fairness, neither can it be proved that the Christian God is the creator, it just happens to fit.