When I was in fifth grade, I had a great science teacher. We covered photosynthesis, the scientific method, and the parts of the atom. On Fridays we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy. I don’t remember covering evolution, but I guess we did, because I still remember how the teacher led into it. It was something along the lines of, “There are different beliefs about whether God created the world or not, but for those of you who believe in God, this could be an explanation of how He did it.” There was no protest (that I was aware of), and to me, it seemed a really odd thing for her to say.
Keep in mind that I live in East Tennessee, not really the most secular-progressive place in the world, yet all through school, it never occurred to me that people didn’t believe in evolution, or that it might clash with religious beliefs. I’m sure there were church groups that had discussions about it, but all my friends were Presbyterian or Lutheran or Episcopalian, not really the kind to refute academia. I didn’t know what creationism was until about 10th grade. And today, it still baffles me. I just don’t understand a faith that has to pick a fight with science.
Science is just our way of exploring the universe. We base theories off our observations and put names on all the different things we find, be they elements, animals, or galaxies. We learn all the stuff (and anti-stuff) that is in this universe with us and how all that stuff interacts.
Is there human fallacy in scientific method? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t search and discover and ask questions. A faith that doesn’t allow scientific questions is probably a faith that doesn’t allow questions about faith either, that stifles searching and doubting and progressing and all the wonderful experiences of a healthy spiritual journey.
In turn, there are those who worship science, who won’t believe in anything outside the limits of that which can be tested and classified. They dismiss the miracles, the revelations, the mysteries. How can one look at the universe and not see God? The two seem so interconnected to me, I can’t fathom those who just see magic nor those who just see logical happenstance.
- There are the building blocks of the universe, and there’s a Builder.
- There are multiple universes, and there is that which exists before and after all those universes.
- There is statistically life on other planets, and there is a God who loves them.
Where is the conflict?
As far as evolution, maybe we weren’t always homo sapien, but at some point, we became wise men. God chose to make Himself known to us. We became aware and curious of our universe. Are not our aspirations of salvation a reach to become something more evolved than mere man? The history of man is one of motion, a curious exploration into the unknown. That’s science. That’s faith.
Plus, nerd jokes make the best jokes.