2.21.2008

Compromising Christianity

When I opened up the newspaper today and found my favorite section (you know the one with the comics and such) I saw a certain article that made me go "Gag." And yes, I literally said "Gag" out loud. That article was "The Great Debate" and it talked about how our local Episcopalian church is celebrating Evolution Weekend. Stupid stupid Episcopalians. (I feel I can say that because I was an Episcopalian for 22/23 of my life.)

But I'm not one to criticize something without cause so I tried to give the article a chance. It started by saying that the local Episcopalian minister, Ruth Eller, talked about how she believes that the truths of the Bible and science can co-exist. Well, I can agree with that. Obviously that is the case as I am both a Christian and a scientist (not to be confused with a Christian Scientist). I either picked the wrong religion or the wrong career if I can't reconcile the two. For me, science backs up my faith. Everything I learn, everything I see, points me to the idea of a Designer. The world is too structured, organized and intricate for it to just have worked out that way by chance. Every part of the human body is so complicated and fits together just perfectly. It's amazing. I love science and I love how studying the world is another way I can learn about it's Maker.

But that is about the end of what the article says that I can agree with. The worst part of the whole thing was when she talked about how Jesus agreed with the ideas of evolution when He said that "no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above" and how that relates to the Big Bang theory and how we were all "born from above" when we evolved out of space dust. I'm not going to waste any time arguing with that because it has no biblical basis at all.

But there is another, more legitimate, science/God question I want to address. I have often been asked by Christian friends why I don't think God could have created the world through evolution by just creating the initial material and then guiding the process of evolution to create everything.

I do think he could have created the world that way. But the Bible doesn't say He did that, so I'm not going to say that. He said He created the world in 6 days so I say He created the world in 6 days. If He had said He had created the world by evolution than I would be okay with that.

Also, on a more theological note which I don't really want to get into here because I am trying to write about science but I just can't leave it out so I will say anyway - if one thinks that the creation story is just an allegory and Adam and Eve weren't the first people then the whole concept of original sin and the fall of man wouldn't make sense. Hence the need for a savior to save man from his original sin wouldn't be necessary. The literal story of Adam and Eve and their fall (and consequently mankind's fall) is fundamental to the Christian faith. Okay, now back to science-y stuff.

Since I believe the Bible is true, I think that the scientific evidence I see around me should point out that truth. I am not worried that science will disprove the Bible. I don't think, like someone in the article states, that I take the bible literally because it is easier, it isn't. It would be much easier for me to go along with evolution, rather than be thought of as a "closed minded bigot" as Eller insinuates I am.

As for Eller's insistence that we "adapt our faith to assimilate new knowledge," I say nope. I don't need to edit my Bible to keep up with science because it isn't a story that I have created to make me feel good, it is a recording of what happened and the facts will show that. Christians don't need to be afraid of "real science". And by "real science" I mean facts.

The problem is that people don't recognize the difference between facts and what a large segment of the modern scientific community agree upon. Yes, Christian scientists believe in something (that there was a Creator) and form a hypothesis that fits the facts and backs that up. Maybe that makes them biased. Not necessarily wrong, but maybe biased. But evolutionary scientists also believe in something (that there was not a Creator) and form a hypothesis that fits the facts and that makes them just as biased. An example - I was watching a show on PBS about the differences between humans and apes and how humans can teach but apes can only imitate (yes, I am a big dork). In it they mentioned similarities in DNA, not just between humans and apes but between all animals. The person then said how this is one of the strongest indicators of everything having a common ancestor that we all evolved from. Now, if I didn't believe in a Creator, that would fit well with my idea of how the world might have evolved. But I don't see that as great proof of evolution. I see it as great proof of a Creator who designed all those animals. Why create an entirely new blueprint for each creation when you can just tweak what you already have (and it obviously worked pretty well)? Makes sense to me. I see things like that a lot, "evidence" for evolution that is only evidence because they are fitting it to a already existing theory.

Another problem I have with evolutionists is that they aren't open to debate. As soon as they say "Oh, you can't argue with Evolution, it's science," I get so frustrated. Since when can't you argue with science! That is what you are supposed to do with science. Never take anything as a fact, continue to investigate, keep questioning. That is how we progress. Except when it comes to evolution, or global warming. Then any question is just showing your ignorance.

It's annoying to see that so often in the secular world but I can't say I am ever surprised by it. The world isn't supposed to understand Christ's ways because they don't know Christ. But more and more I see the church watering down God's truth and caving into the pressure of the world. Makes me think of a certain bible verse and no, it's not from Genesis.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Matthew 5:13

5 comments:

Craig said...

Eller is off on theology, but I think she's off on science, too. The article says "She told of a fish that had trouble finding water so it changed and took itself from one puddle to the next." That sounds like Lamarckism, which is a discredited theory.

Amanda said...

I don't think gravity has much left to debate about, even though I like to test it every day...usually by accident and in front of a bunch of people. I think God may have crated the world in steps, I mean there were dinosaurs and the climate was hotter than it is today, then the world's atmosphere and climate changed and the creatures on the earth changed to adapt to it. But no, I don't think God made a fish and from that he created man. The Bible doesn't say that God made man out of the image of monkeys or fish, but out of his own image. (don't feel ashamed for watching PBS, I watch the This Old House hour on saturdays sometimes, I won't lie)

MacKenzie said...

Amanda - I seem to do those same "gravity tests" quite frequently too. I think it must be our thirst for knowledge that keeps us from giving that up. :-)

Karen said...

Excellent post!

I get so tired of hearing, "The debate is over." (Concerning evolution, global warming, etc.)

I didn't get the memo. The debate is not over for me or the people I talk to.

Eric said...

I'm pretty sure I watched this PBS show too! We are both dorks.