Monday, August 13, 2007

Which god do you worship?

I believe that God created the earth, but claim to be pretty agnostic about how it all came about. I'm familiar with the evidence that leads people to believe that we came about through evolution, but I'm also familiar with the evidence that makes me believe in a God who created us. I don't believe that we need to intepret a literal "6-day creation" to have faith in God and the Bible; however, I also personally feel that based on how the Bible talks about God, and based on what Jesus taught, there must have been a literal Adam - not a metaphor representing the evolution from lower life forms to homo sapien. But again, I don't know what happened, though I believe I will one day.

The Creation Museum recently opened in Petersburg, KY. I've never been comfortable with the idea of a "creation science". Science is something that helps us learn about the natural world. I don't deny its usefulness in helping us come to a knowledge about the physical world around us. However, when we start talking about God and creation - that's all in the realm of the supernatural. By definition, outside the purview of science. In that sense, I would go along with the detractors in saying that "creation science" is an oxymoron. Not in the sense that science is "Good and Right" and creation is "False and Wrong", but in the sense that they lie in different worlds and are concerned with different ideas. I've been rather disappointed with what time I've spent reading creation science research. You can't call something science if explain away the holes in you theory by citing the supernatural power of God.

I don't think you can call that "science". As soon as you start to step into the world of the supernatural, or the realm of miracles, you leave the realm of science. Science cannot speak to those things. That doesn't make them any less true. But we've somehow bought into the notion that science is all powerful and if it cannot explain something, then that something cannot exist. Science did not always exist; it did not pre-date man. It is a useful tool we have to help us explain the world around us - it's not a magic box through which we can divine all the answers of the universe. Maybe there are some that believe that but it doesn't begin to make sense for someone who believes in God to believe it, too.

Creation Science seems to me to be predicated on the fact that science should hold this divine place in our lives. Once the world came under the view that science was the fount of all knowledge, suddenly, people who believe in God needed it to explain God. I don't know if it's an attempt to prove it to other people, or to ourselves. Suddenly, Science is more powerful than God. If Science cannot explain God, then *poof* - we have no faith, no premise for our beliefs. When did we start to worship this god, Science?

Now, I'm not saying that those who argue on the other side are any better. I've spent my time in the world of science and have seen enough folks using research to prove what they already believe to know that we all have this problem of wanting to be right.

But trying to marry these two different entities deifies science while reducing to God to something that needs to be explained by us. Philosophers and psychologists have libraries devoted to how and why man created God - why are we on the same road? It's a step backward; not a step forward. It's just another attempt by us to force God into a box.

This last quote from an article about the museum in the Florida Baptist Witness sums up my problem with this whole thing.

"Several museum displays assert that the debate over the origins of man comes down to a choice between human reason and God's Word."

Have we forgotten that human reason is pretty much synonymous with science? So if we are going to reject science, how can we call it science? I think it just makes God into a demigod subservient to Science, the true Supreme Being. This doesn't mean that I don't believe in a God that created the world; I just don't think that science can define God and prove creation. It's just too limited.

Join us next time as Jim argues that it doesn't make sense for Intelligent Design to be taught in science classes.

Flame on.


  1. If you haven't read Francis Collins' The Language of God or Darrell Falk's Coming to Peace with Science yet, I strongly recommend them. Both authors are highly respected scientists and evangelical Christians who take the Bible seriously. And no, neither thinks that "Intelligent Design" adds anything to the discussion.

  2. Thanks, Louise - I'll have to check those out.

    I hope I don't come across as suggesting we can't use science and the natural world to support our faith; on the contrary, I think that makes sense. It's just that we can't use science to replace it.

  3. I have a related post at Doc Thelma's House if you want to check it out.