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Not to let the air out of anyone's tire but it's really not fair to compare religious
writings to modern science. Scientific theories for one thing are models of
reality (for example) and do not really claim to be reality itself. Though
there may be some 'scientists' who claim that 'science' is true in the same
sense as the belief that there is a God, I am not one of them and I believe such
'scientists' are not very bright! . Holy writings always require us to have faith,
to believe something because it seems true or because we want it to be true,
or because someone we trust told us it was true. Science tells us a model is
true because all the tests made to determine it's accuracy show that it's right.
And any Tom, Dick or Harry who performs these necessary tests will always get
the same answer. In short: Science is verifiable, Religion is not.
I am both scientifically trained (A sort of scientist I guess) and a practicing
Christian. I find value in both my faith and in science. I personally like to think
of a scientific theory as a kind of a poem which can be very beautiful indeed.
This of course can be difficult for a layman to see who doesn't understand
mathematics very well.
When a child asks you why is the sky blue how do you answer? Do you say
'because God made it that way, ' or do you tell the child well it's because light
obeys the laws of refraction, which once you study mathematics for 20 years I
will be able to explain to you? The simple answer here is that 2000+ years ago
we were much more childlike than we are now. Our ancient texts give the
wisdom of the ages (and it is wise) but just like science is not literally true,
maybe it is not scandalous to say that our spiritual ancestors wisdom is not
literally true either. God may have spoken to us as children then, but one of his
great gifts to us was Science as well. Those who ignore what Science can tell
us, do so, I believe, at considerable peril to themselves and to others.
When Christ taught others he used parables a lot. Surely most people will
admit that while these parables may teach us important truths, they may not in
fact have ever actually happened. In this sense I personally believe that the
Bible is not literally true and that does not mean it is not the word of God, it
just means we need to grow up and understand that our responsibility to God
extends beyond the Bible. Science in fact has much to teach us about how to
understand what is written in Holy Books like the Bible and we should listen,
because the same God that created the universe, created Science too!
Here is just a small example that a scientific theory is not reality, but a model
(or poem) about reality that can serve us without being literally true.
Gravity is a very simple example. We all have an intuitive feeling about gravity
being a force of some kind. This crude idea of gravity being a force has taken
us a long way, to the moon and even to other planets and back again. This was
an early model of physics. More modern physics has a different model which is
really very different sounding and complex but which is much more accurate
than the simple idea of gravity in explaining what we see when stars get very
massive for example, or when we travel very fast. This takes us into some of
Einstein's theories which are much more accurate and complicated than gravity.
So from Einsteins viewpoint, gravity does not exist at all, it is what is called a
'fictitious force' that exists only because the mass of an object, especially very
big objects, cause both space and time to curve. Doesn't sound like gravity
anymore does it, and yet the new theory, though it does not replace the
usefulness of the laws of gravity for you and I in our daily lives, means that for
science gravity is as old fashioned as a horse and buggy.
Did you know the the earth is 4.5 Billion years old, not 6000 years old as the
Bible estimates, and was man really created by God by breathing life into a
figure he molded out of clay or did God create man though evolutionary
processes that took millions of years to accomplish? I personally admire the
God more who created the potential for every thing we see around us in an
instant, than a God who took seven days to accomplish the same thing. But
that's just me. Science can be tested as I have stated, the Bible must be taken
on faith. Given the possibility that both were given to us by the same God,
what do you think we should do? Do we really have to throw one or the other
out completely? I don't think so. Both are valuable.
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