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Essay: Darwin's Theory - Science or Fairy Tale

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Brian Johnston
June 24,2014

Special thanks here to the poem and poet 'Darwin's Theory (science or fairy-tale)    by Md. Asadullah' for the opportunity he presented me with to perhaps explain to some others of you who find this kind of conversation interesting why a scientist's point of view differs so much from a lay person's point of view. Please don't think that we mean to be condescending, we don't, and we even humbly admit that 50 years from now our 'lofty' position will seem childlike to those who follow us. Do not despair lay people but rejoice. For God's revelation to humanity is an ongoing process. Open your hearts to both His Word and what Science can tell us about how to interpret it.

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.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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