Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reconciling Faith and Science

This one's frequent:
"How can you profess to having faith in God when the bible is shown to be scientifically wrong?"
It's a good question, and I'm not going to pretend its an easy one to answer. Unfortunately, it's incredibly broad. We'll ignore the usual rounds of bickering resulting from the fact that Holy Scripture isn't a science text book, and address the more frequent objections I usually hear.

In Genesis, the world is described as taking form in six days. Animals, plants, humans are called into being on a whim, and the world is set in its current arrangement from the start. Also, this was all supposed to happen 6,000 years ago.

I'm not sure where the six thousand years figure comes from, but none of my arguments have anything to do with undermining science. I like science; I was damned good at it. I have quite a fast mind when it comes to learning Physics, Geometry, and Chemistry.

My answer to that argument is that Genesis is largely allegorical, particularly in talking about creation. It's even talked about in Catachism, defeating the counter-argument that Christians "Aren't allowed to do that."
337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine "work", concluded by the "rest" of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205 permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."206
 How is it possible that Moses parted the Red Sea? How are any of the plagues possible? How is Jesus's miraculous healing possible?

In a word, Faith. Name your miracle, and the easy answer is "God did it."

(C) Bob and George

I don't like easy answers, and I like a God of the Gaps somewhat less. While I have no earthly idea how the various Old Testament miracles were performed, there are observed, documented miracles from our modern era, such as this one, which seems to suggest that whatever was working then is still working now. Healing miracles are even more interesting, and are supported through rigorous medical studies.

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