Science verses Religion?
It Doesn't Have to Be That Way

A renouned professor, speaking about evolution, once said, "Religious feeling is as much a verity as any part of human consciousness; and against it, on the subjective side, the waves of science beat in vain." We have seen the truth of these words in attempts to promote so called "Biblical teachings" in the science classrooms of our public schools.

But it doesn't have to be this way. It is quite possible for persons to allow the teachings of science to speak to their religious side. In fact, it is absolutely necessary for such a dialogue to take place for the sake of both a vibrant religion and a well supported scientific community.

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, was, in fact, a practitioner and promoter of such dialogue. All through his life he lifted up experience, along with tradition and reason, as being essential to the foundation of one's personal faith and biblical interpretation. As far as Wesley was concerned, for religious persons to reject the findings of science is to reject experience, itself. Even Cervantes, writing in the early 17th century, realized that "experience (is) the universal mother of sciences."

So, it is important for religious persons to honestly look at science and, without trying to change scientific conclusions, see what it has to say to their religious side. Personally, I have found that religion and science can speak to each other in very creative ways; that in putting the two together, a person with faith in God can say much about God in affirmation. The following is an example:

  • God is a God of immense foresight: God created a universe with a plan whose ultimate purpose was the evolution of beings with whom God could communicate.
  • God is a God capable of infinite intricacies: No two planets, no two organisms, no two crystals are the same.
  • God is a God of eternal volume: God exists everywhere within the vast reaches of the universe, billions of light years in diameter, and beyond.
  • God is a God of eternal minutia: God exists right down to the smallest atom, to the smallest particle of an atom, and to the smallest particle of the smallest particle of an atom.
  • God is a God of unimaginable patience: From the time the universe began as a black hole and spread out over the vastness of space, at least 15 billion years passed before the first homo sapiens set foot on the earth.
  • God is a God of laws and order: God created all the laws by which the universe is ordered, from the law of gravity to the second law of thermodynamics. Nevertheless, within that order there is freedom which allows change and movement.
  • God is a God of incredible symmetry and organization: In creating the particles which comprise the simple hydrogen atom, God created a beautiful puzzle that would also account for every other element which exists within the universe.
  • God is a God of limitless accountability: Every atom, every photon, every bit of energy that was ever created will always remain, in some form, as a part of the universe, no matter how big or small that universe may become.
  • God is a God of unfathomable love: God created all that exists so that something like us may exist and be with God, to share with God.

Of course, science, in and of itself, probably never will prove the existence of God. Only faith may speak of an ultimate knowledge of the Creator's existence. Science, however, can add to what faith perceives and affirms. It is in this way that our religion remains vital, lively and relevant to our lives today.

 

reprinted from an article by Paul G. Donelson
in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, 6-25-82