Saturday, February 23, 2008

Science, schmience...

I like to read JesusCreed, the blog of Dr. Scot McKnight, a professor at North Park University in Chicago. Sometimes I surf to other sites from there. The other day I found myself at someone else's blog reading a lively discussion of creationism versus evolution. Someone who views evolution as a scientific fact and not a theory made the following statement: "Even the Bible must give way to reality." I couldn't resist. I jumped into the fray. Here's what I wrote:

"Really? I'm admittedly an old guy (66) so my opinion may not be worth much to you young whippersnappers :) , but it would seem to me to depend on what you mean by "reality." I grew up in a mainline denomination with very liberal theology. At age 20 I became a super-funda-menta-listic-expi-ali-docious dispensationalist/cessationist anabaptist. By 35 I was no longer dispensationalist or cessationist and had turned into a raving charismatic. I married someone who began as Eastern Orthodox and ended up Pentecostal Holiness. Oh, and my mother was Jewish. All of these are "realities" and all of them have played a part in who I am now, someone who is still thoroughly evangelical but somewhat postmodern and listening to the emerging conversation. I said all that to say, I believe just the opposite of the statement above. Reality must give way to the Bible. We don't really have a handle on what "reality" is. For example, the Bible says in I Thessalonians 5 that man is spirit, soul, and body. Can you scientifically prove or disprove the spirit or the soul? Neither can I, but they're there.

"But back to the topic of creation vs. evolution, I really don't know how long it took God to create everything. Maybe six days. Maybe millions of years. My eyes tell me millions of years. But my heart tells me it could have been six days. If Adam was created in the way the Bible indicates, then on the first day he existed wouldn't he have appeared to be 20 or 30 years old (with or without a navel)? The earth could also have been created with signs of great age also, such as the fossils, if God chose to do it that way. I'm not saying He did, and I'm not saying He didn't. But it's possible. God likes to hide himself so that we can find him. Jesus liked to speak in parables so that his hearers wouldn't understand. He said so Himself.

"All I'm saying is, whatever your opinion, don't be so cocksure about it. When a voice, possibly the enemy of your soul, whispers in your ear, "Are you going to believe the Bible or are you going to believe your own eyes?" that indeed is the question. That is the crux of the whole matter. I choose to believe the Bible even when it seems to contradict my own eyes. I have heard that dogs don't have color rods in their eyes, so they see everything in black and white. Does that mean there is no color? If you're a dog, yes. If you're not a dog, no. Everything is not always what it appears to be."

The evolution guy didn't agree, of course. He said, "I don't think putting the bible before common sense is a virtue. This is a conversation killer because there is no way anyone can reason with someone who believes this. Basically, I can show you something but you won't believe it even when you see it. If my opinion is that heliocentric theory, that the Earth orbits around the sun, is true, why can't I be 'cocksure' about that? Aren't you also cocksure about it as well? Yet, it wasn't long ago that Christians were just as 'cocksure' that everything revolved around the Earth. That is, until scientists like Galileo forced them to believe their own eyes and not the Bible." Later, in another post, he said, "There is as much hard evidence for Yahweh as there is for Allah. We know though that evolution is as solid a scientific theory as gravity, if not more so."

Well, just for the record, I'm Yahwehcentric, not heliocentric. Job 26:7 says, "He stretches the north over an empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing." So much for gravity. And what keeps the earth from falling? The evolution guy would probably say centrifugal force. Hebrews 1:3 says, "He upholds all things by the word of his power." And as for the earth orbiting around the sun, I'm convinced that the flat disc we live on is balanced on the back of a gigantic tortoise. Just kidding. :) But that idea was once "scientific fact" and then Copernicus was "scientific fact" and now Galileo is "scientific fact." Does anyone see a pattern here?

1 comment:

Jeannelle said...

Really good post. I especially like that you wrote that you don't know how long it took for God to create the world.....six days or six million years. I think the most important thing to believe is that God did the creating, not to be obsessed with a certain time frame. And I know some people who are absolutely stuck on the idea that the days of Creation are 24-hour days as we know them. There's no way for us to know that.....God could have made those days last for any length of time as we know it. It doesn't matter how long each "day" was.

Those same people say that dinosaurs never existed.....that God put the "bones" in the ground to fool us. I think that's ludicrous, and a poor concept to teach to kids......how will we get Christian kids to pursue careers in the science field when they are taught ideas like that?