Faith and Science

From the “Changing the Subject” department…

I’ve always liked to believe that I have a reasonable and informed faith. One that meshes well with the observed world. An intelligent faith.

Sometimes our faith will run into things like the age of the earth and evolution, or different understandings of Noah and the Flood (like the Discovery show I saw the other night). I always think either science is just wrong, or that whatever the true and scientific case may be, it’s not utterly incompatible with my faith.

I was surfing some weird websites the other day (note to self: never _ever_ read “paranormal” websites when you are alone!) and came across some that thoroughly reinterpreted Genesis. They basically related a history of the world replete with aliens genetically modifying primitive man to produce modern man, and lots of really strange stuff. Some of the pages suggested that, in the near future, we would discover another planet named Niburu on a 10,000 or so year orbit around the Sun, and when Niburu came close to Earth, the Nephilim or Elohim would again visit Earth to bring us to the next level of enlightenment.

That got me to thinking. Just what scientific evidence or undeniable occurence would convince me to abandon my faith? What if a planet full of aliens showed up and explained Genesis, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and ESP, unified all our religions into one cohesive faith, showed us a source of free energy, cured cancer, and gave us efficient space travel technology? Would I accept that as proof that I was fundamentally wrong about Christianity and the Bible and God? Or would I denounce them as demons or something like that?

More practically and less fantastically, what if archaeology produced “proof” that Christ was not resurrected, in the form of a skeleton that fit the historical circumstances? How much of the Old Testament would I be willing to read “poetically”, or how much “scientific evidence” would I be willing to dismiss? How important is verifiable authorship of the New Testament canon? If scientist could produce life from non-life at will, under conditions similar to those theorized to be here billions of years ago, would that do it? What if something along the lines of the Da Vinci code were to have strong scientific support in multiple fields of study?

I don’t have any answers to all that, but I’d be interested in getting your thoughts. What things would cause you to reject it all?

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3 Responses to Faith and Science

  1. Rong says:

    Just to play new age with you.
    I once read a book where Death was a physical entity. Deaths job was not so much ending a persons life as it was weighing their soul and determining whether the sins on the soul out weighed the good that the person had done, thus determining the souls final resting place; heaven or hell. An atheist in the story so strongly disbelieved in an after-life that when Death removed his soul it simply vanished.
    Perhaps, as now, I would just continue in my faith, despite what modern secular opionion says, and when I died I would still go to the Heaven that I believe in.

  2. Patrick says:

    Being that I’ve never really had a verbatim understanding of the Bible, believing that the bible is the inspiration of God filtered through centuries of human intervention, it would take an awful lot to get me to abandon my faith. In my understanding of the bible there is no problem with knowing the earth is far older than a few thousand years. The issues at stake are more ones of understanding the nature of God, not the Jews’ understanding of creation.

    What would it take for me to abandon belief in God, as a result? It would take an omnipetant being taking me back to the beginnings of the universe to show me how mortal creatures started the big bang. I engage in the front-lines of religious discussion on a literally daily basis, and even the most athiest of those who argue with me have trouble with the logic of the arguments I come with. I feel my faith to be fairly bulletproof, and since they’re the ones asking hope that they’re the ones doing the searching. I learned a long time ago not to pick these fights, since they do nothing but chase people away from God, but never to run from them either since that only “proves” that my faith isn’t strong enough to handle the questioning.

  3. Ellbur says:

    I’ve never liked mixing science and religion. When both are described in human language, they use a lot of the same words, but when left as themselves they are different worlds.

    For example, when religiously you say “God created every living creature”, and scientifically you say “Every living creature evolved from proteins in the early earth”, yu have created a contradiction that was not there before, by treating those statements as being the same ‘language’.

    Maybe someone can word this more eloquently than me.

    Ellbur

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