I’ve loved science for a long time. Every time I was introduced to a new “-ology” I was sure I wanted to study it (except Entomology because apparently, everyone knows bugs are gross except for Entomologists). Before I was thirteen I had decided to become a Volcanologist, Ophthalmologist, Endocrinologist, Geologist, Gemologist, Virologist, Meteorologist (my head was always in the clouds anyway), Botanist, and many other random albeit science related professions (storm chaser…sounded good at the time). What I wanted most was to be an Astronomer (reach for the stars right?). I was, and still am, awestruck by the beauty and grandeur of night sky and celestial objects. Now that I think about it, staring up at the vast darkness of the night sky is probably what opened my eyes to God’s “bigness”. Though I feel incredibly small in the face of the seemingly infinite cosmos, I feel closest to God when appraising the heavens.
As I studied Biology, I often marveled at the intricacies of the natural world and taken them as evidence that we were created by a loving, intelligent entity (aka God). There are flowers with runway like patterns that are only visible by insects (we can only see them under UV light) and guide them in for pollinatory purposes (did I just make that word up?), there is bacteria in the gut of termites that digest the wood they eat yet cannot survive outside of the termite itself, and I can’t even begin to talk about the wonder that is the human body (platelets are AMAZING).
I suppose the Big Bang and Evolution seem to be the most prominent hindrances to the marriage of science and religion. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. I understand the Big Bang to be the explosion of the universe into existence from an infinitely dense object called a “singularity” in which all the material that now forms our universe was contained. The only objection I have with the Big Bang theory is that it implies that something came from nothing. I like to believe God caused the Big Bang. Of course that raises the question, “If something can’t come from nothing, who or what created God?”, and if people believe God exists without being created, why shouldn’t they also believe everything else exists without having been created by God? That’s where faith comes in. I simply have faith that God created the universe and take it’s magnificence as proof.
As far as evolution goes, I don’t believe all life descended from a common ancestor. I believe that God either created all the animals as we know them now or that he created animals and different species evolved from the same genus through adaptive radiation (like the Galapagos Island finches). I don’t think adaptive radiation conflicts with creationism because it could possibly be a result of Adam and Eve’s sin. After Adam and Eve sinned, they had to wear clothes, kill animals for food and clothes, animals killed each other, the flowers now had thorns, people had to work the soil/ provide for themselves for the rest of their lives, and childbirth was painful (Genesis 3). Because the Garden of Eden was perfect, none of the aforementioned things were necessary. Animals and people had no need to adapt or evolve (change) because they were sustained and provided for by God. Logically speaking, some of Darwin’s theories seem plausible but he stated some difficulties he had with his own theories of evolution and natural selection (and Lamarck’s by default). First, if species have descended from other species, why aren’t there “innumerable transitional forms” of these animals now? (143) Darwin suggest that the present species supplanted all past ones and its original parent as it adapted (145) (thin reasoning, there would have been fossils right?). Second, if natural selection preserves the best qualities and characteristics why are there “organs of little apparent importance?” (162). Darwin explains that such organs (like the appendix?) may have been useful to an earlier species but have little use now and if the organs were harmful in any way, they would have been checked by natural selection (163) (who knows? *Kanye shrug*).
Anyway, I don’t think Science and religion need be so diametrically opposed. There’s room for both. It’s always been my dream to be in a position to show how science and Christianity can form a perfect marriage (still dreaming). Honestly, aspects of both science and Christianity can be equally farfetched however, I think it’s all about what we perceive to be truth in the face of unperceived or unperceivable evidence but I digress. I believe, and like to believe, our universe was created with care and that we do not share a common ancestor with roaches (or something like that).
Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species, London: Bantam Books, 1999.