Religion VERSUS Science??

Posted by Ava at 3:53pm Oct 12 '09
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So here's the thing - I'm one of those breeds of people that gets picked on by both scientists and Christians. In other words, I'm both. So given the posts on here with titles focusing on some sort of clash between the two, I thought I'd just put this out here for your consideration.

Science and religion aren't opposed.

Science looks specifically at things that have happened and are happening on this earth (or somewhere in our gigantonormous universe), using our own human powers of observation. It looks at what IS, what WAS, what EXISTS PHYSICALLY, what EFFECTS what, etc. Science can ONLY make observations (and therefore, conclusions) on that which it can observe. Can't see it? It's not within the realm of science. Opinions, for example. Science can measure how many people like X versus how many like Y, but the opinion itself is not based on science. It simply is whatever the holder of it believes.

Religion, on the other hand, deals specifically with things that can't be seen, touched, observed. Theology is all about belief, which, just like opinions, are outside the realm of science. It may be experiential, it may be based on something (like the bible, the quran, etc.) physical, but it cannot be proven or disproven. Science can never and will never be able to address the question of God simply because that question is outside it's jurisdiction. Likewise, religion does not involve that which CAN be tested, observed, etc.

That said, as a Christian, I believe the Bible was given to us for a theological purpose, to convey theological thruths. It should not be taken to convey scientific truths, as that is not its purpose. It undermines its value to try to force a scientific interpretation on something that ISN'T scientific. NATURE, on the other hand (being God's creation, to the Christian), is God's direct work. Why would we look to his theological work to describe nature, when we've got nature itself right in front of us?

Everyone gets all excited about the "creation vs. evolution" debate. I agree with Galileo. Interpret scripture and nature (via science) correctly, and the two won't disagree. In this case, yes, that means I believe the Genesis account of creation is there for a theological purpose (that is, "Hi, I'm God, and I created you, not those punk wanna-be gods your neighbors are worshipping. They think the sun is a god? Guess what, I MADE the sun"), and does not intend to tell us a bit about HOW creation occurred. Accepting a scientific understanding of how the world came into being does not change that it was God's doing (again, to the Christian - obviously there are many other views). It doesn't devalue the Creator - it just says he made a huge, awesome process instead of waving a wand (or speaking magic words!) to bring us into being.

To the Christian, science is and should be our attempt to learn about and understand creation. Theology is our attempt to learn about and understand God. The two may be related, but they are no substitute for one another!

(Also, thanks for letting me get that off my chest, it's been driving me nuts as I've had Christians pestering me who can't fathom how I could not take Genesis "literally". IMO, there's no way to take language literally! Just think about poems, sarcasm, scientific writing versus philosophical versus instructional... etc.)
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