Bayou Calvinist

A Somewhat Eclectic Discussion by a Law Student Concerning All of Today's Major Topics, as well as, a Few Not So Major Topics

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Science vs Religion

There is a great piece written by Isaac Constantine today over at The Weekly Standard about the ongoing debate concerning the inclusion of an intelligent design curriculum into biology classes teaching the theory of evolution. An issue that is raised thru this discussion is the overall compatability between science and religion. I personally feel that any supposed contradiction between the two is caused by the over-reaching on the part of both scientists and theologians into realms in which neither are competent. To suggest that science can somehow answer the great theological questions (Is there a God? Why are we here?) is preposterous, if for no other reason than it is impossible to prove a negative. Likewise to suggest that the Truth somehow disallows scientific truth is also ridiculous, if for no other reason than science (for the most part) is internally consistent. In both cases the two sides overestimate their own abilities in understanding the complexity of creation. Why couldn't there both be a God and evolution? Some seem to think that to admit the validity of evolution's scientific truthfulness is to deny the existence of an active God, who constantly intervenes on the behalf of his creations. God could at one and the same time set up a system whereby without his constant influence organisms would evolve in a more or less calculable way and also guide this evolution with constant intervention. It is well undertood that there are multiple paths evolution may push an organism pursuant to its environmental enfluence. Perhaps God picks the exact path. The smallest of divergence at a particular point in time can have an enormous impact on how things will turn out. Likewise God might speed up and slow down said process to fit creation to his plan. And last, but not least, it could be argued that God has created organisms in a manner so as to bait humanity into overestimating its own understanding. Of course there are thousands upon thousands of ways in which one may logically comprehend for evolution and theistic truth to coexist (I merely listed the few that immediately came to mind). In some respects I don't see this debate as much different than suggesting that God and gravity cannot coexist. One might just as easily say, since gravity acts without the constant intervention of God it thus proves God does not exist. Of course the fact that as humans we are able to percieve a phenomenon that we may calculate does not necessarilly mean that God is not directly involved. Perhaps God is always intimately involved, only in a very consistent manner. Both extremes in the evolutionary debate rely on faith. Either faith that there is a God and all that occurs is according to his design or faith in the notion that human scientific understanding is the highest truth and to look outside our own understanding based upon our own methods of observation is useless. If only both sides were honest enough to admit the same. Of course that would require admission that they do not hold all the answers.


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