Evolution and creation

We had our home group last night, which I was leading. We were looking at the question “Has science disproved God?”. We did have quite an interesting discussion, and I think quite a useful one! I think it is quite worrying that a lot of people seem to believe science and faith are in conflict (and that science is ‘right’), so it was good to take the opportunity to discuss some of the issues and be reassured that science and faith are not in conflict!

I do sometimes wonder if the only reason people believe there is a divide between science and faith is because the only voices you hear are either the hardline scientists who would destroy religion, or the hardline theologians who would destroy evolution. Because both sides are guilty of misrepresenting what the other side says, both sides have plenty of ammo to go at the other with!

What does worry me a bit is the creationist response to evolution. A lot of atheists seem to view evolution as an argument against faith. All the creationists do is lend support to the atheists: by claiming that the earth was created in six literal days as “special creation”, this sets themselves up in conflict with science and thus if evolution is ever proven to be true they have (ipso facto) disproved Genesis.

On the other hand, scientists who believe that evolution disproves the existence of God need to be sat down and given a stiff talking to, for they have incurred my displeasure.

That is all 😀

3 Replies to “Evolution and creation”

  1. Sorry for the lengthy comment!

    One interesting theory I’ve heard is that Genesis 1 is a unique type of Bible literature – because it’s dealing with a unique event – the creation of the world. As such it seems to be written in prose but with poetic elements to it, which suggest it isn’t a completely straight narrative account. The teaching point is that God exists, he created the world by the power of his spoken word and he made humanity, in his image, to relate to and interact with.

    On the Six day creationism thing, I’m persuaded that it’s not necessarily 6 days of 24 hours – primarily because if you read each day’s account from day 1-6, it has a beginning and end whereas Day 7 does not appear to end and when the clear poetic structure is broken like this, there’s a reason. Some suggest that this is because Day 7 continues and if “Day 7” is longer than 24 hours, why can’t Days 1-6 similarly be longer than 24 hour periods. It’s not a water tight case, but something to ponder, perhaps.

    I think you’re right to be careful about where the battle lines are drawn … usually it’s between Science and the Bible. But if we understand that Science is the study of the World which God has made and (Christian) theology is the study of the Bible which God has written. The 2 should be in complete agreement – the issue comes with our understanding – or rather, the debate is between theologians and scientists and their understanding of things.

    So in Psalm 19, where it appears to suggest that the sun goes round the earth – is that a right understanding of what the Bible is trying to teach? No, it is poetic language which we still sort of use today, despite our scientific understanding – we still talk about sunrises and sunsets!

    Or in Mark 16, where our scientific knowledge dictates that dead people don’t come back to life – and yet that is exactly the claim made about Jesus. At this point we have to suspend our scientific “knowledge” remembering that God, as creator of the universe, the one who sustains the world and keeps every little scientific law working, is well able to act in a different way from the scientific law to achieve his plans and purposes.

    We constantly have to be evaluating whether we’ve understood our world in the right way or whether we’ve understood our Bible in the right way!

  2. Thanks for the post Joe. I agree with you! I do think that science doesn’t always get it right, but at the same time I think the battle lines have been drawn pretty needlessly and it’s doing a lot of harm.

    Miracles are an interesting subject – I recommend reading “Miracles” by C.S. Lewis (which I might have mentioned a while back).

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