Question we are supposed to answer this week: Has the seeming incompatibility between science and the Bible been a hindrance to you in your faith? And if so, has anything in this chapter changed that perspective?
Having majored in Biology and Grad. School for Entomology, the issue of Science verses Christianity has definitely been a part of my life. In the beginning, think freshmen/sophomore year in college, I didn’t know which way I was going to go. It seemed like you had to choose one or the other. It seemed everywhere I turned, there was that argument that if you were intelligent, if you were a scientific thinker, then there was no way that you could believe in a God of miracles and creation.
I questioned a lot of things at the time and I know my college adviser answered a lot of them. One of the things that my adviser helped me understand is the difference between macro and micro evolution. Macroevolution focuses on changes that occur at or above species level. Whereas microevolution is the genetic changes that occur in a species over a period of time. In my mind this helped explain all of the evolutionary examples that scientists use like the Darwin’s finches, natural selection, etc. where there is very strong evidence. He taught me you can be a Christian and still believe in evolution. He taught me that I can say “Yes” to evolution/natural selection and “Yes” to God.
Believing in microevolution does not mean I have to believe in the Big Bang Theory or that we have evolved from sludge because, honestly, I really struggled with the macroevolution part. I don’t understand how anyone can believe in the whole sludge thing, by this I mean that all organic life is produced solely by random forces that are guided by nothing (I know there are people who say the same thing about me and my beliefs too). One night our youth group was talking about evolution and Ted gave this analogy:
Imagine you threw all the parts of a Corvette into a big a box. Screws, nuts, pistons, sparkplugs, paint, glass, tires, oil, gasoline, keys…you name it. Now imagine that you start shaking that box and continue shaking that box. Maybe for a million years, or maybe even a billion years. How long would it take before all those pieces fell into just the right place so that the engine would come roaring to life?
In a sense, that is what evolutionists want from us. They want us to prove that God exists and since we can’t, then there is no way that he can exist. Keller says a “Scientist must always assume there is a natural cause” because this assumption is the only thing they can actually test. Think about it, how would you test for a miracle, give me the null hypothesis for that one. He goes on to state that “The existence of God can be neither demonstrably proven nor disproven.”
So what do I believe? Keller puts it so beautifully, I believe that “God created life and then guided natural selection to develop all complex life-forms from simpler ones.” I remember in college I had to identify insects for my entomology project. I was looking under the microscope trying to identify an ant of all things. Now, I have seen many ants in my day, usually when I spot them walking across my counter in the kitchen, not where I want them. They appear quite simple, a small little black thing scurrying around sometimes carrying food away. Nothing that really screams “WOW”. But I remember being struck on that particular day as I analyzed the ant under the microscope, the ant was truly incredible, the detail in the body segments, the furry little head, well, you get the picture. I remember thinking that there was no way that this ant could have evolved into something so beautiful on its own, someone or something had to be behind the design.
I know evolutionists will cite all the similarities between different species and can even draw out phylogenetic trees explaining how one evolved from another because they are so similar. My husband, Ted, is an electrical engineer and designs wireless transmitters and receivers. Whenever his team designs a new radio, they borrow lots of pieces from radios that they have designed previously or that others may have designed. Usually, some portions of the circuit are brand new, but never is one radio completely different from a previous design. In fact, they usually have more similarities than they do differences. In the same way, wouldn’t we expect that there would be many similarities between life forms that we see today if there was, in fact, a common designer behind each of them?
I know there are still plenty of reasons that make people doubt. “It is a warning not to think that only we modern, scientific people have to struggle with the idea of the miraculous, while ancient, more primitive people did not.” Keller retells the story of Matthew 28, right after Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared before the apostles. Verse 17 says that “some doubted.” These are people who do not know the makings of an atom, virus, DNA, etc.; they had seen Jesus, lived with him, learned from him and they doubted….I don’t think we can use the excuse that science causes us to doubt. I think it is human nature to question. But it all comes down to a leap of faith….a leap of faith to believe or a leap of faith not to believe in God.
Keller stated somewhere in the chapter that “Many complex factors lead a person to belief or disbelief in God. Some are personal experiences, some are intellectual, and some are social.” Our faith is influenced by many different things, I can choose to believe in God or I can choose not to believe based on my interactions with people and the world around me. Someone might look at that ant and see how it “evolved” from a less complex insect on the evolutionary tree. Or, on the other hand, someone like me may look at that ant under the microscope and see a beautifully created insect. That day, as I looked at the ant, I was in awe and could only imagine what God must have been thinking as He created it.