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Is there a conflict between science and Christianity?

Posted by Chance on March 20, 2008

It is often assumed that the Christian must turn off their thinking caps when it comes to science, that they must reject cold hard evidence in favor of believing in their faith.

But I’m not sure such conflicts exist, at least not as often as people think. Nowhere does this conflict seem more apparent than in the area of evolution.

Now, when one asks, “do you believe in evolution”, one has to consider that the word “evolution” is a loaded term. Does it mean evolution within a species, evolution across species, natural selection, etc… I think Christians can have a knee-jerk reaction to the term “evolution” and condemn it as evil, without considering what is meant by the term.

The real conflict is not necessarily between “evolution” and Christianity, but the Christian view of creation vs. the view of the universe being designed by random, purposeless forces. I do think there are parts of evolutionary theory that could be compatiable with Christianity. The point is, I know there is a divine being that created the universe, and that the Bible gives testimony to this God. Even with this belief, I believe there is room to believe that natural selection can hold true in the animal kingdom and that certain species have changed over time. Maybe even species have branched out into other species, who knows? I am not a biologist, so I’m not saying these things necessarily happened, I am just saying it is possible to believe in some aspects of evolution and not be a heathen.

That being said, I don’t think man has evolved from the original design. At least not very much. If one follows the dating of the Bible, man is about 6000 years old. I don’t think there would be much time for mankind to change on an evolutionary scale.

Unfortunately, evolutionists typically use the parts that are true or may be true to extrapolate to creation and mankind as a whole. For example, one may use the fact that a certain species changes to outside forces – natural selection on a small scale – and use it to conclude natural selection on a large scale. Small scale changes caused by random processes are used to infer that processes causing original life were also random.

I asked my wife, who graduated in Zoology, what the evidence was for evolution. The main pieces of evidence are the homologous structures (similar skeletal structures among different parts of the animal kingdom) and fossil records. I don’t know a whole lot about the fossil evidence, someone can help me out if they wish, but I do think that if you find a collection of bones, you don’t necessarily know if they were some primate or a less evolved version of homo sapien. Concerning bone structure, that could lead one to believe in evolution, but it can also be explained by design.

Christians are sometimes accused of looking for “God in the gaps.” That is, something seems complex, so God must have done it.* But I feel that in the scientific community, the view of all life resulting from evolution has the same aspect. It’s like “We don’t think there is a God, evolution is the only possible explanation.” The Truth Project by Focus on the Family says that science is no longer sticking to experimental observations, but it is trying to answer the fundamental questions of mankind. I think that is a valid point.

In short, there are aspects of evolutionary theory that are reasonable and are not incompatible with the idea that God created the universe and man. However, I believe evolutionists take the noncontroversial parts and use them to push God out of the picture. I think that this worldview that is adopted by many in the scientific community simply doesn’t hold water.

*I’m not saying that we can’t attribute the fact that life is so complex to an ultimate designer, I think it is one of the evidences of the creator, I’m only trying to make a point here.


3 Responses to “Is there a conflict between science and Christianity?”

  1. Josh said

    One doesn’t have to disagree with evolution to be a Christian. There are different theories that even Christians have about the beginning of the earth and Creation. Many of which interest me greatly.

    Who’s to say that the Big Bang isn’t how God chose to create the universe and world? Who’s to say that God’s intent wasn’t an evolution of species?

    I believe in Progressive Revelation, in which God reveals Himself a bit at a time to individuals.

    Why shouldn’t it apply to creation?

  2. BB-Idaho said

    Concerning “The main pieces of evidence are the homologous structures (similar skeletal structures among different parts of the animal kingdom) and fossil records.” More recently, the fossil
    record has been substantiated by
    advances in genetic/chromosomal science. Evolution is ‘just a theory’ but one based on robust data which fits well in our understanding of modern biology.
    It is, or should be, unrelated to
    religion, the latter being concerned with the spirit of man and his relation to God.

  3. Neil said

    Good points. All truth is God’s truth, whether in the Bible or outside of it. The Darwinists have a tough time keeping their science and their worldview separate. We should approach legitimate scientific inquiry with confidence. Ironically, the more spectularly complicated we see the universe is the more Christians can be confident that it was designed and the more confident the atheists think it wasn’t designed. Hmmmmmm . . .

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