I saw a video that a pastor made about creationism. In this video, he adamantly argued that God created the world in 6 days—point blank, period. He said scientific theories were “just theories” and therefore had no merit. That science and technology were anti-religion. He posted this video to Facebook… It was recorded using a smartphone… And he was driving a car… All pretty technologically-advanced items… Do you see where I’m going with this?
God Gave Us The Tools
The presence of science doesn’t have to mean God doesn’t exist, or didn’t create the universe. In fact, I believe science supports religion. What if, in his infinite wisdom, God gave us science as the tools to live within the world he created? What if evolution is the way that God keeps the world moving? I can say for certain that God did not say “let there be smartphones” or “He saw that Facebook was good.” This is where science comes in—to explain the miracles of God and the workings of the world in ways we can understand them.
Keeping the Faith
Blind faith is difficult for me. Growing up, I couldn’t possibly imagine a giant boat with 2 ants, 2 bears, 2 cats, etc., and somehow the ants weren’t squished by the giraffes, and the mice weren’t eaten by the cats. Also, a boat that kept every animal safe for 40 days (longer than the lifespan of the smaller animals) and that each pair was a perfectly matched set that mated and kept the species going. But it does make sense to me that a few sets of a limited number of animals survived a catastrophic event (like, I don’t know, a flood maybe?) and reproduced. Then over time, subspecies were created. Then they developed features to allow them to live in a changing world. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth—and then it evolved.
Being taught both was a blessing.
I grew up in a progressive area, going to Jewish day school and synagogue. Much of our time was spent praying and studying in Hebrew. We readily accepted science and religion simultaneously; our faith was not threatened by scientific theory or fact. I’m not sure how our teachers made this so seamless that we didn’t even think about it, but they did. This is why I now hold value in both areas, and don’t think that they have to compete, even if you take the Bible literally.
I can still have faith that the stories in Genesis were true, and logically explain HOW they were possible.
Kairological Days (stay with me now…)
There’s an explanation of time called Kairology in which, instead of consecutive sunrises and sunsets, day 1 of creation represents a period of time in which light was created. Day 2 is a period of time in which land and water were created, and so on. This perspective brings together faith and science, because creation happens over an undefined expanse of time, not instantly. Many cultures that do not use written language rely on this perspective to tell stories, and to describe significant historical events in ways that are easily relatable to others.
Kairology would allow modern humans to better understand creationism. If we look closely, kairological time can help us to explain things we see before our own eyes, such as the changes in species from generation to generation (microevolution). We look at how events relate to each other, rather than how they relate to the calendar. This is not at odds with creation theory, but rather an explanation as to why creation could have happened. Science can support religion, it doesn’t have to discredit it.
The Big Bang
The most widely accepted scientific theory for creation is the big bang. But even the big bang theory can’t accurately describe what happened before. This is where science falls short, and religion comes in to save the day. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, right? But then, what was God before creation? Neither science nor religion can answer all of our questions, and they never have. But they can provide pieces to the puzzle. What existed before “time” may be a mystery humans never solve, at least not with the tools we have now.
Since neither school of thought can completely describe the magic of creation, it’s unfair to claim one as true and discredit the other. Maybe science is the set of rules that God put in place in order to keep his creation alive. We can see evidence of this everywhere, from the design of the golden ratio in nature, to the way we communicate, to the seasons changing. It all is perfectly designed to work in a very specific way. Some call it “intelligent design” if they’re uncomfortable with the word creationism. We can credit the design to God, or we can credit it to science. Or, we can credit it to both, working forever together, harmoniously. They are not opposing forces at all, but rather a perfect set, a part of the same thing—The Universe.
This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on science and faith from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.