At what point does science & faith clash?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by john6:63, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. john6:63

    john6:63
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    Some that post here consider themselves a Christian; I’d have to say some, because this is the Internet by the way. Some here will believe certain books of the Bible and will let science overrule the other books.

    Some here claim man evolved from monkey, since some claim a mountain of evidence that supports this scientific theory. Why then would God want to mislead and specifically say that He created man from the dust of the ground and Eve from Adams rib? Our church’s 8 and 9 year old Sunday school class believes that God created Adam from the dust of the ground and so forth, just by reading and taking Genesis at face value. Why would God want 8 and 9 year olds to discover the “truth” in HS science, instead of from His word? At what point did the fairy tale end and history begin? Why would God mislead, especially a child?

    Some here want to know where in Genesis does it say to take Genesis literally. I would like to know where in Genesis does it say not to take Genesis literal? Some claim a global flood was impossible. Reading Genesis, God appeared to be pretty upset with the people of the earth, but God found favor in Noah. God was ready to destroy the earth right then. God allowed Noah to build an ark, which took quite some time to build! If this was just a local flood, why build an ark? Why would God need to establish a covenant with Noah and promise never to destroy the earth again with water, when we have witnessed many devastating local floods?

    Since a few here allows science to guide them through the Bible, at what point do you say: “OK science guys, enough is enough, you’re crossing the line with that claim!” Example, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were forced into a fiery furnace, and survived. They didn’t even smell of smoke! Science would say, “This is impossible! A human would become a screaming alpha fire.” We all know Daniel in the lion’s den. Science would claim all these events are undeniable false. Daniel was a real person, since Jesus names him at least once in the Gospels. Did God mix a little fairy tale to spice up the Book of Daniel?

    Jesus took five loves of bread and two fishes and fed five thousand men, not to mention the women and children. Jesus walked on water, even Peter walked on water too, until he took his eyes off the Lord. My friends and I when we were kids tried this experiment and failed miserably. God raised His Son from the dead three days after He’d been dead. Science would say all these miracles are impossible. Do you rebuke science for saying this? If so, why?

    If Adam and Eve were figurative, who’s to say Jesus wasn’t? Jesus say’s blessed are those that do not see yet still believe.

    Sorry for the number of questions, just curious about those that put their faith more in science than the Bible. Where does science cross the line concerning your faith? Does your church promote this doctrine?
     
  2. A_Christian

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    Science was once the way we viewed what we
    experienced and not a mode to fill in the gaps.
    The only ones who seem happy are those of little
    faith. The less faith one has in GOD, the more
    one must cling to a material world with materialistic conclusions. These worldly people have a strong desire to influence others to accept this "reality" they they constructed and will strive to have all others silenced (where & when possible) because it bothers them...
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    Done correctly, science is man's work and study to find out about the natural world. This is not a problem.

    The problem comes when a presupposition which starts, at the beginning, as rebellion against God and God's Word, is allowed to determine the interpretation of what man finds. In other words, what to an evolutionist is a 'transitional' between two types of organisms is to me, a young universe creationist, either an interesting variation or simply an extinct group (representative of) in its own right.

    The problem is not science itself. The problem lies with whatever the person accepts as foundational truth to begin with. If evolution and man's wisdom is accepted as foundational truth, then the Bible will be seen as 'allegorical' or 'myth' where it disagrees with man's ideas.

    If, however, God's Word is accepted as foundational, given a simple, straightforward reading (I am NOT using the word 'literal' on purpose!), then these are the parameters within which the true interpretations of the same data may be found.

    It's not just science, folks, it's man's heart. It's a choice that he or she makes concerning what is really the basic truth in life.

    "Theistic evolutionists" try to combine both worlds: God started it, front-loaded it, and then let it run according to 'plan.'

    The problem with this is that so much of what theistic evolution claims runs exactly opposite what the Bible says.

    Atheistic evolution, in denying God totally, is under the judgment of Romans 1. There is no question about the reality of God. Not really.

    This leaves creation of one kind or another -- and there are a variety of 'kinds' here. I am a
    'young earth creationists' because that is not only where I believe the data lead us, but because that is also what a simple and clear reading of the Bible also tells us. In other words, my presuppositions regarding the truth of God's Word now (this was not always true; I became a YEC because of evidence, not because of religious beliefs) are the boundaries, or parameters, within which I am convinced the truth lies.

    But as for actual science itself -- the gathering of data, the work in the lab, the work in the field -- this data is just there regardless of whether it fits anyone's theories or not.

    It is one thing to come at data with a foundation of believed truth first, but it is actually another to come at it theory first. When the evolutionist comes at the data theory first, there is data which is ignored or considered 'anomalous.'

    My husband tells a story in his lectures about a mathematician and an astronomer. The astronomer runs into the mathematician's office one morning and declares that he has found a wonderful truth: all odd numbers are prime! He points out that one is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, eleven is prime, thirteen is prime....

    The astronomer stops him and says, "Whoa! What about nine? That's not prime!"

    To which the astronomer replies, "Oh that? That's just observational error!"

    Those observational errors are what deny evolution. They are also what evolutionists do their best to ignore or talk their way around, as shown so often on this board.
     
  4. Johnv

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    There's no reason for science and faith to clash. They only clash when we insert our philosophical implications.

    Science attempts to look at evidence and explain how something happened. It doesn't attempt to say whodunnit. We end up with clashess when we think science is trying to tell us whodunnit. When we remember that this ain't so, there's no reason for the clash.
     
  5. john6:63

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    One needs to keep in mind that science isn’t in possession of ALL the facts; therefore they are in no position to make a final judgment on anything. In any field of science one only needs one new contrary fact to force a new way of thinking. What one considers as fact today may not be fact tomorrow.

    I’m not reading anything into Genesis when I read the God himself created man and took a rib from the man and created woman.
     
  6. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    Keeping in mind that the person who said that was ignorant of the fact that "proof" is never part of science:

    1. Even things that are not proven can be so well in evidence that it is perverse to reject them.

    Hence, one looks at the mass of evidence, all of it supporting evolution, and it begins to be as compelling as the idea that the sun will appear in the East tomorrow.

    2. No one can come up with a better theory, that accounts for so many facts, so well. That being so, science is not going to change theories until someone does.
     
  7. GodsArmyMan

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    I guess I'll just answer the question in the thread name.

    True science will never clash with faith. Science in it's purest form is the search for possible answers to specific questions. When a person says "the evidence seems to indicate that man evolved from another species" he is not making an absoulte statement.

    Now if a person says "man evolved from another species, end of story" that's not science, thats faith. That person BELIEVES this just as a Christain believes in God.

    My point is science can't clash with faith because a true scientist (even a non-christian one) will admit that creation is a possibility.
     
  8. Paul of Eugene

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    Of course science and faith can clash. They do it all the time. Science even has been known to clash with previously accepted science.

    What is faith? The word has several meanings and we need to be clear in this context. In one sense of the word, we all function on faith, because we are so constructed as to be unable to keep reasoning everything out at once as we go. We work for money, in faith that money will continue to have value after we get it. We sit down in the chair, in faith that the chair will support us.

    That's one meaning of the word.

    We have an abiding faith that God is our salvation and our hope. That is another meaning of the word.

    If we have formed an opinion that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, and we hold to that opinion, that is faith.

    And of course, we all know that science conflicts with that view. Scientists have various reasons for holding that the earth is more like 4 to 5 billion years old. The reasons for this conclusion have been posted over and over again.

    Some christians use the literal interpretation of Genesis as their guide regardless of any other evidence, as they claim.

    It is an interesting question of psychology as to why they are able to do this. Certainly they don't require that other passages be accepted literally, such as the passage that asserts grasshoppers and other flying insects have four legs. Alternate interpretations are accepted for THAT passage.

    It has something to do with the fact that the evidences for the age of the earth are presented as a chain of reasoning, each link being considered seperately. Because the links don't have to all be held at once in the mind, the mind can then "lose faith" in those links and simply deny their validity, in spite of the quality of the links when considered each alone.

    There is also the matter of group psychology. As a member of a community, each supporting the other in their common belief, the idea that the science is all wrong takes on greater strength because of the social reinforcement each group member gives the other. This is a very powerful mechanism in human relationships. We see it operating in congress as votes divide along party lines. We see it operating in nations as men freely go out and give their lives for completely opposite ideologies, when clearly somebody is making a logical error somewhere in choosing which is the best side for which to give one's life . . . and, also,it happens in this very forum.

    If the force of group cooperation can induce a man to give up his life for his country, even when that country is a Hitler driven Germany, what chance does reason have over a convinced creationist?

    But it is in the very arena of contending and clashing ideas that men can achieve a greator degree of freedom. When disagreement is allowed to be expressed - and contending ideas freely expressed - then thoughtful people are able to more easily choose between them than when all are in agreement. This means greater individual freedom. It is in such an environment that truth has the greater chance of finally emerging over corporate error.

    Should our Lord tarry, the ideas of science will gradually prevail. The fact that the light from distant galaxies has travelled for millions of years to reach us will gradually sink in to the most isolated of communities. The consistency and reliability of radioactive methods of age determination will come to be more and more taken for granted. The common descent of life from an original primitive form will come come to be acknowledged more and more - because the evidence will gradually force it to be accepted.
    It will be generations, not days, but it will happen, just as other revolutionary scientific ideas have taken hold and become accepted folklore in the past.

    It hasn't been so long in the history of the world that the same arguments raged over whether the earth moves.

    So yes, there is a conflict between faith and science, according to some definitions of the word faith.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Science and faith ONLY clash when you place your FAITH in science INSTEAD of the Gospel.

    But if you reject the "bad science" of evolutionism - and stick with impirically sound science - the "hard sciences" - without the mythologies of evolutionism - then science and Christianity - never "clash" because God IS the Creator of nature itself.

    Creator of the heavens and the earth and ALL that is in them.

    Making them "IN SIX days the Lord Created the Heavens and the Earth and ALL that is IN them".
    Exodus 20:11.

    Impossible to miss - or successfully obfuscate to the dictates of evolutionism.

    Bob
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    Here's the problem with that line of logic. It doesn't always work. Proof:

    Lev 11:22-23
    These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. But all other winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.
    NASU

    Do you wish to reject the bad science of six footism for insects, following the exact pattern of exegesis you described above? Probably not. You probably want to reinterpret the meaning of the verse, instead.

    But in doing this you are being inconsistent. You are allowing scientific prejudices overcome the literal translation of the scripture, and you conclude, instead, to reinterpret scripture.

    That's because you know the science of six footism is good instead of bad.

    Likewise, if you knew the science of evolution was good instead of bad, you would concede to reinterpretation of the genesis scripture you quoted.

    In other words, it all comes down to a judgement on the quality of the science anyway.

    To claim it comes down to choosing to disregard the literal teaching of scripture is to be inconsistent with the fact that you do that anyway.
     

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