While watching this debate between pundit Bill O’Reilly and atheist Richard Dawkins, something within me snapped. I suddenly grew very tired of the entire religion versus science debate. Rarely is anything ever accomplished when these two sides clash; both have dug in their heels and are unwilling to budge. At this point, the entire dialogue has been reduced into a bunch of blustering sound bytes.
Perhaps my perspective is a little skewed. I’m in favor of both Christ and science. Obviously, I am a Christian. I believe that the Bible is inspired and fully confess a belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I am also a fan of science. Perhaps due to all the episodes of Star Trek I’ve watched in my life I am a huge proponent of space travel. I can get lost for hours looking at the images of space that NASA provides on their website. Also, I lost a mother to cancer and have a child with type one diabetes and a step son with epilepsy, so I get a little jazzed up anytime the news reports that scientists are one step closer to curing these and other diseases. Simply put, science is cool.
I do not believe; however, that science and faith-based religions are at odds.
I think atheists are out of line when they suggest that faith should play no part in science; rather, I feel that faith should be the driving force behind science. Let me explain. To be human is to be curious. The human race is born with an innate desire to explore and learn. We are programmed to ask really big questions. This programming, much like our innate moral code, comes from somewhere beyond ourselves; I would suggest the possibility that it comes from God. Dawkins and his kind suggest we should stop short of asking the really big questions. It is okay to ask how the human machine works or how it came to be what it is, but the second we ask “who” put the machine in motion, atheists slam on the brakes and tell us we’ve gone too far. I’m sorry, but if science is unwilling to even entertain the big questions, I want new scientists.
For example, when I look at a great piece of art, I can study its lines, shape, and composition for awhile, but eventually I’m going to want to know who painted it. To become truly intimate with a piece of music, you must eventually come to know the composer. Who was she? What type of mood was she in when she wrote it? Of what culture did she belong? Without asking these questions, we might as well examine art with our eyes half shut.
In all honesty, I don’t expect science to answer all of the big questions. Along with our innate curiosity, we are also born with a certain uncertainty about life after death and God. Christ has eased many of these fears for me, but I would be lying if I told you all my questions have been answered. It might be a little idealistic to believe that science can answer all of these questions; however, it is inspiring to know that every time there is a scientific breakthrough, we are one step closer to understanding our creator. I believe science has a high purpose that is encouraged by God. Scientific proof may not be required to believe in God, but if God is real, He can teach us and speak to us in a variety of ways including the Bible, His creation, and science.
It might surprise you to know that students in the United States currently rank 29th amongst other developed countries in science education. Atheists tell us we shouldn’t allow the big questions that concern creation in the classroom. Perhaps if we were able to ask those big questions and hint at the possibility of a God, our children would be inspired to accomplish more.