Top 10 Questions People Ask About the Christian Faith:
How Can the Belief in God Be Reconciled with Science, Especially Evolution?
Consider what Amir D. Aczel writes for Time: “Science and religion are two sides of the same deep human impulse to understand the world, to know our place in it, and to marvel at the wonder of life and the infinite cosmos we are surrounded by.” But, it seems like we live in “either-or” times.
You either believe in God, or you believe in science.
At least, that’s what people on either side argue.
If you are Team God or Team Science, here’s the good news. You can remove the jersey without shame.
There are a good number of well-respected scientists who discuss their belief in God and their faith openly.
They have found a way to reconcile their belief in God with their belief in science, and you can, too.
Tim Keller says, “Many people today, both secular and Christian, want us to believe that science and religion cannot live together. Not only is this untrue, but we believe that a thoughtful dialogue between science and faith is essential for engaging the hearts and minds of individuals today.”
Let’s take some time today to look at the ways faith and science can be reconciled and start a dialogue.
Understanding the Meaning of a Theory
According to Collins Dictionary, “A theory is a formal idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain something.”
In contrast, a fact is “a truth verifiable from experience or observation.”
In science, we deal with theories until they are proven factual.
For example, evolution is a theory of existence based on what scientists believe to be true.
Similarly, religious faith is based on what followers believe to be true.
Scientific study can provide us with more knowledge, but it is still up to us to decide if we believe based on the evidence they discover since we cannot verify from our own experience.
Believing in Science Also Takes Faith
Moreover, believing in science also takes faith.
Many scientific theories require individuals to believe or trust in what they do not see or have the answers for.
As Aczel from Time explains, “Science is an amazing, wonderful undertaking: it teaches us about life, the world, and the universe. But it has not revealed to us why the universe came into existence nor what preceded its birth in the Big Bang.”
Those who proudly wear the Team Science jersey and dismiss God need to realize they are placing their faith in something as well.
Science Does Not Have All the Answers
Those who tend to believe science and God cannot co-exist and trust only science should remember that scientists do not have all the answers.
For instance, one of the biggest unanswered questions plaguing scientists is how life was created without life.
Theories of existence, including the Big Bang Theory and evolution, do not answer this question fully.
Ethan Siegel from Forbes explains, “[Scientists] need to make life from non-life. This is no small feat, and is one of the greatest puzzles around for natural scientists in all disciplines: the problem of abiogenesis. At some point, this happened for us, whether it happened in space, in the oceans, or in the atmosphere, it happened, as evidenced by our very planet, and its distinctive diversity of life. But thus far, we’ve been unable to create life from non-life in the lab.”
Likewise, the theory of evolution still contains many unanswered questions.
Science still has not uncovered exactly how evolution occurred over billions of years, resulting in large gaps in the overall evolution sequence.
What Creationists Believe
Those who are Christians and believe the Bible to be the Word of God are likely creationists. They believe God created the heavens and earth and life as recorded in the Book of Genesis.
However, this doesn’t mean they completely reject evolution.
Creationists do believe in micro-evolution, which involves evolution within certain species, but they reject macro-evolution, which involves evolution between species.
Some Bible-believers believe in theistic evolution, which is the earth is old, and evolution occurs but only with the help of God stepping in.
They believe our understanding of the “days of creation” does not equate to days as we know them today, which would mean significant amounts of time passed between each day of creation since 2 Peter 3:8 says, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years."
God’s Fingerprints on All Creation
“The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory.” – Francis Collins
For those looking to reconcile their faith with science, start by recognizing that science is merely attempting to understand what God created.
When we begin to see God’s fingerprints on creation, we begin to stand in awe of Almighty God and can also have a thirst for knowledge about how His creation works.
Studying nature reveals God’s splendor.
Studying the human body reveals God’s wisdom.
Order Out of Chaos
Even the most hardened skeptic struggles to explain how the orderly Earth functions without a Creator.
Everything from the phases of the moon and tide patterns to the seasons is orderly and predictable.
Core Christianity explains, “Another reason for a belief in God is that the life-oriented properties of nature must have existed originally for the world to exist at all […] This truth has led many to believe in an infinite creator who has ordered all things in this way from the very conception of the universe in order for life to be sustainable at all. Science can only stand in wonder at such a necessity.”
Further Resources that Reconcile God and Science
This question cannot be fully answered in one short blog post.
However, there is a multitude of ways to delve deeper into this discussion.
As you begin your research, remember God is bigger than any of your questions. Your questions do not scare Him.
He invites you to ponder His creation!
Consider the following resources to help reconcile your beliefs in God and science:
No matter what you believe about creation, remember this does not change who God is or how He loves you.