Friday, January 02, 2009

Does a belief in evolution demand atheism?

There seems to be two strong opinions that many people stand on, both poles apart, leaving reasonable people to choose between these two extremes or slip into an apathy where they do not make any choice at all.
Many believe the same as Richard Dawkins, a prominent evolutionist who is quoted as saying, "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence..."
On the other extreme certain religious groups attack science as dangerous and point to a literal interpretation of sacred texts believing that science is responsible for the disintegration in society.
This leaves many people rejecting both the trustworthiness of science and the value of religion, or are conflicted in their thinking not knowing what to think holding that science and faith should operate separately.
Can there be harmony between science and spiritual world views? Personally I have never had a conflict in my mind between belief in God and science, to me science just proves God.
This Christmas my eldest son gave me a book called 'The Language of God' written by Dr. Francis S. Collins one of the world's leading scientists. The book refutes the stereotypes of hostility between science and religion and challenges the reader to find a unity of knowledge that encompasses both faith and reason.
Dr. Francis Collins is head of the Human Gnome Project working at the cutting edge of DNA research, the code of life, yet he is a man of unshakable faith in God and Scripture. In the book he makes a case for God and for science arguing that physics, chemistry and biology can all fit together with belief in God and the Bible.
As I read through this book I will try to share insights I learn. It is not a light and easy read so it may take some time.

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3 comments:

Samuel Skinner said...

"There seems to be two strong opinions that many people stand on, both poles apart, leaving reasonable people to choose between these two extremes or slip into an apathy where they do not make any choice at all."

Why is that bad? Many choices are like that and for good reason- one side is right and the othwer is wrong.

"Richard Dawkins, a prominent evolutionist"

He is a professor of biology and an author.

""Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence...""

What is objectionable about that statement.

"This leaves many people rejecting both the trustworthiness of science and the value of religion,"

They would rather hold to their faith than think about wheter it may be wrong?

", or are conflicted in their thinking not knowing what to think holding that science and faith should operate separately."

The Carl Sagan/Michael Shermer method. Also known as seperate spheres.

"Can there be harmony between science and spiritual world views? "

"I believe in an all powerful ever present force. It is called gravity"
-Carl Sagan

"Personally I have never had a conflict in my mind between belief in God and science, to me science just proves God."

You do realize that the scientific community has a higher percentage of atheists than the rest of society. Most of your compatriets disagree.

"The book refutes the stereotypes of hostility between science and religion and challenges the reader to find a unity of knowledge that encompasses both faith and reason."

Can't be done. Reason is based on logic and evidence. Faith is not.

Anna said...

I believe that God created all things physical and put all physical laws in motion. God made science work. In understanding science, we should get a clearer picture of God.

Liz said...

I agree with you: science proves God.

I've just read Samuel Skinner's comments. So much to argue there!