It took 98 posts on this blog before I decided to address the issue of “science vs. religion”. I put it in quotes because there are some people who don’t believe there is an issue between science and religion. There are others who do. I’m kind of in the middle. On the one hand, I have no problem with people believing that the universe was created by an all-knowing, everlasting entity. If that’s what gets you up in the morning and helps things make sense and have meaning to you, then who is anyone to say that this is wrong?
On the other hand, we know a lot of things to be true through the scientific process. No matter how much one church or another says that the planet is the center of the solar system, we know that this is not the case. So I do have a problem when people have such a deep-seeded belief in religion’s teachings that they deny that the world around them is the way it has been shown to be. Anyone today can go and buy a telescope from a department store and look into the sky to see that we are, in fact, not the center of the universe and most definitely not the center of the solar system.
You can believe whatever you want to believe, but don’t deny the truth.
Bill Nye recently got in trouble with some people for this video:
You see, we know through science that the universe has been around for billions of years (about 15 billion, or so). We also know that the Earth has been around for about 4.5 billion years. Even with all this evidence, there are people who believe that this planet is only a few thousand years old and that it was literally created in 6 days. What is their evidence? Texts written thousands of years ago. Texts written when there were no telescopes or radiologic dating of rocks. Text written by someone who was not a scientist but was inspired to try to explain to his people where we come from.
Think about it, if you didn’t know science and a whole bunch of miracles happened around you, how would you explain the world to your people? Be honest. You wouldn’t use science, because you couldn’t. But you can now!
There is a sect that believes that going to the doctor for an ailment shows that you don’t believe in God. I can’t help but to shake my head when I read about that this child or that child (and many more) got hurt because their parents didn’t want to be spiritually weak and take the children to the doctor. It makes no sense. We know from several centuries of medicine that there are antibiotics for bacterial infections, that pathogens and not spirits cause physiological disease, and that physicians and other licensed healthcare providers have been trained on how to deal with these ailments and administer medicine. What is spiritually weak about using the truth to heal yourself? (I’m willing to bet that God also shakes His [probably] enormous head.)
But now we know better about how things work. And we need to tell our children that there is this discipline called science that will give us many, if not all, the answers of why the world is the way it is, and how the universe came to be. Science can tell them if the moon also falls, or if it’s just up there, suspended in space. (It’s constantly falling, by the way.)
If you want to teach your children that there is a creator, don’t lie to them and tell them that the world was created in six days. It wasn’t. (Would you be lying if you told them there was or there wasn’t a creator?) Things that religion teaches but have been shown to be wrong by science were always wrong. They weren’t right up until the moment that we discovered the truth. Why would you want to do that to your children?
Like Mr. Nye said, we’re going to need children who learn and apply science to the problems of the world, not children who think the world operates the way people thousands of years ago thought the world operated. That’s not a way to live. And any theologian worth their weight in salt would agree with me.