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Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Abdicate, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. This is the editor's comment in the February edition of Popular Science:

    Every time we increase our powers of perception, we find the universe is more complex than we imagined. Link
    Yet, they fully ignore the word of God because it doesn't "fit" their reality. So sad.
    KingJ likes this.
  2. I remember a story which was used in an Intelligence Squared debate:
    dUmPsTeR and Abdicate say Amen and like this.
  3. Interesting indeed! One thing I noted from the history of science is that much that is considered "established fact" at one point in time in later considered antiquated and obsolete....
  4. With some trepidation, particularly since I am new here...

    Romans 1:21
    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    Here Paul relates God's lament regarding man's inability to learn about God from the works of God. In this verse, it is not the scriptures that are being ignored, it is the /natural/ world around us.

    Proverbs repetitively uses the natural world to provide lessons about God.

    I believe that Christians should be thoroughly involved is the sciences

    This does not mean that the plan of salvation can be found in the rocks or stars, it does mean that a lot about God can be learned by studying His works.

    Theoreticians tell us that without the things in space, the very structure of space would not exist. Not that there would be emptiness, but that space itself would not exist, neither would time. May not seem very spiritual to you, but to me it shows that God created Space, Time, and Matter in an inter-related manner. He is therefore _outside_ of time. Consider the discussions of predestination and eternal security when God is not bound by time. He knows what you will choose before the creation of the world, precisely because he stands outside of time and can truly see what is to us the future as well as the past. This does not mean that we have no free will. I can freely choose something today and realize that God knew of and saw my choice to write my name in a book before the Earth was created. I find this to be an amazing example of how a knowledge of the Creator's works can tell us surprising things about Him and us.

    We (Christians as a community) need to be in the sciences and be ready to be taught things we may not otherwise know. I am often struck with fresh understanding of an aspect of the nature God when I read sciences.

    Yes, much of science is a process of identifying and eliminating errors. It is quite different than the approach to scripture, which is perfect. However, in both cases man's understanding and interpretation of either the Bible or Science is imperfect. I Thess 5:21 is a thumbnail description of what is (miss-nomicaly) called the 'scientific method'.

    For myself, the sciences were a large part of what led me to Christ. Yes, it was through witnesses of faithful Christians to gain a personal relationship, but much of my understanding of God's holiness and majesty was from considering questions like 'if the universe is this way, what does that say about the creator'.

    I praise God for His patience and his gentleness in bringing me to Him.

    -- John
    Waggles, Big Moose and Abdicate says Amen and like this.
  5. If you want to trade references, I could mention www.oldearth.org

    Personally, I am more interested in learning about God through studying His creation.

    Behe and Kenneth Miller sparred for years. I am not aware of anyone changing their positions. The biggest problem is that regardless of who is right, Behe did not come off well in court battles over curriculum.

    John Haught has written extensively about Theology in light of Darwinian evolution, but I don't really recommend him. He is reaching to far, but at least he is trying.

    Like I said, I am more interested in learning about God than sparring.

    To illustrate a spiritual approach to the sciences, I do recommend Augustine's "Literal Interpretation of Genesis".

    In his day, the controversy was the shape and structure of creation. He never states his final stand, but says that just as the proper interpretation of one verse cannot be such that another must be held to be false, If one knows the truth about the natural world than scripture must be not be interpreted in a manner inconsistent with that known truth. Of course determining the Truth is the heart of the problem. It's not that scrture is doubted, but our interpretation of it can fail.

    Today, few have a problem with the Aristotilean view of concentric spheres. The earth is surrounded by the sphere of air, then there is the sphere of the moon then the sun, then planets, then the stars. Christians have even mapped Hebrew words to each of these. It was still originally considered heressy. Today it is taught in many Sunday schools.

    Many also point to Usher's work to pinpoint the date and time of creation. Read his "Annals of the World". I have. Not impressed.
  6. I think Christians ought to be involved in science.
    The truth is, we cannot allow science to corrupt our belief as Christians. We know what wonders God has created but us Christians can contribute to science.
    dUmPsTeR likes this.
  7. I have studied science for a good many years. Science can really only comment on the observed universe. And those observations do show how truly complex and wonderful God's creation is.

    Christians can and should participate in this process. We need to add our 'filter' to what science is seeing. What you believe does affect how you interpret the 'facts.'
  8. Absolutely. This principle, I always think about the film Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks. :)
  9. The scientific method was established by Christians. Many of the greatest scientific discoveries came from Christians -- from the theory of the Big Bang, to genetics, to computer science, to the study of optics, etc. And these weren't just scientists who happened to be Christians -- these were clergymen and women-religious. Before, science was only used as a trade and not a discipline. It wasn't until Christians stepped forward and recognized that God's creation deserves some sincerity and acknowledgement for its objectivity.

    In fact, many opponents of religion (especially Christianity) have sort of press-ganged the history of many scientists and philosophers and said that they were Atheists when they have written openly that, while some never claimed Christianity, they did claim theism.
  10. Amen; and at times to think we are ridiculed for our beliefs when the concept came from us. :)
    Waggles likes this.
  11. Indeed. Part of this is that there is a divide between many Christians on subjects like evolution, and this comes from a difference of Biblical translation. But one thing the critics ought to really understand is what we mean when we say "God" and the divide between science and theology since one is the study of nature and the other is the study of something beyond nature.
    Fish_of_Faith likes this.
  12. Remember too that academia is in it for the money, not the science. It's very sad. I believe we'd be so much further along in understanding if it weren't for academia and the "scientific" community. I remember some years back when the study of the speed of light was brought into question (my fav topic). Years went by and some scientist in England wanted to disprove it... but he ended up proving it. He was summarily banned by the scientific community. Years later still two Australians tired of hearing about this issue, set out to disprove it too and only ended up proving it - they too were ostracized. Why is this important? Their studies show that all the atoms in the universe are slowing down at the same rate, about 1%/100 years. What does that matter? During the time of Adam and Eve the speed of the atoms (thereby light) was in the neighborhood of 10,000 times faster! It's a fascinating study - if you can find the information :D
    Big Moose and Relentless say Amen and like this.
  13. I think I remember hearing about that. My concern with some modern scientists (not all, but some) have an agenda outside of scientific discovery. If they are people of integrity, they really should allow scientific evidence and proof to speak for itself rather than trying to use it to feed an agenda.
    dUmPsTeR and Abdicate say Amen and like this.
  14. It is sad that they claim to only be seeking the truth when it's their own 'truth' they are really after. There is another area where this is happening, but I don't want to bring it up.
  15. There is also enormous peer pressure in science classes. Professors openly mock anyone who disbelieves in Darwinian evolution, and any student who wants to pass the courses has to agree to it. Even after a scientist has proven him or herself and had peer-reviewed research, any expression of doubt in Darwin gets them blacklisted, defunded, and ridiculed.
    dUmPsTeR likes this.
  16. That's the only way they can keep the 'theory' alive.
    Relentless likes this.
  17. I was about to bring up how this is happening in another area (which maybe we were thinking the same thing).
  18. Indeed, this is something that has become a huge problem in the schools. Only one perspective allowed and critical thinking be damned.

    While I don't have any problem with Darwinian theory, there are people who do hold a very specific position against it, and it's silly to hush their voices just because it isn't something they agree with.

    Like what HMS said, if this is their only way they can keep theory alive, then they themselves seem to lack faith in this theory. To quote St. Augustine: "The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."

    If the theory of evolution is true, then there really should be no discouraging of opposite voices giving their reasons to say why it isn't true.
  19. A few years go, the school at a church I was attending had a sale on old textbooks. I happened to attend a study in the gym where the books happened stacked in prep for the sale.

    I picked up one of the science textbooks. I was not surprised and had no real concern by its treatment of Earth's history, geology or related topics. The church textbooks reflected the teachings of the church, which is right and proper, even if I would approach these topics a little, or markedly different. But there was no attempt to at least prepare the students for the way these subjects differed from the standard curricula.

    What caused me sadness was when I turned to the section on astronomy. The description ended with Pluto. -- This was before Pluto was reclassified.

    I know that among young Earth Christians, there are a variety of explanations for the distances of the stars, but there is no real consensus. Some state that the speed of light is changing. Some state that the light was created in route so we could see them. Much of the problem with civil discussion is that one is never sure what the specific position is at a particular area. The point is not that the children were being taught something right or something wrong, but that the inconvenient issues were being ignored, and the students were being ill-prepared. Some are always moving to other cities, some may be going to college that may or may not continue in a young Earth view.

    I did talk to the church's pastor. I considered him a friend. He and I had had several constructive discussions, even if we disagreed, so he knew where I was coming from. He was unconcerned but seemed more concerned with taking a strong stand than it was to prepare the students. The replacement books, while covering constellations, still did skipped things concerning distances and how long it takes light to get from there to here.

    These are not the core of salvation. It is not even a case of whether the Bible is God's inerrant literal word, since there are many old Earth Creation Bible believers. What concerns me here is that people that are both chronologically young, and many of them spiritually young will be caused to have doubts. See all the comments siting peer pressure in public schools.

    Even though it is not the core of salvation, I do think that a strong understanding of God's creation cannot help but draw us closer to Him. But I despair at young people being used as fodder in a fight to claim right. If one is going to present the young Earth Creation view, please make it complete enough so that as the students move out into later schooling or society that their faith is not shaken.
    Relentless likes this.

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