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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Science and Religion DO Mix

"It is...idle to pretend, as many do, that there is no contradiction between religion and science. Science contradicts religion as surely as Judaism contradicts Islam - they are absolutely and irresolvably conflicting views. Unless, that is, science is obliged to change it's fundamental nature."
 ~ Brian Appleyard ("Science and the Soul of Modern Man")

I recently read a simple, yet powerful, book called Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris, showing that many of the great scientists of the eighteenth century were Christians -- directly the opposite of what atheists will tell you, that science and religion don't mix and that virtually everyone believes in Darwinian evolution.

In fact, many of the early scientists advocated for creationism and against evolution. Since today is Question Evolution Day, and International Atheists Day/April Fool's Day (see Psalm 14:1), I would like to share some of the things these men stood for. This is not a trivial matter, for if atheists are wrong and science and religion can (and do) mix, it stands to reason that God may actually exist... and maybe creationists are right after all and there is a Creator. Science does not prove God, but it does lend some good evidence to support His existence, and many of these early scientists understood that -- It was the very thing that spurred them on in their scientific research.

James Simpson (1811-1870) was the discoverer of chloroform, a discovery which was foundational for the study of anesthesiology. Even so, he stated that his greatest discovery was "That I have a Savior," going on to say, “But again I looked and saw Jesus, my substitute, scourged in my stead and dying on the cross for me. I looked and cried and was forgiven. And it seems to be my duty to tell you of that Saviour, to see if you will not also look and live. ‘He was wounded for our trangressions, ... and with His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5,6).”

Henri Fabre (1823-1915) strongly opposed spontaneous generation and the theory of evolution. He is called “the father of modern entomology” for his studies of insects. His scientific books for children where used for many years in French state schools until people got upset with his references to “God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things.” He describes his belief in God as follows: “Without Him I understand nothing; without Him all is darkness... Every period has its manias [obsession]. I regard Atheism as a mania. It is the malady [problem] of the ages. You could take my skin from me more easily than my faith in God.” (Brackets added for clarity.)

Lord Kelvin was a strong Christian, opposing both Lyellian uniformitarianism and Darwinian evolution.” He actually calculated the age of the earth based on terrestrial heat flow and cooling of the earth. Although it was an old age for the earth (100 million years), it was still far too brief for evolution to occur in that timeframe; even considering radioactivity, Kelvin showed that it was still not enough time for evolution to have occurred. Lord Kelvin had many other accomplishments, and “held 21 honorary doctorates.” He was a firm believer in the Bible and advocated for its teaching in English schools. He once stated, “With regard to the origin of life, science... positively affirms creative power.”

William Herschel (1738-1822) is responsible for the discoveries of double stars and of the planet Uranus. He also invented a telescope considered to be the best of his day. He “has long been recognized as both an outstanding Christian and an outstanding astronomer.” He once stated, “The undevout astronomer must be mad.”

And lastly, well-known scientist, Isaac Newton -- best known for his law of universal gravitation -- once stated, “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.”

So my question to those who hold to the idea that science and religion can't mix would be, why CAN'T science and religion mix? Is it because they don't WANT their to be the possibility of a god to which they are accountable? At any rate, we must also remember that evolution is a belief -- a world view -- just as much as creationism is. If an evolutionist is entitled to his unprovable theory and is able to call it "science" (as they do all too often, and I could give you plenty of examples of this), then a Christian is every bit as entitled to His belief in a Creator, God, and should be able to call it (creationism) science. He should have every right to do scientific research as a Christian, just as an evolutionist does. He shouldn't have to leave his Christianity at the lab door, as so often happens, sadly.

Clearly, when we look at more than just the words of early scientists like Newton, and look to their discoveries -- without which we would not be where we are today in science, technology, etc. -- we see that belief in God does not preclude scientific research. It actually enhances it.

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