The Hands that made us
Where faith and science meet
Stories by Jack Taylor
The complex issues of creation in today’s culture seem greater than we first heard in Sunday School. Welcome to the third and final instalment in a series about creation – The Hands that made us. This month, Light Magazine writer Jack Taylor investigates deeper into the merging of faith and science, and finds that the two, do indeed co-exist. Our task remains to find our place in it all, and find our faith strengthened.
A theist Richard Dawkins and his disciple Lawrence Krauss have discovered one of the great weaknesses of followers of Jesus who dabble in the sciences. We hate to be mocked for our ignorance when we believe we have the truth.
At a “Reason Rally” in Washington, DC, in March 2012, Dawkins advocated the open ridicule of all Creationists. He suggested that critical thinkers confront believers by saying: “Are you seriously telling me you believe that? … Mock them! Ridicule them! In public! Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits….Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.”
At the start of a debate at the University of Toronto on March 19, 2016, Krauss opened up his presentation with a personal mocking attack on Intelligent Design theorist, Stephen Meyer. Krauss hasn’t limited his ridicule to Christians. In a December 19, 2015 debate with Islamic scholar Hamza Tzortzis (“Islam or Atheism – Which Makes More Sense?”) Krauss openly ridiculed Islamic views on Allah, Mohammed and the Koran. His staccato questioning and personal attacks on the knowledge and intelligence of his opponent, intertwined with random statements and accusations, deflect any chances to engage with scientific statements he might believe.
Contrast this approach with that of Trinity Western University physics professor and Chair of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. Arnold Sikkema, who says: “As we encounter people who think differently about science and the Bible, how do we extend grace and find common ground in the living out and bearing witness to the gospel—the good news that God is reconciling all things to himself through Jesus.”
Dawkins and Krauss have now decided to redefine nothingness to support the notion that the universe, a multiverse or a megaverse created all we see through quantum physics without divine intervention. Oxford mathematician John Lennox considers the latest efforts of these atheists as “desperate nonsense.”
Despite the claim of physicists that they have discovered a cosmological constant tuned to 1 x 10 to the 120th, making the fine-tuning of the universe beyond the possibility of chance, Dawkins declares these scientists as “tricksters” and proposes an alternate option of multiverses.
Still, those who believe we are intelligently designed and built are gaining ground with simple moments of realization. Local inventor, and President of Reality Research and Development Inc., Tom Rogers came to an “aha” moment when he considered the metamorphosis which occurs when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. The change is significant because, Rogers says, “The worm is totally disassembled down to its atoms and then the atoms are reassembled into a beautiful flying butterfly. This takes supernatural intelligence, dexterity, speed, precision, care, and fantastic designing. Evolution, by definition, has none of those capabilities…”
Christians would do well to realize that reason and revelation are not mutually exclusive. Dr. John Lennox states the atheists are close to using blind faith in their statements as they lean on the same human reasoning, which they say exists through random accident and chance. When choosing between mass energy or God as the ultimate cause behind creation, the choice is clear for believers. But it’s the details after that which create intense discussion. Sikkema cautions that “the history of the Christian Church is full of diverse viewpoints at any given time in history on the integration of science and faith—unity on the essentials of Christianity (the historic creeds, for example), allows for lots of latitude on secondary things.”
Lee Strobel, in his book The Case for Faith, quotes nanoscientist Dr. James Tour from Rice University about his discoveries in molecular science. “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
Some of the next steps for young-earth creationists will be to respond to analogies and evidence presented by creationary evolutionists like Denis Lamoureaux, Associate Professor of Religion and Science at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta. This school of thought rejects the concept of a dichotomy between faith and science. One line of reasoning states that just as human embryos have all that is needed to develop in the womb, so creation was endowed with all that was needed to develop. The process of humanity and the cosmos is planned and overseen by God with a final purpose in mind. Molecular geneticist, Francisco J. Ayala sees no conflict between God creating and the natural selection of evolution.
Local author, Calvin Wray, transitioned from being a creationist to being an evolutionist to being a creationary evolutionist. He concludes his book, Letters from a Slippery Slope, with this: “Perhaps it is possible that my attempt to squeeze faith and science, Genesis and Darwin, into a peaceable co-existence is not a fool’s tale. Maybe looking into the natural world and Scripture together is ultimately the truest way of understanding our existence? How tragic it would be if my faith, or the faith of those around me, being propped up by a series of flimsy scientific trusses, was to crash down simply because I failed to search for and weigh the material evidence laid out before me? And how much more tragic it would be if a scientific theory opposed by so many because of a perceived threat to our faith was discovered to have some inherent properties that helped make even more sense of the Christian worldview?”
In The Case for Faith, Strobel looks at the scientific evidence, and writes: “Once, a rudimentary understanding of evolutionary science had propelled me toward atheism; now, an increasing grasp of molecular science was cementing my confidence in God.” Former atheist, Anthony Flew, also embraced this conversion when faced with the intelligence required for DNA information ordering.
As Romans 1:19 reminds us, we are now back to looking at the beginning with new eyes. But, not just to the beginning. Instead, to the creation all around us where we see God’s character unfolded.