Looking for evidence-supported answers only to find more questions may be frustrating, but this search is by no means a useless endeavor when it comes to faith and science.
Many beginning the religion-and-science journey start out with something to prove. Sometimes it is for validation of the faith they grew up with, and other times it is about a branch of science that is being challenged in the public square. What one often ends up with is a series of questions asking about the fundamental notions of reality.
These are questions worth pursuing through the lens of faith and science, certainly, but is there an end point? Can we answer definitively via a new theological or scientific discovery something in relation to our faith? Or can it be boiled down to a series of clever bullet points to ensure all people of faith are on the same page? For instance, while it may be tempting to try and explain the cosmos in a few equations, obviously it cannot be done. The nature of life, what makes us human and how we find God in our everyday human experience, is very complicated.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson recently attempted to simplify the questions surrounding faith and science. In a newspaper article published in Sydney, he specifically spoke of public surveys on science and faith.
He said; “The question is not ‘Do we have science or religion?’. It is ‘If you’re religious, do you think your scriptures serve as a science text book?’”
While that may be one way of dividing the world into “believers” and “non-believers” so to speak, it really does little to tackle the difficult questions we face today.
For instance, even if I know that that the Bible is not a science textbook, should I expect science to impact my faith? Should I ignore science completely? Do I seek mathematical patterns in the universe and point to that as proof God ordering the world? Reality is much more fluid than any one branch of science or one’s own of knowledge set. That alone may indicate God’s presence in this modern fast-paced world.
We often like to think that keeping science and religion separate keeps both safe from scrutiny when the opposite is true. Separating one from another they may stoke conflict. You may dodge mathematical equations in your everyday life because you do not understand them, but that is not to say you do not believe in their validity and ability to change the world. I live in a world that depends on math every day and so do you — does that need to be a separate reality from one’s faith?
The faith-and-science journey often seems like tangled web of knowledge with varying levels of complexity. Taking on this challenge of untangling this web and understanding it more clearly one may argue is imperative in order to have an honest look at one’s faith with fresh eyes.
We all need to be actively discovering the worlds of science and technology. We should be thinking how they may underpin our lives and our faith. This of course takes work. Many of us may not take the time to ask these questions in our busy modern world of emails, texts, and the power of our smart phones — things which are supposed to make our lives easier and save time!
As we move forward with changing technology, healthcare alternatives, new insights on our universe, or concerns over our planet’s future, the religion-and-science dialogue becomes ever more relevant. These trends and our faith impact all our lives in a variety of ways — from whom we vote for to how we spend our money and more importantly in how we spend our time day to day.
These questions of religion and science are worth taking the time to ask, even if we do not feel that we have the “proof” of what we think is the answer.
What are you most curious about? Search our website and the answers may get you started on a path that leads you to ever more pertinent questions.