Saturday Science Links: October 18, 2014
Collection of the best articles of the past several weeks on science (and faith) from around the web.
“We should be slow to accuse another of discarding the authority of Scripture, and therefore denouncing them, just because they interpret Scripture differently than we do.”
Learning about science has taught me humility about my Bible reading and it has pushed me to think again, to read again, to ask again, and to wonder all over again what the Bible was saying when it was written and how the Bible was heard to its original hearers (so far as the evidence permits us to know such things).
We don’t have all the answers and never will. And when God says that he is revealed in his creation, I think that means we need to take care of what we have and understand where we came from. The more I understand how things work, the bigger God gets. When he was just a magician pulling things out of a hat, that doesn’t even compare to how I see him now!
We should celebrate the many times that our churches and colleges encourage scholarship. I saw several delegates at Synod stand up and speak directly about the importance of supporting scholars who engage the science and religion dialogue. The recent Synod decision was a move in the right direction.
We are interactive human beings with a capability and a need to connect with others. Those connections can be through electronic or written means but nothing can replace the need for direct personal engagement. Our annual meetings continue to provide that interaction in an environment of open discussion and often vigorous debates.
Most Christian students have a lot of questions about evolution and the other controversies, but are afraid to ask them for fear of the adults gasping in horror. The right way for a Christian teacher to proceed is to accommodate questions, foster inquiry, and encourage students to think and engage with the issues.
Conflicts occur when people argue one worldview against another. They may be arguing Atheism versus Monotheism, then pull out science as a weapon saying, "science proves I'm right because of this or that..." In my view, science is rather more limited than this. Science has a lot of interesting resonances with the big questions, and can inform them, but I don’t believe it can answer them.
For my part, the historical setting of the text plays an important role in how I read. It’s not a problem in my view to see the authors of Genesis embedded in their times, writing in the scientific/mythological terms they knew, even if those terms are now obsolete.