I am always fascinated at how spirited discussions can get when people try to discuss science and theology at the same time. Mainly, the way this happens is that one person is talking about science and the other is talking about theology. When this happens, it’s quite difficult to come to a conclusion together, never mind how frustrating it can be.
Yet, there is something far more frustrating than even this. Strangely, it usually happens when both opposing parties are talking about the same discipline. Where I see this happen most, of course, is in the area of science. It can be almost infuriating to witness, let alone take part in, conversations about biblical doctrines from a scientific standpoint.
The most common stand-offs I see or hear with this mix are that, on the one side, you have a Bible-believing Christian who is either heavily studied in or even has advanced degrees in science. Then, on the other side, there is another person whose credentials approximate the former’s, though they approach things from a naturalistic world-view.
Here is how I see these debates/conversations happening over and over again. The person with the Christian world-view gives a detailed explanation of how information from the Bible is congruent with things that we see in the natural world. He/she explains how science and the Bible can fit together seamlessly. The explanation debunks several myths and misunderstandings of what the Bible does and does not actually teach. Great pains are taken to ensure that, properly understood, the Bible is not contradictory and certainly does not go against what we can discover through observational science.
Then, the naturalist usually begins by commenting that his/her opponent is using “pseudo science” and make several quips that seem quite witty at the time in order to win over the audience (if this is a formal debate). This is typically followed by any number of blatant misinterpretations of scripture, generally taken completely out of context, and then a few more quips are added as a distraction in order to ensure that the audience doesn’t catch on to the fact that they have not once addressed the actual merits of their opponent’s arguments.
The facts are that the Bible, even if not taken as a divinely inspired work, still passes all the tests used to verify the validity and historical integrity of any other ancient document. So, even from that standpoint, the document is much more reliable than any other ancient document that has ever been discovered.
What I find ironic about this response from naturalists and such is that I have actually heard them say some of the cruelest, most virulent things about what they think are the teachings of Christianity and dismiss any scientist, regardless of their credentials, who can show congruency between the Bible and science as pseudo-scientists. Yet, these same folks have not problem at all with such ideas as string theory or the multiverse theory.
Now, neither of these theories can be proven or dis-proven, something that atheists like to use to denounce the claims of the existence of God. However, they seem quite happy to use a double-standard here where there is a non-supernatural explanation of something. In fact, in the case of the multiverse theory, it would seem that the primary purpose for the original inception of this theory was in response to the teleological argument (argument from design) for the existence of God. Rather than actually debate the merits of the argument, they simply concocted this wild theory to propose the idea that “in an infinite number of universes, one of them would be organized in such a way as to support life. We just happen to live in that one.”
So, regardless of the amount of evidence we have that would indicate a creator, there are those out there who so staunchly don’t want that to be true, they will to go great lengths to come up with any possible explanation they can to avoid admitting the God is real. And until you counter every single one of their objections, they will not even entertain the possibility of a divine Creator. That, or they’ll just brush off your objection as “pseudo science” and crack a joke about a “magical sky-daddy” or a “flying spaghetti monster” or something.
Both mature and scientific.
Grace, love and peace.