Religion and Science: The Bigger Picture

Religion and Science: The Bigger Picture October 12, 2012

The blog of the British Center for Science Education shared slides from a recent talk which make a really important point about the way young-earth creationists want people to think about evolution, and a different and arguably more accurate perspective.

Here is how young-earth creationists (and some atheists) try to depict the situation:

Here is a different perspective:

If it is the latter, then you can zoom out and see the bigger picture:

Stepping back to see the bigger picture is, as a rule, a good idea in most situations. What do you think of this way of depicting the controversies that creationists seek to generate?


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  • robert r. cargill

    Excellent Point!

  • Burzin M Wallace

    I know that certain atheists would argue that any credence given to any concept of God constitutes a denial of science. I think that they conflate positivism with science, though.

  • “Most Christians”? Certainly not in Africa or the good old U.S. of A! The fact is, while some minor credence given to the existence of a god does not necessarily deny science, credence given to miracles that affect physical reality does constitute denial of science.

    • Psiloiordinary

      But definitely most Christians in the UK!

  • rmwilliamsjr

    i believe there are 2 interrelated questions that people confuse.

    the first is: is there a god? is the world 2 distinct spheres, natural & supernatural? or is the physical all there is? this is the naturalist/supernaturalist divide.

    religion is often but not always an expression of supernaturalism is real side.

    the 2nd related question is about metascience but it appears to most as a question about science. why is the domain of science restricted to the natural? a naturalist answers this with because that is all there is. a supernaturalist answers with a methodological reason, because we can study the natural, we have public access to the physical.

    to a YEC science as evolutionary biology denies the supernatural, and is therefore wrong. to an atheist YEC demands that methodological naturalism gets trumped by an ancient people’s pre scientific worldview misunderstood and misapplied by foolish misguided ignorant masses of religionists.

    each tends to confuse these two questions and thinks their worldview is the only right way to see the universe.

  • Christopher Smith

    Faith is the antithesis of reason. To believe on faith is to believe without justification, or even in the face of contradictory evidence (Non contingent faith). While a Christian can be scientific, his faith cannot be. However, no one, theist or atheist, can claim that there isn’t some belief that they hold to despite a lack of evidence or even in the face of contradictory evidence. In that sense, we are all in the same boat.

    • Faith is the antithesis to reason only if by faith one means “believing without or in spite of evidence.” The Liberal Christian tradition more characteristically uses faith in the Tillichian sense of ultimate concern – that which provides the focus of one’s life and commitment. Within such a framework, there need be no reason not to critically examine one’s individual assumptions, beliefs, convictions and commitments.