Faith in God without Fear of Science

Faith in God without Fear of Science July 18, 2018

I thought I would share the text of a response I gave to a question on Facebook about what led me to abandon young earth creationism, for those who may be interested:

In my case, it was actually my eagerness to read more on the topic that led me to happen across a book called Science and Creationism that was a collection of essays cataloguing false claims that were at the heart of young-earth creationism’s case. One that I still remember being particularly struck by was a claim some YECs continue to make even today, that the thickness of moon dust ought to be much larger if the Earth and moon are millions of years old. The book as whole, though, made a more fundamental point, which is that the actual scientific community is constantly seeking to learn, inevitably makes errors, and through its process catches them, while young-earth creationists will take old headlines, half truths, and pure speculations from any source they find them if they seem to support what they wish to believe, and will continue to circulate those even after scientists have shown them rather decisively to be incorrect. And later still, it became clear that theologically YEC does violence not only to science and reason but also to the Bible and theology.

My own view now is quite simply that it is no harder to believe in the createdness of human beings who have come about as a group through a process of evolution than it is to believe in the createdness of human beings who have come about individually through a process of sexual reproduction and embryonic development carried out by explicable natural processes. YEC complains (making a typical mistake of theirs) that evolution depicts us as ‘modified monkeys.’ Genesis depicts us as modified mud. What we are made from in no way detracts from the observable fact that we are beings capable of love, creativity, and so many other wonderful things. And so I have moved from the fearfulness of having to try to dismiss, reject, run from, and fear science (and biblical scholarship) to the view that God is best sought in conjunction with an overall search for truth, however that may require our theology to be rethought, rather than by resisting new discoveries, whether they be in the genome or in Babylonian archives or anywhere else. At the heart of it all is the recognition that as a human being I will always have more to learn, and collectively as human beings we will always have more to learn, and so the fear of changing our minds and rethinking our beliefs, as though we have it all figured out already, is not merely misguided, but inherently sinful. It places us in the position of thinking that we already know everything we need to and have no need to repent and change our minds, which sounds like a claim to divinity, but at the very least represents inappropriate human hubris. 

Of related interest on other blogs:

Chromosomes, DNA and human evolution

On Ken Ham and Dinosaurs Driving Cars

The Incredible Fragility of Young Earth Creationist Evangelicalism

Dismantling Answers in Genesis’ Worldwide Flood Myth Claims

Jerry Coyne on the Incompatibility of Science and Religion: Part 2

Christian Views of Creation

On Intelligent Design (which has come up in a conversation with a friend and colleague on Facebook):

Five Questions about Human Errors for Proponents of Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design as A/theological Blasphemy

Intelligent Design is neither design nor up to scratch

There was quite a bit of attention a while back to flat earth-ism (and the rocketeer who wanted to launch himself into the sky to prove the earth is flat, whether seriously or as a publicity stunt). We can be confident that the earth is round, and not because the Bible says it is a circle.

How to Reclaim the Literal Interpretation of the Bible

Finally, from Lars Cade on Facebook, this compilation of useful links:

Here is a survey which finds that the anti-scientific attitude of the modern American Church is the #3 reason people give for leaving:
Here are numerous additional testimonials of people who lost or nearly lost their faith over YECism:
Here are some Christian leaders warning against the evils of YECism:

 


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