Naturally Selecting A Nurturing Alternative
I will be up front. I really am not read up on the debate of evolutionary science VERSUS young earth creationism (the world is only 6,000 years old) VERSUS intelligent design. Years back, just because it SEEMED like the middle way, I sided with I.D. My stances were primarily determined on this issue by WHAT I DID NOT affirm. I have never affirmed YEC; I do remember giving a speech in Speech class in High School about the non-existence of dinosaurs, but I think that was mostly to be controversial. When I was in elementary school, I loved to read about dinosaurs and fossils; in fact, science was my favorite subject.
In sixth grade, it was the first time I heard of the Big Bang Theory, and no, I am not talking about Sheldon telling Penny to get out of his chair. My initial response was that this story that evolutionary science told was irreconcilable with Genesis 1 and 2. Up even to grad school, I held to some form of Old Earth Creationism, which I still do now, but only a more progressive form. I find myself wandering over to Scot McKnight’s blog Jesus Creed, and its regular articles on Science and Faith. McKnight’s book of the same name as well as the work of Jurgen Moltmann have helped me immensely in this area.
I think more importantly is my return back to the early Church, and reading Patristics. If they worked really hard to reconcile the science of their day (for some, Greek Philosophy), what should stop Christians from doing the same? Does not God give human beings reason and free will to explore God’s own creation? I came to the conclusion after my turn in theology and faith, that intelligent design is more of a philosophy rather than a study of natural science. Now, whether philosophy should be taught in public schools, I’ll leave that to educators, but I think the teaching of natural sciences are very important.
Why am I writing this post just now? Well, yesterday, a famous African-American athlete, Michael Johnson commented that slavery gave blacks “a superior athletic gene.” Even though he is black, this is a racist argument, from beginning to end, and this is NOT how biology works. Looking for a way to justify human social evils done to fellow human beings, Mr. Johnson has chosen pseudo-science over reason, and he is no better than the whites who believe in the CURSE OF HAM. But really, it should not come as a surprise Mr. Johnson would say such a thing, for his Alma Mater is having a culture war whether real Christians teach Creationism or Intelligent Design *head desk* *head desk*.
Still, it is Johnson’s own choice to internalize racism and self-hatred, and to leave injustice go unconfronted. Scientific thinking is crucial, especially when it comes to ideas such as the origins of concepts like “race.” Many Christians use the story of Noah’s Three Sons to explain the why there are so many ethnicities and nations, but once shown facts such from archaeology and geology, problems arise. Really, according to the New Testament witness, one of the best arguments against pseudo-scientific racism is the Christian claim that human beings are formed from one humanity, the person we call Adam, and are reconciled to each other in the new Adam, the person of Christ Jesus. Noah’s sons are no where mentioned in these passages. Suffice to say these problematic readings of Scripture go against not only rationality but also Scripture itself, lending credibility to the phrase Sola Scripture (Scripture Alone is self-interpreting first).
I know I probably have a long way to go to catch back up with Science And Religion discussion, and maybe someday I will come back to it. My starting place is the social sciences, so a return to the natural sciences and their implications of religion may be in order even though my reading queue is full right now. As for the so-called “God-Particle,” that bloggers have been commenting on, I have a hard time believing in this brand of apologetic. In any case, its existence does not mean we have empirical proof of a personal God, and if we did, that would be a path towards idolatry. It’s like Dietrich Bonhoeffer said awhile back that any God we can prove exists, eventually becomes an idol (because we would become so attached to the evidence rather than have a real relationship with the One True God).
Are Science and Religion reconcilable? Do we have to exclude reason and the latest in human knowledge from our holy Scriptures?