Science

Ok, to be fair, you’re reading this from the girl who sat out of the evolution unit in both middle and high schools. What can I say, I was a Young Earth Creationist girl growing up in a Young Earth Creationist world. Or a very conservative church community. I had some books about it that explained away fossil evidence, warned about the theological suicide of not taking every word in the Bible literally, and, in short, made evolution out to be a pretty evil idea. I, too, at the time, believed that if you don’t interpret the creation story as a literal 7 day creation, that the whole of the Bible unraveled.

I’m not a flip-flopper, but my position on the issue has changed. For many reasons, but mostly because I’m not the kind of person to turn my nose up at evidence just because it leads me to believe my original conclusions were wrong.

Also, my husband is a Scientist. We literally make our living off of science. He does a really good job both at and away from the bench at fairly weighing the evidence and making a conclusion based on that. It’s kind of how we approached our near-agnostic year and ended up strongly and reasonably in Christianity. But that’s another post…

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Nowadays, it’s difficult for me in the to understand the fear. Many smart, adult Christians in America at least somewhat afraid of science. Don’t want to get too close. Evolution is a quick frontrunner when it comes to conflicting evangelical vs. science teachings, but there is also this general idea that God and science don’t fit together.

It’s so odd. Dear and lovely American Christian people have pulled their kids out of school so they could control what kind of science they would teach their children. Which is totally everyone’s right in this country. But if those kids are never exposed to the idea of Evolution at all, and thus have no concept of it, their freshman year college Intro to Bio class is going to be a bit of a rude awakening. In my opinion, it is best to let our little ones understand other points of view, even if we disagree with them, so they aren’t shocked when they leave the comfort of living at home and head out into the world at large. All this made talking about the evolution and Christianity conference JP went to last year a bit awkward to bring up in certain crowds.

That all is so different from how I view my faith as an adult. It just doesn’t sit right with me that science would be the enemy of God. If God made everything… God made science. He clearly already knows how everything works and how he made it all happen, so, no problems, right?

In short, then, I basically like the Catholic Church’s stance on evolution and science. Just like I realized I didn’t have to turn off my intellect to remain a Christian, I realized I don’t have to ignore science either. Yahoo!

The Catholic Church’s stance on evolution includes this: “there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.”

Awesome. Great. Agreed.

Not only is it easier to comprehend God as the Creator of Science, but it also frees me up to marvel at the intricacies of His creation. JP gets to see this all the time, but to think about the entire universe that exists inside each and every cell is crazy. Then to zoom out and think about how our entire galaxy is basically a cell inside an incomprehensibly large universe. And gravity!? Gravity is nuts. And hey, how in the world do trees know when to sprout their leaves each spring? Each year the timing is a little bit different- what are the mechanisms involved? How is a baby’s instinct to nurse passed on genetically? They don’t have time to learn it once their born, but they just. know. how. I could keep going. Science is so cool.

And, by association, as the Creator of it all, God is so. so. cool.

The Catholic faith leaves me free to rejoice in an intricate physical world put into place by a big, amazing God. Our understanding of the bigness of God is already limited by our human minds. We don’t need to find ways to make Him smaller. We need to look for opportunities to see his glory. Including in science.

 

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