Science vs Religion


Are science and faith mutually exclusive? Can someone hold to scientific discoveries while still believing what’s in the Bible?

We’ve been told that faith is anti-science but is that really true?

I recently heard an atheist say that he lost his belief that there is a God when his girlfriend pointed out a sign at the Grand Canyon which talks about how the popular tourist attraction was formed. Really? That stopped him believing that God exists?

If I make you a meal and you work out how I prepared it do I cease to exist? If we discover some of the methods that God used to create some of the things we see around us, how does that suddenly make him vanish?

Blogger and broadcaster Matt Walsh recently wrote an article titled, Christianity has done more for science than atheism ever could in which he points out that Christians have been at the forefront of scientific discovery for centuries.

Christianity hasn’t stifled science. Christianity has been its driving force and, for hundreds of years, virtually its only significant contributor. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, Descartes, Newton, Kelvin, Mendel, Boyle — all devout Christians. You want to remove your science from my religion? Fine. But we’re keeping these dudes. You can have Richard Dawkins and his tales of “mild pedophilia.” Enjoy.

Father Steno was a priest. Geologists call him “father,” but for none religious reasons: he’s considered the father of modern geology.

The Basilica of San Petronio is a beautiful church. It was also, for many years, one of the most sophisticated solar observatories in the world.

The Jesuits helped contribute to the development of clocks, barometers, microscopes and telescopes. They theorized about things like human flight, the moon and the tides, and blood circulation. They observed certain astronomical phenomena before anyone else. They did these things as an aspect of their religious pursuits, not in competition with it.

In fact, for five or six centuries no institution funded and supported the sciences more than the Church. They don’t teach that in school, which yet again demonstrates the danger of mixing atheism and education. Atheism has to hide from so much, deny so much, and twist and manipulate so much, because its existence is always jeopardized by the scorching light of truth. To paraphrase CS Lewis, an atheist has to be careful about what he reads and which facts he encounters. There are traps everywhere.

When western scientific knowledge came to places like China and India in the 1600?s, it came by way of Christians and their science-hating Christianity. You’d be hard pressed to find a single bit of modern scientific knowledge that wasn’t discovered, or heavily influenced by, the work of devout Christians.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98five Sonshine FM is Rev Dr Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

This morning we talked about whole debate of science and faith. Ross had some great points to make. You can hear our discussion by clicking the play button on the audio player below.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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