This past November CSF hosted a Question and Answer night, which is always a lot of fun. As the questions come up, I try to set the tone for the discussion, directing it towards certain things and away from others. Inevitably questions about science, evolution, faith and God come up. On this night, I prefaced the discussion on those topics by stating that Christians hold diverse views on how science and faith relate. I emphasized that many Christians believe in Darwinian evolution as the best explanation for how we got here. Finally, I pointed out that college professors will not respect your opinion if you come into class and assume your knowledge of Genesis 1 and your Ken Ham videos make you an expert, able to refute those who have dedicated their lives to studying such things. If you want respect, learn the material and come to your disagreement based on your own knowledge and study.
Personally, I find science interesting…and kind of irrelevant to faith. I tried to watch Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos and after 2 episodes I shifted over to documentaries on World War I. I’d like to know more, but there are other subjects I am more interested in. More than that, I am bored with the entire creation- evolution debate.
Well, on that night in November, my effort to stay away from these debates failed. Pretty soon the students were debating whether science proves God or not. An intelligent Christian student was arguing lines from either a creationist or intelligent design textbook. Later on another smart Christian student quoted a random verse in Job to show the Bible teaches the earth is round (the verse does not mean what he, or whomever he got it from, wants it to mean). It seemed like a fun discussion, but ultimately it never seems to get anywhere. Science can do a lot of things but it cannot prove or disprove God, such questions are the realm of metaphysics and philosophy.
Over the holidays an article by Eric Metaxas kept popping up on my social media feeds. This article, published in the Wall Street Journal, argues that “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” Bible scholar Peter Enns points to a rabbi who argues why Metaxas’ approach is doomed to failure.
All are good reads and while I tend to take the side of Enns and those who agree with him, I recommend all articles be read. In my work with college students one thing I always emphasize is that they keep learning, that they love God with all their mind. There ought to be no fear in study or learning. If you are open-minded and the person you are talking with is too, then you will at least discover respect and even friendship in the disagreement.
Any thoughts on the articles from Metaxas and Enns are welcomed!