Rush Limbaugh said recently on his radio program that you can’t believe in both global warming and God. That leaves me with a real dilemma, because up until now, I’ve believed in both. I’m left wondering whether to have more faith in Rush as a climatologist or as a spiritual leader. I may choose neither.
The first person in my life to suggest that science and religion don’t have to be opposed was my 10th grade biology teacher. In a discussion that would probably get him fired today, he responded to a student’s question about evolution vs. creation that he didn’t see why God couldn’t have created the world using evolution. It was a revolutionary thought. For more than a century, the idea that science would eventually explain everything, displacing the need for God, has been pervasive. But a funny thing has been happening: as our understanding of many fields of science has deepened, a number of leading scientists have increasingly declared that they believe they see the hand of God in their disciplines. Dr. Francis Collins, the renowned geneticist who led the project to map the human genome and a devout Christian, called DNA “The Language of God” in the title of his book. Even the famous atheist Einstein rejected The Big Bang Theory for years because of the theological implications of a moment of creation. From biology to chemistry to astronomy, science and faith are slowly being reconciled, one of civilization’s best kept secrets.
It’s time to get the word out that we can believe in both. We don’t have to choose between rational thinking and being spiritual. I can believe in a God who used The Big Bang and evolution to accomplish the stories in the Bible. What a relief…I’m not sure which part of my brain I’d have been able to successfully shut down.
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” –Winston Churchill
Please Convince Me’s recent blog raises this interesting question: why is the universe so big? The question actually asked was why would God choose to make it so vast: if God created the universe just for us, we really only need our small little corner. Apparently atheists use this as one of their arguments against a belief in God. Conversely, some believers use the same vastness of the universe in their argument for God. They argue that a huge creation was no more effort for an omnipotent God than a small one, and that a large universe creates more context for us to use in searching for Him. To me, the most interesting question in this space has always been “are we alone?”. I happen to believe that God exists and we are special to Him. My question is whether he also created others elsewhere that are also special to Him? Beyond basic curiosity as to what they look like, I would be fascinated to understand what they believe. How did their faith evolve, and how has God pointed them to Him? Scientists are split on the scientific odds of other life in the universe. On the one hand, the sheer number of stars—and likely planets—makes that seem highly possible. On the other hand, the conditions which foster life like ours on Earth appear to be extremely rare. Somehow, everyone I’ve known seems to have a firm conviction one way or another as to whether other life is out there. What do you think: are we alone out there?
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” –Orson Welles
My book to be published in September, The Best Possible World: A Search for the Nature of Heaven, explores the possibility that we can see evidence for God here on earth. Love seems to be one of those pieces of evidence, as expressed in this online article by Joseph B. Filko.
“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” –Thomas Carlyle