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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

God and Science.

I have been having an interesting conversation on Facebook with some friends concerning God and Science. Why is it that some christians seem to believe that the existence of God is mutually exclusive to modern science, particularly the theory of evolution, and, on the other hand, the discoveries of modern science mutually exclude the existence of God.
When I was much younger, I was taught about all these things that science had discovered about the nature of our reality and at the same time, to a much lesser extent, I osmosed some ideas from the Bible, which was supposed to be the difinitive word of God. These two meme's seemed to me to contradict each other maximally and therefore only one could be the truth. In our physical reality, most of the theories of science that we were taught were quantifiable, observable and describable. We knew them to be truths. God on the other hand was unprovable, unknowable, unseeable. Belief in God was an article of Faith. Of Course reality is much more complicated that that. I personally had great difficulty in having absolute faith in something that could not actually be proven to actually exist along with a severe allergy to organised religion and a strong abhorrence of the Bible. I was pretty much a scientist, so to speak, God did not exist and religion was for the sad, weak and deluded.
Interestingly enough I eventually had a change of mind about the existence of something that could loosely be described as God, and funnily enough I arrived there via science. The first "Breakthrough" came as a sort of epiphany, where I thinking about the energy that animates us, not just the chemical reactions that help our body function, but the energy that is our life force. I don't really know the science behind it but I came to a belief that life is energy, living is a force, the so called life force. If our life force is a form of energy, then I knew that physics teaches us that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be converted into a different forms of energy and therefore our life energy(or Soul) cannot be destroyed, only transformed. Before this I just believed that after you died there was nothing. Sometime after that I read a book called the "Tao of Physics" which pointed out the similarities between the theories of Quantum Physics and the concepts of Eastern religious thought. This was an important book for me. Later on I got into some Spiritual type books which then helped me to form the concepts of God that I now have.
 For many "Christians" their concepts of God and Jesus appear to be mostly derived from the Bible. This Book has perhaps been the most influential book in history. Unfortunately many many historical atrocities have been committed by believers of the contents of this book, and so many still defend this book and idolise it as if it were a God itself. Others seem to believe that it is the WORD of God himself, and for a book so full of cruelty and violence and contradictions....well. I tried to read it once, just to say that I had, After getting introduced to this god who was so judgemental and vengeful and cruel if he didn't get his own way, I gave up in disgust. I know not all the Bible is like that but if it is the word of God and a guide for us then I think it should be consistent. Another issue I have with it is the vagueness of so much of it and how it has been interpreted by many to justify their unholy behaviour. Just the other day I watched that movie 12 years A Slave, and the slave owner was quoting some scripture from the Bible that he interpreted as his justification to own slaves and treat them as animals. The Bible was written by Men, Men who lived a very long time ago and who had what we might now call a much more primitive outlook on life and God. It was inspired by God but not written by God. It is full of the moors and beliefs of a culture that has far less relevance to today's world. You don't have to believe in the Bible to believe in God. It is time we stopped idolising this BOOK and treated it as for what it is, an historical and mythological text with some useful wisdom thrown in for good measure.
Getting back to the title of this rambling, God & Science, the point I am trying to make is that the belief in God doesn't exclude the belief in the truth of science. I guess the best example of this is the theory of Evolution. Many believers of the Bible believe in the Creation Myth and the Adam and Eve Myth that is in the first book of the Bible and is taught to many children at Sunday School. Apparently it has been calculated from the Bible that the world is just over 4000 years old. The scientific evidence states that the Earth is about 4.5 Billion years old and the universe is around 16 Billion years old and that life first appeared on our planet about 3.5 Billion years ago before a long slow process of evolution and extinctions lead to the appearance of primitive species of hominids about 4 million years ago. The debate today seems to be between the Creationists who I believe fully support the narrative in Genesis and the evolutionists who has amassed a large a large amount of evidence to support their theory. Apparently, in some southern parts of the USA creationism is taught in schools. The process of evolution should in no way discount the Idea of creationism, Who instigated the process of evolution in the first place, I don't think evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. The mechanics of evolution is suppose to be natural selection or survival of the fittest, I'm not sure how they proved this as the process is extremely slow, over hundreds of millennia. And it may be instead of it all being a process of chance, as it appears to be, there might be some other underlying process we don't even suspect yet. When I watch some of those nature program on TV and the way nature has evolved into so many wonderfully complex systems and how those systems all support each other in a never ending symbiotic chain of life, I am just awestruck buy the beauty and complexity and the awesome creativity of it all. Words fail me to describe the wonder of nature. I just cannot believe that this magnificence all came about by chance. By chance mutations with no actual plan or outcome in mind. I believe there is intelligence behind the designs of nature.

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