There is a bizarre and disturbing war of misunderstandings going on between science and those claiming to be Christians. Oddly enough, there are those on both sides that claim the universe just “popped” into existence, although by completely different methods. I am amused at the whole situation.
Here’s the scenario:
The universe began as an infinitely small singularity of infinitely large mass that suddenly exploded and created the matter of the universe, which eventually became solar systems, galaxies, clusters and super-clusters of today. What they don’t say is why (or how) it exploded, how the singularity got there, and how the singularity was formed.
Everything you see is by sheer accident and purely random choice of happenstance, no intelligence involved.
Man and the animal kingdom evolved from a chemical soup, or came from a comet, or [insert newest theory here]. Evolution is the rule.
Much of Christianity:
God, an intelligent being that’s everywhere and nowhere without substance etc., but loves us all, decided to say a few words and magically the universe appeared at his mere words.
Man and the animals appeared at God’s mere words as well, and have always been as we see them now.
The beauty and grandeur of everything supports intelligence.
Now, with that said, I can see why those on either side of the aisle can think the other one is completely nuts. From a scientific point of view, a scientist sees the mainstream Christian view as an energy creature straight out of Star Trek, that can change shape and form, with mystical magic powers said an enchantment and waved his wand, made everything appear, and decided to sight see as Jesus and tell everyone he can save them. That, with a few exceptions, is an atheist’s point of view of the mainstream Christian.
Who’s fault is this? It’s (here come the flames) modern Christianity’s fault.
Before I go on, I must say that I am Christian, and I belong to a church that is Christian. However, since this article is based on my opinion, I’d prefer to keep the name of this church silent.
Christianity has been around for nearly 2000 years. In this time, you have to be an idiot if you think that some of the words of the prophets, apostles, and Jesus himself haven’t been lost or corrupted over this time. I do know the things the prophets and apostles wrote about were true as they were written by their own hand. However, politics, desire for power and human error (as there were no copy machines) have resulted in these writings either going missing, missing key and important information, been purposefully changed by one desiring power, and even simply having the real meanings getting lost in translation after translation and copy after copy.
First, a little lesson. For many centuries after Jesus and his apostles, the various churches (sorry, but “Catholic” wasn’t the only one, it just was the biggest) used hand written copies of the writings of these men. Many were copies of copies of copies. Some were abridgments, and some were commentaries of the originals. Each church had a library and each Parrish could only store a small amount and so the priests usually had their favorites they would preach from, and only they were allowed to read them (odd, since Jesus preached to everyone, not just his Apostles). This was too cumbersome to have all of these scrolls and books around, so it was decided to come up with a standard canon or library all parishes would have and be able to preach from. It was also decided that this library would be small enough to just be bound into one volume. Incidentally, that Latin for “Library” is “biblia”, which is where we get the word “Bible”. So, a bunch of self-righteous, lazy, and uninspired bone-heads decided to ditch the vast library of religious knowledge they had access to, and only put their favorite parts into a small book and call it the “Library” or “Bible”. Eventually, the other books either rotted away or were just simply lost to history.
So, here we have the Bible. It’s based upon writings that were inspired by God and written by holy men, but it has gone through the careless filter of ignorant, power hungry, and careless men to become the volume it is today. This is why there is so much confusion.
Then add on to the top of that the various “creeds” by, certainly, uninspired men. Yes, the creeds, all founded by committee and not all members of these committees were all Christians. Some had pagan members. These creeds were designed to stop the bickering and fighting between churches, and were ordered by the sovereign (and not allowed to leave until a consensus was made). So, the best they could come up with was that God was a big mysterious “nothing” that was everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and manifested itself in three different forms (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit). This is God being formed by committee. It’s also total BS.
Now, back to the universe…
Christianity and science could co-exist if both parties really knew what the other was REALLY talking about. For example, there is no word “create” in Hebrew. The word “QaNeh” is usually translated to “create”. The Hebrew “QaNeh” means “to build a nest”, the English word originates from the Latin word “creat” which means “to bring into existence”. OK, we have a problem here.
To a Hebrew (from which we get the “creation” account in the Old Testament), the word “create” is an abstract concept, and nothing in the Hebrew language can translate to “create” or “creation”, or even “creator”. In fact “organize”, “organization”, and “organizer” would have been better words. Many Christians see God as a being that makes something appear out of nothing, this is incorrect. It is not what Moses wrote down, nor told his children. The Hebrews saw God (metaphorically) like a “bird” who goes about acquiring and gathering materials to build a nest, and saw man as the “eggs” he was building the nest for. This something out of nothing is an incorrect and recent concept. It is not “Biblical” as many would claim.
If you carefully read the account in Genesis (that Moses wrote) you will notice that if you replace the words “create” (and all similar) with “organize”, your perspective changes. Oddly enough, what Moses describes can’t be much different than what we hear on the Science Channel.
God is the master of delegation. Choosing prophets, apostles, etc. proves this. Like a foreman on a construction site that gets credit for it and is responsible for it, God is the same with how this Earth was organized. This is why God has angels etc. This is how he can seem to be everywhere at once. He has servants (angels) everywhere.
Let’s see, Moses says “the Earth was without form”. A sounds like the solar system is just one big pile of supernovae rocks and hydrogen gas. A pretty dark place.
So when God says “Let there be light”. He’s giving an instruction on organizing the materials necessary to form the solar system. What is the first thing that happens in solar system formation? Why, I do declare, a star is formed by a quick collapse of hydrogen into a gas ball supporting nuclear fusion which gives off light.
“Let there be a firmament” and so on sounds like gathering debris to form a planet with an atmosphere, a “firmament”.
Then we see water and dry land forming. Once it was ready, here come the plants. Let’s see now, my own practical mind says God commanded his servants to plant seeds. Does Moses say where they came from? Nope, but I’d venture to guess there has been seeds and plants for many eternities.
Then we learn that sea life was placed here first. Moses doesn’t say how, but I’m sure it’s the same way we would bring fish to another planet should we travel there. Yes, I believe the animal life was brought here, and has always existed throughout eternity.
Next comes the land animals, I believe placed here as well.
All these things were done at God’s word. Not by “magic” or “poof!”, but by servants obeying a command.
Before I continue, let my scientific friends consider their “accident” or “random” theory for a moment. Consider the following:
- Sol, our sun is of a relatively small and stable form of star. Anything any larger or smaller would make life nearly impossible either through heavy radiation, or pulsing or irregular output. It’s also an unusual star. It’s stability is not the norm.
- The distance from Sol to the Earth is pretty specific for our radiation dose and temperate climate. Any closer and we fry, and any further we’d freeze. Note, this “liveable zone” is not measured in feet, but millions of miles, though narrow in an astronomical sense.
- The orbits of the planets, although technically elliptical, are all perfectly stable and almost circular. Very friendly for stable seasons and climate on the Earth. In fact, these almost circular orbits seem to not be the norm, according to recent observations.
- The positions of the planets is very unique. Our gas giants are on the outside, very far away, and in stable orbits. Observations so far (and computer models) show gas giants migrate to their respective stars to be consumed, and usually are in wild heavily elliptical orbits, thus swallowing any rocky planets.
- Our gas giants are organized in order of size, with the biggest being closest to Earth. This makes for an excellent “first strike” cleaning system of rocks (asteroids) and other debris from striking the Earth.
- Our moon is way too large to have been captured and the proto-earth (Earth MKI) theory has many holes in it. Yet it’s there. It stabilizes the Earth’s spin, and slows it to 24 hours. It keeps it tilted to allow for seasons. It exerts a gravitational pull resulting in tides and ocean currents and weather patterns. The ocean currents, which keep the climate stable and the UK moderate, among other places. Air currents that clean and circulate the air which feeds the plants CO2 which gives us oxygen. All of this from the moon, which is very large for its planet and in a nearly perfect circular orbit.
- The Earth’s magnetic field. This field keeps us from cooking from the sun’s radiation, and the atmosphere does the rest. It’s very hard to find any rocky planet with a strong magnetic field. Only the gas giants usually have them. Ours is tremendously strong for the planet’s size, as well. The large Moon’s tidal forces help contribute to this.
- The Earth itself. The configuration of the continents allows for ocean currents which temper the climate and keep the oceans not too warm and not too cool, thus supporting life. Plate tectonics, to allow for stabilizing of the Earth’s internal heat, which fuels the magnetic field. Which also turns everything combined into one giant temperature stabilizer.
- Natural resources. My goodness, all of the liquid and solid based resources to help us better our lives. None of the other planetoids have such a diverse number of resources. Obviously this was set aside for man to use.
- The perfect order of it all. Plants, to form oxygen and the nourish the Earth. Animals, to eat the plants and earth, to release CO2 for the plants to turn into oxygen. Rivers, to feed all of them. Rain, to form the rivers. Oceans to collect and process the natural wastes and supply the rain. Storms, to cleans the ground; natural fires, to renew the earth to give new places for things to grow. The beauty of the plants, and the mountains, all for their own vital purposes. Everything wreaks of intelligence behind it. Thousands of perfectly happening “accidents” is no accident.
- Then there’s the position of the solar system. It’s in a relatively “safe” place of the Milky Way Galaxy. Out in the proverbial suburbs, if you will. Away from the supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and other dangers the universe has to offer. A place where our sun’s own magnetosphere has the strength to protect us from everyday galaxy weather.
OK, now finally we have man. Notice how God, the Father, himself does this step. We really don’t know how, and frankly it’s not important to me right now. Nevertheless, the specifics of man being formed is that God made man in “his own image”. How hard is that for people to understand and grasp? God made us to look like him! So, is God a mysterious nothingness that is both everywhere and nowhere? No, of course not. God “looks” just like us. Although I’d venture to say in a more perfect form. Jesus tried telling that to his disciples many times. He said he was the “spittin’ image of his father” (paraphrasing obviously). Gee, that means his father looked like him. Wait a minute, his father was someone else. So when Jesus says he and his father are “one” that certainly means they have one purpose or think alike, where the heck a bunch of dark-aged boneheaded idiots thought he meant they were the same being is beyond me. It’s one of the truths about God that was not lost to history in the Bible. Heck, the account of the baptism of Jesus plainly says God the Father is one individual, Jesus is another, and the Holy Spirit is a third individual. When Apostles say they had visions seeing Jesus on the right-hand of God, they didn’t see a guy standing on his own right hand. They saw a father and his son standing next to him.
This brings meaning to us as God’s children. This means we literally are his children. Get over it. Yes, humans are special and distinct from the animal kingdom. It’s why God gave us dominion over everything in and on the Earth. There’s a good reason why we are here. When Jesus says “everything in my kingdom is yours” you may want to consider the vast aspects of that incredible promise. Eternal life is different than immortality. God and Jesus are eternal. Just think about what that means.
My scientific friends. The rules of God are quite literally perfect science. Everything makes sense, has order, and is always in complete conformity with the rules of true science. Unfortunately for Earth science, they don’t know everything. If they did, they would be God. There are obviously higher laws that govern the behavior of the lower ones. We on Earth only see the lower laws, and that’s part of the plan.
Now my Christian friends. You can’t go to a university or seminary to learn about what the scriptures mean. Nor can you trust a bunch of angry men’s compromise theory of the nature of God either. Such knowledge is taught through careful and prayerful study. How do we know this? This very question was asked of James, an Apostle and Jesus’ half brother. James 1:2-6 basically says to not just take a book’s or man’s word for truth (sometimes called “blind faith” or fanaticism). James says God loves to give knowledge to those who sincerely seek it, and NEVER chews them out for asking (“Upbraideth not” means he won’t be angry with you for asking). If you ask and expect to really receive an answer, then you will receive an answer. What he was basically saying was study hard, and think it out in your mind first, and when you come to an impasse or a point to where the “need to know” needs to come before further action is taken, then that’s the time to sincerely, humbly, and patiently ask God, expecting an answer. You will receive that answer.
To a scientist that isn’t the “scientific method”. However, if God does exist, and God does personally answer heartfelt and sincere prayers for knowledge, then this answer must be so obvious and personal that it cannot be denied as to its origin, thus proving it sufficiently enough for the individual. This is the method God has given us to find out what is true and what is a lie. Who do you trust and who do you mistrust?
Many Christians misunderstand how to pray and its purpose, which is the main reason why atheists misunderstand and are scared of the prospect of a supernatural being controlling someone’s life. First of all, God gave us brains and an intelligence of our own to think for ourselves. He gave us Prophets and Apostles to write about how to live and treat each other. God expects us to know these things. God also expects us to educate ourselves as much as possible about the topic at hand. He expects us to study out a problem in our minds, come to a conclusion or choice, and then ask God if this is the right choice. Prayers of “tell me what to do” in most instances will get you the answer “see if you can figure it out first”. God put us here to have us make choices and have the freedom to make good and bad choices. This is how we learn. Asking God to tell you what to do about each and every aspect of life is not his desire, nor plan, and frankly you’ll find yourself no better off. Want to pass a test? Good, then study hard and ask God to help you remember. Asking God to give those, that didn’t study, the answers, won’t work.
God’s a “fill in the blanks” God, not a “spoil the rotten lazy child” God.
So how does all of this fit with “Intelligent Design?” It’s very simple. Science is blind to all of the perfection and intelligence around them. Each single one they claim is accidental or random. Yet as a whole it’s an amazingly perfect collection of random accidents to come together so perfectly to be so mathematically unlikely that the odds of even ONE thing happening (like the large moon and small earth coming together) is so remote, that the odds favor an explosion in a print factory to accidentally form the dictionary from the resulting debris. Combine all of the “accidents” odds together and you get an astronomically large number that represents more than the total number of atoms in the universe (to one) odds of everything on the earth happening as it did.
Those of science just open your eyes, there’s evidence of intelligence everywhere. Those of Christianity, pull your head out and actually learn the truth about what you are supposed to believe and share with others. Stop basing your beliefs on the uninspired and committee born creeds of the dark ages, and just read and learn from the scriptures as they were intended to be learned.
Both science and Christianity will actually find that they are quite similar and that true science and true Christianity has an eventual convergence.