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How to make Religion and Science agree!

11 February 2014, 11:34

Yes, I am a Christian and scientist at the same time! Most people don’t see how these two can coincide, and on several occasions I have been asked by my friends how I balance out my scientific mind with my "faith" in God. My answer to this is that I am able to keep my faith and scientific mind at peace and in harmony with each other because of two very simple things. One is that there are flaws in the scientific process that leaves enough room for “God”, and the other is that there are several "gaps" in the bible itself that you can fill with your imagination. By this I mean that the bible does not explain everything in detail and its up to us to fill in the gaps.

I will start my argument by highlighting the flaws that science has. Now, there are several glaring questions that the scientific process cannot and may never ever be able to answer or prove. One is that the scientific process cannot, with scientific certainty, prove that God does not exist! Nor can it disprove that the very scientific processes we celebrate today like evolution and natural selection have been in fact defined or put in place by a superior being! Secondly, science (physics in particular) has several laws that govern it, and it also takes several assumptions to make scientific predictions. One such law in physics is the law of conservation of energy, which “cannot” be broken. And one scientific assumption is that the same processes taking place today are the same ones that have always taken place in the past. Now, if you put these two together, you quickly run into the following conundrum; If energy or matter cannot be created or destroyed, then how did all the things around us come to be if we assume that the same processes taking place now are the same as those happening since the beginning of time? We don’t have any process creating energy or matter now, but surely something occurring somewhere in the past must have resulted in "creating" all this! How can the universe exist if both of these are true? It's easy to conclude that they cannot ultimately be both correct because we exist! So either one of these scientific tools is wrong, or both of them are inaccurate in some way.

On the other hand, the “gaps” or “loopholes” I find in the bible are as follows; I believe that the bible is written in some cases almost like a story for children, and its purpose being merely to teach us morals and provide a basic guideline. (I'm sure most of you Christians are aware of the acronym BIBLE, expanded to Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). So I personally don't think some of the things written in the bible need necessarily be taken literally. In fact, I think it’s dangerous to do so in some cases. For instance, the bible in Genesis claims that God made the heavens and the Earth in 7 days. The same bible elsewhere claims that a 1000 days to us, is like a day to Him. So should we take the 7 "days" in Genesis to mean 7 Earth days or 7000 Earth days? This is not explained or clarified further anywhere the bible. In addition, a day on Earth is based on how fast our planet is revolving. A day on another planet might be equivalent to 10 trillion days on Earth! So, do we know on which planet God was standing on when he spoke to Moses about the creation account? If you consider that there are billions of planets in the universe, can you really be certain that the one day mentioned in Genesis was equivalent to Earth's 24 hour day? I don’t see how you can in the greater scope of everything!

My point here about the bible being a simplified story brings me to one of my favorite concepts as a software developer. And that is the concept of abstraction. Abstraction is when you hide certain aspects or components so as to make a given task easy to accomplish, thereby reducing the "neural load". An example I always like to give to illustrate the concept of abstraction is that you don't need to understand how petrol or diesel engines work in order to drive your car! And you certainly don't need to be a motor mechanic to drive one! This is because the car has been designed so that you can focus only on just the task of steering your vehicle and avoiding other cars and pedestrians!

And this is my point concerning the bible. The bible was designed and authored by a God who does not want anyone left out. So he made it simple so that even the least of us could relate to it. Imagine if God had decided to give us specific details like explaining to us in the bible the exact processes taking place in our sun that gives us light, together with their equations! Would most of us ever read or understand it? No! So in my view, the bible is a perfect work of abstraction. It does not mention any unnecessary details, and at the same time giving us only the necessary information we need on how we ought to live our lives on a moral scale. If God did not mention evolution or the big bang in the bible, it does not mean that he did not use them during the process of creation! And to Science I say because you haven't seen God, it doesn't mean He doesn't exist!

This is how I have religion and science living and co-existing peacefully and without quarrel within my thought process! Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men to have ever live, once likened our view of the universe to a little child walking into a humongous library. The child has no idea who put everything is place. Yet the child is forced to appreciate that whoever did so did it with a great deal of order! So when I look into the night sky, or consider the wonder of creation in the varied species, I cannot help but conclude that all this did not came into being by random coincidence. There is too much order! So there must have been some driving force or entity throughout the “big bang” or creation. And in my opinion, science and religion are part of the same story, and these two need not be separated or be in conflict. And again as Einstein once said “Science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind”!

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