Saturday, September 11, 2010

Religion vs. Science

So, it is that time of year again when I have my students write an essay on creation and evolution. The students are given four views of academics (Steven Pinker (atheistic evolution), Albert Mohler (Creationism), Michael Behe (Intelligent Design), and Francis Collins (theistic evolution)). The students are to pick the one with whom they most agree and the one with whom they most disagree and then engage in the scholars arguments. I find that some students are better at this than others. The one argument I tell the students not to use is "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.". I am amazed at how many students still cling to that argument and that argument alone.

Here are my two cents. History has taught us that Christians only come off looking like idiots when they take a combative stance toward science and reason. When Galileo claimed that the earth revolved around the sun, he was labeled a heretic and forced to recant by the church. The church isn't looking so good on that one. Who now believes that the sun revolves around the earth?

Oh, wait! This just in, there is a conference coming up that will defend the church against Galileo and claim that the sun really does revolve around the earth! Presenting the Galileo was wrong conference (thanks to James McGrath for pointing this out on his blog Exploring our Matrix)


  1. You've reversed the descriptions for Behe and Collins (unless they've swaped their views recently). Just thought I should mention it!

  2. Thanks for pointing that out James, I guess I should not be too hard on my freshmen for their careless mistakes. Fixed.

  3. Most Christians don't seem to realize that good, observational science actually supports the Bible, so they tend to be aggressive against science altogether, which is bad. In fact, Christians should be celebrating good science and they should learn about things like evolution in order to give a solid defense for their beliefs. Peter tells us that Christians should "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Now science is not my best subject, but I'm willing to learn as much as I can so that I may defend my faith and I think all Christians should do the same.

    ~Anastasia Johnson