Science vs Religion Argument - Evolution and the Burden of
Page 1 of the Science vs Religion Argument
3. Religious Belief And The Theory Of Evolution Co-Exist
In the science vs religion argument, the question of evolution sometimes arises.
The 2009 film Creation communicates accurately that Darwin's faith was shaken not by his theory of evolution, but by the death of his daughter.
Darwin's theory of evolution provoked much
discussion and opposition in the church. But at the time of his death,
he was given a full Christian ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
At a memorial service following Darwin's funeral, the Bishop of Carlisle, Harvey Goodwin said the following:
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“I think that the interment of the remains of Mr Darwin in Westminster
Abbey is in accordance with the judgment of the wisest of his
It would have been unfortunate if anything had occurred to
give weight and currency to the foolish notion which some have
diligently propagated, but for which Mr Darwin was not responsible, that
there is a necessary conflict between a knowledge of Nature and a
belief in God…”.
The creationist's view that evolution did not take place and that God
literally created the world in seven days, is much quoted in the science vs religion argument. But this is not a belief held by the
majority of Christians.
I remember finding out that a teacher at the catholic
religious secondary school I attended didn't believe in evolution. We -
the students - were amazed.
And in an evangelical Christian publication I was interested
to note that the seven days of creation in the Bible were seen as
spanning "as much time as good science allows for".
4. Agreement Between The Bible and Science
- The order of creation in the Bible's first creation story is
apparently the order in which current science believes that creation
- The Hebrew word translated originally as disc to describe the shape of the earth can also be translated as globe.
- Hundreds of years before the germ theory, the Israelites were instructed to wash their hands before every meal.
- One might surmise that in a time of nomadic wandering
and poor access to water, there might have been health benefits to
I am certainly not suggesting that the Bible is a scientific
document. I do however find it fascinating that a book written thousands
of years ago could be accurate on these points.
I have been told that the Koran is similarly accurate on the development of the foetus, but I cannot confirm that at this time.
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5. Science vs Religion: There is No Proof Either Way
In the science vs religion argument, it is often stated that
belief in God is not logical since there is no proof that there is God.
It is worth remembering, there is also no proof that there isn’t God.
The Side of Caution
A scientist will not say:
There is no God.
He will say:
There is no proof
And, as Blaise Pascal once said:
it makes more sense to
err on the side of caution.
It’s OK to choose to engage in some religious practices or adhere to
some religious principles so you are not exposing yourself to a single
paradigm that may be the wrong one.
“You cannot evaluate an insane belief system from within it. Its range
precludes this. You can only go beyond it, look back from a point where
sanity exists and see the contrast. Only by this contrast can insanity
be judged as insane.”
(T-9.VII.6, A Course In Miracles)
© Katherine T Owen.
The spiritual poem above appears in the book It's OK to Believe, A Journey with Faith and Reason.
For an explanation of the forgiveness exercise – It’s OK to...
For a discussion on how to use quotes as part of your spiritual practice.
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© Katherine T Owen