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Faith and Science
James E. Johnson, M. D.
Outline
• Relationship between faith and science
• The source and importance of faith
• Compatibility of science and faith
• The origin of the universe and life
From PBS Definition of Postmodernism
Postmodernism is "post" because it is denies
the existence of any ultimate principles, and it
lacks the optimism of there being a scientific,
philosophical, or religious truth which will
explain everything for everybody - a
characteristic of the so-called "modern" mind.
The paradox of the postmodern position is that,
in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its
skepticism, it must realize that even its own
principles are not beyond questioning
http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/
postm-body.html March 3, 2014
Let us not assume that the freedom to
believe anything that pleases us will
make the thing that we believe true.
Outline
• Relationship between faith and science
• The source and importance of faith
• Compatibility of science and faith
• The origin of the universe and life
Faith
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1 (KJV)
Science and the Scientific
Method
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Observation
Review background material
State the problem
Form a hypothesis
Design and perform an experiment
Collect and analyze the data
Draw conclusions
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/plantgrowth/reference
/Scientific_Method.html 3/1/2010
Science
Visible
Faith
“Not Seen”
Invisible Relates to the Visible
Visible
Invisible
Gift
Grace
Pardon
Mercy
Sacrifice
Love
The Present
The Future & The
Past
Creator
Creation
Outline
• Relationship between faith and science
• The source and importance of faith
• Compatibility of science and faith
• The origin of the universe and life
Source of Faith
And you will seek Me, and find Me, when you
search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
(NASB)
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not
as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Eph 2:8-9 (NASB)
Source of Faith
19 because that which is known about God is evident
within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For
since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
His eternal power and divine nature, have been
clearly seen, being understood through what has
been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans
1:19-20 (NASB)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
Pascal’s Wager
Correct
Incorrect
Faith
Heaven
Nothing
Unbelief
Nothing
Hell
Pascal, Blaise, Pensees, Chapter 7, 1658
Outline
• Relationship between faith and science
• The source and importance of faith
• Compatibility of science and faith
• The origin of the universe and life
Compatibility of Faith and
Science
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things
hold together. Col 1:17 (NASB)
Outline
• Relationship between faith and science
• The source and importance of faith
• Compatibility of science and faith
• The origin of the universe and life
Origins—The Challenges
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the
earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding, Job 38:4
The Bible was not written as a science book; avoid
adding things that are not there.
Is the study of origins a science in the same sense as
that chemistry or physiology are sciences?
The Issue of Origins (the
Universe and Life)
Scripture
Deductive
Creation in
7 days in
specific order
?
Naturalistic Theory of Origins
1. Big Bang
2. Spontaneous Generation
Of Life
3. Evolution of Species
Inductive
Various observations
God
Guided by God had created in Unsure
God
no part present
form
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Gallup Polls
"Which of the
following
statements comes
closest to your views
on the origin and
development of
human beings?”
http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm March 3, 2014
Creationism, Evolution &
Scripture Interpretation
Creationism
New Earth
Literal
Old Earth
Evolution
Theistic
Figurative
Scripture Interpretation
Naturalistic
Central Difference in the Two
Views
• Naturalistic Theory puts the unknown into one
unexplainable event (“Big Bang”)
• Bible has a series of unexplainable, supernatural
events
Alan Guth (MIT)—Cosmic
Inflation
• Expansion of the universe
to 100 million light years
in the first 1/10(^32) sec
• Theoretical support comes
from the Wilkinson
Microwave Anisotropy
Probe (WMAP)
http://web.mit.edu/physics/facultyandstaff/faculty/alan_guth.html
Discrepancies in the Two
Views
• Time
• Order of events
• Mechanism of formation of life
Creationism and Time
• 1. Young Earth Creationism—various forms of this
with the idea that the universe looks older than by
some dating methods than it actually is. This may be
because starting conditions were different from
current conditions (for example, faster speed of light,
different rate of radioactive decay).
• 2. Old Earth Creationism—The Earth really is very old.
For this to be compatible with literal interpretation of
scripture, the term “day” in Genesis means a time
interval, but not necessarily what we call a 24 hour
day now.
Time and Relativity
• Theory of General
Relativity—Time is
affected by
gravitational field
• Theory of Special
Relativity—Time is
affected by velocity
Relativity of Time in Scripture
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4
But do not let this one fact escape your
notice, beloved, that with the Lord one
day is like a thousand years, and a
thousand years like one day. II Peter 3:8
Universe & Life Origin
Discrepancies
• Time
• Order of events
• Mechanism of formation of life
Order of Creation/Appearance
Genesis
• Heavens and Earth (day 1)
• Light, day, night (day 1)
• Separation of waters (2)
• Dry land, plants (3)
• Sun, moon, stars (4)
• Sea and flying animals (5)
• Other animals (6)
• Man (6)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Naturalistic Evolution
Stars and planets
Single and multicellular
life (including plants)
Fish and some land plants
Insects, Amphibians
Reptiles, gymnosperm
plants
Mammals, angiosperm
plants
Man
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
• Universe began as intensely hot, very small particle
of pure energy at time zero
• 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the
earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and
darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the
Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the
waters. Gen 1:1-2 (NASB)
Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
The particle expanded rapidly, cooling as it did;
became cool enough for visible light to be
possible*
3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there
was light. Gen 1:3 (NASB)
*Visible light is generated by electrons moving between orbitals.
At extremely high temperatures, electrons are not in orbitals.
Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
With cooling of the expanding matter, hydrogen and
helium formed, gravitation caused formation of stars
where heavier elements were formed and are released
by supernova allowing formation of planets. Rotation of
earth produced day and night.
5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called
night. And there was evening and there was morning,
one day. Gen 1:5 (NASB)
Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
Appearance of life on earth.
Day 2 Separation of waters, Day 3 creation of plants
specifically mentioned.
11 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation ,
plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth
bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them";
and it was so. Gen 1:11
Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
Could it be that metabolism of life forms reduced a thick
canopy allowing the sun, moon and stars to become
visible?
14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of
the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let
them be for signs and for seasons and for days and
years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the
heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. Gen
1:14-15 (NASB)
Schroeder GL, Genesis and the Big Bang, Bantam Books, 1990
Comparison Secular theory to Old Earth
Creationism
• Creation of large animals and man (order is the
same in both)
Universe & Life Origin
Discrepancies
• Time
• Order of events
• Mechanism of formation of life
The Issue of Origins (the
Universe and Life)
Scripture
Deductive
Creation in
7 days in
Specific order
?
Naturalistic Theory of Origins
1. Big Bang
2. Spontaneous Generation
Of Life
3. Evolution of Species
Inductive
Various Observations
Human Insulin
Irreducible Complexity
Example
• Number of combinations of protein such as
insulin with 51 amino acid positions and 20
possible amino acids (20 X 20 X 20… for 51 times
comes out to be about 1 X 1068).
• Number of seconds in 13 billion years = 1018
• So, attempting to make insulin once per second
for 13 billion years will get through a very small
fraction of the possibilities (1 over 1050)
Chance of producing insulin by chance
With one attempt per second for
13 billion years=
1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
The Issue of Origins (the
Universe and Life)
Scripture
Deductive
Creation in
7 days in
Specific order
?
Naturalistic Theory of Origins
1. Big Bang
2. Spontaneous Generation
Of Life
3. Evolution of Species
Inductive
Various Observations
Evolutionary Possibilities
• 1. Allows adaptations that preserve a species
(antibiotic and insecticide resistance)
• 2. Possible explanation of variations within a species
• 3. Possible cause of change of one species to another
• 4. Possible explanation for the origin of all species
Cambrian Explosion
dated at about 530
million years ago
Rapid appearance of
most major groups
of complex animals
Problems with Proving Evolution as
Mechanism of Origin for All Species
• 1. All steps have to be adaptive or the
intermediate form will not have a survival
advantage
• 2. Relative lack of intermediate forms in the
fossil record (“punctuated equilibrium”)
• 3. Homology and embryology as arguments for
and against
• 4. Lack of observation of new species formation
in rapidly dividing species
Homo
habilis
http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/oh24.html 3/21/06
Timeline
• 2,000,000 years ago with 20 years per generation =
100,000 generations
• Bacteria with 20 minutes per generation, have
100,000 generations in 2,000,000 minutes
• 365 X 24 X 60 minutes per year = ½ million minutes
per year.
• In 4 years, some bacteria can have 100,000
generations.
• Staphylococcus aureas was first named in 1881. It
was a gram positive, catalase positive, nonmotile,
ubiquitous organism then and now.
Conclusions
• 1. Faith and Science have separate but overlapping
domains.
• 2. The origin of the universe and life cannot be
reproduced, so scientific elucidation is limited and
indirect.
• 3. Young Earth and Old Earth Creationism are models that
attempt to explain origins from the standpoint of faith.
• 4. Old Earth Creationism has the greatest compatibility
with current secular theories.
• 5. Attempting to explain origins without invoking a
designer outside the system has its own set of problems
and improbabilities.

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