“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“God Spoke and BANG! It happened.” Wayne Barber
This post is the fourth in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet. In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:
Harmful Effect #4: Children growing up to hate and fear science and scientists, because science disproves their parents’ religion – leading to appalling scientific illiteracy.
I was raised by parents who took me to church almost every Sunday. They still go. I still go. I have never in my entire life hated or feared science or scientists. Given my personal experience, this “harmful effect” seems entirely spurious.
Personally, I’m grateful that scientists exist. Medication and technology developed by scientists has improved the quality of my life and the lives of countless others. Notwithstanding high school chemistry, I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve learned in every single science class that I’ve taken in school. (When I went to work for a paper company, I even began to appreciate chemistry.)
In college, I majored in business and was thus required to take only two science courses. I took biology and physical geography. I came across nothing in my scientific study that disproved the religion of my parents. (Since the scientific method is inductive, it’s a stretch to conclude that science can prove anything at all.) Given that I’ve fulfilled the scientific requirement to earn a bachelor’s degree at an accredited, first-world university, I’d hardly classify myself as “appallingly” scientifically illiterate.
Support for “harmful effect #4” is dreadfully wanting, but that’s not the end of the story where Christianity and science are concerned.
Speaking as someone who appreciates scientific inquiry, I find the reactions of some in the scientific community to the implications of the widely accepted Big Bang Theory to be quite alarming. Now, before I go further, I want to mention that, in all my educational pursuits, I’ve studied this theory most in the course of my ongoing education at a Southern Baptist Seminary. So, again, Christians are hardly cowering in the corner afraid of the the study of science. The Big Bang Theory posits that the universe (space, matter, and time) had an absolute beginning at a finite point in the past. The following short video presentation explains the philosophical implications of the Big Bang Theory.
To put it simply, the Big Bang Theory is compatible with the idea that the universe was created, out of nothing, by God, in the finite past…just like Genesis 1:1 says it was. Atheistic scientists understand this. Understanding it so, many of them have gone to great lengths to try and provide alternative cosmological models that present past-eternal universes.
So far, they have come up short. Maybe it’s some atheists, not Christians who are afraid of the conclusions of science and scientists.
In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:
Harmful Effect #5: Tens of thousands tortured and killed as witches (a practice which still continues today)
[Contributed by Seth Dunn]
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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