science vs. religion

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One of the great public battlegrounds in modern time is science vs. religion. Is this the great unwinnable war, or is there a common ground? I suggest that the issue is not either side is absolutely right or wrong; the issue in our public discourse, in our public theology, is the misinformation both sides present and the failure to understand the complexity of information. As Donald Rumsfeld might say, it is "the unknown known" - a failure to accept that which we do not know. In 1633, Galileo Galilei was brought before the Catholic Church and tried for heresy. His offense was belief in an earth that revolved around the sun. For the Catholic Church, and much of the world, this idea went against common knowledge and even religious belief in the nature of God's world. "We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probably after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to the Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. From which we are content that you be absolved, provided that, first, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, you abjure, curse, and detest before use the aforesaid erro... ... middle of paper ... The story in Genesis of how everything began was just painting a picture. It was a broad stroke approach to provide a glimpse of something that was so incredibly complex, it couldn’t be written down. This idea is certainly plausible. God knew that if he were to write a scientific journal of how he did everything, it would be far over our heads. Paul wrote about his experience in heaven, stating, "I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell" (2 Corinthians 12:4 NLT). Notice there are two aspects of his inability to describe the experience: 1) He did not have the vocabulary, and 2) We are not meant to know. Even with our knowledge today, the physics behind creation and evolution would boggle the mind of Stephen Hawking. So perhaps God simply gave us what we could handle.

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