I am new to the list and a new believer as well (3 months). However, I am
not new to science having degrees and expertise in veterinary medicine,
toxicology, molecular biology and immunology. My enthusiasm right now is
bounding but my absolute knowledge base of scripture and theology is limited
(having grown up as agnostic as they come), although I attack it every day
with gusto. So in advance, please excuse me if I am somewhat overzealous
and a bit off the mark at times. I am here to learn and will take all
educational comments with grace.
>First let me concede Michael point that poor science among many YEC has
>done the Gospel damage. But in this country (less so in Britain), the
>lack of effective challenge of the secular roots of our science has I
>think been a serious weakness of mainstream evangelical scientists. In
>my view it has resulted in a perception among mainstream Christian laity
>the evangelical scientists have really compromised the Gospel and
>encouraged their looking to alternatives like YEC.
I would like to also jump in on this one. To state that some of the
speculations on science by armchair scientists has done the Gospel damage is
a gross understatement. I am a personal witness to this one. When I would
hear over and over about creationism and global floods and the like, I would
think to myself "Christians seem a little wacko to me," and thus I never
thought to look at Christianity carefully myself.
I think a lot of other scientists or smart lay people feel the same way.
They turn off their receptivity when they hear some of poor science
(non-science might even be a better way to state it). It is hard to sort
out what are fringe Christian beliefs and what are mainstream beliefs when
you aren't steeped in Christian theology. It is also not understood in the
agnostic world that many of these theories under debate and there is not
enough hard evidence to fully support any one theory - there are a lot of
holes in theory of evolution and the theory of how life started, for
example, but most of the public doesn't perceive this and when it is debated
between Christians and non-Christians those perceptions become even more
But the fact is, creationism and evolution are both just theories. Neither
should be taken as dogma nor as a proof. Both revolve around the very soft
science of biology - a science that eludes hardness just as our
understanding of the meaning of some scripture sometimes eludes us. We just
don't know enough yet to state anything categorically.
There will always be scientists that hold onto their hypothesis tenaciously
as they try to make the puzzle pieces fit their puzzle. And that's another
really good thing to remember - a hypothesis is like a puzzle with just a
frame and no insides. You have a pile of pieces and some of them you can
link together but some don't seem to fit anywhere. You keep trying and keep
researching to collect more pieces. Your collegue sits right beside you with
the same puzzle pieces and tries to fit them into his frame at the same
time. He might get more of them to fit than you but that doesn't mean in
the end that he will complete the puzzle first. Science and theories have
been turned on their heads more often than not.
But what absolutely can't happen is we can't have people taking out the
scissors to trim down some pieces in an attempt to make them fit better into
their puzzle. We also can't just discard some of the pieces because they
don't seem to fit our puzzle. Sadly, this seems to be the case with alot of
the YEC crowd. They say carbon dating is bunk or that just because the
geological strata or fossil record does not fit their hypothesis that it
must be bad techniques. When these sorts of things happen, practical,
objective scientists run like the wind and won't give that hypothesis (or
Christianisty) a second look.
Luckily, I have a fiance that challenged me to look at the facts and not
just what the media was spewing out. I took him up on his challenge and
fully intended to debunk the Christian "myths" with logic and objectivity.
Well....you see where that got me! I can see the intelligent design in the
natural world and I can't refute it for one moment. I hope to evangelize to
my fellow scientists after I build my knowledge base a bit further. One
thing to keep in mind, the most effective evangelism may not come from
someone writing a book for the mass audience but from what each of us does
personally with non-believing individuals on a daily basis.
Great list and I look forward to good reading.
Marque (female, BTW)
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