God vs. Science???: Revisited
A couple of years ago I wrote an article titled “God vs. Science???” It was written in response to an article in Time magazine which dealt with a debate between two scientists: atheist biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian geneticist Francis Collins. I posted my article and then went on to other things. This past Christmas I received as a gift a book: The Language of God, by Francis S. Collins. I read it without ever identifying it with the Dr. Collins of the debate. After I had read the first chapter I just happened to get a communique from an individual who said he was writing a book on the subject and took me to task for what I had written. I stood by what I had written and told him of Dr. Collins book, thinking he might be interested in it. Just today, a couple of days after I finished the book, did it dawn on me that its author and the Dr. Collins of the Time magazine debate were one and the same. So here I am back again dealing with the issue.
Two terms, “supernatural” and “altruism,” show up both in the debate and The Language of God. I would now like to deal with those two words. Let it be noted that neither word is found it the Christian Bible. First, altruism is used and defined in various, but similar, ways. Neither of the debaters defined the term but my Webster’s Dictionary, copyright 2003, defines it as, “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.” The antonym of altruism is egoism. Egoism can simply be defined as selfishness. I recall that early in my days as a Christian, some 42 years ago, being confronted with the term, “altruism.” Jesus said it was more blessed to give than to receive and that I should simply say, “I am an unprofitable servant” when I have done all He has commanded me. Quite simply there is no such thing as a purely unselfish act. When I say, “I love you” and it is true, I still cannot escape the fact that the first person considered is “I.” So after thinking about this I came to the conclusion that I believed in egoistic altruism. It is so easy to corrupt and misconstrue the truth. Not even Dr Collins seemed to realize this.
Now comes “supernatural.” While neither of the good doctors defined the term, Dr. Collins averred that he believed that God, who created natural law, might on rare occasions act outside these laws and perform what we would consider a miracle. Dr. Francis Collins believes in evolution and says that scientific investigation indicates that the world and life as we know it is the result of billions of years of evolution. It never seems to occur to him that God may have suspended these natural laws and simply spoke worlds into existence: “Let there be light: and there was light.” He endeavors to make Genesis 1 & 2 true in essence, but not to be taken literally. Of course this leads to the “spiritualizing” of a lot more scripture. Peter tells us that, “by the word of God the heavens were of old.” (2Peter3:5.) John tells us that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And, “the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1 & 14a.) The Apostle Paul says of Christ: “all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” or (Are held together). (Col. 1:16-17.) There are many other scriptures, both Old Testament and New, that speak to this issue and all must be spiritualized also if we accept what Dr. Collins believes. To be frank, I really don’t know just how speaking worlds into existence works. I hope Dr. Collins will forgive me but I don’t think he does either.
Myself, I have never believed that God was a magician. I do not think He waves a magic wand and makes things happen. Somewhere, years ago, during my early formal education I was taught that, “the more we learn, the more we find that there is to learn.” As Thomas Edison said: “We do not know one-millionth of one percent about anything.” As the Bible says: “God’s understanding is infinite.” Thus we can learn more and more throughout the countless ages of eternity and never begin to exhaust the knowledge of God. I wonder how many millions of natural laws there are that God has created that we have not discovered yet. Perhaps God uses these to do things that we consider miraculous.
Is there an end to the universe? If so, what ends it? A wall? If so, how thick is the wall, and what is on the other side of the wall? And isn’t all of that part of the universe too? I thrill to the thought that, because of Jesus, a few trillion years from now I may be in some far flung part of the universe, that we now have hardly imagined exists, learning things that nobody has even begun to consider in our time here on earth. What a wonderful, glorious, omnipotent, omnipresent God we have. Doctors, you say, “evolution.” I say, “Praise God!”