Are faith and science truly incompatible? Please read.?
I consider myself to be a Christian of moderate intelligence. Recently this boy in my English class (we’re both high school seniors) who is an atheist wanted to debate with me about whether or not God exists. He’s not very knowledgeable at all in science, and blindly quotes Richard Dawkins a lot. Problem is, I don’t think I know very much about science either.
A little into the debate, we both realized that neither of us knew enough about science to carry the debate in that direction, so we started arguing more about the logic of the Bible, etc. Then he said, “I find religion in general an insult to the human race. We should be intelligent enough by now to stop relying on religion as emotional support.” He made it very clear that he views God and science as mutually exclusive, and that it is impossible for anyone to believe in God if they understand science.
I don’t consider myself qualified to make that judgment. But a former high school teacher of mine has 2 PhD’s from Princeton (chemistry and physics) at 27 years old, and had graduated in the top 10% of the undergrad class in Harvard University. An awesome guy and effective teacher that everyone likes and respects. Also happens to be an extremely pious Christian (from seeing Christian bumper stickers on his car, + past conversations). I went in after class to tell him about the debate, and asked some questions about the details of his faith. I could not believe some of the things I heard! He answered very calmly and impartially, but I was so surprised that he doesn’t believe in evolution, and that the earth is 6000 years old!
I asked how he keeps his intelligence and his faith in balance, and said, “I’ve never met anyone as intelligent as you, and probably never will. No offense, but it kind of surprises me that you can hold such radical beliefs.” He replied, “I don’t think I’m particularly smart. There’s nothing I’ve accomplished that hasn’t already been accomplished by someone else already. Many world-class scientists, such as Michael Faraday, genuinely believed that Jesus is the creator of the universe and the savior of man. Science has limits, and when there’s no higher level of scientific explanation, many people genuinely come to put their trust in God.”
Over the past years, I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that religion and science are incompatible, but I didn’t believe it, partially because I don’t know enough about science, and partially because I didn’t want to believe it. But hearing such things spoken by a guy that is so knowledgeable, someone that I highly respect, was a little disturbing.
Are Christianity and science really at odds, as many people claim? And more importantly, how can someone who is so intelligent hold such fundamentalist viewpoints, especially the 6000 year-old earth theory?
I absolutely love this teacher of mine, but I’m a little daunted by this little part of him. He’s an awesome guy on every level, and knows absolutely everything about science, mathematics, and even history and lit, but it seems like he doesn’t apply his intellect when confronted with information that challenges some of his beliefs.
Getting into Harvard from a middle/lower income family?
Graduating from the undergrad class in the top 10% ?
2 PhD’s in 4 years?
If that’s not intelligence, I don’t know what is
Sally Smith answers:
I believe Religion and Science ARE compatible.
The first thing I’d suggest is to get your hands on books by Gerald L. Schroeder..a PhD from MIT and a Hebrew scholar. His books explain how. For instance, in one of his books “Genesis and the Big Bang: the Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible”, he slowly and carefully, using ancient Hebrew scholars’ works,and a basic lesson on Einstein’s theory of relativity (i.e. time slows down as you go faster) demonstrates that ” the billions of years that, according to cosmologists, have followed the Big Bang and those events of the first six days of Genesis are in fact one and the same. They are identical realities that have been described in vastly different terms.”
Dawkins never mentions Gerald Schroeder in his books or lectures but is aware of his work….perhaps he doesn’t mention him because he can’t overcome Schroeder’s arguments. Try to pick up one of Schroeder’s books at the library and ,if it seems to hard for you, see if your Christian teacher would be willing to work through it with you. These books have helped me begin to understand how science and religion corroborate rather than dispute each other.
Good luck! Enjoy the learning.
Karma had to be invented by human thought, not reality?
I was just thinking of a quote about how if a person stands on the corner of Piccadilly Circus long enough he will eventually see everything.
My point is when something bad happens to us it creates an emotional stamp in our sub-conscious. We then start to see the world through the coloured glasses of that experience and hold on to the memory. When something else in the future happens that seems to pay-it-back or correct it, then because we’ve held on to that emotional memory of the past we think it MUST be to balance at our previous injustice, but it is simply just random life events that we choose to attach importance to, and others that we forget because there was no emotional ‘charge’. Therefore, as humans love belief-systems to help bring order to a random existence, it is inevitable that Karma would have been invented sooner or later.
NOT as a universal truth, but as the result of human imagination.
What do you think?
Sally Smith answers:
I love your mind so much I want to marry it. I agree that karma was devised to explain things, but it also supports the notion that we attract experiences by the nature of our consciousness. Once a person adopts the idea of karma, s/he expects things to go according to that belief. If a person thinks, “Uh-oh, I’ll be paying for that later”, he will. Life is too random to ever be contained within the wee confines of the human ego. It’s important to know that we attract things at the level of our thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.
Looking for opinions on the gay marriage vote?
The state I live in will be holding a ballot question looking to overturn the legislation to legalize gay marriage. I believe that homosexuality is a part of the human experience – but am torn for the following reasons:
1.) There are domestic partner laws on the books as well as special protections in our constitution, for which I don’t even qualify. Rape against women is indeed a hate crime, but it would only get true justice and attention if I were gay. So I have a bit of a problem putting yet another budget and legislation toward protecting special groups. I’ve been the victim of prejudice, violence, landlords turning me away, etc. yet there was no recourse for me and there will never be. I wouldn ‘t want to be in a place where I was not wanted nor accepted either. Another layer of laws is not going to force those to accept homosexual marriages if they already don’t.
2.) The two sides of this issue have been pumping out ridiculous ads, have spent well over 3 millions of dollars on this, while my kids can’t even get on a computer at school to complete homework assignments. I can’t get a decent job, small businesses are folding up by the day, including mine, yet this is where our focus is?
3.) I signed a petition by a “free choice” group to put this in the voters hands, then they put me on all of these Christian mailing lists looking for MONEY! I asked specifically if they were a religious group, they stated no that they were for voters’ rights. I got conned and lied to by Christians!
4.) The other side has taken grandparents who are raising their grand kids and single mothers and lumping us together as a group of “misfits”. I resent this. I was married, made commitments and was dumped to clean up the mess. I know gay friends that are also embarrassed about this situation and did not think this was appropriate. We got the point that we are to accept different families, but this isn’t going to ever settle well with the male-oriented Christian based codes. Getting them out of power would be the better solution for us ALL. They want to live under these Draconian codes, then they should form their own commune and do so in peace. This should be done together, not piece by piece by each special interest group. Divide and conquer still works!
5. With domestic laws on the books, I feel this should be an issue between churches and gay rights groups. As a female, I am not a valued member of the church either! They want my collection money, but not me nor my opinions or knowledge of the scriptures. If Christian groups do not wish to marry gay couples, it’s their perogative. I’ll do it as I am certified to marry couples within my state. I’m sure if the Catholic Church finds out, I’ll probably be ex-communicated.
Overall I am sick to death of this issue. We’re never going to get true justice on this Earth.
I really am looking for opinions that are balanced and intelligent. I don’t need to hear chauvinistic quotes from a edited re-translated bible written by a bunch of fat monks who lived in all male communes and had no sense of reality. Nor do I need to hear from the other side telling me that I am closed minded. Homosexuality is a part of the human experience, yet if we were all gay, our species may not perpetuate itself and that part does go against nature. But the homophobes won’t look at this logically that indeed it does exist and is “normal” within certain parameters. The science around this is completely lost and it is all too emotional at this point. I take my right to vote very seriously, obviously I am struggling with this and reaching out, I absolutely see both sides of this, but neither side is luring me in with any type of logic.
I spent many years socializing in a group that included gay couples. The perspectives I heard from these intelligent professional committed loving folks is not even close to the message the gay groups are putting out.
I just don’t think either side has presented a decent intelligent argument here – it’s all based upon emotion and this is not a good way to go about politics. I deliberately put this question in this category so I might get a variety of answers. So what do you think?
Thanks for your answers & opinions. What I’d like to figure out is what the difference between “Domestic Partner” and “Marriage”. Traditionally marriage has been formed around religious beliefs. This is where I’m having an issue mixing religion & politics. Then I guess it should go through – this issue should not have been on the table at the outset.
I see abortion the same way, overturning Roe v. Wade is actually about states’ rights, not abortion. Yet I don’t think this should be up to politcs either. See why I’m confused – it’s NOT about the actual issue – it’s the approriateness of our even voting on this stuff.
If we simply remove the word “man”, or replace it with the word “citizen”, and truly live by it, then it would be “freedom for all” and I guess we wouldn’t need to be voting on this type of stuff. peace.
By the way, Jesus isn’t voting here in 2009. He hung out with sinners & Lepers, he seemed pretty open-minded. He also hung out with kids – I wonder what we would think of him doing that in this day in age. WWJD? Good question.
Whether we believe he is the son of God or not, according to census records, he existed, had a great message and has shown us actions . The Bible is just words. The Parables speak more loudly putting words into actions. peace.
Sally Smith answers:
I believe what Jesus said we should do, Love one another no matter what we think and he would take care of the rest. We need to stop referring to them as those people they are our brothers and sisters.Its something they have to deal with not me I’m fine with what some one else does or wants.
Emotionally Unstable or Hormone Imbalance!? PLEASE HELP ME!?
ately (last month or so) ive been acting weird. at some points during the day ill be happy but out of no where i will start crying or really mad or anything. I have a healthy well balanced diet ((moms a vegetarian and my dad isn’t)) and i usually get 8-10 hours of sleep at night. it usually triggered by small thing like reading quotes or listening to music. and when my friends ask me whats wrong i cant tell them because i truthfully don’t know
i also think the reason that this is happening is because i don’t like to share my emotions so the only emotion i show is happy….. i only share my emotions with one person and he makes me tell him ((no hes not my boyfriend)), i get very emotional
ive also been doing alot of photograph lately about self image but that doesn’t seem to be helping…..
and please no hate answers im reallly not in the pace to hear that
During my bouts of “depression” I’m not experiencing any thoughts of scuicide what so ever. And my emotional shifts aren’t as extreme as Bipolar emotional shifts. They usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to hours.
Sally Smith answers:
This could be anything really. Depending on your age, it could be a hormone imbalance. It could be a medical problem.
To be quite honest, I don’t know. If you want to know for sure talk with a doctor or go see a psychologist. Get your GP to run tests. If it’s just hormones, be thankful. If not, you’ll be prescribed pills to stop the depression and anger.
In the mean time, whatever feeling comes just let it out. Keeping stuff in (even if they do come smack out of the middle of nowhere) is not so healthy. If it helps, you can write a diary, you don’t have to share your feelings with others that way, and you let it out. Beyond that I can’t really help you. If it really is bothering you talk to your doctor or to a psychologist. They’ll know what’s going on and may be able to help you, or maybe you just don’t have a problem and it’ll just be a phase (however long or short that is) that passes.
I don’t know if I was of any help, but I’m trying to.