Where Science and Religion Overlap

I keep coming across the idea that belief in evolution doesn’t matter to Christians because (supposedly) evolution is “science,” and Genesis is a religious “myth.” People then say that science and religion answer different questions. Religion answers “why” and science answers “how.” So, what does it matter if God used evolution to create us or whether it was by divine fiat?

This whole idea goes back a long way, but was popularized by an evolutionary biologist (and noted Marxist) named Stephen Jay Gould. He called it Non-Overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA. This is an attempt to separate science and religion as being totally different entities and two different ways of discovering truth. Religion deals with spiritual truths while science deals with natural truths.

If that’s the case, then there should be no conflict whatsoever between science and religion, right? Not so fast. When it comes to creation and evolution, there’s quite a conflict. When we talk about origins, science and religion fully overlap and thus the NOMA idea doesn’t apply. Both means of discovering the truth arrive at fundamentally different answers with regards to where everything comes from. Science is trying to tell us that the creation of everything is due to natural causes. Religion tells us that “God created.”

You see, it does us no good to wonder why God created us, or what His purpose for us is if we don’t even believe he created us in the first place. Furthermore, knowing how he created us tells us a lot about God’s nature. Evolution, at its core, is entirely purposeless and directionless. Its foundational concepts include random variations preserved through selection (death). Notice the word “random”. If God used evolution to create us, what does that say about our purpose? What does it say about death? If we’re mere accidents on an evolutionary tree, then we’re not created in God’s image according to His will. If death is part of the creative process of God, then it was not a punishment for Adam’s sin. Religion and “science” (if evolution can even be classified as science) are in a great deal of conflict with the biblical description of God.

Christians see Jesus as the Son of God. On several occasions, Jesus referenced parts of Genesis in defense of his teachings. In particular, he used the creation story to defend marriage between one man and one woman, saying that the two are one flesh and man shall “cleave unto his wife.” Furthermore, Matthew and Luke include Adam in Jesus’ direct lineage. But, if evolution is true, then Adam and Eve didn’t exist. So, what does that mean about Jesus’ statements on marriage? Which people in the Bible’s genealogies are real if the first ones aren’t? How arrogant are we as humans to say that we know the history of life on Earth better than the Son of God?

As I will show in other articles, we have every reason to scoff at man-made myths about swirling balls of gases that formed stars, then planets, then goo, and eventually …you. The Bible is an important book of history that starts at the very beginning, as written by an eyewitness. In the story of creation, this eyewitness is God Himself, who spoke to the first man and inspired the writers of the Bible. It is this witness which gives us observations which we can begin with in conducting scientific investigations to discover more about our wondrous habitation.

I leave you with this thought from Romans 1:20-25:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.”