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Support for Science Against Religion

One method of justifying their beliefs Christians use is trying to discredit science. This is a reasonable approach because science is the obvious alternative to religion and if you can prove the alternative is wrong it immediate adds to the potential truth of religion.

Unfortunately for the Christians, the major theories of science have been subjected to a huge amount of testing over the years and have been found to be essentially correct. This doesn't mean that every detail of every theory has been finalised and is agreed by all scientists. Disagreement over details and refinement of details is a part of science.

Unfortunately, minor disagreements on the details are often blown out proportion by Creationists and other groups in an attempt to show the theory is fundamentally wrong. There is always a chance a theory will be found to be wrong but there is absolutely no reason to believe the major theories science is based on - relativity, quantum theory, evolution, the Big Bang, etc - are incorrect.

Some answers to common questions about Christianity and science are in my FAQ, here

The Big Bang

This theory, which is very widely accepted by scientists, explains the origin of the Universe. It states that billions of years ago (the exact time is unsure, but its confidently estimated at about 14 billion years) there was a huge "explosion" out of which the Universe was created (don't confuse the generic term creation with the concept of Biblical creation here).

The obvious question is: what made the explosion, and where did the stuff that made the explosion come from? The reason this confuses a lot of people is that the Big Bang can't really be compared to a normal explosion. The Big Bang didn't just create all the material we see in the Universe, it created space and time itself. Before the Big Bang there was nothing because time started at the Big Bang and there was no space to contain anything. This is a hard concept to imagine but its perfectly valid under the two most important theories of science: relativity and quantum theory.

The theory is abstract and difficult to understand, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. An overwhelming amount of evidence supports it, as you will see if you click here. I also mention some attempts at discrediting the theory.

Evolution

Evolution is a theory which explains the origin of the many different forms of life on Earth (including human life) through a process of change over billions of years. The theory is that life began as relatively simple chemical compounds which were combined by energetic forces, such as high energy light and lightning on the primitive Earth, to form simple organic molecules. These formed simple life forms, which gradually became more complex until we have the life forms we have today.

The key factor here is that complex life can arise from simple life by a process of selection. Selection occurs when life which is better able to survive will be relatively more numerous in the next generation and the less successful organisms will gradually disappear. Through this process, over huge time periods, what might seem impossible can happen; in fact its hard to see how such a process could not occur - its a natural consequence of simple statistics.

Many people have difficulty with evolution because either they don't like the idea that all the noble life forms we have today (including ourselves) are simply the end point of the blind evolution of some simple chemicals on the ancient Earth, or they find it hard to see how so much change could have happened. In the first case its simply an in ability to accept something they think is unpleasant, in the second case its often an inability to imagine the huge time period involved - billions of years.

No matter how unpleasant evolution might seem, or how contrary it is to traditional beliefs, it is undoubtedly the best theory we have today. There is no doubt that anyone looking at the evidence impartially will see the theory is essentially correct, its simply some of the details which need refining. If you click here I'll list some of the evidence.

One of the major predictions of evolution is that one type of species will transition to another, and that transitional forms should exist in the fossil record. For example, if theropod dinosaurs evolved into birds, there should be fossils of bird-like dinosaurs, but where are they? Well, contrary to creationist propaganda, they do exist. If you click here I'll list some of them.

Discussion

Comment by MT on 2006-07-11 at 19:47:33: But you are ignoring the many respected scientists who study the new science in the Bible. Did you know that there are hundreds of scientists who study Intelligent Design. Its a new scientific theory which is better than evolution, so why do you still think evolution is true?

Comment by OJB on 2006-07-17 at 22:59:49: If you do a bit of research "behind the scenes" of intelligent design you will find that it isn't a scientific theory at all. Its just another attempt to push creationism into the school science curriculum. No serious scientists accept ID. Theories being pushed by real academics (outside their area of expertise) like William Dembski have been disproven. Scientific organisations, like the American Academy of Science, say ID isn't science. A conservative, Christian, supreme court judge said peo...

This discussion has been shortened. View the full discussion, or add your own comments here.


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