May 3, 2008

Expelled...

"Science and Religion cannot exist together...   That is what Richard Dawkins said in the new theatrical movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.   Last Sunday we drove to El Con Mall to watch this latest documentary from Ben Stein.  
The premise of the movie is simple.     Throughout history, science and religion lived and worked together in peace.   Stein demonstrates how many of the founding fathers of scientific thought were also men of faith.   Yet since the publication of Darwin's "Origin of the Species.., a wall has been created dividing the world into two groups.

On one side of the wall are the “true scientists'.   These people argue that life can best be explained through evolutionary theories without intelligent design.   To live on this side of the fence, you must not only believe in evolution, but also believe that evolutionary principles are critical to the understanding of science.   If you believe in intelligent design and want to live on this side of the wall, you must keep your beliefs to yourself.

On the other side of the wall are scientists who believe that the theory of evolution has major, major flaws.   Some of them have faith in God and some do not.   Stein interviews many of these people who claimed to have lost their jobs because of their belief in intelligent design.

Stein's hope is that this movie will help break down this wall and allow Intelligent Design to be considered as a plausible theory in the scientific debate.

The issue of evolution v. creation is an important one.   It is one that I have watched with fascination.   I have met Christians who believe that God could have used evolution as a method to create the universe.   I have also met Christians who believe the theory of evolution is completely incompatible with the Bible.

The movie does have significant theological implications.   After watching the movie, I have decided to react to some of the major points.   Over the next few weeks, I will respond to some of the questions raised by the movie.

Can't a Christian believe in Evolution?

This is a loaded question.   Stein points out that scientists have demonstrated some small changes within species.   This is a process described as micro-evolution.   If this is a demonstrable scientific fact, can't Christians agree with this?   Sure.

The problem lies in using evolution as a way to get God off your back.   Luther points out that all humans have to deal with God.   Christians deal with him by the atonement of Jesus.   All other religions hope their good works will get them right with God.   But atheists also deal with God by strenuously arguing He doesn't exist.   The theory of evolution serves this purpose.

There are other issues.   For example the Bible says the earth was created in six days and that seems incompatible with evolution.   But this is a subset of the over-arching question:   Are there signs that point to intelligent design?   For many scientists the answer is a resounding yes!   The problem is that the “real scientists' won't even consider the possibility.

Where's the freedom for scientific thought now?

Blessings,
Pastor David Hook