I was in 5th grade and my teacher (whose name I can’ t remember-I’m horrible with names…) started talking to us about eggs for our science lesson. A few minutes into the lesson she did something I had never heard any teacher do, before or since…she started crediting God for the cleverness of how an egg functions to help the baby chick emerge into the world. Now remember, this was public school in the 70’s and it was pretty unheard of for an elementary school teacher to be talking about God. No sooner did she start into her God awed egg speech, when one of my best fiends shot his hand in the air and reminded my teacher that this was a public school and that our country had separation of church and state. I kid you not, he started debating with my teacher about the inappropriateness of her lesson and that she needed to stop. She soon got flustered and gave up on inserting any more references to God during any of our lessons.
After school, I was walking home with my friend who had stopped our teacher in her tracks. As we talked, another student asked him if he believed in God? He said he didn’t. I then asked him who made the Earth? He said the Big Bang. I asked him what caused the Big Bang, he said he didn’t know. On and on this went until we reached home. Actually, the conversation didn’t end there. We would debate this topic (origin of the universe) for many years to come.
My friend was very well informed about science. He was the son of a NASA rocket scientist. He and his brothers built their own home computer and designed their own video games. Again, this was back in the late 70’s, before Apple and the home computing revolution had even taken it’s first baby step. He later graduated from Harvard and is currently a brain research scientist. In other words, he knew his science stuff pretty darn well.
I mention all this, because even though I never pursued the sciences with anything more than a half-baked approach, I still felt that my Biblical knowledge trumped any evidence he might present, because…well…the Bible told me so. As I got older, and the challenge to my claims were more vigorous, I still believed my evidence (the Bible) to be truer than the evidence for Evolution and the Big Bang. I also read many different Christian authors who assured me that the evidence for the Biblical worldview was superior. They told me exactly what I wanted to hear, and gave me just enough information to feel safe in my doubts of the popular scientific theories of origin that conflicted with the Biblical accounts of Genesis.
But since the demise of my faith, I no longer feel the need to “defend” the Bible’s claims against scientific evidence. I’ve actually begun to read some popular science authors and what I’ve learned amazes me. It also has humbled me, because I realize how much really great science stuff I missed or ignored, because I was afraid of the challenge to my faith that it posed.
I’ve studied a little Evolution since taking off the Christian glasses, and you know what? It totally makes sense to me now. It also makes me a little sad that I blinded myself for so long.
It’s the irony of faith, while many present faith as facts and truth, it is usually more about doubts and denial. So many times I was taught to doubt “the experts”, because they might not be Christians. They might actually hate God or are just deceived and that’s why their “evidence” (so called) didn’t match up with the truth of the Bible. On a personal level I was taught to deny my heart’s desires, because my heart was wicked and filled with sin. On an intellectual level, I was taught to doubt the things I could see, and to trust my faith in things I could not. On a romantic level, I was taught to doubt any interest in someone who was not a Christian or a Christian who was not as “committed” as me or my particular brand of church. On and on the list goes of things we should doubt or deny. All in the name of faith.
No wonder so many people of faith descend into depression and the like. With all the things you’re taught to doubt, what is actually real? As for me, I’ll take another helping of the scientific method.