Saturday, March 17, 2007

Science and Religion. Zeus and Thor versus The God of Abraham

One of my favorite claims to God being a myth is the one comparing him to Zeus or Thor. Sam Harris predictably makes this comparison.

While trying to say that the God of Abraham is comparable to the Greek Myths of the past is like trying to compare the “Sears Tower” to a three story apartment building….


While there appears to be concensus that Jesus actually existed, is there any agreement that the “Son of Zues or Son of Thor” actually existed?
Did anyone ever have a “Son of Zeus” cause so much attention as to have the very calendar we observe honor him?

While over a Billion people, (Jews, Christians, and Muslims), believe in the same God of Abraham, (they might understand him differently, but they all claim he is the God of Abraham), is there any comparison to those who believe that there might be a God named Zeus?

For the past 2300 years or so up to the 1960’s, the scientific community has believed that the Universe was Eternal. Einstein even thought he had proven it, but the Bible has always claimed that the Universe had a beginning. “ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Gen 1:1

Now if time did not exist until after the Big Bang and since cause and effect requires a “before and after sequence”, then therefore there could not have been a “cause” to precede the “effect.” Or, in scientific terms, without the existence of the “Laws of Nature” prior to the Big Bang, there could not have been a “Quantum Fluxuation” to cause the Big Bang.

The reason we have had such a divide between Science and Religion is the fact that the Scientist goes into depth in his field and only has a superficial understanding of Religion, and vice versa. For example, in the Book of Genesis we read two statements that to the untrained and unscholarly seem to be an inconsistency…first God tells Adam that if he eats the fruit, he will die that very day, but then Adam eats, yet lives to be 930 years old.

The Scholar knows that the Bible is full of passages that talk about different time frames, (sometimes a day means a year, and sometimes it means a thousand years and then somethimes it means 24 hours). For example, right after the Big Bang there were two time frames to consider, the Cosmic Time measured in Billions of years and God’s time measured in a day being a thousand years, (see 2 Peter 3:8), and therefore Adam lived less than one of God’s days. So in Cosmic time the “six” days are in Billions of years, but in God’s days it is in 6 thousand of our years. Time is relative based upon the position of the observer.

So, now that the scientific community has come around to the correct position on the Universe having a beginning, most Scientists that have a Scholarly understanding of the Bible, such as Gerald L. Schroeder, have very few differences between the two different areas left.

Science and Religion both want to be based upon truth and Wisdom. My definition of Wisdom might be stated as “the sum of scholarly learning through the ages, or the proper understanding of what is true.” Facts have a way of changing over time because they can be wrong as well as be improperly interpreted, so that is why I am saying wisdom.

For example in the sixties, I was told that it was a “closed case” that we were in a new “Ice Age.” Most scientists had come to that consensus. I was also told that we would run out of oil by the year 2000, and that was also a “closed case.”

Not to mention that in the past the earth was thought to be flat, and the Sun revolved around the earth and both were treated as if they were fact.

True facts are true regardless of whether they are scientific truths or religious truths, and they cannot disagree or one is not true by definition.

Some of the theory of Evolution is true, while other parts of it may or may not be true since we are not able to produce the fossils that might “prove” the missing links in those very fossil records.

But regardless, even Darwin in his Origin of Species says that God had a hand in evolution. “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

It is quite easy for many of the religious to believe that “animal species” are evolving, while it may be possible that the “human” is one species that has not been part of that evolution. (I am not saying that it is so, but merely saying that there are possible scenario's that could allow for what appear to be differences.)

Now, if some say that it is “impossible” for the human to be outside the Theory of evolution, then they are guilty of having a closed mind if for no other reason than the fact that they themselves believe in something so mathematically improbable that it defies logic, (the universe and life beginning by random chance), while not allowing the same probability on the above statement.

The old saying…”If you can think it, it is probably possible”….makes those who react to any challenge to their worldview with the knee-jerk statement of…”That’s impossible
!”...seem to be intolerant and close-minded.