Pope Francis said something sensible and what shouldn’t be controversial, that we shouldn’t view God as we do a magician, and that evolution and the Big Bang are not in conflict with a belief in a higher power.
“When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.”
I’ve never understood the supposed conflict between science and religion. Science can never prove nor disprove God’s existence. Science is the study of the natural or material world, while God, by definition, is immaterial or supernatural.
How can you locate evidence that is falsifiable to determine the reality of God?
Or think about it this way. For all of our scientific advances over the past century, we still don’t know what either caused or happened at the Big Bang. (We have a good scientific understanding of what happened a fraction of a second after the event.) And we still can’t fully explain more than 95 percent of the universe, which is why we have decided to call that so-far unknowable stuff we know is there but can’t define dark energy and dark matter.
Perhaps that is God?
Or perhaps even that question is too simplistic?
I suspect the supposed science vs. religion debate is primarily between arrogant scientists and unsure people of faith.
Unsure members of faith crave scientific verification, or at least the illusion of it, because they need it to feel better about what they think - to increase the faith in their own faith - while arrogant scientists have simply forgotten, or don’t care, that the basis of science is an ever-present pursuit of fact, meaning declaring God an impossibility is making a claim outside of the scientific method.
Am I wrong?
Scientific writer Amir D. Aczel sums it up quite well in his “Why Science Can’t Disprove God:”
We see, therefore, that we lack a deep understanding of the workings of the universe. There are things that we know, and science has indeed brought us great truths. But we don’t know what caused the Big Bang. We don’t know how the molecules of life first arose on the surface of our planet. We don’t know how the advanced cells of life came about, necessary ingredients for the evolution of complex organisms such as us. And we don’t know the origins of intelligence, self-awareness, symbolic thinking, and consciousness. We lack basic knowledge about the most important and most enduring mysteries of creation.
And even if we could somehow obtain all knowledge about the universe, we could not possibly go beyond it - see behind the structures that science exposes, so that we could determine how the universe was “made.” These inherent limitations in the very nature of science and knowledge make it unlikely that we will ever be able to solve the problem of God. At any rate, we have not solved it yet. And given all the power and complexity and depth of modern science, we have not been able to overrule scientifically the hypothesis of some form of external creation.
The King James Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Science says even if we have what seems like perfect evidence today, it must be discarded tomorrow if more convincing evidence shows up.
Neither of those is a bad rule to live by.
One keeps us sane, humble and empathetic, the other forever intellectually curious.