[Vision2020] Creation vs. science (was NSA's accrediting agency)

g. crabtree jampot at roadrunner.com
Sat Dec 22 14:21:45 PST 2007

I like kittens and puppies.


(I'm waiting for Mr. Campbell to retranslate this into my latest 
anti-science, pro-creationism, condemnation of the theory of evolution and 
all things academic.)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Campbell" <joekc at adelphia.net>
To: <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 11:33 AM
Subject: [Vision2020] Creation vs. science (was NSA's accrediting agency)

> Keely,
> On the whole, I agree with you! A few things to note in particular.
> 1. Creationism is not really opposed to evolution theory. The former is a 
> theory about the
> creation of the universe, the latter about its development. Clearly, the 
> world could have
> been created by God AND evolved after that (which is close to what I 
> believe).
> 2. The real conflict, as you note, is between a certain kind of creation 
> story, accepted by
> Christian fundamentalists, and the theory of evolution. I have an 
> opposition to Christian
> fundamentalism, in part, because it strikes me as more of a political 
> movement than a
> religious movement. I could go on here but I’d like to keep it short for 
> now.
> 3. In Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (1997), the 
> physicist and
> theologian, Ian Barbour describes four possible relations between religion 
> and science:
> conflict, independence, dialogue, and integration. I think that you (and 
> I) advocate the last
> – the eventual integration of science and religion. Another thing I 
> dislike about Christian
> fundamentalism is that they advocate the first: you have to choose between 
> God and
> evolution theory. What an impossible choice! The relationship between 
> religion and
> science is complex and there are pluses and minuses with regard to any of 
> the choices, so
> I don’t want to simplify this discussion. Still, I believe that conflict 
> suits certain political
> motivations and this is the main reason why some people select it.
> Best, Joe
> ---------------------------------
> I hesitate to jump in on this because I'm back in the Seattle area with 
> family and I won't be able to get to a computer as often as I'd like, but 
> I would suggest a way to shed some light on any purported science vs. God 
> argument.  First, though, I want to assert two things:  One, I believe God 
> created the world and everything in it. Beyond that, because of my trust 
> in the beauty and order of the world around us, I believe that true 
> science will never contradict that assertion.  Believers should embrace 
> science, and no actual truth will ever contradict the Truth we know in 
> God.
> The streetfight appears to be between those who assert the full truth of 
> the Bible, as read literally, and those who argue that all good science 
> points to a conclusion that appears different from what the Bible appears 
> to say. I would offer a third option:  Perhaps the Bible isn't wrong, 
> perhaps science isn't wrong.  Maybe I'm wrong in my understanding of what 
> each says.
> I believe the message of the Bible is true in all it sets forth, when 
> understood in the context of in the intent or formulation of a specific 
> passage -- historical record, apocalyptic symbolism, poetry, law, personal 
> letters of exhortation, etc.  Another way to put it is this -- Religion 
> tells me Who, Science tells me How.  Could it be that the creation 
> accounts in Genesis were written not as scientific treatises, as science 
> seems to indicate, and instead symbolic passages used to illustrate the 
> truth -- God created -- to non-literate peoples, both water-dependent 
> fishermen and land-dependent shepherds?  Maybe science is able only to 
> "see through a mirror darkly,"  And it can only do what finite persons can 
> do -- offer reasonable explanations for the phenomena of life and order 
> and beauty around us.  It's a sacred calling to "do science," to study 
> what the Creator left us, and to always seek greater understanding.  If 
> it's true, it will reveal something about God.  But scientists, believing 
> and unbelieving, must work with evidence and experimentation as they 
> present themselves; they can't start from a theological belief and bend 
> observable truth to try to complement it.  That weakens both theology and 
> science.  Likewise, believers must be content to live in a world of 
> seeming paradox, and the tension between revealed spiritual Truth and 
> observable material truth is nothing to be feared.  The "missing link" 
> (oops!) is the reality that both can be true and that, in the Providence 
> of God, it will become clear.  In the meantime, theologians study and 
> scientists study, and their purported defenders make a mess out of 
> everything.  It does God no honor to deaden his word by reading into 
> Scripture what Scripture doesn't intend to communicate, and it does 
> science no favor to scramble like lab mice to come up with evidence tto 
> try to disprove the existence of God.
> I am neither a scientist nor a theologian, and I'm content to recognize 
> the tension between the two without panicking that the wonders of the 
> universe have not been revealed to me.  God is still God, even 
> (especially) in my non-understanding, and His science is still His 
> truth -- even in my non-understanding, and even when it seems to shake 
> that which is never, in my soul. unshakeable.
> Keely
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