Friday, March 25, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 1: The Origin of Man

I was thumbing through some old stuff that I've collected and I came across this. It was written by Walter Hill, a very smart man. He wrote "Genetic Engineering: A Primer". Hill, a retired biochemistry professor from the University of Montana blew my mind with this slice of information, so I hope you enjoy! (ps: sorry for typos, I'm copying from paper onto the computer)

Before we can really discuss this area, we need to make a few definitions. These are mine, and may be a bit loose, but they should work for us.
            What is Science?
                       Science is a search for an understanding of the things around us, and understanding of how they work and an effort to define the fundamental laws that make things as they are. It is NOT a search for truth.
              What is Religion?
                        Religion can be broadly defined as man defining his relationship to God, with God revealing the patterns and rules by which God would have man live.
               What is the Gospel?
                         The fullness of the Gospel centers around the fundamental principle that Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, through His infinite power and mercy, provided us a way to meet the demands of justice, through his vicarious sacrifice of Himself, a God, in our behalf.
               What is Truth?
                          Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.
                What is Revealed Truth?
                            That truth which is found in the revelations to the prophets.

               Science and religion are really two different paths, asking different questions, and having different expectations. Can the differences of view be reconciled?

I will briefly discuss a few examples:

1. The Origin of Man
              Science would have us understand that man has evolved from a state of disorganization to the present state in a series of progressive steps, any one of which may take an enormous period of time. However, evidence for spontaneous evolution of systems with increasing complexity, or transitions between the progressive states is lacking. But there is abundant evidence for adaptive changes and non-random mutation occurring in a vast array of species and animals. As with most scientific knowledge, this area is in constant change as more evidence appears and understanding increases. The entire theory of how things evolved is still evolving itself. It is based on the premise that man should explain the universe around him (what science does- see definition above) without calling on unseen or unknown (to science) powers. With the vast amount of paleontologival evidence showing great numbers of extinct animals, including hominids, scientists are trying to make a cohesive story of how all of this, and how we, came about. Nonetheless, it is still very much a theory, with many sub-theories or hypotheses yet to be sustained by appreciable evidence.
                Revealed truth teaches us that Man is the offspring of God, initially placed on this earth at an earlier time, with an eternal destiny to become like his Father. The revelations we have do not teach us how all of this came about, do not tell us of the organizational details of the creation, do not state the duration of time taken, and do not specify all of the players involved. While we are given a schematic outline, much is not said, allowing abundant speculation by many. It is often such speculation that runs amuck with scientific theories that are really just scientist speculating on how it all came to be. Conflict only arises when science begins to proclaim its theory as being fact, and religion begins to speculate on the unrevealed details of the creation.

Part 2 next time! (The Universe)
Let me know how I can spice up my blog. Help would be much appreciated!

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