Justifying One's Faith in the Face of Science


#1

Hello,

The other day in science class, we got a bit off topic and ended up discussing the theory of evolution. Our science teacher told us that he believes that we evolved from scorpions over a period of billions of years.

He then said that it is quite arrogant of our government and of us to claim that there is no life on other planets. He proceeded to say that being that the Earth is found in one of 150+ galaxies, there has to be another planet just like us trying to explore their own galaxy.

He then compared Earth to an ant farm sitting atop someone’s * desk.

Jesus came to save all people. Does this mean that there is another Jerusalem-like place on these ‘other planets’? Does this mean that there are also aliens in Heaven?

But wait! I’m not finished! :nerd:

I attend a Catholic school! Why would a Roman Catholic science teacher tell these things to a group of impressionable, likewise Catholic, seventh graders?? :crying:

  • The Bible doesn’t say that God created scorpion, and scorpion evolved into man! The Bible says that God created man, and from man, woman.

  • The Bible doesn’t say that God created the Heavens, the Earth, and a bunch of other Earth’s with people on them! The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth, and man to live on Earth and have dominion of the plants and the animals.
    My question for you is:

In cases like this

where the ‘theories’ of science rise to the surface, how is a Catholic to justify his or her faith? Could you place provide me with some things to add to the class discussion when topics like this arise again?

And yes, I know that there must be a separation of science and religion/faith. But we’re talking about a Catholic school here!

Thank you for you Help.
Peace, Josh.*


#2

Ask your teacher where the scorpions came from?

You also may want to ask him to provide some scientific evidence to back up his theory.


#3

[quote=honorstudent]Our science teacher told us that he believes that we evolved from scorpions over a period of billions of years.
[/quote]

Either your science teacher was pulling legs, or else he is unqualified to teach science.

Earth is only about 4.7 billion years old. Earth’s crust became stable about 3.9 billion years ago. Life appeared on earth about 3.6 billion years ago, but this life was single-celled or comprised of only a few cells at most. The first invertebrates appear about 700 million years ago during the Precambrian Era. Scorpion appeared during the Devonian period about 400 million years ago. There hasn’t even beenone billion of years for homo sapiens to have evolved from scorpions, let alone billions of years.

Heck, there’s barely been billions of years for any kind of life to evolve.

– Mark L. Chance.


#4

True science cannot conflict with faith—faith and reason go together, and are not opposed. Never ever ever ever forget that! Science pursues one kind of "truth’, theology pursues another. However, since the source of all Truth is God, there cannot be conflict—how can God contradict Himself? So don’t fall for the false opposition. Our understanding of truth, whether scientific or theological, is obviously incomplete: we aren’t God, and since God is all truth, it’s impossible for us humans to fully grasp all truth. When there are apparent conflicts, the answer lies in our inability to put the different pieces together, and not (as atheist scientists would like for you to think), that God cannot exist.

Also, be aware that the Church leaves open certain interpretations regarding evolution, etc. For example, the Church does not insist that the seven days of creation given in Genesis need to be understood literally as seven 24-hour periods (man’s “day”). If you want to think that, that’s OK, but so is an interpretation that sees those seven days as figurative (what is a “day” to God?). You may want to read the Pope’s encyclical, “Fides et Ratio” (“Faith and Reason”). The Church is very science-friendly.


#5

the pope has said that science and religion can never be in true contradiction in as much as science deals with truth in the sphere of nature and religion in the sphere of supernature

the church is not averse to theories of evolution but she does say that athiestic viewpoints of evolution are to be rejected
god could have chosen to use evolution to create life, couldn’t he?
also, remember that there is no absolute proof of evolution, only indirect evidence. there is also a large group of people (esp the fundamentalist protestants) who spend a lot of time trying to scientifically discredit theories of evolution. this is important to them because they read the first few chapters of genesis literally and won’t have it any other way. i haven’t read any of their works coz it’s never been an issue with me but you might want to check these out

as to the possibilty of extra-terrestrial life,

Jesus came to save all people. Does this mean that there is another Jerusalem-like place on these ‘other planets’? Does this mean that there are also aliens in Heaven?

remember that extra-terrestrial life does not necessarily mean “human” life. the bible says that in all of creation (granted, only creation on earth is mentioned), man alone was created in the image and likeness of god and has an immortal soul.
even if we consider the mathematical possibility that life exists on other planets, there is no reason to assume that they are “human” or even humanoid. that’s just conjecture.


#6

Has to be?? And this person accused governments and “us” of arrogance? This person needs help!

I’m a scientist myself, and am all too familiar with a particular arrogance that can infest a scientist. Science is a tool with specified areas of application, and definite limits, although it is a powerful tool. To treat it as a tool that can be used to examine any question in any area is real arrogance.

When I was in grade school (yes, I still remember back that far :slight_smile: ), the taught wisdom was that Venus was our “sister planet.” It was closer to the sun, therefore warmer, and covered with clouds, therefore wetter, and NO DOUBT covered with rain forests, probably inhabited by dinosaur-like creatures. When the first probe tried to land on the Venusian surface, it ceased to function on descent due to the effects of the sulphuric acid rain it had to pass through.

Carl Sagan, arrogant but competent scientist, summed up the “sister planet” teaching this way: Observation - I can’t see a thing. Conclusion - dinosaurs! Into that category I place the “there MUST be …” statements. Show me the observational data, baby, not just the conjecture. :thumbsup:

Blessings,

Gerry


#7

Actually according to scientists it is virtually impossible for life to be on any other planet, and it is impossible for the this unviverse to have been formed this way without God.

See the **Anthropic Principle **
At this web site

straight-talk.net/evolution/anthropic.htm


#8

*He then said that it is quite arrogant of our government and of us to claim that there is no life on other planets. He proceeded to say that being that the Earth is found in one of 150+ galaxies, there has to be another planet just like us trying to explore their own galaxy. *

All very interesting. Did your Catholic science teacher also tell you that many scientists arrogantly assume there is no God just because they cannot find Him on any of the billions of stars in the universe?


#9

faith.org.uk/Publications/CurrentMag/edSeOc04.htm

The theory of evolution is not an article of faith, of course. We may accept it or not, while still remaining good Catholics, a fact which creationists too often seem to forget. You do not need to be a ‘creationist’ in order to defend the truth that the world is created. In fact this position should more properly be called ‘special-creationism’, for what it really teaches is that every life form is made by a discrete act of special creation. This actually undermines the original Judeo-Christian insight that formed the seedbed of modern science in the first place. That insight was that creation has an integrity, consistency and potency of its own under God. Far from this detracting from God’s glory, it manifests more powerfully than ever the power and majesty of his creative Mind.

Evolution, rightly understood, confirms this truth and deploys it in a depth and detail that St. Basil and St. Augustine could barely have imagined, and which they would have greeted with delight. Of course we must answer the likes of Dawkins and the Darwinists. And we can do so now without retreating into a pre-scientific huddle. Those who reject the basic truth of evolution, apart from anything else, are missing a beautiful opportunity to present God again to the world through the majesty of his Logos: transcendent, perfect intellect which decrees all creation in one Law of Wisdom and providential Love that leads ultimately to communion with himself incarnate in Christ Jesus.


#10

I have had these same problems throughout school.
My line of thought is the classic question
“If we evolved from apes than why are there still apes?”

First of all I much of what is taught in chemistry and physics is not even science anymore. It is programmed questions and answers. Though there are many good cheap and easy experiments that can shed light on many topics/theories, from my experience few were ever taken advantage of. Here is the root of the problem in short. Too many of them have their head in the clouds (or are in over their head) trying to “teach” what happened 198,654,653,053,456,732,482,734,245 years ago,( or use similarly astronomical numbers to teach certain topics.) The truth is nobody knows what happened that many years ago and nobody can comprehend that size of numbers, yet they talk as if it is true and has been proven. It is a waste of time and energy. They need to keep their topics on a level that can be easily verified through simple experiments, and when applicable, make sure to stress the word THEORY and not FACT.

Here is my favorite explanation on how big one billion really is… -Take a billion seconds 1,000,000,000sec (one billion), divide it by 60sec.

-The billion seconds is now represented by 16,666,666min divide this by 60min.

-The minutes are converted into hours…277,777hours, divide by 24hours.

-The hours are now converted to days…11,574days, now divide by 365days.

-finally the days are converted to years…about 31years.

 Can you imagine that one billion seconds is equal to 31 YEARS!!! Now repeat the above formula using one million, that only amounts to 11 DAYS! Now when people refer to billions of this or that you can be assured unless they are Einstein they have no idea what they are really saying!

There is too much reaching and not enough teaching.
(sorry if this last sentence is too corny, I just made it up on the spot)


#11

Being an engineer, I always tend to look at things skeptically. I personally do not have any problems with my faith coexisting with science, scientific experiments, observations, etc. Actually, science helps me to deepen my faith by showing me how great our God is and how intricate and sophisticated His designs are. For example, I am mesmerized by our human body, by the way the brain and other organs work.

On the other hand, assuming that there is no God and assuming that it is because evolution we are who we are, we really got lucky in this sheer game of chance. But anyone who studied probability would know that chances of that are nil. (much, much less than winning a lottery).

God Bless,


#12

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