Science and Religion


Hi All
My son is nearly 17. He asked me the following question last night …

“In Biology, we are learning that all humans started as bacteria.
In Religion, we learn that humanity started with God creating Adam and Eve.
Who do I believe?”

I told him that he should put his faith and trust in God and believe in God and pray, etc. Don’t know if he was too impressed with my answer though. He asked me this question just before going to bed so we couldn’t have a good long discussion about it and I want to sit down and have a good mother/son chat about it. He is reaching the stage where a lot of his friends are questioning why they have to go to Mass, etc. etc.

How would any of you respond to that? Any comments would be very very much appreciated!!!


He can believe both (actually, I’m not so sure we start out as bacteria but I think I get his point). There is really no disagreement between science and religion. The Bible was not meant as a science textbook and science textbooks were not meant to take the place of the Bible. You can tell your son that the story of Creation is an allegory and that the point is God made us because He loves us. I know this isn’t very detailed but I’m a little short on time. Hopefully, someone else can help you out more. God Bless.


God wouldn’t have talked to neolithic shepherds about quantum physics. :wink:


Scientific theory is just that, and there are lots of things that your son is likely to be taught in school and further study, BUT most of the theories are in tune with what Catholisism depending on how they are taught - he problem I find with a lot of science is that it is taught as fact which is rather silly considering that most of the theories can never be definitively proven, a lot of science teachers seem to think that they should teach facts rather than theories for simplicity but so long as you tell your son that theories are not facts but that many of them can work in line with our beliefs you should be fine!


The God that gave us life is also the author of all science!..
At the very core of our belief in God the Creator… by definition, science cannot be at odds with God!

Science is the study of the basic building blocks and principals that God used in creation…
God created… and thoughtfully made his creation very logical to understand.

The theory of Evolution does not leave out the opportunity for God to give Adam and Eve the very first human souls.

No worries! :smiley:


Ummm you DO know there is a difference between a Scientific Theory and your run of the mill theory (little t) right?


I’d suggest getting some books that explain the weaknesses of Evolutionary theory. Here are some good ones:

Icons of Evolution
Darwin’s Black Box

There’s a website dedicated to this, a Texas advocacy group. Go to and you will find on the “Teacher’s Resources” page a number of books, articles, and videos.


Only if you want to confuse the issue. There is no problem between the science and the theology, only a problem between some scientists and some theologians.




I agree with Tim.
Please don’t turn this into a debate on religion vs science…

BY DEFINITION… If you truly believe that God created this world… you HAVE to believe that the building blocks and principals He used were also from Him…

God CREATED science… they cannot be at odds.


I don’t think you could read all the books of the Old Testament, without knowing anything of the New Testament, and realize that when this guy Jesus comes, it all points that this he is the Christ. Quite a few waiting for the Christ, wasn’t thinking the Christ would be like Jesus was. With some help of the Holy Spirit and looking back on the prophecies then it seems to connect together.

If you ask me, there is something to this Catholic Church, as well as to science. It’s still very much a mystery to me how they all connect up with Truth, I’ll try my best to understand both, but with humilty I can only say, maybe one day that mystery shall be reviled. They are both ambigous enough, that it still seems quite possible they can fit together.


Tell Him:

God created man both body and soul. For the body he used evolutionary methods (guided evolution, not random).

The soul did not evolve. It was created specially by God for each person.

The body could, but not randomly (good science has shown that this could not have be random)


Of course there is no problem between science and theology. God could have used an evolutionary mechanism for the creation of Man. God could have specially created man. We don’t know which happened, and it doesn’t matter. Neither is incompatible with the revealed truth of the Faith.

However, bad sciece is bad science-- and the Darwinism and the Theory of Evolution are bad science. It is important that students not accept uncritically the things in their biology books because a lot of it is bad science.


One should not present as fact something t which is not a fact. God may have used evolutionary mechanisms for the body. And there is nothing incompatible with the Faith in believing that he did.

However, the premise that man evolved from bacteria is not proven, not even close. It’s *bad science *to state as fact that all living things evolved from a common ancestor.


I did not turn it into “science versus religion”.

This is a matter of bad science and the need for people to reject the uncritical acceptance of the misinformation printed in high school biology textbooks.

The resources I posted can help do so.

It in no way negates the idea that God could have used evolutionary mechanisms-- Pope Pius XII’s encyclical is very good and the OP should also read it (Humane Generis).


Catholicism is not in conflict with Evolution. View Evolution as science and Christ as Redeemer and all is right with the Universe!


Um… helloooo… I never said it was.

And, call bad science what it is: bad science.

The books I recommend are not Creationist books.

They are books solely focused on the *weakenesses *and outright *fabrications *perpetrated in the name of Darwinian Evolution and put forth in high school science text books as “facts”.

What the OP’s son is being taught in biology class is not science, and it’s not accurate.


No, the theory of evolution is very good science. Only those who either don’t understand science (specifically what the scientific version of evolution is) or whose faith is threatened by science would claim otherwise.




They are not science books, either, and are full of inaccuracies.

What the OP’s son is being taught in biology class is not science, and it’s not accurate.

Common descent is science and it is accurate. ID disciples constantly claim that it is not, but they have yet to make an unrefutable argument against it.

Bottom line is that if the OP ignores the science, her son will very likely have even more doubts and questions about his faith.




John Martignoni has a nice talk called *Catholics and the Bible *that discusses Genesis.

It’s free and I think it would be very helpful for you.


great answer…Catholics are NEVER to divorce reason from faith…it leads to justifying flying airplanes into buildings in the name of God, in my opinion only of course…

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