Science Explains Everything (True or Not True?) The Truth of Science- Part 3

If you have stayed with me In Part I and Part 2 of Science Explains Everything (True or Not True?) we started with this: 

Do you believe unequivocally that science can explain everything given enough time? If you have seriously considered all that you have heard on documentaries and learned in school, all that you have observed, thought about, considered how you think, learned in church if you go, and you find yourself completely satisfied, that science is all there is, stop reading right now. 

I asked you to think about questions that science could answer (mainly how questions) and the questions that science cannot answer (mainly why questions). And once we did that, I asked you to consider the second big question

“Do I matter?”

We can safely assume that everyone, no matter their state of belief in a Creator, is bound to have asked themselves that question. So, now, if you have tracked with me, and we are in agreement that science cannot answer everything, most pointedly that vexing one of “Do I matter?The third big question is this: 

Is there somewhere we can access information for the why questions? How do find out why we matter? Where might that information be kept? Is it possible to have the answers? 

Consistent with our logic and argument here, are going to have to go outside of science. 

Where in the world is that?!, you might ask. 

That is an amazing, wonderful, and powerful question! 

Because science is so good, so powerful in its own right, so involved in every aspect of our lives, how can we think of something ‘outside’ of science? Our world, the physical world is real and measurable, and we live in the world, how do we get our minds to think beyond that?   

You know what I am going to say, right? 

We are going to need to cross over into the supernatural. 

Not like Harry Potter or Stranger Things or Ouija Boards. The word ‘supernatural’ literally means above nature. (In this case we are using nature to equal science. And that is a fair substitution here)

There is something wholly different about humans. I believe I have established that. We seem to be able to grasp nature and yet we also seem to have a small understanding or least act in accordance with emotions and sensibilities that are not part of science. It appears that our toes dabble in the waters of the supernatural. (I am now going to stop using the word supernatural, because I do not want you thinking about ghosts and mediums, and I am going to substitute the word ‘spiritual’. This is also a fair word to use in this case. It’s a word that even agnostics and atheists will ascribe to)

We are people who are spiritual. We have souls. There is more to us than just growing, reproducing, and then dying. According to Christian scripture, we are made in the image of our Creator.

‘Woah?!,’ you say. ‘Hold on, what exactly does that mean?!’

It means the following things:

  • We have some things about us as humans that make us able to consider that something created us. My dog loves me, but I am certain he does not wonder if I created him. I know for certain my cat doesn’t
  • We have the ability to acknowledge that the something that created us is beyond anything that science can describe. Even though we have no words or idea what that might be.
  • We yearn to know why that being created us. We want to matter.
  • The being that created us did so very specifically and individually. No two of us are alike.
  • It is our image bearing quality that makes us want to know why we were made. And it means we have some things in common with Him that no other creature has.
  • We do not understand that creator fully, in fact we only understand Him very dimly.

Now what?

This is where the truth about who we and our place on this planet gets really interesting.

Let’s do a little pretending. This pretend is going to require a little bit of imagination and a whole lot of logic.

Pretend you are THE Creator, and you make man and woman. And everything else. But man and woman, you make them different, a mirror of you. The fact that you can make man and woman and everything else already says something about you as the creator. You aren’t like the things you created. You are something entirely different. The world you created has rules and laws that govern it, you made them. They don’t govern you; they don’t even describe you. So, it is completely reasonable that none of the tools used to measure that world you created can be used to find you or prove you. But the thing is, you LOVE that creation. Because as it turns out, one of the things that you ARE is love and these beings you made, they love too. The ones you made in your image, you loved them so much you gave them minds and souls that gave them freedom and choice. They are the ones you want to relate to. So how do you tell them about you? They are never going to understand you fully because you are so much… well there are not even any human words to describe how much more you are. You gave them the laws and rules of nature (science) to know you a little bit, but they need to at least have some idea of what you are outside of those rules and laws. 

Pretending is over.

What I asked you to consider was actually what God did for us, what only He could do. Physics and chemistry had no shot at explaining God’s supernatural side. So, God had to provide humanity a different kind of revelation of Him. He did this by giving us souls that long for Him, even when we don’t realize its Him we long for. And over centuries, He used those souls and minds to reveal himself the best way we could understand. Through that unique ability we have to read and write, he gave us scripture! It really is the most amazing revelation, as the creator of the universe explains himself in terms we could understand. It explains us!!!! It explains God’s never changing morality, a morality that makes us aspire to fairness. It explains our desire for purpose and the reason He made each of us. He explains why we love, why we do wrong, why we choose badly. He gave us a way to know His justice and His Grace. He gave us His Son, knowing from the beginning that was what it would take to save us. To prove to us how much he loved us and wanted us.

The only place you will find answers to why there is love, hate, jealousy, enmity, and strife in this life, is in the explanation found in God’s words to us.

We are now ready for the fourth big question.

How do you go about living your life, using the knowledge of science, AND submitting/believing in God and letting Him love you? How do you combine those two kinds of knowledge?

Stay tuned for the final part, Part 4… and by way of personal testimony, will include a view into Janet’s reconciliation of her faith with her belief in life on this planet and the evolutionary principles at work in it.

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Janet Siefert

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Janet Siefert is faculty in the Department of Statistics at Rice University. She works extensively with NASA’s Astrobiology program. A biologist by training she uses computers to analyze genetic sequences. She studies evolution and is enamored with the beauty of our planet. Recently she joined the Lanier Theological Library as the chief communicator of all things science and not. She is a mother of three sons, a devoted wife, and shares her home with a spry and clever her almost 90 year old mom. Mostly, she is a woman who knows the full measure of grace and boundless love of her Creator. She blogs at janetsiefert.com.