Hey – the conversation about the Big Bang, etc. in the comments of my last post was very interesting! Lots of opinions, lots of very bright people chiming in. My favorite thing about the conversation is that it was entirely civil. No one lambasting anyone else for having a different opinion, which seems to me to have become a somewhat rare thing in our culture today.
Several people made the excellent point that many statements made by scientists as “facts” are actually conjecture, based on underlying facts. Theories stacked upon theories that somehow overnight get stamped as “facts” and then plastered all over the mainstream media. As we believers look at the world of science, it is incredibly important for us to be able to separate the real facts of science from all the layers of interpretation stacked above. (For example, “Here’s a new fossil that looks kind of like this animal and kind of like this animal. Aha! A missing link!” Perhaps, or possibly just one animal that looks a lot like two other animals.)
What’s equally important for us to remember, as believers, is that throughout history we have often done the same thing with the Bible. For example, once upon a time when people were debating whether the earth was round or flat, one of the arguments for a flat earth was that “the Bible says the earth is flat!” Wait – what? Where does the Bible say that? And those folks would pull out Revelation 7:1, which says, and I quote, “I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth….” “See?” they’d say. “The earth has four corners! Therefore it CAN’T be round!”
Of course now we recognize that the Bible sometimes uses figures of speech and poetic language, and no one today maintains that the Bible says the earth is flat. We need to be clear about the difference between what the Bible SAYS, and what we believe it MEANS. The Bible is always correct in what it says. We – as humans – are sometimes incorrect in our interpretations of what it means. Same thing with science. Let’s agree on the facts, and agree that it’s okay sometimes to disagree on how we interpret those facts.
In completely unrelated news – I saw the film “Waking Sleeping Beauty” the other day – the new documentary about the rebirth of Disney animation between 1984 and 1994. Very interesting and only playing in a few cities – NYC, LA, San Francisco and Chicago, I believe. If you’re a Disney animation fan and you get a chance, check it out.