Science and Spirituality: “It could happen!”
“It Could Happen!” – J.P
So I recently posted a video on Facebook.
This Video actually…Go ahead and watch it, I’ll wait.
The video was sent to me by a classmate who knew I was a fan of Dr. Tyson.
I liked the video primarily because it added a certain level of humanity and emotion to a subject (astrophysics) which is usually perceived as cold, logical, and Platonic (or Diotomic) at best if we want to get philosophical.
Upon posting the video, a friend of mine responded by saying that while the video was very compelling aesthetically, it was incorrect because it conflicted with the Biblical description of Creation. This friend was also amazed at the hostile response received on youtube from atheists/agnostics for posting the assertion that the video was a lie due to the conflict of interest with Biblical truth.
I being a follower of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus Christ), a believer in the historical accuracy of the Bible, and this being a friend whose wisdom and opinion I respect and have often taken to heart in the past, I felt compelled to answer and convey:
- The context in which Dr. Tyson is most likely coming from in the video.
- Why Tyson’s key points about the stars and creation don’t necessarily have to conflict with the Biblical model for Creation.
- An explanation for cogent hostility in discussions concerning “science” and “spirituality”
This was what I wrote:
“I re-watched the video and I can’t say I saw or heard any point in which Tyson called G-d a liar or alluded to the errancy of the Bible. He said that the astrophysical evidence which he has either discovered (in some instances) or been presented with (at other times) exhibits that the atoms that make up the building blocks of life as we know it can be found in the thermonuclear active core of stars. To Tyson, who I’m sure follows the 2nd law of thermodynamics which states that (paraphrasing) “order tends to disorder”, it would make sense that the only way in which atoms could be scattered into the universe in order to form larger more complex molecules to in turn create complex forms of life, would be from a molecularly rich star exploding its guts all over the place.
Due to the fact that this process
(the exploding star guts process)
has been shown to create complex molecules from gas clouds (made up of dust essentially), most scientists see this as a very plausible way in which life was created. But since they haven’t actually seen cats, dogs, and humans created in this way, they deduce that it just takes a very long time. So to Tyson, the scientific data that has been gathered either by him or other astrophysicists seems to point fairly logically in the direction of stars being the source for the building blocks of life.
So now on to the Bible.
The Bible says that the stars were made before men and women. Before birds and fish. Before vegetation. Before much of the complex life on Earth. It states that the stars were created on the fourth day as you said. This does not, however, mean that G-d did not necessarily use atoms from stars which I presume he can pull apart if he so chooses, in order to form molecular gas/dust clouds and from that dust, which he had used to build complex forms of life on Earth already, created Adam. Now I clearly cannot say dogmatically that this is what went down. But it doesn’t seem a completely absurd or Biblically inaccurate idea.
As far as time goes…
there is an issue. But if G-d is sovereign and omnipotent and the Creator of the “scientific” world, than it makes sense that he could speed certain elements of the Big Bang up (which he could have caused since it would seem that the “Bang” would cause a lot of energy/light (which He “let there be…”). As far as the age of the universe…all I can say is I don’t know enough about how scientists have gone about that to either defend it or criticize it. But from what I’ve heard or learned this far…
it doesn’t seem like they’re 100% sure on that anyway.
So I’m not saying that Neil deGrasse Tyson is completely correct in all of his beliefs about the universe. But this particular insight which is based on a large amount of empirical evidence doesn’t seem to be overly far fetched or at odds with Biblical truth. Maybe just a bit unfinished…
just like that whole world being flat thing.
As far as the angry non-Christian thing goes.
How would/do you react when non-Christians post comments on your blog stating that the Bible is untrue? I’m not saying that you become vulgar or unaccepting of them, but merely drawing a similarity between your faith in a G-d who you have a personal relationship with and discern information and truth from through the Bible, through other Christians, through Church tradition, and possibly every once in awhile through an explicit voice and the faith which many non-Christians have in science which is often largely based on logical equations that seem to makes sense, friends who may be scientists or studious in that area, teachings in school, and every once in awhile cold hard explicit empirical data.
Now I’m definitely NOT justifying the abuse of Christians and freedom of religion or belief by non-Christians who merely want to hurt or ridicule Believers. And I’m definitely NOT saying that a faith in science constructed by man is as meaningful or as accurate as a faith in a relationship and reality which G-d has setup. What I AM saying is that it’s possible that many non-Christians are hurt by the bluntness of being told their faith is a lie and completely useless in the same way that you are hurt and taken aback by the rejection of your faith and joy you have in Yeshua of Nazareth.
So anyway, I’m not saying that we have to compromise the truth with which we have been so privileged as to be given by the Creator of the universe. But if G-d is as sovereign and omnipotent as we believe, than he doesn’t need our defending. It seems that He would merely desire us to live his truth as best we can by loving him, loving our neighbor, and THEN trying to discern his true meaning in the rest of his Word through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I don’t see the harm in stopping to consider the possibility of the coalescence of certain scientific and scriptural thought in order to draw scientific minded people to logical truth which G-d has revealed, as long as the scientific thought has not clearly been provided in order to maliciously undermine and blaspheme the truth of Yeshua of Nazareth the Son of G-d.”
So what I was trying to say more or less
I probably erred on the side of saying more, come to think of it
was that if we believe (as allegedly most Americans do) that spirituality not only exists but actually occurs in this present world that we live in. Than Science and Spirituality shouldn’t necessarily have to be discussed philosophically as though they are mutually exclusive.
After all, both are largely faith based considering most of us haven’t personally conducted scientific studies on the Big Bang or learned Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic to read the oldest manuscripts of the Bible. Yet both science and scripture are believed by many to describe how the Universe operates.
Isn’t it possible that what we label “spiritual” could potentially just be on a molecular level which we can’t understand or perceive at this point. That doesn’t make it unreal or unquantifiable. It just means that WE can’t quantify it right NOW.
Though that is kinda the definition of “unscientific” isn’t it? Or are we just “spiritualizing” too much? Maybe “philosophizing” is more like it. Hmm, semantics? What were we talking about again?
Dr. Tyson? Time for your rebuttal.