Do science and religion contradict one another?
- Laminin is part of the extracellular matrix in humans and animals, and supports cohesion of cells within the body (BioLamina, n.d.).
- The biblical book of Genesis is written as historical narrative (Cosner, 2015).
- Scientists like Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton used the Bible as the basis for their scientific discoveries (Federer, May 20).
- Creationism asserts that the Christian God created the universe in the first seven days of existence, including earth and all of its inhabitants.
- The scientific community is in near universal agreement that evolution has taken place.
Harmony between science and religion is apparent; the Bible is the framework for science. In Genesis, the creation story displays the methodical ordering of space, light, water, life, and more. As Genesis is written as historical narrative, it should be a guide for scientific exploration (1). Therefore, much of what Genesis details holds to be true. Based on the fact of the complex nature of every star and striking uniqueness of humanity, how can one disregard the integral truths of the Bible?
The founding fathers of science formed many of our key concepts based on biblical knowledge. Johannes Kepler based the laws of planetary motion on the systematic movements of the planets, not by a chaotically formed universe (2). He believed the work of intelligent design was far too logical to be otherwise. Isaac Newton drew on his extensive biblical studies to form the fundamentals of optics, law of gravity, and laws of motion (3). Genesis, Jeremiah, and Job are just some of the books explaining the intricacies of the universe: astronomy, physics, and geology (4). The foundations remain the same; science is founded upon the framework of the Bible.
Break down the basic building blocks of life to one of the necessary proteins: laminin. Laminin is responsible for keeping all of the body’s structures intact (5). In essence, it is the “glue” that holds us together. By no means of coincidence, laminin’s molecular and physical design is that of a cross (6). Colossians 1:17 states, “He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” The intricateness of biology is something extraordinary, and laminin is only one of many minute pieces that make up the human body. Life is complex and astounding, leading into the belief that science and religion can truly coexist.
Literal interpretation of the Christian religion inevitably finds itself contradicting the accepted science. One of the most prominent examples is in Creationism and how that compares to the scientific consensus on the origins of the natural world, particularly that which is shown by the fossil discoveries made by paleontologists, called the fossil record.
The scientific consensus overwhelmingly agrees that the species currently inhabiting the earth have come about through the slow process of evolving from other species. In the fossil record, there are thousands of species found that do not currently exist, and almost every species we have today cannot be found as fossilized specimens anywhere in the fossil record. The Creationist assertion that all species were created during the first week of the universe’s existence contradicts the fossil record evidence of what has and has not existed during the history of the Earth. For example, humans (scientifically named Homo sapiens) cannot be found further back in history than around 300,000 years ago (7) out of the near 3.5 billion years recorded by the fossil record (8).
Further, transitional fossils have been found, which strengthen the case that species have evolved rather than been the result of divine intervention. A transitional fossil is one that depicts an animal which has both features from previous extinct species and that of the current species we know (9). These fossils fill in the “missing link” between the present species and past.
Using the competing stories of our world’s origins, it is clear that at the place where Christian religion and science meet, there are clear contradictions.