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Last week, we discovered that a belief in earth origins (a historical science) requires faith in a theory (see Science versus Faith, part 1). We can’t prove the origin of the earth like we can prove the effectiveness of the polio vaccine.
Many geologists and paleontologists don’t like to hear their science labeled as a belief system—sounds too fluffy, too unscientific—but it’s true nevertheless. For instance, we can prove the earth is round, not flat, but we can only prove that for the recent past. Perhaps the earth started out flat and then became round later (please don’t leave a comment saying I’m crazy—I’m not suggesting this is true, just making a point). Anything we say about the past involves assumptions, even if it’s the assumption that the past is like the present.
The same principle holds true for recorded history. I recently watched a program that claimed King Tut was murdered by his sister so she could take over the Egyptian Kingdom. A little while later, I found an article that said he probably had temporal lobe epilepsy and died at a young age because of it. Can any of this be proven? No, because we have no eyewitnesses and the evidence (in this case King Tut’s mummy) can be interpreted in several ways.
Similarly, the origin of the earth cannot be proven. You must choose which theory to believe. So what theory do you have the most faith in?
faith noun \ˈfāth\ : strong belief or trust in someone or something
From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, faith requires a strong belief in something. Most geologists and paleontologists have a strong belief in evolution and an old earth. Most would say their belief is based on scientific evidence. And yet, we’ve already established the true definition of science doesn’t apply here (see post from last week).
At this point, some people may bow out of the conversation, saying there’s no way to prove how the earth was created (which of course is true on this side of heaven), but what fun is it to ignore the questions? God made us with brains that question and hearts that long to discover His world.
Certainly, there’s evidence to examine (and we will look at some in later posts) and what the evidence says is the subject of much debate. I’ve discovered, in my years as a creationist, that the same evidence is interpreted in different ways, based on your starting place. If you believe God created the earth, there is plenty of evidence to support it. If you believe in evolution, you will find evidence to support that, as well. So where does that leave us?
In a tug of war between two competing theories. And both require a leap of faith. Do you believe in the man-made theory of evolution or what God says He accomplished in the Bible? Where will you put your faith? My choice will always be with God.
How do you feel about the scientific ‘leap of faith’ required to study earth origins? What origin do you put your faith in and why? All thoughtful and respectful comments will be displayed.