The remarkable insights that science affords us into the intelligible workings of the world cry out for an explanation more profound than that which it itself can provide. Religion, if it is to take seriously its claim that the world is the creation of God, must be humble enough to learn from science what that world is actually like. The dialogue between them can only be mutually enriching. The scientist will find in theology a unifying principle more fundamental than the grandest unified field theory. The theologian will encounter in science’s account of the pattern and structure of the physical world a reality which calls forth admiration and wonder. Together they can say with the Psalmist: “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom thou hast made them all.
From Science and Creation, page 117
It may appear that evolutionary creationists are constantly defensive, defending our faith on the one hand, and our science on the other. But that is only because we live in a world that assumes there is an inherent conflict between faith and science. The most salient conflict may be whether or not conflict is necessary. When détente is reached and dialogue occurs, that dialogue between faith and science “can only be mutually enriching”.
The converse is also true: avoidance of dialogue can hamper both faith and science. As Einstein put it: “Religion without science is blind. Science without religion is lame”. I disagree with the limitations Einstein imposes, particularly the claim that Religion is “blind” without science, but I do agree with the claim that faith and science can benefit each other. My own take on the relationship (both positive and negative) is as follows:
- Through faith we can experience an intimate relationship with the Creator, but science allows us to appreciate more fully the majesty of the Creator and the grandeur of creation.
- Through science we can acquire an intimate knowledge of the character of creation, but without knowledge of the Creator it is an incomplete knowledge, a knowledge that is limited and ultimately unsatisfying.