Friday, October 10, 2008

Can God and Evolution Co-Exist?

Reflections of a Jesuit Scientist

George Coyne, SJ, associate pastor at St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Raleigh, N.C. He was formerly director of the Vatican Observatory.

Evolution as a scientific explanation of origins is often viewed as atheistic.
It is not.
Science, by its very methodology, is completely neutral with respect to religious considerations. But if one does believe in God, creator of the universe, can scientific knowledge be helpful in supporting and nurturing that belief?

I would like to discuss how a believing scientist like myself views, based on scientific knowledge, the nature of God and the nature of the human being. Such knowledge is basic to any discussion of faith, and I hope such knowledge complements that derived from philosophy and theology. Several criteria exist to determine the veracity of scientific theories, such as predictability, repeatability of experiments, simplicity or economy of explanation. There is, however, a growing awareness among scientists of another criterion: “unifying explanatory power” – not only are the observations at hand explained, but the attempt to understand is also in harmony with all else that we know, even with that which we know outside of the natural sciences.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie said...

Evolution says man come from ape.

God in Genesis 1:27 says that 'So God created man in his own image, the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.'

Both cannot link in any ways. It's like saying God looks like ape. Since He the Greater One created man in His OWN Image.

My pastor said that before that the one, who come up the theory of evolution, claimed that he did it wrong before his death. But this theory has been passing on for ages like those who believes in idols.

I choose to believe in the Truth in the bible, the words breath by Holy Spirit, the word of Christ, rather than what man said.

Shalom!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Stephanie,

The scientists who studied evolution never claimed that man descended from the apes. Though closely related, both come through different evolutionary branches.

Charles Darwin, the person who came up with the theory of evolution did not claim that it was wrong before he died. This is a historical fact and may be verified.

I don't think Genesis 1:27 is meant to be read literally. If it is read literally, then there will be no image because God is spirit!

I posted about the image of God here

12:59 AM  
Blogger Steven Sim said...

It's either Alex Tang was wrong or your pastor was wrong, in the issue of Darwin turning back on evolution (natural selection). They both can't be right. And the wrong guy better repent because both spoke in public forum and in the context of god's dealing with his Creation.

I choose to believe the Truth, in the bible and elsewhere (well you can't get "2+2=4" or "Lee Hsien Loong is the PM of Sg" in the bible) rather than what syiok sendiri pastors or doctors said. God help me...and us.

Steven Sim

9:22 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Alex,

This is my meditation on the verse Genesis 1:27 and what Lord reveals to me:

'I created man as the same image as I have. You have different appearance because Father God is creative. No, the theory of evolution is not the Truth.'

Since my knowledge on evolution is donkey years ago from school, I shall not argue on that. Now I only know that the bible is the Truth.

I trust in what Lord revealed to me.

I have just read your image of God post.

Just like to add it here. There is a spirit, a soul and a body for each of us. Lord is in the spirit realm of us when we know not much of him. As we learn more and more till we believe Him as He had done for us at the Cross, Lord will move from the spirit realm to combine with us the soul realm. Once this 2 realm is combined, the body have to come align with the other 2.

Soul is our will power, our emotion and our thoughts.

From personal experience, when I learn about Lord Jesus to a certain level, Lord came to combine with me one day. He told me to get go of all my body and mind, then He started moving into me. Now He and me is 3 in 1, this is His disclosure to me.

Sometime, He let me speak for Him but when needed assurance, He came out to talk as 1st person thru me. Amazing, isn't He?! :D Praise the Lord!

For each stage of my spiritual encounter, I did post in my blog.

As for your comment on no image as God is spirit, you can check on my mediation on the book of John 1:1-5. Lord revealed how He made us and the world.

Briefly say here. Father God is the one who spoke, Lord Jesus is the spoken word that forms into what Father God spoke. Holy Spirit is the one that form Lord Jesus into the physical thing that we can see and touch.

These whole world, living or non-living things, are formed bec of Lord Jesus. He keeps all things together.

Shalom!

12:48 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

This is the link to my meditation on the book of John that Lord asked me to post:

http://stephanienjesus.blogspot.com/2008/08/christ-word_30.html

12:53 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

wow, Stephanie,

You continue to amaze me with your understanding of the Bible.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Alex,

It is all by the Grace of Lord, nothing of us. As I sit on His Foot and learn more about Jesus, Lord disclose more of Him to me.

It's His saying in the bible. Those who have will be given even more. Those who don't have much will have more taken for them. I just realised the meaning of this verse just now. On the way home from church, listening to sermon and Lord explains to me.

Shalom!

3:30 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Just sharing my life with you.

Lord put me on a super fast bullet train and gives me lot of Grace to pick up all about Him in these 2 years. He even gave me a 2nd, more feminine bible when I didn't like to read the black leather one that He first bless me.

I am one who do not like to read book, yet He gives me lots of Grace to read the bible and then lots of Grace and strength to meditate His Words.

All bec He needs me to go out there ASAP to save the lost world. Those people that was in bondage by their sickness. He gives me a heart to feel for them and wanting to heal them.

All is about His Grace and nothing about me.

It's what the bible say, when you empty of yourself, Lord fills you up and give you more than what you expected of yourself.

When I first accepted Christ, I thought there is nothing more for Daddy God to bless me, as I have a pretty good and comfortable life.

Now that He is giving the power and the status and the money, which is coming soon...in terms of millions....just bec I believe in all that is said of Him and look to Him and learn more about Him all this while. Praise the Lord for His Goodness and Majesty! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for all that You have done for me on the Cross, for me to receive all your goodness!

Amen!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Stephanie,

How long have you been with New Creation Church, Singapore?

3:46 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hi Alex,

I was a free thinker with a Buddhism background from my primary school.

I faced adversary attacks for about 3 yrs that prevented me from falling into deep sleep.

Gone thru chinese temples, ji gong, lama, kuan yin and even feng sui.

When all can't help, I was in despair and wondered in this world, what other God can help me.

Then this thought about Jesus flood into my mind.

My girl's kindergarten principal had tell me about Jesus. She even invited me to her Methodist church. But that time, my hubby told me that "want to talk to God no need go church" so I rejected her.

It was when I told Daddy God that I didn't like to read books, and I like to surf web, I asked Him for a website.

He got a client that I serviced before to tell me New Creation Church website.

I went there and listened to the sermon that all our prayer is "Yes" and "Amen".

I watched it then stopped for 2 days, when I went back for new sermons to watch, the watch sermon wasn't updated, so I complaint to my friend. My friend to me she read the daily devotion, which updates daily.

As I lazy to read, I went to listen instead. There was a row call in the 2nd sermon that I listened. Pastor Prince was saying those who wanted to get bless, to put up their hand.

I put up mind at home, but he did not bless internet user. So I complaint to my friend. She then invited me to NCC.

At first I did not want to go, but on that Friday, she told me that she will chop a seat for me. This sounds good to me and I decided to go, that was 20/08/2006.

Each time I went to service, I prayed to Lord to manifest His wisdom, revelation and understanding in me so that I could understand what He was telling me. Praise the Lord for His Grace. Bec at that point of my life, my mental health wasn't that good, for small little thing I was shouting at hubby and he complained that I did not understand what he was telling me.

Praise the Lord, He gave me Grace to understand Him and each time when my understanding is wrong, He will get the pastor to talk about it and knocked my head. From this I would understand that He wanted me to get it right.

After learning from Pastor Prince, He led me to Jerry Servelle sermons, Kenneth Coperland sermons, and what ever new knowledge about Him that He wants me to know, He send pastors to KCM to teach me and give me the impression to check out that website. So I received knowledge from Billye Brim, He also led me to read up Curry Blake, a healer, his teaching and also his talk about his teacher, John G Lake. Lord also lead me to read Smith Wigglesworth book and His visions.

He also send pple to guide me along the way. Haha..He also send angles to my caregroup to get me interested in the book of Psalms. But this book He took a long time and highlighted me a couple of times before finally His Grace give me the strength to start my meditation as He revealed even more about Him to me.

This is His personal guiding me on these 2 years journey.

You know, many thought they have to do something to get their blessing. That time I was a new Christian and don't know much on how to get my blessing, so I asked Daddy God about it. He led me to open the bible and highlighted John 5:29 "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent"

As I have no old covenant mindset to pull me down, I just believe in Him and walked my life as He said in the bible.

Actually the whole bible, New Testament and Old Testament, they all talked about Jesus. Lord revealed the beauty of Lord Jesus to Pastor Prince that now, this message goes around the world.

At one time, I did wondered aloud, if Lord could bless Pastor Prince with good sermons, He could bless me with it too. Then Lord thru my friend told me that Pastor Prince spent many hours every day to learn from Him, if I am to be like him, I won't be able to handle the duty He arranged for me. Daddy God also came to chat with me thru another friend, who is a 20+years christian, msn with me.

He told me that He anoint Pastor Prince with teaching, whereas for me, it's healing. That time I was trying to copy Pastor Prince and He told me not to copy.haha...

You see, Lord knows what each of us is doing. :) Lately, as my sis wondered why other Christian cannot trust Lord as she is, Lord led her to hear what others talk about their unbelieve in what the bible said that all blessing is "Yes" and "Amen". Lord gave my sis an inner sad feeling. That was how sad Lord is.

He has done a Perfect job at the Cross, yet many Christian still say that they need to keep the 10 commandment, as if Lord did not do a job good enough for them that they have a part to play for this Holy life. It makes Lord very sad. Sometime He let me feel it too.

FYI, He has told me not to preach condemnation in future. I am to preach about His Righteousness, the Righteousness of God that Lord Jesus had secured for us at the Cross in Calvary 2000 years ago.

Haha...your 1 question lead to Holy Spirit in me leading me to write this long story. Hope you don't mind.

Shalom!

9:08 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing about yourself and your spiritual experiences. Now I understand you better. God is good.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Sze Zeng said...

I agree with Coyne. Evolution and God can co-exist.

Do you think the "unifying explanatory power" can be short-handed as "worldview"?

10:28 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi Sze Seng,

No, I do not think that 'unifying explanatory power' is a short hand for worldview and I do not think Coyle meant it as such. Coyle and others are trying to solve an epistemological problem in a Theoistic worldview i.e. to reconciliate the apparent conflict between science and theology.

My own attempt here

11:31 AM  
Blogger Sze Zeng said...

Oh I see. I get what you meant. Thank you :)

6:22 PM  

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