Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!


nina0404's picture


Preface: This is not a critical analysis. This is not a creative writing. This paper is my thoughts and my own perspectives of what I have learned and come to realize during our seminar class. This paper is written for me. It is for you to read, but mainly it is my way of working through our discussions and recognizing my realizations. This may not be the paper I was supposed to write, but it was the only one I could write.


For the past two weeks I have had the most interesting discussions and readings. I have read creation myths, scientific theories, and discussed what the true meaning of a story is and if the scientific theory of the big bang is merely just a story such as Genesis in the Bible. These past two weeks in particular have taken the turn from talking about harmless stories to a debate, older than I am, of scientific theories versus religion or religious “stories”. In all my class discussions we compared and contrasted science to religion/creation myths, and what I have realized is that they are not opposites but go hand in hand with each other. I will begin with my experiences on this subject and go down to what you may see as more factual “proof”, than that of the opinions a young woman.

 During these past few weeks, my class discussions have forced me into questioning my beliefs. Does my religion, Roman Catholic, coincide with the accepted, factual, scientific theories of today? Are scientific theories just stories as well? Can I believe in both science and religion? I have to admit I have had these questions plague me ever since I was taught evolution and I have tried not to deal with them. I bounce back and forth between the war line, never fully committing to one side or the other, quietly wishing that one day someone will tell me the right answer. So as you can imagine that day when we began to debate about the difference between science and myth I once again was face to face with my ever-struggling faith.

                Faith. What is faith? This is the question I was asked when I mentioned the word in our class discussion. She asked me, the professor that is, what exactly does faith mean? Of course I mumbled my way through that answer and again I found myself broken and even more torn. I had come to the conclusion that I would have to choose between science and God. After all faith and God are not things I could put in a beaker and measure. I cannot see, hear, taste, or smell either of these things. I cannot test if these things are real. I cannot even provide one shred of “proof” that God is real. If I cannot do any of these things with my God or even past creation myths than by the scientific standards of today, which I do believe in, it cannot be real.

                I arrived at my next discussion disheartened by the prospect of comparing our creation myths, which we wrote as an exercise, and the creation myths which already exist, to an article of the scientific theory of how the universe was created. We talked about the theory and compared it to our stories. Something new came to light though. The scientific theory of the big bang and evolution are theories that span an enormous amount of time. This theory obviously wasn’t observed. In fact we can explain the big bang and evolution, but we cannot explain why it has happened. Science cannot explain why the big bang occurred. There are holes in the theory, and when I thought about it science has holes everywhere. Could it be that perhaps God is the answer? Perhaps Genesis is not correct, but God is still real. Something had to create the big bang. Something has to explain why the universe expands, and something has to control the universe. In my discussion I brought up the fact that God is the uncertainty that science cannot explain. I believe that God exists. I cannot measure, see, taste, hear, smell, or prove it, but I can feel it. I cannot test the big bang. I can observe, and test things such as protons, neutrons, particles, light waves, etc, but I cannot test the big bang. Can I truly say that it’s a fact?

                Many people believe that science and religion cannot coincide. They are to separate entities at opposite ends of the spectrum. But despite that fact that you have those who cannot accept science and those like Michael S. Turner, author of the article in Scientific America, Origin of the Universe, who are “bullish” on the fact that science in the future will be able to prove even more uncertainties of the unknown, there is still a way to combine these two seemingly different ideologies into one.  In fact some scientists fully believe that they can coexist. Brian Green, a world renown physicist, explains how "Science is very good at answering the 'how' questions. How did the universe evolve to the form that we see?" he said. "But it is woefully inadequate in addressing the 'why' questions. Why is there a universe at all?” If there is always the question of why then religion, God can be the answer. Green goes on to say in his National Geographic interview that "There's no way that scientists can ever rule out religion, or even have anything significant to say about the abstract idea of a divine creator.” So if science cannot disprove God, isn’t it reasonable to say that it can be true. After all, in science you can’t say a theory isn’t true if you can’t disprove it. On the other side there are even religious figures who believe that evolution and God can coexist. For example, Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of some 1.1 billion people worldwide, publicly stated that evolution can coexist with faith. He went on to say that “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such……Above all it [evolution] does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?’”

                If the Pope and a world renowned physicist can agree on the fact that evolution, science, and religion can coexist than why do we still debate that it has to be one or the other, why am I still trying to pick a side? I believe in both God and evolution. They may just be stories to some, but to me they are real. I was asked in class how I could believe in something which reason tells me doesn’t exist. I believe that Blaise Pascal summed it up well when he said “The heart has it’s reasons of which reason knows nothing” as well as when he said “The heart feels God, not the reason. This is what constitutes faith: God experienced by the heart, not the reason.” I believe in science and have faith in God. As contradictory as that seems it is what I now believe and hold faith in. These class discussions have taken me from confusion, to despair, and now finally to realization and hope.