Science and faith
To the Editor:
The triumphalistic atheism of Jerry Moore’s guest editorial (Nov. 29) is refreshing for its frankness, but he’s beating a very dead horse.
The current decline in religious faith has nothing to do with science somehow undercutting religion. Darwin has been in print for a century. Intelligent, educated men and women have long since taken on board the possibility that God may have used something like evolution to shape our world. (“May,” because harboring a bit of skepticism about it isn’t quite the equivalent of joining the Flat Earth Society: despite each year’s discovery of this or that bit of skull in the ground, that enigmatic missing link always somehow stays, well, missing.)
Science and faith do in fact address two distinct realms of human inquiry. The scientific method tell us lots, bit by bit, about how this world of ours came about, and works; pretty much nothing as to why, let alone Who.
By the same token, the Bible is not meant to be a biology or astronomy textbook; it has another purpose. At best, science and faith complement and enrich each other: for the believer, knowing that God has created a rational, ordered world accessible to the human mind, inspires investigation and study, while the wonders revealed by science impress us with the beauty and wisdom of His creation.
Most of the scientific advances of the last millennium, pre- and post-Darwin, were the work of believers.
The current decline in belief Moore notes is real enough, if perhaps only cyclic, but it has nothing to do with us suddenly rediscovering Darwin. It has everything to do with our fervent desire to shape our own moral codes, and embrace any and every pleasure, in a society that has mistaken individual autonomy for true freedom.
While our current plunge into atheistic hedonism may be unique in its scope, we have been this route before, from the decadence of Roman times to 18th Century Europe’s worship of Voltaire. It generally ends poorly.