Recently, Dr. Isis had a post up about how she feels her religion (Catholicism) and science mix. As I do, when reading one of Dr. Isis's posts, I looked through the comments. I was dismayed by how many commenters seemed upset (outraged in some cases) that Dr. Isis had the audacity to have faith in God and believe in the Scientific Method, simultaneously. Much of the concern is centered on (and I'm paraphrasing a bunch of people here): That the Bible has some pretty strange things in it (Noah's Ark, Parting of the Sea, etc.). So, how can you reconcile that with Science?
I've written before on how I found that my religion and my science are mutually inclusive. So, this conversation on her blog hit close to home and I had some thoughts on it. Rather than taking up lots of space in Dr. Isis's comments, I figured I'd talk about my thoughts on my own blog.
The [Christian Denomination] I grew up in did not advocate that the Bible is entirely true as written. What [Christian Denomination] told me was that the Bible was written by men and men are fallible, just like [Christian Denomination]. God is the only one who is infallible. Therefore, maybe things didn't happen like they did in the bible. And it is our duty to question the faults of men. So, there could be a physical reason behind every miracle in the Bible. And I'm ok with that. I have faith because of completely subjective experiences and feelings (these are not logical, as I'm not Data).
In fact, I'd be more than ok if all miracles in the bible could be explained by natural phenomenon. There's this quote that I heard somewhere about how science is the how and god is the why. That's how I think of everything around me. Science explains how we evolved into the beings we are today, how plants utilize the sun to make energy, and how we can build tall buildings. God explains why we are here today, why we should appreciate our environment, and why we should be good to our neighbors in those tall buildings.
Beyond seeing some of the cool things that nature does as somewhat wondrous, I keep my faith out of the lab. I do not predicate my scientific hypothesis upon the Bible, as besides being an ethical guide it doesn't have much to do with the laboratory. Also, I do not explain my results by, "Then a miracle occurred and data appeared from on high." So, until the day that I start allowing my religion to dictate my science or vice versa, it shouldn't matter to other people what I believe.* For if I'm right and there is a God, well then, good for that and, maybe, on that day I'll finally get some answers (like why do bad things happen to good people? And wtf is up with the playtpus?). And if I'm wrong we can all go out and laugh at me over a beer (or other beverage of choice).
*I'm completely unwilling to get into the fact that Christianity can be the source of a lot of bad things (like the unexpected Spanish Inquisition). Christianity can be the source of good things, too (like Catholic Relief Services, among others). People can be capable of both good and bad, despite what they believe and I don't think one can use that as an argument for or against religion.