People claim that science and religion, particularly Christianity, are often at odds.
In a way, they are, but only because people have decided to make it so. In my opinion, scientific knowledge proves even further that there definitely is a God.
It is absolutely amazing to me that this planet earth is laid out in a manner that has supported various life forms for centuries. It is absolutely amazing to me that God worked to form the earth and then formed humans so that everything that we need to survive and thrive can be gleaned from it. The majority of our body mass is comprised of water; water is absolutely essential for human life. About seventy percent of the earth is water. Coincidence? I think not. We need clean air to survive. Despite man’s deforestation and industrialization, trees are still in the business of filtering our air. If people really stopped to think, they would realize that it is absolutely amazing that there is enough water for all of us to drink, and that there are methods to keep it clean and drinkable, and that the air remains safe for us to breathe despite our best efforts to pollute it. If people really stopped to think, they would realize that it only takes very minor changes in the composition of our water or air to sicken or even kill us, and that there must be a very loving God who looks past the fact that we are ruining the planet that He made even before He made us and continues to sustain it.
I saw the majesty of God’s creation in a manner that is not typical for me this past week when my husband and I embarked upon a Carnival Cruise (the Victory ship) with my sister-in-law, her boyfriend and my mother-in-law. We had a short plane ride to Miami, where we stayed in a Doubletree Hotel (where we saw some of the biggest cockroaches we’ve ever seen in our lives–I’ve been to Alabama enough times to be more familiar with them than I’d like to be, but living in Michigan, we don’t see roaches, and if we do, they are NOT that big) before we boarded the ship. As we hung precariously in the air, I marveled at the sparse clouds that were suspended in the atmosphere; the layers of pastel-colored sky as the night fell; and the fact that people had ever gotten smart enough to create this beast of a machine that could conquer such a feat. At the airport there were hundreds of people who looked rather unimpressed by the fact that they were, in fact, about to board an airplane. Perhaps because it was only the second time in my life that I’ve had the opportunity, I was overcome with adoration for God. Scientific innovation was given to man by God for our benefit. Science doesn’t go against God. The only reason people act like it does is because they fail to give God the credit and glory for scientific discovery. What people fail to realize is that there is far more that we don’t know about this planet and the things in it than God has allowed. Man will never be able to fully explain or even understand the inner-workings of all of God’s creation. But God has allowed man to become brilliant enough to figure out altitude, to create the parts that eventually become a plane, and to figure out how to navigate it.
And let me interject this–God bless pilots and flight attendants. Our first flight to Miami was smooth, the one back, not so much. We encountered slight turbulence, but that pilot had that under control. As for me, there is no flipping way I would EVER want the responsibility of controlling a piece of machinery that weighs thousands of pounds and has hundreds of people, who are someone’s son, daughter, sister, brother, mother or father, on it. Especially not one that is in AIR. Too much pressure. And there were the flight attendants, walking around the plane like there was solid earth underneath handing people snacks and coffee. I’m sitting there with my seatbelt firmly buckled most of the time (admittedly because I missed the memo that I could take it off) and here they are calmly walking back and forth with pushcarts like they’re busboys in a restaurant.
But I digress.
We spent a day in Nassau in the Bahamas. If we go back in the future, I’d like to do more activities, but in the meantime we did have a great time at the beach and walking through Nassau and its shops. I was able to see creativity and skill firsthand as I watched an elderly man carve a wooden fish sculpture with hand tools and a woman weave my daughter’s name on a little coin purse within seconds. Everyone was very friendly. I’d love to go back.
As our ship cruised the seas, I often sat out on the balcony of our cozy stateroom in wonder. I wondered how many feet deep the waters beneath us were, what creatures made their home there, and whether or not there were any shipwrecks (perhaps I’ve watched too many movies where people find trunks of gold and treasure at the bottom of the sea). As the captain propelled the ship along, I was again amazed and even further convinced of God’s careful planning of this earth and thankful for His omniscience.
This planet has immeasurable beauty that is worth fighting for, worth preserving. Some Christians want to be blind to climate change, either denying the science behind it or denying that it could actually bring us harm. Christians who deny science are limiting God’s abilities and desire to impart a measure of His knowledge to us so that we might do better at taking care of this planet and each other. To deny that it could bring us harm, by saying that we should just pray and God will take care of the problem, is irresponsible Christianity right there. Just because we CAN and SHOULD pray for God to fix the earth does not mean that we shouldn’t also do OUR part to prevent continued damage. I was aghast when Trump made the reckless decision to pull the United States from the Paris Accord. In a time when cancer and respiratory illnesses are on the rise when they shouldn’t be, we should be doing all we can to explore whether or not those problems are related to environmental factors.
I want my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and beyond to be able to experience this. It is maddeningly selfish that a group of adults made a decision that will impact our most vulnerable.