Friday, September 18, 2009

Religion and Science

Many times you will see a title such as this titled, "Science versus Religion." I used the "and" rather than "versus" because the latter gives the connotation that this is a conflict, as if the two are completely separate entities that cannot exist together. I don't believe this is true. I believe religion and science do exist together.

As a science educator who is a christian, and more over a christian who takes the bible literally and not figuratively, I am constantly evaluating my belief system. I'm not sure if that is my scientific nature taking control of my thoughts, or simply human nature to question everything. Either way, on a daily basis I'm thinking about the evidences of God that I see in science.

Webster's Dictionary defines science as, knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method. Many people argue that religion cannot meld with science because religion, such as the creationist view of the origin of the universe, cannot be tested through the scientific method. This means that the creationist view is a hypothesis about the origins of the universe and there are no scientific means of testing this hypothesis. Therefore it cannot be changed into a theory, much less eventually made to the law status. Scientist really don't like a hypothesis that cannot be tested. It's the unsolvable problem. It drives them nuts.

Religion, according to the great Webster, is defined as a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ador or faith. I think that last word is the stumbling block for most scientists. They say faith is something that the ignorant hold on to. Faith is the excuse you give when you can't prove the actual. I think they have more faith than they would admit. Faith is defined as something that is believed with especially strong conviction. The definition doesn't suggest that the "something" is not tangible. As I write this I'm sitting on a bench at the end of my bed that I bought at a thrift store for $3. This bench is a tangible piece of material in which I can see and feel. Yet I have faith that it is sturdy enough to resist gravity pulling me towards the earth. Just because you have faith, doesn't mean you are religious. Though I think many scientist, specifically anti-creationist, are religious. Remember the definition of religion was a system of beliefs held with ador. Scientists are married to science. Their entire existence, figuratively and literally, is glued together with science. This is a system of beliefs, and they ador it, just as I ador God. Science is their religion, yet they are blind to that. Don't forget this is biblical. Jesus said that many will hear but few will understand. Many will argue until they're blue in the face that science and religion do not mix. It's ironic to me. Is it to you?

About 90% of the earth's oceans remain unexplored. No human as ever been there. Let's say you are a marine explorer and you are on a dive to explore uncharted ocean floor. You're in your little subterranean vessel and crawling along the ocean floor. In your view you're seeing sand, rocks, fish, a lot of water. Suddenly you see something in the distance. You slowly approach. You begin to make it out to be square in shape and motionless. You creep up on it and begin to study it. To your amazement you realize that it is a computer, a laptop specifically. You use your robotic arms on your vessel to press the power button and discover that the laptop works, underwater. Suddenly the cooling fan turns on and it slowly zooms away from you into the darkness. Now, your first thought might be, "How in the world did a laptop get 7,000 feet into the ocean?" I would think your second question may be, "How did that laptop even work in the water?" I think anyone, scientist or not, would say their logical reasoning for this would have to be that another human was already down here and created a waterproof computer that can use it's cooling fan as a prop to maneuver. Would anyone have the guts to publish that they found this item and that they truly believe, through scientific "reasoning", that this object must have slowly changed through time, adapting to it's environment and is surviving on it's own. No WAY! The logical assumption is that someone constructed it and put it there.

This story may seem crazy but I would argue that human beings are much more complicated than computers. And here we are, living, breathing, reproducing, doing things that seem so monotonous but in reality are incredibly complicated. It would seem that the logical and most simplistic (to follow Occam's Razor) explanation is that we were created. I don't want to downplay what I believe in, but to me it seems that it takes a lot more faith to believe that our incredibly complicated and delicately balanced existence is all due to an unimaginally long and extensive series of chances. Talk about faith! I used to agree with it. But as I got older and began to really study science and how things in this universe work together I see more and more evidence that I was put here by a creator. My faith is that creator is God and not some alien race, which is another hypothesis of how we got here. It's ironic to me that scientist put so much faith into ideas of how we arrived here, such as the Big Bang Hypothesis though there are many more, and it's just a bunch of ideas. Notice I called it the Big Bang Hypothesis. That's what it is. It's not a theory. A theory only becomes that once it's been tested using the scientific method. We cannot test the Big Bang. We've tried, but to no avail. The theory of evolution, in terms of creating living beings, is using the term "theory" very loosely in my opinion. How can that be tested? Sure we've found evidence that certain species have adapted to their environment but that is still a long way from suggesting that we started as a single celled organism and slowly developed into the complicated beings we are today.

So how do science and religion fit together? I believe that science is a gift from God that allows us, the created, to peer into the realm of the creator. I think that God allows us to discover and invent new things in His timing. It's all there, in front of us, science that is. We are blinded to it until He decides it's time that we can handle the knowledge. If you look you will see evidence every day that He gave us this universe. Some are as common as the wind blowing, or how trees defy gravity by transporting water up, or how they take something that is bad for us, carbon dioxide, and produce something that is a necessity for us, crazy is that? Some are more complicated, like if the molecular structure of water was linear and not bent then there would be no liquid water on the earth...which would make survival a problem; or if the earth were just slightly smaller in mass there would not be enough gravity to hold our atmosphere and it would be blown away by solar winds like on Mars. Is it coincidence that the earth's magnetic field protects us from the extremely harmful radiation of the sun? God gave us the Northern lights to remind us of this, just as he gave us 7 other examples of planets who's factors for life to survive do not match ours. Why did he give us the universe? Well, maybe it's just there to humble us in His magnificence. We are NOTHING compared to the vastness of space. But the crazy thing is that the God who created it knows your name.

Science is a gift from God to allow us to see what he is capable of doing. Don't be scared of science. Many people are afraid that science is going to lead them away from God. Satan does that, not science. Science and religion are one in the same. Science constantly reaffirms my belief that God is real. In today's world, isn't that an ironic statement?


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Summer pictures

You can click on this link to see lots of pictures from Summer. They are much easier to upload to facebook than the blog.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I told you so

In my last post I said I was thinking about getting some chickens. Well, I did. I got four little ladies, hopefully no roosters. I'm not sure why though. I just thought it would be cool to have some chickens. So I built a chicken coop and run.

Then I went to see a man about some chickens. I bought one Barred Rock, two Black Maran's and one that was a cross breed of a Copper Maran and an Araucana.

They'll start laying eggs in a couple of weeks probably. Ethan likes to go into the run with the chickens but only for a minute. Once they start moving he gets scared of them and wants out. Kimberly hasn't been in yet. I must admit that I'm not used to dealing with chickens either. Every time I go into the run I try to catch one by hand. I think I'm a little chicken to grab the chicken.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just in case you were wondering...

They make clothes that tell you how to put your kids to sleep. Isn't this funny!!??
Popping up to say hi. Such a big girl!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain Barrels, Composters and Gardens

So for some reason since we moved onto the Hartzog Homestead I have become very interested in some minor self sufficient lifestyle tasks. While I think it would be awesome to lead a completely self suffcient lifestyle, I think the reality is that we won't. But it's still fun to do our part to become less dependent on a few things you would normally just buy from someone else.

One of my most recent projects was this rotating composter. I ran across this on the internet, which is where I do most of my research. I built a large composting bin last year out of old crates but I saw this and had to make it since I had the materials sitting around. It's made from a 55 gallon drum, a piece of rebar, and a couple of 4 x 4 posts I found. You throw your scraps in there and give it a twirl. I haven't had this one long enough to know how well it actually works but it looks good in the garden none the less. Just to the right of the picture you can see our cucumber vine growing up the tee pee arbor.

This is my 275 gallon water cistern. This was last year's project that started out as a 55 gallon drum. I quickly discovered I could fill up a 55 gallon drum in about 15 minutes of good rain so naturally I had to expand this project. I'm glad I did. So far this year we havn't had to use any city water to keep our many plants and our garden growing.

I bought this drum thinking I would not need the metal cage that normally comes with it...I was very wrong. Since most of my projects involve recycled lumber and materials you can see that I opted to build this very attractive wooden cage to keep the cistern from warping when full of water. It's definitely a project I have to revisit when I come up with something better looking.

I have a 3/4 HP submersible sump pump inside the cistern that I found on clearance somewhere. When I plug in the pump it will pump very easily uphill to our garden. I really wanted it to be a gravity fed system but with all the trees we have our garden had to be where it is, which is not close to the downspouts and is on the high side of our yard. You can see the white PVC pipe with the green water hose attached to it. That leads up to the garden.

This barrel was the original one I had attached to the downspout. It now sits in the garden and I pump to it with the sump pump mentioned before. The other day I built a drip system using 3/4" PVC pipe and 1/2" black tubing. I didn't have a good pic of the entire system so you can't see the tubing here but the system works great. It's gravity fed from the barrel, most drip systems are pressurized. I had to drill holes in the black pipe that were large enough to drip with only the weight of the water in the barrel. I love it because I can pour my fertilizer directly into the barrel and turn on the drip system and I don't have to stand there and water the garden by hand.

Here are some pics Kimberly took of our Better Boy tomatoes. These pics are about 2 weeks old now so we should have some good and ripe fruit soon.

These are our first grape tomatoes. We also planted cucumber, watermelon and a bell pepper plant. I planted lima beans but not a single seed sprouted. That's two years straight that my beans flopped. I guess they're my huckleberry. I'm going to keep trying though.

This next project I'm seriously considering...chickens!