Science and Christianity Introduction Common Thesis
- Length: 12 pages
- Sources: 15
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Thesis
- Paper: #96417918
Excerpt from Thesis :
This occurred in 330 BC, and Zoroaster's date would then be 588 BC, and this date we may take to refer to the initial success of his prophetic mission which consisted in the conversion of King Visht-spa when Zoroaster was forty years old. Since he is traditionally said to have lived seventy-seven years, we will not be far wrong in dating him at 628-551 BC. It seems also to be generally agreed that the Prophet's sphere of operation in which his message was proclaimed was ancient Chorasmia -- an area comprising, perhaps, what is now Persian Khorasan, Western Afghanistan, and the Turkmen Republic of the U.S.S.R. (Zaehner, R.C., 1961, 33)."
Ayala's science takes the mitochondrial Eve back even before what we know about Zoroastrianism, but we really have no accurate date of the monotheistic tradition as it arises out of Zoroastrianism, because there are no written artifacts that support its origins as going back further than 628-551 BC. This means, if we are going on a purely evidence basis as it relates to mitochondria, that science must be credited with taking the mitochondrial Eve to a historical marker that could suggest an evolutionary connection as opposed to a creation connection. Until there is more "science" to explain the mitochondrial Eve, it remains a mystery to be explained by either side of the argument; but it also remains a connection, or a bridge, between science and Christianity.
Cosmic Evidence of Intelligent Design
Neil Shanks (2004) writes that the standby arguments for and against intelligent design are absurd when made along the lines of statements like:
There aren't any intermediate fossils" and ignorant absurdities like "Evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics (Shanks, vii)."
Shanks examined the facts for and against the arguments of intelligent design in the cosmos. Shanks discounts any kind of biological evidence connecting the intelligent design to the genetic arguments that some people claim support the theory (Shanks, 191). Shanks cites Dembski in what Shanks describes as a poor argument in favor of intelligent design, saying that Dembski and others have chosen not to take the evidential high road (Shanks, 225).
The problem with Shanks is that he is fanatical in his defense of science, and researchers Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross (2004) say that fanaticism, religious, political, or cultural is the nemesis to research and discovery new truths. Forrest and Gross, unlike Shanks, remain opening minded, do not discount that which could be the reality that science might itself one day be the proof that supports creation and intelligent design.
If we look at where life is in the universe, the only place that we are sure of is the planet Earth. If there is life elsewhere, it is a distance so far from earth that the life form's communication processes and modes are beyond man's understanding and reach. Reaching for intelligent design to explore and explain it, the hypothesis is that if life on earth came out of the chaos of the Big Bang, then where is the rest of the life or other earth-like planets? Should not earth-like planets and other life - even if it is life that is not familiar to humans - be elsewhere in the relatively close universe? Intelligent designs answers the question of why we appear to be alone in the universe.
Intelligent design suggests that those whom God created in His image are one of a kind.
The fact that Earth remains the only planet known to mankind where there is life, supports the theory of intelligent design. If the Big Bang theory explained the universe, explained the creation of the world in which we live, it would, then, too, ostensibly explain why there is not life elsewhere in the universe, or even our own galaxy. To suggest that the planet Earth is one of a kind of formation out of the chaos of the most violent explosion that can be imagined is absurd. If the Big Bang was an action through which a planet such as Earth came to be, even if Earth was at first an environmentally hostile planet; then to suggest that the event did not manifest itself in more than one Earth-like planet that could eventually sustain life, is not good science. For this reason, the existence of the cosmos without life as we know it or understand existing elsewhere is the cosmos argument in favor of intelligent design. Like the science of evolution, until such a time as it is disproven, it remains for Christians the evidence in support of intelligent design.
Archeology and Christianity
J.A. Thompson (1982) says that archeology has furthered the knowledge and understanding of the Bible, more than any other science (Thompson, 3). Thompson says, too, that archeology "[it] provides the general background of the history of the Bible (Thompson, 4)." Archeology has helped to put into context the life and languages that are found in the Bible (Thompson, 4). Archeology does not always work in the way in which religious leaders would like it to. In recent decades, archeology has helped to bring about an awareness of the Gnostic Gospels, those writings that were, for whatever reason excluded from the Bible. Much of what was excluded was mystical, but some of the Gnostic writings are works that portray women in an equal right and light as that in which men are portrayed in. In the instance of the Gnostic Gospels, archeology was the facilitator of debate and controversy.
Archeology has been the source of refuting certain Bible stories too. The Bible talks about Babylon this way:
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation (Isa. 13:19, 20). Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire (Jer. 51:37, 53, 58) (Thompson, 193)."
The archeological evidence, combined with historical evidence, shows that Babylon was "taken" by Persia in 539 B.C., to become a "second capital (Thompson, 193)." It was still occupied as a city when Alexander the Great overtook Persia, and it was a town of dwindling significance and population by the time the Romans had a presence there (Thompson, 193). That it eventually became deserted and fell to ruin does not fulfill the stories of the Bible cited above. In this case, archeology is again a link between Christianity and science, but it is a link that serves to establish that the Bible is a collection of beautiful stories handed down from generation to generation beginning as an oral tradition, and subsequently being put into a written form for preservation. As we look at the above scripture, we find that there is a message for the community for which the story was written. It served as a warning not to go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah, lest Babylon fall too. The Bible carries a lot of morals learned for its audiences.
There are occasions, too, in the study of archeology and the Bible when archeology supports the Bible tradition. It is that way in the case of Ezekiel.
It was during the days of exile that the prophet Ezekiel sought to show the exiles that they were suffering the just consequences of their sins. It has been the traditional view of the Christian Church that the book of Ezekiel should be taken at its face value so that we regard the prophet as having done his preaching during the period 597 to 573 B.C. In the land of Babylonia. More recently there have been those who have sought to show that this prophet lived in Palestine for at least part of his ministry. Others have tried to show that the prophecy came from a date much later than the exile. In these discussions archaeology has done a good deal to support the traditional view (Thompson, 193-194)."
Archeological evidence helps to find the missing pieces of the puzzle in our historical and religious traditions. It is not the "smoking gun" that many religious leaders would like it to represent, but it does serve as a link between Christianity and science.
Recently, scientists have attempted to recreate in the lab some of the physical conditions that have been described in the Bible in conjunction with major events. As science works to explain some of the natural things that are described, it seems that they are creating a stronger link between Christianity and science. Science…