Sunday, 23 February 2014

Darwin's Fish
At heart I am a scientist, by inclination and by training. I think science is wonderful – literally full of wonder: look at snowflakes, or rainbows, or the Milky Way, or Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, or wave-particle duality. It’s an amazing world we live in, yet science remains earthed by its insistence that anything real must have a perceptible impact on the world.

And I am a Christian, by conviction, conversion, commitment – a follower of Jesus and a believer in God. I reckon God is wonderful: look at snowflakes, rainbows, the Milky Way, or at the Christmas story, or the idea of the Trinity. God is amazing, yet faith in Him is earthed in that real faith always makes a positive difference in the world.

The old story is doing the rounds again that science contradicts faith, or disproves it somehow. It’s nonsense: there are plenty of us around, scientist believers, and for us, far from science and faith being contradictory, they complement one another. A purely material scientific view of the world can be fascinating but it’s incomplete, flat. Likewise a purely religious view can also be fascinating, but incomplete and flat. It’s when you bring the two together that you get a rounded, living picture of the amazing world we live in.

To take it further: I believe in the truth of the Bible, and I believe in the truth of Darwinian evolution. One helps us understand the other. One is a message from God, the other God’s handiwork: of course they go together – God’s words and God’s actions, both important, one shining a light on the other.

I do like the top picture above, showing an engineer 'fish' tinkering with its own evolution. That essentially is how evolution works, and it is marvellous. Whether you think that's just the way the universe is, or whether you think it's the way an amazingly creative God made it, it is still wonderful. I guess the main difference is whether it is personal - and whether it is purposeful - or not.

But I also like the rainbow 'Darwin fish' further down. I don't believe in a black and white world, not even with added shades of grey. To me this is a world filled with colour: I step out in Caversham and I see an infinite number of shades of green, not to mention all the other colours of the rainbow. It's not just a wonderful world, it's an incredibly diverse and beautiful world, for all its problems.

I hope that every one of you can see and feel the wonder and beauty of our world: believer in a creator God, or not; scientist, or not. May the grace and beauty of it all be a blessing to you wherever you go and whatever you do throughout the week.

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