Are science and faith so opposing that they cannot co-exist? And if not, how can we prepare our students to understand this?
- Studies show that approximately 59-70% of young, practicing Christian teenagers will lose their faith for the beginning of their adult lives. "For a significant number of these young people, science appears to play an important role in their decision to leave the faith."
- 55% of adults believe that science and religion are often in conflict, and
- 31% of College freshman view the relationship between science and faith as one of conflict.
Colleges challenge Christian beliefs: this is not a new realization. However, it is an alarming reminder that as Christian, science educators at a secondary Christian institution, we need to prepare our students for the secular perspectives they will encounter. We must be up to date in our science education and perspectives, and educate our students accordingly. Armed with the belief that the worst preparation we could give them is no preparation, we approach science from a Biblically-based perspective:
- We begin discussing evolutionary theory in elementary school.
- Students do projects on fossils and talk about Miller and Urey in 5-6th grades.
- In middle school and high school, the students build on their understanding of developmental theories.
- Our students are comfortable with evolutionary terms, and can explain its basic tenets as well as its limitations.
- While we explore these theories and their subsequent evidence, we first and foremost teach Genesis 1:1, that, "In the beginning God created…"
The tragedy in modern college science classes is the belief that God cannot exist in light of science. However, Tri-City's perspective is that science is "an organized way of using evidence to learn about the natural world." In other words, science is a method, a procedure, that curious people use to discover how the natural world works.
Science does not inherently conflict with the existence of a God. Instead, it is a discipline that glorifies God, as we use it to discover His creation. We understand that a secular college view teaches that the natural world functions without a creator. It is tragically sad to acknowledge and marvel at the majesty of the universe and the life within it, without acknowledging where it truly came from. However, Tri-City teaches students the scientific techniques and logic, so that they can never again look at science without seeing their Creator.
Written by: Kamille Paddie, Science Teacher
Source 2: Biology Textbook (Prentice Hall, Miller & Levine)