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May 06, 2023 592 Sarah Barry
Engage

Faith and Science?

One of the greatest tragedies in the present world is the misconception that science and religion have to be at war…

I have spent the entirety of my primary and secondary school career in public schools where faith and secular culture clash. For years, I heard the declaration reiterated that faith and the real world simply cannot go together. Faith is something for the brainwashed, the daydreamers, and those refusing to see life for what it is. It has become old-fashioned in the eyes of many, something no longer needed now that we have modern science and philosophy to explain it all. This clash was always most visible in my science courses. If not outrightly stated by teachers, it was often pointed out by students that one cannot believe in both God and science. The two are simply mutually exclusive. To me, nothing could be further from the truth. In my eyes, everything in nature serves to prove the existence of God.

God’s Perfect Design

When we look at the natural world, everything is so perfectly engineered. The sun is at the perfect distance to support life on Earth. Organisms dwelling in the ocean with seemingly no purpose actually serve to remove carbon dioxide from our seas and atmosphere to keep the earth livable for other species. The moon’s cycle many miles away in outer space is what causes the tides to change just in front of us. Even seemingly random events in nature aren’t so random when we take a closer look.

During my junior year of high school, I took a course in environmental science. In my favorite unit, we learned about the cycles of nature. The nitrogen cycle particularly impressed me. Nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for plants to grow, yet nitrogen, in its atmospheric form, is not usable for that purpose. For nitrogen to transform into usable form from the atmosphere, bacteria in the soil or a bolt of lightning are needed. A mere bolt of lightning, something which seems so random and unimportant, serves a far greater purpose!

All of nature is interwoven perfectly, just like God’s plan for our lives. Even the smallest thing has a chain of causes and effects, all serving an ultimate purpose that would alter the fate of the world if it was missing. Without the moon, the countless animals and plants which depend on the ebb and flow of tides for food would die. Without those “random” bolts of lightning, our plants would struggle to grow as the fertility of the soil declines.

Likewise, every incident in our lives, however confusing or insignificant it may seem, is foreseen and incorporated into God’s perfectly engineered plan for us when we align our wills to His. If everything in nature has a purpose, everything in our lives must also have greater meaning.

Creator in the Creation

I have always heard that we find God in three things: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

A logical analysis of the function of nature can serve as evidence of Truth and how God embodies that Truth. But God is not only the emblem of Truth but the very essence of Beauty. Nature, likewise, is not only a system of cycles and cells but a thing of great beauty as well, another representation of the many facets of God.

One of my favorite places to pray has always been on my surfboard in the middle of the ocean. Looking around at the beauty of God’s Creation brings me much closer to the creator. Feeling the power of the waves and recognizing my littleness amongst the vast sea always serves to remind me of God’s immense power. Water is everywhere and present in everything; it’s within us, within the sea, within the sky, and within the plants and animals in nature.

Even as it changes forms—solid, liquid, gas—it remains water. This reminds us that God is present as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All living things rely on water to sustain them. Not only do we need water, but our bodies also consist of a large percentage of water. God, too, is omnipresent; He is the source of all life and the key to sustaining life. He is within us and is present in everything around us.

When I look at the world, I see its Creator. I feel the Lord’s heartbeat as I lie in the warm sun amidst the soft grass and flowers. I see how perfectly He painted the wildflowers, with colors as vivid as an artist’s palette, knowing that they would bring me joy. The beauty of the natural world is immeasurable. Human beings are drawn to the beauty and have sought to create it themselves through art and music. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and His love of Beauty couldn’t be more evident. We see it everywhere around us. For example, we see God’s Art in the intricate design of an autumn leaf, and His music in the sound of the crashing waves and the birds singing each morning.

Endless Mysteries

The world may try to tell us that following God, attending to the ancient wisdom of the Bible, or focusing on faith is an ignorant rejection of the Truth. Science is the truth, we are told, and religion is not. Yet what many fail to see is that Jesus came as the very embodiment of Truth. God and science are not mutually exclusive; rather, a perfect creation is only more evidence that there must be a perfect Creator. Both religious tradition and scientific discovery can be true and good. Faith is not becoming obsolete in our modern times; our scientific advancements only present more beautiful perspectives on the endless mysteries of our Lord.

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Sarah Barry

Sarah Barry is a high school senior preparing to study theology in college. Her love for writing has allowed her to touch souls through her Instagram blog @theartisticlifeofsarahbarry. She hopes to use her gifts to spread the love of God.

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