Science and faith coexist

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Most of what letter writer Jeff Miller wrote (“Example shows prayer fails,” Dec. 4) was not based on facts about the church, but on common misconceptions.

Many people try to quote scripture out of context. The Bible should be read in chapters or books at a time. Matthew 21:21 says, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt ... ,” but if we read the verse before, Jesus says that one must have faith. However, just like Gil Ward said in his Dec. 5 letter, “God does not answer empty prayers.” Separated by sin, we have to repent and believe to restore our relationship with God, and then wait for His perfect timing.

Further, Mr. Miller wrote that Christians don’t “embrace science, scientific fact, critical thinking and common sense.” Georges Lemaître, a Belgian physicist and Roman Catholic priest, first postulated what later came to be known as the “Big Bang” theory. It basically says that all the mass of the universe was concentrated into a single point, wherein the fabric of time and space came into existence. This theory often is misunderstood by Christians. Science shows that this is how the universe came into being, but they don’t know what initiated it – what outside force “pushed the button,” so to speak, to start it. Christians believe that God was this impetus – the Creator of the Universe. This theory does not in any way discredit holy Scripture, for “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

I am a physics major at Augusta State University, a devout Catholic and an ecumenist, and I find Mr. Miller’s statement about science in the Christian faith completely absurd and offensive. The Catholic Church supports science 100 percent because of its truth and facts. I pray that Mr. Miller realizes that faith is the reason we pray; faith is the reason we believe.

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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 12/12/12 - 02:32 am
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What about Galielo

When he stated that the earth revolved around the sun he was forced to recant and was condemed to house arrest for the rest of his life. The Catholic church called it blashphemy because the church's position was that the earth was the center of the universe and anyone who said diffrently was pretty much executed. Socrates was condemed to death for rational thinking.
The church has always been afraid of science because one day it just might show that the teachings can be refuted by science.
I'm not saying there is no God. I believe in God but I have a hard time believing the Jonah story, among other nonsense that makes no scientific sense.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 12/12/12 - 05:43 am
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Good letter

Bobby Phillips has done a good job of refuting Jeff Miller's assertions. Within the word limits set by the editorial page staff, he has shown that God doesn't answer empty prayers, that Christians have embraced and even contributed to science, and that science doesn't contradict Scripture. He has even identified himself as a physics major, a scientist in the making, and it's encouraging to realize that God is still raising up talented young men who can be leaders and teachers for the next generation.

Shrimp, you've brought up Galileo. While I agree that he was treated shabbily, I must say Galileo's conflict was not with Scripture but with other theories the church had latched on to. He even said heliocentrism doesn't contradict Scripture, and he remained a pious Roman Catholic.

You say you're having a hard time believing the story of Jonah, because it makes no scientific sense. What you forget is that miracles don't make scientific sense; that's why they're miracles. If they did conform to the laws of science, they wouldn't be miracles.

You mentioned Socrates' condemnation as if the church were to blame for it. Have you forgotten that Socrates lived from 469 B.C. to 399 B.C.? The church wasn't established until about 33 A.D.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 12/12/12 - 06:47 am
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Fundamental

You're right about Socrates, but I still find some of the stories in the Bible to be teaching tools not miracles. Then again I could be wrong. What do I know.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 12/12/12 - 09:04 am
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Who pushed the button?

Phillips may be a physics major at ASU, but he makes the same mistake so many Christians-who-profess-to-be-scientists make. Phillips assumes that because science has so far failed to provide a naturalistic theory for what preceded the Big Bang, no naturalistic explanation exists. In its absence, he assumes there can be only a spiritual one. The history of science has been a replacement of religious beliefs about phenomena in the natural world with scientific ones (the list is a long one). Even if science, which after all is subject to human limits, never identifies the state of nature prior to the Big Bang, that will never justify religious mythology.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 09:23 am
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So EEL.....given that you
Unpublished

So EEL.....given that you can't prove EITHER WAY, the theory that YOU believe is the only true one, and the theory that the religious believe is simply mythology. That's the true open minded liberal. {end sarcastic font}

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 09:26 am
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In the absence of proof of a
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In the absence of proof of a spiritual explaination, EEL assumes that there can not be one. That is the same logic he tries to use....but for some reason it only applies to the spiritual?

Bug Man
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Bug Man 12/12/12 - 09:45 am
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Big Bang

Help me out with the whole big bang theory.
As I understand it, in the beginning there was nothing and then all of a sudden nothing exploded and from nothing exploding, everything was made.
I think I'm confused.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 09:47 am
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You are right, Bug Man
Unpublished

Atheism:The belief that there was once absolutley nothing and nothing happened to nothing until the nothing magically exploded (for no reason), creating everything and everywhere. Then a bunch of the exploded everything magically rearanged itself (for no reason whatsoever), into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinasours.

And they mock your beliefs!

F4therTime
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F4therTime 12/12/12 - 09:48 am
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Another letter...
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That serves no purpose. Everyone believes whatever they believe and a letter to the editor does nothing more than inflame people with different beliefs. Instead it should be saying, in this country you have the right to believe or not believe, worship God, Jehovah, Allah or Satan if you so choose. Just leave people who don't think and believe as you do alone.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 09:53 am
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Good advice
Unpublished

Good advice F4thertime.....perhaps some day, those who don't believe will stop trying to ban those who do from expressing it in public.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 12/12/12 - 10:00 am
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Big Bang

There was not nothing. At one time the universe was smaller than a subatomic particle. The mass was so great that it can not be comprehended by the human mind. Add heat and this little particle exploded into what we now call the universe. Now that's alot of mass.
At least that's the scientific explanation.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 12/12/12 - 10:02 am
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F4therTime

Those are my exact feelings. That is why you will never see me get into a religious debate.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 12/12/12 - 10:16 am
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Me either CG

I do like scientific debates though.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 12/12/12 - 10:20 am
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Maybe you've reconciled the two

but others simply can't. Be that as it may, I still don't believe that the sun delayed going down for a whole day, as alleged in Joshua 10.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 12/12/12 - 10:29 am
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The LTE does, in fact, serve a good purpose

Bobby refuted all the inaccuracies and stereotypical anti-religious, anti-Christian and anti-Catholic statements tossed out for public review in Miller's LTE.

Everyone actually does choose for themselves what they believe and don't believe, hopefully based on careful observation and serious consideration. Everyone also deserves to hear/read/see what their genuine options really are, so that their decisions will be based on reality instead of the screeching of over-wrought people or of those who wear intellectual blinders.

What rational, reasonable person would find an agnostic or atheist who mocks or mouths platitudes or shrieks hatred any more credible than a religious fanatic who rejects rational thought and genuine (as opposed to PC) scientific revelation?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/12/12 - 10:44 am
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Good Letter

I applaud Mr. Phillips and his letter. I also applaud Fundamental Arminian’s response, particularly the first paragraph honing in on empty prayers (the subject that got the current spate of letter writing going).

However, I must point out one tiny flaw in Mr. Phillips’ letter. The Big Bang theory is a good theory, but Mr. Phillips is taking a leap of faith when he says, “Science shows that this is how the universe came into being.” The Big Bang theory (like all theories dealing with pre-history) cannot be proven.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 12/12/12 - 10:44 am
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I Have Often Wondered

what would happen to religious beliefs if sometime in the future, science discovers life on another plant in our vast universe?

I think it will throw a monkey wrench into many debates.

oneofthesane
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oneofthesane 12/12/12 - 10:47 am
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At the end of the day science
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At the end of the day science will NEVER explain it all. Never. I can think of one reason that holds true. Amen.

pearlthesquirrel
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pearlthesquirrel 12/12/12 - 11:11 am
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[filtered word]?
Unpublished

Here we go again - another letter writer that thinks he's taken down Mr. Miller and his letter. If I read Mr. Millers letter correctly, his point is / was "prayer does NOT work." Since then, The Comical has printed five or six (?) letters that have attempted to rebut his point. Well, NOT one of them - NOT ONE OF THEM - has done that yet. Not one, NOT ONE of these letters has proven that prayer works....if you want to sink Mr. Miller's letter like the iceburg sinking the Titanic, just give us an example of prayer working - and as of yet, no one has. And guess what, the next letter that will attempt to "prove Mr. Miller wrong" will NOT show an example of prayer working, either. Good luck letter writers - it looks like you're going to need it.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 11:12 am
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CG....I don't see how it
Unpublished

CG....I don't see how it would contradict anything.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 12/12/12 - 11:37 am
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The Bible stated in the

The Bible stated in the beginning their was light and this expanded into the universe. Until Einstein scientist thought the universe was infinite and had always existed. Then Einstein and LeMaitre described the universe beginning as a single point of energy (then there was light) that as it expanded atomic particles and elements formed-like hydrogen and helium first, etc. .The bible described the earth forming from aggregates and initially was molten with all the water as vapor that finally condensed-which is now what science presents as how earth formed. Actually there are physicist who ponder what was before the universe and what is outside the universe-of course that's ponderin'. The big bang theory hasn't been proven (but nothin' is science is ever proven-that's math with proofs)but the evidence that supports it is overwhelming.

Jane18
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Jane18 12/12/12 - 11:37 am
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Comments......

oneofthesane-Correct! shrimp-one cannot believe some, and not ALL, it doesn't work that way. ALL will be clear to us one day. George-if there was life as we know it, "science" would have already "found" it. I remember hearing that science tells us we only use 10% of our brain, just imagine what the other 90% knows..................

Bizkit
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Bizkit 12/12/12 - 11:46 am
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Modern mans limited intellect

Modern mans limited intellect and abilities have derived the great religions and scientific inquiry. There history is sorted but has nothing to do with science or any particular religion but man and his behaviors of power, etc. While Europeans were in the Dark ages the muslim world was having a period of enlightenment where they discovered everything we evetually did. Islam drove this enlightment period that has set the stage for our discoveries later.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 12/12/12 - 11:51 am
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I don't understand why some

I don't understand why some embrace science over religion when science indicates spirituality and religions evolved are likely important in our evolution. Then one has to ponder of all life on this planet only one hairless hominid ponders the universe and we are to believe this primitive mammal has anything correct. We assume our reality is the real one. If we had bug eyes we would see ultraviolet light and a different world would appear, if our ears could hear ultrasound or infrasound we would hear a different world, if we smell like our mammal cousins we would smell a different world-we use to as the human genome has thousands of defunct olfactory genes. We assume what we perceive is all there is.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 12/12/12 - 12:27 pm
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Yawn

Another day, another futile debate about reality.

OJP
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OJP 12/12/12 - 12:30 pm
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To be fair, Mr. Phillips...

It took several centuries of science running circles around religion regarding natural phenomena before the Catholic Church finally cried "uncle".

I think we should institute a new rule in this country: you cannot enjoy the fruits of any scientific theory that you don't "believe" in. Don't "believe" in evolution? No flu shots for you. Don't "believe" in the theory of relativity and time dilation? No GPS for you. Don't "believe" in the power of medicine (as a more effective alternative to prayer)? No medical science for you (pray your ailment away). Don't "believe" in the big bang? No Sheldon for you.

Anyone who realizes how much better our lives are because of science holds it in the highest regard.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 12/12/12 - 12:55 pm
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Yeah, but 5000 years of

Yeah, but 5000 years of history of people holdin' on to their religions is a clear indicator that these religions have served a purpose and left a definitie footprint in art, music, science, architecture, human health, government and laws. Embracing science and having doubts about it go hand in hand-least we would still be livin' in caves. Science is a process of falsification not provin' we can indicate something maybe important but also realize it could be falsified like Lamarkism was falsified, Duesburg hypothesis falsified, human brain neurons never divide-falsified. Relativity, evolution, etc. could all possibly be falsified-I'm not sayin' they will be I believe just the opposite but as a scientist who have to sometimes assume everything is wrong and go outside the box.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 12/12/12 - 01:36 pm
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Ok OJP....don't believe in
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Ok OJP....don't believe in anthropogenic global warming? No carbon tax for you. Does that sound fair too?

grouse
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grouse 12/12/12 - 01:45 pm
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Humble Angela: there is no
Unpublished

Humble Angela: there is no difference in what you say atheists say about the origin of the universe and what the religious say happened. God who came from nowhere (he's the beginning and the end, right), said this, that, and the other and it was so. The difference is there is physical evidence for what scientists say happened and only a book by scribes who presumably weren't around to observe what happened. Science is almost there in figuring out how the first step was, but if you can believe God came from nothing, why is it such a stretch for you to believe that the universe came from nothing? It is the same thing. However, there is a pretty good change that scientists will get the answer to this question as they have so many others.

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