Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Faith, science: An 'evolving' relationship
On Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate the greatest miracle in their faith: the Easter morning resurrection of Jesus Christ. For millions, this season is a period of reflection, an opportunity to ponder life's big mysteries and examine today's chaotic culture through a spiritual lens.

Last December, thinking about Christmas and the holy season, we wondered: with so many Christians believing in so many different and often conflicting ways, what, precisely, is a Christian? Tonight, and in specials the rest of this week, we continue to explore this question, shining a spotlight on two of the biggest issues that intersect with faith: science and sex. Tonight's show is called "What is a Christian: God, Faith and Hard Science."

Religion and science have clashed forever, but in America, the biggest showdown came in 1925, when evolution and creationism did battle in the Scopes Monkey Trial, and evolution won. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the scientific community is convinced human beings evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years. But guess what? The rest of the public isn't on board. In fact, polls show nearly half of us believe we were created by God, just as we are.

This battle is hardly over.

Coming in a few weeks, on Memorial Day, a $27 million dollar Creation Museum will open, just outside of Cincinnati. Correspondent Tom Foreman and I were given a tour through the museum's re-creation of the Garden of Eden, where we were suprised to find dinosaurs living right alongside human beings. The museum's founder, Ken Ham, uses theological and scientific evidence to argue that that's the way things really were when time began and God created the earth, the heavens and everything in them.

And I guess that's a big change since the Scopes days. More and more, Christians are using scientific reasoning to bolster their faith, from creationists like Ken Ham to world famous scientists like Dr. Francis Collins, who directs the Human Genome Project, supports evolution and calls himself a born again evangelical Christian.

On the flip side, science is increasingly putting faith under the microscope, seeking out real life explanations for biblical miracles, looking to prove that prayer doesn't actually heal the sick, and that a weird weather event could have parted the Red Sea.

Tonight, at 10 p.m. ET, we'll explore the relationship between faith and science, a relationship that continues to, well, evolve. Where do you stand? Does science ever make you question what you believe? Or does it actually make you stronger in your faith?
Posted By Claire Brinberg, CNN Producer: 5:07 PM ET
Please don't legitimize Ken Ham. He's a fraud and he's perpetrating harmful ideas that will damage children. He's got every right to open his silly, fact-free 'museum' - in fact, I'm glad he's wasted $27 million that might have been used to promote Intelligent Design directly in the schools. But you don't need to give him a platform, unless it's just to point out how foolish he is.

Also, I've read Collins's book, and I have to say that the theological parts of it read at the high school level. It was totally outclassed by Sam Harris's The End of Faith, for example.

If you're going to waste time on this nonsense, please point out that it is total foolishness. There is no debate about evolution or the age of the earth. Don't do another he-said/she-said piece that just legitimizes the young-earth creationists.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Henry, Idaho Falls, Idaho : 5:43 PM ET
Hi Claire,
Does science make me question my belief? No. Perhaps we were born for no reason, perhaps we will live and die for no rhyme or reason. But how does that doom and gloom thinking really help us all. Too each his own, but I prefer to believe and have faith in something greater than me that science can't explain away. It's my choice. Happy Easter and Happy Spring. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:59 PM ET
looking forward to viewing your media take on our culture.

Posted By Anonymous Enriqueta, PHX, AZ : 6:01 PM ET
I do not pretend to know the answers, for pretending is exactly what people do when they stand oh so firm by a particular belief system. There is a pure and simple reason why there are so many religions on this planet: NOBODY KNOWS. In my mind, a true Christian upholds and explores the moral questions posed by Jesus, just as a true writer may uphold Shakespeare's revelations on story form. Science allows us the ability to further understand/confuse our understanding of human progression, which cannot be ignored, but ultimately leaves other (more moral) questions unanswered. In my mind, life is an exploration, not a maze.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Denver CO : 6:03 PM ET
Christian creationism belongs in a museum, and should never be considered as an equal to rigorous scientific investigation.

People are entitled to believe whatever they want but equating creationism which is based only on religious faith with no evidence to prove such faith puts U.S. society at a level equal to primitive cultures.

Religion is one thing and science another, and never should they be mixed together or considered equal.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 6:04 PM ET
Bravo for tackling this very controversial subject. I grew up in the Catholic Church, but now I am a member of the Metaphysical Community. In this modern time we should re exam what have become habits or traditions and make healthy decisions based on our own truths...
Posted By Anonymous Mari D, Mays Landing, NJ : 6:21 PM ET
Be grateful we live in a country where you can put up a museum (with private money) without being censored by the government.

How sad to live a lifetime believing only that which science can prove. The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, but must be felt in the heart.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 6:39 PM ET
"More and more, Christians are using scientific reasoning to bolster their faith, from creationists like Ken Ham to world famous scientists like Dr. Francis Collins, who directs the Human Genome Project, supports evolution and calls himself a born again evangelical Christian."

Let's be clear about this. Ken Ham may claim he is using 'scientific reasoning' to support his claims, but even by the most generous definitions of science, what he and his ilk do is not science. I fear that the media is setting up a false dichtomy - in essence they are saying, 'do you prefer evolution science or creation science?' - as if these are both on an equal footing. They are not.

Evolutionary science is based squarely on the scientific method, makes hypotheses based on empircal evidence, makes prediction, looks for ways to falisfy hypotheses, and when they do make conclusions (in the form of theories) these are are best tentative and subject to change (based on more data).

Compare that to creationist 'science', which basically goes something along the lines 'If God said it I believe it so therefore if God said the earth was created in 6 days it must be true' - then proceeds to examine evidence and distort it to fit a pre-determined conclusion. It is confirmation bias writ large. Whatever it is, it is not science, and even calling it pseudo-science is generous. It is religion and faith trying to exploit the language of science to fool the gullible. Anderson, before you start making statements like this and falling into the false dichtomy trap again, get some education please!
Posted By Anonymous Edward Britten, New York, NY : 6:54 PM ET
Hi Claire,
Miracles happen all the time, we just need to open our eyes and see. Science can keep putting faith under the microscope but love, thoughts, and feelings can't be seen or measured.
Consider this analogy, it is one of my favorites. Millions of beautiful Monarch butterflies travel each fall from Canada to a specific mountain in Mexico. These butterflies know exactly how to get there even though they have never seen it. It has been five generations prior who were at the mountain. When they arrive at the mountain, the butterflies began to proliferate. New caterpillars emerge from a tiny egg on a milkweed leaf. After a snooze and a metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly, the cycle starts again in the spring and the amazing monarch takes off to Canada, miraculously knowing the way and also maybe knowing that they will never see the mountain again but will pass this secret on to future generations of butterflies so the Monarch will live on and on. All this from an insect with a brain the size of a pin head. Imagine what secrets other creatures hold. Maybe as humans we should do a little more instinctive feeling and prayer instead of so many cognitive calculations.
Like the magnificent Monarch, we should remember that the end of the catarpillar is the beginning of a beautiful butterfly.
Science does not make me question my beliefs. They can chisel away for the answer but there is an infinitely long way to go to have the understanding of our creator. Until then, I will continue to find God in all of creation, a sunset, a forest, baby animals, children playing, and the love I feel in my heart for it all.
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 6:58 PM ET
This is absolutely rediculous. We all know we can't mix oil with water. So why are we taking about mixing science with Religion. That is like asking Jack Cafferty to work overtime for free!
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary Alberta : 7:11 PM ET
Self perpetuating crapola. I suppose, someday people will get past superstitions that do nothing but subjugate them to some con artist. Religion is the single most successful political power scam ever perpetrated on humanity. Study a little cultural anthropology. As for "gods", what makes a Christian think his is any different or better than a Hindu's or a Native American's, or Go'auld from TV SciFi. And it's all BS. Haven't you heard? Holy water cures AIDS! HA!
Posted By Anonymous Gene, Monroe, MS : 7:18 PM ET
Definitely like the article, and really appreciated the column written by Dr. Collins. I agree with most people that Ken Ham really doesn't contribut much useful information to any discussion, so I won't comment on him. However, What I think is most notable about these articles is that Dr. Collins finds a way to be both a scientist and a believer. He doesn't attempt to say that he proved that Jesus was resurrected, he openly admits that his faith is just that: faith. If God created the world, then He created science, too - so why do many think that science inherently opposed to Him? "The universe declares the majesty" of God, says the Bible. There is room in the world for science and Jesus, and I applaud Dr. Collins for saying so.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Seattle, WA : 7:22 PM ET
All that is missing is Mickey Mouse.

It makes me ashamed that I was from Kentucky.
Posted By Anonymous Grover Syck Fairfield, Ohio : 7:22 PM ET
Hi Claire,
It's facinating that 82 years after the Scopes trial, this debate still rages on. Does science make me question my faith? No. Look at what happened after September 11th. People embraced their faith. We need to find a way to allow both science and faith to co-exist. Looking forward to the show tonight and tomorrow!
Posted By Anonymous Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 7:25 PM ET
Science is based on a search for the truth, while religion is generally the enforcement of a set of ideas handed down for generations. Creationism is a desperate attempt to twist the truth of our origins and development and any person--regardless of their faith--must accept the truth despite the myths we have told for millenia.

People like to say the earth--per creationism--is only 5,000 years old. However, the truth is right there to immediately defeat their preconceptions: The milky way is heading into another galactic cluster some 50 million light years away from us. But there is a problem. In the time that it has taken the gravitational effects of the cluster to attract our galaxy, the location of the cluster has moved over 100,000 light years! If the universe were created only 5,000 years ago, the gravitational waves (not to mention light itself) would still be millenia away from us even noticing it. Creationism fails to account for the truth, and that is why it is irrational to place faith above the truth. Real faith MUST be based in truth, or it is merely an excuse for the lazy and stupid.
Posted By Anonymous Robert King, Cary, NC : 7:33 PM ET
Why don't they put in the museum how religion is responsible for about 95% of the world's problems?

The Arabs hate the Jews, the Shia hate the Sunni, and Radical Islam hates everybody else. Its the same old story everywhere, and it always comes back to religion. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Roman Colliseum, the list goes on and on. The people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center were not atheists, they were very religious people - they just believe in a different god and a religion with different rules.

Like George Carlin says, the world right now is just a bunch of people who all hate each other because they don't all pray to the same invisible man.

In the words of John Lennon: Imagine no religion. We could stop all the hatred and holy wars. Wouldn't the world be a better place?
Posted By Anonymous Bill W, Coatesville, PA : 8:11 PM ET
Being a Christian and believing in evolution is not mutually exclusive. Why can't evolution be a part of God's plan ?

I have never understood the "anti-evolution" movement's argument that it can't possibly be true. After all God is certainly able to create evolution as well as everything else. The arguement of the creationist's seems to be one of arrogance rather than faith. However one interprets the bible, Torah, Koran, etc doesen't mitigate what the true word of God is. We don't really know or ever will know what is the absolute true word of God.

If God exists and he exists as absolute as the Christian faith says he does then how could we possibly ever understand him.

If one believes in God then:
Sceince is his gift.
Discovery is his gift.
Knowledge is his gift.
Knowing who and what we are is his gift.
Truth is his gift.
To achieve sceintific knowledge and enlightenment is his gift.

To discount and stubbornly resist the progress of knowledge is the true sin. After all who gave us the capacity to reason in the first place?
Posted By Anonymous L. Milazzo, lake Forest, Illinois : 8:18 PM ET
Interesting question for Joseph Kowalski: Are you rejecting Creationism after considering the evidence supporting it or are you just blindly dismissing it? In other words, have you heard and considered the creationist perspective or are you letting your prejudice get the best of you?
Posted By Anonymous Adiel Corchado Passaic NJ : 8:51 PM ET
In the debate about science "vs." religion, why not investigate what the Bahai Faith teaches on this subject. It may well shed some light on a misconstrued argument that there should or could be any difference in their veiws, because in a nutshell, what is science but the study of the mysteries and secrets of nature, the creation of God! On creationism vs. evolution, they are both correct, for indeed God did create the universe, but it has grown and evolved, and continues to. Liken the initial creation to that of a seed. In the seed contains all of the perfections of the mature tree and it's fruit, but to look at the seed, that is not evident. As it grows and matures it "evolves" through seemingly different forms, though it is always the same tree, and always was. Its mature and perfect form are the end result. It is so with the larger creation as well. The Bible, in the story of Genesis, states this clearly in the description of the creation. Read this but don't get hung up on the term "day". Substitute millions of years for the "days" in Genesis and what do you have? EVOLUTION! Steve, Oregon.
Posted By Anonymous steve m Lagrande, Oregon : 8:56 PM ET
I recall that when I was a child and watching a very famous show, Cosmos by Carl Sagan, a very profound statement made by the scientist. The statement was something about science climbing a mountain and when it gets to the top they will find god waiting there the whole time.

Religion requires faith and definitive fact, via science and discovery, eliminates the need for faith. We do not need faith for the sun to come up every morning but sun god worship was done in ancient civilizations to ensure the sun does come up. Science has proved them wrong.

However, the belief that there is no god, no spirituality, no life after death also requires faith. There has been no absolute proof that god does not exist. Hence, atheism is a faith...a faith that says god does not exist.

There was a time magazine article about this issue called "Darwin's God" that I found interesting. The concept was that we are prewired for faith, religion, and superstition. The author describes that even prescribed aethists find themselves acting on superstition in certain times like praying when they are in a plane having mechanical problems.

This story should be interesting and even more interesting in today's world where it seems we are again moving towards greater influence of religion in the world around us. You would have to go back many centuries to get the Christian/Muslim centric worlds we are moving towards now.

To me that is a greater issue...using religion as a primary decisionmaker for real world problems.
Posted By Anonymous Peter, West Sacramento, Ca : 9:19 PM ET
I believe the proper place to teach the stories of the Bible is in church -not our public schools. To ignore scientific evidence and teach children that our earth is only 6,000 years old is wrong. To have the gall to say this should be taught in our schools is crazy. I went to Sunday School and church as a child and young adult. I learned the stories of the Bible and I also learned the science of the earth in the public school I attended. When I became an adult I made up my own mind. Because many young people do not go to Sunday school anymore is not a a reason to put Bible teaching into our school. I'm listening to your show as I write this and am going to have to turn the channel because those people are simple crazy and I can't stand to listen to their faslehoods any longer. Sorry.
Posted By Anonymous Carolyn Bear, Silverthorne, CO : 10:37 PM ET
A question to christians, where did "GOD" come from?
I am commonly told evolution is impossible because it implies we come from nothing, but if there is a god did he just appear from nothing?
What makes the christianity better than budism, huduism, or islam?
Posted By Anonymous Hannah, Jenks Oklahoma : 10:48 PM ET
I saw a little bit of the interview with the lady and gentlemen on opposing sides of the " Faith science issue". It was obvious that Anderson Copper and CNN are Anti-God, Anti-religion. Having some over blown idiot come on and yell at the other guest to give him a yes or no answer about this subject if rediculous. It's not that simple. Also if you never shut up long enough to get an answer you probably won't get one. But the biggest thing those of you who choose human intellect over faith in God don't understand is that without faith it is impossible to either beileve God or understand anything about him.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Dallas,Ga. : 10:51 PM ET
I think there is a sizable portion of Christians who reject creationism and favor evolution. Right-wing, conservative/evangelical Christians base their religious tradition on a literal view of the Bible, so they don't have a choice on accepting or rejecting creationism. If they reject creationism, they deny the basis of their tradition.

In Catholicism and older Protestant denominations there is a lot of room for accepting evolution. George Coyne, a Jesuit who was the head of the Vatican Observatory for years, is an example of a Christian scientist (astronomer) who has no problems integrating evolution and faith. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is another example. In fact, some Christians look at creation via science and find that it actually reinforces their faith.

So the story as aired was pretty narrow; I wish it would have addressed these additional facts and pointed out that Christianity is not so homogeneous on this issue.
Posted By Anonymous Steve B, Cincinnati OH : 10:54 PM ET
I am not here to argue my beliefs. What good does that do? I would just like to share an observation. People that are focused on disproving the Bible with their theories actually prove the Bible true. In the last days there will be an increase in knowledge..we are in a scientific revolution. There will be prosecution of Christians..not until recently has there been 1. no prayer allowed in schools or any public place 2. evolution "theory" and no other opinions taught in schools. 3. Christians cant even speak about God outside of work time without being fired from their jobs..and these are only a few examples...all of this was prophesied in the Bible that these same people try to disprove! This just strengthens my faith!
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Ankeny,IA : 10:54 PM ET
I enjoyed watching this Wednesdays program on Faith and Science. As a non American, I find American Christian fundamentalists not to be far-off Islamic or Jewish fundamentalists. Introducing 'creationism' as Science in schools, is like teaching male chauvinism as an alternative to feminism. Yes, be free to believe what you want, but don't mix "belief" with facts. Noah's Ark? We're all descendants of Adam & Eve? What an incest pool! If Big Bang theory brings some closer to God, as its wonders are hard to grasp and explain - how did something begin out of nothing - well will someone explain to me who created God? How did God come into existence? I have asked this question many times, and only response I ever got was a hateful look... Please, protect a freedom of religion, but don't bring religion back as science. Have we forgotten Galileo?
Posted By Anonymous E. Hodzic, Auckland, New Zealand : 11:09 PM ET
God has truly made himself clear to the world. You will find very few physicists who will disagree with the existance of a higher power.
When you look at the scientific claims and medical laws in the bible; the laws regarding ceremonial cleanliness, circumcision on 8th day (which is the day that clotting factors are the highest in humans), and the laws regarding clean and unclean animals, and many more laws that kept the Israelites from getting diseases, it is hard to believe that it is not from God.
In fact as Paul said in Romans 1, you have to suppress the truth. As a student of science and the bible, it is obvious that there is a God, and He inspired the writers of the bible. Any "so-called" flaws are easily cleared up with proper interpretation.
As to dinosaurs living in the Garden of Eden, that is a point of view that no reasonable Christian who is a scientist would take. Peter said that to God, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. He may have meant a billion, but who in the first century could grasp the idea of a billion years?
It is clear that evolution is part of God's great plan, as are the laws of physics, which are unbreakable unless God intervenes. The precision of the Big Bang alone(which is calculated to roughly 1X10^-116) is tremendous. If the Big Bang was that minute number more powerful, the universe would have expanded indefinitely, that much less powerful, the universe would have collapsed. If that doesn't make anyone believe at a minimum in a higher power, they must intentionally be suppressing the obvious.
Posted By Anonymous Nestor, Austin, TX : 11:13 PM ET
As a believer and biology student at a major research university, I find that the more I learn about the absolute marvelous complexity in nature, the more I see the hand of God in it. Science helps reassure my faith in God.
Posted By Anonymous B. Oliver, Atlanta, GA : 11:22 PM ET
Just watched Charmaine (sp?) on 360 discussing 'Creationism' being taught in Science Classes. She bases her right to direct content of education on '90% believe'.

I am one of the 90% and do not want her version of anything taught in a public school as it totally conflicts with my beliefs and knowledge base. There is more real 'scientific knowledge' than can be possibly taught now and that body of knowledge is growing despite the 'Charmaines'.

Not only have these 'folks' gotten their narrowed base of knowledge accepted through 'home schooling', they wish to take it further, including 'book burning'. I even object to their version of 'history' being taught. They use what ever they can distort to justify their religious views and force it on others.

Things that I object to:
CNN's faith/values person is extremely biased
mandated 'limited' sex education, instead of an 'opt out' choice
5 people file suit objecting to mandatory HPV vaccination and you make it sound like it is a mass movement
paying my cable bill that forces me to support religious channels
schools that have released time for religious education
faith based PACs using a 'pulpit of politics' and still enjoy tax exempt status
'book burning'

Is CNN going to do a week for each of the many religions around the world, as you are doing this Easter week?

tax dollars going to support religious NGOs that mistake 'charity' for 'missionary'
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista : 11:28 PM ET
Evolution can't be proven 100% percent, so that means Zeus was right!
Posted By Anonymous Michael Simek, Nantou, Taiwan : 11:35 PM ET
To Adiel Corchado: Please provide the evidence you have which supports creationism and I will consider it.

To date, there is no peer reviewed scientific evidence to support creationism. Those who believe in it rely on blind faith.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 11:52 PM ET
No, science has never really challenged my faith. It has only confirmed it. I was once taking a physics class and the teacher was breaking things down to the smallest level, and I was touched and truly moved at how the universe works, and how magical (and tragic) it can be. For me, the more I study in science, the more I am convinced of the Great Scientist who puts all things together. Yes, we may get a small peek into his lab, but in the end, the reasons why he does the things that he does, I'm not sure we will ever know on this side of heaven. He just has given me enough too look at in the here and now to believe that he exists. When looking at this question, we should remember the great philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, who said that faith and science are not enemies, but like are brothers seeking the truth.
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Grand Junction, CO : 12:29 AM ET
It is a shame that this program is such a poor piece of journalism. I was really looking forward to this. However, the show hardly represents a scientific viewpoint and scarcely challenges any of the claims made by religion in every segment. I'm afraid this type of broadcast just legitamizes the fallacies of unjustafiable claims.

The misinformation being fed to the homeschooled religious communities should serve as a wake up call for reason and logic in our society. Oops, what am I talking about... the vast majority of Americans believe in the bible and the story of creation. *sigh* If only they would follow the advice of many of the passages they preach.

Christians indeed.

Good luck, America
Posted By Anonymous Ian, Orlando, FL : 1:15 AM ET
Also, to borrow a line...

Atheism is a religion just like not playing chess is a hobby.
Posted By Anonymous Ian, Orlando, FL : 1:17 AM ET
The overly zealous Christians want 'alternative' ideas taught in science class. My overly religous grandmother went to her grave believing that the earth is flat. Do they really think that her ideas should be taught as well? Science is not about belief, it is about facts and the facts do not support their ideas.
Posted By Anonymous Dianne M. Cedar Park, Tx : 1:30 AM ET
I just want to address the argument that since 50% of the country believes in creationist theory it has some merit. Until very recently in a historic sense it was widely believed people of color were biologically inferior. I challenge you now to find any educated person that will corroborate that "scientific" claim now.
Posted By Anonymous Jake, San Diego CA : 1:45 AM ET
Adiel Corchado: That isn't an interesting question. There isn't any evidence for Creationism. There are a bunch of people trying desperately to justify what they want to believe - a mythology based on a confusing collection of oral folk tales written down 1600 years ago.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Henry, Idaho Falls, Idaho : 1:46 AM ET
It is sad that the people who express true Christianity we may never hear from on this board. They are helping tend to the sick, the broken, the poor and those stomped on by this prideful society we live in. Most of them will tell you about Jesus but they won't put down their fellow man because that would be prideful and pride that raises oneself up to take control of anothers power position or authority that does not belong to them, well they want no part of, because that is the true original sin. Pride is vain and arguements like these are full with both.
Posted By Anonymous Carole Woods, Margate, Florida : 1:57 AM ET
It is easy to claim God did everything even though his existence is yet to be proven. The belief in God has been around for almost as long as human existence. Everyone has to agree that humans continue to get more and more intelligent. I foresee God having a smaller role in everyone's lives as time progresses. Children believe in Santa Claus and his presents are incentives for morals and behaving. However once kids get older and smarter they come to see it is just not possible for such a being. Just like God.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle, Phoenix, AZ : 2:03 AM ET
The question pertaining to the existance of God can be answered by the fact that 97% of the worlds population believes in a God or deity of some sort. But, is this a plausible deduction of reasoning? If you think not; lets consider some of the greatest thinkers and philosophers that ever lived, for example: Plato, Aquinas, Anselm, Leibniz, and Descartes. They all Believed in a deity.
If we are still not convinced what about some of the greatest scientists, who all believed in creation and, indeed, in all the great doctrines of Biblical Christianity. These men included: Issac Newton(Dynamics and Gravity), Johann Kepler(Astronomy), Robert Boyle (Chemistry), Lord Kelven(Thermodynamics), Louis Pasteur(Bacteriology), Mathew Maury(Oceanography), Michael Faraday(Electromagnetics), Clerk Maxwell(Electrodynamics), John Ray(Biology), and Carolus Linnaeus(Taxonomy). But, lets not just dwell on the west, there have been other great contributors to science, all coming from the middle and far eastern part of the world.
Instead of randomly throwing God out of the picture, we should study the entire spectrum of interpretive theories about the Biblical record of creation. There are at least five theories of interpretation, they are: The Naturalistic Theory(Atheistic evolution), The Framework Theory(Theistic Evolution), The Day Age Theory(Progressive Creation), The Gap Theory(Irrelevant Creation), and The Literalist Theory(Biblical Creation). Our friend Dr. Francis Collins Believes in the second interpretation called "The Framework/Theistic Evolution." I guess it's really true what the author of Ecclesiastes said in the Old Testament of our Judeo/Christian Bible, "There's nothing new under the sun."
In conclusion, even though all religions and denominations may differ in some form or fashion pertaing to opinions and theological doctrines, all admit one constant...that the universe and all it's inhabitants were created by a loving God who gave us free will to do what is right or wrong. How we dictate that will depends on our responsibility to ourselves, overall health, and fellow man.
Posted By Anonymous Thomas Perez, Bronx, New York : 2:20 AM ET
I was brought up as a fundamentalist Christian. I was trained to be a scientist. I have personally struggled with the creation vs evolution issue for forty years. The scientist side finally won.

I found the 360 program to be about as informative as watching the wrestlers arguing between matches.

Instead of emphasizing the disagreements, why don't you have reporters talking about the important points.

This criticism goes for just about all news interviewers except for Jim Lehrer.
Posted By Anonymous Ron Marlin, Carlsbad, CA : 2:46 AM ET
It's historically inaccurate to claim that "[r]eligion and science have clashed forever." The pre-Enlightenment scientists viewed their study as a means of better understanding the world that God created (whatever form "God" may have). Also, many of the oldest universities were founded on religious principles, with religious leaders at the head. See for example, the history of Harvard's presidents: The first few were clergymen and biblical scholars.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron W, La Jolla, CA : 3:27 AM ET
People realize that the Bible is just a book to explain what they couldn't understand hundreds of years ago, right? Most of the phenomenon in the Bible can be explained away now as we have greater knowledge of earth, physics and the universe. How many of you think when we have an eclipse of the sun that the world will end?

Besides, any form of religion is basically a cult, all the devotees believe in the same idea passed by a sometimes invisible "leader", which could include some the internet "fan" sites....ugh.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 4:13 AM ET
It is frustrating to see debates such as as creationism against science exist because they should not. Science should have nothing to do with the creationism just based upon the fact that creationism is not a science. To understand this we must break down what creationism and science actually are.
Science is based upon agreeable facts based within our perceived world, such as earth exists, solid things are solid while liquid things are liquid. From these basic agree upon truths, through science we can ask questions about our world, and through asking, we can begin to systematically answering our questions through this scientific lens.
Creationism is the belief that god has made everything as it is today, but only life has been this way since always. This is an acceptable belief to have because there is technically nothing science can actually do to 100% disprove that theory. However creationism fails at every turn to disprove evolution. Creationist fail to present evidence in this physical world in which we live that disproves. Creationism is also in itself not a science because it is an absolute. Something is this way because God says it is. You are unable to question, therefore unable to go about experimenting and deriving answers in this world of existence.
Creationism is a spiritual world of "I am not sure that I truly exist. Could everything around me be an Illusion, a dream?" While science is based in the world of "I cannot truly prove that I exist. I think I can agree that I do. Therefore I explore this world around me"
Posted By Anonymous Martin B, Columbus, IN : 6:22 AM ET
I am angered by the fact that people turn A blind eye to evolution. Evolution does exist, and more ways than just one. Technology, Emotionally, and Biologically. I can prove right here, right now. Technology evolves through changes in the supply and demand environment. Take Communications, It started as tribes playing drums, to people setting up signal fire, to optical telegraphs, to Electrical telegraphs, to Telephones, to Cellphones, to Internet. Now lets look at emotional evolution. Let Take person Z, person Z has anger management problems. Z's environment is Z's family (F,H,T). Environment (F, H, T) demands that Z changes his anger problems or (F,H,T) will leave. Z gets therapy and Z is now happy. Hurray for Z! Z evolved emotionally because Z's Environment demanded change. No lets do biology. Hey look, a bacteria dish, this dish is going through some anti bacterial test right now. Lets watch. The first application killed almost all of this. Lets go for a second. Oh no! More lived this time. Lets go for a Third. Oh dear, what do we have here? Oh looked more survived. Lets go for a fourth! Oh, this is just astounding, the newer and newer generations of bacteria has grown completely resistant! Gee! Could it be that they have been adapting to our anti-biotics? Why yes, it certainly appears that they EVOLVED!
Posted By Anonymous George C, Los Angeles, CA : 6:38 AM ET
I find it interesting that so many people doubt the truth of Jesus. His life/death/resurrection was talked about through generations.

How? By scriptures and word of mouth. And when you believe the very spirit itself bears witness (as Paul said).

But people believe in the Big Bang theory, and the theory of evolution. Were they there? Did they see it happen? No they believe what someone else told them 99% of the time.

So science can be seen as a religion/faith system. But science doesn't give you hope of life after death.

Because what is the purpose of life? Why are we here? Why do we even have the ability to question our own existence?

God only knows.
Posted By Anonymous Luke P. Westerly, RI : 6:42 AM ET
I am thankful that we live in a free world where we can express our views and opinions freely and without fear of repercussion. It is interesting to see the varied opinions and thoughts about this topic. What if the evolutionists are wrong and God is right? I am thankful that I have the free will to be a believer.
Posted By Anonymous Craig D. Whylly, Concord, NC : 7:49 AM ET
Ask, Seek, Knock
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

It saddens me to think that so many people have such a negative view of Christianity. It depresses me actually. Throughout U.S./ World History, one can pull up example after example of how some really terrible things have occurred under the hand of Christianity, and for man cannot apologize enough. It has tainted the views of so many people and has really made it difficult for Christ's body of believers to get the Good News of the Gospel out to the world.

And even today, Christ's church is limping along...knowing what we're supposed to do, but unsure how to do it. We're supposed to treat one another as we treat ourselves, we're supposed to give to others in need (not out of a desire to feel better about ourselves, but rather because God simply asks it of us), we're supposed to not lie, not steal, not covet. These were given as commandments, not "do them if you feel like it" suggestions. And this is where we as a body of believers turn back to a graceful, merciful God who gives second chances. There's a promise that even yet today, we can do something great for God.

If you're reading this and think I'm a bit crazy, I beg of you this Easter...pick a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and read it. Understand what that verse above means. Figure out who Jesus is. I've been a believer for 4 years...not because someone told me to be/ not to be, or because belief in God was all based on facts, but rather because of that verse above. If you are able to wake up with that attitude in the morning...I promise God will begin to reveal Himself to you. It's sometimes even the little things in your life...God doesn't always speak in storms or lightning bolts...He whispers too.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
Posted By Anonymous J. Harclerode, Wilkes-Barre, PA : 8:33 AM ET
Thank you for highlighting this subject. I am really dismayed by the many responses that either dismiss religion or dismiss evidence (including, but not limited to, science). The potential for a broader understanding of existence is limited by extremists on both sides. As a religion professor I have been trying to foster discussion of topics at the intersection of religion/faith and history/science/evidence on my own blog at
Posted By Anonymous James, Indianapolis, IN : 9:36 AM ET
I am fascinated by the attitude of some of the people who have left comments. You see, they berate people for not embracing their particular view of faith. What makes them any different from the radical Muslim that forces beliefs on people with a gun? The beauty of free speech/thought/expression is that people are free to believe as they choose. Yes, I am a Christian. However, you will NEVER find me berating someone for their particular choice of beliefs as some of the non-religious on here have done. Christ commands me to love my neighbor, as much or even more than I love myself. That means that I accept and love you for who you are. How many of you who have posted such negative comments about Christians and religion in general can say the same thing? After reading some of the comments posted here I don't believe that there are many that can. Berating someone because they don't believe as you do makes you no different than the radical Muslims who flew the planes into the world trade center.
Posted By Anonymous David, Norman Oklahoma : 9:59 AM ET
Actually, the relationship between faith and science is "evolving" more than you think. Did you hear about MIT's new String-net Liquid theory? It may be the long-awaited bridge between science and religion and has profound NEW implications for cosmology. This is a wholly new theory (with even a new state of matter discovered to help prove it) that describes the universe not as separate atoms and sub atomic particles, but as a unified fabric of space from which atoms and photons arise. Such a unification is profound and could actually help explain what our religious scholars, martial artists, native peoples, shaman, and yogis say they can actually feel when in deep meditation and prayer. They can feel the oneness of the universe we are told time and again across the ages and not in one religion but in all. It would have literally been 'unscientific' to discount what so many have independently reported. Even dogs must sense some greater connection as we've all heard stories about them barking before an earthquake right?

The possibilities go EVEN FURHTER. What if this singular fabric of space was distilled from a singular one-dimensional essence... the very first instance of something in the universe? In essence, all matter could be inflated (not from) but around this singular essence which is decidedly reminiscent of what religion calls "the heart of god" or "Buddha seed" in every living person and thing. You'll be hearing more about this theory, trust me!
Posted By Anonymous Chris Eldridge, Harrisburg PA : 10:01 AM ET
I'm a in the Christian Ministry and I have never questioned my faith because science is facts and much of what is being told to our students is just theories. Evolution is not a proven fact, thus it is not true science. It will never be proven because the evidence is not there. The Bible has not been disproven, in fact everyday science is showing how true it is. How Great is the Lord Jesus!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Lewiston, Maine : 10:25 AM ET
It's be nice if there were any actual "scientific" evidence in the Creation Museum, but there isn't. It's all myth and opinion, not even theories. The Christian myth of creation is no better than any other culture's myth.

As for atheism being a "faith", it isn't. Faith is belief in something with no evidence. We have plenty of evidence that God does not exist or at best not as the Chistians claim. No miracles, no independent historical proof, nothing.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea McCormick, Harrisburg, PA : 10:27 AM ET
Gene from Monroe, MS hit the nail on the head when he said "Religion is the single most successful political power scam ever perpetrated on humanity."
Posted By Anonymous Amy, Wilkes Barre, PA : 10:42 AM ET
Gene in Monroe is right, Holy Water doesn't cure AIDS.....but wait, neither has science.

And Bill W. - Human perversion of religion is the reason, not religion it's self. Just because all these people do this stupid stuff in the name of God or Allah or whoever, doesn't mean that's what the deity wants them to do. What if someone went on a killing spree and said it was all for you, in your name. Does that mean you wanted them to do it.

Blame the people, not the religion.
Posted By Anonymous Biff, Las Vegas : 10:58 AM ET
It's funny you say evolving. However we got here, Honest God fearing religion is helping people get over addiction and out of lifes problems.
Even Darwin prayed and beleived in God.
Science is our new understanding of the creation of life around us.
Posted By Anonymous Raymond James Thibault, Elkton,Md : 11:06 AM ET
I'm a biologist, yet I have no problem reconciling my faith with science, and even evolution. I have no problems with it at all. In fact, I believe it was quoted somewhere that 40% of scientists are believers. I personally don't see why its such a big deal...when I am surrounded by the diversity of nature, I can't help but see there is a God. Why else would we have such a fascinating planet? They are not at odds with each other in my mind. I do not subscribe to the literal view of the genesis story, so maybe that is how I can rationalize it. To me, the Genesis story outlines evolution in a way that people could understand it. But thats just me. Maybe I'm weird, but I don't get the controversy.
Posted By Anonymous Vicki, Pearl, MS : 11:40 AM ET
I'm not a biologist, but I conduct research as an academic. And I believe that most researchers / scientists understand that all models / theories are incomplete. Science is continually adjusting its perspective. Our understanding of evolution is, thankfully, much improved since the days of the Scopes trial. But all theories have boundary conditions, which need to be explored. The theory of evolution is a model that is the best the scientific community has put together with the data they have. But I'm not ready to put the final seal on the progress of science and say our understanding of biology ended with Darwin's publications. Nor am I willing to accept that God cannot reveal additional truths to his children as we are ready to receive them. We shouldn't throw out science or faith, just because we don't understand how they fit together. I believe we should simply do our best to advance our understanding and work to improve the world. My science tells me how to contribute to the body of knowledge in my profession and to advance practice. My faith tells me of my potential and helps me to love all people regardless of their religion as sons and daughters of a loving God. I subscribe to the following statement by Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (

�I remember when I was a college student there were great discussions on the question of organic evolution. I took classes in geology and biology and heard the whole story of Darwinism as it was then taught. I wondered about it. I thought much about it. But I did not let it throw me, for I read what the scriptures said about our origins and our relationship to God. Since then I have become acquainted with what to me is a far more important and wonderful kind of evolution. It is the evolution of men and women as the sons and daughters of God, and of our marvelous potential for growth as children of our Creator.�
�President Gordon B. Hinckley, �God Hath Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear,� Ensign, Oct. 1984, 5.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron, Bloomington, IN : 11:43 AM ET
Personnally, the ideas don't worry me, I believe there are many paths people can follow and they all arrive at the same end. I have my beliefs and each other person is free to have thier's. The problem is people wanting to force other people to believe as they do. Or people so insecure in thier beliefs that they are afraid to allow other ideas to be discussed. America is supposed to be based on freedom of religion, that is freedom for ALL religions; not just yours or mine.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Birmingham, AL : 12:04 PM ET
Everyone, please read the book "The GOD Dulusion" by Richard Dawkins, is the Charles Simonyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He included all the facts with references that you can check yourself.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Finfrock, Paso Robles, CA : 12:30 PM ET
Science helps me understand things on a higher level, but it doesn't have effect on my faith.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

The reason for life is Love.
Posted By Anonymous Darren D.D., Woodstock, GA : 12:57 PM ET
Here is a scenario, evolution happens to exist. What then? It changes nothing. Creationist seem to have notion that if Darwinian evolution is true, then their entire religious structure will crumble. Well Copernicus and Galileo challenged the perceived Catholic idea that the Earth was the center of everything. Did Catholicism fall into oblivion because earth was no longer the center? No it did not, as a matter of fact it is arguably stronger than before. Evolution is our generation's Galileo. So what if evolution is a truth? It doesn't answer the philosophical question of why is life here, or how the universe was created. But since life is here, we can use the idea of evolution to see how life interacts with its surrounding environment. God created man in his image. I can agree to that. However, creation is a process. God created man in his image via a complex chain of chain of evolutionary advances. There, I just solved how Creationists and Evolutionists can get along peaceably. One last thing, if creationists believe that evolution cannot exist due to the age of the world (6,000 years), then can you please answer my question of then How people go from, ME OOG, ME OOG CRUSH DINNER WITH CLUB, to a thriving metropolis like Babylon in only 1.7 thousand years. Talk about a massive case of human social evolution.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle S, Arlington, Kansas : 1:51 PM ET
Having spent my graduate school time at the bottom of a microscope with the TV on listening to Carl Sagan, all I can say is: the more science I see--the beauty, the perfection--the deeper my belief in God. It is all too beautiful to be random. And, oh, Creationists: DNA explains Darwin, pure and simple. End of THAT story......
Posted By Anonymous Allie, Titusville, NJ : 2:02 PM ET
"On the flip side, science is increasingly putting faith under the microscope, seeking out real life explanations for biblical miracles, looking to prove that prayer doesn't actually heal the sick..."

This statement is completely wrong. No scientist would try to prove prayer doesn't work. That's not the goal of scince. Scientists may conduct studies to examine whether or not prayer works, but to declare the outcome before conducting the experiment is not science.

Even more importantly, it is a logical impossibility to prove a negative. Any scientist will tell you that. (Any high school graduate should know that!) The goal of an experiment is never to disprove something, because it can't be done.

To many people perceive science as being hostile to religion. It isn't. Science and religion are two different ways of thinking, with different methods and different goals. I pity the person who can only think one way.
Posted By Anonymous Rich, West Point, PA : 2:15 PM ET
"Does science make me question my belief? No. Perhaps we were born for no reason, perhaps we will live and die for no rhyme or reason. But how does that doom and gloom thinking really help us all. Too each his own, but I prefer to believe and have faith in something greater than me that science can't explain away. It's my choice. Happy Easter and Happy Spring. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:59 PM ET"

You can choose to see my point of view as 'doom and gloom' but I don't see it that way at all. Just because there isn't a God, it does not have to follow that life and death are meaningless. At least I don't have to worry about spending eternity in Hell for making a mistake. If there is a God, and he/she is benevolent and forgiving, I'll get into heaven anyway. For now, I might as well enjoy my time on earth and experience the universe as God intended -- through science.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Ottawa, Ontario : 2:16 PM ET
I saw a program on the history channel about the exodus of hebrews from Egypt. I was surprised at the manipulation of fact and science in an attempt to prove that the bible is correct. If faith is the belief in something without supporting fact, why spend so much time and energy trying to prove that which supposedly can't be proven?

Religion is emotional and irrational by nature. Some people need that blind belief in something. They just should refrain from trying to force the rest of us to follow suit.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 2:34 PM ET
Coming from an extremely opinionated family, I was waiting for the fireworks after seeing the theme for this weeks AC360. I myself am an admitted "white evangelical Christian", and have experienced the frustrations of some who aren't although I don't discuss my faith unless someone asks me about it. At my mother's funeral the pastor mentioned the fact that she was never shy about correcting him if he made a mistake in his sermon as she had the Bible almost memorized. So I've been surprised, (pleasantly), to hear the discussions and read the blogs which express honest, heartfelt, intelligent opinions without attacking the beliefs of others. Maybe the 360 team sets the tone with a background of common respect, and we follow suit.
Posted By Anonymous N. Schroeper, Battle Creek, MI : 3:01 PM ET
Some Christians claim to use scientific reasoning, but they really don't.

If they ever did the job properly, they'd stand to lose some (if not all) of their most cherished beliefs, and then where would they be?
Posted By Anonymous Peter, LA, CA : 3:10 PM ET
The great thing about evolution is that, like all scientific facts, it doesn't care whether people "believe" in it or not. It's true either way.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Santos, Weatogue, CT : 3:49 PM ET
I wish people would open their minds to the idea that religion and science can coexist happily, with a few minor changes in thinking. It doesn't have to be black or white--creation or evolution. There can be a fascinating grey area, if you're willing to look for it. I'm a scientist, and I'm also a Christian. It's possible to be both.
Posted By Anonymous C. Galveston, TX : 4:27 PM ET
I think evolution is actually in reverse. You can see it everyday in any WalMart. WalMart is the modern equivalent of the Galapagos Islands, only there is "survival of the most annoying" happening there. I always half expect to see a monkey pushing a cart around WalMart. When humans get around a ton of cheap crap, their IQ's plummet. And I actually know some monkeys that are smarter than the average human.
And oh yeah...religion is the root of most of the horrible things that happen in the world. The Bible is TOO open to interpretation. See the problem here?? Maybe man isn't mentally equipped to handle religion. Maybe we're all too demented. And for anyone who doesn't believe in evolution-it happens in all species all the time. What about the human tailbone--what is it for? Where's your tail??? That's right-it EVOLVED right off of your ass.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 4:30 PM ET
I wish CNN would go back to being a news channel instead of being a religious christian channel.
Posted By Anonymous Alex Lakeland Florida : 4:45 PM ET
I am saddened by so many of the comments made here, yet uplifted by equally as many.

To Lisa, who says that "science is fact" yet says "evolution is not a proven fact, thus it is not true science." WAKE UP.

People out there, why do you feel that you need one lump sum of data to prove to you that evolution isn't fact?? It has been occurring for millions of years and takes volumes upon volumes of books to teach and explain!! To think it can be simplified down is ludicrous.

So, the Bible is one giant book. It ends there? Okay, fine.

Read "The Origin of Species" for your one book. Now read every cell biology/biochemistry/genetics/plant biology/human anatomy text out there since then.

Evolution is occurring all around us. Keep your faith in God, somedays I wish I had more of it, but don't bash science for the sake of one book that supposedly explains it all.
Posted By Anonymous Erin, Rochester, MN : 5:28 PM ET
It should be hardly surprising if many scientists believe in evolution and disbelieve in the God of the Bible. The NSF was polled a while back, revealing the majority are atheists and agnostics.

Their bias shows up well, as science cannot disprove something it cannot see or measure. Therefore, the science they talk about is really a religious-based evolution.

The evidence we do see does not support evolution. We see a Cambrian Explosion - about 35/40 major life families (phyla) showing up suddenly, fully formed, non-transitional. Some of the best-known scientists accept that evolution has never been seen. Is it therefore science?

The "battle" is therefore between religion and religion.
Posted By Anonymous David Martin, Dover, NH : 9:16 AM ET
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