When we oversimplify theology or oversimplify science, we encounter many difficulties between the two. Science is a complex enterprise. So is theology. Their relationship is to be studied closely and deeply if we are to discover an ultimate harmony between them.
There is a sense in which the Christian should be the most passionate scientist of all because he should be rigorously open to truth wherever it is found. He should not be afraid that a new discovery of something that is true will destroy his foundation for truth. If our foundation for truth is true, all other truth can only support it and enhance it. It can’t destroy it. Therefore, Christians ought not to be afraid of scientific inquiry. This does not mean that we should uncritically accept all pronouncements and pontifications of scientists. Scientists are fallible and may occasionally make arrogant statements that go far beyond the realm of their own expertise.
I once read an essay by a well-known Nobel Prize-winning physicist (whose name will remain unstated so as not to embarrass him) who argued that the idea of “spontaneous generation” be abandoned in science once and for all. Spontaneous generation means that something comes into being with no cause. It comes from nothing. So far, so good. I was pleased to see a scientist debunk the myth of all myths, that something can come from nothing. This myth is still pervasive in the scientific community with respect to “chance.” Chance is given credit for creating the universe. However, such a prodigious feat is beyond the capabilities of chance. Why? Chance can do nothing because it is nothing. Chance is merely a word we use to explain mathematical possibilities. It is nothing. It has no power. It cannot produce, manage, or cause anything because it is nothing. It is spontaneous generation by another name.
I was glad the physicist repudiated spontaneous generation. My gladness abruptly turned to astonishment when the scientist said, “We must have a new model. We must speak in terms of gradual spontaneous generation.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “Gradual spontaneous generation”? How can something gradual be spontaneous? How can something spontaneous be gradual?
Our scientist wanted to debunk the myth that something can come suddenly from nothing and replace it with a better myth that something can come gradually from nothing.