Faith? Or Science? Or Both?

I’ve always loved science.

Science, to me, represents the quest for understanding; the peeling back of the layers of our world and figuring out how it all works. It is the believe-nothing, question-everything-until-proven approach that demands hard evidence and rigid logic before it accepts anything, in its ongoing mission to seek out the truth. And, judging by the results, it seems to work pretty well. I like it a lot.

But here’s the crux: I’m also a Christian, believing in a God that we cannot see nor measure. Anyone who has ever tried to prove the existence of God (and there have been many) has always failed, hard; and the various reasons presented why God should exist rarely survive long in the face of scientific rigor.

Reconciling these two viewpoints is an interesting difficulty – and, thus, people who love science tend to ridicule Christians for believing in something so ghastly unproven, while Christians berate scientists for their lack of faith and cynical view of the world.

It makes me sad, because I really do love both of them. And I don’t find it difficult at all to reconcile the two views; because I’ve come to understand that they both serve radically opposite purposes. The purpose of science is to believe nothing until absolutely and irrefutably proven; the purpose of faith is to believe even in the absence of proof. They are diametrically opposite and yet both necessary: Science exists to reveal the world; faith determines our approach and response to it. If science is the brain of this methodology, faith would definitely be the heart; and trying to live without either brain or heart tends to be difficult.

The thing is, at one point in my life, I bumped into God. It just happened sort of gradually one spring/summer a long time ago – and God, in his usual custom, asked me if I wanted to follow him; just like he did with his disciples two millennias ago, and with everyone else ever since. I said yes, and thus I began a rather different path through life. I didn’t make this choice because of the great eloquence of the gospels, or the amazing rationality therein (there is, but it’s somewhat hidden); there was no great proof convincing me. Rather, I made the choice simply because I met him, and I have walked with him ever since; and furthermore he insists that he wrote a book called the Bible, and that this book constains the truth.

There are, of course, areas of conflict here. The Bible claims that God created the world; science doesn’t specifically refute that (largely due to a lack of authoritative scope), but at least insists that the world must be a lot older than the claimed six thousand years. I… personally tend to lean towards the scientific side of things, simply because I feel the bible was never meant to be the amateur astronomist’s guide to the universe; the purpose of the bible is to reveal God and his plan for salvation, and those bits and pieces that deals specifically with the big bang, the formation of the world and the organization of the universe are rather hastily glossed over, perhaps to the benefit of the people who wrote it 3500 years ago and who had only the most rudimentary understanding of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

All I can do is to really just shrug my shoulders, and say that I wasn’t there when it happened. I don’t know. Ideally, if both science and faith are correct, they should at one point align with each other and confirm each other (scientific truth confirming biblical truth). Whether that happens on this side of eternity or not, I don’t know.

In the meantime, I keep coding.

I Had a Strange and Curious Dream

I had a strange and curious dream last night
I dreamt my heart grew wings and then took flight
Flew far and wide o’er hills and fields of green
Above those golden clouds, to things unseen –
Plucking roses sweet that never grew
And singing childish rhymes all while I flew.
I touched the sky, I think, with outstretched hand
Drew fine-art paintings in the ocean sand
And swiftly sailed across the deep blue sea
To search for wonders named in poetry.

In this dream I had, I know it’s strange
I dreamt I leaped across a mountain range!
The pinnacles where draped in snowy white
And gleaming in the shining sun so bright.
But linger long up there was not for me,
What worlds that lay beyond I had to see.
Quickly went I down the mountain side
T’was there I saw the meadows open wide.

I stood in flowery grass so tall and green
Such wonderful flowers; I had never seen!
The field rolled gently down towards a stream
Beyond which a city seemed to softly gleam.
It was a city made of purest gold
Of its glory every psalm and hymn had told.
At length I stood there, taking in the sight –
Until a voice spoke softly to my right.

The joy I felt I cannot ever tell
Suffice to say, on my knees I quickly fell.
And on my cheeks, round tears then softly broke
As He, my King of Kings, so sweetly spoke.
“This is the home”, He said, “for you I made;”
“Do not fear, the price has all been paid.”
And from His love I then began to weep –
T’was then, that I awoke out of my sleep.

I had a strange and curious dream last night
I dreamt my heart grew wings and then took flight.
The day will come again when I will fly
Beyond those golden clouds in sunset sky.
And nevermore will I this planet roam
For somewhere over there is home, sweet home.