This I Believe

Pierre - Florence, South Carolina
Entered on April 15, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

Faith Is Not Naivety

Some people believe that faith is mere wishful thinking and has no evidence to support it. Usually, this is said in the context of science verses religious belief. For example, Evolution is often presented as a fact, while religion is contrasted as naivety. To many, faith is synonymous with credulity.

My ninth grade science teacher used to present the evolutionary theory, as many people do today, as a fact. He was so confident in his belief. It wasn’t his confidence that I found annoying; it was his view that the same degree of confidence I had in my belief in God was somehow naïve. My teacher would say, “Science has evidence while religion has to be accepted on faith.” That, to me, always sounded suspiciously like, ‘Science has proof while religious faith is a baseless self-deception.’

Ironically, Evolution, itself, resembles a religion. It has a clergy class—leading scientists who are proponents of this theory. This scientific synod believes that ‘In the beginning, something created’ the universe while I believe that someone did. Both ideas seem farfetched, but the former conclusion has the added burden of having to explain how extreme organization immerged from an unintelligent “something.” At least the latter view, mine, seems, to me, the more viable of the two outlandish ideas in that it agrees with the reality of order seen throughout the universe. Thus far, Evolution is unable to answer the quintessential question; what was the “first cause?” Yes, the universe may have been the result of the big bang, but what caused the big bang? And whatever caused the big bang has to have its own catalyst. If you go back far enough, either someone or something had to always exist; there has to be an eternal first cause. This logical impasse, notwithstanding, intelligent, reasonable scientists continue to believe in a serendipitous, albeit mindless, assemblage of order. Now, how is that different from the “faith” of religious people often looked down upon as naïve? Finally, evolution is “evangelized” on television programs, in spite of its improvability, with an air of confidence suggesting it is gospel. Now, that’s what I call a religion.

Robert Jastrow once wrote: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”—God and the Astronomers.

I believe that continued scientific exploration will inexorably lead to the simplest and most likely explanation for the existence of order in the universe—someone with an intelligent, orderly mind created it. When science completes its mission to traverse the “mountains of ignorance” to find the truth; as the last dubious scientist conquers “the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock,” I’ll be waiting. This, I believe!