Reasons to Believe

Top 10 Science-Faith Conversation Starters

Tens of thousands of people are affected every day by this latest epidemic: the ironic hipster mustache. What may have begun as nothing more than a hairy badge for hipsters has transformed into a movement (fittingly called Movember) to “change the face of men’s health.” And it serves as a fine example of giving purpose to a trivial trend.

Another (not-so-trivial) trend, at least among believers, is a peripheral view of science and theology. Hugh reported that his recent university debate was more heavily attended by atheists despite the existence of several Christian groups on campus. The groups seemed “scared to engage” in the words of one attendee. Yet, in the groups’ fear, they missed a key opportunity to hear reasons why this conversation is so important, not only for evangelism but also for renewed confidence in who their Creator and Savior is.

The Christian groups’ absence highlighted a common tendency to shy away from science-faith discussion. So, too, did an article featured in Relevant titled “10 reasons why Christians should engage in the science-and-theology dialogue.” There are clear reasons to engage in this conversation, but some of us need help just knowing where to begin. So for our Thanksgiving special, Take Two offers our top 10 science-faith conversation starters.

  1. Did you know the big bang was “discovered” long ago in the pages of the Bible? This cosmic beginning points to a God who cares so deeply for humanity that He created a cosmos for the benefit of humanity. (See “Nacho Average Discovery”)
  1. It can be difficult to envision how God can be simultaneously near us and beyond us. But mathematics has found a way to illustrate this reality. This illustration helps demonstrate God’s character as all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present Caretaker. (See “Turtles and Transdimensionality”)
  1. A full moon on a cloudless night is breathtaking. But did you know the moon formed as a result of a collision? God used this “beautiful disaster” to prepare the earth for life—specifically humanity. (See “A Stark Beauty”)
  1. Did you know humans are the only creatures with an intrinsic ability to dance? This type of creative behavior is reflective of beings who are endowed with the image of God. (See “Let’s Dance”)
  1. Sure, the Bible says we are created in God’s image. But did you know the fossil record reveals a sudden surge of creativity alongside the appearance of modern humans? This co-appearance of humans and culture stands in stark contrast with evolutionary models. (See “A Song for You”)
  1. Rather than producing a clear evolutionary tree, the fossil record looks more like blades of grass, consistent with biblical creation. Events like the Cambrian explosion display hallmarks of a Creator’s involvement, such as sudden speciation and extinction events—sounds like Psalm 104:27–30. (See “A Long Time Ago in Our Very Own Galaxy...”)
  1. Did you know significant archaeological discoveries support the Bible’s historic accuracy? Findings, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, increase confidence in the Bible’s reliability and inerrancy. (See “Sifting Fact from Fiction in Biblical Archaeology”)
  1. Based on its own mechanisms, the evolutionary process can’t replicate its results. But did you know the natural world is replete with repetitious designs among unrelated organisms? Features like echolocation in bats and dolphins display convergence, a phenomenon that fits better within the biblical explanation for life. (See “Repeat Performance”)
  1. Getting pelted with asteroids isn’t high on anyone’s list—but research shows an upside to such bombardments. Precisely engineered collision events during Earth’s early years helped path the way for life to survive and thrive on this little blue planet. (See “Blockbusters and Bombardments”)
  1. At first, their work sounds like a scene from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but synthetic biologists’ attempts to create artificial life are something to be thankful for. In addition to opening possibilities for exciting breakthroughs, the efforts to generate life in the lab vividly demonstrate that “even the simplest life-form cannot arise without the involvement of an intelligent, intentional agent.” (See “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Creating Life in the Lab”)

The hope here on Take Two is to provide accessible apologetics arguments—and perhaps help start a new trend of Christians engaging in science and theology discussions. Perhaps these conversation starters can be passed around the table along with the gravy this Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the holiday, we have a few favorite Turkey Day “trends” of our own. Maureen and her husband spend the holiday catching up with his family around the turkey. (And this year they’re hoping to talk everyone into a group trip to the cinema for the new Muppets movie.) Sandra and her crew split their holiday, spending half of the day serving Thanksgiving Dinner-in-the-Park and the other half with extended family.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

 

– Maureen and Sandra

Subjects: General Apologetics