Science and origins
Religion and origins
In Six Days
Why 50 Scientists Choose
to Believe in Creation
Sid Cole, physical chemistry
Dr. Cole is a research associate at the Sanitarium Health Food Company in Australia. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in chemistry from Melbourne University and a Ph.D. from Newcastle University for studies of ligand binding by metalloporphyrins. He is a former director of the Australasian Food Research Laboratories and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science.
I am a practicing scientist with a very healthy respect for the power of the scientific method of investigation and validation of the data we observe and the hypotheses and theories that we develop. It is sometimes frustrating to realize that our theories of the origin of life cannot be tested by scientific methodology. We just cannot carry out the experiments necessary. We have to look outside of science for a basis on which to build our belief.
What we believe about creation depends mostly on what we believe about God. If a person does not believe in God, development of life over a long period of time is the only alternative. For one who believes in a God who is interested in us, creation over a period of six days, as set out by Moses in Genesis 1, is a viable alternative.
There is much data which does not fit well. I struggle to interpret some of the dating information into my understanding of creation. On the other hand, I am overwhelmed by the chemical complexity of living things and the fragility of the life process. The possibility of the conditions for life occurring because of a random coming together of the right molecules at the right time under the right conditions seems so remote as to be impossible even in huge time spans. The more detailed our understanding becomes, the more remote is the possibility that life as we know it could have originated by a chance meeting of molecules.
To sum it all up, I believe in a six-day creation for four basic reasons:
- I have a firm belief in a personal God who revealed himself in the Bible. This revelation, while containing much which is obviously symbolic, is best understood in a literal sense unless there is strong evidence to do otherwise. The Bible presents a six-day creation cycle as the origin of life on this earth.
- This belief in a personal God is consistent in my experience of life and gives reasonability to much of what I see around me. Much of this does not lend itself to validation by the scientific method because it is outside the realm with which science is able to deal.
- My belief in a six-day creation cycle, while encountering some information which is difficult to fit in, does not present any practical difficulty to the application of science to the areas which I investigate or with which I am familiar.
- A belief in the origin of life based on chance encounter of the necessary molecules under the conditions necessary for their survival and multiplication requires an acceptance of a huge degree of improbability. This is difficult when one considers the amazing complexity and vulnerability of the process of living organisms.