I don’t remember exactly when I first noticed some cracks in my lens of faith. It happened sometime after I was able to ‘fess up to my somewhat irrational fear of the scientific community. Since admitting you have a problem, is the first step to healing (if you believe the science behind the addiction recovery industry) I’m finally ready to talk.
I’ve never considered myself a sucker for conspiracy theories. Like those experimental cars that were able to get 200 mpg until one day, an oil executive arrived at the inventors front door with a cheque for – a lot (the number of zeros fluctuates, depending on which decade you first heard the story). Invariably, the plans for this OPEC resistant vehicle got buried in a file cabinet, or left in somebody’s pants pockets only to be pulverized in the rinse cycle. Okay, I’ll admit I might be susceptible to this one.
But there is no bigger conspiracy theory being perpetrated against society, according to many evangelicals than Darwin’s longstanding hoax of evolution. While most people outside the faith can’t wrap their heads around our skepticism, it would be wise for those of us inside the community to at least admit this much: we have convinced ourselves that the so called “experts” are up to no good.
Yet, we still go through our daily lives taking full advantage of every technological advancement made possible by these same godless experts. From dental x-rays and flu vaccinations, to the genetically modified pizza toppings we shove into our cancer inducing microwave ovens (and collagen infused pizza-pie holes) christians are quite content to reap all the benefits of science without feeling the slightest tinge of remorse for disdaining the scientific community.
Case in point: Should Christians refuse an MRI when their doctor suggests it without knowing if science behind it is scripturally sound? (Thanks to those helpful people down at the internet, I was able to access some specs of this amazing technology – in exchange for my bank PIN and a promise to pick up a Nigerian prince at the airport.)
An MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is tied down and inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong electromagnetic field that apparently aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms in the body. As the protons spin they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner and an image is produced (thanks to medicinenet.com). Sounds like voodoo to me. The experts may theorize that those alleged hydrogen protons in my body are spinning, but I know my spleen better than anybody, and if it really was spinning… well I’d know about it. And God would most certainly know about it.
The problem, if we are suspect of science as many evangelicals are, is that magnetic resonance imaging is a technological cousin of radiocarbon dating, the same technology which is used to classify fossils and other ancient artifacts. Most christians are not fans of radiocarbon dating unless it helps confirm the age of the dead sea scrolls or tells us something miraculous about the Shroud of Turin. But our shallow exuberance vanishes into the ether when we are told the same laws of physics and associated gadgetry has just validated an 18,000 year old mastodon clavicle in Montana. 18,000 is such an unbiblical date to attach to anything!
To make matters worse, rather than allowing our fear of being deceived drive us to investigate and formulate a coherent response to the these technological “threats” to our faith, many christians simply recoil in the face of controversy. Alternative Creation Science groups, free from the heavy-handed reach of the mainstream science “elitists” publish their own sets of facts, and preach their own “literal” Biblical theories. Soon, Christian text books are trucked in to add legitimacy to the whole escapade, and eventually we call in a Christian law firm to muscle Intelligent Design into the spotlight and our public schools.
For “People Of the Light” we sure spend a lot of energy being afraid of the dark.
Here’s a question: Does the christian communities’ skepticism of science serve to enhance or discredit our faith? In other words, is the God who spoke the cosmos into existence and watched the big bang unfold, while scribbling the entire periodic table of elements on a napkin before it even existed – is He pleased with our efforts to berate those who call on every ounce of reason and intellect at their disposal to make sense of the physical world?