Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Questions than Answers... But That's Okay

The title of this blog is by design, mostly focused on the vivid relationships that exist between science, learning and God.

SCIENCE: The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," which means knowledge. But knowing what? Plus, even the knowledge we purport to know is almost always incomplete. Presently, it's obvious that we "see through a glass darkly..." But then! Furthermore, if science answers questions, what is the ultimate question?

LEARNING: After learning how to send a text message, where the bathroom is and how to use our gps to locate the nearest Starbucks... what else do we need? Does the entire of system of learning ultimately point out the ongoing battle between secularism and God stuff?


GOD: Is God simply a concept? A cliche? Maybe even Creator? If science is "knowing," does "knowing God" come under the realm of science? Or is it the other way around?

As college students (learners) in a required course (science) in a Christian college (God), does any of this make sense? Have we reduced life to cell phones and Scantrons? Can we find real meaning in life without "knowing" God? Can we find life WITH Him? 

Is your tuition money paying for only knowledge? Or direction? But maybe decision is that which leads to direction?

Anyway, those musings may be rhetorical, maybe not.

90 comments:

  1. I feel as though the first sentence of this blog entry summarizes my perspective on the concept. I believe there is a direct correlation between science, learning, and God. I believe that science can help us to learn more about God. Many people believe that the more science answers science gives us, the less we need God and religion to be our answer. In a nutshell, many scientists would argue that we are slowly filling in pieces of a puzzle - the puzzle being our understanding and knowledge of LIFE. I would disagree, I believe that as science answers questions, many more questions open up, or in fact many answer point towards God, and a Creator. Therefore science seems to only reveal that the puzzle is so much bigger than we realize. Ultimately, as I learn, especially and specifically from reason and a logical/scientific perspective, I am more and more amazed by God.

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    1. I completely agree with your point that the "puzzle pieces" we find in science often turn us toward a larger puzzle than we first realized. I find that scientists seem ignorant to imagine. Meaning that when any normal person finds a small piece of a large puzzle they are naturally inclined to imagine the large puzzle that the small piece fits too. Or at the very least they will imagine a variety of possibilites. Sometimes scientists are going to come across things that dont fit the picture they were trying to prove, so they will just stop right there instead of imagining where the piece might fit. If we could think and understand God fully then he wouldn't be God.

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    2. To go off of what Spencer said I do agree as well. I believe that we search so hard for the answers through science when the answer is right in front of us. It is almost as if we are looking so close at it that we are missing whats going on. I believe that Science and God do go hand in hand. There has been the battle between science and religion for such a long time that it is almost as if one has to be right only if the other is wrong. I do not agree with this but I do think that the two work together. It is almost as if science spends a lot of time proving that God does not exist, but if one were to just look around at the beauty of the simpler thing such as the mountains, or the sunset, or even the beauty in the smell of rain, or pine trees. Science may be able to say how that happens and examine it in that light, but they do not answer the question of why that happens, and what were these things placed here for.

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  2. I am beyond amazed at how much of an influence technology has in the way we learn present day. I use it to guide me if I am lost, to research/ work on various assignments, to send emails from my phone. It is always attached to me and to be honest, I feel empty-handed without it. To respond to your list of questions about learning with technology, I want to recognize that technology can be used in a mature way in order to maximize our learning experience. However, I also believe that technology can be used in an inappropriate manner when in learning environments as well. I think as Christians, we should strive to use technology in a way that glorifies God. I do not believe the entire system of learning is an on-going battle, but rather is a beautiful thing when trying to learn about our own faith. God wants us to ask questions and to learn more about him! I think if learning in general instills a passion to know more, it should be encouraged.

    And in terms of my tuition money paying for only knowledge, i'd have to disagree. I feel that I am being shaped in all areas in my life with my tuition payments. I have been stretched and molded over the last four years and I feel I am paying for a lot more than an education here at APU.

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    1. In response to the technology we use, I agree with you Jamie! I spend much of my time either on the computer or my phone, and when I am away from either of these things i feel empty handed. Although I would much rather have an up to date phone, it gives me the simple task of calling or texting. I can take photos but it is not the best camera. But if I had a phone that i could research with or play games, I do not know how much time I would spend actually interacting with the people around me when I am able to be distracted by the device in my hands. The way we communicate needs to be improved because texting is not an effective way of communicating serious things, but people do it anyway. I heard that someone actually told their spouse they wanted a divorce through texting!! That is just outrageous and needs to not be okay in today's society, but unfortunately this lack of verbal communication has reached all the way down to junior high and elementary school.

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    2. Jamie, I would completely agree with you how much we use technology in our lives!! I know at least check my phone 5 times a day. My iPhone is my way of communication with my family and with everybody else, it has my email, facebook, internet, safari, it is my alarm clock, EVERYTHING! In regards to the way that we use technology, it has completely consumed our lives. I mean how many times have we not heard from others that we can't have a regular conversation in REAL LIFE but it is only through means of technology. I mean I've had skype meetings, and phone interviews! I have never even heard of these things!!! Technology has definetely gotten us places and moved us forward, but in how many different aspects have we not taken steps back?

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    3. Jamie, I definitely agree with you and all of the repliers preceding this comment. Humans have taken great leaps and bounds in developing technology to make our lives easier and more efficient (although it seems like the faster and more developed technology becomes, the busier our lives also become), and this is a good thing as more gets accomplished, however, the flip side of the coin is that technology become distracting. Like most anything, it can be sued for good or evil, something to help propel you forward and up or something to pull you away from your goals and keep you from accomplishing anything. And society has become somewhat accepting of this as it is a common problem (I'm also fairly convinced that society has become comfortable with multiple personality disorder or people talking to the voices in their heads, what with the development of the bluetooth headset and earbuds)and it should not be because children are now having trouble focusing in a classroom setting.

      I had a public speech professor who cited various scientific studies in which it was discovered that people nowadays, especially in the middle school to college age range, receive a small adrenaline rush from their cell phones which causes them to want to look at the phone and play with it and mess with it because their getting a small high from it. I'm not saying that this is good or bad, I'm just pointing out another way cell phones are distracting and keeping people from accomplishing things and focusing in a classroom environment.

      As long as technology remains as a tool, I think it's great. It's cool that it's got an alarm clock and helps communicate with others, and takes pictures, these are all useful things. But when you let this little piece of technology start to run your life, that's when you've got a problem.

      As a graphic design major, I'm constantly doing things on the computer and as a student and a person, I use my laptop and phone for various useful things. However, I don't let my computer or phone run my life. For instance, when working on an assignment in my design classes, I tend to do as much as I can outside of the computer– I draw in my sketchbook, create proportional diagrams, make cutouts, draw and paint, and then I scan all the pieces into the computer where I put them together and apply various filters. If I were letting the computer run my life, if I were to let my assignment be completely dependent on the computer, this picture would look a lot different. Yes, I wouldn't be doing many different things, but I would be sitting at my computer for long periods of time and if just one thing went wrong, I would lose all my pieces and who knows how many hours worth of work and have to start over.

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    4. Jamie, I really enjoyed reading your comment as well as everyone else's responses. As Christians, we are called to live in the world but not OF the world. In the society we will live in, this can be very difficult to remember. We are surrounded with the latest technology discoveries and have access to things people never imagined we would have. We live very busy lives and rely on technology, instead of God, to get us through the day. Personally, I definitely use technology constantly. I use my laptop for homework, research, my job, and social media. I use my phone for my job as well because I can get instant notification when I receive an email. I also use it to communicate with friends and family while I am away at college. I believe using technology is completely okay because in today's society it is part of "living in the world." The tricky part, however, is not getting so consumed in technology that we begin to put our trust and reliance in these devices when we are supposed to be putting our trust in God. I think if we can be aware of what technology can possibly do to our relationships with God, family, and friends then hopefully we can find some kind of balance; and potentially freedom from technology.

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    5. I completely agree with what Jamie mentioned about technology and what it has brought to today's students and society itself. There are both pros and cons of an increasingly rapid growth of technology. It has directly affected life as we know it. I recently went to a taping of Dancing with the Stars and they asked us not to bring our phones into the studio. I was without my phone for about 4-5 hours and I was miserable. I was constantly thinking what I was missing without it. And how many people might be trying to get ahold of me. I was also concerned with wanting to take pictures with my phone. But nevertheless, I was still without it for 5 hours. I think that is pathetic that I cannot put my phone away for a few hours without be worried and anxious to check it. Although society may amplify the cons of technology due to the lack of human interaction, there are pros to an increasing growth of technology. As it continues to grow, so does the cure of different diseases. It is a resource so so much information at the click of a button. Technology has changed this world as we know it.

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  3. When it comes to science and God, I think there will always be a stalemate when they are both compared. Why do I feel this way? Well if science is knowledge, and if people define knowledge as an exact knowing of something, then how can we define God? If knowing something entails physical evidence and proof then how can he be evident? Well, for the non-believer I think it is straightforward that there isn't tangible things we touch everyday that makes knowing God a real evidential thing, but for those who follow him like I myself do, there are tangible things; evidence for that matter that he does exist!! He is all around us every day! This is how miracles are explained! How a woman in Southern California was hit by a truck and the truck went off the freeway and burned, but her car was hanging off a ledge for two hours with a 10 year old daughter and new born inside. After fire fighters and crew tried to even the balancing act, Navy Seabees who were stuck in traffic the opposite direct can to the rescue when they just happen to be transporting a forklift. The mother and 10 year old sustained majoy injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital and the 10 week old only had minor injuries. They are now in good health. Need an explanation or a "knowing" for the existence of God? There’s a perfect example. Some want to call it coincidence, but the only wya for me to explain that is the presence of God. Period! You can google the story if you havet heard it yet.

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    1. I totally agree with you on God being present in everyday life. I mean just look around with the sky being clear blue and birds flying, and the flowers blooming. I feel like there will always be people challenging religion, philosophy, and politics. I don't understand how people can think of miracles as a coincidence. I mean God has given man the ability to cure cancer, he has made it so people can do amazing things.

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    2. I love that you said God gave man the ability to cure cancer. I feel like people always look past this huge gift because man discovered a cure. They are not realizing that God was the one who gave us the ability to find the cure and the ability to continue further research. Without him behind the entire scientific realm, we would not be able to do some of the most amazing things that we are able to today. I thank God that he has given man the opportunity to find cures for things, from the common flu to vaccinations, to cancer treatments. I take it to a whole other level because my daughter has been able to bounce back from being so ill that I was honestly scared. God does such amazing work through people and for people and I think the more we recognize this, the more we will be able to discover and learn.

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  4. Dear Professor Hitchcock and Class,

    I apologize in advance for the lengthy post. The complexity of the following topic merits wordy explanations. Unfortunately, there is a character limit, but I will do my best. I believe that the following thoughts need to be voiced in order to expand learning about God in our science class. First, allow me to lay some ground rules. For those of you who identify with the label “Christian”, I humbly come alongside you as a brother in Christ, fully admitting that I do not know of what I speak. My time here at APU has taught me that I do not know anything about anything. This post is meant to be something of a glimpse of the long, difficult, and dimly-lit journey that awaits you, if you so choose to pursue the mystery. Let me encourage you in saying that the end telos, though I have not yet arrived, is rewarding.

    Here is the crux of what I want to say: Interpreting the Bible literally is dangerous. Physically, if you were to be truly obedient to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 5:27-30. Socially, if you presume to expect the slaves in today’s world to follow Ephesians 6:5-8. Intellectually, because you are succumbing to the temptation that it is mentally easier to consider the Bible factually and undeniably true and right for everyone in all situations. Emotionally, if you believe that Proverbs will make good on its promises. Spiritually, and most importantly, because you are in great peril of making an idol out of the Bible, thereby attempting to confine or contain God.

    In Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, he claims that two indicators of the intellectual depravity of the evangelical culture are the current popularity and acceptance of creationism and contemporary apocalyptic speculation. I would agree with Noll, as well as mention that these two themes are intricately tied together with the concept of the inerrancy of the Bible, all of which are not at the core of our faith. Struggling with Scripture, co-written by Walter Brueggemann, William C. Placher, and Brian K. Blount, is an 80-page read that I would highly recommend.

    Brueggemann contends that how the Bible is read is largely influenced by society and personal experience. I agree with him, as I cannot escape my personal and cultural context any more than you can. Placher says that taking the Bible most seriously means one does not affirm its truth apart from struggling to understand its meaning. Blount believes that the biblical words are not the last word or a dead word, but the living Word. If the text is going to have any useful, meaningful impact on modern lives, it cannot have the final say, since God is always saying something new to those who live in changing contexts. If you would like to read a longer synopsis of the book, let me know and I can email it to you. In your search, I encourage you to believe that the Bible is infallible, but not inerrant.

    In closing, I want to address one of my past fears that I had when exploring the aforementioned themes. The same fear was verbalized in class. The fear is that if the Flood did not historically happen, or if Jonah was not really swallowed by a fish, or if some other account in the Bible is factually untrue, then Jesus falls off the cross. Since the latter is central to our faith, it would seem that this distinction gives Christians the liberty to pick and choose what to believe. While I will agree that the line between what is historically true and what is not is difficult to draw, it is the Bible. What I mean is, interpreting the Bible is supposed to be hard. If it was not hard, then it would not matter, like anything else in life.

    If you are interested in learning more, I would highly suggest the following URLs for starters.

    http://www.revelife.com/750809347/inerrant-infalllible-and-perfect-god-not-the-bible-part-one/

    http://www.revelife.com/750890568/inerrant-infalllible-and-perfect-god-not-the-bible-part-two/

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    1. Harrison McMasterApril 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      Stefan,

      I'll admit, your post gave me a bit of a headache, but was interest to read none the less. I appreciate your honest approach to analyzing the validity of the Bible and our our role/responsibility of interpreting it appropriately.

      I agree, that the Bible is not to be taken literally in all scenarios. I dislike the expression that the Bible is "out of context," however I believe it is in some sense true. But I think you final point, that the Bible is supposed to be difficult to interpret, or else it would not be significant.

      The best way I have heard it put, was in an article my friend showed me. The article compared the Bible to a radio playing the most beautiful and perfect symphony anyone could ever hear. But, the radio in the car gets bad reception, and so sometimes, the song is tainted, there is static over the words that make it difficult to hear the lyrics, and at some points in the ride (drive), you can only hear static and the message is lost altogether.

      The song is likes God's message of love to us, the truth, and everything absolute. The radio, is like the Bible. It allows us to hear the truth, an the message, but at hard can be hard to hear or distinguish because it was written by flawed beings (man) who while inspired by God, were not Divine themselves.

      Just because the message may be difficult to understand or hear at moments, it is still worth listening to because again, it is the most beautiful symphony ever written. And if you are truly listening, then you can appreciate the song for it's general glory.

      As Christians, I believe if we are truly seeking after the heart of God, and we are invested in the Word, we can truly come to understand God's nature, and enter a personal and real relationship with Him. When you are truly close with someone, you can almost know what they will do, or say without them having to do it.
      In moments where we are unsure what the Bible is telling us or when we are unsure how to interpret the Bible, I believe we can directly ask God, and if we know Him and He knows us, those moments of static, and misunderstanding will not affect us knowing how the song is meant to sound/play. Because we know it well enough to fill in the gaps.

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  5. I believe that science is meant to be Socratic. For those who don't know about the Socratic method, this method was named after the Greek philosopher Socrates who know known for his questions more than anything he made up. So, I believe that science isn't answering questions, necessarily, but more of questioning what we know to be true. For example, we once believed in terms of religion and science that the solar system was geocentric. Fortunately for science, someone questioned the knowledge we had, based on new research from advancements we now had, and were able to find what is our new truth.
    Professor, you mentioned science answers questions and asked if there is an ultimate question. If there is an "ultimate question" it would probably be "Why are we here?" but I cannot agree that science answers questions. If one looks at the progression of science, they can notice that science's biggest movements forward were ones that were not answering questions we had but were questioning the knowledge we had just like Socrates and the Socratic method would do.

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    1. Mr. Nunez I agree that the Socratic method is very important, questioning what we know makes us search within ourselves for answers instead of just hearing other people’s answers. I also agree that science can’t answer all questions, like the one you brought up “Why are we here?” but I don’t agree completely I think we need to balance Socratic thought with science, because if we only used Socratic we could still be debating that the world is flat and other things that science disproves.

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  6. This may be one of the longest debated topics of all time. And for me I believe the answer to be simple. God exists, and He gives us the strength and knowledge to have a scientific world. It takes us getting used to knowledge to be comfortable with knowledge being abstract to what we have grown up believing, or have come to believe about God. So in the end of it all. We really need to have a balance of knowledge and science incorporated in our faith to have a deeper understanding of the complexities of God.

    That is completely a lay-type belief about science and God. I am not a scholarly Christian. But when it comes down to it, at APU if I have learned one thing about my walk with God, it is tolerance, tolerance on all sides of the relationship we have.

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    1. Rebecca PorterfieldApril 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      I really agree with, "We really need to have a balance of knowledge and science incorporated in our faith to have a deeper understanding of the complexities of God."

      I believe that because God is...well God, it is obvious that he would be intertwined in his creation. I think that without God, science becomes less...impressive. With Him we can see the Purpose in the things around us.

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    2. I think it is the human struggle we go through to create answers for why, what, who, where, etc. God does, and is, and who, etc. how he is. I know that was confusing but I think it is followable. I believe what the human mind does is very impressive. And I believe when you take belief in God religion and add it to science, thats when it becomes truly impressive.

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  7. Science and God, more then just words. To define science by taking the history of the word only tells half the story. Systematically science is the thirst to observe and experiment while proving or disproving a concept based on facts. Throughout history many discoveries in science help us understand God in a new light. Many scientists from Copernicus to Newton used science to further their faith in God. Without God their would be know science. With Science we are given more opportunities to understand God in a knew light. Science and God both enlighten us. Science and God both teach us. Science and God give a structure to understand what we do not know. I really believe that God gave us science as a tool to help better human life and understand that which we do not know.

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    1. Hannnah,
      I agree with you. There is a specific sentence that you said that I think it's something very important that we sometimes don't really think about and it's this:
      "With Science we are given more opportunities to understand God in a knew light.".
      Science and God go hand in hand. With the understanding that we have of God as believers and followers, we are able to see science in new ways, and in different ways.
      However, we must not also forget that this doesn't mean that we should be closed minded and not see or learn about other theories about any given subject in science.

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    2. I really enjoyed your post Hannah! I like when you said that science and God give a structure to understand what we do not know. That is so true. When we don't understand something medically at first, like why we feel a certain way or why we may have a certain disease, we look at science. We try to find answers and to why we have symptoms, how we can help ourselves, or what medications we can take to relieve or stop medical issues from happening. Then I believe we incorporate God. We may ask him why these things are happening to us or how he cured us! There is were we find an answer. It may not be understood at first, but the path he has created for us includes everything, even issues we would rather not have. When we can come to a point when we understand I think we can thank God for all that he has given us.

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    3. I wasn't trying to come off as closed minded and not try and see other theories about any given subject in science. I was trying to say that God gives us the power to understand science and to learn and come up with new things like how to cure cancer. God has made our brains to be able to continue to learn up until we die. I mean the things that have come up with technology is amazing and not only useful but necessary especially in the medical field. All I am saying is that God created us to learn and understand. If he made us closed minded then we would have never investigated Darwin's theory and the Big Bang ect...

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    4. Hannah,
      Of course! I apologize, I didn't mean to say that you specifically were, but just as a general sense. I feel like sometimes some people aren't open towards simply learning about (like what you said) Darwin's theory and the Big Bang etc.. It is crucial for us to be able to be aware of our surroundings; whether that means that God is or isn't in the picture :).

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  8. Science and religion are both hot topics and are sometimes thought to offer entirely different and separate bodies of knowledge. Science is thought to provide systematized and organized knowledge of the world and its behavior, whereas religion is thought only to give value and purpose for one’s existence.
    For centuries, religion has had plenty to say to science. The development of modern science is often thought that religious belief was actually a hindrance to the early progress of science, and the disagreement between the church and Galileo is cited as a popular case. However, history shows that religious belief actually was entirely compatible with scientific progress.
    I believe that religion has not only served to advance scientific discoveries, but it also exerts a positive and significant influence on the practical application of scientific discoveries. However, God’s existence is not something that can be tested by the scientific method because science only provides knowledge about the natural world and no amount of testing or theorizing could prove or disprove the existence of a supernatural creator.

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    1. Last semester for one of my science classes we had to read the Language of God by Francis Collins. In the book Francis Collins tries to bring together science and Christianity and tries to bring reconciliation. This book opened my eyes to see that science and religion do not have to be separated. I agree with Hannah Bickley and the previous thoughts about how God has indeed given us a mind to think and through our learning we can come to glorify God. I also think that since we have access to higher education and one that fits with the Christian belief there is a way that learning and science and God can be brought together.
      Ultimately knowing God and actually believing in Him requires faith, and to me this is what makes the Christian faith so exciting because each day gives us an opportunity to know God more.

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    2. "Ultimately knowing God and actually believing in Him requires faith, and to me this is what makes the Christian faith so exciting because each day gives us an opportunity to know God more." I really like what you said here. Because I feel that without faith you ultimately have nothing. Faith can also be in our everyday life.hose that do possess faith generally lead blessed, fun-filled lives, despite the various trials and tribulations encountered along the way. They are usually extremely successful yet grounded in the principles of life, and generally inspire others to have faith and to improve in every aspect of their life. They usually have a healthy regard and understanding of the value and purpose of human life, and have a general realization and utmost respect for the power of Creator of the Universe.

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  9. I believe people try to separate science, God, and learning, but I do not believe they have to be separated. I believe the knowledge provided by science is what allows us to comprehend faith and our understanding of Gods creation.I know that if we only look at science there is always questions and gaps, yet there is a perception that it proves the ultimate knowledge. This is where learning and God comes in. I don't think we should be afraid of science and God because although there are multiple theroy's created from science that do not align with the bible, I believe they will always be theroys and we cannot be deterred by these. Science has broken atoms, created medical cures, and saved lives. Could any man possibly think of that on his own?

    The better we know God the better we know ourselves. The question about whether "knowing God" is under the realm of science or God I think it is a matter of determining if you believe in God. I you don't believe in God, than you believe its under science because there are not other possible answers, but on the other hand if you do believe in God they can go hand in hand to explain science. I have strong convictions that God gave us our minds and everything we are made of, which includes the intelligence of knowing and finding evidence about humans and God. I think we know "things" not because of our own doing, but because we were aided in the process. Knowing God is knowing science.

    When it comes to learning we can take in and comprehend as much as we want, but I dont think learning can disprove God. I have always loved the concepts of science and what we have accomplished by uncovering scientific discoveries. I believe "knowing" was given to us by God. It is a gift for us to know HIM better!

    Finally, I believe our tuition is paying for more than just knowledge. While we do gain knowledge from being able to attend college and engage in the learning process, we can also use the money to gain direction. We pay to understand what we believe is our calling to best fulfill it for the will of God.

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  10. It was said best in the Notebook "Science only goes so far, then comes God" Science, learning, and God can all exist and support one another very easily, and it's too bad that so many people out there put them against one another. Science can do a really good job of proving and giving evidence which is not clear from what we know about the Bible. things that we just read and accept as true. Science and God can work together in so many ways. In a lot of situations, science cannot fully explain a situation or event, and in that is when we rely on faith, and our explanation is God, such as when miracles happen, or when laws or theories are broken.

    Learning takes place all the time. A lot of learning is very valuable, but in different ways. Some things we learn are very useless and serve no purpose or relevancy to us or our lives. There are however, lessons and knowledge we take in that will help us in the long run and allow us to connect and understand people and things all around us. Most learning has a purpose and is positive and can glorify God with the right use.

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    1. I completely agree that science and God come together to make what we call faith. Also, I thought it was a good point to bring up that the Notebook talks about science and God. Interestingly, there are many different actors, movies, and TV shows that bring up science and God. Whether they are for or against it, it is definitely something on their minds and everyone can agree that it is a prominent issue. Just the other day there was an article about Miley Cyrus tweeting about science and God and how they go together.

      I believe as you said learning most of the time has a purpose and is positive. I believe learning and understanding multiple perspectives about science and God is very important to our developing minds.

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    2. I agree with what Rich said about the reference to the movie, "The Notebook." Science only does go so far, and then comes God. I have heard many stories about miracles taking place in the science field regarding medicine. Medicine and hard science facts are given a boundary and limit to what they are capable of doing for an individual. Doctors all over the globe have discussed their observations of science with patients about what is possible for the human body. Many times, what is stated on paper is usually the truth given to many patients and the potential outcome depending on their medical situation. However, there are many times when the patient overcomes the truth the doctor has presented to them and their life. The doctor is then unable to explain it except for stating that it is some sort of miracle, meaning God.

      I believe science is a wonderful thing that helps develop information and intellect amongst individuals. Additionally, I believe learning also takes place out of science, and from accepting truth that cannot be explained on paper can also be a form of learning and spiritual growth. It is a trusting practice in terms of one's faith. It is something I personally have to work at every single day of my life.

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    3. Rich,

      As much as I would enjoy deriving theological assumptions from popular media and incorporating them into my worldview, I believe that the aforementioned quotation from the Notebook is misleading, if not heretical. That is to say, I strongly disagree with your opinion. It was said very poorly in the Notebook.

      I will try not to unnecessarily attack your defective syntax, and by extension, your intellect. Truly, I do respect you as a person. To be consistent with this aim, as well as making an effort to abstain from putting words in your mouth, I will talk to the Notebook as a separate entity.

      Notebook,

      It seems as if you are saying that if science fails to explain some sort of phenomena, the only other and comparable explanation must be God. Where science ends, God begins. It is as if you have a meter stick, and science can explain the first 30 centimeters, while God explains the remaining 70 centimeters. This view gravely diminishes the power and the scope of a divine creator by comparing him to science. Allow me to put the latter in its rightful place. Science cannot and does not exist apart from God; it does not act alone and by itself. God is not only the creator, but the sustainer of the world, which includes both science and learning. He does not need either concept to exist or function.

      I do not presume to tell you how you should or should not perceive your God. I only caution you against compartmentalizing something as powerful as the Christian God into the same category as science and learning. To compare science and God on the same level is idolatrous, along the lines of blasphemy. As such, I believe the majority of the musings on this page are largely irrelevant, as God and science do not occupy the same territory, and therefore, cannot be compared. Such an endeavor is illogical. I would say that one is apples and the other is oranges, but even that cliche falls ashamedly short of describing what we are dealing with here.

      Lastly, I personally rely on faith, whether science can explain something or not. It makes no difference if science can fully explain a phenomena. I choose to see God in it, even if science can fully explain it. But that’s only my own opinion and experience. Feel free to disagree.

      Yours,

      Stefan

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    4. Rich,
      As comical as I found your opening line of your fragmented and run-on sentence filled paragraphs, it did not help your cause of making a completely valid point. It was rather inconsistent, lacking in flow and any support from sentence to the next sentence.
      The line “Science only goes so far, then comes God” brings up quite a few questions in my mind, such as: Why does science only go so far? Why does God only pick up where we left off, instead of being there the whole time? Why does this line sound like it came out of a fortune cookie? (probably because it is a cheesy movie line...) Science only goes so far because, like a car, it can only go as far as the driver will let it go. Science is limited to our human mind, our errors, our thinking. If we can’t think of something to test, science stops and becomes useless. Next, God does not pick up from there. He does not come in as if he is 2nd in line or from off the bench because He is not part of the starting lineup. God and science are not separate entities that work away from each other, and though you mention that, your movie quote separates them and does not support what you’re saying; also, God does not need to come in when science can do know more because they are not on the same level. Science is a mere tool that fails only because it is used by error ridden humans, and to put a tool on a level that is next to one who uses working humans as tools, God, would be idiotic.
      Your unclear and very hard to read statements about science proving and giving evidence about that which is not clear in the Bible I am going to comment on. (and thus, my fair warning has been given) What would you say to the evidence (whether it be through science, or even other windows of opportunity) that actually prove biblical stories incorrect? You have a sentence that says, “things that we just read and accept as true,” assuming that we the readers are all college students who are in top ten percent in the world in education, I do not believe that we would/should be ignorant to believe anything we just read. (unless, of course, it has been written on Wikipedia.) For example, do we believe every word written in our weekly Clause? No, we don’t. Assuming that we accept what we read would be insulting our intelligence.
      Your idea of faith and God filling in your gaps of unexplained events, can be quite tricky. Once you start sticking God into everything you don’t understand, you can get people you don’t know or understand how Twinkies are made or those will simply blame “God” for the cavity attracting treats and candy they eat.
      I know you probably mentioned learning only because the title of the blog is “Science, Learning and God,” but your paragraph about learning does not really flow with anything else you previously stated. It is almost like the time a bunny tried crossing a river but never made it down river because he had to lay eggs for easter…(get my point?)

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    5. While first reading the quote from the Notebook stated in Rich's post, I thought of it as such a wise statement that many people use to explain the unexplainable, especially in regards to medical issues. I quickly realized that though this does seem like a valid and hopeful quote, it does undermine the power of God. It seems to say that science can only go so far, and then comes God. Stefan and mr. Nunez discussed this in their comments and I do believe they bring up a good point. God is omnipresent and all-powerful, even through the sufferings involved in scientific discovery and medical problems. Though I do understand where the writer of this quote was attempting at going with in regards to accepting God's plans in healing the sick that science can't fix, it seemed to de-value the importance of science and God. God created everything on this earth as well as the resources found in science for a purpose. God is present through those scientific discoveries and he is also present in those miraculous events that seem to occur after science is proven to be wrong. God has the power and authority to intervene in the scientific world at anytime.

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  11. I believe when it comes to the subject of science and God, the two have more in common than people want to believe. People say that believing in God is putting faith in something you cannot physically see or feel. Yes, there is the possibility that you are putting your faith into something that may not be true, but none the less everyone tends to put their faith into something intangible. While science on the other hand is made up of thousands upon thousands of hypothesis that have been tested but not necessarily proven. Just as in religion, many put their faith in these hypotheses in the hope that the scientists are not wrong.

    So how is it that one can put every ounce of their faith into science but none into God? Yes, putting faith into something that you cannot reach out and grab can be a bit scary but so can completely relying on man.

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    1. Rebecca PorterfieldApril 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Great points! i believe that science and God go hand in hand as well.
      Without God the reasoning behind science because void in the sense that without him the purposes of scientific discovery dwindle.
      How do you explain to someone who places their faith in science that there is purpose behind all of it?

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    2. Elizabeth! You made some really great point and I completely enjoyed your post! I think that instead of over analyzing, people need to step back and realize that science and God do go hand in hand, just as you stated. I also love the point you made that science is based on thousands of hypothesis that have been tested but not necessarily proven, and that a certain amount of faith comes into that, just as our faith in God does. I had never looked at science in that way and it really helped me to understand the relationship between the two! Thank you!

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    3. Harrison McMasterApril 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Elizabeth,

      I agree, many people put their faith into the hypothessis of unproven science and exerpimentation, relying on the idea and hope that science can prove everything - we just haven't figured it out yet.
      However, this seems much more ridiculous to me, than believing in a God. The one thing I would add to your response is that while people seek to approve science and it's explanation of humanity, God seems to only ever be the alternative. IF science and these hypotheses' falls short, then perhaps God is the alternative answer. However, as I wrote in my initial response, I believe that God is in fact one of the most logical and scientific responses to many of the questions people and scientists have about life.

      I wouldn't say God is an alternative to an unproven hypothesis, I would say he IS a suggested scientific explanation that while we cannot prove, is alternatively the most logical concclusion we have based on ALL of the information, and science that we have.

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  12. Hello Professor and Class!
    With the topic of technology vs. God, there needs to be a balance. Like most things in life. The entire system of learning, especially with the technology that we have with us day to day, does to a certain point continue this ongoing battle between secularism and "God stuff". However at the same time, in how many occasions do we not use technology to spread the gospel? We have Bible apps. verses on the internet, etc. I mean we have Christian radio stations that will send you bible verses or uplifting text messages if you were to subscribe. For a time I myself would receive prayers and verses from one of UCR's Christian clubs. Technology has allowed us to be able to spread the good news of the gospel in different ways!
    One of the questions that really stood out to me was "Is your tuition money paying for only knowledge? Or direction? But maybe decision is that which leads to direction?" Being scholars at a private, Christian, yet quite pricy institution (unless some of us have 39 grand lying around someplace) this is a question that has definetely come to mind. I believe that it is through this education that we are receiving that then formulates our ideologies, and the way that we execute them. It is thorough the way that we execute them that this then is our life! By being surrounded by other Christians and those who are believers, we then act like those who are around us. Coming to APU is extremely different than going to a public University. I look at my friends who are at public universities and their direction of life is different even though similar majors. Say for example myself, I am a political science major because I want to be the voice for those who aren't heard or represented; specifically the Latino community. However, a friend at mine at a UC is studying political science because he needs it in order to run for congress. I'm not saying that everyone at APU is super humanitarian, however our Christian morals play a role in the reason why we do things and how we do it.

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    1. I love your evaluation on the question posed regarding where our money is going here at this expensive Christian institution. Being here is definitely a different experience than being at a public college or university. I knew coming into APU that I was going to be getting a lot more than just "academic knowledge". I came into this school expecting to grow spiritually and academically and I do believe that APU does a great job in doing that. APU does a great job at implementing knowledge of subject-related facts while encouraging people to develop a relationship with God in order to stay on the path to success, both academically and spiritually.

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  13. I saw this online and thought that I should share with you all! This is CRAZY!
    Essentially it is pools on balconies! WHAT!


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/aquaria-grande-mumbai-apartment-complex-swimming-pool-balconies_n_1403741.html?ref=mostpopular#s843117&title=Aquaria_Grande

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  14. I think that iquintero brings up a good point about how in this day and age there are so many new technological advances and how we use them has moral implications. I think technology can be used for good as well as the bad and as Christians we have to know the difference when it is doing more harm to our life than good. In class when Professor Hitchcock talked about how everything has moral implications.

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  15. Rebecca PorterfieldApril 15, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    God creates purpose for our lives. Without the purpose he brings, how would we live meaningful lives? Having a God based science class is the way it should be. God is in everything and leads us to Himself through his creation. The tiniest piece of matter was still made by him. When scientists are able to view these tiny organisms how can they not point it to a creator? with all of the technological advances that we have, how is it that people can not see the God who created it all?
    The details found in creation are amazing and amidst all the discoveries and investigations, people lost God. Science and the church used to be together. Some of the most knowledgable people came out of the church. Why has this stopped? Christians are thought to have lost their ability to think logically. It has been said that we depend fully on "feelings" instead of knowledge.
    I think that we should build our minds while allowing the HolySpirit to lead us but finding the balance of wisdom and feeling is a challenge.

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    1. I agree with Rebecca when she says that God is in everything and leads us to Himself through his creation on this earth. I am still baffled that Scientists today are trying to prove that matter and organisms are not created by God, but that there is an explanation for everything. I think a true test of faith will be when we, as humans, humble ourselves to the Lord and accept that we do not know specific answers but can find peace knowing that God knows and has created everything for a purpose.

      I have experienced times when I doubted God or his presence in certain areas of my life. It is during these times that I submit it all to God and ask Him to do a work in me. I am constantly asking Him to give me peace in areas of my life that are unclear. In my opinion, this is the way we should go about finding answers. By giving it to God, I believe we are able to feel the peace about not knowing.

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    2. I agree, I think God and science should be able to go hand in hand with one another. I believe God created all and provided man with the knowledge and potential to discover the science behind what He created. Also as Rebecca stated, God has given us a purpose in our lives and thus provides real meaning and peace through knowing Him.

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  16. I think that science and faith relate to one another in the fact that the Christian has to have faith to believe in God and scientists have to have a sort of faith as well, that the experiments that they conduct or the research they interpret will lead to an explanation of something bigger. A major difference is that the Christian places faith in the invisible and the Scientist in the visible. A comparison yet a distinction between the scientist and the believer but at the same time there are probably plenty of scientist that believe in God and see God visible in daily life.All this to say that the blending of science and faith can help reach an understanding. I mean God as creator made water to be composed of two hydrogen and one oxygen it is the scientist who discovers this and the christian who can take to heart that God has ordered the universe.

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    1. I agree with most of the points you have made. You made a great point tying the science of water in with God's creation. In todays society science and God tend to be seperated as far as possible. However, when you take a closer look science only exists because of God. Just as Caira has stated, the blending of science and faith can help reach an understanding whether it be in the scientific world or everyday life. No matter where you look God is tied into everything.

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    2. Max Gillette-AlmqvistApril 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      Caira and Elizabeth, you both did a great job of looking at what it takes to view how science and faith relate to own another. The difference you pointed out that says "A major difference is that the Christian places faith in the invisible and the Scientist in the visible." was very well written. I really like the perspective that you are coming from, and acknowledging that brings a lot out in the open. It shows the difference between what we as Christians see and what people who don't believe in God believe in. You laid it out very nicely and I appreciate it a lot. You guys both did great, and I'm proud to be in a class with both of you. Thank you for the great information.

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    3. Lauren VillarrealMay 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      I really enjoyed reading these comments! Caira, I love that you stated "it is the scientist who discovers this and the christian who can take to heart that God has ordered the universe." I completely agree with you. I think that because of science we have been able to understand more about our earth and how our bodies function. As Christians, we know that God is the creator of all of these things. I think it is important to learn about the creation that God made because it can ultimately help us to know Him better; and we can learn about His creation through science. This whole world was His gift to us, and as Christians I think it would be a waste if we did not take the time to learn about it and take care of it. Thankfully, science allows us to do this!

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  17. I feel like with technology today one of my greatest struggles has become relying on technology more than I do on God. Because technology helps us to do almost anything, many people, including myself can become consumed by it to the point where without technology we feel lost. People will tend to fill their empty voids with technology that provides entertainment and immediate answers rather than focus on their faith which is a more worthwhile practice and has a better influence on one's life. Of course I don't mean to say technology is bad, just that many people have become overly reliant on it.

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    1. I completely agree. In todays age it is so difficult not to rely on technology as much, and put a lot more focus and reliance on God . Technology offers us everything we could want. Answers, entertainment, social acceptance. We are living in a time where we are very familiar with technology and are consumed by it in our everyday lives. Today individuals are extremely impatient and want answers and satisfaction now. A relationship with God takes patience and faith, something that isnt always easy. Technology takes away those things and brings us answers and entertainment at the click of a button. The generations to come are going to struggle even more because they will be completely submerged in technology, compared to us who at least still had normal childhoods spent out doors playing in the dirt and riding bikes. So we at least have a taste of that and life without technology.

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  18. I see our generation in a transformation age because we really aren't sure where science will take us. We all have so many questions because we now see what we are able to accomplish here on earth. I would not be surprised if some of the bigger questions start becoming clearer in the coming generations because of leaps and bounds made by God's own creation.

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    1. Connor makes some good points. I see science and God being two things that compliment one another, but also two things that can clash at times. Science is the searching and effort to find answers for events and outcomes, as where God and our relationship with him demands patience and faith.

      Today, with how answer hungry we are and how caught up we get in knowing things and technology, all three components, God, science and learning seem to clash with another. While the belief in God calls to live and practice one life style, and science and learning each call for their own.

      Depending on the case and severity of what we learn and how much we depend on science and for what we depend on it for, they could both very easily intwine and work with God and our relationship we carry out with our living God.

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  19. Honestly I thoroughly enjoy science, as well as God. But Learning is a new passion of mine. All throughout high school I have loathed the process of learning because it seemed like a prison and requirement for me (which it was). The little rebel in me fought against "the system" for so long I never realized how much fun learning actually was.

    Recently I have stumbled into a new reality which has arrived far too late. I now enjoy the basics of learning on a fundamental level. I actually enjoy learning completely random things just for the sake of their knowledge being added into mine.

    As much as I enjoy the Science and God aspects of this blog, I think a lot of people are missing out on the epistemological acquisition that goes along with learning. Without a true desire to learn, science and god and pretty much everything else in this world is meaningless. The world will thrust its knowledge upon you but if you are unwilling to accept it you will know nothing.

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    1. I am really proud of you Spencer! It is really hard to admit things like that. I too have struggled in the past with having the drive to learn more about God or science. This past year, God has opened my eyes and given me a new desire for studying his word and acquiring knowledge. Seriously, Bro, keep yearning for God's revelation in your life, he will reveal himself to you!

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    2. Max Gillette-AlmqvistApril 30, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      Dustin, I am very happy that you are so proud of Spencer for admitting something that he has had trouble with his drive to learn more about God or science. This shows that you have a good heart for these kinds of thing, and it is seemingly something that God has instilled in your heart. I have been able to be near you while you have grown into your own faith, and seeing you be in a place where appreciating another's faith is so respectable makes me a happy friend. Keep on keeping on and try your best to stay faithful.

      I have also struggled with my passion for learning about God and science, and because of this I am less knowledgable in those aspects of my life then I should be. Were I to know more, I could be better equipped to not only handle my personal faith in a way that builds me up, but I could use my increased levels of knowledge to discuss with people about the love of Christ and how he brings fulfillment into the lives of so many. Thank you both for being so great in everything you do.

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  20. I believe science is an essential part to our religious awareness. Science can be a legitimate path to God as well as to finding knowledge. Just like how faith and reason go hand and hand, you can not understand everything about God apart from science.

    God is the creator of nature and science; therefore, we as Christians should devote time to learning more about science. Since people have devoted their lives to trying to disprove God's existence, we should look towards science to prove God's existence. Learning science is also an excellent way to give better rebuttal's against evolution and for intelligent design. One of the greatest reasons we as Christians should study science is to reflect upon to beauty of God and his minute detail to literally everything un the universe.

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    1. Quine states within Naturalized Epistemology the exact same idea. That perhaps science can be a road to God given that so many parts of nature point directly to our creator.

      After all, only God could create the human body where when just a single thing goes wrong it shuts down. Consider Duchenne Muscular Dystrophe, the only thing that is wrong is a stop codon which tells the body that it doesn't ant to make any muscle. Thus the ability to create muscle is effectively neutralized with the smallest change of a piece of a fiber. Who else but God could be able to craft such a masterpiece as the scope of the Universe which we only have an idea of because of the technological advances of science.

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    2. Dustin,

      As a fellow student, I would like to ask you some questions, in order to enhance my learning experience.

      What does "religious awareness" mean?

      I do not understand why "Christians should devote time to learning more about science" simply because God is the creator of science. What are your reasons for making this statement?

      If I was unaware of your reasoning for the previous statement, I was baffled by the following statement: "Since people have devoted their lives to trying to disprove God's existence, we should look towards science to prove God's existence." I don't follow your thinking. Why exactly does the former demand the latter?

      Perhaps I should ask you what you truly mean before I critique this part of your comment, but your statement "Science can be a legitimate path to God..." seems to be inconsistent with the exclusive claims of Christ. To say that science is a legitimate path to God is a contradiction of Jesus' words in John 14:6, "no one comes to the Father but through me." It certainly seems to oppose some 2000+ years of Christian tradition. As a side note that seeks to refocus priority, it is crucial to highlight the inclusivity of Christ, in the sense that he adopted sinful wretches as his own beloved children. Personally, it merits a deep gratitude. But to backtrack to your statement, what do you mean by "science can be a legitimate path to God"?

      Looking on the bright side, I liked your last sentence, excepting the spelling error.

      Yours,

      Stefan

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    3. Stefan,

      I'm not sure if Dustin is going to see this before class is over so I will attempt to solve your dilemma for you.

      First of all, reason is the tool that us humans have to differ between what is true and what is false. We are inherently inclined to sift through the false things toward the true things and then cling to those true things as they form a web of belief through our mind. For example, I know that I am, I know that I am currently sitting, and I know that I cannot fly. Of course these statements get more complicated the deeper you go into knowledge itself.

      You asked dustin "why christians should devote time to learning more about science" when in reality the statement itself is so blatantly obvious that im surprised you even proposed the question back in the first place. The world was created by God, thus as Christians who fear our Lord and Savior, it is our mission to learn as much as we can about his creation. The key word there being to KNOW. as Professor said, science comes from the latin word meaning knowledge, thus Christians definitely should delve more deeply into knowledge because we should know as much as possible about the God who created us.

      Secondly you mention Dustins other statement about looking toward science to prove god's existence. Honestly I'm astounded that you replied the way you did, apart from the professors requests not to put your fellow students on blast, but because it is literally one of the most logical sentences in the history of literature. Common Scientists in todays world shoot down our claims of faith because they are not grounded in Science, wouldn't it then make so much sense to refute their statements? Wouldn't that finally put us Christians on par with the Scientists of the world actively trying to destroy Christianity.

      I have realized at this part of your comment that you are purposely trying to rip apart Dustin's argument for seemingly no reason at all. Because honestly, each statement seems less grounded in truth. Hypothetically if Dustin said "Science can legitimately lead me to heaven without going through christ or God" then I could see where you are coming from. But from what he actually said and his background in theology I can tell you that he meant that science can be a baby step towards coming to Christ. If that isn't clear enough then picture it like this, Science can lead you to questions that when answered, will lead you to God.

      Another side note; I like how your only reassuring comment to Dustin had a backhanded grammar correcting twist to it! Classy.

      With Love,

      Spencer W Noack

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    4. Spencer,

      Excellent response, good sir! Thank you for engaging with my comment on behalf of Dustin. Allow me to return the favor on behalf of myself. Before I begin, I want to electronically exalt your courage, your rhetoric, and the flow of your comment. Compared to most posts, yours was like a refreshing river that readers can ride without running into raucous rapids. I felt like I was in an inner-tube. Furthermore, I am loving the imagery! I like your paragraph defining the “tool” that we have that helps us to “sift through the false things toward the true things...form[ing] a web of belief through our mind”. Well said, my fellow logophile! Thank you for taking the time to craft such an enjoyable and thought-provoking post.

      To be sure, discussions on reason most certainly have a place on this blog. After all, APU follows the Wesleyan methodology and reason is one of the four ways in which Wesley believes we arrive at theological truth. This has been later presented by others as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Though I like your definition of reason, I think it is incomplete. I want to posit that our reason is flawed. It is not perfect in all things and it is especially ineffective when talking of the divine. Granted, I recognize the irony. After all, I am using the very tool that I maintain is flawed. It is certainly a hilarious hole in my argument. But now I am rambling. I would suggest that divine intervention is needed to make the tool effective. By the standards of reason, however, that is unreasonable. Reason does not account for the divine. We cannot prove God’s existence by the normative methods of science.

      Regarding Dustin’s “blatantly obvious” statement, I admit that I must submit to your intellectual wit and understanding of it. I proposed the question because I do not understand (though I assume you do) why it is our mission, as dutiful Christians, to learn as much as we can about his creation. If that is so, then I suppose we should learn all the intricacies of prostitution, child pornography, familial betrayal, cultural racism, gang violence, etc. During your presentation, did you not conclude that everything currently existing in the world it was once created, and that creator is God?

      Moving on to Dustin’s other statement, “Since people have devoted their lives to trying to disprove God's existence, we should look towards science to prove God's existence.” I believe this is the one that you call “ one of the most logical sentences in the history of literature”. This is unfortunate for me, because I very well cannot argue such a perfect statement. But if I could, I might say that it makes no sense why we should do something just because others do the opposite. I might also ask who in our class has ever evangelized and discipled another human being through scientifically “proving” God’s existence. I believe I have already mentioned that science is incapable of doing so.

      No disrespect intended. I imagine he has a passion for theology, as do you. But if that is what he meant, then that is what he should have said. We ought to be careful with our words. Words create worlds.

      It was more of a backhanded spelling correction, but I’m so glad you liked it!

      Stefan

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    5. I appreciate your reply.

      I will attempt to make some of my points more clear because I believe some of them have veered off of the course I originally set.

      First of all, I completely agree that our reason is inherently flawed. However we can only work with what we get, thus I've resigned to following reason until it deceives me. It is a bold approach, although, given the tools at hand, there isn't much of another option.

      Secondly, the way one defines God's hand in his creation of this world and the things it contains will change one's belief about what he or she should or should not attempt to grasp knowledge of. Although given your particular scenario, if learning more about child pornography, slavery, ect... will deepen your knowledge of the depths of sin in this world then it may in fact turn you toward seeking God for the justice, retribution, and mercy he provides to all those who ask it of him.

      You are right in stating that science is incapable of grasping the full truth of God. However I propose that perhaps, like so many other things we have in our world today, God is a multifaceted being whom, like the word implies, has different elements to his personality. Although Science might lack a couple of elements of God, it certainly can lead to a deeper knowledge of some of the facets of God which might be left out of a pure faith based relationship. (which I'm not condemning by the way)

      Hopefully this fully answers your question, should it not. Please do let me know.

      Spencer

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    6. No further questions.

      Stefan

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  21. Hello Professor and class!

    I really enjoyed scrolling down this long page of blog posts and comments and noticing how passionate everyone is on this sensitive yet necessary topic to discuss. I have definitely thought often of how science and God correlate and reading through Professor Hitchcock's blog post helped me to see it in a different light. I thought it was interesting that science indeed comes from a word that means "knowledge". I have always viewed science as a subject that seems to have all of the answers. In this day and age, I feel as if we tend to look to science for all of our answers. Do we every question these answers that science apparently "answers"? How do we know for sure that we have grasped all of the knowledge out there? I believe that science involves the process of attaining knowledge, but truthfully, we will never know everything that God has created on this earth. Some people may have a hard time grasping the fact that they will never know everything. It is necessary for us to understand this in order to appreciate what God has opened up for us to know. Our God could be the type who doesn't care what we think, feel or know. I am grateful to know that he is a just God who desires for us to grow and soak up all of the knowledge we can here on earth.

    As far as Professor Hitchcock's comment on if our money that we are spending at APU is for knowledge or direction, I tend to lean more on the side of direction. It seems a bit stressful for me to consider what my time here at APU has served for. Honestly, I feel as if I can never stop learning. In most of my courses at APU, especially the courses dedicated to help future teachers grow, I have learned how to apply the material to real life situations which seems to be a lot more valuable than mere facts of knowledge. Some professors at APU have helped direct me on this path of knowledge and growing as a teacher. With this being said, I don't think that I would be able to learn and appreciate all that this world offers as much if I did not know God. God is the creator of all things on this earth, including the people that we cross paths with. God placed specific people on this path of life in order for me to truly acknowledge the majesty and power of Him and his creation.

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  22. I know this might be slightly off topic but since most of us are planning on becoming teachers, How do you feel about teaching evolution in the classroom? Humans have debated the significance of God and science for centuries. To name just one example, they've battled over whether to teach creationism alongside or in place of evolution in U.S. public schools. People have taken sides; believers of science stand firmly on one side and followers of a higher power stay on the other. Yet, those on both sides might be surprised to learn that they can float between sides -- or switch teams entirely.

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    1. I think teaching evolution can be beneficial because it helps even those who don't necessarily believe in evolution to understand that side of the argument and develop valid opinions on why they believe in a higher power. Rather than staying ignorant to the study of evolution, it's important to understand what it is since it is a part of scientific studies to this day. I don't think students should be restricted to learning about only one side of the argument. As far as teaching it in public schools, it would probably be best to inform parents about what their students will be learning about especially if evolution is a part of the curriculum since it is such a taboo subject. I personally don't see any harm in learning about it as long as students are not being pushed to believe that it is the only "correct"way of believing.

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    2. Jessica, I completely agree with your view on teaching evolution vs. creation story. I do not think that children should only be taught one, which may in turn result in them being ignorant to the other. I myself attended a private Christian school my whole life and was of course taught the creation story, but we also learned about evolution. Which I believe as Christians is important to know, so that we are aware of the opposing view. So I do believe that in public schools they should be taught evolution, because they can't really be taught anything else, but in private schools they should be taught both so that they are aware of both sides.

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  23. Before reading this blog, I had not really thought much about the relationship between science learning and God. But once I read through a majority of these blog posts, as well as the original by Professor Hitchcock, I realize that these three things do in fact go hand in hand. It was interesting to learn that even the word science basically means knowledge, and knowledge is ultimately what we gain through learning. And yes I believe that entire system of learning does point out the constant ongoing battle between secularism and God stuff, but that is the world that we live in today. Not everyone is going to agree on every single topic, or always have the same view as you but that is what makes our world interesting! If everyone had the same view our world, or even this blog (noticing that many of the comments have opposing views) would be absolutely boring and no one would be considered an individual. So yes learning does bring out that difference, between Christianity and secularism, but it also brings the two together. And finally the God aspect in all of this, yes many people seem to find "meaning" in life without God, yet as Christians our joy is finding joy with God and ultimately leading others to this joy as well.

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  24. Learning, Science and God are intertwined. I believe that the knowledge we gain from science is just to prove that He does exist. He gives us the ability to learn and expand our mind on knowledge which he allows us to have. Why would we not learn more about hte world He has created for us, it is when we think we can take God out of the equation when it is an issue. Science and God are together, you can have God without science but you cannot have science without God for He created the world in which teh sceince exist. People use science as a way to try to deny a God, but I believe they are scared knowing there are things bigger than they are. These scientists want to seem like the supreme species when God is the Alpha and is allowing them to expand their knowledge in the field of science.

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    1. I completely agree and it is extremely true that Science and God go together. I believe the bible has given us answers about earth and science. For example, I was reading about tsunamis and one of the facts stated scientists believe a meteor hit the earth and covered the earth with water to explain the floods, but they have no evidence. We clearly know what happened as Christians and it is interesting science is regarded more credible source of information than the bible in most circles. I believe we as Christians can look to the bible for the unanswered questions and find reassurance in our faith. I agree that he gave us the ability to use our knowledge, and I believe we can best do that by fully understanding science and the bible. In addition, being able to see both sides is crucial to being educated and I believe if we let go of science as Christians we would be letting go of something God created for us to learn about.

      I really enjoyed your post and I believe we can continue to learn about God and be a part of his kingdom on earth by engaging in science.

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    2. Max Gillette-AlmqvistApril 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      Lindsey, I also agree with your conformation of Jessica's idea that science and God go hand in hand. The bible teaches us to be knowledgable about what he has given us, and I think you have picked the right path to follow Lindsey. The bible has indeed given us all kinds of things to learn about, and your example about tsunamis was spot on. I think that you did a good job discussing the idea of varying levels of respect that both science and biblical texts receive, and how we can deal with that when discussions come around. Seeing both sides is also a good idea, because with multiple viewpoints everybody can grow more. You did a great job assessing Jessica's post and I'm glad you put so much time into it. I feel like all three of us were able to learn a lot through this process. Well done Jessica and Lindsey.

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    3. Thank you for posting this. It helped me kind of answer my own questions about the issue of God and Science. But why do you think the scientist act so supreme? I believe it is because they have no supreme being so they take that simple human belief and apply it to science or their own abilities within science and this Alpha that God is, in fact to them becomes science and themselves. It is sad this is the Catch-22 they are in, but at the same time, it is the boat they are in because they put themselves there when they decided to ignore God and religion in their lives.

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  25. As we take a look into science in the world today, we are given the oppurtunity to see things from multiple perspectives. We can view science as being a way to understand life. Since science is "knowing" and God is allknowing then I believe science falls under the realm of God.

    From a Christian world view, God is all powerful and incontrol of everyting. Therefore, God is who created the Earth and the people of the Earth whom become scientists. If there were not a God there would not be the world nor scientists.

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    1. Exactly. It's good to hold true to tradition, but using things such as science to understand life is key for survival. Science should always fall under the realm of God unless it's being used for truly sinful purposes. God did create everything, but I think it's key to check what the intent is behind the science and what the aftermath is that it creates.

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  26. “Is your tuition money paying for knowledge? Or direction? But maybe decision is that which leads to direction?” Professor Hitchcock, your blog and particularly this quote has gotten me thinking. When I honestly think of why I am paying for College, I do not think of knowledge or direction, I just think of the opportunities college entails and how if I did not go it would be near impossible to get a “good” job. Of course by good I mean high paying because in today’s society. A person who makes millions of dollars selling products is considered more of a success than a person who saves lives every day and puts out fires, because they have a nicer house or car.

    As I keep pondering where my money is going and if it is solely for the degree, I am nagged by my roommates to play “Rennis”. Which is pretty much just tennis on the roof of our apartment complex with a soccer ball, and I had an Epiphany unless I get a job working for Rob Dyrdek I will never play “Rennis” again. College is paying for more than the knowledge you get in the classroom, it is paying for the experience of going to College. Leaving your home to go live in a hall with 34 people you do not know. Learning about people who come from completely different backgrounds, and have interesting outlooks on life and what they want to be.

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    1. I agree with you on this one Reid. When I was choosing to go to APU and in conversation with my parents about whether or not I would live on campus or commute from home I decided to live on campus for the exact reason that you mentioned above. I wanted to live on campus so I could have the college experience. And I am so glad that I did. Yes my tuition money is paying for knowledge, but it is also paying for direction as well as relationships that I will take away from this place as well.

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  27. I recently got my first smart phone and while the technology is absurd in the things that I can accomplish with it, I find myself disconnected when I am using the technology. I also find that when I use technology I feel as if my ability to retain information is decreasing. I think this is due to the fact that with this new technology I no longer have to remember everything that I hear. Rather, I just have to know where I can find the information. In a way I am still retaining information, but I see technology as a source that I can tap into to learn more about a subject that I did not know about. That being said I have to train myself in other ways to keep the ability to retain the information.

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    1. Mason, thats sweet that you just got your first smart phone. They are pretty ridiculous! I know how you feel when you say you find yourself disconnected when you use technology. I especially feel disconnected when those around me are using technology and I am not. I have one friend who can go thirty seconds without looking of Instagram or Facebook. It gets kind of annoying. It seems as if you allow your brain to goes on autopilot when you get use to the smart phones we have now. I know many of us students are guilty of using them in class instead of listening to the teacher. I heard on the radio a while back that you can become clinically addicted to your smart phone. I believe whoever discovered this first noticed someone going through withdrawals, much like drug withdrawals, when they lost their smart phone. Its pretty perplexing to think your smart phone could potentially put you through withdrawals.
      I hope your new phone is more of a help than a hinderance!

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    2. I agree with Mason. Technology is making our society stupider. My dad used to have hundreds of phone numbers memorized. He had to for his job. Now that they are all on his smart phone he has slowely forgoten them. I really like the comment that we don't memorize facts but where to find the facts. This is so true. I don't remember random facts because I know that I can always look them up on google if I need to. Google is making our society stupider because we no longer need to remember anything except how to connect to the internet and look something up.

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  28. Mason, I totally agree with you I started out loving my smart phone but I have gotten bad habits from it like not paying attention in class. It has also killed a lot of friendly debates, instead of going back and forth we just pull up the actual answer on our Smartphone. Also Dustin I have some friends that cant go a minute without toying with their phone and it is super annoying especially if its just you and them and they are texting someone else.

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  29. The most interesting thing of this question is where it has lead the answers everyone has had. For someone who is not too deep;y religious it is hard for me to do anything but scratch the surface of this topic without having to define my own ideas about my faith. I think Jessica puts it best with "you can have God without science but you cannot have science without God" I think that is an interesting thought. Because so many of the brilliant scientist's we have are anti-religious. But at the same time I see the truth and merit in that statement because it seems at least all of us believe in the creator side God who allows to ascertain knowledge of science and everything under and above the sun. But what is it about scientists, well anti-religious or secular scientists, who are brilliant, but cant see the light of God? That bothers me, that some of the smartest minds I both know and don't know, are non-believers. Because something had to have happened within their lives for them to formulate their lack of religious beliefs. And think of the potential of a mind like Bill Gates, if he were a believer, and all of the facets about religion he can figure out. But conversely it is the unknown facets of the universe and blind faith that Christians have, that I think is the most beautiful aspect of our religion also. So I guess in the end I don't really know what I want.

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  30. Lauren VillarrealMay 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    To answer the the questions, "If science is "knowing," does "knowing God" come under the realm of science? Or is it the other way around?"I believe we must first know God, before we can try to understand science. Because of God there is science, so first we must dive into the Word and truly come to understand all that we can about God. Once we understand that God is the creator of the universe, I believe we can come to appreciate science and look at it in a way that shines light on God's masterpiece. For me, one of the biggest reasons I appreciate science is that it teaches us how to take care of the earth around us. From science I learned about pollution and how harmful fossil fuels and greenhouse gases can be to the earth. Science has also found ways to prevent these things from harming the earth by inventing different resources that are safe for the environment. So, because of science I can learn and teach others how to take care of God's creation.
    While I know that one day the world will end when God wills it to happen, I believe that in the meantime we should be taking care of God's gift to us. He gave us life and He gave us a world to live in, so I believe that it is our duty to take care of our bodies and the earth. Ultimately, God is my motivation to learn about science because through it I can come to know how to take care of His beautiful masterpiece.

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  31. When it comes to our tuition and schooling in general, I have recently come to a realization that we can really miss out while we are here at APU. What I believe is that we truly need to make sure that our schooling does not get in the way of us getting an education. Unfortunately, we get caught up in ourselves in trying to do well in school that we are losing out on an education. We miss out on what we are truly trying to get out of it all. Its a simple idea, but it may be true.

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  32. I agree with Mr. Nunez, and I think we get all caught up in getting the straight A's and achieving the greatest achievements that e miss out in the biggest thing here; gaining wisdom. Gaining wisdom in the world with our social life and professional life. I know from my experience I have focused so much on getting the best of grades but essentially not gaining knowledge on the world. I know about the world here, and just the tip of the iceberg about God, but on the outside world and about the wisdom others have, that is another story. I have not been patient enough to take a breath and enjoy life and the lessons needing to be learned through living.

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  33. As for me, I do believe that learning, God and yes even Science go together. I say it that way because I do not think scientifically at all, and a lot of scientific concepts to not compute with my brain structure. But none-the-less I do believe that all three of these things go together. I am a Liberal Studies major, so this idea of learning and God going together hits close to home. How I see my journey in learning and other's journey in learning is that we are being fed knowledge in order to feed others knowledge. We are learning more about a field in order to go out and spread the love of God. I see learning as a privilege that God has given me. He has created my brain in a way that it can retain, memorize, and expand (which is the science part I guess). I think that learning in and of itself is an act of worship, because I get to take what I am learning and in some way use the knowledge that I have gained as a college student and advance the Kingdom of God.

    Hopefully that made some kind of sense!

    Hailey M. Heikkinen

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  35. I strongly believe that God, learning and science are all connected in some type of way. Without God we wouldn't have the opportunities to learn about science or even have science in general. God being the creator of all things, without Him we wouldn't have life or the world that we live in. Science is also important, and although I am not the best science student because most of the topics are a little over my head, I believe that we have been able to protect God's creation from damages the best we can, because of our knowledge on science. Certain harmful things to the Earth like pollution, deforestation, and global warming we wouldn't be able to learn and find ways to improve these problems without science. God being the most important but science and learning being up there to protect what God has created for us.

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  36. Every year that passes, our world is able to discover new aspects to science, and uncover things that were never considered to be true before. As we gain more knowledge, our understanding of it also grows and changes perspectives. To us, science seems to be infinitely complex, and it is so precisely put together that I am certain that there is an ultimate creator, God. As a college student living in a technological age with cell phones, computers, and more, I can see how these pieces of equipment distract us from the world around. They are structured to be addictive, and a lot of the time we unintentionally spend considerable amounts of time with technology, unconsciously planting our meaning in them. It is important to remember that although cell phones help keep us connected with those far away, it is also important to stay connected with the people close by. They also distract us from just thinking to ourselves, and pondering what the meaning of life is. Without those moments of isolation to think, it robs us of the moments when we feel small and vulnerable and realize how small we really are in such a vast universe. Without humbling moments such as these, it is much more difficult to accept that there is an all knowing God and Creator. It is only through him from which our true meaning for life is revealed.
    -Marion McGinnis

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  37. How true is the title of this blog "more questions than answers". I have come to discover that in the pursuit of deeper understanding of God, purpose, and the meaning of life I am often left with more questions than answers. However, what I believe God provides is peace in the in-between. Until that time comes when we see Him face to face, and we ponder the depths of God's character and being, we can celebrate our limited understanding knowing that one day He shall be fully revealed. In response to your question, I would hope knowledge and direction would be an ever continuing cycle, one always leading to the next. It would be a shame if all we learned here didn't lead us in a new direction, only then to inspire us to pursue deeper knowledge, and so on and so forth.

    -Melanie Tierce

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  38. Each one of the areas, Science, Learning and God are all areas that intertwine with one another. I think that those of us who believe that God is our Creator would agree with the idea that we find knowledge and life with his help. I believe that God has a strong influence in what I have learned through my twenty-one years of life, even in the time before I had known him. Each area and subject in our lives has been explained to us in an informational way so that we may learn more about it but I think our faith influences what we do with that information.

    -Kristen Negrete

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