I recently picked up an English translation of the Quran. I’ve heard lots of mixed messages on how Christianity and Islam relate. I’ve heard that Allah is a monster who calls his followers to sacrificial jihad against infidels (including Christians). I’ve heard that Mohammed was a prophet after the pattern of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus and simply extends the tradition of the People of the Book. I’ve heard that Islam is peaceful, that it’s extreme, that Mohammed was a pedophile, that he was a hero, that the Quran teaches compassion, and that the Quran teaches hatred.
Having recently finished up a science-y degree, I am obviously well qualified to thoroughly and accurately discuss the cultural impact of fairy tales. Well, perhaps not. But perhaps my fresh memories of deep dives into the murky waters of f-ratios, geostrophic balance, sediment cores, and DNA cleaning have made me hungry for exploration in waters of a different sort.
How do you relate faith and reason?
Modern Americans often presume that faith and reason belong in completely separate worlds – one public, one private. Even religious people can divide their lives into boxes – faith on Sundays, reason the rest of the week.
Others scoff at faith, insisting, “Unless I can see it, feel it, observe it with my senses, I don’t accept it as true.” (But seriously, who talks like that anymore? We see something on Twitter and discuss it like we’re witnesses to the act.)
What is morality? How do we know what is right and what is wrong? Where did morality and moral standards come from? Or who made them, if anyone? I had never pondered these questions until I recently got the question to study, “Can morality exist without God?” It’s a rather tough question when you think of it. But through research, I’ve been able to come up with an answer. No set standard of morality can exist for everyone without the existence of God; in fact, the very presence of morality is rather an additional proof to the existence of God.
Origin of the Earth
Where you might hear about it: Earth Science/Geology, Astronomy, even a biology course
What they'll tell you: the Big Bang story, the Nebular Hypothesis, how earth started out as a molten ball of magma, and that life started out as a single cell in a primordial soup. This life eventually played a major role in changing earth's features and atmosphere and making it habitable for modern life forms.
What to remember:
i. The Big Bang is logically impossible. You cannot get something from nothing.
Let's continue our exploration into the obstacles the first living cell faced, according to the Theory of Evolution. We already know that there's not really much of a place to get the right chemicals to react in the first place. But let's give the Theory of Evolution's origin-of-life story the benefit of the doubt for now. What are the next steps?
In the last essay we learned about organic compounds called proteins and DNA. Now we are going to try and piece together a method of getting a simple life form, a hypothetical bacteria-like cell kind of like the first living thing as part of the Theory of Evolution.
The piecing together begins with choosing a location. The first living cell came about on land, presumably in a puddle some where, or in the water somewhere in the ocean.
According to most scientists today, before you answer a question about the past, you need to start with an assumption. That assumption is naturalism.
Naturalism – a philosophy that believes that everything in the universe is determined by natural processes we can observe with the scientific method. Physical matter and energy is all that there is, and all that controls the universe.
Just recently, I read a story on the news that caught my attention. It was about a teenage boy, who ran away from home. After using the money he had brought with him, he decided to start selling drugs and lived off of what he earned for several years. And when ruin found him, he slept outside, homeless and destitute. It was in this state that he asked himself what he was doing there and why he had run away from home; and he decided to go back.
General Revelation through Mathematics
Sarah E. Lash
You may have sat in many a math class and wondered why. As a child, I would labor over long division, multiplication tables, and algebra, and shake my head at the apparent uselessness of it all. Mathematics seemed not only utterly impractical, but also entirely devoid of anything pertaining to the pursuit of Jesus Christ.