How do we avoid the temptation to pit science against faith and, in so doing, risk diminishing faith to nothing more than a series of propositions and claims and distorting science into an endeavor to prove or disprove the existence of God?
The tension between Scripture’s description of the beginning of creation and the description provided by contemporary science can be particularly troublesome, but it does not have to be.
Even where scientific conclusions appear to contradict common sense (“something abstruse”) we may nevertheless recognize their validity. Moreover, we recognize that these descriptions are not provided as frivolous over-complications of reality, but as the result of close and careful study of that reality’s witness.
Harari assumes a God-of-the-gaps approach to science and progress generally; he assumes that, because we now know how things like disease, weather, and war arise and function, we can no longer chalk these things up to God’s Will. Though this is a faulty assumption—just because we know about the biochemistry of sickle cell anemia doesn’t mean it cannot be part of God’s plan—it is not an uncommon one, especially in scientific humanism.
A higher view of God’s sovereignty over nature holds that God is at the root of all activity—that he controls the quantum fluctuations of every sub-atomic particle in the universe, from the big bang (or before it, if that makes any sense) to the end of time.
If I observe that it’s sunny outside, but I know that it’s winter and I see snow on the ground, I will likely conclude that it’s cold out and put on my coat before I walk out the door. If I see my son with chocolate on his lips and cookie crumbs on the counter, I might conclude that he probably snuck a cookie from the cookie jar.