Last week on the 13.7 blog there was an emphasis on the conflict between faith and science. In one entry Adam Frank posted a video from Bill O'Reilly where O'Reilly is claiming that God created the moon. In Frank’s post and a follow up post he questions which explanation, the scientific or religious, for the origin of the moon requires more faith. I’m no fan of O’Reilly but I think he is partly right and Frank is partly right. Couldn’t God have orchestrated the formation of the moon via the natural processes that science has discovered?
The leading scientific theory for the formation of the moon is that when the earth was still very hot a large object about the size of mars collided with the earth causing a rocky debris to blow out from the earth. Gravity caused this debris to orbit around the earth and coalesce into a ball that became the moon. One of the main reasons why scientists support this hypothesis is because the oxygen isotope composition of the earth is identical with moon whereas the composition is different than rocks from mars and meteorites. I think this is a very plausible explanation for how the moon was formed.
The moon has been critical for the development of advanced life on earth, from causing the tides to establishing the earth’s steady axial tilt of 23.4 degrees which allows for predicable seasons. Couldn’t we say that science’s theory of moon formation could be our view into how God used natural processes to form the moon? When God sparked the big bang 13.7 billion years ago couldn’t we say that He planned that the moon was going to be formed in this manner so that advanced life forms like mankind could evolve? Science is our view into how God does what He does in the physical world.
As people of faith we need to remember all the scientists that were and are Christians—people like Georges Lemaître, Newton, Galileo, Gregor Mendel, Francis Collins, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal and ect. Christians need to learn that science isn’t our enemy. We must encourage scientists to keep theorizing and testing because science has much more to teach us about God’s processes. Through science we have learned how the universe was formed and how life has formed, but there is still more knowledge out there waiting to be discovered.