Sunday, January 13, 2013

Science AND Religion

I am currently enrolled in a science methods course at BYU. My teacher asked what our feelings are about teaching science and I said I felt unprepared. I don't remember science being a very positive experience for me growing up. It wasn't until I got to college that I started to love science. I bet a lot of people my age and those that are older than me have the same feelings towards their elementary, middle, and high school science courses. There were occasional lessons that I loved but, overall, I would say that science was not my favorite subject. 

Obviously, I want the kids that I teach to leave my class with different feelings about science than I had in elementary school. We've discussed in class how our most memorable science "lessons" were when we had experiences that were hands-on and interactive and many of these took place out of school. But even after we've had these fun experiences, we ask our teachers, "So? Why does this matter to me?"

For our homework this week we had to watch a video that gave many reasons why science is important and it really got me thinking. There are so many reasons why science is important! Many people, myself included, take science for granted. Science is what helps to explain our world and why things happen. Science is needed to advance technology. Technology is how I am writing this blog right now. It is how I am going to post it and how my friends are (maybe) going to read it. It is how I have been able to talk virtually face-to-face with Mike while he has been thousands of miles away. It is how we communicate, how we turn in assignments, how we find out about what is going on around us. We all use technology in some way, but there are so many other benefits of science.

Science has been behind every medical discovery. It is how we discover diseases and then come up with cures. Anyone who has taken medicine should care about science. We wash our hands and brush our teeth because of what scientists have found about germs. 

Science helps to further our knowledge about how to make the future better. Scientists are researching clean and renewable energy so that our kids and our grand-kids might be able to have a cleaner planet. By caring about science, we can make our futures better.

Science also explains many things about ourselves and the world that we live in. Scientists have discovered many, many amazing things about the human body and how it works. The human body is so incredible. This is where I am going to make my connection between science and religion. Some people say that science disproves religion. My belief is that science and religion prove each other! I have done very little study about the human body compared to doctors and nurses and other people who chose that as their field of study. But of what I have learned about the human body I am amazed. 

To me, learning how the body works, is such a testimony to a Divine creator. The intricacy of just our heart or our brain or our muscles is proof that we were created with great care and planning. Our bodies could not have been born in a big bang, nor could they evolve from monkeys. I need to quote Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here. He worked as a doctor and he is a leader in my church and he sums up the amazingness of the body better than I ever could. 

"Each organ of your body is a wondrous gift from God. Each eye has an autofocusing lens. Nerves and muscles control two eyes to make a single three-dimensional image. The eyes are connected to the brain, which records the sights seen.
Your heart is an incredible pump. It has four delicate valves that control the direction of blood flow. These valves open and close more than 100,000 times a day--36 million times a year. Yet, unless altered by disease, they are able to withstand stress almost indefinitely.
Think of the body's defense system. To protect it from harm, it perceives pain. In response to infection, it generates antibodies. The skin provides protection. It warns against injury that excessive heat or cold might cause.
The body renews its own outdated cells and regulates the levels of its own vital ingredients. The body heals its cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Its capacity for reproduction is another sacred gift from God. 
Ask yourself, 'Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?' The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!"
Read more from this talk here.

As I study science I have felt that no discoveries in science could have come about without the help of God. There is just no other way that scientists could learn about the most intricate workings of the brain and body. But, on the reverse side, we  need to be careful when trying to "prove" religion. Faith is required in religion. Some people will look to science to prove religion and they will be disappointed and discouraged. Belief in God ultimately cannot be proven by science. I believe that by looking at the beautiful trees, mountains, flowers, animals, and other people around us we can strengthen and develop our belief that there is a God. But the basis for religion cannot be based on science alone. 

Scientists come about their discoveries by asking questions and trying out hypotheses. So do religious people  discover what they come to believe as truth. I challenge everyone who made it this far in my post (thank you) to not be afraid to ask questions. You don't always have to take for truth what your parents and your teachers have told you is true. Ask questions! Every scientific discovery comes from a question and God will reveal to you His purpose and plan for you if you ask.

Matthew 7:7-8 -- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

God loves each of us unconditionally and He knows our needs. He is mindful of us and He is our all knowing creator. He wants us all to know Him for ourselves and the only way to do this is by asking in prayer. 

To find out more about my beliefs, visit :)

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