The Quest for Truth: Science & Religion
Anne Dalke & Paul Grobstein
Story of Evolution & Evolution of Stories
February 6, 2011
The Quest for Truth:Science & Religion
I was raised by a Catholic family and went to a Catholic school. You could say I was raised to be a perfect Catholic girl, but due to personal experience I just cannot bring myself to continue along the lines the Catholic Church has set up for us. So, I turned to science in search for an explanation of the world and why things happen the way they do. Then, in this class at Bryn Mawr College, The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories, I became even more confused as to what to believe. You could say this is my own personal search for an answer as to whether or not science has lead me to believe more ardently in God or not to.
“What is Truth in science?” This was our opening to a class discussion for the past few weeks. The truth is that I do not know what Truth is; I can only say I believe it to be arbitrary depending on who believes it. We were then introduced to three theories of which many believe one to be true. There is the theory that everything happens due to chance, there is the theory in which there is an architect that makes everything happen, and there is the theory that not everything is due to chance but a set of casual relations that have nothing to do with the individual. I happen to be one of the ones that believe that there is an architect, or God if you will.
As I evolved into a better scientist, I began to realize that there are things science just cannot explain. Science has evolved, the world has evolved, animals and people have evolved, and we do not know why. Darwin, as seen in the Origin of Species, attributes these forms of evolution to chance. “Several cases also, could be given, of occasional and strange habits in certain species, which might, if advantageous to the species, give rise, through natural selection, to quite new instincts.”  It is seen that Darwin attributes the evolution of a species to something that is occasional and strange, which one might call chance. But as science evolves, the more scientists discover, and it evolves once again… it is a never-ending cycle of learning and evolution. But even though we, scientists, continue to evolve and learn, we do not know how to answer the question ‘How did we come to be?’. This is an essential question that I have been asking myself as a scientist, but also as a human being.
Since we, to the present moment, have not been able to aptly determine how we came to be; we must deduce that there was some greater force, a higher being, that created us all. “Now, everything that is moved is moved by something; nothing, indeed, is changed, except it is changed to something which it is in potentiality. Moreover, anything moves in accordance with something actually existing; change itself, is nothing else than to bring forth something from potentiality into actuality.”  This illustrates proof of a higher being’s existence, in this case God, through a scientific approach, which was done by one of the Church’s greatest patrons, Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Through time I have come to believe a certain number of things, but there are others that are simply a mystery to me. At the moment, because science is lacking answers, I feel there is no other choice to believe there is a higher being, whom I prefer to call God. But not just simply because science is lacking, but because science has been able to prove a higher being’s existence, at least to me. As I explored Darwin and this class, I have come to believe that we are all scientists, that we all believe there is something or someone else out there that directs the order of the universe because human beings are just not capable of doing it on their own. Therefore, I, as a scientist and a person looking for answers – in every sense of the word – believe that science and religion complement each other. One gives the answers the other lacks; they are twin experiences that are told in a very different manner.
1. Darwin, Charles. (2003). On the Origin of Species (Rev.ed.). Canada: National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication.
2. Thatcher, O. J. (n.d.). Thomas Aquinas: Reasons in Proof of the Existence of God, 1270. In Internet Medieval Source Book. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/aquinas3.html