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Science and Religion: What, that again?


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By Andy CastroLang

Member of Congregation: (after noticing flyer about upcoming Coffee Talk on Science and Religion) “Oh Pastor Andy, are you going to be involved in that?”

Me: “Yup.”

Member: “Well, us UCCers really don’t have much to say about all this, we haven’t got a problem with science and religion, do we?  I mean, we believe in evolution and dinosaurs and all that, right?”

Here we go again.  Is this conversation, which is hundreds of years old, always going to be an adversarial one? It is the old and worn out argument of “religion vs. science.” Sure, there are still folks out there who don’t believe the dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, or for that matter, that we ever went to the moon.  They scoff at evolution and don’t know who Neil de Grasse Tyson even is.

But I am just not interested in that old cranky conversation anymore.

I think I will continue to be interested in the conversation about the ever expanding understanding of the world and the cosmos that is the gift of science to us. I will continue to be thrilled by the almost science fiction feeling of the newest learnings about the vastness of the universe. And I will also be thrilled and startled by the microscopic and infinitely small wonders within the universe.

I think I will continue to take these wonders in, as best I can within my own limited understanding, and incorporate them into a spirit of humility and wonder towards the creator. I will honor the mystery that is, at least for me, at the very heart of all things.

I will continue to operate out of a spirituality that is open and awed, grateful and astonished to be here at all.

I would much rather learn more about “dark matter”… and what lives in the coldest, darkest, deepest part of our oceans…than argue. I used to argue a lot. But it raised my blood pressure, fractured relationships and did nothing to foster the love and care that we need to cultivate for creation.

So, no, I won’t go on with the old old arguments about religious foolishness and scientific superiority. Nor will I indulge in the reverse argument about a meaningless life of rationalism without love or mystery or beauty.

It is all a foolish rant.

Mystics abound in science. Generous hearts and minds explore and are filled with awe even as they work within rigorous scientific method.

Religion is full of reasonable, educated, rational, inquisitive, thoughtful adults and children.

Let us claim a unity of understanding and learning in openness. And let us all stand in awe, humbled, yet ever more excited to discover more, learn deeper truths, revel in new mysteries.

Let us continue to evolve.

“The World is full of Magic Things, patiently waiting for our Senses to grow Sharper.” 

Join SpokaneFAVS at 10 a.m., Sept. 6 at Indaba Coffee Bar for a Coffee Talk discussion on “Reconciling Religion and Science.” CastroLang is a panelist.

W.B. Yeats

Andy CastroLang
Andy CastroLang
Andy CastroLang is senior pastor at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ. She is deeply committed to civil discourse between individuals and throughout our community; in interreligious conversation, private conversation, intergenerational conversation and yes, even in political conversation. She has been a supporter of SpokaneFaVS since its inception because she supports this creative effort at thoughtful community conversation.

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