Why are Faith and Science still pitted as enemies?

By Student Servant Leader, Libby Witte

I listen to a lot of Christian radio. Last week, though, I heard a monologue on one of my favorite stations about all of the flaws with the theory of evolution. This frustrated me. I am a person of science, and I am also a person of faith. In my mind, the two work together to create an understanding of the world.

When I was in Taize, I heard this great analogy for the relationship between faith and science. One of the monks held up two maps of France, one political and one geographical. He then asked us “so which map is true?” Well, they were both accurate, they just answered different questions.

In our Faith and Leadership conversation about faith and science, we heard from Professor Dave Bernlohr about how being a Christian informs his work in research at the University, and one of my favorite things he said was how he saw no real hardship in being a scientist and a Christian at the same time. It wasn’t a big deal to him, since he didn’t see the two as conflicting. He confessed to not being a biblical literalist, and acknowledged that people sometimes ask him questions about how the two conflict. But that sort of stuff doesn’t bother him anymore.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t ever doubted or questioned my faith (I do it all the time!) but I don’t think having strong faith means being without questions or doubts. Diving deeply into these questions about faith and science allows me to pursue an understanding of the world from many different angles. Engaging in these questions, though, does not mean giving in to some contradiction. I don’t believe faith and science are enemies. There are so many people who live in both worlds, and it is great to embrace that. Some of my friends I know through science coursework may not understand my faith, but like Dave, I don’t want to let that bother me. Faith and science are not enemies in my mind.

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