The gifts of science are worth celebrating

For one thing, I liked the teachers who taught science at my high school, and I had a hard time believing they meant to be undermining my faith. I see the need to be on guard against both camps. Shortly after that Bible camp experience, I learned to sing, at a Billy Graham meeting in Madison Square Garden, what was then a new hymn (actually an old one imported from Sweden): “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hand has made … then sings my soul … How great Thou art!”
This weekend there will be a large gathering in Washington to celebrate the achievements of the natural sciences. And to express my solidarity with those folks, I will sing the hymn about “awesome wonder!”
(Richard Mouw writes the Civil Evangelicalism column for RNS) — and that “ism” way of putting the case still seems right to me. (RNS) Here is a poem that I learned at an evangelical “Bible camp” when I was a teenager:
Once I was a tadpole, long and thin. I can’t be at the Washington event,  but I will be there in spirit. And now I am a professor with a Ph.D. Large numbers of us, including many fine scientists, accept the gifts of scientific investigation with deep gratitude. But one of the older people who worked at that camp, a college student, told me that evolution as a mechanism for change was not a real threat to Christianity. Then I was a froggie with my tail tucked in. We have been hearing some of that Bible camp type anti-science talk from some well-known public leaders in recent days. Most of my fellow campers seem to have taken the warning seriously, but I had my doubts. But, thank God, those camps are not mutually exclusive. To be sure, there are people who want to use scientific investigation as a means of undermining faith. This came to us with a warning about the evolutionary views held by most of our high school teachers. He showed me a book by a Christian scholar who said that the real conflict was the added “isms.” Evolutionism, as a worldview, teaches that everything happens by chance. And now I am a professor with a Ph.D. But there are also many others who still teach silly poems to teenagers to create distrust of high school teachers. Creationism, on the other hand, is the big-picture view that all that has happened in the history of the universe is in fact the unfolding of a divine plan. Then I was a baboon in a tropical tree. I am glad that they are meeting.