Faith in the Scientific Method

Everyone has Faith in Something

Spiritual faith is often labeled as ignorance by the world, yet much of the world’s knowledge also requires faith.

Preparation:

  • Watch the movie Evolution vs. God embedded below (38 minutes). The purpose of this lesson isn’t to prove or disprove arguments about evolution. We used this video to strengthen our children against the world labeling their spiritual faith as ignorance. Take notes about ideas you will point out to your family.
  • Review The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship from the April 2014 General Conference.

Spiritual Thought:
Have you ever been attacked for having faith in God? Or told that you were ignorant for believing in the scriptures?

I have.

In fact, before I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was one of those attackers. I loved science and felt it explained the mysteries of the universe better than any argument I heard from the scriptures. I made fun of “believers” and felt they were ignorant for believing in an unseen God.

The problem was, I never read the scriptures. I believed what other biased people told me. My scriptures were textbooks. My prophets were school teachers. My preachers were peers.

I believed what I was taught and came to conclusions based on those beliefs. What I didn’t understand was that this was a form of faith. I had faith in science. Many of the things learned in science are true and are based on observable facts. But many others require faith. Alma 12:6 …faith is things which are hoped for and not seen…

In fact, the scientific method is comparable to the same experiment described in Alma 32.

  • When we ask a question and build a hypothesis – we have a desire to believe
  • When we conduct an experiment – we exercise faith
  • When we analyze results – we gain a testimony of truth

After finally reading the scriptures, the truth connected to my scientific mind. I realized how much order there really is in the universe and recognized many recent scientific truths in ancient scriptures. Obviously some knowledge isn’t as new as people think.

Today, I laugh at myself when reading the scriptures below and other similar verses because I used to boast in my wisdom.

Alma 9:28 …When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.

Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Alma 38:11 See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom, nor of your much strength.

In conclusion, consider this quote from Marion G. Romney

That man is a child of God is the most important knowledge available to mortals. Such knowledge is beyond the ken of the uninspired mind. Neither logic, science, philosophy, nor any other field of worldly learning has ever been, or ever will be, able to find it out. Those who limit their search to such learning techniques will continue to be as they have always been, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7)

Lesson:

As a family, we watched the video Evolution vs. God and talked about faith.

Here are some points we emphasized with our family:

  • The scientific method involves faith. Pay close attention to the discussion of faith and belief in the video.
  • Science can often explain “how” things happen, but not always “why”.
  • Many scientists believe the organization and order of the universe provides a witness of God as the creator.
  • The people interviewed in this video are very intelligent and most are well educated in evolutionary theories. They are not used to having their beliefs challenged and may look foolish in the video. This can happen to anyone trying to defend their beliefs.
  • Scientists have observed animal adaptations supporting evolutionary ideas, but many people argue about the extreme beliefs related to evolutionary theories.
  • We should discuss faith and stand as a disciple of Christ, but avoid arguing. Don’t be surprised if teachers or other students/peers attack your faith. When all else fails, bear your testimony and move on.
  • This video was produced by a Christian, but not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is easy to recognize beliefs we have in common with other Christian faiths.

We wanted our children to see the evidence of faith in the scientific world. While we don’t encourage arguing about faith, we also thought it was good to see the extreme beliefs of people who reject the Gospel.

Consider Elder Holland’s closing comments on the Costs and Blessings of Discipleship

Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. A long history of inspired voices, including those you will hear in this conference and the voice you just heard in the person of President Thomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Other Activity Ideas:

What do you think? How have you prepared your family against attacks on spiritual faith?

2 comments for “Everyone has Faith in Something

  1. Diana
    September 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Nice to hear your story. thanks for sharing your ideas!!

    • September 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks Diana. We hope you’re finding our ideas useful with your family.

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