Religion and science have been butting heads for decades, especially in school. With most textbooks suggesting evolution to be the truth, a religious believer may find little room to discuss spirituality and secular knowledge in higher education.
Razale “Fuz” Rana, doctor of chemistry, initiated some similar discussions in two lectures Sept. 16.
“So many people see conflict between science and faith,” Rana said. “It is important to communicate how science and faith can co-exist without contradiction.”
Rana is vice president of science apologetics at the international, interdenominational ministry Reasons to Believe. Reasons to Believe just opened their first Anchorage chapter. According to Reasons to Believe’s July newsletter, “these chapters exist to strengthen the faith of believers in their local areas, establish dialogue with nonbelievers and remove the doubts of skeptics.”
The purpose of the talks was to provide scientific evidence of the existence of God and the Bible’s ability to explain the physical world. The first presentation was in the Student Union. Rana introduced the areas of science that reject the suggestion of miracles. Later, Rana explained a scientific philosophy he said “allows for miracles and opens up the door to the Christian faith.”
The second presentation, held in the Commons, dealt more specifically with the origins of life and how they fit with in Rana’s philosophy.
“There is scientific proof that humanity generated from one place…and from a single man and woman,” Rana said.
Rana delved into details of the likely biological and chemical processes that would have needed to take place for life to begin on earth, questioning what really are the origins of life. He challenged popular scientific beliefs such as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, coming to the conclusion that there are too many scientific gaps for Darwin’s theory to be true. He also tackled fundamental questions about the creation of the cosmos using testimony from mainly atheist scientists to make his points and claiming most textbooks are incorrect in their interpretation of how life started in the universe.
“It is a refreshing point of view,” said first-year biology major Dave McDonald after listening to the first presentation. “Most classes rotate around only scientifically minded processes.”
McDonald was one of the students to ask questions to Rana during the question answer period of the first presentation. Rana answered audience members’ questions on topics ranging from the Big Bang theory to atheism.
“Spiritual needs are great on any campus,” said Campus Crusade for Christ President Even Evanson, who attended the presentations. “Events like these are important because they facilitate discussion on the matters of faith and spiritually.”
College campuses are one of Rana’s favorite places to present because of their intellectual environment.
“College campuses are where you see the most challenging atmospheres to the Christian faith,” Rana said. He said part of the joy of interacting with college students is that they do not hesitate to ask questions, seek out answers and initiate discussion.