Creationists are aiming too low

I've been meaning for a while to write something more organized here about my understanding of science, Christianity, and the relationship between the two, since I am a fully participating member in both, feel completely comfortable about that, and constantly see implications (and sometimes explicit claims) that that's not possible, from both sides. I don't especially think that anything I write here is my idea, or unique in any way, but I don't see it on the web, at least in the form I understand it.

(I'll do this incrementally, since trying to get it all down at once has prevented me from starting it for over a year (as of December 2010).)

The fundamental basis of my understanding is that there are two sources of belief: external evidence and internal revelation. Both are necessary for a full understanding of life, which I'll get to eventually. I think these correspond to the two sides in the fight, interestingly enough. This also informs my understanding of how a believing Christian can also believe in the separation of Church and State. [To be continued.]

My main point is that Creationists are mistaken in two ways:

Problems for Creationists

As for the first point, let me start by saying that there's no reason to think that "believing the Bible" requires one to believe in a "6 day plus rest" creation around 4000BC (or within the last 10,000 years, or whatever). There are lots of problems with the Creationist point of view, without even getting into evolution. (An important thing to note is that by "Creationist" I mean people who support things like "creation science"; people who think that there's observable physical evidence of the Biblical account. If you believe the Genesis account is literal, but that God or the Devil managed to make things look really old, that's okay with me. Just as long as you don't expect the physical world to look like it was made 6000 years ago. See this for more.)


Problems for Atheists

Just so the Creationists aren't too peeved, let me jump ahead to the first point on the other side: there's way too much good luck involved in the way the universe is set up. (Some of this is informed by Francis Collins' excellent book "The Language of God".)

How science helps me understand the Bible

Other cool connections