Religious and Scientific
Interpretations of the Origins of the Universe
A common understanding of the relationship between religion and science is that they stand in opposition to each other. On the one hand you have religious belief with its foundational premise that God is the reason why the universe and everything in it exists. On the other hand you have the sciences with their foundational premise that the explanation for why things happen in the universe and why anything is here does not require God just good science. Certainly it can be said that there have been times in the Christian Church's history where it has not been keen to adapt its understanding of the universe in the light of new scientific research.
However, there are still some in the Church today who challenge this view of the universe. As far as they are concerned the universe has not been formed as a result of a developmental process which took place over millions of years and humans are not here as a result of natural selection (or evolution).
For these Christians the world, the universe and everything in it is here because God created it in six days.
Before writing off such Christians as profoundly mistaken it must be understood what is at stake for these people. Their belief in a young earth is based on what they believe to be the clear teaching of the Bible as found in Genesis 1. There it clearly says that God created the heavens and the earth over six days after which God rested on the seventh day. Furthermore, the Bible is believed to be the Word of God and so anything which challenges this understanding of the creation of the world as found in the biblical teaching is not just...