The Myth of Science

There is a common conception in our culture that Science has all the answers to life and has conquered the superstitious myths of religion, particularly Judeo-Christian belief.

This is a myth in itself.

Here are a few observations that need to be remembered as you consider the religion-science debate:

1. There is a difference between science, which is based on observation and experimentation with repeatable results, and Science, which is a philosophical worldview. The scientific method cannot address the origin of the universe or the emergence of life. There is no repeatable experiment to show something emerging out of nothing or life emerging out of non-life. Thus, when Science speaks on these issues, it enters into philosophy (and even magic) not true science.

2. Philosophical Science operates out of presuppositions just as religion does. It makes certain assumptions which govern how it interprets data. It also has its own "gurus," dogma, and heresy. Consider the recent firestorm over the scientific article which dared to mention the idea of a "Creator" in the design of the human hand. No scientist (no human for that matter) operates from a purely "objective" viewpoint. We all bring our subjectivity, perspective, presuppositions, and, dare I say, faith to the table.

3. The scientific movement didn't emerge despite Christian faith rather it emerged because of Christian faith. 

Science arose only in Europe because only medieval Europeans believed that science was possible and desirable. And the basis of their belief was their image of God and his creation. …If the universe was created in accord with rational rules by a perfect, rational creator, then it ought to yield its secrets to reason and observation. Hence the scientific truism that nature is a book meant to be read. (Rodney Stark, Ph.D., Sociology, University of California Berkeley)

The vast majority of early scientists (51 of the 52 major scientific figures during the Scientific Revolution) held a strong Judeo-Christian worldview and saw their work as a way of discovering the rational order in a universe created by a Rational God.

4. Less than 50 years ago, the dominant, dogmatic scientific view was that the universe was eternal and had no beginning. The scientific community strongly resisted the idea of a "beginning" to the universe because the reality that the universe emerged out of nothing would insinuate a Creator. Science still has no adequate answer for how a complex universe randomly emerged out of pure nothingness. All Science can do is credit "quantum fluctuations." See this insightful video by MIT-physicist, Gerald Schroeder, on the meaning of "quantum fluctuations."

5. Materialistic Science is in itself self-defeating. If there is nothing metaphysical or spiritual to the universe, then the very thoughts of Science are merely random, chemical reactions within the human brain that cannot be trusted and certainly shouldn't be argued over. Why argue that your random meaningless neurological chemical reactions are more true than my random meaningingless neurological chemical reactions? Materialistic Science, in the end, leads to biological determinism and to the death of free will.

6. Materialistic Science can't answer the bigger questions of life. Who am I? Why am I here? Why is there something rather than nothing? Materialistic Science has no materialistic explanation for human consciousness, our imagination, our hunger for purpose and meaning, moral ethics (especially compassion for the weak), love, or life itself (i.e., what is the materialistic difference between life and non-life?).

7. True scientific discovery should be the gateway to wonder not atheism. When Darwin first proposed evolution 150 years ago, he believed the "simple cell" was an unsophisticated blob of protoplasm. Today, we know that the "simple cell" is more complex, with more inter-connected moving parts, than we could ever imagine. We also know that the information encoded on a strand of DNA is enough to fill a mountain of encyclopedias. The complexity, beauty, and mystery of the universe, of nature, of the human body, of the brain, of life itself should move us to increasing humility and wonder.

The typical response to these observations is that Science has already disproven the Bible. This is a "straw man" argument that simplifies a complex debate. At best, an honest skeptic could say that "the jury is still out." The Bible has been scoffed at before only to discover that it is quite amazing in its historical accuracy.

For instance, like mentioned above, fifty years ago many scientists denied that the universe had a beginning. Now they generally accept that the universe amazingly (and unexplanably) emerged out of pure nothingness….what theology has historically called creatio ex nihilio.

It is also fascinating that what looks like "substance" to us is actually just energy held together by strong nuclear forces. 

By a fraction of a microsecond following the creation, the primary material object of the big bang was concentrated as exquisitely intense energy. There are many types of energy,  but the form most manifest microseconds after the creation was electromagnetic radiation–in simplistic terms, something akin to superpowerful light beams. …Every physical object in this vast universe, including our human bodies, is built of the light of creation. (Gerald Schroeder, God According to God, pp. 28-29).

And God said, "Let there be light" and there was light (Genesis 1:3).

Physicist Gerald Schroeder also presents an interesting theory of how our scientific understanding of time dilation (that time is not constant but relative to velocity and gravity) could indicate how the six days of creation from God's perspective could look like billions of years from ours. I don't agree with his conclusions (and honestly don't understand his formuli and calculations) but one thought does stand out–our conception of time is not as simple as we think it is.

In the end, one has to decide to exercise faith in something…either in the current theories of materialistic Science or in the Scriptures or in something else.

Perhaps I am a fool in the world's eyes for believing in Scripture…for believing in a Creator, for believing in the inherent dignity of humanity, for believing in a moral fall that explains the evil in this world, for believing in a prophesied Messiah who died for our redemption, for believing in the bodily resurrection, for believing in eternal life. 

But I will be a fool for the love, hope, and purpose found in Jesus Christ.

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)

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