Posts Tagged ‘science’

Based on the book “Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door” by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, the youth group at The Church at Tree Lake examined common misconceptions about God, religion, the Bible, and Christianity.

Other videos in this series:

I had a special event coming up at my church a while back addressing the scientific validity of Darwinian Evolution. As I have been thinking on this topic and meandering around cyberspace looking at blogs and YouTube videos, I came across this quote:

“The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.” ~Walter Lippmann

Now, I have no idea who Walter Lippmann is, and I it doesn’t really matter. This quote, however, jumped out at me as a great example of how the naturalistic, humanistic, and secularistic philosophies have infected our culture. I have observed more and more that, even among people who claim to be religious or even Christian, the starting point for their assumptions and view of the world is not Christ or God. It is from a secular mindset.

This quote says that “science” rejects the belief that the forces behind nature are contingent upon “the preferences of the human heart.” 

First, “science” doesn’t accept or reject anything. People do. Science is a method of investigating the world (and not the only one). It may also describe the body of knowledge gained by that method, but that “knowledge” (conclusions drawn based on the raw data) is itself subjective and at the whim of the scientists.

Second, I would completely agree with Mr. Lippmann that the forces of nature are not contingent upon the preferences of the human heart. And he might be surprised to know that the Bible would agree with Him as well. The forces of nature are contingent upon the will of the Sovereign Creator who made them. The preferences of human hearts do not enter into it.

Oddly enough Mr. Lippmann seems to have gotten things backwards. Religion points to God as the force behind nature. It is science which, as a body of knowledge and theories, is based on human understanding. It is influenced by the biases and philosophies of the human scientist making those theories and conclusions. Biases and philosophies which are “contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.”

Between science and religion (especially Biblical Christianity), if one can be said to be based on the preferences of the human heart, it is most definitely science.

What if I told you I wanted to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Texas Rangers?

Huh? No, I’m not crazy. Those who know me well are probably impressed I even know names of sports teams. And guess what else; I also know they don’t even play the same sport.

My ridiculous pairing of sports teams is an attempt at a humorous analogy of when people say “Religion vs. Science” or “The Bible vs. Science”. The two things deal with different issues and use different means to do it.

Evolutionists and atheists repeat over and over again that “science” has proven The Theory of Evolution to be true right along with the universe being billions of years old, and if we don’t accept that then we are denying science.

Not to confuse matters, but what do they mean by “science”? Go do an Internet search for “science definition” and see what comes up. In the ancient world science and philosophy were connected. People just tried to figure out the world, whether natural or metaphysical. It’s been through the last 200 years maybe that we’ve come to understand “science” in terms of the scientific method of experimenting and observation, where data is collected and it all has to be documentable and testable.

Religion and experimental science have no conflict whatsoever because experimental science gives us observed data about the present condition of the world around us.

The more I’ve thought about this, the more I realize evolutionists commit a sort of bait-and-switch logical argument. Many may not even realize they do it. When they say that religion isn’t “science”, the “scientific method” is being implied: testable, repeatable, documentable, observable. Since faith can’t be quantified or measured, it’s not “science”, by that definition.

Then the same people, with the big brains and white coats with all their fancy gadgets and alphabet-soup of degrees after their names, begin describing what happened in the distant past. Here’s the rub. To do that, they have to take off their “scientific method” hat, and get back to the philosopher roots of scientists, because they’re addressing things that cannot be tested and observed. However, they don’t usually make the distinction, and whether intentional or not, the implication is that their philosophical ideas carry the same factual weight as their experimental data.

Let me explain when this became clear to me:

I was raised a Christian and taught the bible, so yes, perhaps I had a bias and willingness to give the idea of creation more weight. However, I never really gave it much thought. I loved school and learning, so I soaked up whatever my teachers taught me. Somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, I saw in my science textbook a contradiction. 

The first chapter said to me that “science” is the experimental aspect: observation, hypothesis, experiment, data, confirm/revise hypothesis, repeat. Things that can be demonstrated through physical, laboratory testing and observation.

Then, somewhere in the middle it mentioned that a nebula will condense over millions of years to become a star. That’s when something clicked. I flipped back to the beginning, double-checked the definition, and then thought to myself, “who held the stopwatch in THAT experiment?”

They cannot know that a nebula becomes a star. I understand there is some information gathered from experimental science used in forming this idea, but ultimately that is an unprovable idea. Keep in mind, this idea was presented as known fact. There was no hint of subjectivity or possibility of some other understanding. The book simply stated it as true. 

But think about this, it is not possible for a person to actually know what will or what did take place over millions of years. All we can really know is what has been observed and recorded since mankind has been writing things down. Even then, that information is limited and potentially flawed.

This just threw open doors. What else do scientists make a truth claim about that they can’t actually know through the methodology of science? 

Automatically, anything that involves events prior to written history is in doubt. 

When we can’t KNOW something “scientifically” – observe it and confirm it with our own senses – we have to either rely on others’ testimony (which we may or may not accept) or we have to draw inferences from what we already know … or believe. We make educated guesses.

Here is where the conflict comes in: 

Naturalists / Materialists, people who don’t believe in anything supernatural or spiritual, use that belief to draw conclusions. This is where they leave modern science (experiment) and enter into philosophy, making claims about things they cannot actually know or prove. But, they still want us to accept their philosophy as equally as the “scientific” facts.

Religious folks have a different set of beliefs that give us different conclusions. However, since we admit ours is religious, or philosophical, there appears to be a conflict between “religion” and “science”, when in fact, religion does not conflict at all with the experimental science, only the philosophy of the scientist.

When you ask, “where did we come from?” religion and experimental science cannot be at odds, because they have different rules by which they frame the answer to the question. (I would even say that science is incapable of addressing the question). Who is right: religion or science? You may as well ask, “Who would win: The Cowboys or The Rangers?”