Monday, November 20, 2006

Science vs. Religion: Does this mean War?

Here's an assignement I did last week in class. One of our textbooks is all about the "Unholy War Between Religion and Science" (which also happens to be its name). It is an interetsing book by a Karl Giberson. I thought some of you might enjoy reading my thoughts on this imprtant issue...Steve

Question: How do you view the current "war" between secular scientists and people of faith? How do faith and science influence one another? What assumptions, presuppositions and beliefs does each side bring to this conflict?


I think that Giberson got it right on when he said, “The issue boils down to one of authority. Who should decide what is true” (36). He was also correct in pointing out that it was the church who did this deciding for most of the Christian era; science has only gained the upper-hand in recent centuries (37). Christians stand today as gladiators fighting against the “bear” of materialism, the “lion” of abortion, and the “Roman soldier” of evolution, and we look up at the emerald-eyed emperor and call him science. Science is no Nero, and the world did not pick this fight between science and religion. The Church started this fight long ago, when it superstitiously refused to accept the findings of people who were blessed with a curious, scientific mind.

Science was created by God—it was He who put into place Newton’s famous Laws. The true scientist is only seeking to think God’s thoughts after, and this is the kind of science that Biblical Christians can embrace whole-heartedly. I always found it so amazing that, when one researches the life and sayings of a father of science (i.e. Galileo, Newton, etc) one usually finds that they were devout men of God. Their faith influenced their scientific work, and they often suffered persecutions that were similar to the persecutions administered on Christians throughout the centuries.

In my personal experience and from what I have studied of history, it seems to me that people are afraid of the truth. Truth sometimes hurts, and often shakes us from the comfortable position we had previously held. Why? Because the Father of Lies tries to do everything he can to veil, hide, or distort the awesome presence of God that is present all around us—and especially in nature.

Those who oppose science, or are antiscientific as Giberson calls them, deny that God is the creator of what science seeks out. They “claim that the motivation for science is not the noble and dispassionate pursuit of truth...but rather the undermining of religious belief” (Giberson 47). Secular scientists, on the other hand, often think of the Church as inferior to Science, which is often their “religion.” This supposed inferiority springs from the fact that parts of Christianity are not able to be analyzed by scientific thought (a train of thought which does not take into account the fact that no theory of the origin of matter can be analyzed either). However, there are also scientists and scholars, like those at the Institute for Creation Research, who believe that God made the universe and set its natural laws into play and use science as it is to be used, as a tool to discover God in His creation.

The Church needs to realize that science is never at odds with the Bible. Any “science” that is at odds with the Word of God is not a science at all and will be disproved sooner or later.

Works Cited:

Giberson, Karl. World’s Apart: The Unholy War Between Religion and Science. Kansas City: Beacon Hill, 1993.

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