Science & Faith: must they be enemies?
The now legendary opening line of the Star Trek series, “to boldly go where no man has gone before,” can be applied to the study of both science and faith. In the field of science, we press further into space, and further into the tiniest of parts of the sub-atomic world. In the field of faith, we boldly challenge God, which if you think about it (if there is a God) is a little nervy on our part.
Growing up, in many a home, the mom or dad could be quoted, “When you have your own house, you can make the rules, but this is my house.”
My home was no different. In my home Dad was the Ultimate Authority, and if you were not sure, just check with Mom (he normally did). Seriously, one of the ominous phrases we could hear is, “Don’t make me call your father.”
Determining the Ultimate Authority has led to a conflict between the two fields of Science and Faith. Quite frankly, if you ask the “man or woman on the street” if they see these two in conflict, I expect they would answer yes.
Faith and Science are not opponents or enemies. In fact, they can and should complement each other.
Science deals with the Physical World. How things function. Throughout the years “seeing” deeper into this world has unmasked amazing discoveries. (Now my mind immediately wants to say, “And yes debunks all that hocus-pocus of religion”—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
Faith deals not merely with that which is beyond our touch—because as just noted, science is always finding ways of “touching new things”—rather, faith deals with the deeper meaning of “Why.”
I say “faith,” but I could say theology (studying the nature of God) or philosophy (studying the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence). But I find that for most of us, we tend to have a belief about God, gods, or no-god, which I lump under the general category of Faith.
Said differently, none of us are “blank sheets of paper.” We bring to this discussion beliefs and attitudes, we bring to this discussion “faith” in our way of thinking.
And here is the thing… our “faith” …our “Whys” behind the way things are… bumps into the world of “science.” And if you say, “I will just live into the world of science,” then you keep bumping into the “Why” questions.
As Science and Faith do their work, their boundaries push into each other.
This blog is to have a dialogue of sorts between Science and Faith… by presenting summary views of some amazing scientific discoveries… and also looking at the Bible. I will try and be careful to not put science in the position of the judging the Bible (and vice versa). This will mean recognizing when we are no longer in a scientific realm, but a philosophical realm… and no longer in a biblical realm, but in a scientific one.
Can I tell you what I think you will have conflict about? It is about Authority, Ultimate Authority—what or who it is for you.
But let’s not have a knee-jerk reaction, because I am trying to create a dialogue.
This will include:
- Asking the question of what the Scriptures have Authority over. And then looking at our method to read and understand them.
- Asking the question of what Science has Authority over. And again, Method (repeatable or inferred)
Why even go here, this “dialogue” of sorts? Won’t it just stir up trouble?
Sure. However, I have found that by being aware of my own beliefs, and then, trying to see how other people view situations, I can in fact grow and learn. I don’t abandon my beliefs. I simply try and see things from another point of view.
So, we are going to start with the idea of Miracles! Why? You will have to wait and read.