I have read a lot of rhetoric from atheists who disparage Christians for not accepting “science”, they call them science deniers. But from my perspective, it’s troubling that anyone would accept every word that a scientist says as science. There is an important principle that I think people should accept, science doesn’t speak scientists do and scientists are humans that can be driven by other things than pure observation, testing, etc.
There also seems to be an unhealthy belief in peer-reviewed journals and consensus. The peer-review process fundamentally is a sound process if you can subtract bias, groupthink, politics, money, and power out of the process. There are a number of studies that question the peer review process and have shown the corruption within that process. As a consumer, “buyer beware” is an important way to engage life including science. Here are three examples of what I’m concerned about.
Number one: Cholesterol is the cause of heart disease.
You could say this is been the consensus for the past 50 some years. A medical nutrition expert Dr. Keyes propose this idea in the 1950s. At first, he had a lot of resistance in the medical profession for this concept. What the medical profession did not know is his research was fraudulent. He simply eliminated the contrary evidence in his final research paper. After his concept was accepted the next three studies that tried to confirm his results all failed. But the train already left the station and pharmaceutical companies today are making billions of dollars off of drugs that lower cholesterol by making the liver little bit sick. We know that 80% of cholesterol is manufactured by the liver and drugs that stress the liver can cause cholesterol to go down. But if you take the result of saving lives as the goal there has not been a successful cholesterol study in the past 50 years. If you take the goal of lowering cholesterol then pharmaceutical companies can demonstrate that their products theoretically save lives. Though in actual life that’s simply not the case. Without going into further detail heart disease is the result of inflammation. Those that reduce inflammation in the body save lives. The lining of arteries is like Teflon cholesterol cannot stick you have to damage the lining of the artery first. The toxic soup of inflammatory chemistry is what leads to such damage and the resultant build-up of plaque, fiber, and cholesterol. No damage no problem, damage potential problem, 50% of all heart attacks happen in people with normal cholesterol levels.
Number two: Man is causing the planet to catch fire.
We hear from academics and politicians that if we don’t do some drastic changes then life as we know it will be over in 10 years. Though you’d be hard-pressed to find consensus among scientists that man’s activity alone would cause these kinds of catastrophic events. The planet has been warming and cooling for thousands of years. We have been going through a warming phase for the past 300 years long before SUVs and coal-powered power plants. There are a lot of factors in our environment that affect temperature, CO2 is just one and it is the weaker of the other factors. There are at least 12 studies that imply were getting ready to go into a cooling phase which would be consistent with how our climate has acted forever. We are also entering what’s called the “solar minimum” and how many think the sun might have something to do with temperature? Some climate activists say scientists have already factored for this phenomena but I’m skeptical. Can man affect climate? I suppose that depends on your political stand just how much man’s activity can, personally I believe man has an effect but not a major effect. If we take what science has said about how long man has been on this planet it is easy to see the ups and downs of climate have been independent of man’s existence. But climate activism has become a religion for some and I would simply say that is a religion of a lesser god. Let’s work for clean water, clean healthy food supply, and clean air as long as we understand CO2 is plant food and this planet has ways of protecting itself. Technology can resolve any pollution problems if we give innovation a chance. How many climate activists do you know who refuse to fly on airplanes, refuse to drive combustion engines and refuse to use electricity?
Number three: Evolution has overwhelming scientific support.
I would definitely agree with that up to a point. Descent with modification within a breeding family along with mutations/speciation and natural selection is settled science. Yet biology shows us that cats always produce cats. The overwhelming evidence is that these biological principles are set in stone. Never in the history of mankind have we seen a cat come from some other animal in a different family, we have never seen a cat reproduce something other than a cat. This is called horizontal evolution cats continually produce cats with modifications. Those modifications are limited by genetic law. You are not going to see a cat with feathers, feathers are not in the genetic pool that the cat has to work with. Yet you can get all different species of cats which is also true with dogs or anything else. You can get large dogs, small dogs, all different breeds of dogs. But you’ll never get a dog as large as a giraffe or as small as a cockroach. Genetics have these built-in limitations and never in the history of science that we seen anything different, even with microorganisms. If you start with an E. coli no matter how many years, mutations, environments you will always end with E. coli because that’s the way biology works. It’s only with the writings of Darwin has this idea of vertical evolution ie.land animal to whale has arisen. The only observational evidence that Darwin had was things like his finches. These finches’ beaks would change in size depending on the environment. If the environment got harsher their beaks would get larger so they could get to food but as the environment return to normal so did the size of their beaks. That’s a perfect example of scientific or horizontal evolution. Darwin never saw anything but that form of evolution yet he speculated that something more could happen. And when science was forced in the box of materialistic naturalism they embraced Darwinism as a way to explain the diversity of life. It’s not that they ever saw an ape become a man it’s just their philosophy demanded such a reality even though they couldn’t prove such a reality. But under the umbrella of materialistic naturalism that was the only logical game in town so if you want to be accepted as a legitimate scientist, this is what you have to believe. And this is the basis of the consensus for vertical evolution. It’s a political position, not one based on the principles of science that include observation, testing, reproducing and falsify.
So not only should a Christian approach science with some skepticism everybody should, otherwise we end up with scientism. In scientism, scientists become priests and science becomes the religion of the people. It’s interesting over the past 50 some years how this religion has been pushed on our kids. If you tell a child from the first day in school that they were monkeys, or apes if you want to assume that, or even a mythical apelike creature like Richard Dawkins speaks of yet he can’t point to. If you teach that stuff to kids throughout their schooling are you surprised that a lot of them will believe it? Yet those who teach your kids have never seen it, they are teaching a literal biological miracle that they cannot demonstrate in a biological lab. It’s simply not observable and testable science so you have to go outside of biology in an attempt to try to cobble together some evidence for this remarkable story. And this whole façade of vertical evolution rests on one little brick as a foundation for the whole concept. That little brick is “similarities” the fact that there are similarities within nature has to mean only one thing that a miraculous biological event can take place even though we can’t show that biological event in a biological lab. Sure there are a lot of excuses given for why we can’t reproduce such miraculous biological processes in a biology lab. But this is a consensus just like the consensus for steady-state theory In cosmology back in the early 1900s and I think we all know how that consensus played out.
the·o·ry-/ˈTHirē/ noun a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.
the·o·rem -/ˈTHēərəm,ˈTHirəm/ nounPHYSICS•MATHEMATICS a general proposition not self-evident but proved by a chain of reasoning; a truth established by means of accepted truths.
So if we want to be considered scientific do we have to accept everything that is scientists say is true?
Can we be skeptical of science yet still support science?
Is it appropriate to dismiss an individual because they reject certain aspects of a consensus within science?