R&I – FS
Can you believe in God and science at the same time?
Neo-atheists like Richard Dawkins and Neil Degrasse Tyson say no. They believe more science leads to less God. This concept was first presented in the 1800s by physician John Draper in his book, “History of the conflict between religion and science”. He was deeply influenced by Darwin’s new revelation about evolution and realized that would present a conflict with religion.
So he concluded that religion and science are absolutely incompatible as if science is defined only by Darwinism. Yet history shows us that our great scientists in the past like the astronomer Johannees Kepler or chemist Robert Boyle or physicist Sir Isaac Newton were deeply religious men and the giants who established modern science.
Not only did they not see any conflict, they felt they were studying God’s design and revealing it to mankind.
It could be said that Judeo-Christian religious tradition led to modern science. Joseph Needham a historian of science at the University of Cambridge posed the famous question, “Why there? Why then?”. Why there in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?
Why didn’t modern science start somewhere else before then? After all the Egyptians built the pyramids, the Chinese invented the compass, block-printing, and gunpowder, the Greeks had great philosophers.
Yet none of these other cultures developed a systematic method of examining nature. This led Joseph Needham and other historians of science like Ian Barbour and Herbert Butterfield to the conclusion only Christianity led to the intellectual presuppositions to enable the rise of science.
Those presuppositions included a creator who fashioned an ordered universe. Thus assuming the intelligibility of nature. That nature was designed by a rational God the same God that gave a man a rational mind.
These men reasoned that they could use their rational minds to study nature and they could understand the order in nature from the design that God placed in the world. They also assumed an underlying order in nature. One famous scientist, Whitehead postulated that “there can be no living science unless there is a widespread instinctive conviction in the order of nature”. This idea led to the unprecedented use of mathematics to understand the nature of the universe.
These founders of modern science also presupposed the contingency of nature. That led to them believing that reason alone was not sufficient but they needed to observe, test, and reproduce evidence to come to proper conclusions. Thus the scientific method was born.
To them, nature was a form of divine communication intelligible to human investigation. With this in mind, they developed the concept of “the laws of nature” implying God’s governance over his creation.
The idea that science and religion conflict is a popular position among some but this denies the very foundations of science. And without the Judeo-Christian foundations of science, we would be living in a much less advanced civilization in both science and morality.
Is there such a thing as truth?
Do you believe you know true things?
If there is no standard for truth how can a monkey brain speak of scientific truth?