Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christianity & Science



There's a theme that keeps being repeated over and over again in the popular media which basically states that there is a war between religion (particularly Christianity) and science. Time magazine recently did a cover on just this subject. A British television station went one further, airing a two-part special titled "The Root of All Evil?". Both Time and the TV series featured Richard Dawkins, arguably the most famous apologist of Darwinism.

One of the most consistent myths being perpetrated by Dawkins and his ilk is that Christianity promotes ignorance and superstition. He may have some scientific qualifications, but his grasp of history could certainly be improved.

As Rodney Stark outlines in his book, The Victory of Reason, it was Christian Europe that provided the fertile soil for modern science. As he states, Christianity "embraced reason and logic as the primary guides to religious truth." It was, in part, the understanding that God was an intelligent being who created in a logical and orderly manner that encouraged scientists to look for the order in nature. There were laws in nature because there was a law-giver.

I think it's a given that there are many, if not most, religions which are anti-science, but Christianity is not one of them. What Christians object to is pseudo-science: making outlandish faith claims and calling it science. Retired Berkeley law school professor Phillip E. Johnson, among others, have pointed out the propensity of some members of the scientific community to make truth claims without the required evidence.

The Discovery Institute is an organization established by well-known scientists such as Michael Behe, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer and Jay Richards who also happen to be Christians. So was Isaac Newton, by the way. All of these men - and countless other men and women - have found that their Christian faith and scientific investigation are mutually compatible.

What intellectually drew me to Christianity was the fact that it is based in history and has a comprehensive view of the world. It has as its central tenet an historical event - the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It presents a view of the world that makes sense at every level. As C.S. lewis wrote: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

Over the next few posts we're going to look at the idea of worldview, and how the Biblical worldview compares with that of other faiths - including atheism. Your comments are welcome.

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