Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Science and the Bible

What is the Relationship between Science and Religion?

The short answer is 'none!'. It is like asking what is the relationship between a shadow and a tooth pick. There is no relationship between them. You can examine a tooth pick in the laboratory but you can't examine a shadow. Religion has NOTHING to teach science and science has NOTHING to teach religion. Religion is trying to discover if there is an invisible reality behind the universe and what it might be like. Science is trying to learn as much as it can about the physical universe that we can examine.

We ought to be quite trusting of the results of the work of honest scientists. It is a self correcting field of study. In the long run, it will get things right. (but some times it takes some time). We believe that if the clear established teaching of science conflicts with any INTERPRETATION of religious books, we ought to take such scientific conclusions very seriously. For instance, for many years it was thought that the age of the earth could be determined by studying the genealogies in the New Testament of the Bible. It was concluded that the creation of the universe was about 6000 years ago.
This was an interpretation that is very seriously challenged by a very large host of archeologists, paleontologist, geologists, chemists, cosmologists, biologists, physicists, and a host of other methods of study to be impossible. A very significant number of these scientists hold strong religious beliefs.

There has been a long conflict between people who hold religious beliefs and some scientist about evolution. It is popularly been labeled as the war between 'Religion and Science” or “Science and the Bible”. We would assert that this is an meaningless conflict. The word evolution simply means change. It is perfectly obvious that many, many changes in plants and animals have happened and it has been firmly established that this has been caused by genetic mutations over a very, very long period of time. So, yes, that kind evolution is true. Humans evolved from a microscopic speck. But there is a second kind of evolutionary thinking that claims to know that the universe created itself. That is not science, it is philosophy. When scientists assert that there is no creator they not speaking as scientists but as  humans with no more authority than anybody else.

There are lots of things that are very widely and rightly believed that are beyond the ability of science to examine. Science can not directly examine emotions, ideas, beauty, truth, values, etc. Science can not verify most of what we read in history books. We believe what we believe about history because we trust authority. You can't put historical claims in a test tube. If a person could only believe what science can prove we would have to be content with very little knowledge.