|Science and God|
| Perhaps the biggest surprise is that many theists unwittingly promote naturalism. They acknowledge God but insist that we can understand nature independently.
It’s easy to think that science is neutral to God, because we share the same empirical facts regardless of our belief in God. Is our common reality neutral ground? The answer is “No.” Our common ground is not neutral ground. It is common, because we share the same reality and the same authority.
Atheists are not being true to their worldview when they use logic and facts as authoritative. They borrow from the theist’s worldview in order to do science.
Conversely, Christians are not being consistent when they compartmentalize science as if it were independently authoritative. When they treat human knowledge as autonomous, they merely prove their ability to be inconsistent. They think they’re being religiously neutral, but what they’re really doing is adopting a dualistic worldview in which God pertains to spiritual knowledge and outside lies an independent realm of brute facts.
Georges Lemaître, the Belgian astronomer who developed the Big Bang theory, was an ordained Catholic priest. Lemaître said, “As far as I can see, such a theory remains entirely outside of any metaphysical or religious question.”
Notice that the statement itself is metaphysical. Assuming that science is neutral to God is a religious assumption; it assumes that the cosmos is understood independently of God.
How do we gently correct this dualistic worldview? One way is to show how the proponents of this view are not supporting it empirically. They are presupposing it and using it as their paradigm. They are not doing their metaphysical (religious) studies and empirical (scientific) studies independently. They are assuming metaphysically that we live in a dualistic reality.
So, which of our beliefs do we bring with us when we study science? All of them. If beliefs are true, they’re true wherever we go. Now some beliefs will not apply directly to what we’re studying, but so what? If they apply, they apply. If they don’t, they don’t. It is not ideologically neutral to exclude the concept of God or any other concept as irrelevant. In a rational existence, one must show rationally that the belief is false, in which case we should not bring it with us anywhere.
There are lots of things to which we can be neutral in some way. God is not one of them. If God created the whole world, everything in it pertains to him. According to the Bible, no activity is neutral to God, and anything we do apart from faith in God is sin. Thus, any attempt to claim neutrality toward God is sin. Romans 14:23
I’m not saying that we must “bring” God into science. God is already the authority on which science depends. We don’t add him to our equations; he is the reason that we have equations.
Nor am I saying that an atheist cannot understand science to a great extent. An atheist can learn a lot by studying this orderly cosmos, but his own idea of chance will affect his interpretations.
Do the natural sciences point to God? The Bible tells us, “Since the creation of the world his invisible attributes eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen, being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse.” Scientists see the order and purpose of God so clearly that they have no excuse if they ignore him. Romans 1:20
God says that nature points to him. Naturalists say that it does not. Why do Christians allow naturalism to govern science? It’s because they have borrowed the humanist dichotomy, compartmentalizing science and religion. Let me make some points about this:
· This idea that God is irrelevant to science is a
metaphysical assumption. It goes beyond what we
learn from our sense experiences.
· This idea is not a scientific assumption. That is, we do
not need to ignore the agent (God) in order to study
the mechanisms of nature.
· It is a religious assertion; it pertains to ultimate truth.
It is a claim regarding God.
· This naturalist ideology affects the interpretation of
data. It determines many conclusions in the name of
God is necessary to both science and religion. Neither one makes sense without him.