The Limits Of Science

Embryonic_Stars_in_the_Rosette_NebulaAtheists don’t like to admit this, but science is limited. True science, that is. There’s a particular process known as the scientific method that leads to truth pronouncements, but only a limited body of truth.

Art, for instance is foreign to science. What can science tell a painter or musician or writer? Is there a way to measure who will or won’t have a particular artistic ability? Does science tell these creative people what notes go with which or what colors they need on their pallet?

Perhaps we need first to understand what specifically are the claims of science. Here’s the definition from the Oxford American Dictionary: “a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.” This “systematically organized body of knowledge” comes about by use of the scientific method which also has a strict definition:

To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning (Wikipedia).

So if someone is exploring, say, the existence of a certain historical figure, such as Jesus of Nazareth, science can’t help because there’s no empirical or measurable evidence. Clearly, science can’t be a guarantor of historical truth.

Philosophical truth is another area in which science is pretty useless. Ask a why question and science has little choice but to shut up. Why are we here? Why is there suffering? Why do some people believe in God and others reject Him? What can science contribute to such explorations?

Of course science is also useless when it comes to ethics. We have no empirical way of measuring right or wrong, though we all agree that right and wrong exist. Science can’t tell you why we think this way and it can’t help us figure out what belongs in each category.

Or how about relational truth? Some people are drawn to each other. They have “chemistry,” but no one can tell you exactly what that means or how people achieve it. This relational chemistry exists between a man and wife, between friends, between team members. But when it comes to the latter, it’s not always there. Sometimes everything “clicks” and sometimes it doesn’t. What makes the difference? A certain leader, a peacemaker, someone whose unselfishness is an example to the others? No one can quantify what it is—it’s beyond the purview of science.

Then there’s the spiritual realm. Most atheists I’ve communicated with deny a spiritual realm because science can’t measure it—a shortsighted . . . or maybe, blind . . . pronouncement. Millions of people down through time have reported spiritual experiences. Atheists, however, consider these as delusions, fabrications, or brain function—none of which they can prove.

Rather, their trump card is that no one can produce scientific evidence to support the spiritual—as if science with its dependence upon empirical data can measure the supernatural.

What’s most intriguing to me is that atheists who cling so firmly to science most often embrace evolution as the explanation for humankind’s existence, and in fact of all life. Yet the very thing they use to counter the idea that the universe and all life has been created, is the very thing they can not verify scientifically.

Oh, sure you’ll hear a lot of science thrown around—light traveling through space for untold light years, rocks determined to be millions or billions of years old, fossils of a pre-man, and so on. But none of that is science.

Science is based on observation and questioning (how did man come to be?), followed by conjecture (he might have evolved from a lower life form), also known as a hypothesis. Then comes the real work: experimentation. The subject in question must undergo testing which yields empirical data, and the tests must be repeated to verify that the results weren’t simply coincidental. Clearly, no one can replicate evolution or its companion theory, the Big Bang. There are no experiments we can run to show how nothing exploded into life, how that life organized itself from a single cell to multiple cells, each more complex than the one before it.

In short, science is too limited to prove the theory of evolution, to disprove the existence of the supernatural, to explain morality, to determine answers to the great questions of purpose.

So why, I wonder, have we deified science as if it is the end all of every discipline? It is not.

Published in: on February 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm  Comments (6)  
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God and the Big Bang

The Big Bang, evolutionists say, initiated all life. While it is a non-repeatable event, one of a kind, scientists say we can still learn all about it, though it occurred billions of years ago and light years upon light years away. How? Because scientists can study its aftereffects.

How odd that God, who is one of a kind and beyond our time and space, yet made Himself known through what He made, through the voice of prophets, and ultimately through the coming of His Son, the gift of His Word, and the presence of His Spirit, is looked upon by many of these same scientists as a myth, a fabrication, a superstition.

Ponder the similarities between God and the Big Bang.

The latter is credited by science with initiating life. God, however, declares Himself to be the Creator of the universe and the giver of life.

The Big Bang is one of a kind, impossible to replicate or to study via the scientific method. God is also one of a kind; no other god is like Him in goodness and mercy, power and glory. We also cannot study Him by the ways of science.

This next one isn’t as clear cut. The theory of a Big Bang came about as a result of studying its aftereffects—the release of light and energy traveling through space and time and reaching us millions of years after the fact, yet with the appearance of currency. Faith in God comes about as a result of the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of our heart that we might see Jesus who left His throne in glory to penetrate human history that we, by seeing His light, might see the Father.

Here’s my conclusion. The Big Bang is postulated as an event before our existence. On the other hand, God Himself declares His existence before all creation. The Big Bang, by necessity, would preceed time, as does God. The Big Bang is unknowable apart from the study of its effects. So too, God is unknowable apart from the effects of his being—His revelation, both general (creation) and special (prophecy, the Incarnation, Scripture, the Holy Spirit).

So why, I wonder, do some scientists find belief in God to be a leap of faith but belief in the Big Bang theory, sure science? Schools, they say, cannot suggest that God rather than a Big Bang initiated life because such a concept belongs to the purview of religion, not science.

Yet knowledge of God comes from written documentation, physical evidence, historical corroboration, and personal testimony. Not scientific enough, atheists say, preferring to teach as truth the ideas of men.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm  Comments (14)  
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