Friday, November 23, 2012

Doing Science: Are Christians too Locked into their own Beliefs?

A letter to a secularist/atheist:

First of all, let me respond to your charge that Christianity is a science-killer. On the contrary, it is Christianity that had provided the motivation and the presuppositions to investigate God’s creation. According to British scientist Robert Clark:

  • “However we may interpret the fact, scientific development has only occurred in Christian culture. The ancients had brains as good as ours. In all civilizations—Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, Persia, China and so on—science developed to a certain point and then stopped. It is easy to argue speculatively that, perhaps, science might have been able to develop in the absence of Christianity, but in fact, it never did. And no wonder. For the non-Christian world believed that there was something ethically wrong about science. In Greece, this conviction was enshrined in the legend of Prometheus, the fire-bearer and prototype scientist who stole fire from heaven, thus incurring the wrath of the gods.” ("Christian Belief and Science," quoted by Henry F. Schaefer, 14)
Christianity had providentially provided just the right presuppositions for the investigation of this word:

  1. A God who wants to be known and understood
  2. A God who values order
  3. A God who creates and operates by discoverable laws or principles
  4. A God who doesn’t change and therefore laws that do not change
  5. A God who encourages us to seek for wisdom and gives wisdom and knowledge to bless us
  6. A world that is not illusory, but one that is “very good” and worth understanding rather than transcending
  7. A world that was created by wisdom and not be chance – consequently, there are mysteries that are discoverable
  8. A world that we are directed to care for by first understanding it
Interestingly, secularism profitably partakes of the Christian presuppositions although its worldview cannot affirm them:

  1. Secularism has no rational foundation to believe in understanding and wisdom, just brain chemical reactions.
  2. Secularism has no basis to believe in truth, order and continuity in a world of molecules-in-motion, but relies upon the unchanging nature of the laws of physics, even though it lacks the presuppositions to account for such things.
  3. Secularism is committed to chance and non-design. Such presuppositions may prove highly unfruitful. It has committed much money and resources to the proposition that proteins and DNA self-assembled (along with the cell and life). However, there is not one stitch of evidence that a protein has ever self-assembled. However, their worldview requires them to go in this direction. One scientist put it this way: “The mathematical probability that the precisely designed molecules needed for the simplest bacteria could form by chance arrangements of amino acids is far less than 1 in 10 followed by 450 zeroes.” (Kleiss)
  4. Secularism has no intrinsic reason to search out an unchanging truth. Its basic motivation is pragmatic. It wants results that will make people happy. However, in the short run, lies will also make people happy. It is only the Christian commitment to truth that keeps secularism honest, for the time being. The history of radical secular experiments shows that truth is no more than a commodity to achieve certain ends – propaganda and the manipulation.
In light of the above, many have argued that secularism is parasitic of its despised host – Christianity. Once the host succumbs – and history shows us that Christianity is the only fruitful host – the parasite languishes and then dies.

Instead of contempt, secularism should respect its host. John Steinrucken writes,

  • The fact is, we secularists gain much from living in a world in which excesses are held in check by religion. Religion gives society a secure and orderly environment within which we secularists can safely play out our creativities. Free and creative secularism seems to me to function best when within the stable milieu provided by Christianity.     
These “excesses” are also displayed in the laboratory. Daniel James Devine reported:

  • The British Medical Journal [BMJ] reported that 13 percent of UK scientists say they’ve seen colleagues “inappropriately adjusting, excluding, altering or fabricating data,” indicating widespread research fraud. “The BMJ has been told of junior academics being advised to keep concerns to themselves to protect their careers, being bullied into not publishing their findings, or having their contracts terminated when they spoke out,” said BMJ editor. (World, Feb 11, 2012, 64)
And how many more instances of fraud haven’t been seen or at least acknowledged in the survey? As secularism advances, we might be seeing epidemic levels of fraud. And why not if fraud is just a means to a greater ends?

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