Science is no threat to Christianity. Science is biblical. The old and new covenant agree that a fact is only a fact when two or three credible witnesses agree. So does Science. Science looks for trends in hundreds, preferably thousands of data sets. The bigger the sample the better the results.
Science gives the facts, the Bible gives the Truth. People however, interpret the facts and the truth. Pop quiz. Choose which one of the following has the highest probably of inaccuracy?
a) Scientific data.
b) The Bible.
c) Human interpretation.
Scientists and Ministers make mistakes, so what, welcome to the human race. However, when pride or fear prevents us from admitting our mistake, we do much harm. Some perpetuate an error rather than admitting to being wrong. This is called deception, this is a bigger mistake.
Base your theory on your data, not your data on your theory. In science our research or the research of others gives us data. In Christianity the Bible gives us The Truth. We must analyze both without bias.
Why God likes Science.
God likes science because it is highly accountable, it seeks the truth and it measures and observes His creation. It can only be trusted if it avoids partiality and constantly adapts and improves. Science continues to add value by enabling the human race to live longer, communicate better as well as grow and improve.
Lord Jesus said that He came to give life and life in abundance. He and Science seem to agree.
Science is younger than the bible.
Many people think that Science and Faith do not mix, they accept one and reject the other, or have a kind of hybrid faith/science thing going on. I believe we make the mistake of assuming that the people who wrote the bible think like we do.
If we met someone from say 2000 BC, I am confident that we would seem like aliens to each other. What they considered normal would probably baffle, even horrify us and vice versa.
Because of our current thinking, many treat the Bible as a scientific document. They try to use logic and seek scientific accuracy or consistent literal-ism in its pages.
This is irrational. Simply because when the bible was written, logic as we know it now did not exist. Neither did the scientific method. The early scientific method became institutionalized in the late 13th century. Its like trying to use Hockey rules to play Rugby. In other words, the Bible’s accuracy uses a different set of rules to scientific or contemporary accuracy.
It is therefore further irrational to read the bible based on what we see as important. We must understand the bible based on what was important to the authors. For instance, wiser people tell us that the main theme of Genesis 1 is The Creator not the creation. Read it, it’s all about: – In the beginning God did this and God did that and so on. Gen. 1 is more interested in who built the universe than how it was built.
When Genesis 1 was written, people did not know what a star was, no one knew about bacteria or that the world was round. It’s questionable that the average Joe knew how to quantify numbers like million or billion. Instead they expressed large numbers metaphorically like ‘grains of sand’ or ‘stars in the heavens’. Both are accurate, just in different ways.
You could be a scientist without knowing it.
When we speak of Science, many have an image of a lab filled with strange liquids bubbling in test tubes. This is a stereotype. Business science, food science, actuarial science and so on are also science. When you looked at your budget and figured out that you spend more on soap than food, you made a scientific observation.
It is naive to say that Science does not affect us. Further, it’s hypocritical to accept science when it suits us and reject it when it disagrees with our status-quo.
For example, about 15% of Christianity disputes the use of Isotope dating to calculate the age of rocks and stuff. However, they believe doctors who use the same technology to diagnose illnesses.
Contrary to popular belief, science does not worship logic like the Star Trek Vulcan’s. Logic is a great tool, however most science is based on Inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning allows for error and flexibility.
Good science does not seek to be right, it seeks data. It equally needs to know what does –not work as much as what does. For instance, some drugs are poisonous, some are beneficial. Science simply tells us the difference. What we do with the data is up to us, not science.
Most communities have a vocal minority and a silent majority. Silent majorities are boring. Vocal minorities however make for great story telling. Unfortunately, stories foster perceptions.
Because of the vocal minority (grim-faced atheists and fanatical fundamentalists), many perceive that Scientists seek to destroy faith and disprove God. I have only two words for this – conspiracy theory.
Do not believe everything you see on TV.
How does science work?
Good science must be measurable and repeatable. Similar to baking a cake. Visualize way back to the beginning of cake science. Imagine an aspirant cake scientists playing with different ingredients and methods. See them baking many cakes and eventually finding a basic protocol for cake baking. This is science.
Science experiment demo.
This is kind of how the Scientific method works.
First we have a Problem = I want chocolate cake.
Hypothesis – if I use chocolate and cake, I will get chocolate-cake.
Methods and materials – sample size (the more the better), temperatures, ingredients, mixing and baking times. Note to self – add extra chocolate for tasting.
Control – regular chocolate cake with cocoa.
Conduct experiment – keep accurate records and protect chocolate from other scientists.
Collect and and analyze results – this is a big topic filled with weird Greek letters and terms like regression analysis and statistical testing etc.
Submit results to other cake baking experts to test the recipe and make sure we did everything properly (this is called the peer review system).
If accepted – publish results. Publish results in a Journal not in a Tabloid.
If our chocolate cake recipe failed, we adjust our hypothesis and try again. If it is scientific, others can use the recipe to get the same results (measurable and repeatable).
Although simplified, this method probably played a role in the car you drive, the medicine you drink, the insurance policies you buy, even the way you communicate with your families.
Once again, God likes science because researchers uses hundreds even thousands of samples (many witnesses). The peer revue system uses ‘many counselors.’ Once the findings are published they are further subject to public scrutiny and testing. A highly accountable and transparent system that calls for excellence and authenticity.
Bad Science, bad preaching and where to find them.
We must not be naive. People get in the way of good science. Remember the golden rule: ‘the man with the gold makes the rule.’
Like the ministry, people twist the truth to convince others of what best suits the owner or sponsor of the ‘truth.’
Bad science and pseudo science are abundant. What we see in the movies and social media is entertainment, not science. Verify what you see or hear. Try https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=916, http://www.factcheck.org/, http://www.snopes.com/
Likewise use the Bible to verify what you hear from the pulpit. Read it without bias, question the status quo, ask God to show you the truth, use good reasoning.
Very often the people behind the pulpit preach what they learned at bible school. Many mean well but hesitate to think critically and question the status quo.
Many mistake publishing for endorsement (in science and in the ministry). In other words, it’s easy to have a web page and print a book. Just because someone has an opinion and 500 YouTube followers, doesn’t mean they’re right. Including this Blog by the way.
Unfortunately some people become bitter when their research or publications are not accepted by their peers. They declare independence and become convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong (except the 500 YouTube followers of course). We are entitled to our opinions but we are not entitled to the truth/facts.
Also remember that most of the magazines on sale at your local grocery shop are not scientific journals. Most of them benefit from sensationalism, rumor and the suffering of others. Just because it’s in the “PoP” magazine doesn’t make it fact.
Beware of anecdotal ‘evidence.’ Anecdotal ‘evidence’ is so-called ‘evidence’ based on personal experience. Here’s the rub. The bible calls us to testify of our personal experiences of God as evidence of our relationship with Him. As a result we become very trusting of ‘word of mouth’ evidence.
My observation is that people respond to anecdotal evidence in two ways: 1) they believe because they want to believe and 2) the do not believe because they do not want to believe. I suggest a third option. Listen – verify – believe/disbelieve based on more than once source of evidence. Regardless – avoid making decisions based on anecdotal evidence alone.
Beware of rhetoric (persuasive speaking). Some people are extremely persuasive, they use anecdotal ‘evidence’ and other techniques to convince people to believe weird things.
Science and Christianity are not mutually exclusive.
Science is no threat to Christianity. Many Scientists deny God, that is their choice and must be respected. In fact, many ministers deny God. This by the way is really weird. Both are often persuasive, sometimes obnoxious and scary. This is good because it forces us to look for real answers (hopefully not only in YouTube or WordPress – with great love and respect). It exposes what we really believe, and by so doing cements our faith stronger.
Every time science shows us a bigger, more complex, older, multi-dimensional universe, it also shows us a bigger, more complex, mind-numbing God.
In the 16th century, when the Church judged Bruno for thinking bigger than they did, he said to them “your God is too small.” They wanted God to fit into their box and Bruno had no box.