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Friday, December 22, 2006

There's Nothing Magical About Science (Or: Joan King's Science Fiction)

At the beginning of the movie “Van Helsing” Dracula exclaims to Dr. Frankenstein that his monster, just brought to life, is a “victory of science over God.” I suppose Joan King would agree. It’s a bit silly to refer to fantasy when writing of such serious matters as faith and science, but Ms. King seemed to spend most of her 12/5 article confusing fact with fantasy. One good turn deserves another. I think Ms. King has watched too much “Star Wars.” (She certainly seems to be a fan of “science fiction.”) She writes of science as if it were “The Force,” some magical power that needs only to be understood and properly used and all of our problems will be solved.

Then again, maybe Ms. King sees “science” as some sort of superhero; one who is destined to defeat its arch enemy “religious fundamentalist,” all the while providing us with everything needed for our modern lives.

Answers In Genesis (AIG) (www.answersingenesis.org) notes that, “Many historians (of different religious persuasions—including atheistic) have shown that modern science started to flourish only in largely Christian Europe. These historians point out that the basis of modern science depends on the assumption that the universe was made by a rational Creator. An orderly universe makes perfect sense only if it were made by an orderly Creator.” Many “fathers of modern science” were what Ms. King would consider “fundamentalist Christians.” They took a quite literal view of the Bible. From Pascal to Newton to Faraday to Pasteur to Carver, history is littered with committed Christians whose work has given us many of the advances we enjoy today.

To see “science” and “religion” pitted against one another in some epic battle is just plain silly. When I speak out against something such as embryonic stem cell research, it is not because I wish to halt the march of science. It is because I believe that “progress” can never come at the expense of truth. (In the case of embryonic stem cells, the truth is that life begins at conception.)

Ms. King’s references to evolution are the same tired old weak arguments that have been proven false many times over, but here I go again. Darwinian evolution (defined as the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source, which itself came from an inorganic form) is no more “the foundation of modern biology and modern medicine” than it is the foundation of rocket science and astronomy.

Operating from a biblical worldview (rejecting Darwin’s theory), Louis Pasteur did amazing work in a variety of scientific areas. Pasteur, a microbiologist and chemist, who, along with giving us the process of pasteurization, disproved the theory of spontaneous generation (which put him at odds with Darwin and his work) and was a pioneer in the battle against infectious diseases (leading us to the process of vaccination). Ann Lamont of AIG notes that, “Pasteur was a strong opponent of Darwin’s theory.” As I have pointed out before, (giving specific examples) a person today can totally reject Darwinian evolution and operate well in any scientific arena.

It is incredibly insulting and ignorant that Ms. King would associate fundamentalist Christians with radical, murderous, holocaust denying, Islamic fascists. It is true that Christians believe that heaven awaits us when we die, but not by doing “God’s bidding” will we be saved. Christians believe that salvation comes only through faith in Christ.

It’s interesting that Ms. King would refer to the recent book The God Delusion by noted atheist and evolutionist, Dr. Richard Dawkins. In chapter 7 of his book he mocks and criticizes the account in the book of Genesis of The Flood. However, he correctly points out that many theologians today, in an attempt to compromise the biblical record with evolution, “don’t take the book of Genesis literally anymore.” He continues, “that is my whole point! We pick and choose which bits of scripture to believe, which bits to write off as symbols or allegories.” In other words, if you can’t trust the Bible on one topic, why should you trust it on any topic? Here we have a committed atheist correctly pointing out the hypocrisy of those who would hold up the Bible as the authority in one area but completely write it off in other areas. Neither Ms. King’s, nor anyone else’s, faith can rest on that. Either the Bible is what it claims to be, or we have nothing.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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