Does Science Equal Truth: Part II
In the last article, we covered how the modern world’s understanding of “science” has been warped from its original meaning. We showed how science as it is known today has been hijacked by two worldviews; empiricism, and naturalism. These two worldviews consider anything beyond the senses and the natural world as nonexistent. Science has come to be synonymous with these terms and has become the primary western worldview. The believer has a few tools that can be utilized to combat this, but first it is necessary to do some defining and clarifying.
Revelation is the act of God revealing himself to his people through an event (by either speaking to them, acting upon them, or acting upon the world around them). Historically the church has understood revelation two-fold; as both natural revelation and special revelation.
Natural Revelation is the world around us. Every plant, animal, person, and thing created speaks to the creative majesty, power, and genius of God. This is so much the case that Paul himself makes a very strong statement at the beginning of the book of Romans when he writes,
“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” –Romans 1:18-23
As can be seen above, Paul speaks plainly. In fact, Paul is vicious in his chastisement of those who deny the creating works of God stating that they are moraino. This Greek word for “fool” is also, where the English word “moron” comes from (something that personally gave me a chuckle). The natural world is intended to be a testament to the power and majesty of God; today however his own creation is used to disprove his existence. This turn occurred during the Enlightenment period of the 1700-1800’s. This 200 year period saw a drastic shift occur away from God and to the thought worlds of naturalism and empiricism. Atheists of the Enlightenment period genuinely believed in the inevitable extinction of the supernatural and religious.
Fast-forward to today and we see that this has not occurred. In fact, the world is as religious/spiritual as ever and shows no signs of slowing down. Christianity has exploded in Latin America and Africa and dwindled in Europe (The European continent carries a small number of the world’s population in comparison to other continents, which is why their loss of faith in the divine has not really affected the statistics). Why is this? Atheists are scratching their heads trying to figure out why they have not put the nail in the proverbial supernatural coffin. The reason is actually very simple. The conclusion of naturalism and empiricism do not coincide with human experience, nor can it explain things like language, moral ethics, and a host of other things.
The philosophical field that deals with God and the beginning of all things is called metaphysics. Metaphysics is defined as, “the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, identity, time, and space.” Metaphysics is an attempt to take multiple disciplines into account and then look at all of the data together helping give a more complete and comprehensive picture of how first things came into being. Science has broken into this with abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is, “the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances.” Without going into in-depth science, it is important to note that abiogenesis is pseudoscience. There is zero proof for acceptance into this worldview, which leaves naturalism and empiricism as the keys to all knowledge out to dry. To give an analogy. Scientists are capable of seeing reality that they can observe. If knowledge were an ocean, scientists would be experts at understanding any areas where they are still able to touch the ocean floor. Anything beyond this requires speculation, and an understanding of systems of thought on a grander scale. Scientists are not trained to do this, nor are they capable (as is evidenced when seeing anyone debate Richard Dawkins). Philosophers and their near conceptual cousins theologians however are capable of swimming out to the depths of the ocean and coming to understand how the entirety of the system works in actuality.
This is because philosophers and theologians are capable of looking at the whole of human knowledge and creating a worldview that is consistent with multiple studied disciplines. The issue of metaphysics is a serious one that many scientists attempt to brush aside as outdated. What is interesting is that this ONLY occurs within the fields of science. Within philosophy departments around the world, metaphysics is considered a very real and present concern. The issue for scientists is that they fail to understand that their branch of thought only interacts with that which is natural. It cannot speculate regarding the past, or the future. It can only describe what is in the here and now, anything beyond this is pure speculation. So, while science (the description of natural revelation in technical terms) can speak to the world as it is…it cannot speak to the world as it was or to how it will be. The only thing capable of describing what was is history, and the only thing capable of giving us a glimpse into the future is divine revelation (as it is beyond the view of human scope). Since this is the case, it is necessary to discuss what our divine revelation is and how it can be considered reliable. Next week we begin a new series delving into the Bible and asking the question whether or not we can trust it. Thank you all for reading. Peace and Blessings.