Friday, September 28, 2007

Reformed Science

The problem with science today isn't that scientists have too little faith, it's that they have too much faith.

One of the best teachers I ever had described the difference between science and religion in that "The laws of religion are carved in stone. The laws of science are written on paper. With a pencil. And an eraser nearby." By necessity science is about doubt. Basically it's making observations and collecting data and basing conclusions based on the results. There should be no rooting for an outcome. Definitely no fudging of the data. And an understanding that for every theory, "this too shall pass." Classical mechanics gives way to relativity, the Sun circles the Earth and now the Earth circles the Sun, leaches are good for you and now antibiotics are. Science builds on the past. Old theories die to be replaced by new theories that will one day be replaced by newer theories. Every theory should have a bullseye on it.

I had to take a biology course in college to get my degree. I'm really not interested in the life sciences. In high school I took physics and chemistry. But I needed this course and signed up for it. I lost a lot of respect for the professor when one day he tells us that evolution is an established fact. It's not. It's our best understanding right now of how life came to be physically on Earth. For a real scientist it is no more and no less. It says nothing about whether there is or is not a God or any other matter of metaphysics or religion. Unless of course you're a member of Reformed Science.

In Reformed Science drawing conclusions based on observations and a continuing search for a better explanation goes right out the window. Instead there is an absolute belief in a particular conclusion and the data must be forced to fit or be ignored. A belief that rivals a Saints belief in God. This is where we get junk science from. This is where we distill a "fact" that God does not exist based on observations about the evolution of lifeforms. This is where we declare "case closed" on Global Warming and inconvenient truths like the fact that Mars and other planets are warming also are discarded in favor of a belief that mankind is responsible for the change in global climate.

The universe is a strange and remarkable place. Especially in the realms of the very big and the very tiny. That's how God made it. There are many of us who believe that by His handiwork we can know Him a little better. Even if it's just to be amazed at the beauty of it. But besides beauty He also made the universe abide by a series of natural laws. In doing so He gave us a universe that is like a huge beautiful puzzle. And He gave us the intelligence and curiosity to figure out that puzzle bit by bit, and to benefit from our understanding. Now how cool and Fatherlike is that?

The Carina Nebula as seen from the Hubble Telescope.

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