As science continues to build up vast amounts of knowledge, this question might sound misplaced. Of course there are still many wonderful discoveries to be made, but I am concerned that many people have the idea that science is completely objective and has somehow made rubbish of Christianity. Well, has it, or is it still missing something? What am I getting at?
The goal of the methods of science; the patient investigation, the experiments, the close evaluation of findings and their interpretation, is to yield the advance of knowledge. But any advance is necessarily provisional, as vast further areas still remain and how they all fit into the puzzle. The field of scientific work covers many branches, which may be classified in three broad groups; Physical sciences, Life sciences and Earth sciences.
This article offers an overview on how secular science reads reality, especially our humanity and how it views origins, both of the cosmos and of life. Everyone has ‘spectacles’ – their own way of seeing, and all research includes a vital component of the researcher bringing their own existing knowledge to bear upon their new field of work. What we may overlook is that a philosophy of science controls how new work will be understood as it provides the interpretive framework or lens through which that work is then viewed.
One very interesting area is the study of intelligence and what sort of marks may characterise it. This has led some secular scientists to propose that in view of the astonishing complexity in many living creatures and in the arrangement and balanced characteristics of the cosmos, that a purposeful intelligence is the best and clearest explanation for these features. They are not calling this intelligence ‘God’ – that for many is a large step too far. But they are ready to acknowledge that given our own intelligence, our personal powers of reason, including logic and mathematics that the remarkable marks of complex information, especially in the DNA codes of life and the astronomical complexity even of a single cell organism that evolutionary theory cannot account for it. The probabilities are so stacked against it all happening by natural selection and mutations that it would never happen. And yet we find that the proposal of intelligent design is still being labelled ‘pseudoscience’ on the Wikipedia website. This is extraordinary considering that even Richard Dawkins could find no way of disproving that our own human civilisation was not a computerised sub-reality set up by super-intelligent beings.
However, all atheists have seen some of the Creator’s magnificence, wisdom and power in the created reality. They have seen how their own minds and comprehension of reality are a faint reflection of an infinite intellect, but they don’t they want to recognise it, because they are running away from reality – from the living God himself. From the original high and unspoilt position, our humanity has fallen into rebellion, as clearly revealed in the biblical book of Genesis, and we are left naturally trying to stifle and squash God’s signature in ourselves and in reality. Actually, this rationality in the universe and in us first gave rise to modern science. For without that sense of true correspondence of reality with our own minds there is no exploration or discovery of meaningful information in the first place.
But the naturalistic philosophy of the atheist rules out God because that is its major starting assumption. Then it calls intelligent design ‘pseudoscience’ but needs to protect the bias of its own position by calling it ‘science’. So, is there any scientific evidence upon which to base a materialistic and naturalistic philosophy of science? None – it is a belief system immune from proof, grounded in a false ‘faith’ – a philosophy that is a far better fit for ‘scientism’.
What’s going in this clash of different ways of interpreting reality? Quite simply, due to that original moral rebellion against one Almighty Creator, large numbers of people still see marks of a Creator’s wonderful wisdom, but ‘suppress the truth’ (Romans 1:18) and leave it out of their reckoning because it challenges them and their naturalistic worldview. Others, however, have become willing under the sheer weight of such clear pointers to accept that there is a supreme intelligence behind all things.
This often raises the common objection, ‘Well, that intelligence isn’t up to much is it, when even our lesser intelligence can see so many flaws, so much illness, disease, sorrow and death? Why wasn’t ‘it’ able to do a better job?’ Yes, the approach is still hostile and perfectly fits the Genesis account, as it refuses to accept that when God had finished the original creation it was all perfect and flawless (see Genesis 1:31).
Once you begin to see that the present world system of which we are a part has been justly judged because of human rebellion, then you may see the clear explanation that all the sorrow, grief and death follow from the original rebellion. Meanwhile the theory of evolution has failed to account for the emergence of even the simplest organism, let alone the astonishing variety of living creatures.
So, just what is ‘science’ missing? Those who do not wish to see anything other than their fixed naturalistic view are suppressing and holding down all the rich wonder that is still clear, even in the now spoiled and decaying creation. But, that sense of true wonder invites us to consider and embrace the far greater wonder of a Creator’s loving kindness in sending his much-loved Son, Jesus Christ into this world to bear the just judgement of the sinful rebellion of all those who will turn and trust him for a free forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
Today, will you consider what is beyond the narrow limits of naturalistic ‘science’ and see the glorious immensity of all that you are missing – the living God himself, and then ask him for what is freely offered; the gift of a new life in Christ that reconciles you to God the Father and which makes you a ‘new creation’ in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).