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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 7

What About Science?

But once again, all of this begs the question: what do we do with the claims of science?

Science is simply the field of study that seeks to understand how things work in the physical world and universe in which we live. There are many categories of study that fall under the general heading of science. Examples are Biology, Geology, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and so forth. For present purposes, however, it is important to understand two very different classes of science: one is operational; the other is historical or forensic.

Operational Science

Operational science is concerned with understanding physical processes by watching them as they happen. For example: what happens when you mix two chemicals together and then heat them? It operates under the assumption that things happen in accordance with consistent and predictable laws. This is, or course, exactly what a Bible-believer would expect based on an all-powerful Creator who established those laws.

This kind of science seeks to establish scientific principles as fact through careful experimentation and observation. The key is that these facts are established by observing something happening in the present. When such experiments are properly carried out, the resulting principles can be consistently demonstrated by scientists anywhere. They can then be used reliably to build better computers, more efficient cars, fly rockets to the moon, and the like.

Operational science is the same whether one is a Christian or an atheist. It deals with observable events, the interpretations of which can be proven to be either true or false and therefore have nothing to do with the beliefs of the scientist involved. For the Christian, the mere fact that such science is even possible testifies to the divine Creator and the order he has established. If the world has arisen through randomness and by chance as the evolutionists contend, why should it be orderly?

Forensic Science

The other class of science is historical, or forensic, science. Those who have seen murder mysteries on TV will know what the word “forensic” means. It is the kind of science that is applied to the evidence found at a murder scene in an attempt to figure out what happened. Obviously the detective cannot witness the murder because it has happened in the past and so he must rely upon clues that are left behind. In this type of situation sometimes forensic science can establish the facts of what happened with virtual certainty but at other times the conclusions are less sure. Of course, reliable eyewitness testimony is the most desirable kind of evidence but the detectives and scientists themselves are not, in such cases, eyewitnesses. Where operational science asks, “How do things work?” forensic science asks, “What happened to cause this?”

All historical science is essentially “detective work” and not based on the kind of observation and repeatability of operational science. How many times have we seen detective shows where someone has such a strong belief about what they think happened that it warps their judgment and they reach a wrong conclusion? Their belief causes them to refuse to believe a witness, for example ... and the witness turns out to be telling the truth. They confront physical evidence that can be interpreted in more than one way and they insist that it “proves” their belief, refusing to face other possibilities. Here we see just one example of belief playing a big role in determining so-called “facts.”

The Determining Role of Belief

It is, in fact, virtually impossible to reach any conclusion about the past without beliefs playing a determining role. The evidence exists only in the present. And, in the view of scientists in general, there are no eyewitnesses to the world and the universe of the past. In particular, they weren’t there and so they are reduced to interpreting the evidence left behind in an attempt to determine what they think happened to cause that evidence.

But interpretations, which change all the time, by the way, are not facts. Yet how many times have we heard people talk about the fact of evolution as though it has been proven. Evolution is nothing more than an unproven and unprovable belief about the past. The evolutionary scientist may point to evidence that he sees as support for his belief but it is still belief and not fact.

He observes changes in living things, for example, and claims that fact as proof of his theory. BUT the kinds of change observed in the present are NOT the kinds of change necessary for evolution from single-celled creatures to man, not to mention the impossible leap from non-life to life before all that. Dogs may change into different breeds of dogs, BUT they are still dogs and always will be. This is entirely consistent with God’s order that animals be created in “kinds.” Those kinds determine the limits of change...and the changes themselves involve genetic information already there, or in some cases, the loss of genetic information through mutations. New information is not created as would be necessary for evolutionary theory to be true.

A Religious Foundation

As we said earlier, in operational science it doesn’t matter whether you are an atheist or a Bible believer. You are dealing with things in the present that can be observed and proven. But when it comes to the past it starts to make a very great difference. I mentioned that operational science assumes that things work according to consistent laws and principles that can be understood. Fine. But modern secular science has made a huge and unwarranted leap. That leap is from the observation that there are natural laws to full-blown naturalism.

Naturalism is simply the belief that nature is all there is, or to put it another way, there is no God, or at least not one that has caused anything in the natural world. The leap is from an operating principle to a world-view, a belief system, in a word, a religion. Science has, in our day, simply defined God right out of the picture. The minute you mention God, they immediately say, “That’s not science.” Before examining any evidence, God is ruled out.

That is hardly an unbiased approach! The scriptures proclaim, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4.

But as they look at the heavens they block their ears to those words and look instead for totally natural explanations for their origin. Modern science has become, in effect, the search for an atheistic explanation for everything! Answering the question, “How do things work?” is one thing. But answering the question, “Where do things come from?” is something else again. Just because things work according to natural laws does not mean they originated only from natural causes. That is belief, not science.

Blue-Tinted Sunglasses

I recently preached on this subject and in that message used a simple prop: blue-tinted sunglasses. To illustrate the effect of beliefs I declared, “I believe that the world is blue! And since I believe that the world is blue, I believe that the correct way to view and understand the world is to use these blue-tinted sunglasses.” I then put them on to the amusement of my audience and began to examine things around me. Sure enough, the microphone was blue, the pulpit was blue, my Bible was blue, and even the audience was blue! “I’ve proved it,” I declared, “the world is indeed blue!”

The fallacy in my illustration, is, of course, obvious. But not so obvious is the fact that a belief in naturalism colors the conclusions about the past for those who hold that belief. In actual fact, those conclusions are predetermined by the starting point: atheistic naturalism. That belief acts just like the tinted sunglasses to color the way scientists see the world.

And, as we pointed out in part one, it is a belief that is strongly prejudiced by the desire NOT to believe in a God to whom we are responsible. Does this make a difference? Listen to the oft quoted words of Richard Lewontin, written in The New York Review in January of 1997:

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

I salute the man’s honesty but what an amazing confession! His quest is for material explanations based on belief alone, a belief that is NOT compelled by science! The starting point of secular science is simply a belief, and worse, a belief that rejects God. When so-called science is founded on that sort of belief there is no “evidence” alone that will ever turn up to change the conclusions. If a scientist met a dinosaur he would simply come up with some sort of explanation harmonizing with his beliefs! Only a supernatural work of God to confront the will can avail. This is a clear example of the kind of willful ignorance of which Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:5. The real conflict here is not science vs. religion but rather antichrist vs. Christ, the Creator and Judge of all men.

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