1 Timothy 6:20 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called”.
One day a brother and I went on evangelism. We were trying to hand out evidence for the word and get into discussions regarding the faith. We came across three ladies and as we began the conversation, as soon as one of them heard “the Bible”, they replied “sorry I’m a scientist”. On another occasion, when evangelising I came across a young man and asked him “Why don’t you believe in God?”, his reply? “I don’t know… science?”. The replies of these people from our perspectives were fully understandable from our point of view. Not that the reasons were valid, but we knew why they would respond in that manner. These were not the only occasions where we encountered such responses. Many now a days have fallen into the propaganda of thinking all of science is at odds with all of religion. However, many who claim they don’t believe in God because of science, cannot differentiate at times between actual science and their own belief (faith) about science, this is through no fault of their own, it’s just due to the way science is portrayed at odds with religion.
What is science?
According to dictrionary.com science is “the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the evidence obtained”. I believe this definition better describes the scientific method. In the Latin the definition of science is knowledge.
A simple example of the scientific method.
If I have a theory that 1cm3 of water weighs 1 gram. That remains a theory until I test it.
Firstly, I need to obtain evidence, gathering the water. Secondly, I need to experiment, measure the water to ensure I have 1 cm3. I also need to weigh it. Thirdly, I need to observe the measurements of water repeatedly. My results may look like the table below:
Should my results look like the table above for one thousand, two thousand or one million rows, I may conclude 1 cm3 of water at 3.98 C equals 1 gram. However, if someone claims 1 cm^3 of water is 1 kilogram (1000 grams), assuming all other conditions being the same, they need to provide data to show I’m wrong. If they cannot demonstrate contrary evidence, then the claim is an untested theory. They may call that theory scientific, but it is just a belief, in other words it’s just faith. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. It would also be faith if I claim 1cm3 of water equals 1 gram without testing it or having evidence. Although this example I’ve used makes sense, this often is not the reality of what people accept to be science. What tends to happen is when people hear “scientists say…” they take it for gospel. They believe it is true even though the methodology could be shaky. This is because most people have busy lives and don’t have time to investigate the detail of every paper to verify the claims. So, when it’s published in the media, based on trust and faith people accept the claim.
This diagram below shows what happens to society at large:
This cycle is not necessarily evil by itself or wrong, nevertheless any hype is clearly an issue, but it depends on what is being pushed as fact.
For something to be a scientific fact it must be:
Historical science vs observational science.
What many people know as science, the speed of light, acceleration due to gravity etc. Are all part of observational science. These are things which we can observe in the current moment, replicate and test. Where science may come into conflict with religion is historical science. You can only ever have “beliefs” about the past based on the current evidence at hand. When it comes to historical science, this is where one’s world view plays heavily into the interpretation of results. An example would be “how did life begin”?
It is a fact that life begun. That’s how you’re reading this page. It cannot be disputed with. However, it is not a scientific fact that life begun in a primordial soup or by the hand of God. Why? We weren’t there to observe the beginning, we cannot test the past, we cannot repeat the past. The distant past can’t be known through observation only believed based on the evidence at hand. At the end of the day both views have a belief about what happened based on what they’ve seen and trust.
The believer says: “I believe the Bible to be true, the one who authored the Bible God is an eyewitness to the past, hence I trust when God spoke about the beginning of the world it is correct”.
The unbeliever may say: “I believe process x to hold true across time, hence I trust that process x occurred in the beginning of the world”.
The problem we (believers) encounter which I described at the beginning is that many unbelievers, who claim to be science based, do not recognise their claims of faith. Let’s assume process x is possible; it doesn’t mean for a fact that it happened in the past. That is an assumption, or an extrapolation into the past. It then leads to circular reasoning.
How confident are you process x created us today -> because we are here -> how did we get here -> because process x occurred -> how did you know process x occurred -> because we are here.
Let me simplify, let’s take the idea that one believes a sea creature evolved to have legs to live on land then later evolved to live in the sea and lost its legs. It is scientific that animals can adapt, but it requires faith to believe these adaptations can extend to conditions you can’t test. There is no lab which has shown this to be true, neither can it be reproduced in any way. The claim will be that “we need a lot of time for that to occur again”. Here time is acting like God, something to explain a process that cannot be reproduced. This is faith, it cannot be tested or repeated because one can always say “we just need time”. It takes belief to think that time would make a difference. Example:
This is the tadpole shrimp, allegedly it has not changed for hundreds of millions of years.
The public’s perception.
According to a survey (only 780 participants) of whether people believe scientists have made complex life forms in a lab such as a frog, 41% said the statemen was true, 59% said the statement is false. Then when asking whether people believe if scientists have made simple life forms such as bacteria the numbers jump; 73% said it was true whilst 27% said it was false. Most of the people involved in the study are above the age of 25, 80% of them holding a college degree. (See this portion of the video by clicking here Episode 2/13: Primordial Soup // A Course on Abiogenesis by Dr. James Tour - YouTube).
The reality is that the top synthetic chemists don’t know what process can create life. In this exchange between Dr James Tour and Dr Lee Cronin. Lee Cronin the Atheist admits (from his point of view) that we don’t know how got from a simple molecule to life. (Debate – From 17:15 – 23:30) Meaning scientifically, there’s no evidence for how life can form from simple molecules.
I’m using this to demonstrate that when it comes to historical science, there’s faith in the process one believes they can extrapolate into the past. In this case, there isn’t even a process we can name. In other words, if someone was to say, “we came to exist via primordial soup”. That statement has no science in it, because there is no scientific experiment which has even demonstrated that as possible. However, many people believe life has been made in a lab and not only that, but people also believe life started spontaneously. There is no scientific evidence for this, but people believe it is a scientific statement to say, “life started from non-life”.
Using the “origin of life field” as an example, this would mean the most accurate statement an unbeliever can make when it comes to the question of “how did life begin?” becomes: “I believe process x is how life began but I have no evidence process x can begin life”. The problem is this is the reality, but the average person isn’t aware this is the reality. According to the survey from the video posted earlier internally they would think “I believe process x is how life began and scientists have demonstrated with data how process x works”. Therefore, in some areas there is a disconnect between science and what is believed to be science.
Science is good and there are many good scientists in their respective fields.
There are many good fields of study and scientists. The Lord gives certain levels of wisdom to different men. The Lord made Bezaleel a great architect Exodus 35:30 “And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship”. The Lord used wisdom to create the heavens, although he had miraculous power he still set up creation to operate as a system with laws. Proverbs 3:19 “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens”. The Lord gave Daniel favour as he was a man who understood science. Daniel 1:3 “And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans”.
The Lord cannot be against science, that’s like a programmer being against his own code. The problem is in our definition and perception of science. Here are some of the few places where falsely called science disagrees with the Bible:
How did the universe begin?
The age of the earth.
How was the earth made?
How did life begin?
Evolution of one kind of animal to another kind.
Whilst there may be a few more topics, generally it goes back to origins. So-called science and Christianity are typically only at odds when it comes to origins. The public perception however is that science and the Bible are at odds in nearly everything. This unfortunately is the efficient propaganda and bias which many, even Christians fall into. They don’t ask the simple questions of “how do you know that’s true?”.
Separate science from “science says”.
I want the reader to examine this paragraph: “Fossilised remains belonging to some of humanity's oldest ancestors are far older than scientists had originally thought, new research says. The fossils, including one belonging to ancient cave woman Mrs Ples, were buried for millennia in South African caves known as the Cradle of Humankind. Modern testing methods now suggest the group of early humans roamed the earth between 3.4 and 3.7 million years ago… For years scientists believed the Australopithecus africanus species, whose fossils were discovered in the Sterkfontein caves near Johannesburg, had been less than 2.6 million years old”. (source)
When reading this one should question.
In the paragraph above we see that the science (the fact that there is a fossil) hasn’t changed, but the belief about what is scientific has changed (it’s older than previously thought). Out of these four questions number 2 and 3 can be observed, we can see why the methods disagree and we can also see what other things were dated with the earlier method. Number 1 cannot be observed. Do you know that specific fossil had kids? No. However, one may believe it had kids because we are all here today. This is the circular reasoning we were talking about. We have only observed things to produce things which look like them. Here we have taken a leap of faith to imagine at some point the children did not look like this fossil. We are forced to make this assumption not because of observational evidence but because of our beliefs. Let me demonstrate, here is the replica of the fossil below, please answer the following questions:
I believe you get the idea that it would be ridiculous to say you can give a scientific answer to any of these questions based on half a skull. However, many people believe the reply to this next question is scientific.
Question: Did the specimen have children who didn’t look like it?
Answer: Yes, many human beings.
I’m aware that some would think to reply, there would be many Australopithecus fossils which would have given rise to modern humans, but the fossil evidence to support this is lacking, that’s just faith. On the one hand one will claim, we’re lucky to even have fossils, on the other hand, we must now take a leap of faith that all the fossils required would’ve existed. Not only does it take imagination to fill in the rest of this animal as a man-human hybrid, but it takes imagination to conjure up many others which would eventually have had kids who didn’t look like them.
Not everything done under the name of science is clean.
The modern-day scientists have the positions that the priests had during the first reign of the Catholic Church. A lot of people put their trust in them. However, the reader may not be aware that even scientists can corrupt their own work due to malicious reasons. There is a general belief that scientists will tell the truth have little motivation to lie, but this is divorced from reality. Where there is a financial incentive corruption can take place. Some scientists seek praise and recognition, to do that they need to publish studies. It’s generally not as interesting to publish a study which concludes nothing, you’d want to publish a study which finds a significant result. Sometimes scientists will bias the data in such a way to get the result they are hoping for. This is so well known it has a name p-value hacking.
“P-value hacking, also known as data dredging, data fishing, data snooping or data butchery, is an exploitation of data analysis in order to discover patterns which would be presented as statistically significant, when in reality, there is no underlying effect. In other words, p-hacking is running statistical tests on a set of data until some statistically significant results arise. That can be done in a few different ways, for example: by stopping the collection of data once you get a P<0.05, analyzing many outcomes, but only reporting those with P<0.05, using covariates, excluding participants, etc”. – embassy science
Why would a scientist tamper with their results? If you get published you get recognition, if you get recognition, you can get grants or funding. 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”.
“GSK agreed to plead guilty to a three-count criminal information, including two counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into interstate commerce and one count of failing to report safety data about the drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”. -justice.gov
Whilst it’s good to have regulators, even regulators can be bought. Proverbs 19:6 “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts”.
“An investigation by an EU watchdog into text messages sent by European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to Pfizer’s CEO has found the EU’s executive arm guilty of ‘maladministration’. Von der Leyen’s aides are heavily criticised in the ruling from Emily O’Reilly, the European ombudsman, for their handling of requests for publication of the messages sent during negotiations over vaccine purchases. The commission initially claimed that after a thorough search it had not ‘identified’ any text messages between Von der Leyen and Albert Bourla, whose company is forecasting revenues of $36bn (£26bn) from vaccine sales this financial year”. – Guardian
Even some of the results published by some papers aren’t reproducible. That means the research is done, the paper is peer-reviewed, but if you try to replicate the results you can’t. There may be some extra things the researchers did to make the results look good.
“Science is facing a ‘reproducibility crisis’ where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests.
This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon… From his lab at the University of Virginia's Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies… According to a survey published in the journal Nature last summer, more than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments. Marcus Munafo is one of them. Now professor of biological psychology at Bristol University, he almost gave up on a career in science when, as a PhD student, he failed to reproduce a textbook study on anxiety. ‘I had a crisis of confidence. I thought maybe it's me, maybe I didn't run my study well, maybe I'm not cut out to be a scientist’”. - BBC
Some scientists through their biases hate God.
One thing that is hard for the general public to imagine is that some scientists come to certain conclusions because they don’t want to believe in God. They can hide their hatred of God behind a façade of objectivity. This for decades has given an advantage to anti-theist scientists, who seek to discredit the Bible in any way they can. They can hide their true intentions behind “I’m just searching for truth through science”. As we cannot claim to say what someone is thinking, it’s only when faced with hard evidence that contradicts their world view that their true feelings, sometimes in a rage burst forth. Furthermore, a lot of scientists just go about their research projects day to day, getting data, publishing results, going to or giving open lectures or hosting talks. They just believe what their peers believe because it’s what has been taught in the school system or that’s what is the accepted truth in their friendship circles. A lot of them work in areas which never come into conflict with the Bible. The meteorologist trying to predict the weather for tomorrow, doesn’t have any conflict in their day-to-day work. However, someone trying to create life, if the Bible is true, is running into a dead end. This would mean the thousands or millions they are receiving would end should the world believe the Bible to be true. It is a hard thing for people to imagine that some scientists will reject evidence because they don’t want that thing to be true.
I pray this study has opened your eyes to seeing how mankind will always have their private motives. It may be pure, or it may be evil but we are to test all things 1 Thessalonians 5:21
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. Science is not at odds with religion, faith labelled as science is at odds with religion, when you start asking for evidence, we have found that the hubris dissipates very quickly and many realise they can’t actually prove what they think they know. Maranatha!