Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who's Really Afraid of Science Now?

My last post was about our supposedly "science-minded" president and the emptiness of the claim that he acts as a Spock-like, emotionless, apolitical creature when he approaches the scientific considerations of the various issues that come before him. But I don't want to pick on the president. He is far from alone.

We who believe that science is just one -- not the only -- method of discovering true things about our world, are constantly pounded for trying to connect science and faith and/or religion to our understanding of things. This is not allowed, "they" say.

I submit that it is actually impossible not to do so. And I find it hugely ironic that those who are most vehement in their denunciation of both non-scientific answers to anything, and the related transgression of honoring a link between physics and metaphysics (no matter how limited) -- that those are the most inclined to ignore the science when it does not fit their pre-conceived narrative about the way the world has to be.

Though I have absolutely no idea about his stance on faith or religion, I would love for all of us to subscribe to the view of the Nobel Laureate Physicist, Richard Feynman, one of history's most prolific scientists. Dr. Feynman gave the following description of scientific conduct when he spoke at the commencement exercises for the Caltech Class of 1974:
"There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in 'cargo cult science' ... it's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty -- a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid -- not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and thing you though of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked ... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them ... If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it."
Isn't that a quaint idea?

I wonder if the "scientists" at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit ever considered such a thing when they were deleting the Inconvenient Data or manipulating the data they did report?

I wonder if the politicians who deny knowing when life begins would ever commit to the hour (or so) it would take to read some passages from any of many embryology textbooks about that exact subject before they vote to allow the killing of innocent human beings?

I wonder if those who hype or blatantly falsify reports on the latest version of the "missing link" ever consider the ramifications of their actions, any alternate explanation for the evidence they give, or -- GASP! -- the possibility that they might be wrong?

I wonder if those who vilify the very idea of Intelligent Design ever go to sleep at night wondering why they continue to insist that the agent-less process they demand as an explanation for complex-specified-information in biological systems is something they would never accept as an explanation anywhere else but in nature?

I wonder if the Big Bang cosmologists who prattle on about the infinite "many worlds" hypothesis or a universe that "sprang from nothing without cause," ever stop to consider that the "theory" (pick one) they promote so vociferously amounts to indefensible speculation -- just like they assign (unfairly) to theistic believers?

Unfortunately, the world we live in cares more about political victory than scientific integrity. Those scientists who don't toe the acceptable party line are ridiculed, chastised, and even fired for simply doing what Richard Feynman saw as an objective, honest approach to science. This tendency is sad to see, sometimes costly to allow, and always damaging to our common human pursuit of the Truth.

Those of us who see this universe as God's creation should have no fear of science. Science is simply the way we discover and explore our Maker's work. It is one way that He speaks to us. It is nature's book (see: Psalm 19, Romans 1). We have no reason to distort it or hide what it says because, if our worldview is correct, our study of the world will never harm it. It is the anti-theistic denier who has motive to distort or misreport the scientific evidence before him because, ultimately, that evidence is an acid that destroys his view of the world.

The irony here is thick. It is not those who subscribe to theism who "hate" science. It is those who subscribe to scientism -- the worshippers of science it self -- who fear it most.

The human proclivity to fear our God is universal.


[I owe the Feynman quote to Peter Pearson of Aptos, CA, a letter writer to the Wall Street Journal on 12/3/2009, p. A22]

1 comment:

  1. I love the line "Those of us who see this universe as God's creation should have no fear of science. Science is simply the way we discover and explore our Maker's work." If it wasn't Christmas time, that would be my facebook status ASAP, I really like your Blog, it's Awesome!

    -Adam

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