Science or Christianity?


Science or Christianity: Hasn't science shown that Christianity is wrong?

I must be naïve, but I really don’t see why I have to make a choice between Science and Christianity. Science attempts to answer the question of HOW? Christianity attempts to answer the question of WHO? How and Who don’t really mix. They are different lines of inquiry. I want both.

In the book “Faith vs. Fact” (Coyne) the author argues that “science and religion are incompatible, and you must choose between them.” Science and faith are not intrinsically opposed. The disciplines answer different questions. Science suggests the Big Bang theory is an explanation of how the cosmos came into being. Faith reveals “In the Beginning God created.” Where’s the conflict? These conclusions are not incompatible, they are just answers from two different lines of inquiry.

The Christian Bible is not a science book, its content reveals WHO and in light of that answer how people are to live their lives. The different branches of science cannot concern themselves with the WHO, only the HOW. Science seeks to understand the natural world through five steps, observation, question, hypothesis, prediction, test the prediction which then leads to a theory, that once validated becomes fact, until new evidence presents itself. Christianity seeks to understand life through the eyes of faith.

The conflict between Science and Religion arises when we attempt to make the disciplines answer the other’s question. Science cannot answer WHO, Religion cannot answer HOW. There are among the practitioners of the Christian faith those who regard the Bible as completely literal and without error (a position not shared by all the faithful). So when Science proclaims the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, Science is rejected because the Bible literally reveals (some would say) the Universe to be 6000 years old. The Sacred Scriptures cannot be seen as unreliable as one wrong revelation undermines the integrity of the whole. Science done well has no room for any possibility that cannot be observed and subjected to the scientific method.

We need good science that is open-minded when doing its investigations of HOW. We need good Christian thinking that investigates the WHO?, WHY?, and SO WHAT? Science does not have to be anti-Christian, and Christianity does not have to be anti-Science. I want both good science and good Christianity.


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