It is often said, and for some reason believed, that Christianity and science are opposed to each other. I believe this to be false. Christians might claim this as fact because they don't want to have to deal with people who propose scientific research that disproves their faith. Atheists might claim this to be true because they see specific beliefs of the Christians such as the miracles of Jesus, or what I'm going to touch on in this article, cosmology. I'm going to look at whether or not science, as an idea, is opposed to Christianity. And I believe they are not.
What is science?
According to the science council website,
"Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence."
And on Berkeley's Understanding Science webpage, they define science as such...
"...science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the natural world."
These two definitions help us pin point what science is. And we see that it is the study of the natural world and the social world. Think social studies and studying trends in social circles. Science allows us to learn more and more about this universe that we live in! It has brought forth so many great things! The understanding of DNA, viewing distant galaxies that look like a crumb in a telescope, it's all truly wonderful.
Science is the study of the natural world. Biology is the study of life, geology the study of the Earth, and physics the study of matter and energy. There are many more fields of science that I haven't mentioned, but they all have a commonality... study of the natural world. What exactly is the natural world though? According to Berkeley's Understanding Science page, "the term natural refers to any element of the physical universe." This means that if you can touch it, see it, smell it, taste it, or hear it, it is within the natural world.
Where science cannot be used
Whether you believe in a supernatural world or not, you still have to agree that there are some things you cannot learn from science, or derive from scientific study. As an example I will use morality.
Science and Morality
Can science truly tell us whether something is good or bad? Or, can science define what is good and bad?
No. It cannot.
In order for the scientific method to tell us whether something is good or bad, or let alone define good or bad, there already needs to be a definition of good and bad.
Because of this, science cannot even be brought into the question of morality in the slightest. People who live their lives, saying science is the only way to truth and that science tells us everything we need to know, are wrong. Science gives us no information in regards to morality, it cannot touch that sphere of humanity.
Science and the existence of God
The Bible tells us a lot about who God is. But an important thing to know right now is that God is spirit (John 4:24). He is immaterial and does not belong to the natural world, but the supernatural. And taking what we have looked at so far, science is used to observe the natural world. Science cannot tell us whether or not God exists because God is outside the scope of what science is used for. It would be like using a toaster to cook the Thanksgiving turkey, it just won't work.
However, we can use science to see the affects of God. Much like we can't see gravity itself, we can see the affects of gravity. God has told us in Romans 1:20 "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." God tells us that we can observe His eternal power and His divine nature (or His "Godness") by observing the natural world. So I will look into that just a little bit in the next section.
Where science has provided evidence towards the existence of God
Looking at creation: The fine tuning argument
I'm quite surprised and confused by the fact that atheists are so quick to write off the fine tuning argument and not even give it a thought. I believe it is a plausible and evidential argument for the existence of God. To summarize, the fine tuning argument looks at the complexities of creation using Science to discover those complexities:
- The Earth is at the exact right distance from the sun. We don't get killed by the scorching heat, and we don't freeze to death from lack of heat.
- Earth's gravity is not too oppressive as to crush us, while still being able to hold us firmly to the ground and keep us from floating away.
- We can breathe within our atmosphere without having to use oxygen tanks.
- We are on a planet that is completely covered with vegetation that provides oxygen and food for us.
- We have the right mixture of elements in the air to sustain us and keep us alive.
- Human DNA defines each persons unique genetic code. DNA is 79,608,000,000 kilometers long. And every single bit of it is used to define your physical traits.
These are only some things entirely unique about Earth and humans. I believe this argument is actually great in terms of providing evidence for the existence of God. I think that this argument is worth pondering, and I would please ask that you would think through it. If you come out the other side unconvinced, and you're confident in your choice, then good on you. I'd rather have someone examine new ideas and reject or accept them afterward as opposed to rejecting them without giving them a chance. However, when you finally see how small the odds are that this would happen, I just cannot reconcile all of that happening by accident in my mind. It all points to an intelligent creator, I believe.
Like I said earlier, science cannot fully prove God. This argument merely looks at the affects of God (His creation) and uses logical deductions to land on the conclusion that God is real because the odds of everything just randomly perfectly falling into place in order for us to even survive is very small.
What I want you to take away from this is that science and Christianity are not opposed. And also that there are some areas where science really cannot be employed. We should not employ science where it cannot be used for its purpose, and that is to understand the natural world, God's creation, as He has made it. Science cannot be used to tell us anything about God because He is not a part of our natural world but it can be used to analyze the affects of God, His creation.