Science and Christianity

davidfieldWhether we wear a cross around our neck and/or a white lab coat, whether we carry a Koran and/or a microscope we’re all wearing glasses called “what we think and what we think we know up to this point”. Some of those help us see more clearly and some obscure things badly. But, if I can put it like this, our eyeballs are attached to the glasses – the moment we take off the glasses then we see nothing at all. We all have our pre-commitments. We’re all standing somewhere.

Sometimes you’ll hear a “scientist-in-epistemological-denial” or a “campaigning-anti-Christian-scientist” argue as though religious people are the ones with presuppositions and a subjective standpoint whereas scientists are neutral and objective. Real scientists know better: you can’t get out of your own mind in order to think about things.

The Christian version of recognizing this is cheerfully to acknowledge our pre-commitments and renounce all claims to neutrality. We are breathing God’s air as we talk about him, using his gift of sight as we observe things, and spending time which he has given us as we get on with life. The whole earth belongs to Jesus Christ and those who deny that are still walking on his property and breathing his air as they do so.

The anti-Christian version of recognizing this is harder to find. Statements such as, “I realize that I am not neutral; I am already committed to disbelieving the Christian account of things; that is the territory I occupy as I go about my observing and hypothesizing; and I am more than comfortable with the thought that my rejection of God colours everything I see.”

David P. Field, Science and Christianity 6/8,

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