Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Faith and Science from a Scientist's Perspective

    The following quotes are taken from World Magazine Article A Chemist and God. The article refers to Henry Schaeffer, who is a professor at the University of Georgia and is quoted as "in the top 10 of all researchers cited in recent years in chemistry publications"

    From teaching Molecular Quantum Mechanics at the University of Georgia to studying the Bible during mid-week church fellowships, Schaefer sees cohesion between "secular" science and his Christian faith.

    In Schaefer's view, a natural nexus exists between Christianity and science: "In many respects [Christians] are not different than anybody else in science, but we do have a deep-seated trust that God is a God of order and that by following rational methods we will find truth in the scientific sense."

    Those scientists who speak definitively about how the universe began, though, are going beyond science: "When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up—we are in the realm of philosophy. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning."

    "It was a problem for so many people that finally I decided to do a little research on whether it was true that scientists were not Christians. I discovered pretty quickly that essentially all the pioneers of the modern physical sciences were Christians. It was encouraging to me, and I think even more encouraging to others."

    1 comment:

    skeptimal said...

    Having not read the entire article, I can't say I agree completely with Schaeffer, but in the sense that many scientists are Christians, I think it's time that religious people recognize that.

    An interesting point: "Those scientists who speak definitively about how the universe began, though, are going beyond science."

    This is a point that I have tried to make numerous times on this site. The statement above is correct, and the statement would be just as true if it went this way:

    "Those Christians who speak definitively about how the universe began, though, are going beyond science."

    This is why creationism is not science. It is inevitably faith-based. Evolution, on the other hand, is evidence-based and deals only with how species evolved and when. How evolution got started, the "spark of life" question, is still unprovable one way or the other.

    Yes, evidence of evolution disproves the 6,000-year earth creationism myth, but it does not disprove the existence of gods. To some, that isn't an important distinction. I think it is.