Sunday, August 3, 2008
What is Sciences Sin?
Recently, I discussed Creationism with a bright young student. She challenged me with remarks about the Earth's "true" short age; Grand Canyon being evidence of Noah's Flood; even claim evidence that coal can be produced in a matter of months. She went on to explain God's plan included an imminent Armageddon - that is, destroying his own Creation. When I countered with facts debunking these notions she became defensive, saying that attacking someone's faith was a horrible thing to do.
It made me wonder: Why do so many feel compelled to embrace willful ignorance? By this I mean a willful ignoring of masses of real, verifiable and available evidence simply because it conflicts with one's own preconceptions and challenges one's fears. How does it do God any credit to believe the "truth" can only be found within a single book?
What is science? Scientists - especially the great ones - started out as kids totally amazed at the world they saw and discovered around themselves. What's out there? How it works? Why it works the way it does? What it all means? At its core, science is this natural awe & curiosity at God's Creation all grown up.
What is science's sin? Designing rules that encourage fact based critical review? Science established straight-forward rules and guidelines in order to organize our inborn desire to pursue an understanding of the miraculous Creation we witness around us. These rules won't be bent for those who have convinced themselves they are gifted with superior insights. If those "superior insights" can't pass the established scientific hurdles they are not allowed within the arena of science. There are other realms these beliefs belong to, such as religion, philosophy, politics, art & music.
The best thing about science's rules, isn't what they reject, rather it's all they are open to. Science's guidelines are organized in a way that any member of humanity, from any point on our globe, has the opportunity to participate, even revolutionize long held beliefs. As long as they are thoughtful enough to adhere to the rules while presenting convincing and verifiable arguments.
Remember the admonition: God surpasses all human understanding! Not one of us has the justification, nor the authority, to tag God with certitude. We should be clear and appreciative that science is one of humanity's paths toward an inkling of understanding, or truth if you prefer. Always remembering that other paths such as those provided by the religions that abound are also relevant - like the solid and void of a picture frame, both are needed to display the painting.