Observations on Faith and Science
by Paul R. Ernst
One often used illustration about the realms of faith and science is that of making tea. Suppose my wife comes and asks, "Why is the water boiling?" I could give her a discourse on electric resistance, heat transfer, and vapor pressure or I could say "honey I knew you were cold and I wanted to make a drink to warm you up". Both are adequate explanations, depending on the circumstances. But should this analogy be applied uncritically to every faith science question? I don't think we can let this stand as a mere assertion. We'll have to look and see.
Much of science can be done methodologically without reference to a deity. But can this be said of every scientific question? I'll stick to one concrete example where I know the answer-the origin of life. Remember that before life began there was nothing for the Darwinian mechanism of random mutation and natural selection to act on. The simplest versions of life had to be built by brute chance. Various people have put numbers on this but it always comes out to something like the proverbial building a 747 by a tornado moving through a junkyard. I can guarantee you that the laws of nature have no more ability to assemble the building blocks of life in a meaningful way that they do of writing War and Peace. This has been the case since the first origin of life experiment over 50 years ago and nothing has moved the argument forward one bit. Most atheistic scientists acknowledge this. They simply hold by faith that some future discovery will illuminate the path forward. Why should Christians sign up for this project? I can tell
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you that it's fear of making the dreaded "God of the Gaps Argument" which has bedeviled theistic claims since Galileo. But in this case, as we understand the nature of the problem, the gaps just grow bigger. Appeals to either law or chance are dead at the start.
What is the reason for my confidence that scientific knowledge will not close this gap? The answer is because it is not a scientific problem, though it at first appears to be. It is a problem about the origin of information. The evolutionary establishment would like you to believe that omnipotent matter can create information out of itself. There is no reason to believe that the chemistry of paper and ink can write a book. Theistic Evolutionists offer no answer by saying that God “ordains” or “gifted” the creation so that matter has these properties. We just don’t see it in the laws. It requires an Agent. Jesus turned water into wine. God can bump molecules--get over it…
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