Is Religion a Science Stopper?
by Jeremy Marceau
You’d never know it from talking to my high school science teachers, but I really enjoy science. It’s definitely grown on me since the days of homework, labs, and exams. Now days you’ll often find me reading scientific articles for fun. For some, this raises an interesting question: as a committed Christian can my faith be united with my love of science? Does believing in God mean turning a blind eye to modern science? The bulk of mainstream science today tells us that religion is a science stopper, but is that really the case?
Anyone who knows the story of how I came to faith knows that science played a pivotal role in the development of my early Christian conviction. What must have seemed like a benign question about dinosaurs from my dad a little over three years ago started me on a continuing path of discovery.
I’ve learned (and continue to learn) that Christians have nothing to fear from science. In fact, our faith in a powerful, moral, intelligent, purposeful Creator is what makes science possible in the first place. Why is this universe so orderly? Why are the laws of nature so precise and predictable? If life contains a genetic code three billion characters long, how did those three billion characters all get arranged in the correct sequence?
The theistic worldview supports science just as much as science supports the theistic worldview. Modern science was started by Christians. Early Christian scientists were trying to understand how life and the universe worked so they could better understand the God who designed them. Scientists like Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Newton, and Pasteur laid the groundwork for future scientific pursuit.
Sadly though, many modern scientific articles attack theists in general and Christians specifically. We’re derided for our antiquated, unscientific, and unfounded “wishful thinking.” Advocates of intelligent design are being kicked out of universities, losing funding for research, and are being denied tenure due to their beliefs.
Don’t believe me? Watch the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” by Ben Stein and see what I mean. Biologist Barry Commoner makes an accurate observation of this sad fact: “Why then, has the Central Dogma (Darwinian evolution) continued to stand? To some degree the theory has been protected from criticism by a device more common to religion than science: dissent, or merely the discovery of a discordant fact, is a punishable offence, a heresy that might easily lead to professional ostracism.” 1
Isn’t there something inherently wrong with a system that systematically shuts down questioning and tries to oust those holding different views?
Now, it’s important to point out that not all advocates of intelligent design are Christians. In fact, not all advocates of intelligent design are necessarily even theists. This fact alone undermines…
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