‘Secular’ Science

Recently David of Theology Archaeology has been publishing a few more articles to Hub Pages. I’ll give him this – he can churn out a lot of material! The one of particular interest to me at the moment is this one. I’ll be quoting it, as I go through it. 

Nothing is this world is perfect

People strive for perfection and seem to always fall short in most cases. The reason for this is the presence of corruption in the world today. This corruption entered the world through Adam’s sin and touched every part of life.

This includes the scientific method. No matter how hard scientists try their scientific method will not be perfect. It is not just bias, personal preference, or its limitations and so on that corrupts secular science.

I think scientists will be among the first to mention that nothing is perfect, not even their methods.

A simplified secular scientific method

Just to remind everyone of what comprises the secular scientific method here is a simplified list of what is involved:

l Ask a question

l Do some research and gather some information

l Create a hypothesis

l Experiment

l Ask and answer questions

l Analyze the data and draw conclusions

It should be mentioned that what every scientist does cannot be conducted in this manner. Some subjects are too large and too far away to analyze in this fashion. For example stars, comets and dinosaurs a few such items.

These limitations do contribute to the rise of the fatal flaw that permeates secular science.

I’m not altogether sure what about the method above leads to a ‘fatal flaw’. Hopefully David will enlighten us…

The scope of science

One flaw in the scientific method is the assumption that everything can be studied by science. This is not so. Secular science is very limited in the objects, processes and situations that exist in our world.

One example is that secular science cannot study the past. That is because there are too many missing elements to draw proper conclusions and make the correct tests. Too many assumptions are needed to complete the scientific process and those assumptions lead researchers to false ideas and conclusions.

In other words, the scope of science is very limited and that field can only study those items that are easily investigated. Evaporation, photosynthesis, how crickets chirp and other similar aspects of life fall into the the boundaries limiting the scope of science.

Our origins do not. Secular science is designed only to look for natural answers but that design eliminates too many possibilities to discover the right answer. Secular science does not have the power nor the authority to declare that everything that exists was brought into being only through natural means.

This fact provides the evidence to show that the field has a fatal flaw.

Actually science can study the past. This is achieved via fossil records and geology. Astronomy also contributes to this. There will have to be some assumptions, but these are not taken lightly or in a vacuum. Conclusions are reached based on evidence, and continually revised based upon new information. There is always the possibility of mistakes, but these provide opportunities to learn, and can lead to unexpected discoveries later on. Science is about continual change and on-going learning – something an inflexible adherence to a rigid doctrine cannot provide. 

Nor does science declare itself to have any particular authority to determine everything. Science is not about proclamations – it’s about learning and discovery. It does not take sides – if we do research that determines we evolved, are we supposed to abandon our faith? Not at all – there are many Christians and people of other faiths who are more than capable of reconciling their faith with science. Only those who have a blind faith in literal interpretations of texts can feel threatened by science.

The fatal flaw

Some people might think that the arrogance found among scientists is the fatal flaw that ruins the investigative field. That attitude does contribute to the fatal flaw but it is only one of many symptoms.

That arrogance leads many secular scientists to exclude God from their work. For someone reason mankind in general and secular scientists specifically think they know more than God does and know how he he worked in the beginning.

Excluding God from their work means excluding the Spirit of Truth from their laboratories. Jesus told his disciples and us to follow the Spirit of Truth as he will guide us to the truth.

What this instruction tells us is that while the truth is out there we need help finding it. Once we find it, then Jesus told us that we would know the truth. The truth is not a mystery, it is not a treasure hunt, it is not disguised and all of us have the ability to recognize it when we are led to it.

It would be scientists are arrogant if they do not allow the external influence of one particular interpretation of one faith to guide them. To me, it seems mightily arrogant to suggest one interpretation of one faith should be allowed to shape scientific development at the exclusion of others. Of course, since these varying faiths (and different interpretations of them) are often contradictory, it makes sense to have a system that is impartial and not guided by any of them. That system is science, and if scientists had stopped at the idea ‘God did it’ all those years ago, you could forget about the internet, cars, medicines, the lot. 

Secular science is not about the truth or the answers

This has been told to me by the many scientists I have had discussions with over the years. Secular science asks questions but never run out of questions even if they have found the truth.

This is the problem of secular science and its fatal flaw. Secular science does not want the truth nor doe sit seek it. Without the truth, secular science is worthless except in those areas that fall within the boundaries marking out its territory.

Secular science can discover how to make cars and make them work well. It can build computers and it can even discover how plants receive nourishment and grow. That is its duty and scope.

But without the truth it cannot provide any answers to those difficult questions that plague mankind. One such question is why do we exist? Secular science cannot answer that question. All it can do is remove hope, remove the answers, and keep people suffering.

I’m not sure how science ‘removes hope’, and I’m certainly not sure how it keeps people suffering. Medical science, as just one example, has actually done the latter – eased suffering by curing disease and finding ways to fix serious medical problems. Moreover though, science isn’t necessarily asking ‘why we exist?’ from a theological point of view. It isn’t pretending to do this – yet because it takes a neutral ‘look at the observable evidence’ perspective, this threatens certain characters. The idea that science does not seek the truth is frankly strange – it’s through science (matter being made from cells for example) that we know certain objective truths of our existence. We would not know this – nor how to cure illness – if we had stopped at ‘God did it’.

Secular science is not an authority

In spite of the things that science can do, it is not an authority on any subject known to man. It is merely a tool to help man survive on this planet. Science is not the final word on anything as even its discoveries are flawed.

One good example is modern medicine. Science may come up with medications but many of those medicines come with devastating side effects that are worse than the disease.

Science also cannot stop death from taking place, even if the doctor is successful in using scientific technology to revive a patient. That patient will eventually die. Some very public examples are John Wayne who used to say he beat cancer, only to succumb to the disease about 15 years later.

Another is Mickey Mantle who received a liver transplant only to die shortly thereafter. Even with all the good things in life it has invented, secular science has found more devastating ways to kill people.

From mustard gas to guns to nuclear bombs, science has done little to preserve life on this planet.

Here we have that classic confusion between science itself and the application of it. The same can be said of religion. Religion can be a tool to teach people humility, grace and good manners. It can used to encourage acts of oppression and violence. How human beings apply the tools at their disposal is up to us – it doesn’t make those tools inherently good or bad. 

The argument around death is one David has wielded before. It was weak then and is weak now. I am not aware of anyone claiming science can cheat death. The bottom line is though, had John Wayne left his cancer to be untreated, would he have had another 15 years of life? No, of course not. Medical science has virtually eradicated diseases that used to be the scourge of the world. It has greatly improved lifespans of millions. It is not perfect and does not claim to be, as David already knows, yet he continues make arguments long refuted. 

Some final words

Without God leading science and the scientist, then both are vulnerable to the deceptions and attacks that come from evil. Without Jesus as their savior secular science and scientists are the blind leading the blind.

The latter does not even know that they are walking down the wrong paths seeking the wrong answers in the wrong places. The fatal flaw of science is that they do not have the truth and do not want it part of their work.

When you kick God and the truth out of your work, you have little hope of finding what you are looking for. Unless God takes mercy on you and lets you find it so you can see the error of your ways.

Unfortunately, the arrogance of secular science and scientists does not let them do just that. They remain stubborn, thinking they know more than anyone else when in reality,they know very little.

There is a lot of irony to be had here. If scientists simply attributed everything to God and stopped there, what point would there be to any study of any kind? Development of the technology and tools that have helped us and made our lives easier in many respects would never have happened. The hubris of the devoutly faithful never ceases to amaze me in situations like this. 

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