There is a disturbing trend in society these days, to elevate belief over fact and faith over science. I have no problem with people having faith, but when they use it to brush aside proven medical practices, as an example, they are trying to steer society on a very dangerous and disastrous course.
Of the people I have encountered on my virtual travels, no one seems more committed to putting down science than David Thiessen, who I have sparred with in the past, perhaps most notably on the subject of faith healing, but on other subjects as well. One of his latest Hub Pages entries (as he is largely posting there and not directly to his website, Theology Archaeology) is very critical of science, and therefore reflective of the rising tide of attitudes against science, so I felt it worthwhile dissecting. Quotes from David and his article will be in pink.
Science is allowed to continue
Many years a biblical gentleman wrote or said ‘that upon the discovery of the atom, God is going to come down with the keys to the universe and say- Gentlemen, it is closing time’.
Fortunately for millions and billions of people, that did not take place. Why God has allowed life and science to continue is known only to him but since those words were spoken, the attitude of science and scientists have become very disturbing
There are regulations to follow
For science and scientist, there are rules and laws in place to guide their work. Supposedly, both science and scientists are to be obedient to these rules, yet creating the rules are a lot easier than it is getting scientists or science to follow them. As Dr. Patrick Dixon wrote,
However, regulations are one thing; persuading every scientist to follow them is another (pg. 50)
That observation is very correct as in all the years I have studied science, interacted with scientists and science lovers, that group of people do not want rules to govern their work.
They want to ‘do science’ no matter where it leads them and that is a disturbing attitude because that means that scientists want to be their own authority, answer to no one and do as they please.
I can’t speak for every scientist but, whilst I’m sure there are some who operate in an unethical fashion, the reality is, science is regulated. There are codes of conduct that most of them follow. I think the issue here is that, to David, these scientists don’t follow God’s rules (or at least, most of them don’t), and from my past interactions with David, if it’s not God’s rules (specifically, a very specific interpretation of the Bible), it’s not right.
They do not like ethics either
Even though post world war 2 scientists have condemned the Nazi scientists and doctors, it wasn’t long ago that western scientists, to some degree, practiced questionable scientific studies that would leave many moralists in shock.
That is because, there is an attitude that may abound in the scientific world that goes like this:
One specialist said recently: ethics is what you believer this year (pg. 54)
What makes this comment disturbing is that the specialist is saying that for scientists ethics are fluid and never remain static. Ethical behavior is always changing and depends on what the individual scientist believes or wants to adhere too.
That kind of attitude does not bode well for the rest of the world. It is possible that beneath the surface of the image scientists like to present t the world, there lurks men and women who will do anything in the name of science and they are actually doing it.
I’m not at all sure what David is alluding to here. This is very vague, very sweeping and I am willing to say, largely inaccurate. There are people of dubious morals in any field (just look at politics!), and this includes within organised religion.
Scientists like to play God
One of the more disturbing attitudes I find in the scientific community is the desire to play God. This is not an attitude restricted to medical doctors. You can find it throughout the scientific community just by hearing their rejection of God.
In my interaction with scientists and science lovers, it has been told to me far too often, and I have read it in many scientific books as well, that scientists do not want God in the laboratory or the science classroom.
It is not hard to figure out why that attitude exists as many scientists think they are greater and smarter than God. They even think that they can define what constitutes a human being even though that definition for some reason does not exist
However, there was no clear definition of what exactly constitutes a human being (pg. 63)
For those scientists who believe in God, I sincerely doubt they believe they are smarter than God. For those who don’t believe, the idea is a non-starter. Either way, science deals with what’s tangible, and is evidence-based. It does not rely in self-referencing sources for proof of being inerrant.
We really do not need a scientific definition for a human being as God a has already provided one for us. It is a being made in the image of God. Animals, plants, sea creatures, rocks do not have that image. Only people do.
Yet, this definition does not stop some people from trying to play God and determine who gets to live and die.
Defining what is human on the basis of genes has produced bizarre results. In 1978, Francis Crick, the Nobel prize winning genetic scientist wrote: ‘No infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment. If it fails to pass those tests, it forfeits the right to live. (pg. 76)
Of course, the question this raises, among many others, is why should scientists get to decide who lives or dies? Another would be, why would they be the ones who define what a human being is when they themselves do not like or want to follow any rules?
Why can’t lawyers create that definition? They are certainly as smart, if not smarter than scientist and no the law better than the latter does. One reason is scientists have been deceived and think they are the final and only authority. They are neither.
David is quoting from another source here, regarding scientific attitudes to defining life and humans and so forth. I don’t doubt there are people who have such attitudes, but is it fair to suggest this is a typical scientific mindset? It’s almost like David thinks a person who is a scientist is defined solely by that one characteristic, and nothing else. Scientists are people from all walks of life, with various interests. They will, like any group of people, have differing social, cultural and political opinions to one another. However, when it comes to certain observational facts and scientific matters, then yes, scientists can be regarded as an authority. It’s a scientific truth that the earth orbits the sun. It’s a scientific fact that we understand electricity and can manipulate it. It’s a scientific fact that atoms exist – if they didn’t, we would not have nuclear power stations.
Can we trust scientists
Many scientists and science lovers love to repeat their old defense that science is self policing.That is a myth of high proportion even though some hoaxes have been uncovered by scientists.
The problem is what rules do scientists follow when policing their own members? They do not like rules and often ignore them in pursuit of their ambitions, objectives and to do science. It seems hypocritical to think that scientists can create rules to govern their fellow researchers when they like their freedom to explore.
We know that scientists do not want to follow God’s rules of right and wrong, good and evil and even morality and immorality. To do so means that they have to acknowledge that there is a greater being out there than them.
They would also have to step down from that pedestal they have placed themselves and their fields of research on and humbly accept God’s definition of humans. As well as limit their work to meet God’s limitations and restrictions.
I do not see that happening any time soon so the answer to the question is no, we cannot trust scientists or science because evil is leading and influencing their lives, not God and the truth.
Again, we have vague allusions to scientists being unethical, to ignoring rules and carrying out hoaxes, but nothing of any substance. We have accusations that scientists have ‘placed themselves on a pedestal’. The notion of ‘limiting work’ is, I suspect, more because David doesn’t want his ultra-conservative, literal interpretation of the Bible to be threatened by observable facts.
If science is so bad
Why do Christians and other religious groups use technology, computers, airplanes, cars and many other modern conveniences? The simple reason that we believers do use those items is because for the most part, there is no biblical teaching forbidding their use.
We can even use and own guns if we want. So why do you not listen to and trust scientists? We do not do this because there is biblical teaching telling us to not follow the counsel of the ungodly.
We are also taught in the Bible that the unbelieving world, including scientists, do not have the spirit of truth guiding them to the truth. Biblical teaching is quite clear and our instructions do not tell us to follow those with better education, scientific experience and other human criteria.
Biblical teaching tells us to go for the truth and not lie one to another. Science rarely goes for the truth and it is constantly lying to the people and government officials. We look to God for our counsel not those who reject God and his standards.
With the first paragraph, we have staggering hypocrisy. To decry science whilst happily reaping the benefits of scientific study is quite remarkable. For people who apparently lack guidance and who rarely go for the truth, they’ve studied fields that the supposedly pious folk like David will happily exploit to make their lives easier. The things David mentions, like cars, computers and so forth? If we had accepted the unyielding truth of the Bible, these things would not exist.
Some final words
Science has made an impact on this world. Sadly, it is often used to destroy people even as far back as ancient Greek and even Babylonian times, and beyond those civilizations.
Science is not altruistic as scientists and science lovers lead many people to believe. That is just the smokescreen as scientists use their knowledge or have it used to hurt people just so countries can conquer another or corporations can conquer the people.
Genetics has opened a door that can never be closed again and that is not a good thing. It allows too many people to ignore God and his ways and lets evil guide their actions to the detriment and destruction of the world.
That is disturbing, to say the least because there are feel willing to reel science and scientists in and get them back on the right path.
*** all quotes taken from The Genetic Revolution by Dr. Patrick Dixon
This is just baffling. Scientists are not evil people and science itself is not evil. Can it be used for the wrong reasons? Of course it can. So can faith. Indeed, people of faith and religious conviction have used the progress of science and technology to wage conflict throughout history. Meanwhile, because of science, we can cure diseases that were once rife. Because of science, we can irrigate land to provide water where previously, the land was barren. We can provide shelter and warmth to far more people now than we could even a hundred years ago. None of this would be the case if we had accepted the Bible as literal truth.