Does your science allow for it?
Prior to moving into full-time ministry, I was a computer programmer for 12 years, the last 5 of which I had my own business, working out of my home. I am, as a result of my former profession, very analytical when it comes to looking at software programs others have developed. It never ceases to amaze me the poor design quality I see. As a simple example, I’ve seen a system for recording family information listing input fields for “Age of Child 1,” “Age of Child 2,” and “Age of Child 3.” So, what do you do if you have more than three children? The system doesn’t allow for it. Do some parents have more than three children? Yes, of course. But that system doesn’t allow for recording information for additional children. The system design was very short-sighted.
But I don’t really want to talk about computer programming. My question is, “Does your SCIENCE allow for it?” Just what does that mean?
I’ve mentioned it numerous times, but it bears repeating, “Science doesn’t say anything; scientists do.” Another way of stating this is that “Facts don’t speak for themselves.” If I told you, a certain rock weighs 25.183 pounds. What does that mean? Very little at this point. The rock certainly doesn’t tell you what it means, and the actual value doesn’t say anything, either. You must interpret the “facts” in light of your worldview (starting point) and the context. What if you were asking whether you could carry the rock down to the end of the driveway? In that case, I think the facts would indicate you should be able to lift and carry it, unless of course you had a bad back.
The “framework” or “worldview” or “starting point” can significantly influence your evaluation of the facts. This influence isn’t really as much of an issue when conducting “observational science” which deals with things we can directly interact with, observe the test results of, and can be repeated over and over by people of a variety of backgrounds. Weighing a rock will give you the same result whether a Christian or an atheist conducts the experiment. However, when we deal with concepts connected to “historical science,” that’s a different situation because that involves events that happened in the distant past when no one was around to make observations We can’t directly test that event, and we can’t reproduce that event to be absolutely identical in every way to the original. Two examples would be (a) the origin of the universe and (b) the origin of life. For these topics, scientists must guess what may have happened.
What happens when your existing belief system (or starting point) doesn’t allow for what you are actually observing? One would think you might spend some time reevaluating your belief system to see if perhaps you’re a bit off, or maybe even way off.
Too often, however, this is not the case.
George Lakoff (professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley) stated,
“People think in frames. To be accepted, the truth must fit people’s frames. If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off.”
Let me give you an interesting example. I’ve discussed this in some of my presentations and articles. In 2005, Dr Mary Schweitzer discovered soft tissue in a dinosaur bone. She was in shock! So much so, that she repeated her experiment 17 times! She finally realized she was truly looking at soft tissue from a dinosaur. Oh, but this can’t be because they “know” the bones are 65 million years old, right? That was her reaction. It can’t be, but there it was. She said, “Our science doesn't allow for it… not possible…"
So, what do you do? Do you reevaluate your worldview? The answer, if you are an evolutionist, is a clear and resounding, “No!” That was back in 2005. We have discovered a lot more soft tissue in other bones that are alleged to be 100, 200+ million years old! But you are not allowed even to consider the bones might not be that old. Such a consideration would destroy everything and cause you to radically change your worldview, which is unthinkable and greatly frowned upon in the secular scientific community. You could lose your job, your teaching position, grant money, the ability to publish your research, etc. If you doubt this, just watch Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, by Ben Stein.
How about two more examples?
The new James Webb telescope has been making quite a splash and has produced some beautiful pictures of places never seen before. But it has also raised concerns among secular astronomers.
In other words, “Our science doesn’t allow it.”
One last example. You are most likely familiar with the name Francis Crick. He was the co-discoverer of the helical structure of DNA in 1953. He was undoubtedly a brilliant scientist, but he was also an atheist. His scientific acumen led him to see the incredible complexity of DNA. So much so, that he had a difficult time believing it just evolved. However, being an atheist, his worldview “did not allow” for the conclusion that God created life or the universe. So, what did Crick do? Did he reevaluate his starting point? No. He staunchly stuck with his atheism and simply chose to believe that billions of years ago, somewhere else in the universe, super-intelligent aliens designed life in seed form and flew it to our planet on spaceships! That conclusion might sound silly to many people, but he was somewhat forced into that belief because of (a) his advanced knowledge of the complexity of DNA and (b) his unwillingness to believe in God coupled with the fact that “his science wouldn’t allow” for God.
So, what does your science allow for? Limits are not a bad thing. It’s more a matter of whether your conclusions are in stark contrast to the Inspired Word of God. True science ALWAYS conforms to the revelation of God’s Word.