Monday, March 10, 2008

She Blinded Me with Science II

Scientific theories change over time. So do paradigms. Case-in-point: Preceding Darwin's cloaking of evolution in respectability, and its subsequent popularization, the prevailing understanding of origins in the western scientific realm was one of a Creator who brought all that exists into being. This assessment changed after Darwin--at least in terms of those who controlled the discussion.

Another example is Phlogiston Theory. The American Heritage Science Dictionary describes it thusly: A hypothetical colorless, odorless, weightless substance once believed to be the combustible part of all flammable substances and to be given off as flame during burning. In the 18th century, Antoine Lavoisier proved that phlogiston does not exist.

First postulated in 1702, this theory remained intact for nearly a century.

Even today, some scientists--Stephen Hawking, among others--debate the validity of Big Bang Theory.

From the biblical viewpoint, God's Word does not change over time.

In Mark 13:31, Jesus tells us: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

One either believes these verses, or he doesn't. But if you do believe, then God's holy Word should be placed on a pedestal far above the assertions and dogmas of sinful, misguided men.

If God's Word remains ever the same, while science verifiably does change over time, then tailoring one's understanding of scripture to science is a mistake. If you accept Big Bang Theory, and this in turn informs your view of scripture, what happens to your lodestar if the Big Bang becomes discredited? Will you continue following the zeitgeist, in crying: "Oh science gods, what's next on your endless list of theories? Please tell me what to believe." Will you continue in the assumption that it is theirs to declare, and yours faithfully to accept? That seems an erratic, unstable method of viewing reality.

I'll put faith in the Word of God, while exercising cautious respect for science, in light of its shortcomings. Better that than placing my faith in science, while pinballing back and forth over fluctuating scriptural interpretations based upon naturalistic science du jour.

All beliefs need a mooring. Will you dock yours in the immutable berth of scripture, or the mined shoals of science?

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