Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith?

Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Above image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

One thing I am never short of is Facebook posts that denounce Christianity for various reasons. Some posts slam the Christian God, calling Him an unforgiving, genocidal, jealous, racist bully, echoing Richard Dawkins book, The God Delusion.((Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print.))

Others target scripture suggesting it was written hundreds of years after the life of Christ and is full of errors and contradictions. Again quoting Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, “To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”1

Some even question if Christ was a real person, and many believe He was not an authentic historical figure. Frank Zindler, former director of the American Atheists gives us a glimpse at this, “So much for the evidence purporting to prove that Jesus was a historical figure. We have not, of course, proved that Jesus did not exist. We have only showed that all evidence alleged to support such a claim is without substance…”((Zindler, Frank. “Did Jesus Exist?” American Atheists, ND, https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/did-jesus-exist/))

Then you have those who target the hypocritical behavior of Christians. For example, some who think they are quoting Gandhi write, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” which is not an actual quote from Gandi, but it was taken from another Indian philosopher. Nevertheless, the point is well made, Christians often don’t act like Christ despite wanting to and being told to be imitators of Him in scripture. 1 Corinthians 11:1 I certainly can relate to that, and most believers, if they are honest, will say the same.

Finally, others take a much broader path and paint most, if not all religions as foolishness and the cause of countless wars and misery.

These claims can be addressed and have been, but my focus in this post is the claim that science depends on reason and evidence while Christianity doesn’t.

Is the assertion true that Christianity is void or reason and evidence? Are Christians wishing on a star, following their heart, taking leaps of faith, or is their faith simply blind?

Let’s take a look at some examples in scripture. Luke states that his sources were ‘eye-witnesses,’ and he claims to have carefully investigated everything and is sharing them with Theophilus so he would be certain of the claims of the new Christians. Luke 1:1-4

In 1 Cor. 15:6, Paul practically dares anyone to check out his story. In I Corinthians 15, Paul lists six groups or specific individuals who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ. Peter, The twelve, the 500, James (younger brother of Jesus), all the apostles, and finally Paul himself.

Most of these eyewitnesses endured persecution, imprisonment, torture, and finally, death. Persecution was the norm, and it certainly was not something that would compel others to sacrifice their livelihood or life for what they profess. Yet, despite their willingness to lose everything, that does not validate their belief. I think of the 911 terrorists and their belief that 72 virgins awaited them in the afterlife. Yet what is so remarkable about the early Christian martyrs is not what they believed, but what they saw; the risen Christ. The early Christian martyrs died not for what they thought to be true but what they saw to be true. 

A story shared by Lee Strobel may help illustrate my point. In 1963 Addie Mae Collins was one of four African-American girls murdered in a church bombing by racists. She was buried in Birmingham, Alabama, and for years her family returned to visit her gravesite and leave flowers. Finally, in 1998 they made the decision to exhume Addie Mae so she could be reburied at another cemetery. However, when the workers began to dig, they discovered the grave was empty. The family was understandably shocked, and several possible explanations were considered as officials started to investigate what happened, but no one ever suggested was that Addie Mae was resurrected. Why? Because an empty grave does not constitute a resurrection. Eyewitnesses do that.

Other religions begin with someone having a private encounter or vision they share with others, not Christianity. We find another example in 2 Peter 1:16, where Peter explains they were eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ and His majesty. In addition, at the end of John, he explains the signs done by Christ in front of witnesses was so they might believe that he was the Son of God. John 20:30-31. Scripture is full of examples that rule out the impression that our faith requires giant leaps or blind loyalty. Neither does Christ Himself expect that of us.

For example, when John the Baptist was in prison and struggling with doubts, so he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the one they were waiting for. How did Jesus respond? He promptly healed the lame and cured the blind. He then told them to return to John and report what they witnessed. Luke 7:19-22 In fact, you will find that the Gospel of Luke holds most of the eyewitness details found in the New Testament.

Classical scholar Colin Hemer fact-checked the book of Acts (written by Luke) and found 84 facts confirmed by historical and archaeological research.((Geisler, Norman. Turek, Frank. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004, Print.)) Believing without evidence is what we call blind faith and nowhere in scripture are believers called to that kind of faith. John 14:9-11

The above examples are from scripture, but Christians are not limited to those examples to build their faith. Believers can find substantial evidence within the sciences. Just don’t expect science to answer all your questions. The fact is, science cannot answer all our questions and never will be able to.

Suppose my daughter-in-law Annie baked a cake. If we were to ship it to a lab for analysis, we would learn much about the cake. The biochemists could tell us what elements are within the cake. Mathematicians will spell out the weight, volume, and detailed dimensions of the cake. Physicists can break down the fundamental particles and explain what temperatures she baked it. But not one of them, or anyone in the scientific community could tell us why the cake was made; only Annie could answer that question. Natural sciences will answer questions about the structure and elements of the cake, but they could never answer any ‘why’ questions.

When you think about it, the laws of nature help us describe the universe, but they explain nothing. The fact that we have laws that govern our universe is one of those why questions that can’t be answered except by the one who made the laws. One of the first questions of the year I would ask my algebra students in Jr. High was, “Is mathematics invented or discovered?” I would leave them to ponder that throughout the year.

Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate in physics, wrote, “…the fact that there are rules at all to be checked is a kind of miracle; that it is possible to find a rule, like the inverse-square law of gravitation, is some sort of miracle.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.))

Those most critical of the Christian faith often don’t ever set foot in a church, let alone read or examine scripture. They don’t study the words of Jesus and try to apply the teaching to themselves, or how His words could apply to neighbors, friends, family, etc. It is so much easier to point out the faults and shortcomings of others than to take a hard look at ourselves and compare how we live our life to the commands of Jesus. The operative word is ‘try’ because we all fall short. Someone once said the church is a hospital for sinners, not a sanctuary for saints. We are all more comfortable playing the armchair general, pointing out the mistakes of those in the trenches and how they are delinquent in living a life like Jesus than applying His teachings to our own conduct.

Anthony Flew was a lifetime philosopher and atheist. Then in 2003, late in his life, he converted to a belief in God. He said he had to go where the evidence leads, and it was the complexity of DNA that was the deciding factor for Flew. John Lennox wrote concerning the idea of following evidence where it leads, “…there are situations where we shouldn’t just give up if explanations in terms of natural processes don’t work; we should be prepared to follow the evidence where it leads, even if that involves a supernatural dimension.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.)) But not all scientists adhere to that because of their prejudice to a concept of a being beyond the natural.

Richard Lewontin, who is a geneticist from Harvard, displays this attitude perfectly when he wrote, “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment…to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”((Lennox, John. Can Science Explain Everything? Oxford: The Good Book Company, 2019, Print.))

Christians should never be afraid of science and what we can learn from it. The things that we learn about our universe, from the microscopic to the telescope, are often confirmed by the Bible when researched carefully. Science cannot answer all the questions we might have, but neither should the Bible be used as a science book. As we investigate our world, both science and theology should be used to complement and confirm how best we should live.

The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. – Galileo

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Is it True Science uses Reason and Christianity only has Blind Faith by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, Print. []

Bill Nye The Science Guy knows what is best for our Children?

Reading Time: 6 minutesThis Bill Nye clip has 5.5 millions views on Youtube. “Denial of Evolution is unique to the United States.” 1  The first words out of the mouth of Bill Nye The Science Guy are rubbish. Michael Reiss, who teaches at the Institute of Education in London, says, “In London, where I work, there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing Advanced Level Biology who do not accept evolution. That’s either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds.” 2

In Spiegel Online, a very popular German magazine, Jens Lubbadeh wrote an article titled, “Contesting Evolution: European Creationists Take On Darwin.” It even has a sub heading titled Not Just Americans. Lubbadeh wrote, “For many years, people have viewed creationism as a purely American phenomenon. The fact is, however, that there are also creationist currents in Europe, too, and an anti-evolution movement that is even less homogenous than the one in the US.” 3

John Lennox, a professor in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, has debated Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens concerning the existence of God. Dr. Lennox has lectured all over Europe and said this concerning evolution, “The unimaginable complexity of living systems and their regulatory mechanisms revealed to us by molecular biology surely bears the hallmark of designing intelligence every bit as much, if not more, than the fine-tuned physical universe on which these mechanisms ultimately depend.” 4

Finally, one more example of a European creationist, Alister McGrath, author of several books, who also holds a PhD in molecular biophysics, a degree from Oxford, and resides in the United Kingdom wrote, “Atheism, I began to realize, rested on a less-than-satisfactory evidential basis. The arguments that had once seemed bold, decisive, and conclusive increasingly turned out to be circular, tentative, and uncertain.” 5

I hope I am making my point clear. Don’t believe everything you hear from Bill Nye. To suggest that those ignorant conservative Christians in the United States hold the market on criticism of evolution is absurd. You think I am reading between the lines? Continue watching the Youtube video, he says toward the end, “Don’t make your kids do it, [deny evolution]. We need them. We need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future.” 6

 BN1

So if you don’t believe in evolution, you are unscientific and illiterate. Not only that, you will vote for the wrong people in office and be a member of some kind of political party who is incapable of making an informed decision. Probably the same political party that is homophobic, anti-choice, and pro-gun, would like to see prayer back in schools, and actually believe America, despite its faults, has a pretty good thing going with the Constitution. This mind set is not unique to Bill Nye. Evolutionists everywhere make the claim that if you don’t believe in evolution, you are foolish, ignorant, uneducated, and a Bible thumping religious fanatic, who has no business influencing or educating our youth of today.

Let’s take a moment here and define evolution so we are all on the same page. There are three basic definitions when we are talking about evolution.
1. Change over time.
2. Micro evolution (Changes within a species. For example, the different breeds of dogs.)
3. Macro evolution (Changes from one species to another species. For example, from a snake to a rabbit.)

I have no problem with evolution defined in its most basic sense, that is change over time. As I look in the mirror to shave I see evidence of change over time as the few gray hairs I once had have multiplied at an alarming rate. Nor do I have issue with Micro evolution, which by the way, is often the examples science books give. Quite misleading if you ask me. Science books commonly explain evolution and then the evidence they give for Macro evolution are actually examples of micro evolution. Darwin’s finches are an example of Micro evolution.

Evolution, to some degree, can explain the diversity of life, not the creation of life. The Stanley Miller experiment in the 1953 that most adults reading this post will remember from their High School science books, was touted as having created life in the lab. That is, life from non-life. This experiment has been disproved time and time again. Other examples that evolutionists share are Darwin’s tree of life, Ernst Haeckel’s drawings of embryos, (see my post concerning Haeckel’s Embryos) and the missing link, archeopteryx.

It is a wide spread misconception that evolution is strongly supported by the fossil record, when quite the opposite is true. Evidence for definition three, Macro evolution, has little, if any, confirmation within the fossil record. Darwin himself, (another European I might add), wrote this in The Origin of Species, “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [should] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” 7  Darwin recognized the lack of evidence in the fossil record, but the public impression, fed by the media, claims Darwinian Evolution is the answer to the diversity of life on earth. This assumption is made all the more ludicrous when evolutionists cannot supply an answer to how life even began. How do you get life from non-life? Order from disorder? Christians could even give evolutionists Macro evolution on a silver platter, with all the pomp and circumstance of the crowning of a new king, but then ask the newly crowned king, “How did it all begin?” The room would fall silent for lack of an answer.

In 2001, hundreds of scientists gathered to let the world know one thing. There were molecular biologists, engineers, chemists, geologists, astrophysicists, anthropologists, zoologists to name a few. Their doctorates came from Cambridge, Standford, Cornell, Yale, Berkley, Purdue and others. Also staff from Plasma Physics Lab at Princeton, National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, Los Alamos Lab, and the Lawrence Livermore Lab. They published a two page ad in a national magazine titled, “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.” They are skeptical of evolution and encourage everyone not to accept it as a fact. 8

Most of you know that I teach for a living and have for years. I can promise you when I teach science in the classroom, I will be sure to share my views with my students. I will point out the short comings and unanswered questions Darwinian evolution cannot answer. Despite what the media reports, despite what high profile figures such as Bill Nye say about evolution, and despite the hold Darwinists have on the minds of our youth in the form of curriculum in the public schools, I will continue to share a view point that will be counter to what most will teach. Since when was morality dictated by popular opinion? Dan Story wrote in his book, The Christian Combat Manual, “Creationists are not afraid of evolution. In fact, most creationists prefer that students also be taught evolution because when the two models are compared, it become clear that creation better accounts for the scientific data.” 9

Some of you may have heard of Anthony Flew, an atheist since he was in his teens, a British philosopher out of Oxford, author and debater, who in the last few years of his life became a believer in God. Flew said, “It is simply out of the question that the first living matter evolved out of dead matter and developed into an extraordinary, complicated creature of which we have no examples. There must have been some intelligence.” 10

I am not the fan of Bill Nye I used to be, as I have begun to look a little more critically at his comments and lectures. Since I have been in education, I have watched dozens of his film clips with my students, educating youth on the particulars of science, all the while making the process funny, entertaining, and interesting. As talented as Bill Nye is, he does not have the market on truth and wisdom. Even a clown who entertains children on a daily basis, who has made thousands of children laugh and smile, will not know what is best for your children. Neither will Bill Nye The Science Guy. Yes, we need scientific and literate voters for the future, but teaching them creationism will not subtract from their education, intelligence, or ability to pay taxes. I would say stick to teaching science Bill Nye and stay out of politics, but I am not sure he even has a good grip on the science end of things if he thinks teaching Darwinian Evolution is necessary for intelligent, literate voters.

Sources:

1. Big Think. “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children. Online Video Clip. YouTube, 23 Aug. 2012 Web. 13 July. 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU
2. Butt, Riazat. “Migration is spreading creationism across Europe, claims academic.”The Guardian. Guardian.co.uk, 13 November 2009. Web. 15 July 2013
3. Lubbadeh, Jens. “Contesting Evolution: European CreationistsTake On Darwin.” Spiegel Online International. Spiegel.de, 25 February 2009. Web. 15 July 2013
4. Lennox, John. God’s Undertaker Has Science Buried God? Oxford: Lion Books, 2009. Print.
5. McGrath, Alister. “Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond.” Beliefnet. Beliefnet.com, 2005. 17 July 2013.
6. Ibid
7. Darwin, Charles. World’s Classics Edition, Oxford,Oxford University Press, 1985. Print.
8. Strobel, Lee The Case for a Creator Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. Print.
9. Story, Dan. Christian Combat Manual Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2007. Print.
10. LeBlanc, Douglas. Atheists and Theists Analyze Antyony Flew’s Newfound Deism. Christian Research Institute. Equip.org, 11 June 2009. Web. 17 July 2013.

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