Category Archives: Science

God and the Limits of Empiricism

“We want to know whether the universe simply happens to be what it is for no reason or whether there is a power behind it that makes it what it is. Since that power, if it exists, would be not one of the observed facts but a reality which makes them, no mere observation of the facts can find it. . . . If there was a controlling power outside the universe, it could not show itself to us as one of the facts inside the universe — no more than the architect of a house could actually be a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house.”

~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (London, Fount; 1977), 32.

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The Irony of Modern Intellectual Progress

Richard Tarnas provides some helpful insight into the dehumanizing effects of modern scientism:

The more modern man strove to control nature by understanding its principles, to free himself from nature’s power, to separate himself from nature’s necessity and rise above it, the more completely his science metaphysically submerged man into nature, and thus into its mechanistic and impersonal character as well. For if man lived in an impersonal universe, and if his existence was entirely grounded in and subsumed by that universe, then man too was essentially impersonal, his private experience of personhood a psychological fiction. In such a light, man was becoming little more than a genetic strategy for the continuance of his species, and as the twentieth century progressed that strategy’s success was becoming yearly more uncertain. Thus it was the irony of modern intellectual progress that man’s genius discovered successive principles of determinism — Cartesian, Newtonian, Darwinian, Marxist, Freudian, behaviorist, genetic, neurophysiological, sociobiological — that steadily attenuated belief in his own rational and volitional freedom, while eliminating his sense of being anything more than a peripheral and transient accident of material evolution.

~ The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that have Shaped Our World (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1991), 332.

Experience and the Philosophical Question

“What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience. It is therefore useless to appeal to experience before we have settled, as well as we can, the philosophical question.”

~ C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York, NY: Harper One, 1996), 2.

Science and the Soul

“Discovering what can be done through the manipulation of the natural world is scientific, but actually doing these things is a human decision whose basis is not limited to the scientific method. Thus, we discover that we can split atoms, harvest cells from embryos, alter human brain chemistry, or implant foreign objects under human skin to create pleasing shapes. But we must choose whether to wipe out a major metropolitan area in a massive explosion, kill a human at an early age of maturity for the sake of one older and better formed, control a child with a chemical switch rather than through the exertion of discipline, or make large breasts and pouting lips our sexualized standard of beauty. Science can’t make these choices. Rather, they revert to the human soul, which cannot be accounted for by science and has no place in a purely naturalistic understanding of the universe.”

~ Hunter Baker, “A Grave New World: When Science Trumps Religion, Our Personhood is the Casualty

The World Speaks!

Consider the paragraph below by Steve Talbot alongside: John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. and Psalm 19:1-3: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

The intimate relation between the meaning of our words and the meaning we find in the world may be so obvious as to seem almost trivial, yet its implications are so profound as to have mostly escaped the notice of working scientists. If we took the fact of the world’s speech seriously — the world speaks! — there would be none of the usual talk about a mechanistic and deterministic science, about a cold, soulless universe, or about an unavoidable conflict between science and the spirit. Confronting the many voices of nature, we would inquire about their individual qualities and character, we would look for the direction of their expressive striving, and we would struggle to grasp the aesthetic unity of their various utterances — all of which is to say: we would listen for their meanings. The necessity for such inquiry is implicit in a world that speaks and also in the scientist’s employment of speech to translate the world-text. This turning a deaf ear to a resonant world and even to our own speech accounts for many of the limitations and contradictions of the science we have today.

~ Steve Talbot, “The Language of Nature” in The New Atlantis (Winter 2007), 42.

Atheism & the Origin of the Universe

Big-Bang-Theory

“The very starting point for an atheistic universe is based on something that cannot explain its own existence. The scientific laws by which atheists want all certainty established do not even exist as a category at the beginning of the universe because, according to those laws of science which atheists want to measure all things, matter cannot simply ‘pop into existence’ on its own.

The silence from atheistic science on why there is something rather than nothing is deafening.”

~ Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Zondervan, 2008), 32.

All Scientists Believe in God

“All scientists — including agnostics and atheists — believe in God. They have to in order to do their work.” So begins this thought-provoking article “Why Scientists Must Believe in God: Divine Attributes of Scientific Law” by Vern S. Poythress.