Christianity And Science – Two Beliefs, Two Thoughts

.tags Christianity and science are considered to be two absolutely different subjects and there is always a conflict between the two. H R Van Til has very rightly said, “The chief major battle between [conservative] Christianity and modern science is not about a large number of individual facts, but about the principles that control science in its work. The battle today is largely that of the philosophy of science.”

The main point of discontent between the two is that one believes in the existence of God and his role as the creator of all things and creatures on this Earth while the other questions this basic premise of his existence and his contribution towards the creation.

According to one of the thinkers, contemporary Christians are apprehensive about science, especially the study related to the natural world. They perhaps feel that their long embedded faith in Christianity or more rightly in the Creator of the world might somewhat be weakened or destroyed by the scientific discoveries.

Inversely the scientists are also very reluctant to probe more into the religion as they consider it irrelevant to the scientific philosophy. There are different groups of people that interpret the relation between Christian religion and science at various levels. There are many people who disagree about the evolution of humans, other life species, the earth itself as well as the universe. Probably this happens because their primary beliefs are built upon different premises. This in result leads to different conclusions.

There can be broadly three categories of people who give thought over this matter and they can be classified as:

Orthodox Conservative Christians are the firm believers in the accuracy of the Bible. They believe that there can be no errors in it when it is literally interpreted except in some cases when symbolic meaning is intended to be included. Therefore, when the Bible speaks about different subjects like geology, cosmology, astronomy, medicine etc., the followers automatically believe it to be perfect. They are of the firm belief that the creators of the holy Book were inspired by the God himself in order to avoid all falsehood. They strongly believe that all the miracles and naturally occurring instances have happened for real. If they try to question these events then they might be questioning the very premise of God which would lead to the falsification of the book. The Bible cannot be falsified in any case as it is by its very definition true.

Liberal Christians are of the belief that the authors of the Bible lived in a pre-scientific age and are believers of spiritual truths. They also feel that the writers have extensively borrowed concepts from the earlier religious writings of the Pagan communities residing around them. When the authors mentioned about animals talking, the still sun, evil spirits, flooding of the world and a flat earth; they were merely reflecting the primitive level of scientific knowledge that was prevalent in their society. According to these people, the Bible is more of a spiritual book rather than a scientific textbook.

The third group of people i.e. the scientists starts their work from the hypothesis that all things that happen are a result of purely natural processes. They are more inclined to use the scientific method to discover new insights in to the workings of nature. Many of the scientists believe in the existence of God but they are unable to relate to his role in the universe and the things that he is supposed to have been doing. They believe that He does not intrude upon the natural laws. This group feels that miracles are not common and on the other extreme they do not happen at all. Unless they are scholars of the Bible, they rarely feel the need to refer to the holy book for scientific research.

Thus, there is always a debate going on between the followers of Christianity and the people who have a rather neutral and non-religious outlook towards the creation and the Earth at large.