[by Earl Blacklock] In an earlier article, I discussed the irrationality of the argument of “9/11 Truthers” (who could also be called reality deniers), and equated them with scientists who insist that “science only” is the only rational approach for understanding life and the universe.
Christians, of course, believe that there is a God, and that He personally intervened to create matter and life out of nothingness. There is currently circulating on the Internet a light-hearted response to this argument. It purports, with tongue firmly in cheek, that in fact the Flying Spaghetti Monster was responsible for creation, and this pasta-based pseudo-deity is personally intervening in the universe “with his noodly appendage” to distort scientific results. They reason that if science must recognize the possibility that God is Creator of all, then why not give the Flying Spaghetti Monster equal time?
As satire, the creators of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) deserve applause. It’s a humorous attempt to represent the position of the “science only” crowd. As logicians, however, they fall far short. They in fact recognized the limitation of their own argument when they introduced the proposition that FSM is going around changing the results of legitimate scientific inquiry.
In fact, however, the Christian position requires no such manipulation, and the fact that this forms the basis of the satirists’ comparison demonstrates the folly of their reasoning.
Again, the assumption is made that one cannot come to the conclusion that there is in Creation a Creator because science has proven there is no God. Of course, science has done no such thing. Nor can it, any more than it can prove there is no alternate universe, invisible and undetectable to us, in which time runs backward. The best that it can do is to say that its results in this experiment, this observation, is consistent with the starting hypothesis. In most cases, it cannot even say that the results do not support an alternative hypothesis.
And that is the essence of the Christian position. Scientists should pursue their science. They should follow the results as far as they can. They should do so without constraint by dogma. If they choose to limit their hypotheses by assuming there is no God, well and good.
At the heart of legitimate scientific inquiry is the likelihood that if they are wrong, their results will be wrong, and someone else will correct their error. Unless, of course, our only scientists are those who believe science should be limited to that which fits in a test tube.
All Christians ask is that scientists not belittle the views of those who, by faith, believe that the starting point of all that scientists can observe is God the Creator. The moment that a scientist demands that school curricula discuss the origins of the universe, and then limits the explanation to the non-verifiable assumptions of atheist scientists, it has ventured into dogma, not science.
When a scientist wants children taught that every species that exists is the result of millions of years of cross-species evolution, and that there is no other explanation, they have chosen to teach faith – their faith – not science.
The other day, there were news reports about an air-breathing fish which had been discovered – one that, when its marshy environment drains of water, is able to survive. Scientists who start with the assumption that there is no God said “Look – evidence that fish could have made the transition to land assumed by the theory of evolution!” I saw the same story and said “Wow, what a creative God I serve”.
But the fish didn’t change. It didn’t become an amphibian. It didn’t stop being a fish, even for a moment. The views of the scientist and my own views lived side by side, and affected the fish not one whit.
Let science be science. Let God be God. And let Christians believe what we believe, without undermining our faith to our children.
Read more in this series:
- I. It’s turtles all the way down
- II. More turtles all the way down
- III. Honey I shrunk the universe
- IV. Science continues to advance – sort of
- V. Why I’m a Climate Change Skeptic
Earl Blacklock is a Canadian writer who has a passion for telling little-known stories to illustrate Christian truths and principles.