10 January 2011 by romanin
I was thinking today about an email that a family member sent. It was a list of quotes by an atheist believer in science. The quotes over and over again exulted the rationality of science and the irrationality of religion. I’ve been told several times that because I believe in God, my mind must be trapped in a traditional rightist brainwashing and that I must not have an open mind. I intend to argue the other side.
First off, I find it quite ridiculous that one could think that I don’t have an open mind simply because I believe in God. Is it not possible that my open consideration of rationalism and naturalism lost to my equally open consideration of religion? Perhaps, as you will read, it is precisely the opposite. Perhaps it is the concept that rationalism is the only way to think that closes the minds of my antagonists. I suppose an opinion such as that is equally as ridiculous as the one they pose, but I shall show here how my open mind has led me to God.
My chief argument here will revolve around the unexplainable versus the explainable. There are many things in this world that I can explain. I am an engineer and a student of the sciences of math and physics. I can explain in detail why a rocket excellerates upward and then falls to the earth. I can even explain why the flame behind the rocket changes with altitude. I can explain lift in a bird’s wings. I can explain why sticking your finger in a light socket hurts. I can explain the colors in fire and the reason for lightening. I can explain many things that have been unexplainable in the past. All these are due to science. Science includes an active observation of ones environment that includes hypotheses, tests, and conclusions. Because every time I drop a pen, it falls to the earth at the same rate, I can say that with 99.9% assurance, it will do the same thing when I drop it again.
This is all well and good, and I agree with the laws of science (especially the law of entropy which I even see in daily life which biologists choose to ignore). I agree with the laws and discoveries of science, and I believe that those who seek science seek truth. However, what I have seen in recent history among philosophers in this post-modern world, is an outrageous assumption that, in short, if science can explain this, then science can explain that. Or in other words, science has shown itself so worthy in explaining the world around us and discovering those things which remained in the past unknown, science can explain all things that we experience, and can even explain ourselves and our purpose and even life itself.
The reason I can say that with 99.9% certainty a pen will fall to the earth when I drop it is because 100% of the time, the test has proven me right. However, to assume that science can explain everything is an assumption that cannot reach such certainty for the sheer fact that there have been things and there remain things that science cannot explain. Life being one of them.
Let me be clear, theories and laws in science are two very different things. One cannot prove evolution any more than I can prove God. Evolution is a good theory, it is a great theory, but it is not a law. Many have assumed its veracity and used it to explain away life, but even then, there are many things in life which remain unexplainable, chief of which is love. I shall not go into detail, but I think that anyone would agree that science has not, 100% of the time, answered the riddles of history.
Now, is it possible that science will one day answer all of these riddles? It is possible, yes! Is it possible that science will never answer these riddles? It is equally possible. The biggest reason is that science is driven by the minds of men. The question then becomes, will men be able to understand their surroundings and themselves fully, inside and out? Are men that powerful? Can they become that powerful? Can our minds understand a system that complex? Maybe. I would say that since we can’t understand the inner-workings of a single cell, the answer is probably no.
It is my conclusion then, that believing in something that science cannot ever explain is completely rational. It is quite reasonable to put faith in something science cannot touch concerning matters that science cannot unravel. I further contend that a truly open and free thinker could believe in what science has proven and what science can do and at the same time believe in an eternal God. What I find confusing is that many scientists today consider a man of faith to be an irrational, and quite non-scientific person. Why should belief in God resign a person to stupidity? The great mathematicians, physicists, and biologists upon which all of our modern science is built were God-fearing men. They were learned men who excelled on account of their open minds.