The BBC News web site is carrying a story entitled: "Science faces 'dangerous times'" and is about Lord May's last speech as president of the Royal Society. In his speech tonight (Wed) he is said to be speaking on the rise of 'fundamentalism and is to warn that core scientific values are "under serious threat from resurgent fundamentalism, West and East".

According to the BBC he will warn against the "denial lobby" in relation to climate change and calling on scientists to take a more active role in speaking out against so-called "intelligent design" and other threats to modern scientific values.

So what are those 'modern scientific values'?

Firstly, let me address the Christian position, ours is an easy one to attack, after all our agenda is clearly laid out in scripture for all to read (and interpret) at will. our mission is to "make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." and we're guilty as charged because we adhere to this message, believing it to be true in the same way that we believe that there is only one God and no-one goes to him except through Jesus Christ, who is "the way, the truth and the life."

Back to the scientific values... these are somewhat harder to pin down for a number of reasons. Many scientists work in secret, trying to protect work and future patents and thereby future income. Many are financially sponsored by large corporations, often leading to conflicts of interest and as such research may have a bent in a particular direction to favour the sponsors. Some scientists work on the fringes of the law, pushing the boundaries of genetics, often sailing a fine line between legal and illegal, invariably keeping research top secret until there is a 'significant' breakthrough which can be trumpeted loudly enough to cover the fact that boundaries have been crossed. There are other motivations behind scientific research, many of which are honest, decent and noble, but it is disingenuous of scientists to declare that outside of science there is no truth.

As Christians we are often criticised by others as being too subjective, however, those that level such accusations and criticisms at us are often those that have lost sight of objectivity themselves and are pursuing agendas dictated and controlled by others, such as their corporate sponsors.

The notion that 'Scientific materialism' (read fundamentalism) is 'truth' and everything else is tenuous is simply a fallacy. Evolution is nothing more than a theory, there is no hard proof to make it the exclusive model of how our world came about. Rather it is a faith position! The belief that out of a massive uncontrolled explosion the world evolved, complete with ecosystems etc. is a position of faith which can only be viewed within the context of other faith positions. There is an excellent article on this at the Christian Courier. The theory of evolution is as subjective as the theory of intelligent design and the theory of creation (these are not necessarily the same thing).

I personally find it hard to believe that a fish one day decided to get up out of the sea and walk on land, I also wonder where the fossils are to back up such a notion? I'm not a scientist (that is probably quite obvious) but I am a Christian who believes that the world was created (nature left to its own devices works too perfectly to be a random by product of an uncontrolled explosion), but I also have a lot of time for the emerging science of 'Intelligent design' (only I believe that the Lord God is the intelligent designer). Coming from an evangelical/charismatic background my/our agenda is simply to see God's name glorified through the extension of his kingdom by seeing souls saved through the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross. If that makes me/us fundamentalists then once again, we're guilty as charged.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are fundamentaly right, Dean... Science is a secular religion, with high priests, holy temples and crowds of devout followers. And if you are sceptical about some scientific beliefs (such as the evolution theory), some defenders of this faith system seem to lose their objectivity and start calling you names. So we are fundamentalist, creationists and pseudo-scientists... Maybe this shows that Christian critics have hit on some raw nerves?


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