Science does not have all the answers
Some knowledge must come from philosophy and religion. | Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES
Due to an inability to describe the world around them, people living before the age of science often considered God the sole cause of natural events. In man’s ignorance, he often gave God the credit for certain key biological or physical mechanisms that today can be explained through the scientific method of discovery. As scientists’ knowledge grew, the need for God as the reason for the natural occurrences around us decreased. Science seemed to replace even the long-held belief of God as Creator.
The worldview commonly held today is that science and religion should be, and remain, separate entities since one was supposedly based on fact and the other on faith. The concern in bringing these two areas back together again is that science will somehow revert to a “God-of-the-Gaps” idea of when you cannot determine how something works, just insert God into the equation and throw up your hands in defeat. “Who knows? God! Who cares? God!” This is not what the field of science wants.
This is what Richard Dawkins refers to as incredulity, or a refuge for ignorance. What if a natural cause is somehow labeled a supernatural one? In the seventeenth-century, for example, Johannes Kepler thought the craters in the moon were intelligently designed by moon dwellers. That was proven false as the craters were shown to have been formed naturally. This is the concern for those in the field of science today who want to stop lazy appeals to God as a cause rather than to press on and struggle for a solution.
A MATTER OF TIME
Theistic and atheistic scientists alike are not certain it is possible to reliably determine if something is designed or not. It remains important to recognize when the field of inquiry has reached its limits of knowledge. The problem is some people believe the myth that science will eventually know everything — it is just a matter of time to determine functions and causes. So introducing the concept of a designer, something that cannot fit into today’s scientific method, abhors many scientists, especially atheistic ones.
Yet science can only answer what is, to a certain extent, not what should be. Ethical and moral issues arise in the field of science, and herein lies where the two areas of study can partner. Since religion deals with human rights through providing a basis for what qualifies as human life and what this human life deserves, it can help solve scientific conundrums which require knowledge of human nature. For instance, deciding if one should create a clone of another human being becomes an issue best answered by a religious person who can speak with authority on what constitutes humanity. Even Einstein said “when the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large, the scientific method in most cases fails us.”
Science cannot answer all of life’s questions. Therefore, striving after rational knowledge should be the goal of both science and religion working cooperatively. Give theologians a seat at the table of scientific inquiry.