Answering “Questions Christians Can’t Answer” #42 Christianity and Science?

This is the 42nd installment of the article series examining the “Top 50 Questions Christians Can’t Answer” as defined by the attached article. The article is written from the perspective of a former Christian (possibly Catholic based on the doctrinal assumptions of several of the questions) who is frustrated at Christians’ lack of critical thought or willingness to confront challenges to their thinking.

The questioner, as mentioned, assumes a very particular doctrine on the part of the broader Christian church – some of his questions are easily pushed aside given that they don’t represent a very broad understanding of theology.

The questioner, however, demands tangible, falsifiable evidence as answers to the questions. Since the questions are largely metaphysical in nature, the level of evidence he demands would be unmatchable at any rate.

The questioner is also very abrupt and sarcastic in his manner of questioning.

This article series attempts to address the questions in the context in which they are asked: typically by defining how Christian doctrine may be both internally consistent and reconcilable with observable reality. These articles attempt to respond in a fair and civil manner – by no means returning the sarcastic tone in which the questions were asked.

Now on to Question #42

Why do Christians deny Science?

42 – Seeing as though everything we, including Christians, enjoy in the modern world is a product of science, why do Christians so fervently deny factual scientific evidence that disproves so many aspects of the bible and their religion as a whole? 

 

 

 

If this objection is aimed at recorded miracles, it is worth noting that even scripture treats these not as a function of the natural world, but as exceptional, supernatural acts of a Creator God.

Almost all mythologies and holy books, including – to certain degrees – the Quran, attempt to explain the functioning of the natural world, explaining that the world is held on the back of Atlas, that the sun is the eye of Ra, that the sun sets in a muddy pool at the end of the world, that thunder is the hammer of Thor, etc. By comparison, the Bible is oddly mute on the subject of science, focusing its entire concern on the relationship between God and humans. Unlike Aristotle, Jesus does not intersperse his teachings with scientific speculations, God’s interaction with Moses and the prophets contains no teachings on how the universe works, and the record of the creation is ambiguous enough that even early Jewish Rabbis were conflicted on its interpretation. In fact, in the book of Job, God holds a conversation with the titular character where God asks Job question after question of how the natural world is constructed. Job cannot, and God does not answer these questions. The point of the passage is that creation and the ordering of the natural world is God’s business, and he appears to be playing his cards close to his chest. The argument cannot be made that the Bible teaches unscientific things as it appears to teach little on the topic of science.

There is a fair argument to be made that – far from erring on scientific statements – the Bible actually anticipates scientific facts. The Bible contains surprisingly accurate depictions of ocean currents, the water cycle, the fact that the earth hangs in empty space, the human immune system, and so on.

However, even if the majority of the Bible were to be disproven, only two things need to remain true in order for Christianity to hold up: that humans are corrupt, and that Jesus rose from the dead. If these two are true, then the belief in the redemption of sinners through Christ’s work remains.

Finally, it can hardly be denied that the world made little or no progress toward a scientific understanding of nature until paganism – which explained everything through the agency of a series of gods – was replaced in the Western world by Christianity. And once the Western world encountered cultures that had not yet been exposed to a Christianized worldview, such as the natives of the Americas and countries in Asia, those cultures were still hopelessly backward in their scientific progress.

The entire basis for modern science was brought about by an education system that attempted to spread literacy and understanding to the masses, as the value of individuals and the ability to read scripture were both promoted by Christianity.

Prior to the Enlightenment, all major scientific discoveries were made by Christians, and some of the most respected scientists of the last century have also been Christians. Far from stifling science, Christianity appears to promote it.

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