Einstein Believed in GOD?!? - Part 4

The "Father of Modern Physics" was a believer in the Creator. 

"In the view of such harmony in the Cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, 
am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God.  
But what makes me angry is that they quote me in support of such views." 

- Albert Einstein

(pt.4) 

What can we learn as we look at the lives and scientific contributions of men such as Isaac NewtonMichael Faraday, Leonardo Da VinciFrancis Bacon, or Louis Pasteur?

  One of many things that we see is that the majority of the "Founding Fathers" of modern science were dedicated Christian Theists.  These men saw scientific investigation, in a great variety of fields, as a fascinating way to uncover the design and handiwork of their Creator.

In this fourth installment, we will finish our survey of some of the greatest scientific minds of the modern era, and their firm belief in a Creator.  The goal of this series is to delineate at least 

5 Reasons why science has NOT eliminated the classical and historical Christian concept of God:

1.  Scientific Founding Fathers

 - These individuals were primarily Christian Theists. 

2. "Scientism" 

- This is a logically self-defeating and self-contradictory concept.

3. Simple Irrelevance 

- Approximately 95% of scientific knowledge has no bearing on the ideas and truth claims of the Christian Worldview.

4. Strong Support 

- Approximately 5% of scientific knowledge that does intersect with the Christian Worldview is strongly supportive of Christian Theism. 

5. Single Perspective

 - Scientific knowledge is only one of many reliable methods we can use to obtain solid understanding and knowledge about reality.

I hope that you will stay with us as we continue to investigate this important question in light of the scientific, historical, and logical evidence - 

"Has Science Eliminated The Need For God?"

.

- Pastor J.

History's Greatest Scientists Were Christians!?! - Part 3

(pt.3) 

What can we learn as we look at the lives and scientific contributions of men such as Isaac NewtonMichael Faraday, Leonardo Da Vinci, Francis Bacon, or Louis Pasteur?

  One of many things that we see is that the majority of the "Founding Fathers" of modern science were dedicated Christian Theists.  These men saw scientific investigation, in a great variety of fields, as a fascinating way to uncover the design and handiwork of their Creator.

In this video series, we will address 

5 Reasons why science has NOT eliminated the classical and historical Christian concept of God, focusing on #1 in this video:

1. Scientific Founding Fathers

 - These individuals were primarily Christian Theists. 

2. "Scientism" 

- This is a logically self-defeating and self-contradictory concept.

3. Simple Irrelevance 

- Approximately 95% of scientific knowledge has no bearing on the ideas and truth claims of the Christian Worldview.

4. Strong Support 

- Approximately 5% of scientific knowledge that does intersect with the Christian Worldview is strongly supportive of Christian Theism. 

5. Single Perspective

 - Scientific knowledge is only one of many reliable methods we can use to obtain solid understanding and knowledge about reality.

I hope that you will stay with us as we continue to investigate this important question in light of the scientific, historical, and logical evidence - 

"Has Science Eliminated The Need For God?"

.

- Pastor J.

Christians Founded Modern Science?!? - Part 2

(pt.2)

What can we learn as we look at the lives and scientific contributions of men such as Isaac

Newton

, Michael

Faraday

, Leonardo

Da Vinci

, Francis

Bacon

, or Louis

Pasteur

?

 One of many things that we see is that the majority of the "Founding Fathers" of modern science were dedicated Christian Theists.  These men saw scientific investigation, in a great variety of fields, as a fascinating way to uncover the design and handiwork of their Creator.

In this video series, we will address 

5 Reasons

 why science has 

NOT

 eliminated the classical and historical Christian concept of God, focusing on #1 in this video:

1. 

Scientific Founding Fathers

 - These individuals were primarily Christian Theists. 

2.

"Scientism" 

- This is a logically self-defeating and self-contradictory concept.

3.

Simple Irrelevance 

- Approximately 95% of scientific knowledge has no bearing on the ideas and truth claims of the Christian Worldview.

4.

Strong Support 

- Approximately 5% of scientific knowledge that does intersect with the Christian Worldview is strongly supportive of Christian Theism. 

5.

Single Perspective

 - Scientific knowledge is only one of many reliable methods we can use to obtain solid understanding and knowledge about reality.

I hope that you will stay with us as we continue to investigate this important question in light of the scientific, historical, and logical evidence - 

"Has Science Eliminated The Need For God?"

.

- Pastor J.

Science Killed The Christian God?!? - Part 1

(pt.1)

IsRichard Dawkins right is saying that science is the only real discipline that can give us reliable knowledge about reality?  Has modern science buried the concept of the Judeo-Christian God?  Many atheists and naturalists would respond with a resounding

"YES!" This is an all important question to answer in today's rising culture of "Scientism" which states that if a truth claim can't be defended by using the language of physics or chemistry, it's essentially meaningless.  Is this claim of "Scientism" reasonable, or does it perhaps suffer from some internal contradictions? In this video series, we will address

5 Reasons why science has NOT eliminated the classical and historical Christian concept of God:

1. Scientific Founding Fathers

- These individuals were to a large degree Chrisitian Theists or Deists. 

2. "Scientism"

- This is a logically self-defeating and self-contradictory concept.

3. Simple Irrelevance

- Approximately 95% of scientific knowledge has no bearing on the ideas and truth claims of the Christian Worldview.

4. Strong Support

- Approximately 5% of scientific knowledge that does intersect with the Christian Worldview is strongly supportive of Christian Theism. 

5. Single Perspective

- Scientific knowledge is only one of many reliable methods we can use to obtain solid understanding and knowledge about reality.

I hope that you will stay with us as we continue to investigate this important question in light of the scientific, historical, and logical evidence -

"Has Science Eliminated The Need For God?"

.

"Has Science Made Belief in God Obsolete?" - Dr. JP Moreland

How does the Christian Worldview intersect 

with modern scientific research?

In this lecture, Dr. JP Moreland, a widely recognized Christian philosopher at Biola University, addresses and tackles this interesting and vital question.

As you listen to "Has Science Made Belief in God Obsolete?" you will hear 5 clear reasons why this is not the case, and how you can better answer those people who pose the same question to you.

I also encourage you to go to our"Reason To Believe" podcast on Itunes and download the teaching and PDF notes that I gave on the same topic -

Episode #19 "Has Science Eliminated The Need For God?"

Click HERE to go the the RTB podcast. 

In this modern day culture of "Scientism" which often exalts science as the only reliable way to discover truth about reality, it is vital for Christians to be able to give intelligent and reasonable answers when confronted with this challenge.

Have an Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J. 

"Has Science Eliminated GOD?" - Pastor J.

Here are 5 good reasons why Christians can answer "no" to that question. 

In this teaching, I investigate the all important question:

"Has Science Eliminated the Need for God?"

 In a culture that is growing increasingly more committed to materialistic naturalism, and to a strong devotion to "scientism", this is an extremely important issue to know how to address with your colleagues and friends when discussing the Christian Worldview.

Here are 5 reasons why science HAS NOT eliminated the need for God:

1. The "Founding Fathers" of science were mostly Theists or Deists.

 2. 95% of science has nothing to do with Christianities truth claims.

3. 5% of science does intersect with our worldview and is tremendously supportive of

         belief in God.

4. 'Scientism' is a logically self-defeating/self-contradictory idea

5. There are many realities that we believe in that are non-physical and outside the 

    realm of scientific verification (morality, mathematics, logic, love, etc...)

Have an Intelligent Faith!

- Pastor J.

The Dangers of “Scientism” and an Over-Reliance on Science

If you’re like me, you have non-believing friends who claim that Christians are biased. They know that we, as Christians, believe in the existence of God, so they assume that we are unable to evaluate the evidence properly. Non-believers are convinced that Christians start out with a presupposition that clouds our judgment. In truth, however, many of our “rational”, “science based” friends are far more constrained by their presuppositions.

Remember that ALL of us have a point of view, but this does not necessarily mean we are unfairly biased. Bias has nothing to do with holding a viewpoint. Bias occurs when this viewpoint eliminates certain forms of evidence and evidential conclusions before we even begin the investigation. And while atheists may argue that Christians have this kind of bias, a quick examination of the culture’s reliance on science reveals that just the opposite is true. I bet you’ve heard a friend say something similar to: “I am a science and evidence person. Truth can only be determined empirically, and science is the only way to really know truth.” When people make statements like this, they may be revealing something more than a point of view; they may be exposing a rigid bias that is grounded in an over-reliance on science known as “scientism”. There are three dangers in over estimating the ability of science to determine truth:

An Over-Reliance on Science is Self Refuting

When people make the claim, “Science is the only way to really know the truth,” simply ask them if they “really know” that this statement is true. If they do, ask them how science helped them come to this conclusion. It turns out that the statement, “Science is the only way to really know the truth,” cannot be verified by science! This statement is a philosophical proclamation that defies its own claim: it cannot be verified or confirmed as “true” through any scientific examination or method. It turns out that, for people who make this claim, there is at least one truth they can know without the benefit of science: the fact that science is the only way to really know the truth! See the problem here?

An Over-Reliance on Science is Inappropriately Limiting

There are many 

things that we know without the benefit of science

. The previously mentioned philosophical claim is just one example. But there are more:

1. Logical and mathematical truths: these must be accepted as foundational presuppositions in order for us to engage in any scientific study, so we clearly can’t use science to determine the logic and math facts that precede science.

2. Metaphysical truths: some truths about the nature of the world (such as whether or not the external world is real in the first place) cannot be determined through the use of science

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What is the Relation between Science and Religion

William Lane Craig

Examines several ways in which science and theology relate to each other.

science+and+religion.jpg

Back in 1896 the president of Cornell University Andrew Dickson White published a book entitled A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. 

Under White’s influence, the metaphor of “warfare” to describe the relations between science and the Christian faith became very widespread during the first half of the 20th century. The culturally dominant view in the West—even among Christians—came to be that science and Christianity are not allies in the search for truth, but adversaries.

To illustrate, several years ago I had a debate with a philosopher of science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver , Canada, on the question “Are Science and Religion Mutually Irrelevant?” When I walked onto the campus, I saw that the Christian students sponsoring the debate had advertised it with large banners and posters proclaiming “Science vs. Christianity.” The students were perpetuating the same sort of warfare mentality that Andrew Dickson White proclaimed over a hundred years ago.

What has happened, however, in the second half of this century is that historians and philosophers of science have come to realize that this supposed history of warfare is a myth. As Thaxton and Pearcey point out in their recent book The Soul of Science, for over 300 years between the rise of modern science in the 1500’s and the late 1800s the relationship between science and religion can best be described as an alliance.

 Up until the late 19th century, scientists were typically Christian believers who saw no conflict between their science and their faith—people like Kepler, Boyle, Maxwell, Faraday, Kelvin, and others. The idea of a warfare between science and religion is a relatively recent invention of the late 19th century, carefully nurtured by secular thinkers who had as their aim the undermining of the cultural dominance of Christianity in the West and its replacement by naturalism—the view that nothing outside nature is real and the only way to discover truth is through science. They were remarkably successful in pushing through their agenda. But philosophers of science during the second half of the 20th century have come to realize that the idea of a warfare between science and theology is a gross oversimplification. White’s book is now regarded as something of a bad joke, a one-sided and distorted piece of propaganda.

Now some people acknowledge that science and religion should not be regarded as foes, but nonetheless they do not think that they should be considered friends either. They say that science and religion are mutually irrelevant, that they represent two non-over-lapping domains. Sometimes you hear slogans like “Science deals with facts and religion deals with faith.” But this is a gross caricature of both science and religion. As science probes the universe, she encounters problems and questions which are philosophical in character and therefore cannot be resolved scientifically, but which can be illuminated by a theological perspective. By the same token, it is simply false that religion makes no factual claims about the world. The world religions make various and conflicting claims about the origin and nature of the universe and humanity, and they cannot all be true. Science and religion are thus like two circles which intersect or partially overlap. It is in the area of intersection that the dialogue takes place.

And during the last quarter century, a flourishing dialogue between science and theology has been going on in North America and Europe. In an address before a conference on the history and philosophy of thermodynamics, the prominent British physicist P. T. Landsberg suddenly began to explore the theological implications of the scientific theory he was discussing. He observed,

To talk about the implications of science for theology at a scientific meeting seems to break a taboo. But those who think so are out of date. During the last 15 years, this taboo has been removed, and in talking about the interaction of science and theology, I am actually moving with a tide.

Numerous societies for promoting this dialogue, like the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology, the Science and Religion Forum, the Berkeley Center for Theology and Natural Science, and so forth have sprung up. Especially significant have been the on-going conferences sponsored by the Berkeley Center and the Vatican Observatory, in which prominent scientists like Stephen Hawking and Paul Davies have explored the implications of science for theology with prominent theologians like John Polkinghorne and Wolfhart Pannenberg. Not only are there professional journals devoted to the dialogue between science and religion, such as Zygon and Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, but, more significantly, secular journals like Nature and the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, also carry articles on the mutual implications of science and theology. The Templeton Foundation has awarded its million dollar Templeton Award in Science and Religion to outstanding integrative thinkers such as Paul Davies, John Polkinghorne, and George Ellis for their work in science and religion. The dialogue between science and theology has become so significant in our day that both Cambridge University and Oxford University have established chairs in science and theology.

I share all this to illustrate a point. Folks who think that science and religion are mutually irrelevant need to realize that the cat is already out of the bag; and I daresay there’s little prospect of stuffing it back in. Science and religion have discovered that they have important mutual interests and important contributions to make to each other, and those who don’t like this can choose not to participate in the dialogue, but that’s not going to shut down the dialogue or show it to be meaningless.

So let’s explore together ways in which science and religion serve as allies in the quest for truth. Let me suggest six ways in which science and religion are relevant to each other, starting with the most general and then becoming more particular.

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Who Speaks for Science?

Dear Bill:
I hope you’re doing well.
A couple of people forwarded me (in distress) your response on “Evolutionary Theory and Theism” at Reasonable Faith.
As you no doubt know, your answer is similar to the one that Al Plantinga gives in his important book Where the Conflict Really Lies. Unfortunately, I think you’re making the same mistake that Al makes. (I still love his book and have made it required reading for our summer seminars.) You and Al are two of the most prominent and able defenders of the faith on the planet. So a mistake on this point is profoundly consequential.
Of course you’re right that scientists are not justified in claiming that the history of life is the result of a purposeless processthat is, the empirical evidence doesn’t establish anything like that (quite the contrary, in my opinion). The question, however, is what Darwinists typically claim for their theory and for the evidence. I think you’re confusing what evolutionary biologists are justified in saying with what they typically are saying.
It’s true that if the word “random” in evolutionary theory, Neo-Darwinism, etc., means merely something like “irrespective of their usefulness to the organism,” then it’s logically compatible with theism and teleology (though even this definition clearly excludes all sorts of possible divine activity and goes far beyond the empirical evidence). In your post, you quote Francisco Ayala to establish the official definition of “random” in biology. But why would you trust Francisco Ayala on something of this nature? He has devoted much of his career since he lost his faith by studying (Darwinian) evolutionary theory, trying to convince Christians that they have nothing to worry about (he had been a Dominican priest). He tells Christians that there’s no conflict between Darwinism and Christianity, but if that is so, one might wonder why Ayala lost his faith once he came to identify with Darwinism.
But that’s a tangential issue. The crucial question is this: Do evolutionary biologists, Neo-Darwinists, etc. consistently and representatively restrict their explanations in this way? Absolutely not. Biologists in general, and most presentations of (Neo-Darwinian) biological evolution, are not careful to circumscribe the meaning of “random” or “chance.” One can construct an ideal form of the theory that avoids the metaphysical pretentions, but that a private language game.
In fact, if one reads for long in the relevant literature, one discovers a common bait-and-switch strategy used by Darwinists, which is to present a metaphysically minimal definition of the word/theory in contexts such as “Debating William Lane Craig in public,” and quite another definition in, well, every other context. Their equivocation is often coordinated and intentional. Other times, it’s simply the Darwinian default. Surely one of the important services of “careful philosophical thinking about science” is to identify and expose this equivocation, rather than to obscure it or miss it.
The distinction between “popularizers” and scientists is common but artificial. The problem started with Darwin, who relied heavily on the argument form, God wouldn’t do X that way, so X must have evolved by selection and variation, and it persists across the discipline to this day. If you doubt that the theory is normally and pervasively defined in a-teleological ways, I’m happy to send you quotes from scores of biology textbooks and official statements making it quite clear that the theory is intended to explain biological adaptation as an alternative to design. Words such as “blind” and “purposeless” turn up everywhere. This practice has been ubiquitous since Darwin wrote the Origin of Species. In the quote from Steve Meyer that you discuss, Steve is paraphrasing the famous quote from G.G. Simpson: “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.” Simpson was hardly a “popularizer.” It’s inaccurate to treat the a-teleological part of the Darwinian theory as an accidental but easily detachable piggybacker.
I have a hard time understanding the wisdom of defining a theory in a way that fails to accommodate the language and explanations of the theory’s founder and defenders. Surely they have a privileged claim on the question of what they mean by the theory.
Ayala himself often slides into anti-teleological language when talking about evolution even when he’s trying to give a more nuanced definition of the theory. See, for instance, his “Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer," published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in 2007 (Vol. 104:8567-8573, May 15, 2007). PNAS isn’t exactly a populist publication. He provides some nuanced definitions of “random” and “chance” there as well, and yet notice the very title of the article. He even uses “natural processes” in a-teleological way, as if natural processes by definition exclude divine activity. He says that by finding that “the design of living organisms can be accounted for as the result of natural processes,” Darwin completed a “conceptual revolution” that “is nothing if not a fundamental vision that has forever changed how mankind perceives itself and its place in the universe.” Now why would that be?
He claims that the Darwinian revolution, like the Copernican Revolution, brought a part of nature under the explanation of “natural laws.” One of many problems with this common claim: the selection/mutation “mechanism,” unlike natural laws in physics and chemistry, has no predictive power or mathematical expression, and no significant evidence in its favor apart from some trivial examples within species that no one has ever doubted. He also endorses the old historical myth about Copernicus “displacing the Earth from its previously accepted locus as the center of the universe and moving it to a subordinate place as just one more planet revolving around the sun. In congruous manner, the Darwinian Revolution is viewed as consisting of the displacement of humans from their exalted position as the center of life on earth, with all other species created for the service of humankind.” Notice the metaphysical water that Darwin is carrying here. It is ever thus.
He then goes on to explain: “Biological evolution differs from a painting or an artifact in that it is not the outcome of preconceived design. The design of organisms is not intelligent but imperfect and, at times, outright dysfunctional.” (This doesn’t make sense, since a design could be both intelligent and imperfect. This mistake is ubiquitous with Darwinists but isn’t central to my point here.) He also explains: “The design of organisms as they exist in nature, however, is not ‘intelligent design,’ imposed by God as a Supreme Engineer or by humans; rather, it is the result of a natural process of selection, promoting the adaptation of organisms to their environments.” Notice the word “rather.” He concludes the article by saying that "[n]atural selection does not have foresight; it does not anticipate the environments of the future," and thus "n evolution, there is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations." This is how Darwinian Theory is usually explained by its proponents. The entire point of Ayala’s article is to argue that the Darwinian process provides “some appearance of purposefulness” without actual purposefulness. Notice the explicitly theological language, in an article in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

The Meyer quote, incidentally, looks like a garbled quote from a transcript of an extemporaneous speech. I know it’s not from anything he’s written, and it doesn’t come up on an Internet search. In any case, Steve obviously wouldn’t argue that “evolution” is by definition purposeless. His point, no doubt, was something like this: If evolution is a blind and purposeless process, then, by definition, not even God could guide itIf He guided it, then, by definition, it wouldn’t be purposeless. Do you think it’s plausible that Mike Behe and Steve Meyer, after all these years of studying, reading, writing, and debating on the subject, have failed to understand what Darwinian theorists are saying, and that no one had bothered simply to explain to them that the word “random” has a specialized, metaphysically neutral meaning when biologists use it? On the contrary, I can assure you that Steve, Mike, and every other prominent ID advocate is intimately familiar with this Darwinian language game.


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