What is Science?
Let's look at our Biblical Foundation:
Romans 1:18-28 says:
"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; ("hold" means to suppress)
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1 Timothy 6:20 says: "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
"vain babblings" is the Greek word "kenophonia," which means: "empty sounding and fruitless." The "oppositions" is the Greek word "antithesis," which means a "conflict of theories." "Science falsely so-called" is the Greek word "pseudonumos," or "pseudo-science," which means "untruly, or wrongly named."
Putting this all together we have: "Empty sounding conflicting theories that are wrongly named science."
The word "science" means "to know." One definition is: Systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, etc." Science is a search for the truth about the world around us. It is an activity carried out by humans. There is a distict difference between "science," and "scientism." Scientism is sometimes referred to as "scientific naturalism." Real science has limits. There are things it can or cannot do. Real science can be observed, tested, and reproduced in the laboratory or it is not real science.
A 1953 science book, Our Environment - How We Adapt Ourselves To It, by Carpenter and Wood, on page 200 said: "Theories Change. ... As a science pupil you are learning to distinguish fact from theories or guesses."
Five Subtle Teachings About Evolution And Science:
1. Evolution is science, and creation is just a religion.
News media and textbooks always try to make it look like evolution is based on fact, and creation is only based on faith.
The leaders could all be scientists, but if one of them believes in evolution they are referred to as scientific, and if one believes in creation they are referred to as religious, regardless of their credentials.
The idea that science cannot accept a creationist perspective is a denial of scientific history. (Bacon, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, etc.)
Johannes Kepler - Astronomy - Laws of Planetary Motion said: "I had the intention of becoming a theologian, but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for 'the heavens declare the glory of God." He also stated that in his astronomy research, he was merely "thinking God's thoughts after Him."
Matthew Maury - the "Father" of oceanography said: "The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other."
In contrast to that, many today teach that the Bible is false, and evolution is true.
James Prescott Joule - Described the First Law of Thermodynamics said: "It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed."
Louis Pasteur - Father of microbiology said: "The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator." "Science brings men nearer to God."
Werner von Braun - One of the world's top space scientists - Head of NASA said: "I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science."
2. There are some questions science cannot answer.
"Some questions are simply not in the realm of science. For example, science can neither prove or disprove that unobservable or supernatural forces cause storms, rainbows, illnesses, or cures of disease. Supernatural explanations of natural events are simply outside the bounds of science. There is no way to show that such hypotheses are false." Prentice Hall Biology - 2006, pg. 38
Think about this: Shouldn't natural explanations of supernatural events also be outside the bounds of science? If the beginning of the universe, and the beginning of life, were supernatural events, should science try to prove it was a natural event? If the fossils and rock layers were formed by Noah's flood, should science try to prove it was a natural event?
3. Microevolution leads to macroevolution.
"Biologists therefore agree that change within species caused by natural selection (microevolution) eventually leads to the appearance of new species and even new kingdoms of organisms (macroevolution). Biology Principles & Explorations - Holt, Rhinehart & Winston 1998
Problems: Not all biologists agree with that, and no biologists have seen it. Students are often given one explanation of evolution: Change over time - dogs produce dogs, and roses produce roses. But then the switch begins. Next they are told the dog and the rose had a common ancestor and it was a bacterium, or a chemical, or a rock, depending on how far back you take their family trees.
4. Only look for natural answers to your questions.
"Science requires repeatable observations and testable hypotheses. These standards restrict science to a search for natural causes for natural phenenomena." Biology: Exploring Life - Prentice Hall - 2006
"Naturalism: the belief that the natural world, known and experienced scientifically, is all that exists and that there is no supernatural or spiritual creation, control, or significance." Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, 1976, p. 947
Here is where the problem is. Real science has limits. It has no position on the supernatural, it is neutral, it is not anti. There is a distinct difference between "science," and "scientific naturalism."
"Once a scientist (or anyone else), considers facts through a preconceived filter, the true quest for knowledge stops. The mistake becomes assuming your hypothesis is true, and looking at all evidence in that light. When that occurs, it fails to be science." Darrin Yeager www.dyeager.org
For example, someone looking at a rainbow through extremely dark sunglasses that filter out certain light rays. Some do not realize they are looking through a filter. They also do not realize the filter can be removed.
A question you might ask: "Doesn't naturalistic science start out with a bias?"
In a biblical worldview, if conclusions contradict the truth revealed in Scripture, the conclusions are rejected. The same thing happens in naturalistic science. Any conclusion that does not have a naturalistic explanation is rejected.
"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." Dr. Scott Todd, Kansas State University, Nature 401 )(6752): 423, Sept. 30, 1999
Naturalistic science starts with the assumption that the Bible is not true. Creation science starts with the assumption that the Bible is true. Starting with different assumptions leads to different conclusions in almost every case.
5. No distinction will be made between historical and operational science.
To help us understand that science has practical limits, it is useful to divide science into two different areas: operational (experimental) science, and historical science. Look at this statement in Prentice Hall Biology 2006: "Evolution leaves observable signs. Such clues to the past are essential to any historical science."
It is called "historical science" because no one was there to see it. Facts exist in the present, and our interpretations are an attempt to connect the past to the present. Facts are always interpreted.
Operational (experimental) science has to do with careful observations in the present. What is it? What does it Do? How does it operate? (Fact based)
Historical science is a belief about the past. Where did it come from? How did it get here? (Interpretation based)
"Operational Science" is based on repeatable observations and falsifiable statements while "Historical Science" is based on interpreting data that cannot be repeated. What an eye is, what it does, and how to treat it for disease is operational science. Where the first eye came from and how it got here is speculative at best, and historical in nature. Both evolution and creation are historical reconstructions of the unobserved past.
The word evolution has many meanings, only one of which is observable science. Cosmic, chemical, stellar and planetary, organic, and macroevolution have never been observed. Only variations within kinds (microevolution) has ever been observed.
Dr. Karl Popper, a leading philosopher of science said this: "Evolution is not a fact. Evolution doesn't even qualify as a theory or as a hypothesis. It is a metaphysical research program, and it is not really testable science."
Dr. Michael Ruse, professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph said: " Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion -- a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint - ...and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it - the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution today."
Sir Arthur Keith, who wrote the forward to the 100th anniversary edition of Darwin's book, Origin of Species in 1959 said this: "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."