Some Thoughts on Science and God

“The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance seems to me the chief argument for 
the existence of God.”   ~ Charles Darwin

I used to believe in the infallibility of science and the improbability of God.  This slowly gave way to a belief in the fallibility of science and the probability of God.

I now simply believe in God, and I view science, along with art and music and technology and reason, as one of His many gifts to mankind.  These are things, along with our capability for introspection and self-analysis, that set us apart from all other animals. Scripture tells us that we are “created in the image of God”. I have never believed, as some do, that this means we physically resemble God (or vice versa) but rather that we are a reflection, flawed as we are, of God’s nature.  Of the millions of species that currently inhabit the earth only man has been given the powers of discernment, of reason and of creation.  To me there is purpose in this.

Science is merely a quest to uncover the secrets of our universe; man’s very finite attempt to explore the infinite. Faith and science therefore have a great deal in common and are to me complimentary, rather than mutually exclusive, concepts.  One is man’s attempt to understand the natural order of things; the other to understand the supernatural order.

The problems arise when attempting to apply the methods we use to understand the natural order (which we still, admittedly, know very little about) to understand, or disprove, the supernatural.  I would liken it to trying to explain all the mysteries of the ocean by applying only those properties we can glean from a glass of seawater.

Believing in and benefiting from scientific advancement does not require a suspension of one’s faith, because the natural world is a lesser included concept within the supernatural order.  However using scientific methodology to explain and/or disprove God is an attempt to reduce all the limitless workings of the universe to our very limited practices and observations on or from the Earth.

The science of molecular theory involves our ability to study and predict the properties of our world at the molecular level.  We have created instruments that now allow us to interfere with nature at its most granular plane and we (rightfully) congratulate ourselves on our development of this technology and the science that arises from it.  However, atoms and particles and molecules have undeniably always been a part of the fabric of this world, yet they were never observed and therefore never proven to exist until well into the 20th century.  Again- they were always there, long before science “discovered” them.

One of my favorite quotes comes originally from Erasmus, but I learned of it via Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychiatry, who had it engraved upon both the doorway to his home and his headstone-

“Vocatus at que non Vocatus Deusadent”   ~”Bidden or Not Bidden, God is Present”

To that concept I would add “discovered or undiscovered, proven or unproven”.

To me, scientific and technological advancement reflect the highest achievement of the human mind; however, when I try to understand the infinite universe, at either a micro or macro level, only God can satisfy those questions for me.

And I am simply a Christian because when I try to understand the nature of God, only Christ can adequately answer those questions for me.

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2 Responses to Some Thoughts on Science and God

  1. Sarah Knox says:

    I wrote a book on a similar theme: Science, God and the Nature of Reality: Bias in Biomedical Research. Interestingly, my last name is also Knox

    • Mark Knox says:

      And here I just got a brand new Amazon gift card from a friend last night. The book sounds fascinating and Im looking forward to reading it. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. ~ Mark

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