Many people today insist that science can only be done by people who have a secular worldview—or at least by those who are willing to leave their religious views at the door as they enter the science lab. Several popular atheists and evolutionists have contended that people who reject the big bang and the evolution of living things are so backward that they cannot even be involved in developing new technologies.1 But is this really the case, or are these opponents of a biblical worldview simply making assertions that cannot be supported with facts and substantial arguments, having an incorrect understanding of true science?
A friend of the ministry was recently challenged by the comment that science can only be done through a purely secular evolutionary framework. We have decided to publish a response for the sake of teaching. Such statements are blatantly absurd and are a type of arbitrary fallacy called an “ignorant conjecture.” In other words, these people simply do not know the past, nor are they familiar with what science really is.
Examples of Scientists Operating from a Christian Worldview
If science is a strictly secular endeavor without any need for a biblical worldview, then why were most fields of science developed by Bible-believing Christians? For example, consider Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, Johann Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Robert Boyle, Blaise Pascal, Michael Faraday, James Joule, Joseph Lister, and James Clerk Maxwell. Were these “greats” of science not doing science? Francis Bacon developed the scientific method, and he was a young-earth creationist and devout Christian.
Even in modern times, the inventor of the MRI scanning machine, Dr. Raymond Damadian, is a Christian working with Christian principles. The founder of catastrophic plate tectonics, Dr. John Baumgardner,is also a devout Christian. And those who recently founded the scientific field of baraminology are also Christians. Also, I (Bodie Hodge) developed a new method for production of submicron titanium diboride for the materials science and ceramics industry. Professor Stuart Burgess developed a new mechanism for the two-billion-dollar European (ESA) satellite Envisat. Dr. John Sanford developed the gene gun. And let’s not forget Werner Von Braun, the young-earth Christian who was the founder of rocket science and led the U.S. to the moon. These are but a few examples of people who held to a biblical worldview and were quite capable as scientists and inventors of new technologies.
The Foundation for Science Is Biblical Christianity
Furthermore, science comes out of a Christian worldview. Only the God described in the Bible can account for a logical and orderly universe. God upholds the universe in a particular way, such that we can study it by observational and repeatable experimentation (see Genesis 8:22). Because God upholds the universe in a consistent manner, we have a valid reason to expect that we can study the world we live in and describe the laws that God uses to sustain the universe (Colossians 1:17).
In the secular view, where all matter originated by chance from nothing, there is no ultimate cause or reason for anything that happens, and explanations are constantly changing, so there is no basis for science. Though many non-Christians do science, like inventing new technologies or improving medical science, they are doing it in a manner that is inconsistent with their professed worldview. On what basis should we expect a universe that came from nothing and for no reason to act in a predictable and consistent manner? When non-Christians do real science by observable and repeatable experimentation, they are actually assuming a biblical worldview, even if they do not realize it.
It makes sense why “science” in the U.S. is losing out to other nations since our science education system now limits science in the classroom exclusively to the religion of secular humanism.
It Is Not “Science vs. Religion”
So, the debate is not “science versus religion.” It is really “religion versus religion.” Sadly, science is caught up in the middle.
The battle is between the religion of secular humanism (with its variant forms like agnosticism, atheism, and the like), which is usually called secularism or humanism for short, and Christianity. They both have religious documents (e.g., the Humanist Manifestos I, II, and III for humanists, and the Bible for Christians); both are recognized religions by the Supreme Court;2 and both receive the same 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Both have different views of origins.
Humanism has astronomical evolution (big bang), geological evolution (millions of years of slow gradual changes), chemical evolution (life came from non-life) and biological evolution (original, single-celled life evolved into all life forms we have today over billions of years) in its view of origins. In other words, evolution (as a whole) is a subset of the dogma of the religion of humanism in the same way as biblical creation (as a whole, with six-day Creation, the Fall, global Flood, and the Tower of Babel) is a subset of the dogma of Christianity. It is a battle over two different religions.
In recent times the state and federal governments kicked Christianity out of the classroom, thinking they kicked religion out; but instead, they just replaced Christianity with a godless religion of humanism. This was done as a designed attack by humanists. Consider this quote in the magazine The Humanist that outlines the plan they had already been striving toward in the early 1980s:
I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.3
An Evolutionary Worldview Equals Science?
There is a misconception that this evolutionary subset of humanism is science. Science means knowledge and scientific methodology that is based on the scientific method (observable and repeatable experimentation). However, evolution (whether chemical, biological, astronomical, or geological) is far from scientific. Consider the following facts:
- No one has been able to observe or repeat the making of life from non-life (matter giving rise to life or chemical evolution).
- No one has been able to observe or repeat the changing of a single-celled life-form like an amoeba into a cow or goat over billions of years (biological evolution).
- No one has been able to observe or repeat the big bang (astronomical evolution).
- No one has observed millions of years of time progressing in geological layers (geological evolution).
The reason some people are confused about the religion of humanism—and specifically its subset of evolution—as being science is a bait and switch fallacy. Let me explain. One of the key components of humanism is naturalism. Basically, it assumes a priori there is nothing supernatural and no God. In other words, nature (i.e., matter) is all that exists in their religion (only the physical world).
As a clarifying note, Christians also believe in the natural realm; but unlike the naturalist or humanist, we believe in the supernatural realm, too (i.e., the spiritual, abstract, conceptual, and immaterial realm). Logic, truth, integrity, concepts, thought, God, etc., are not material and have no mass; so those holding to naturalism as a worldview must reject logic, truth, and all immaterial concepts if they wish to be consistent since these are not material or physical parts of nature.
This is very important because naturalism or natural science has been added as one of the dictionary definitions of science. For example, it was not found in the 1828 Webster’s dictionary, but it was added in one form in the 1913 edition. And, interestingly, they removed the definition that “the science of God must be perfect” in the 1913 edition.
So, although many appeal to observable and repeatable science through methodology to understand how the universe operates, another definition has been added to muddle this.4 Science is now defined as “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method5
For example, evolutionists have continued to popularize Darwin’s scientific observation of the changes in beaks of Galapagos finches as proof for the evolution of one animal kind into another. This is a great example of the bait and switch fallacy where scientists present real scientific evidence (the difference in finch beaks) but stretch the truth to say it gives validity to the Greek mythology of microbes to man evolution (the “switch” part of the fallacy). This trick leads many to believe that evolution is real science. The only real science in this example is the observation of the difference in finch beaks.
People are baited with this good methodology of science (again developed by a Christian named Francis Bacon) and then they are told that evolution is science while subtly appealing to another added definition: that of “natural science” or “naturalism.”
This is like saying another definition of science is “Nazism.” Then Nazis could say they are “scientists” and get into a classroom! This is what has happened with humanism. The religion of humanism (with its founding principle of naturalism) has been disguised as science by adding another definition to the word science. But it is not the good science we think of that makes computers, space shuttles, and cars. It is a religion. To call evolution science is a bait and switch tactic.
So, Is Science Strictly Secular?
No. In summary, science can never be strictly secular for these reasons:
- Real science is observable and repeatable experimentation that only makes sense in a biblical worldview where God’s power keeps the laws of nature consistent. In other words, science proceeds from a biblical worldview.
- Secular humanism, with its subset of evolution, is in reality a religion and not science.
- Many of the greatest scientists were Bible-believing Christians whose biblical worldview motivated their scientific studies, showing that a strictly secular view is not necessary for performing science.
Final Note: Where Humanism Leads
Christians will continue to conduct scientific inquiry and invent things, processes, and science fields as we always have. If the U.S. and other places neglect our accomplishments and inventions and continue to push the religion of humanism on unsuspecting kids in the classroom (usually unbeknownst to most) by limiting its definition of science to the humanistic worldview, then my humble suggestion is that they will continue down the same road where humanism leads. That is, people who are consistent in their naturalistic worldview shouldn’t care about true science or the world, since nothing ultimately matters in that worldview.
- As an example of this dismissive attitude, Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a leading religious humanist, says, “Like other pseudosciences, ‘creation science’ seeks support and adherents by claiming the mantle of science.” (http://ncse.com/rncse/23/1/my-favorite-pseudoscience)
- The U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso v. Watkins, 81 S.Ct. 1681 (1961), stated the following: “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God, are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others.”
- J. Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January–February 1983, p. 23, 26.
- There is also the issue of operational science versus historical science. For more, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee/what-is-science.
- Merriam-Webster Online, s.v. “science,” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science (accessed March 8, 2013).