Science can’t give us all the answers

 1ba68-god2527sblessingsAre humans products of some impersonal force operating on the primordial ooze and differing from animals by only a few genes?
  • “While we may assent to the idea that we are but matter in motion, seldom do we act that way. We love. We fight. We distinguish between the good and noble and the bad and base.”
  • “More than just religion, our literature and our politics and our music resonate precisely because they speak to these things” (William McGurn).

The wonders of human achievement and the moral dignity we ascribe to human beings cannot fit the claim that we are no different from animals.

  • Human creativity, love, reason, and morality all seem to indicate that humans are creatures of extraordinary unique distinction. The undeniably clear discontinuity between humans and animals cannot be overlooked.
  • Humans think, feel, and choose in profoundly deep and relational ways. But what accounts for this? Impersonal forces? 
  • Human thoughts, desires and capacities cannot be adequately (or honestly) explained by appeals to an impersonal evolutionary development. These realities go beyond the physical to the metaphysical in unexpected ways — if one follows the strict materialistic view.

As profoundly beneficial as scientific research has been, there are many things that are outside of the reach of scientific inquiry. Universal human longings for love and meaning are two examples.

Human awareness of how things “ought to be” and longing for “something better” also testify to our nature as unique beings of dignity and design.

Some suggest that evil is a metaphysical necessity for finite creatures. Yet, if this is the case, why do we so strongly oppose it and long for a world without it? Why do we cry “foul” or “unfair”? Why do we long for a kind of restoration of Paradise Lost? Why do we even think in terms of good and evil?

Struggling honestly with this exasperating enigma, Scottish writer, Richard Holloway, groaned,

“This is my dilemma. I am dust and ashes, frail and wayward, a set of predetermined behavioral responses, … riddled with fear, beset with needs…the quintessence of dust and unto dust I shall return…. But there is something else in me…. Dust I may be, but troubled dust, dust that dreams, dust that has strong premonitions of transfiguration, of a glory in store, a destiny prepared, an inheritance that will one day be my own…so my life is spread out in a painful dialectic between ashes and glory, between weakness and transfiguration. I am a riddle to myself, an exasperating enigma…the strange duality of dust and glory.”

There appears to be good reason for agnosticism about agnosticism itself.

We are paradoxical beings, Jekylls and Hydes; combinations of dust and glory. We have plenty of empirical evidence for this universal truth about humans, but again what is there to account for it?

Why do we possess moral sensibilities to recognize right and wrong and participate in benevolent activities? We are capable of distinguishing justice from injustice, love from hate and freedom from oppression, but so often our vision of these things is twisted in self-serving ways. Why does the same mind that invents life-saving machines and medicines also invent instruments of war and torture?

I cannot endorse the overuse of the science of evolution to explain realities outside of the reach of science.

Honest Scientist

Honest scientists know that it’s simply outside the function of science to resolve questions like how the universe began or metaphysical capacities. When the atheist stretches science into philosophy (or into a form of religion), they often give unsuspecting people the misleading impression that the science of evolution substantiates more than it’s capable to offer.

Science can describe in fascinating detail what is within the universe and reveal purposes related to adaptability and survival in the physical world. But only a Creator could reveal purposes that were prior to and beyond the descriptions of scientific inquiry.

I equally reject the myopic optimism of humanism and the dark pessimism of cynicism.

The grounded realism of a Christian worldview is far more plausible when one weighs all of the evidence. (see – The Most plausible worldview)

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Atheism, Atheists, Christian worldview, Creation, Imago Dei, Intelligent Design, Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Science can’t give us all the answers

  1. makagutu says:

    When you say science, are you limiting science to physical sciences or what is your understanding of science?
    Religion offers no answers to any of our questions. It decrees that you should love your neighbor but doesn’t tell you why, unless you think saying because a god decrees so is an answer. It ain’t. It only goes so far to confound the problem.
    Religion can’t answer the question of whether the universe had a beginning. In fact it is presumptuous to imagine it had a beginning.
    If you are going to critique evolution, you have to show why you think it falls short in explaining the diversity of life forms that we see around us.
    Lastly, the only thing special about humans is our ability to think of abstract concepts. We are no different from stones and other animals or trees. Each thing acting as it does in nature according to its composition

  2. Let’s start with the most simple point: IF we were to accept your claim, that science cannot tell us anything about the beginning of the universe, then this would not make religion true. As we just accepted, science (and thus humans) have no way of objectively knowing what’s outside. And any vision, etc. can simply be a hallucination. So, if your claim was true, we would end up with nothing at all.

    And your distinction is pretty unclear. Who claims that we no different from animals? in what context? We have at least one ability more than any animal we know of, so we are different from the rest of them.

    And of course, in the end, you make the typical basic mistakes: Evolution does not care about the beginning of the universe. Evolution does not even care about the beginning of life. Different topics. And atheism is not evolution. You can believe in god and still accept evolution. Why not?

  3. sybaritica says:

    Certainly science doesn’t offer all the answers and may never do so… does it matter what fairy tale we select to fill in the gaps?

  4. lindalreese55 says:

    Again, more babble – when you are doing wrong to try to use and gain more, it is okay until you are caught and then you want love and justice from others who may have been trying to do what is and was right, so if you didn’t get caught in wrong-doings, God knows all about it as you had the same choice He has given to us all to love and care for the earth and all people planted on earth – who knows you may look like someone else living in a foreign land, with different name or same name so what you do right may encourage someone else to do right to help make this world a better place or you can go squealing, crying to be locked up in a system you may have been a part of creating? Just thinking out loud. It should not take a rocket scientist to figure out “common sense” along with our hearts to be better each day that we have and it is okay to walk in other people shoes to know and learn about their struggles and how they may have gotten over!!!

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