Monday, March 17, 2008

"Please Leave Your Preconceptions At the Door"

You already know that so-called "science" and "religion" are at odds today. They're seen as mutually exclusive, so if you want to engage in science, of course you must suspend your beliefs and be "objective." Be careful that you don't come to the table with any preconceptions or a cohesive, decided worldview or you will inevitable skew the scientific process and commit the sin of "subjectivity" in your research. Right?

Well, actually no. With that view we now have a problem; how can any scientist be certain that certain laws of nature that were true yesterday will hold true tomorrow? We're trying to be objective here! Why would he expect anything in nature to be uniform or constant, if he doesn't first assume that the laws of nature will continue to act as they always have? You see, the scientist that relies solely on unadulterated observation has no good reason to believe that anything will be the same when he wakes up tomorrow morning. No reason at all.

Think about his underlying worldview for a moment. First of all he has outlawed God from the universe--supernatural reality is absurd in his view, and oh so "non-scientific." So what is he left with? Well, to be honest, absolutely nothing. Literally! ;) Without an initial creative act, how could someone postulate that something came from nothing, matter came from non-matter? "Well, that's just one of those things we have to accept by faith!"...though they probably wouldn't express it quite that way. :) Big problem guys. You can't explain to me how something came from nothing, even though that is the fundamental factor for your theory to even have a chance of working?! Evolution falls apart on this point.

Obviously evolutionists have a strong commitment to something which prevents them from acknowledging the Creator, and causes them to approach a field which they have no ideological right to, because in their worldview they have no basis for the uniformity of nature. Dad posted some excellent thoughts on this topic here.

So whatever happened to objectivity Mr. Scientist? You see, we all have preconceptions and fundamental beliefs. But when you're asked to capitulate your position and be "objective," realize that the atheist intends to remain armed.

All that by way of introduction, here's the real reason I decided to address this topic. Last week I received the judge's comments on my writing, photography, sketching and painting from the Young Birder of the Year competition, which I recently won. The professional feedback is really valuable and encouraging to me. I try to make a conscious effort to show forth my faith in my work, and last year I wrote a short poem expressing the clarity with which Creation points to its Creator. Read it here: "This Must Be God's Hand". I realize it's kind of a simplistic piece--I'm not a poet--but I tried to capture something of the wonder of nature and how it rebukes the atheist, materialist worldview.

As I excitedly scanned over the judges' reactions I was shocked to learn that I wasn't being "objective!" I mean, I try to be a good ornithologist and be careful about my observations, but all along I guess I was self-deceived. In the spirit of the literary masterpiece, "Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear," there's only one way to be a good, objective scientist. It's easy. Simply accept...evolution? Wait a minute...

"This poem definitely evokes wonder. As your study of birds progresses, you may find yourself needing to consider what scientists believe to be the truth of evolution. It's demonstrably visible in the process of speciation, which is going on before our eyes and in our lifetimes. Nothing is static in the natural world, and evolution is an ongoing and vital process that should not be summarily dismissed as random or theoretical..."

"I think your style would benefit from a healthy dose of objectivity. Check your beliefs and pre-conceptions at the door and write about and describe what you see and feel. Focus not on how you believe a bird came to be or its purpose in the grand scheme, rather the bird itself, its nature, behavior and essence..."

Don't get me wrong. I really appreciate all the comments and insights that the judges bring to my work, but when someone questions the authenticity of doing science from a Christian worldview, I need to respond to that. (If only to clarify what I believe on the subject and how I should answer when questioned) And I don't mean to offend any of these people who lent their time and effort to the judging process--they weren't being harsh. But they are wrong in assuming that a belief in evolution is the only "objective" way to approach science.

You know what I find ironic? In the second quote, he tells me to remain objective in my observations, then immediately turns around and tells me to be subjective. See that? If I started to inscribe my personal feelings about a bird in my notebook, how objective is that? Interesting.

It all comes down to definitions. When an atheist says "be objective" he means, "Abandon this silly notion that God exists and is the sovereign Creator of the universe." "Stop worshiping the Creator, and instead worship the creature."

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." --Romans 1:18-23

What a telling passage. It's an age-old problem folks. We need to understand that the only rational way of doing science is by first accepting God, as He has revealed Himself in Creation and in Scripture, as the only stable foundation for studying the complexities of the things He has created, and continues to sustain through his almighty power and sovereignty.

1 comment:

Adam Nisbett said...

Nice comments. I sometimes wonder if they realize the irony of the situation: I know for a fact that at least 3 out of 6 of the winners of the older age group are strong christians who would disagree with the evolutionist viewpoint.