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Science is not evil, it is just misunderstood

Throughout all time, science has been a divisive topic. Even between scientists there is so much animosity and critique about what exactly constitutes as science and research. The church, throughout the last two thousand years (especially in the last century) has had an untold number of conflicts between observations in the bible and in nature. Conflict and critique does not mean that Christians and scientists are warring against each other though. The root of the issue is that science and religion both try to explain the natural world, but in much different ways.

Science is not the same thing as a religion. The two are different but not exclusive; a person can believe and trust in both. At the heart of science is curiosity. Curiosity in regard to science brings about the testing ideas, the taking of measurements, the predicting of outcomes, and the explaining of how things work. A crude illustration of science is to imagine a baby picking up and dropping a ball over and over; the baby is trying to understand what gravity is, just as science tries to explain the unknown by experimenting. Science tries to find the explanations for what is happening in the natural world, and through those discoveries, tries to come up with explanations and theories on what happened in the past and what will happen in the future.

Religion on the other hand, offers explanations as to why things are the way they are. Religion brings life to the world. It adds complexity, emotion, faith, and hope. God has put it in the hearts of everyone on earth to search for Him, to not only explain how things are the way they are, but why also (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Science can explain gravity using terms such as: mass, acceleration, force, space-time, and relativity; Christians can explain gravity by talking about how God is a God of order, consistency, and complexity. Science can explain the happiness of falling in love in terms like: dopamine, evolutionary adaption, mating, and serotonin; Christians can explain love by talking about how God created people to not be alone by putting desires in their hearts and how God shows His longing for a relationship to people in a real sense by demonstrating it the real life between people. Science being correct does not make religion invalid or wrong. Both are just explaining different aspects from the same observations. (Click here for an explanation about what the scientific method is).

Another reason that distrust of science exists, is because it can be frightening or fearful. It is calming to think about things that can be understood, it feels safe. When discoveries were made showing that things as small (and smaller) than atoms exist in the same universe as unfathomably big as heavenly bodies, it brings about feelings of fear and wonder. These are natural emotions to have; Christians understand that the height and depth of God and creation should leave them with a sense of awe (Psalm 2:11 & 78:4).

Being skeptical or hesitant to trust science is not inherently wrong. Scientists question themselves and are questioned by other scientists frequently, because people are, by nature, wrong a lot of the time. Scientists are just people after all. People make mistakes, go down rabbit holes, and commit time and money to bad decisions all the time. Being in the sciences is not more admirable, or that much different in reality, than any other job or profession. Just like a medical doctor will not be seen selling home-owners insurance, not everyone can do what is outside of their field of knowledge. It takes time, effort, experience, and knowledge to be proficient at it.

It is OK to distrust one scientist and their work, because people are wrong all the time. It is a different matter to distrust all scientists though because their work is uncomfortable to deal with and digest. Issues facing the world today are big: how to feed 8 billion people, how to handle the refuge crisis with love, what will the climate and biosphere look like in the coming decades, and how to help people who are lost and hurting. Science can solve some issues, while religion can solve others. It is in the best interest of everyone to know which groups can answer which questions, so that these problems that the world is facing can be solved for the betterment of all people.

Most problems facing the world today will require the work of both science and religion. Without the love and the logic that each can offer, the world’s problems will not be solved in any meaningful way.