Science + Christianity
Do science and religion conflict?
What are the Scientific Roadblocks to Faith?
- Richard Carhart is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and serves as the Coordinator of the European Scientific Network, a division of the European Apologetic Network. View all resources by Richard Carhart
Dick Carhart - Scientific roadblocks to faith
People have great respect for science as they form their worldview. They adopt false beliefs and learn to ignore competing information based on what scientists say. In this workshop we will identify the false beliefs most commonly supported by science, and the positive arguments from science most likely to persuade unbelievers that the Biblical worldview is true.
People have great respect for science as they form their worldview. They adopt false beliefs and learn to ignore competing information based on what scientists say. In this workshop we will identify the false beliefs commonly supported by science, and the positive arguments from science most likely to persuade unbelievers that the Biblical worldview is true.
As we examine the following naturalistic myths, let us try to prioritize them in order of importance and impact on the non-believer. What are the best arguments to counter each of these myths?
2. The grand machine and triumphant science
2.1 The world just is, and happens to follow regular cause-and-effect laws. No One made it and no God is needed to maintain it. I have no need for that hypothesis.
2.2 There is no ultimate meaning in the Universe. We are the result of chance and opportunity, and our job is to be fit and survive, not to seek elusive meaning and purpose.
2.3 Altruistic behavior is stupid unless it can be shown to confer a survival advantage on a group of humans. We can understand all persistent moral and ethical systems as conveying psycho-social survival advantages on those who follow them.
2.4 Any apparent design in the world is misleading. Structure and function results from chance variation acted upon by environmental pressures to produce survival of the fittest and the passing on of their genetic code.
2.5 Science has shown that everything is relative. No ethical or moral system has any objective meaning or basis.
2.6 There is no such thing as objective scientific truth. Science is as much a social construct by which the powerful maintain a certain paradigm or picture of natural phenomena. It is determined by culture and subject to radical alteration.
2.7 Religion and science are intrinsically opposed because religion is incompatible with scientific naturalism and rationality. Science must release people from superstition, especially in religious form.
2.8 The Bible is a book of myths written in a superstitious, prescientific era. We do not find accurate accounts of origins or even much accurate history there. Only scientific accounts of the past can be trusted.
2.9 Science has proved that God does not exist; it has buried God.
2.10 Everything that can be known can be learned through scientific study, and the past can best be known by secular intellectual examination. Scientific knowledge is reliable.
2.11 Since man is only matter, a complex machine, the inner quality and behavior of man can only be improved by improving education and the human environment (society).
3. Stephen Barrs Five elements of the story Science tells about the world
3.1 The Earth does not have any privileged status or position in this vast Universe.
3.2 Events are not determined by final causes, but can be explained in a mechanistic way in terms of preceding physical events. Purpose is not present in nature; it is not designed.
3.3 The human race is not an ultimate goal or purpose of the Universe. We are not important beings for whom the Universe was created. We are no more than a chemical accident.
3.4 The laws of nature form a closed and complete system. There is no need for the hypothesis of God. Since our brains follow determined laws, there is no free will.
3.5 Man is no more than a complex biochemical computer. Talk of a human soul or spirit is meaningless and empty.
- © European Leadership Forum used by kind permission www.euroleadership.org