A general definition of science is, a method used for quantifying and investigating our universe by empirical verification. A Christian definition of faith is, trusting something we have good reason to believe is true. The word faith, in Christianity, is closely related to the word trust, and in our culture today faith is being redefined as a “blind leap into the dark” which fuels the apparent conflict of “Science vs. Faith” out of ignorance.
The number of Christian Nobel laureates is one example of how science and Christianity are not at odds with one another because Christian thinkers are excelling in the fields of physics, chemistry and medicine. The origins of science has it roots in the Christian faith with noteworthy scientists like Johannes Kepler (1571 to 1630), Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642), Blaise Pascal (1623 to 1662), Robert Boyle (1627 to 1691) and Isaac Newton (1643 to 1727) setting the stage for our modern advancements.
“Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator” – C.S. Lewis, Miracles (1946)
Christians thought it a service to God to investigate the world and uncover the mysteries of God’s handiwork, as Lewis points out. Is it any wonder that science arouse from the fertile soil of the Christian west?
The truth is that the scientific method doesn’t say anything and the data doesn’t say anything, it’s scientists that interpret the data that say something. The universal volumes of data remain silent, only the interpretations of the data are heard.
The fear is that some evidence might arise that would falsify a cherished belief and yet many scientists remain Christian. But you see the fear of truth works against the scientist also, where their cherished beliefs are vulnerable to the same scrutiny, and many remain unbelieving in Christianity. The Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, John C. Lennox comments about this tension,
“It is rather ironical that in the sixteenth century some people resisted advances in science because they seemed to threaten belief in God; whereas in the twentieth century scientific ideas of a beginning have been resisted because they threatened to increase the plausibility of belief in God,” –God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?
Science is not at war with Christianity or visa versa, however, the truth of the evidence has the possibility to undermine our beliefs regardless of worldview. Thus, a vibrant scientific community is built on open discussion, peer review and a spectrum of perspectives, in order to represent reality correctly. A mere difference in perspective does not, by any means, imply incompatibility but it is the necessary vehicle for expanding awareness and pushing the boundaries that science is famous for.
The Christian perspective is where science originated and where it continues to flourish. Christian thinkers shine in their fields which means they understand the methodology of science and have a correct application of the evidence. Christian thinkers provide a different perspective that assists in the vibrant scientific community, therefore, we have good reason to believe that science and Christianity are not incompatible. Christianity is not at odds with science.