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Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Are Science and Christianity Compatible? Presented by H.C. Felder.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Are Science and Christianity Compatible? Presented by H.C. Felder."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Are Science and Christianity Compatible? Presented by H.C. Felder

2 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Is a Choice Necessary? Dr. Jack Shephard John Locke

3 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Roadmap What is Science? Why does science and Christianity seem contradictory? Scientism Science has limits Many scientist are Christians Science is not possible without God

4 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org What is Science Webster’s Dictionary defines science as “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.”

5 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Does Science and Christianity Seem to be Contradictory?

6 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? Science is the study of God’s natural revelation –“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps. 18:1)

7 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? Science is the study of God’s natural revelation –“What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:19-20)

8 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? Scripture is God’s special revelation Both have the same author, God. So they cannot contradict one another

9 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? The appearance of a contradiction is based on: –Science misinterpreting nature i.e. Previous belief that the universe was eternal –Theologians misinterpreting Scripture i.e. Galileo and belief that Scripture taught that the sun revolved around the earth

10 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? True science actually points people toward God

11 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? C.S. Lewis in his fiction work The Screwtape Letters, recounts an experience demon giving advice to a less experience demon with these words “Do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defense against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can’t touch and see.”

12 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Why Do They Seem to be Contradictory? “There have been sad cases among modern physicist. If he must dabble in science, keep him on economics and sociology….but the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is ‘the result of modern investigation.’”

13 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Scientism is not Compatible with God

14 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Scientism is not Compatible with God C.S. Lewis defines Scientism as “ a thesis that the methods of the natural sciences should be used in all areas of investigation including philosophy, the humanities, and the social sciences: a belief that only such methods can fruitfully be used in the pursuit of knowledge”

15 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Scientism is not Compatible with God A related term is “reductionism” which is the belief that human behavior is simply a matter of neurons firing in the brain. As a result, human responsibility does not exist. Another related term is “materialism” which means that everything that exist is material

16 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Scientism is not Compatible with God Scientism excludes God –Leading Atheist Richard Dawkins “it is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane”

17 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits

18 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits It is an inadequate view of the world –Erwin Schrodinger, “founder of wave mechanics and the originator of the most important equation in science” wrote “I’m very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us.

19 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits It is an inadequate view of the world –“It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight, knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity.”(Nature and the Greeks)

20 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits It cannot alone give purpose –Physics Nobel Prize winner Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, reflects over a lifetime of scientific research said in his biography

21 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits “In fact, I consider myself an atheist. But I have a feeling of disappointment because the hope for contentment and a peaceful outlook on life as the result of pursing a goal has remained largely unfulfilled….what is true from my own personal case is that I simply don’t have that sense of harmony which I had hoped for when I was young”

22 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Science has Limits It can tell us nothing about the cause of nature itself –Stephen Hawking, who is probably the most famous living scientist states “The actual point of creation lies outside the scope of the presently known laws of physics”

23 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Many Scientist Are Christians

24 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Many Scientist Are Christians M.I.T. Professor Alan Lightman said: “Contrary to popular myth, scientists appear to have the same range of attitudes about religious matters as does the general public” Physics Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman wrote “Many scientist do believe in both science and God, the God of revelation, in a perfectly consistent way” A survey reports that “52% of biologists identity themselves as Christians” A survey showed that on any given Sunday 41% of all Ph.D. scientists are in church. The general population is 42%.

25 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Many Scientist Are Christians Robert Griffiths (1937 -), Professor of Physics at Carnegie-Mellon University was quoted as saying “If we need an atheist for a debate, I have to go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use”

26 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org God Makes Science Possible

27 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org God Makes Science Possible The faith of scientist arose historically from the Christian belief that God the father created a perfectly orderly universe The world famous scientist Stephen Hawking, when asked by a reported whether science and Christianity were competing worldviews, he responded “Then Newton would not have discovered the law of gravity” Science had its greatest success under a Christian worldview

28 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org God Makes Science Possible British scientist Robert Clark wrote “scientific development has only occurred in a Christian culture…In all civilizations— Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, Persia, China and so on— science developed to a certain point and then stopped. It is easy to argue speculatively that, perhaps, science might have been able to develop in the absence of Christianity, but in fact, it never did”

29 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org God Makes Science Possible Reasons why science has had so much development under Christianity –If Christianity is true, the universe is real, and not an allusion –If Christianity is true, the universe, having been created by God, has value and is worthy of study –If Christianity is true then men may freely examine the world free from fear of superstition

30 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org God Makes Science Possible Reasons why science has had so much development under Christianity –If Christianity is true, then man is made in the image of God with the ability to use his God given intellect to learn about the world

31 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist Francis Bacon ( ), who discovered the scientific method, wrote: “Let no one think or maintain that a person can search too far or be too well studied in either the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works.

32 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist Blaise Pascal ( ) was a magnificent scientist and father of the mathematical theory of probability of combinatorial analysis said “Jesus Christ is the end of all and the center to which all tends”

33 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist Sir Isaac Newton ( ) is the founder of classical physics, who wrote more about theology than science once wrote “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being.”

34 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist William Thomson ( ), later known as Lord Kelvin was recognized as the leading physical scientist and the greatest science teacher of all time said in a speech “Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to belief in God”

35 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist Arthur Schawlow ( ) who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in laser spectroscopy said “We are fortunate to have the Bible, and especially the New Testament, which tells so much about God in widely accessible human terms”

36 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Christian Scientist John Polkinghorne (1930-) chaired Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University from who later became the President of Queen’s College said “I take God very seriously indeed. I am a Christian believer, and I believe that God exists and has made Himself known in Jesus Christ”

37 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Summary What is Science? –Science is merely the study of the physical material world Why does science and Christianity seem contradictory? –Both are based on God’s revelation and cannot be in conflict –Appearance of contradiction is due either to misinterpretation of nature or Scriptute

38 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Summary Scientism is incompatible with God –Scientism makes science the source of all knowledge –Scientism denies the existence of a God Science has limits –It has an inadequate view of the world –It cannot give purpose or meaning to life –It cannot explain the origin of the world

39 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org Summary Many scientist are Christians –Their beliefs reflect society as a whole Science is not possible without God –Science is based on a real, orderly world which reflects a designer

40 Copyright H.C. Felderwww.GivingAnAnswer.org THE END


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