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Science Fiction or Science Fact: Theism as the Foundation for Modern Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Science Fiction or Science Fact: Theism as the Foundation for Modern Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science Fiction or Science Fact: Theism as the Foundation for Modern Science

2 Science Fiction or Science Fact? Modern Mythology Modern Mythology What is Theism? What is Theism? Where Did Science Come From? Where Did Science Come From? Integrating the Truth Integrating the Truth

3 Modern Mythology

4 Galileo Galilei Galileo challenged the earth-centered cosmology of the day. Galileo challenged the earth-centered cosmology of the day. The Church believed Galileo was in error and contradicted the teaching of Scripture. The Church believed Galileo was in error and contradicted the teaching of Scripture. Galileo was placed under house arrest by the Church. Galileo was placed under house arrest by the Church.

5 Christopher Columbus Columbus sought a trade route to the Indies by sailing west rather than by the Cape of Good Hope. Columbus sought a trade route to the Indies by sailing west rather than by the Cape of Good Hope. Everyone but the enlightened few believed the world was flat. Everyone but the enlightened few believed the world was flat. The leaders of the Church and intellectuals of the day warned that he would fall off the edge of the world or be destroyed by dragons. The leaders of the Church and intellectuals of the day warned that he would fall off the edge of the world or be destroyed by dragons.

6 Church and Science in Conflict Science and religion are at odds with each other Science and religion are at odds with each other When the church got out of the way, this was when science flourished. When the church got out of the way, this was when science flourished. Science is rational and naturalistic Science is rational and naturalistic Faith is subjective (even irrational) and superstitious. Faith is subjective (even irrational) and superstitious. Is this how it really went? Is this how it really went?

7 Re-writing History The conflict thesis is recent in origin The conflict thesis is recent in origin Andrew Dickson White - A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom (1898) Andrew Dickson White - A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom (1898) Most historians of science have repudiated it Most historians of science have repudiated it The dominant view among historians is the compatibility of science with religion The dominant view among historians is the compatibility of science with religion

8 Galileo Myth Galileo was not battling the Church Galileo was not battling the Church Galileo was cantankerous, and a difficult person Galileo was cantankerous, and a difficult person Galileo was battling Aristotle (lack of empiricism) Galileo was battling Aristotle (lack of empiricism) Thomas Aquinas wed Aristotle with theology Thomas Aquinas wed Aristotle with theology Ptolemys cosmology was wrong (geocentric) Ptolemys cosmology was wrong (geocentric) Rejecting Ptolemy was equivalent to rejecting the Church Rejecting Ptolemy was equivalent to rejecting the Church

9 Aristotlean Science Define a matter Define a matter Consider the difficulties involved by reviewing generally accepted views on the subject and suggestions of earlier writers Consider the difficulties involved by reviewing generally accepted views on the subject and suggestions of earlier writers Present your own arguments and solutions Present your own arguments and solutions Note the lack of experiments required in this framework

10 Flat Earth Myth Only the ignorant since Archimedes believed the Earth was flat. Only the ignorant since Archimedes believed the Earth was flat. The popular astronomy text of the day was Sphere written by John of Sacrobosco The popular astronomy text of the day was Sphere written by John of Sacrobosco Columbus had miscalculated the distance to the Orient. Columbus had miscalculated the distance to the Orient. Isaiah 40:22 It is He that sits upon the circle (sphere) of the earth….(written 800 BC) Isaiah 40:22 It is He that sits upon the circle (sphere) of the earth….(written 800 BC)

11 Recovering the Origins of Science The history of science shows that theism is primarily responsible for the rise of experimental science. The history of science shows that theism is primarily responsible for the rise of experimental science. Science is clouded in modern mythology Science is clouded in modern mythology

12 Recovering the Origins of Science Scientists are reclaiming the theistic history of science Scientists are reclaiming the theistic history of science Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? - Henry F. Schaefer (2003) Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence? - Henry F. Schaefer (2003) Modern Physics and Ancient Faith - Stephen Barr (2003) Modern Physics and Ancient Faith - Stephen Barr (2003) For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Lead to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery - Rodney Stark (2003) For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Lead to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery - Rodney Stark (2003)

13 What is Theism?

14 Theism is a Worldview · Everyone has a worldview. · It is the way you look at the world (weltanschauung). · A philosophical framework for filtering and categorizing data and experiences. · Defines the nature of reality according to that person. · First principles.

15 Three Basic Worldviews · Theism · Naturalism · Transcendentalism

16 Theism · There is a God · There is nature · The two are separate and distinct, and both are real

17 Naturalism · There is no God · There is only nature · God is an illusion

18 Transcendentalism · There is only God · There is no nature · Nature is an illusion

19 Grand Metaphysical Stories · Theism · Creation - God made nature out of nothing · Naturalism · Evolution - Nature made itself out of nothing · Transcendentalism · Reincarnation - God made nothing - nature is an illusion - all are part of God

20 Where Did Science Come From?

21 Law of Causality (Cause-Effect) An effect cannot be quantitatively greater than its cause An effect cannot be quantitatively greater than its cause An effect cannot be qualitatively superior to its cause An effect cannot be qualitatively superior to its cause 1 st ca 1 st Cause

22 Cause-Effect Constraints The first cause of limitless space is infinite The first cause of limitless space is infinite The first cause of endless time is eternal The first cause of endless time is eternal The first cause of boundless energy is omnipotent The first cause of boundless energy is omnipotent The first cause of infinite complexity is omniscient The first cause of infinite complexity is omniscient The first cause of love is loving The first cause of love is loving The first cause of life is living The first cause of life is living Causality Laws Conclusion: The First Cause of the Universe must be an infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, personal, volitional, holy, loving, living being Causality Laws Conclusion: The First Cause of the Universe must be an infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, personal, volitional, holy, loving, living being

23 What Culture Founded Science? · China? · Chinese intellectuals pursued enlightenment not explanation. · Taoism conceived the universe as chaotic without natural laws. The universe simply is and always was. · No motivation for science · Some technology, but no scientific tradition

24 What Culture Founded Science? · Greece? · Some Greeks were careful observers of nature · Archimedes, Aristotle, Euclid · Greek philosophers, while usually not firm believers in the gods, were influenced by the general Greek worldview · Greek gods could not account for a lawful universe. · The universe is eternal undergoing a repeated cycle of progress and decay

25 What Culture Founded Science? · Inanimate objects transformed into living creatures with aims, emotions, and desires. This squelched the pursuit of physical explanations in favor of mysticism. · Deduction not experiment produced final knowledge · Aristotelian method - induction of principles from phenomenon, then deduction of explanations from principles. · Experiment is superfluous · Some technology, little science

26 What Culture Founded Science? · Islam? · Picked up philosophy where Greeks left off. They expanded on Aristotle rather than innovating. · Muslims assimilated and adapted others thought to Islam, but generated little original thinking. · Allah not a lawful creator, but frequently intrudes in the world as he sees fit - determinism · Some technology, little science.

27 What Culture Founded Science? · Western Christian Culture? · Rich institutional, intellectual tradition - universities · Aristotle expanded, questioned, and rejected · Deduction verified by observation · Science is a logical and natural product of Christian doctrine. · Technology and experimental science.

28 What Culture Founded Science? The rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was a natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: Nature exists because it was created by God. To love and honor God, one must fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Moreover, because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, we ought to be able to discover these principles (Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God, 2003, p. 157).

29 Summary of Science History · Natural philosophy begun by Greeks - 4th century BC · Aristotle emerges as premier natural philosopher - 3rd century BC · Platonism and atomism are competing natural philosophies - 3rd century BC · Islamic world adopts Aristotle - 9th century AD

30 Summary of Science History · Aristotle widely available to the West - 11th century AD · Universities founded - 13th century AD · Experimental methodology developed at Oxford - 13th century AD · Aristotle repudiated - 17th century AD · Birth of modern science - 17th century AD

31 Scientific Method Francis Bacon (1620) as a Christian started from the Law of Causality in his common day living experiences to develop the scientific method Francis Bacon (1620) as a Christian started from the Law of Causality in his common day living experiences to develop the scientific method First: Make an Observation about a phenomena First: Make an Observation about a phenomena Second: Make a guess or working hypothesis regarding the phenomena Second: Make a guess or working hypothesis regarding the phenomena Third: experiment to falsify your guess (if falsified, then start over; if not, it becomes a theory) Third: experiment to falsify your guess (if falsified, then start over; if not, it becomes a theory) Fourth: after much more experimentation, the theory becomes a law of nature Fourth: after much more experimentation, the theory becomes a law of nature

32 Scientific Laws GravityCoulombs Law GravityCoulombs Law CausalityOhms Law CausalityOhms Law Thermodynamics (zeroth, first, second, third) Thermodynamics (zeroth, first, second, third) Motion (first, second, third) Motion (first, second, third) Conservation of Momentum and Angular Momentum Conservation of Momentum and Angular Momentum Conservation of MassKirchoffs Law Conservation of MassKirchoffs Law Boyles Law Boyles Law Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Ideal Gas Law Ideal Gas Law Law of Biogenesis Law of Biogenesis

33 Theism vs Naturalism: Which Aligns Better with the Laws of Nature? Biogenesis Law of Biogenesis: Life can only come from life in terms of causality Law of Biogenesis: Life can only come from life in terms of causality Theism: God created mankind with life Theism: God created mankind with life Naturalism: Over long periods of time different animals evolved into greater/larger forms of life but the original life was caused by spontaneous generation Naturalism: Over long periods of time different animals evolved into greater/larger forms of life but the original life was caused by spontaneous generation

34 Theism vs Naturalism: Which Aligns Better with the Laws of Nature? Thermodynamics 1 st Law of Thermodynamics: energy (matter) cannot be created or destroyed 1 st Law of Thermodynamics: energy (matter) cannot be created or destroyed 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics: the amount of available energy is decreasing as things tend to go a disordered state 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics: the amount of available energy is decreasing as things tend to go a disordered state Theism: God created everything with the greatest amount of potential energy but things are going downhill ever since and accelerated because of the sin of mankind Theism: God created everything with the greatest amount of potential energy but things are going downhill ever since and accelerated because of the sin of mankind Naturalism: There are ups and downs in thermodynamics of the earth because of the energy from the sun (earth is an open system) Naturalism: There are ups and downs in thermodynamics of the earth because of the energy from the sun (earth is an open system)

35 Scientific Pioneers Were Christians From Rodney Stark, sociologist, Baylor University Italic type indicate a ProtestantPersonal Piety · Bayer, Johann ( )Devout · Borelli, Giovanni ( )Conventional · Boyle, Robert ( )Devout · Brahe, Tycho ( )Conventional · Briggs, Henry ( )Devout · Cassini, Giovanni ( )Conventional · Copernicus, Nicolaus ( )Conventional · Descartes, René ( )Devout · Fabricus, David ( )Devout · Fallopius, Gabriel ( )Devout

36 Scientific Pioneers Were Christians · Fermat, Pierre ( )Conventional · Flamsteed, John ( )Devout · Galilei, Galileo ( )Conventional · Gassendi, Pierre ( )Devout · Gellibrand, Henry ( )Devout · Gilbert, William ( )Conventional · Graaf, Regnier de ( )Conventional · Grew, Nehemiah ( )Devout · Grimaldi, Francesco ( )Devout · Guericke, Otto ( )Conventional · Halley, Edmund ( )Skeptic · Harvey, William ( )Conventional

37 Scientific Pioneers Were Christians · Helmont, Jan Baptista van ( )Devout · Hevelius, Johannes ( )Conventional · Hooke, Robert ( )Devout · Horrocks, Jeremiah ( )Devout · Huygens, Christiaan ( )Devout · Kepler, Johannes ( )Devout · Kircher, Athanasius ( )Devout · Leeuwenhoek, Anton ( )Conventional · Leibniz, Gottfried ( )Devout · Malpighi, Marcello ( )Conventional · Mariotte, Edme ( )Devout · Mersenne, Marin ( )Devout

38 Scientific Pioneers Were Christians · Napier, John ( )Devout · Newton, Isaac ( )Devout · Oughtred, William ( )Devout · Papin, Denis ( )Devout · Paracelsus ( )Skeptic · Pascal, Blaise ( )Devout · Picard, Jean( )Devout · Ray, John ( )Devout · Riccioli, Giovanni ( )Devout · Roemer, Olaus ( )Conventional · Scheiner, Christoph ( )Devout · Snell, Willebrord ( )Conventional

39 Scientific Pioneers Were Christians · Steno, Nicolaus ( )Devout · Stevinus, Simon ( )Conventional · Torricelli, Evangelista ( )Conventional · Vesalius, Andreas ( )Devout · Vieta, Franciscus ( )Conventional · Wallis, John ( )Devout

40 Later Scientific Pioneers Who Were Christians ScientistDiscipline Founded · Michael Faraday ( )Magnetic Theory · Charles Babbage ( )Computer Science · Louis Agassiz ( )Glacial geology, ichthyology · James Young Simpson ( )Gynecology · Gregor Mendel ( )Genetics · Louis Pasteur ( )Bacteriology · William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) ( )Energetics, Thermodynamics · Joseph Lister ( )Antiseptic surgery · James Clerk Maxwell ( )Electrodynamics, statistical thermodynamics · William Ramsey ( )Isotopic Chemistry

41 Integrating the Truth

42 Truth corresponds to reality. Truth corresponds to reality. Reality is that science is largely theistic in origin Reality is that science is largely theistic in origin Reality is science but also is more than just science. Reality is science but also is more than just science.

43 Scientific Limitations All truth Scientific truth

44 Scientific Limitations: Examples When science said there were 1100 stars, the bible said that the stars could not be counted (Gen 15:5) When science said there were 1100 stars, the bible said that the stars could not be counted (Gen 15:5) When science said the earth was flat, the bible said that earth was round (Isaiah 40:22) When science said the earth was flat, the bible said that earth was round (Isaiah 40:22) When science said to take blood out of person when they are sick, the bible said that life is in the blood (Lev 17:11) When science said to take blood out of person when they are sick, the bible said that life is in the blood (Lev 17:11)

45 However, Science is Encouraged in the Bible: The Dominion Mandate Gen 1:28 Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it Gen 1:28 Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it Indicates human stewardship under the Creator Indicates human stewardship under the Creator Science: Discovery of Truth Science: Discovery of Truth Engineering: Applying the Truth Engineering: Applying the Truth Humanities: Interpreting the Truth Humanities: Interpreting the Truth Commerce: Implementing the Truth Commerce: Implementing the Truth Education: Transmission of the Truth Education: Transmission of the Truth

46 Integrating the Truth If God made everything, then he also made you and me If God made everything, then he also made you and me The creation is not greater than the Creator The creation is not greater than the Creator We are made with personality including the ability to communicate We are made with personality including the ability to communicate He has communicated with us He has communicated with us He made us to know him personally. He made us to know him personally. What keeps us from knowing God personally? What keeps us from knowing God personally?

47 We Are Not Perfect We are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know him personally or experience his love We are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know him personally or experience his love For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23. Are you perfect? Are you perfect?

48 We Are Not Perfect For the wages of sin is death (spiritual separation from God) (Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death (spiritual separation from God) (Romans 6:23) Though we continually try to reach God by our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion, we cant Though we continually try to reach God by our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion, we cant

49 Jesus Is Gods Only Provision Jesus Christ is Gods only provision for mans sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience his love Jesus Christ is Gods only provision for mans sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience his love He died in our place He died in our place But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) He rose from the dead He rose from the dead

50 Jesus Is The Only Way To God · Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6) · God reaches down to us. · It is not enough to know these truths

51 Truth is a Person: Jesus Pilate asked Jesus just before his crucifixion: What is truth? (John 18:38) Pilate asked Jesus just before his crucifixion: What is truth? (John 18:38) Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; nobody can come to the Father without me. (John 14:6) Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; nobody can come to the Father without me. (John 14:6) Jesus said, Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. (John 18:37) Jesus said, Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. (John 18:37) Jesus said, And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32) Jesus said, And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32)


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