So are christians 'anti-science'?

The Creation Declares the Glory of God     God     

Because a Christian may disagree with certain 'scientific' claims, such as things like the creation, evolution, or the age of the earth, are they saying that 'Science' is wrong?


In short - No.  First, one must understand that Christian's do not dispute the vast majority of scientific facts, goals, or purposes.  Christian's trust their doctors, enjoy electricity, and on and on.  Most importantly, one must also understand that Christian Theism answers different questions than does Science.  Christian Theism answers questions that address the 'why' of things; Science addresses the 'how'.  Any attempt by either to cross into the others realm is a mistake of definitions.  Ultimate Truth is known by Christian Theism; Science addresses questions that assume that Ultimate Truth is known.

How is this so?  Consider for a moment this assertion that some people believe: 'Science can answer all questions'.  This is clearly a 'self-referentially incoherent' statement (meaning that it proves itself wrong!)  If it were true, then we would have to use science to prove that science can answer all questions!  This is obviously a circular statement, and can never be proven without knowledge from outside of science!

In order for Science to operate, scientists must use a few assumptions.  For example, we have to assume that the use of logic is valid.  The validity of logic is another tenuous notion, since we would have to use something other than logic to prove its validity!  Since we don't, scientists just assume (have faith?) that it is valid.  Further, we have to assume that the laws of nature are indeed orderly and repeatable.  Science by definition cannot prove why these laws are indeed orderly and repeatable - this is a philosophical issue.  So, again, in order for the Scientific Method to work, we have to trust that they are, and continue on. 

Christian Theism works in a different realm.  Christian Faith seeks to explain WHY things happen, and because of WHO.  Without a basis in matters such as these (which cannot be proven scientifically) we could not live, breathe and work in the natural world.  We would have no basis for saying anything is reliable, right, or wrong. 

Clearly in the past both sides have disrupted the divide.  When the early churches made declarations that the earth was the center of the universe and so forth, they were making false claims that are outside of the realm of Christian Theistic knowledge.  And when Science claims that nothing supernatural exists, it is clearly outside of the realm of the natural world to which it operates. 

The bottom line of this discussion is that we do not have to choose between Christianity and Science - in fact we have discussed that they are complimentary!  One must understand the type of question that one is seeking, and use the proper field for the answer.  Ultimate truth is never known by Science, by its own nature and admittance (a theory is always subject to revision!)  So it is not in competition with Christian Theism for the revealing of 'absolute truth', but it is clearly useful in the determination of the 'workings' of the natural world. 

Who 'win's' when there seems to be a conflict, as in the current 'age of the earth' controversy?  One must pursue a proper study of both endeavors to properly answer these questions.  BUT - most important to remember in this pursuit, is to keep both sides on their side.  The age of the earth is NOT a litmus test for Christianity, nor is the age of the earth a un-refuted fact within science.  Therefore, in my opinion it is still a matter of study, as are many issues like it, that, on the surface, appear to pit Christianity against Science.