Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve lately been looking at the interplay between science and religion. We’ve found that science is not the only test for truth and that not all claims to truth are scientific claims. However, we are often told that science has led us into more truth than any other practice. Let us examine this.
To begin with, we shall start with discussing the nature of Phlogiston. What? That’s an unfamiliar term? Okay. How about we discuss the substance of the luminous aether in the universe? Wait. That’s also an unfamiliar topic. The reason I bring both of these up is that both of these were views that were held by science at a certain point in time.
The history of science is of one idea of science replacing another idea. Take Ptolemy’s system of the orbits of the planets. It worked great! People were able to make predictions on where the bodies would be and there wasn’t much of a problem. Copernicus, however, found a simpler way of measuring if the sun was placed at the center of the solar system. The outworking of this will be in another blog however when we get to supposed conflicts between science and religion.
In the time of each of these theories, they would have been crusaded by those who believed them and ample evidence would be given. Indeed today, presenters of opposing scientific theories will mount up evidence on their behalf on why we should believe their view of a certain phenomena.
Many of us today can think of different ways that science has changed. At one point in time, it is healthy to eat X and not eat Y. The next, it is healthy to eat Y and not eat X. There could be a time when it is not healthy to eat any of them or it is healthy to eat both.
The point is that every scientist can surely hold his theory and indeed we should for we go by the evidence we have, but he must also be aware that the science that he holds to so strongly today could be the science that is on the junk pile within a hundred years or so.
Of course, we can’t see one theory as more true than another if it has been rejected. However, we can say that science is giving us better means of finding the truth. This is also through the use of technology today, such as telescopes and computers and other tools.
We must be wary however of those who say that they are sticking to the science of the age as the ultimate truth. He who marries the spirit of the age is destined to be a widow. There is nothing wrong with believing it, but there would be something wrong if one were proverbially ready to lie down and die for that belief. We can hold to theories today, but also be prepared to accept that tomorrow, a new discovery could be made that will overturn our worldview.
But someone could say “At least science changes! Religion hasn’t!”
And we can discuss that tomorrow.