Book Plunge: The Science Delusion

What do I think of Curtis White’s book published by Melville House? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

White is really tired of the arrogance of the scientists today. He loves the science, but his big problem is that many times scientists think that they’re doing science when really, they’re not. They will make statements such as Hawking’s that philosophy is dead, then make philosophical statements and not even realize it. Often this is done without a look at all at the great philosophical stances. (Consider how Krauss redefines nothing from the definition understood for some 2,500 years by theologians and philosophers and then blames them for changing the terms.)

One of his favorite examples is when he talks about how scientists say science is beautiful and amazing. White doesn’t argue against this, but what does it even mean? Are these scientific statements? Certainly not. These are statements of a personal opinion that can’t be objectively measured.

I have personally seen this. When I lived in Charlotte, Richard Dawkins came to nearby Queens university and gave a talk on his book The Greatest Show On Earth. His last chapter was all about the beauty of the universe and science. Now I am not denying the beauty of the universe or of science, but I got in line for the Q & A. When I got up, I asked Dawkins about that chapter and asked if he had any metaphysical or scientific basis for beauty.

I suspect most of the audience consisted of atheists at the time who had been throwing softballs and this time, he was flummoxed. He gave an answer that went on various tangents for about three or four minutes and then finally ended with “We don’t really know.” So here we have Dawkins telling an audience about this beauty and he hasn’t really even thought about how this beauty is known.

White also notices that scientists and others regularly use other words without telling about them. It’s just assumed “Well everyone knows what that means.” Consider how Hitchens writes about the life of reason. Sounds good. I mean, we all believe in reason don’t we? Don’t we see atheists having the Reason Rally and the Christmas signs that say “This season, celebrate reason.”? Indeed we do, and yet they never seem to define this word. What exactly is meant by reason? Your guess is as good as mine because it is never stated.

In all of this, White doesn’t want scientists to stop doing science, but he doesn’t want us to lose sight of the humanities. Art and philosophy and other topics are not dead. Scientists have too long put themselves up as the pinnacle of knowledge and others should be silent because “Hey! We’re scientists!” Maybe other fields can pick up some of the scraps, but science is where the real knowledge is.

White’s book is a really good critique of this system of thought and of the scientism of our age. It is a call to not abandon philosophy and art and other fields and to not give pat answers to big questions. Those questions need to be asked even if science is not the answer to them. Perhaps there are some questions that science just can’t answer.

Oh. One more thing. Curtis White is an atheist.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 10/24/2015: David Wilkie

What’s coming up on the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Art. We see it in the world all around us. While we might think it only exists in drawings and paintings, any time we sit down to watch TV, in some way, we are seeing art. Even the way a news reporter dresses and the way their show is lined out is meant to make a statement. The commercials that will take place are often artistic in some sense. Music is all around us and many of us travel with our devices listening to music that we hear and as much as cars have advanced, though sadly we did not get the flying cars that we were told we would get, it is quite likely music will be a part of them for some time.

What impact can a Christian have when it comes to art? Many times in the apologetics world, we have focused on the world of the head. Bring forward a good argument and that’s enough. For some people, it could be, but many times it’s not just the message that reaches people, but it’s the medium that reaches them as well and art is a fantastic medium. Why not have on the show someone who brings together the world of art and the world of Christianity? This week, I have decided to do that by having David Wilkie come on. If you don’t know him, he’s the author of the popular comic strip Coffee With Jesus.

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So who is he? According to his bio:

Born in Germany of a Californian Army father and a New York Italian mother, Dave Wilkie considers himself a Transcontinental American, though he’s still trying to find a home state.
From his earliest days, Dave was fascinated with the written word as well as the audio and visual arts. He enjoyed most the ability of all of these mediums to make people laugh and think. Compiling audio montages became a hobby early on.

Dave has held numerous and varied positions in his career, a career that started in journalism, if you count delivering The Washington Post as a 6th grader a job in journalism.
Dave has been an advertising copywriter, creative director, producer, musician, on-air talent, clergyman, fax repairman and artist, sometimes all at once. His favorite role is that of Grounds Maintenance Foreman for Radio Free Babylon, the organization he founded with his wife, Katie, in 2000. “You can’t edit a mowed and manicured lawn,” he says.
Dave and his family reside in Florida, with Roman, their Australian shepherd.

This Saturday then, we’ll be talking about art and apologetics. How can a Christian be a witness for Christ? Is it possible to use artwork in order to make an impact for the Kingdom? How should Christians best engage with the media that is around them and use it for the glory of God? What kind of skills does one need to get in the world of art in order to best use this medium for the Gospel?

Tune in next time to the Deeper Waters Podcast!

In Christ,
Nick Peters