Wednesday, September 04, 2019

More Gems from John Lennox

Here are some more Gems from John Lennox.


Science needs a health warning.

Scientism is the problem. It is the belief that “Science is the only way to truth”. It is logical nonsense, because it is not a scientific statement, so if it is true, it is false.”

Serious scientists realise that it cannot deal with first and last things, how did things begin, what are we all here for, what is the purpose of life.

Statements by scientists are often not statements of science.

Science has great cultural authority in the modern world. But it should have no authority in other realms.

Einstein said, “A scientist is a poor philosopher”.


People wrongly believe that science is coextensive with rationality.

Two possible answers to the question of why is water boiling.

  • Heat transfer from flame of ignited gas.
  • I want a cup of tea.
There is more than one kind of explanation of the automobile.
  • Laws of combustion and mechanical engineering.
  • Henry Ford
Two levels of explanation are needed for any phenomena.
  • Science physics.
  • Agency, Intention.
It is absurd to suggest that physics tells you everything that you need to know about boiling water.

Assuming that physics/chemistry explains everything is a philosophical mistake.

The law of gravity does not explain gravity. Not one knows what gravity its. The laws of gravity are a means of calculating gravitational effects. Newton realised it does not explain what gravity is. No one knows what energy is.

Science is not an exhaustive explanation, even within science. itself.


The greatest pointer to God is language. Mathematics is an elegant language.

  1. There is a text at the heart of experience that we are capable of understanding.
  2. We are language producers.
  3. The universe can be understood by the language of mathematics.
Einstein said that the only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.

Abstract science emerged in the west, but not in China. By Christians who believed the world was created by God and therefore understandable.


Leibniz said the ultimate question is why there is something and not nothing.

Scientists have to get something out of nothing, and they have nothing to do it with. To deal with this, scientists have redefined Nothing: Nothing is a Quantum vacuum.

God created the universe out of nothing, but he is not a physical being. He is Spirit.


How does a set of abstract symbols in a human mind explain the universe out there. This seems unreasonable, to a materialistic world view.

Scientists believe that the brain is the end product of a mindless, unguided process. Therefore, why should we trust anything that a mind produces.

John Gray – an atheist said.

Modern humanism is that faith that though science, humankind can know the truth and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true, this is impossible, because the human mind supports evolutionary success, not truth.
CS Lewis said,
We have done brilliant science by thinking about the universe, but we haven’t thought about the process of thinking.
Can the mind be reduced to physics and chemistry? If the mental is merely physical, it cannot be fully explained by science.

Evolutionary naturalism implies that we should take any of our convictions seriously, include the scientific word picture on which evolutionary naturalism depends.

World View

The are two key world views.

  • One begins with particles, mass-energy and nothing. Explanation must be bottom-up. The human mind is derivative from physics and chemistry.
  • In the other mind is primary – the mind of God.
    In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.
    Mass energy is derivative.
The key choice is:
Mass energy is derivative V Mind is derivative.

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