Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Science and God

Although John Lennox is a pure mathematician, he is a great communicator, especially on the issue if God and science. This talk called “Has Science buried God?” is a good example of his work. Anyone who is interested in science and apologetics should listen to it.

The following are examples from his talk.

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.”

Wittgenstein said that the greatest deception of modernism is that laws of nature are explanations of the phenomena of nature. They are not. They are simply descriptions of what normally happens.

The meaning of the word faith has been redefined in a devious way to mean belief where there is no evidence. This is wrong. Everyone understands evidence-based faith. Christianity is evidence-based faith.

Real faith is commitment to people or facts, based on evidence. eg you have faith in the surgeon operating on you.

Faith is essential for science. Scientists need faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe. That is a belief. Science cannot prove it, because you have to believe it because you have to believe before you can start doing science.

Atheism is a belief system. If the brain is the result of an unguided random process, why can anything it determines be trusted?

Atheism undermines the capacity of the human mind/brain to be trusted as reliable.

I really like the section at the end, where he discussed information.
A materialistic world view has a serious problem with information because it seems that it cannot be reduced to physics and chemistry, yet it is at the heart of the universe. He says that physics and chemistry do not have the explanatory power to deal with meaning and language.

When language is involved, we never argue downward to chance and necessity, or physics and chemistry. We always intuitively respond by assuming there is a mind behind it.

We live in an information age. Information is difficult to define, but it is mostly agreed that information is not material. However, scientists who believe that the universe is purely material, are finding that information is fundamental, but it is not reducible to physics and chemistry. That means science cannot explain everything.

He tells the story of a reductionist scientist who sees the words “Roast Chicken” on a menu, assumes they have meaning, because a mind is behind them, but when researching the hugely complicated language known in DNA, he assumes it is the result of chance and necessity.

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