Blind Science and Lame Religion

LBERT Einstein famously said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” His point seems to be that these two disciplines have a complex but not unnecessary relationship. To understand the workings of the physical world we need science. But science cannot tell us all we may want to know.

A recent article in Aeon Magazine discusses the assumptions inherent within the scientific branch of cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the origin and development of the universe. Since the “creation” event is not something that can be repeated or reproduced, and since this origin event is hidden, according to NASA scientist Robert Jastrow, behind an unliftable curtain, cosmology must make certain philosophical moves in order to move at all.

Yet, often scientists diparage disciplines that cannot be expeirenced or proven through the senses. However, the fundamental commitments that undergird their dicipline cannot live up to this hard empiracle test. The Aeon Magazine article states this well, “Despite what the haters might think, all areas of science confront questions that can’t be answered within the process of science itself. Whenever scientists examine the best way to test a theory, or wonder how scientific models relate to reality, they’re doing philosophy.”

There is more to our world than many scientists would care to admit, far more than they can explain merely using science. Science cannot address the most important existential issues humans face.

Christians should do science well and be thankful for science that is well done. But we should not bow before science as a god. It can neither explain nor redeem humanity.

Alister McGrath, professor of theology at the University of Oxford, made this point clear in his recent interview with  Christianity Today, “Science is outstanding in helping us to understand how our universe functions. A number of atheist writers have suggested that, since science is so successful in its own field, it ought to be allowed to extend its authority to just about every area of human thought. I think this is a seriously flawed argument.”

The truth is, we need more than science to understand life. We also need more than a lame religion. For things like the origin of the universe or the meaning of life, if we are to know them at all, they must be revealed. And for that we need more than science, philosophy, or even a vacuous religion. We need good-old-fashioned-revealed-theology.