A Worldview Called Science
CIENCE is a wonderful thing. It’s a tool to explore the physical world. But when people use the tool of science, they bring a set of assumptions to both the way they use it and to the kind of conclusions they form based on their use of it. Often, what is called science is much more than just the set of tools to study the physical world, but a total worldview that includes assumptions that are outside of the reach of science and are far better described as religious beliefs.
In my home library I have a stack of books that I enjoy looking through from time to time. They are by a few different authors but they are all interacting with each other’s arguments. They remind me of the need for public theology, for Christians to be in dialogue with alternative perspectives and remind readers of the reality of worldview suppositions always present in any scientific claim.
The first book in the stack is H.G. Wells’ The Outline of Human History. The next few books are back and forth responses by Catholic apologist Hillaire Belloc who was close friends with G.K. Chesterton. Wells and Belloc exchanged books with point and counterpoint debating the atheistic assumptions of Wells overview of the history of the world.
The final book in the stack is by G.K. Chesterton himself who added a volume to the debate offering a Christian perspective of the history of all things by the title The Everlasting Man. Later this week I’ll publish a post with pictures of the books and some excerpts. This small collection came to mind earlier this morning as I watched a video excerpt of the National Geographic show Cosmos. Watch the video and consider the non-scientific assumptions (things that cannot be proven scientifically) that are clearly present in the short clip.
You might be surprised to know that well over 100 years ago, Chesterton responded to the massive leap many make from some cave art to conclusions to fit their understanding of world history. I’ll give Chesterton’s response and a little more about those worldview books that are over a century old later this week. Stay tuned.