Why Christians should be the biggest defenders of science
So, I got snookered into visiting the blog of a gent named Tom Estes, called "Hard Truth" (no URL for you, Tom). I followed his link from Pharyngula, as he was trying to defend Ken Ham. Y'know, the Creation Museum (which is about as museumy as a wax museum), "If science contradicts the Bible, then science is wrong" -- that Ken Ham.
Aaaaanyway, the comments are much more interesting than Tom Estes himself. As one bloke pointed out in the comments, "Why are the atheist posts often humorous, but the Christians are never funny at all?" Actually, Tom doesn't engage much in the comments, and actively deletes links to some other Christian sites.
It occurred to me, during all this exchange, that Tom and Ken and all those folks who use the Bible to trump science are wrong.
Not just wrong in the "denying reality" sense (although that plays into it), but wrong in that they are denying god's greatest work!
Let's assume that god exists, and he is the god of the Christian Bible. So, with that assumption in mind, I will now capitalize God, and He, and other random Words associated with Him, in the Christian style.
Let me put on my Christian Apologetics hat.
Man is corrupt.
He is not simply corrupt in action and in sin, but in thought as well. Since the fall, man is subject to poor thinking, and is often deceived by his own senses and thoughts. I believe even atheists must agree that man is not entirely logical, though they would attribute it to evolution, and not the fall.
The Bible, the Word of God, must be interpreted by the corrupt mind of man. If not, why do we need pastors and preachers and men of the cloth? The Bible, the Word of God, is corruptible in translation. If not, why do people prefer one translation over another? Why do modern Bibles differ from the most ancient? The Bible is open to interpretation. If it wasn't, why are there so many different Christian denominations, each with their own practices and distinct beliefs?
Man is corrupt, and man interprets the Bible, as best we can.
God, on the other hand, is Perfect. He is perfect in Action, perfect in Words, and perfect in Works. He does not deceive.
His Works are perfect. They contain no contradiction, no falsehoods. His Works are evident by their very Perfection. His Works reflect His Mind, His Being, just as paintings reflect the thoughts and mind of the painter, and novels reflect the thoughts of the author.
God's greatest Creation is the universe, our own reality. As God's greatest Work, it contains no falsehoods, for God is not a deceiver. It contains no contradictions, for God is Perfect, and His Works are Perfect.
As His Greatest Work, the universe, our very reality, is His most indelible Word. The universe reflects the Mind of God, as it is His Conception and His Creation. The universe is God at His loudest, at His clearest.
How, then, can one take the Bible over the other Word of God, the universe, our reality?
Man must also interpret reality. However, man has also discovered a tool to help blunt the corrupt and incorrect thinking, to help overcome bias and preconception. This tool is science.
Science is both a way of thinking, and a way of observing. The entire purpose of science is to reduce man's flaws in thinking, in observation. It helps clear away opinion and bias, and encourages cooperation among seekers -- even seekers who do not initially agree.
Science is not just consensus. Science is a mill, where opposing ideas are grist, ground through the millstones of objective observations.
Observations of God's greatest Creation, the universe, our reality.
Given this, Christians should be the first to champion the study of God's Truest and most Lasting Word. Christians should be the first to defend the honest and unbiased application of science, even if it contradicts their own interpretation of the Bible. Christians should be the harshest critics, the finest of the millstones; but they should also be the first to embrace the ideas that survive the mill.
These ideas, these theories, are our best guess at the Mind of God, based on our understanding of His greatest Work. How could anyone choose a particular interpretation of the Bible over God's greatest Word?
Okay, apologetics hat off.
Christians, are there any flaws here? Is this thinking irrational? Is there some reason to prefer the Bible over god's other words, the universe itself? Is there some reason to assume that science is not the best method for exploring the workings of the universe? Am I way off base assuming Christians would like to know a little bit more about the mind of god?
"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers