Science: What is it all about?

Published on by Vincent Ragay under

Why do tomato seedlings bend toward the light?

 

Before there was science, there was mythology. Lightning was not a mere natural or physical phenomenon but only one act among many acts of angry gods dwelling on a higher plane of existence than that of humans. Today, we still proverbially hike up Mt. Olympus, although we no longer believe that from its peak come forth the forces that cause the turbulences brought by the oceans, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and other calamities that torment humans.

Today, because of science we have everything under control. Well, almost everything – except for many diseases and, well — all the natural forces which continue to wreak havoc to all forms of life. And, we still cannot prevent tornadoes, floods, lightning, tsunamis, earthquakes, avalanches, volcanic eruptions and climate change until now. So, what has science really done?

Science has given us greater confidence and more conveniences; that is about all it has done. So much confidence, in fact, that we can now turn our eyes to outer space and hope to colonize the planets in the near future. And so many conveniences that we can live in great comfort in our homes and enjoy life like no other generation ever did before – and all that before it is our turn to finally — alas, give up the ghost!

Ooops! Sorry to spoil the fun, folks. Science has not solved the problem of death. It has made life more worth living for a short while (much shorter than Methuselah and Noah lived) and with less uncertainty (excepting the perpetually intractable weather and the occasional occurrences of violence and conflicts in unpredictable places). In short, we must look somewhere else to deal with moral or metaphysical issues which bravely provide direct answers to the death-issue, because science only deals with natural or physical processes. Even Einstein, who was a humble and God-fearing genius, made philosophical comments about life’s inscrutable ways – things that scientists rarely deal with as these issues cannot be measured, controlled and observed inside the laboratory or in their natural environment as they occur.

Love, for all that it has done for peoples, can never be clearly defined in physical terms, let alone in spiritual or philosophical statements. Such human attributes or functions defy description, although many passionately strive to in words (through poetry and prose), in visual or auditory symbols (through art and music) and even in action (through drama and film).

Like East and West, perhaps, science and the mysteries of the human soul and spirit can never meet in a common arena where they can dance in synch or sing in harmony instead of fight. Perhaps, we should also be asking ourselves, what is faith or life really all about? Answering one or both might help us understand the whole issue of our existence.

And many have indeed asked the same questions. We ask them again to find out if we are closer to any clear answer than ever before. Certainly, everyone has a good answer for either side. A popular song would even tell us that “Love is the Answer”! A scientist will say the answer will depend on what the next question will be. The cynic will say there is no answer – or there is no question! Perhaps, we are better off not asking anything and just get on with the business of living.

I can stop right here and end the discussion. But the human mind is not like an engine that can be stopped at will. Even in our sleep we still think and question. And, if you are a believer, in the other life, the spirit continues to journey to its highest destination – or its destiny.

The destiny of science, in truth, is not the same destiny for faith. Science utilizes mainly the mind as aided by our senses and by tools that multiply the power of our senses – such as the radar, the telescope or the electron microscope. What tools does faith have to help us see? Of course, the same senses and the available tools to help us understand the human condition and even physical realities (that is why the Bible begins with how it was created!) – such as the writings of the prophets, the witness of apostles and the words of God. Otherwise, we would all be as wretched as animals. Yes, we will have science; but we will be mere animals still crawling up Mt. Olympus, trying to catch a glimpse of what we could be. We will forever be breaking records; but we will never become gods. We will forever be competing for we will never become truly one.

Mythology then may have taught us how to strive to be less animalistic, more than human and truly god-like. But faith had always given that privilege and status to humans before the Fall – and, remember, we are still on that descending path. In all honesty, science cannot – and will never — provide the ultimate answers we seek.

Between science and Jesus Who could walk on water, turn water into wine, heal the blind and the lame and raise the dead, I would choose Jesus to believe and follow. Of course, that does not mean I will totally disregard science as it obviously does not deal with spiritual matters but only with material principles. Besides, one cannot depend totally on miracles at all times to solve each and every possible problem that comes along. Although many believers would say that is how a follower should believe and behave at all times. Otherwise, one would not be completely trusting in the Lord. We come face-to-face with a dilemma.

We modern people are an exceptional blend of faith and science – no doubt! We often swing from one side to another, especially when undergoing a crisis. We take the most potent medicine available to cure a sickness and call the aid of all prayer-warriors to storm the doors of Heaven for God’s intercession. When we recover, we thank both the doctor and the Lord. Now, I know there are some who would passionately claim that the One Who heals is the Lord. Medical science is just an aid or tool for Him to accomplish His will. That is obvious.

But wait a minute – did Jesus use any medicine? Or tool? We are practically saying that God has stopped performing miracles and only heals (if He so desires – or, for some, according to what they believe He is willing and is able to do) through science. There, we have placed science in between us and our God! And in so many other respects, we have done this very thing. In discerning the Genesis story and the development of the human race, we have also used science to diminish the power of God in His divine plan, as He has revealed it.

Sure, science has done much to make life convenient as well as intelligible, especially with regard to many previously “unexplained” natural processes (cosmology, astronomy, anatomy, biology, chemistry, etc.). Wait, we have already said this! We are going around in a circle – and that is because we have built up science as if it were a bonfire around which we cannot go far away for fear of getting lost in the darkness.

But faith is precisely the light that brought us comprehension of all things. No matter what science may say, humans understood the world because they understood the word of God – in the beginning. It was when humans departed from that paradigm that they lost the light of reason. Science kidnapped us from God and we can no longer see God for all the worldly knowledge we have.

Paul called it “falsely so-called” science, for some reason or another. “So-called”, because as early as his time he knew what science was already doing – turning people away from God. This may sound harsh, considering the following and respect that science has today. But it is a fact and a truth that we must not take lightly. We need not look far to see what science has done to the western civilization and, in the process, the whole of human population.

The mysteries of Nature have been gradually coopted and practically patented by science (for instance, the healing or revitalizing powers of many lowly herbs for the sake of pharmacology) that the followers and champions of God are left with nothing but an obscure and apparently inscrutable book to hang on to. And some are turning to science as well to explain what God may have done in Creation and in sustaining life and the Universe. A noble task that many – from both sides – do not seem to appreciate or even understand at all. For why should we listen to “Bible-science” defenders when we have sophisticated scientists to tell us the truth? Besides, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked in favor of science to tell the objective truth since those Christian writers are still squarely standing on supposed old myths and dubious assumptions not verifiable by experiments. Faith is often equated with superstition and is, therefore, generally “unscientific”. (Unbelievers proliferate more than ever before. You can probably count a hundred or more atheists just by reading comments to biblical or religious videos on YouTube in an hour or so.)

True, believers only have the actual accounts of eyewitness and participants themselves in the events written in the Bible – prophets, apostles, scribes, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God the Father. And, supposedly, there is no science there! That is, God never intended His word to be a science manual. In fact, science is telling believers: Lay off the science! And, even Christians are saying: Science is neutral, leave it be! Defend the Word according to its own terms. Do not make it conform to science. But who made science, meaning, Nature — which “reveals” science? Why should it be inconsistent with revelation?

Or are we talking of a false science, a “so-called” science? What we simply call science now. And yes, we  still call the Word of God the Truth. Science does seek the truth in Nature as well. We all benefit from it in many ways. But can believers also say: Lay off the Word!? Of course not. The Word is for all! And the Word is not neutral; for it will judge all people – scientists and non-scientists. We can no less disobey the laws of Nature than we can violate the laws of God. That is, while we are in the body. What happens when we give up the ghost – or give up the body? Where would science be? What senses can we use? What form of knowledge will come to our rescue? What power will protect us from the coming darkness? Or what wisdom will assure us that the Light is truly and absolutely the source of Life?

Today, admittedly, science has taken precedence over the Truth of God. For science is now incorporated in many of our laws and institutions, while the Truth of God is often neglected. For example, you cannot readily sell a new drug unless it passes duly-authorized clinical tests; while proven centuries-old, natural products with medicinal benefits have to be sold with a warning: “This is not a drug and should not be used as a drug for any disease”. So-called proud science, we should call it. And we will not even deal with false-religions which have effectively diluted the Truth. For in reality, science is the new religion.

Watch what you teach, therefore. Be careful how you lead people – whether to the Lord or away from Him. You could be healing a person’s body but destroying the spirit and the soul in the process.

Before there was science, there was mythology. But before there was mythology, there was only Truth. Today, we have science but not the complete Truth.

So, what is “falsely so-called” science? That which diverts people from God and from His Truth. Beware!

 

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