Archive for the ‘faith in the God of the Bible compatible with science’ Category

The whole enterprise of science rests precisely on the assumption that it is an ordered world in which pattern can be discovered and categories established

October 11, 2009

The whole enterprise of science rests precisely on the assumption that it is an ordered world in which pattern can be discovered and categories established. The ordered rationality of the created world, deriving from the transcendent rationality of the creative Word, is a basic asumption…of natural science. There would be no science at all without an ordered world.

David Atkinson, Genesis 1-11, p.19

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The visible order of the universe proclaims a supreme intelligence

October 9, 2009

The visible order of the universe proclaims a supreme intelligence.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

The visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of the creation that a rational creature, who will but seriously reflect on them cannot miss the discovery of a deity.

John Locke

As a house implies a builder , a garment a weaver, and a door a carpenter, so does the existence of the Universe imply a Creator.

Marquis de Vauvenargues

It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.

George Washington

Of what I call God, and fools call Nature.

Robert Browning

The more I study nature , the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.

Louis Pasteur

Science brings men nearer to God.

Louis Pasteur

Science draws upon…the idea that we live in a world which has been ordered in a rational way, by a lawgiver, that there is a lawlike order in nature which is imposed from above

October 5, 2009

Science draws upon…the idea that we live in a world which has been ordered in a rational way, by a lawgiver, that there is a lawlike order in nature which is imposed from above.

Most cultures do not share that view…nature is a battle-ground, capricious, a tension..Galileo, like many of the early scientists was deeply religious…The motivation for doing science was this belief that there really is a scheme of things that can be discerned through experimentation. If he had not believed that, he would never have embarked upon science…It was usual to say man was created in God’s image…the human mind reflected in some diminished way God’s power, so there was an intellectual basis to nature.

Source unknown

I think that Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of

October 5, 2009

I think that men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think that Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of.

James Clerk Maxwell, from a rough draft of a letter politely refusing an invitation to join the Victoria Institute (1875)

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79) was the founder of the electromagnetic theory of light and  pioneer in thermodynamics. Of him Einstein said:

The special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell’s equations of the electromagnetic field…The work of James Clerk Maxwell changed the world forever.

Maxwell quotes:

I believe, with the Westminster Divines and their predecessors ad Infinitum that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever.

I have the capacity of being more wicked than any example that man could set me, and that if I escape, it is only by God’s grace helping me to get rid of myself, partially in science, more completely in society, — but not perfectly except by committing myself to God as the instrument of His will, not doubtfully, but in the certain hope that that Will will be plain enough at the proper time. Nevertheless, you see things from the outside directly, and I only by reflexion, so I hope that you will not tell me you have little fault to find with me, without finding that little and communicating it.

Letter to Rev. C. B. Tayler ( 8 July 1853) in Ch. 6 : Undergraduate Life At Cambridge October 1850 to January 1854 — ÆT. 19-22, p. 189 The Life of James Clerk Maxwell (1882)

Laws of Nature are observed regularities only

September 7, 2009

(a false assumption is that) the so-called ‘laws of nature’ state what must always necessarily occur. They are regarded as ontological entities which determine the course of nature on the supposition that ‘an observed regularity in events is somehow also an observed immutable necessity’ (H.H. Farmer). laws of nature, however, are mental concepts, not ontological entities. They are generalizations made on the basis of the observation of certain regularities in the events which have happened hitherto in the phenomenal world.

R.Abba, Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.156

The futility of running from God

September 7, 2009

…the only creature that can prove anything cannot prove its own insignificance without depriving the proof of any proof-value. Any radical depreciation of man involves an equally radical depreciation of the scientific thinking which supplies the supposed evidence. (T.E. Jessop)

In other words, if you reduce man to a beast, If the brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile, then all his theories – including this one – are worthless

R.Abba, nature and Authority of the Bible, p.109

Rejecting God’s revelation and starting with reason, man is left undermining the very possibility of any knowledge at all. Faith in the God of Scripture is the precondition of any knowledge

Science and the Bible – Galileo

August 23, 2009

But we must remember that the Copernican theory was opposed by philosophers as well as theologians of all creeds for nearly a hundred years, under the notion that it contradicts the testimony of the senses and the geocentric teaching of the Bible. When towards the close of the sixteenth century Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) became a convert to the Copernican theory, and with his rude telescope discovered the satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, he was denounced as a heretic, summoned before the Inquisition at Rome and commanded by Bellarmin, the standard theologian of the papacy, to abandon his error, and to teach that the earth is the immovable centre of the universe (Feb. 26, 1616). The Congregation of the Index, moved by Pope Paul V., rendered the decree that “the doctrine of the double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false, and entirely contrary to the Holy Scripture,” and condemned the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, which affirm the motion of the earth. They remained on the Index Purgatorius till the time of Benedict XIV. Even after the triumph of the Copernican system in the scientific world, there were respectable theologians, like John Owen and John Wesley, who found it inconsistent with their theory of inspiration, and rejected it as a delusive and arbitrary hypothesis tending towards infidelity. “E pur si muove,” the earth does move for all that!

There can be no contradiction between the Bible and science; for the Bible is not a book of astronomy or geology or science; but a book of religion, teaching the relation of the world and man to God; and when it touches upon the heavenly bodies, it uses the phenomenal popular language without pronouncing judgment for or against any scientific theory.

Philip Schaff

History of the Christian Church, Volume VIII: Modern Christianity. The Swiss Reformation.

The (reasonable) faith of the scientist

August 17, 2009

Science believes in the regularity of nature an it is rooted in this belief as firmly as a religious belief is rooted in a system of religion.

German physicist G.F. Weizsäcker replying to Martin Heidegger that science requires belief in the regularity of nature as fondational in  way similar to religious belief.