What is real?

That is not a question we ask every day but when you begin to think about science and religion, the discussion must eventually go there.


Things that can be explained by the laws/theories of science can be termed as ‘real’. This is probably behind the logic that scientists use to categorize ghosts/spirits as supernatural as there are no scientific explanations to justify their existence.

Hard core scientists want real things to be measureable and objective, not subjective.

Where does that leave God for many scientists?

In the realm of the ghost, spirits and the supernatural.

Are there other means than laboratory methodology to explain knowledge?

Knowledge of God for example?

Can we put God in the laboratory and prove His existence? I am afraid not.  God “is a personal Being who has revealed Himself in love and can be known in personal presence” [Little, 97].

I find it very amusing to read of the originators of contemporary scientific thinking. Little says the originators were from the 16th Century and they were all Christians.  The revolution they led in the science world was a break from Greek polytheistic concepts that viewed the world as irregular and incapable of systematic study.  They began to see regularity and the more they were able to prove that, the more they were able to have presuppositions which became the beginnings of scientific knowledge.

What were the underpinnings of their ideas about the world? Regularity was caused by an Intelligent Designer…God.

All the scientists of the 16th Century were Christian. That needs to be emphasized.

Today some science has begun to deny the existence of God because of His subjective nature. Science and the scientific method are the only ways to truth.  Maybe some have begun to worship scientific method and not God.

Little states “Science can tell us how something works but not why it works that way. Whether there is any purpose in the universe can never be answered for us by science.  As one writer put it, ‘Science can give us the ‘know how’ but it cannot give us the ‘know-why.’”

Maybe the Bible falls short on the hows but it clearly gives us the whys.

Little believes that what is needed for the scientist and the theologian is humility. Instead of thinking that man will be able to explain everything in the universe, it would be best to admit that this will never happen.  A famous quote about science is “the scientist has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians …”   The theologian can gloat that God is not only the Creator of the world but the sustainer.  That the universe would fall apart if not for God.  That’s a viable position but the theologians should admit that science is making strides in explaining more and more about this world.

Little says that there is a meeting of the minds between science and religion as more and more scientific advances do emphasize that life did not come by “blind chance, but by intelligent mind, as the result of prodigious thought….Recent discoveries would argue for theism rather than the opposite.”

I think Little is right. The most appropriate attitude of thinking in science and theology should be humility.  Science is real.  We can point to many advances we have in our world today due to science.  I lead people in prayer a lot as a Sunday School teacher and a phrase I am always using about someone facing surgery is to surround that person with peace and comfort and the doctors with knowledge and skill.  We want to have the scientific advances we have in our world today.  Ask anyone who is sick and in need of help from the medical community.

I just want leading thinkers to have the attitude of the 16th century scientific revolutionaries.  Little says “they were convinced they were thinking God’s thoughts after Him” [Little, 97].

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