One of the fish in my tank told the other fish that he has discovered the explanation for the daily arrival of food which he observed always coincides with a large shadow; therefore the shadow produces the food. When asked what causes the shadow, he says “it’s a natural law”.
Another fish disagreed. She believes that the shadow is a sign of some Being that lives outside of the tank entirely. She also claims (with no evidence) that this Being loves the fish and provides for them. The first fish informed her that she is irrational and unscientific.
You meet a thousand times in life with those who, in dealing with any religious question, make at once their appeal to reason, and insist on forthwith rejecting aught that lies beyond its sphere, without however being able to render any clear account of the nature and proper limits of the knowledge thus derived, or of the relation in which such knowledge stands to the religious needs of men. I would invite you, therefore, to inquire seriously whether such persons are not really bowing down before an idol of the mind, which, while itself of very questionable worth, demands as much implicit faith from its worshipers as divine revelation itself.
–Theodor Christlieb Modern Doubt and Christian Belief
When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe
and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting
to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure
many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.
–Physicist Tony Rothman, Former post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University
Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern
materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature,
the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.
I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.
The problem, I’m told, with being a hammer is that everything looks like a nail. To the surgeon, the cure must always involve surgery; the insurance salesman has but one solution – more insurance. To the successful scientist, everything belongs in a test tube.
Is science the platform by which we should evaluate every aspect of existence? Science is a tool, and a useful one at that, but still just a tool. Many tools are useful, but no one tool can be used in every situation – we need a complete toolbox. Many scientists would have us believe that their field of study is the Swiss Army Knife of worldview tools; that every possible task and every possible situation can be evaluated with that one tool. But we know better.
The wooden, lifeless approach of science works fine for some matters. But the matters of our inner life, our yearnings, and our eternal importance cannot be evaluated with their tool, no matter how many pliers, blades, or toothpicks it has. We need more than their one tool in our toolbox in order to uncover the mysteries of life.
Why does a rose smell sweet? Science would tell us it is due to the make-up of the petals or some such nonsense. That is not why, it is how. It does nothing to give us the reason for the matter but only provides the mechanics of the matter. That is not a satisfying explanation and our inner self testifies to the fact that there is more to life’s questions than science’s wooden answer.
Science needs a reality check – it does very little to explain anything. While science uses some scientific sounding words to describe almost anything under the sun, really very little can be explained by science. Described, yes; Explained, no. An explanation, you see, is much more than overlaying scientific words onto a mechanic process. We must demand more.