I used to be a science believer
This text discusses scientism and people who believe in science. The idea for this text came a while back from some discussions I had and after I had read some related literature. The topic is also familiar for me, as I used to be a science believer and an atheist. I was sure of my perceptions and I thought science would prove that believing in God is insane. My views were similar to those of Richard Dawkins, who is well-known for denying God.
I don’t think the same anymore, however, as I see that my past views lacked arguments and were irrational even. I turned to Jesus Christ a long time ago and I believe that Christian theism provides the most rational understanding of the world. It provides the most adequate explanations to the beginning of the universe, why we’re here and how to connect with God. Believers of science and atheists don’t, of course, share this view, but they should reconsider the premise of their beliefs. In the following chapters we are going to familiarize ourselves with the matter.
How is scientism manifested?
- (1 Peter 5:5) …for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
When I used to believe in science and were an atheist, it was typical of me to have this confidence and image of my own wisdom. I thought I was wise, rational, that my worldview was scientific, and that I only held on to facts and never relied on religious fanciful ideas.
This is typical behavior and thinking for someone who believes in science. They think they are intellectually independent, that they only rely on scientific facts and observations, and that they are critically thinking people, who dare to question ridiculous beliefs of society. Moreover, these kinds of people are often confident and proud, as was I in my past as well.
One of the most important characteristics in science believers is the need to compare and contrast between scientific and religious worldviews. This was what I used to be like, and it is being repeated by freethinkers and most of the science believers. Nearly all of them would like to separate scientific and religious beliefs. They think they are representing science and only sticking to reason, as a contrast to having blind faith. This way of thinking becomes clear from V.T. Aaltonen’s writing:
Our scientists – naturalists I belong to, for one – are not really interested in religious matters. Most of them consider, for example, Christian dogmas to be so irrational that it’s usually not worth it to go about debunking them. This kind of, should I say well-intentioned disinterested stance, is unfortunate in my opinion, especially, because religion is the bearer and booster of irrational thinking, which opposes the scientific atmosphere… Let us think about the unnatural state of affairs, where our schools try to implement two completely opposing worldviews and understandings, religious and scientific, into children and teens.
I wish briefly that people would think scientifically.
Generally, it looks like most people try to manage by thinking as little as possible. (…) The most important part of a scientific way of thinking is freedom from prejudices, predilections and devotions. The target of a scientist is always the truth, regardless of how unpleasant it may be or how much confusion it may cause to people whose beliefs it shows wrong. (1)
How do science believers break their own principles – meaning, the blind faith they have. As stated, science believers consider themselves scientific and rational, and that they are not subjected to blind faith. This kind of attitude was depicted in the former statement by V.T. Aaltonen, in which he stated: “Let us think about the unnatural state of affairs, where our schools try to implement two completely opposing worldviews and understandings, religious and scientific, into children and teens.” Well-known for his denial of God, Richard Dawkins has separated his supposed scientific worldview from blind faith, which he associates with religions:
Faith that is meant to signify belief with no evidential foundation is the main thing in religions. (2)
Does this make science believers’ thinking coherent? When I believed in science and atheism, was I coherent in a way that made me have a completely scientific view of the world and no hint of “blind faith”?
The direct answer is that I wasn’t coherent, and neither is Dawkins or any other atheist. That is, when science believers blame others for having faith with no grounds, they’re guilty of the same thing. They are guilty for having blind faith, specifically in one field: the beginning of the world.
For example, there’s not a single piece of evidence supporting the idea that life began by itself, yet science believers and atheists believe it happened. What we know for sure, is that life creates life, and there’s never been an exception to this rule (which suggests life was created, and is proof for creation, not for atheism.) Still, believers of science and atheists believe that life began by itself, which means that they have blind faith which has no grounds. Freethinker V.T. Aaltonen has described his belief in the following manner. He acknowledges that life has had a beginning here on earth, but he also says that it poses a problem. This kind of faith does not rely on facts, it relies on blind faith. I used to be like V.T. Aaltonen, consumed by my blind faith:
It is a fact that life started on Earth at a specific point in time, but the way how it came into being is – at least for the time being – an unsolved mystery. There is no other possibility, however, than life starting on its own, i.e. the birth of life being an event that is part of the natural order anywhere with similar conditions as on the Earth when life came into being. (3)
Claims about the universe exerting itself into existence by itself (which goes completely against all know laws of physics), and galaxies and the earth forming by themselves, are similar unfounded claims as the claims about life beginning by itself. This kind of phenomenon has never been witnessed, and people still believe in them blindly. Atheists must do this, however, because when they deny God, they are forced to come up with alternative explanations.
V.T. Aaltonen provides us another portrayal of blind faith, which I used to be subjected to in the past as well. He admits that there are many theories and that they are mere assumptions, but he still chooses to believe that life began by itself.
There are many different views and theories about the beginning of our planet, Solar System, and the galaxies, but all of them are, more or less, assuming. In any case, the earth was formed of blazing gas in the beginning, like our Sun, and then it gradually cooled and condensed, until the planet evolved to a state, where emergence of life would be possible. (4)
Naturalism isn’t science.
- (Rom 1:18-23) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
When I was a believer of science and an atheist, I thought my stance was scientific, rational and supportive of critical thinking. However, now I realize that my old stance represented blind faith, irrationality, and that I wasn’t hesitant to research the accuracy of my beliefs back then. Lack of thought and the certainty I felt towards my belief prevented me from gaining more information. That is, if people are absolutely sure about their views, as I used to be and many believers of science are today, it is difficult to make them think otherwise, because they don’t even want to give a slight consideration for the opposing view. The purpose of science should be to aim to find the truth, but a preconception can be a hindrance.
Matti Leisola, a former evolutionist, gives us an observational example. He talked to hundreds of scientists and noticed how insufficiently they had familiarized themselves with the principles of evolution. They had adopted evolution as a part of the Western science education, but they didn’t seem to have any idea about the shortcomings of the theory:
I was surprised that an internationally known biochemist approved of the evolution theory without ever having given more thought towards it. Our conversation about the topic continued the same year in Switzerland and later in Finland. I have discussed the same issue with hundreds of scientist colleagues from all over the world, and I have yet to find a person, who would have properly familiarized themself with the basics of evolutionary theory. I often come across the following claim: “The whole science community believes that the evolution theory undoubtedly holds true.” The truth of the matter is completely different; only a small section of the science community has seriously thought about it. They have adopted evolution as part of the Western science education. (5)
How should science believers move forward from this point? Because they basically deny creation, accordingly, they should reflect, whether naturalistic theories about the beginning can be true. The following points might be a good place to start reflecting:
• Can anything come out of nothingness, as is posed by the Big Bang theory? Not all scientists believe in this theory, because there are some that consider it fabrication and a lie. Next up, a few comments:
New data differs enough from the theory’s prediction to destroy the Big Bang-cosmology (Fred Hoyle, The Big Bang in Astronomy, 92 New Scientist 521, 522-23 / 1981)
As an old cosmologist, I see the current observational data repealing theories about the beginning of the universe, and also the many theories about the beginning of the Solar System. (H. Bondi, Letter, 87 New Scientist 611 / 1980)
There has been considerably little discussion about the possibility of the Big Bang theory… many of the observations that conflict it are explained through numerous unfounded assumptions or they are simply ignored. (nobelisti [nobelist] H. Alfven, Cosmic Plasma 125 / 1981)
Physicist Eric Lerner: ”Big Bang is merely an interesting tale, which is maintained for a certain reason” (Eric Lerner: A Startling Refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe, The Big Bang Never Happened, NY: Times Books, 1991).
David Berlinski: ”It is pointless to argue that something comes into existence out of nothing, when any given mathematician understands this to be complete nonsense” (Ron Rosenbaum: ”Is the Big Bang Just a Big Hoax? David Berlinski Challenges Everyone.” New York Observer 7.7.1998)
Philosopher Roland Nash: …one does not need to be a theist (one that believes in God) to see the problem in understanding or accepting the belief that the universe came into existence without any reason and out of nowhere. (6)
• Can a rock-like lifeless matter generate life? Real life has shown that life can only be born from life, and there has not been any exceptions to this rule. Therefore, given that life has had a beginning, and it cannot appear on its own, wouldn’t the most logical option be that there’s a living God who’s the Creator and who made all primary animals and plants?
• If the evolution theory is true, then why have we not witnessed any gradual development on any fossils, which is a fact that has been acknowledged by many frontline paleontologists? Fossils are the only proof we have of the past, and if they don’t carry any signs of gradual development, in that case, evolution cannot be true. Even Richard Dawkins admits that there is no observed gradual development in fossils, but he still chooses to believe in evolution. Isn’t this exactly the kind of blind and unfounded belief that science believers and atheists accuse others of? I see it as that, and I used to be in their position.
Stephen Jay Gould: The extreme rareness of intermediate forms in fossil material continues to be the trade secret of palaeontologists. The evolution trees appearing in our textbooks include facts only at the heads and folding points of the branches. The rest is reasoning, no matter how reasonable it is, not evidence of fossils –- I do not want in any way to belittle the potential competence of the gradual evolution view. I want only to remark that it has never 'been observed' in rocks. (...) (7)
Niles Eldredge: We palaeontologists have said that the history of life supports [a story about changes that promote gradual adapting], even though we know all the while that it does not. (8)
Richard Dawkins: Since the times of Darwin, scientists researching evolution have known that fossils arranged in the order of time do not form a sequence of small and barely noticeable change. - - For example, strata from the Cambrian period from 600 million years ago are the oldest strata that contain fossils from most of the vertebrate phyla. On top of that, many of them are already quite far developed. Because there are no earlier fossils, they seem to have appeared on these strata from thin air… Regardless of their school of thought, all the evolutionists agree that in this area there is a huge gap in the fossil discoveries. (9)
• If millions of years are true, then why have human objects, and human remains, been discovered from “300 million-year-old” coal layers (Glashouver, W.J.J., So entstand die Welt, Hänssler, 1980, pp. 115-6; Bowden, M., Ape-men-Fact or Fallacy? Sovereign Publications, 1981; Barnes, F.A., The Case of the Bones in Stone, Desert/February, 1975, p. 36-39. In his book Time Upside Down (1981) Erich A. von Frange has listed more objects and human remains found from coal layers).
Coal also contains radiocarbon, which official half-life is only 5730 years. That is, there shouldn’t be any remaining in million-year-old layers. Yet, there are traces of it. Why have we also found traces of DNA (its half-life is even shorter than the half-life of radiocarbon) and radiocarbon in dinosaurs remains? This should not be possible, if they were animals that lived 65 million years ago.
It is not common for fossils that are thought to be very old to get a carbon-14 dating, because they should not have any radiocarbon left. The half-life of radioactive carbon is so short that all of it has practically decayed in under 100,000 years.
In 2012 during August a group of German scientists in the convention for geophysicists reported carbon-14 dating measurements, which were made from many fossilized dinosaur bone samples. According to the measurements, the bone samples were 22,000-39,000 years old! The presentation can be seen in written form on YouTube. (19)
How were the measurements received? Two of the chairmen, who could not accept the measurements, deleted the abstract of the presentation from the conference website without mentioning it to the scientists. The measurements can be found here: http://newgeology.us/presentation48.html. This incident tells us, the impact of naturalistic paradigm. It is nearly impossible to be able to publish measurements conflicting it in the science community dictated by naturalism. It is more likely that pigs fly. (11)
Fossils older than 100,000 should have too little 14C to measure, but dating laboratories consistently find 14C, well above background levels, in fossils supposedly many millions of years old. For example, no source of coal has been found that lacks 14C, yet this fossil fuel supposedly ranges up to hundreds of millions of years old. Fossils in rocks dated at 1–500 Ma by long-age radioisotope dating methods gave an average radiocarbon ‘age’ of about 50,000 years, much less than the limits of modern carbon dating. Furthermore, there was no pattern of younger to older in the carbon dates that correlated with the evolutionary/uniformitarian ‘ages’. (12)
• If things like, nervous regulation, precise laws of nature, emotions, personalities, life and senses exist, wouldn’t the most likely alternative behind all of them be a living God who created them? These things can’t just originate from a rock-like lifeless matter. Or is there anyone, who has seen a rock suddenly transform into a living being that can reproduce, eat, feel mourn, love or be happy, think, move or built houses and planes?
Why don’t science believers and atheists accept God as the Creator? Their naturalistic worldview is the major cause. Although scientists admit, e.g., that they don’t have any proof for life’s beginning or for transitional forms, and despite them acknowledging nervous regulation, precise laws of nature and signs of intelligent design in the nature, they still hold to on to naturalism. (Even Richard Dawkins has referred to how seemingly designed the nature looks in his book The God Delusion on p. 153: “The fact based on observations is that every species and every organ in every species that we have so far studied, is good at what it does. Bird, bat and bee wings are good for flying. Eyes are good for seeing. Leaves are good at photosynthesis. We live on a planet that might have over ten million species and every one of them lets out a strong illusion of intelligent design. Each species fits perfectly for their specific way of life.”). They stick to this worldview, despite practical observations pointing to another direction. A biology professor gave out a simple statement about this kind of view in the Nature science magazine, which is one of the most well-known science publications:
Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic (Nature, Sept. 30, 1999, p.423.)
It is also typical for scientists to think that a naturalistic worldview equates to science. Naturalism/atheism, however, are not science, as is not theism either, because all views are founded on belief. They all take a stance on, whether there is a God or not. Naturalism/atheism do not believe in the existence of God; theism is the opposite.
However, we can draw conclusions from certain data. I think that my own past atheistic belief was “blind belief”, because it didn’t have a strong foundation or support. Now I consider Christian theism to be a much more rational worldview that is founded on truth.
Rewriting history. We mentioned earlier how man-made items and human remains have been discovered from strata, which have been considered hundreds of millions of years old. Similarly, coal layers have contained radiocarbon, which proves that the age of these layers must be measured in thousands of years. These kinds of discoveries prove that the history of man, as well as, the whole history of our planet are roughly the same age, which means that we are dealing with thousands of years, instead of millions of years. Millions of years can only be true on paper, but many practical observations go against it.
What is all this about? It’s about rewriting history. It is also about the assumption that everything appeared from nothing unaided, that life began by itself, and that all species descend from the same original cell. All these notions are basically rewritten history, which have changed how we tell our history.
What about the history of science? It has also been subjected to rewritten history. A popular view, especially among the naturalistic circles, has been that Christianity was an obstacle for the development of science, but how was it really? We are going to discuss this further below.
• Firstly, the rise of written standard language and literacy. Everyone can understand that if a nation doesn’t have their own written standard language and people are unable to read, it will be a hindrance to scientific development, research, new inventions and to spreading information. There won’t be any books, because people can’t read them, and information won’t be spread forward. Society will stay at a stationary state.
How has Christianity affected the rise of written standard language and literacy? Many researchers have a blind spot for this question. They don’t know that nearly all written standard languages have come to be due to devoted Christians. For example, in Finland Mikael Agricola, a reformer in Finland and the father of Finnish literature, pressed the first ABC book, as well as, the New Testament and parts of other Books from the Bible. People learned how to read through these books. In many other Western countries development has taken a similar route. Had Christianity not existed, development in Western societies could have been delayed by centuries:
Christianity created the Western sophistication. If the followers of Jesus would have stayed as a faint Jewish sect, many of you would have never learned how to read and the rest would have read from hand copied scrolls. Without theology coined with progression and moral equality, the whole world would currently be at a state, where non-European societies were roughly in the 1800s: A world with countless astrologists and alchemists, but without scientists. A despotic world without universities, banks, factories, spectacles, chimneys and pianos. A world, where most children die before the age of five and where many women would die of childbirth – a world that would truly live in the “Dark Ages”. A modern world only arose from Christian societies. Not in the Islamic realm. Not in Asia. Not in a ”secular” society – as such a thing did not exists. (13)
That is, before there can be literacy, there needs to be a written standard language. In this respect Christian missionaries have had a key role, not only centuries ago in Western countries, but also later in Africa and Asia. The following examples will illustrate this further. It’s rather remarkable that even languages like Hindi, the main language of India, Urdu of Pakistan and Bengali of Bangladesh have gotten their grammar and language foundation through Christian missionary work. Hundreds of millions of people speak these languages today.
Vishal Mangalwadi: I grew up in the heart of Hindu language in Allahabad, nearly 80 kilometers from Kashi, where Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanasin, the most significant religious epic of Northern India. I was constantly told that Hindi originated from this great epic. But when I read it, I got confused, because I could not understand a single phrase from it. The writer’s “Hindi” was completely different from mine and I started to question, where my mother tongue – the official national language of India – originated from.
… Not even the Hindu scholars craft the national language of India that is Hindi. It is thanks to Bible translators, such as John Borthwick Gilchristin and the missionary-linguists, such as vicar S.H.Kelloggin, that the current standard Hindi language came from the language based on poet Tulsidas’ (ca. 1532-1623) language.
… Bible translators and missionaries gave something else other than my mother tongue Hindi. All the living national languages in India attest to their work. In 2005 Mumbaikar, but Malayalam as his mother tongue speaking researcher, Doctor Babu Verghese left his 700-page doctoral thesis for the University of Nagpur to check. He pointed out that Bible translators mostly created 73 current national languages from illiterate Indians’ dialects. These consisted of the national languages of India (Hindi), Pakistan (Urdu) and Bangladesh (Bengali). Five Brahmin scholars went through Verghese’s thesis and granted him with the title of Doctor of Philosophy in 2008. At the same time they recommended that the thesis would be selected as a mandatory textbook in linguistic studies in India after its publishing. (14)
Christian missionary work has always been all-round helping people in nature so that they have always rushed to the aid of sick, disabled, homeless and outcasts. Christian missionary work has built the whole basis for basic and higher education school systems in numerous African countries. At the same time missionary work has significantly contributed to forming a network for healthcare… A well known African researcher, the Professor of the University of Yale Lamin Sanneh, has claimed that missionaries have done the greatest service for local cultures in Africa by creating the basis for a written standard language. (15)
• Secondly, it’s good to mention the so-called scientific revolution. Most often secular and atheistic circles pose the view that this revolution had nothing to do with Christian faith, but there’s reason to question their perception. That is, in modern sense science has only sprung once, and it happened in the 16th – 18th century Europe, when Christian theism dominated the area. Scientific revolution didn’t begin in a secular society, but specifically in society inspired by Christianity. Nearly all leading scientists believed in creation. Among them were Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, John Ray, Louis Pasteur etc. They were advocates for theism, not enlightenment:
These are the slogans used by one of the most long-standing and most efficient campaigns based on polemic articles in the history of Western countries. Although, this campaign generally has had a very significant impact on intellectual world, it does not seem to have made an impact on the scientists per se. The executors of the scientific revolution were famous for their belief in God and this tradition they represented has continued in science. For example, during the whole of the 19th century scientific development was as much of a religious mission as it was a secular mission – aspiration to understand Gods creations continued. (16)
• If scientific revolution took place in the 16th – 18th century Europe, what made it possible? One reason were the universities, and there were around 60 of them by the year 1500. These universities were not operated by secularists or governments, since they were founded due active support from medieval churches. Studies of natural science and astronomy held a significant role. These universities were surrounded with considerable freedom of research and discussion, which were, in fact, favored. There were hundreds of thousands of students enrolled, which partly laid the groundwork for the scientific revolution to take place in the 16th – 18th century Europe. This revolution did not appear out of nowhere, as it was preceded by favorable development. Other continents didn’t have as widely spread education and similar universities as Europe did, because Christianity wasn’t as prevalent there.
The Middle Ages created a basis for the greatest accomplishment of Western society: modern science. Claim that says science did not exists before “Renaissance” is simply untrue. After familiarizing themselves with classical Greek research, scholars of the Middle Ages developed ideology systems, which led science much further compared to the antique times. Universities, where academic freedom was protected from the leaders’ power, were founded in the 1100s. These institutions have always provided a safe haven for scientific research. Even Christian theology proved to be uniquely fitted to encourage researching the nature, which was believed to be God’s creation. (17)
Vishal Mangalwadi: In my home country there was no teaching of natural sciences in Hindu Ashrams or in Buddhist monasteries. Then why would Christian Universities in Europe – equally as religious institutions – begin developing and teaching them? It became apparent for the Bible researchers that the reading of “creation of the nature” was more important than reading Greek and Latin books. The latter were written by men, but the former was written by God. Paracelcus wrote that before getting to know Galen, Avicenna and Aristotle, one should read a book about the creation of the nature, familiarize oneself with the library of “books written, made and bound by God Himself”. (18)
• If Christianity has been a positive factor in the development of science, because of its advancing of literacy, for example, where did the notion of juxtaposing science and belief come from? One contributing factor has been Charles Darwin with his evolution theory in the 19th century. This theory that complies with naturalism, is the major contributor for this notion. Richard Dawkins has also acknowledged that before Darwin it would have been difficult to be an atheist: “Although atheism might have logically felt rational before Darwin, it was him who created a basis for intelligently argued atheism” (19).
But as we have already discussed, Darwin’s theory (specifically that all species descend from a shared original cell) isn’t really science, because it contradicts fossil evidence. Fossils don’t carry signs of gradual development. Additionally, it must be noted that Darwin does not present examples of species transforming into another in his book On the Origin of Species, he only gives examples of variation and adaptation. Species transformation and adaptation are two completely different things. Variation, as in beak and wing size in birds or some bacteria being more resistant, does not in any way prove that all species would have originated from the same original cell. The following comments will discuss the subject further. Darwin had to admit that he doesn’t actually have any examples of actual species transformations. In this respect we can say that Darwin misled science:
Darwin: I am actually tired of telling people that I do not claim to have any direct evidence of a species having changed into another species and that I believe this view correct mainly because so many phenomena can be grouped and explained based on it. (20)
Encyclopedia Britannica: It must be emphasized that Darwin never claimed to have been able to prove evolution or the origin of species. He claimed that if evolution has taken place, many inexplicable facts can be explained. The evidence supporting evolution is thus indirect.
• As already mentioned, Christianity had an immense impact on the rise of scientific revolution. One factor were the universities founded by churches. The claim that Christianity would have been a hindrance to scientific development, which is something that atheists like to spread around, is a myth. This is evidenced by the fact that those countries that experienced Christian influence for the longest time, have also been forerunners in science and research.
What about the idea that church used to persecute scientists? Atheists want to uphold this idea, but many historians consider it as distortion of history. (Only a few atheists in Western countries are aware that the largest science persecutions took place in atheistic Soviet Union. Many scientists, such as genetic engineers, were imprisoned and some were even killed over their scientific views.) The notion of juxtaposing Christianity and science only began in the late 19th century, when the writes supporting Darwin’s theory, e.g., Andrew Dickson White and John William Draper, brought it up in their works. However, a researcher of the medieval times, James Hannam, has stated the following:
Contrary to the common belief, church never supported the idea of a flat earth, never disapproved of autopsies, and for sure never burned anyone at the stake for their scientific ideologies. (21)
Australian skeptic Tim O’Neill has taken a stance on this claim and shows how little people actually know about history: ”It is not difficult to take nonsense into part, especially when the people producing it don’t really know anything about history. They have merely adopted these peculiar ideas from websites and from popular books. These claims fall short immediately, when met with indisputable evidence. I find it amusing crushing these people, who spread these speeches, completely by asking them to name one – and only one – scientist, who was burned at the stake or who was persecuted or pressured due to their research during the Middle Ages. They can never give me one name… When I start listing scientists of the Middle Ages - Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicolaus – and when I ask, why these men were able to develop science in the Middle Ages in peace without the church harassing them, my opponents usually scratch their heads in awe and wonder, what went wrong.” (22)
How about Galileo Galilei, who debunked the idea of the Sun circling the earth? Many don’t know that this idea is not Christian heritage, but that it came from the ancient times. The man behind the idea was a Greek scientists Ptolemais and his works addressing astronomy. They affected astronomers for centuries to come:
The world view of Ptolemy created a basis for the commonly accepted assumption that the Earth is the center of the Universe and stays put… Ptolemy finalized his geocentric model in 150 BC. in his treatise Hẻ megalẻ syntaxis (Great Treatise) It became one of the most influential works in astronomy for centuries. In fact, every European astronomer was influenced by it and none of them questioned the geocentric model of the universe in earnest. (Simon Sing: Big Bang, p. 36,38)
It is also important to realize that both advocates of science and Christianity were divided in terms of reacting to Galileo’s theory. Some people of the church supported him, and some were against him. Similarly, there were some scientists who opposed his ideas. This is always the case with new theories emerging.
Understanding the heliocentric model might have felt contrary to the common observation, and it still might. For example, calendars and news papers still talk about Sun rise and Sun set, rather than earth rise and earth set. For us it appears like the Sun is moving and the earth isn’t. We don’t experience a constant breeze due to the planet’s movement or feel that we are being swept from our feet. In this respect it is understandable that opinions on heliocentrism were divided centuries ago. Galileo Galilei was also ahead of many, because he had a telescope that was the most effective of its time and many did not have access to such advanced tools. It was a new invention and it affected the emergence of heliocentric model.
Why was Galileo disgraced by the pope and given house arrest? This was due to his behavior. The pope used to be an admirer of Galileo, but Galileo’s tactless writing exacerbated the situation. Ari Turunen has written about the motives in the situation:
Although Galileo Galilei is considered as one of the greatest martyrs in science, we must remember that as a person he wasn’t that compelling. He was arrogant and easily offended, argued a lot and he lacked discretion and talent to handle people. Because of his sharp tongue and caustic remarks, he had plenty of enemies. Galilei’s astronomical work was written in dialog format. The book introduces a less intelligent character named Simplicius, who presents Galileo with the most idiotic counterarguments. Galilei’s enemies managed to convince the pope that Galilei had meant the pope with his Simplicius character. It was only after this that the vain and sensitive Urban VIII began to act against Galilei…
…Urban considered himself a reformer and he agreed to talk with Galilei, but Galilei’s manner was too much for the pope. Whether Galilei had meant the pope with his Simplicius character or not, the choice of name was extremely poor. Galilei didn’t care for the basics of successful writing, which includes respecting the reader. (23)
Science belief and moral. Having great faith in science and the faith that it will solve all mankind’s problems is typical for science believers. There might be something to it. Science can and has helped solve many problems. For example, advanced medical science can help the diseased ones. Cars, trains and airplanes make it easier to travel. Processed crops provide better harvest. Solar panels and other technological inventions have greatly facilitated life. Moreover, there are plenty of examples, where science has been an aid in the everyday life.
However, science has enabled the emergence of mankind’s worst inventions: nuclear weapons, regular weapons, tanks, nerve gas, guillotines, gas chambers of the Holocaust, etc. These inventions were also made because of science, which means that science in itself is not a positive thing. It can be used for good, as well as, for evil. It is similar to politics, which has enough good and bad examples of different rulers’ actions. Politicians can do a lot of good, but they can also do bad things.
What decides the behavior of scientists and politicians? It is moral and what they believe in. If they believe that there is no right and wrong, and that they won’t be responsible to anyone, it will open a doorway to evil. For example, Christianity is bound by ethical guidance (Mark 10:19: You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor your father and mother.) and belief in judgment after this life, whereas naturalism and atheism has neither.
Terrors of the last century give us a good example of politicians’, scientists’ and regular people’s acts. We often think that people used to be different, but that might not be the case. More suitable explanation would be that Europe became secular and leaders no longer had an attachment in Christianity (For example, Stalin’s biography tells how Stalin one day became an atheist. Similarly, Joseph Goebbels’ diary entries from the 29th of December 1939 mention Hitler’s attitudes: “Führer is deeply religious, but completely against Christianity. He sees Christianity as a symptom of ruin. And that’s how it is. It is a branch of Jewish race. It can be detected in the likeness of rituals.” (24) They didn’t respect God nor did they believe that they would be held accountable for their actions. They didn’t believe that God sees their every move, and that led to what we now know as history. David Berlinski gives us an illustrative example of the last century and what secular society means. When people begin to think there is no God who can see what they’re doing and who they would have to answer to, what could result are the horrendous acts of the 20th century:
Somewhere in Eastern Europe an SS officer with a riffle in his arms looked coldly, when an aged bearded Hasid Jew laboriously dug a whole, which he knew to be his own grave. When he stood up, he spoke to his executioners: ”God sees what you are doing.” And then he was shot to death.
What Hitler didn’t believe, Stalin didn’t believe, Mao didn’t believe, SS didn’t believe, Gestapo didn’t believe, secret police of Soviet Union didn’t believe, commissioners, officials, boastful executioners, Nazi doctors, theorists of communist party, intellectuals, brown shirts, black shirts, regional leaders and thousands of political workers didn’t believe, was that God is watching them.
And as far as we know, very few of the people, who committed the terrors of the 20th century, cared whether God is watching them.
In the end, this is what secular society means. (25)
Faith in science is, therefore, groundless. Science in itself doesn’t solve secular problems if politicians and scientists are guided by selfish moral. Terrors of the last century might happen again and be even worse, because current weapons of destruction are much more evolved and effective than the weapons of the past. For example, Hitler and other leaders of that time would have probably used our current weapons if they had had access to them. The end of mankind might have been nearer, if only they had had the opportunity to use these weapons. Development on making weapons more effective took place back then also, but luckily, they weren’t as advanced as we are today.
Where are we heading now? A concerning feature of the Western countries is that they are similar to the 1920-1930s, when people didn’t want God to be a part of society anymore. “Science believers” of that time attacked heavily against God belief by denying God’s existence. They explained that current science – mainly Darwin’s theory – makes believing in God impossible. It was also typical of the time that many people left the church.
The following quotation from a book published in 1934, only five years before the Second World War, shows the trend in Europe at that time, and how denial of God got a hold of people’s minds. It is as if it describes the present day in Western countries, where atheistic ideas are strongly present in the media:
From time to time in many countries there have been masses of people leaving the church after a war. And so 305 000 people left the Evangelic church in Germany in 1920. This fleeing from churches has continued. In 1930, 59 225 people left a Lutheran church in Berlin alone, not to mention those Catholics and Jews, who abandoned their fathers’ belief… We do not need to get too much into the spreading of atheistic ideologies during the 20th century. It is enough said that the number of those, who publicly recognize or silently accept the absolute nonexistence of God, has tremendously increased. Some men, who are considered educated, claim that the modern science makes believing in God impossible. They either completely stop believing in God or state that “science requires new a new concept of God”. This denial of God begins in schools among children. In a few cities thousands of children of the age of 6 to 14 have, all the way from the lowest classes, walked the streets carrying the following stickers: “God out of schools”, “Take down God-superstitions”, Religion is a narcotic” etc. (26)
TAKE A STEP CLOSER TO GOD!
- (1 Tim 6:20,21) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
- (2 Tim 4:3,4) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.
We discussed science belief in atheists’ and in science believers’ life. It comes apparent, especially, in their attitude, which juxtaposes scientific information with a worldview based on belief.
But as we concluded, science believers themselves are wrapped up in blind faith, when it comes to this one area; the beginning of the world and life. They believe in theories of how the world and life began, even though there aren’t any proper evidence to support those theories. They are merely naturalistic imaginary tales and stories, because practical observations clearly contradict them. Evidence points to another direction, which is creation by God. However, neither of these theories – naturalistic and theistic – can be proved afterwards, as is the case with any other historical events, but theism is still considerably a more logical alternative to explain the existence of our world, life, emotions, and intelligence. Naturalism gives poor explanations for these things.
Here comes the paradox. Many believers of science might be intelligent and rational in other areas of life, but when it comes to creation, their relationship with God and forgiveness of sins, they seem to be clueless and blind. They might not always even want to get to the bottom of it, and that can keep them from the truth. Because only “he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” (Matt 7:8), but if we reject everything beforehand, as science believers tend to do, we certainly won’t find out the truth.
Dear reader! Don’t leave yourself hanging from lies, when you can turn to our loving God! Confess your sins to Him and tell Him that you want to give your whole life to Him! Learn from the prodigal son in Jesus’ emblem! When he turned to his father, he was welcomed back with open arm:
- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19 And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
- (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But you need to understand that you also need a bridge and a savior for your sins! Jesus is the bridge and the only way to God’s kingdom. When you put your faith in Him and welcome Him in your life as the Lord, you will receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life:
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
- (Acts 13:38) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins
So, if you have turned to Jesus Christ and received Him in your life, you are a child of God and have eternal life. You have the eternal life regardless of what you feel right now. Do not base your assurance of salvation on your ever-changing emotions, but rest in the word of the Bible and on Jesus Christ, just like the anchor of a ship is never thrown inside the ship but always outside.
- (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
- (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
13 These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The prayer of salvation: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. V.T. Aaltonen: Miksi en ole kristitty, p. 6,199,200
2. Richard Dawkins: Is Science a Religion?, The humanist. January/February 1997
3. V.T. Aaltonen: Miksi en ole kristitty, p. 22
4. V.T. Aaltonen: Miksi en ole kristitty, p. 22
5. Matti Leisola: Evoluutiouskon ihmemaassa, p. 187
6. Ronald Nash: ”Miracles and Conceptual Systems”, Douglas Geivettin & Gary Habermasin (toim.) in book In Defence of Miracles (Grand Rapids, IVP, 1997), p. 122
7. Stephen Jay Gould: The Panda’s Thumb, (1988), p. 182,183. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
8. Niles Eldredge (1985): “Evolutionary Tempos and Modes: A Paleontological Perspective” teoksessa Godrey (toim.) What Darwin Began: Modern Darwinian and non-Darwinian Perspectives on Evolution
9. Richard Dawkins: Sokea kelloseppä, p. 240,241
11. Matti Leisola: Evoluutiouskon ihmemaassa, p.146
12. Kysymyksiä ja vastauksia luomisesta (The Creation Answers Book, Don Batten, David Catchpoole, Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Wieland), p. 85
13. Rodney Stark: The victory of reason. How Christianity led to freedom, capitalism and Western Success. New York, Random House (2005), p. 233
14. Vishal Mangalwadi: Kirja, joka muutti maailmasi (The Book that Made Your World), p. 181,182,186
15. Usko, toivo ja terveys, p. 143, article of Risto A. Ahonen
16. Rodney Stark, (2004), p. 172
17. James Hannam: The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution
18. Vishal Mangalwadi: Kirja, joka muutti maailmasi (The Book that Made Your World), p. 265
19. Richard Dawkins: Sokea kelloseppä, p. 20
20. Darwin, F & Seward A. C. edited, (1903, 1: 184): More letters of Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray.
21. James Hannam: The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution
22. O'Neill, T., The Dark Age Myth: An atheist reviews God's Philosophers, strangenotions.com, 17 October 2009
23. Ari Turunen: Ei onnistu, p. 201,202
24. Goebbelsin päiväkirja 29.121939, citation in F. Taylor (edited) The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941, Lontoo, Hamish Hamilton, p. 77
25. David Berlinski: The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (2008), p. 26,27
26. L.H. Christian: Kylvöä ja satoa, p. 114,115
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!