Saturday, May 02, 2009

Science & Christianity

Recently I have come across a few occurrences that prompted me to ponder over the relation between science and Christianity.

For eg. about 2 days ago, a friend on MSN asked me to talk to her friend who is studying bio-chemistry in the USA. Apparently this bio-chemist student who is also a Christian has difficult to trust the Bible, especially the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2.

He remarked that his studies in the sciences has shown him that the Bible is wrong, and he starts to doubt its veracity. So I asked him what is his view of the 'Bible'? Is it a book written by one author in one seating time, or a compilation of many books written by various authors in the span of centuries? He said, it's the latter.

And then I directed the talk away from discussing "the nature of the Bible" to the bio-chemist student's "approach to examine the nature of the Bible". I suggested to him that the study of the nature of the Bible has also be done in the same way he does his experiment, a scientific way: A Posteriori.

That means we approach the study with an open mind to examine the nature of the text rather than approaching it with our own assumed certainty of what it is.

On the other hand, another friend of mine who is a practicing chemist once told me that she is a scientific person and hence theology (which she categorizes as 'social science') has not come across her as similar field and something to be thought of. And we ended up discussing theology until 2am that night.

Now I have some idea what is the major subject that I should develop: Science & Christianity. So far I don't see any advancement over this topic in this region. No Templeton grants have been given to anyone here yet.


Israel Lee said...

Perhaps this struggle is also due to the question of how different cultures have understood, related and accepted the concept of 'facts' and 'truth'. Our current milieu thinks that objective and measurable facts are equivalent to the truth whereas the culture of the biblical authors did not have the same standard in their assessment of what counted as being truthful. Can we than apply our standard anachronistically and measure the 'facts' in the bible according to our current objective model and deem the biblical authors as being untruthful in their accounting and presentation of 'facts'? Perhaps this is the foundational question underlying the debate between science and religion. Can we count both as 'factual' according to their own milieu and assess them as telling the truth respectively in this sense?

Sze Zeng said...

I agree with you Israel. The 'truth' of each individual fields seem bound to their own playing ground. Once the truth of one ground is brought out to play on another ground, there must be some way to co-relate. And the works of this co-relating is the work for those like us who are interested in the subject of Science & Christianity.

Thank you for your comment.