The Relationship Between Faith and Science

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The Relationship Between Faith and Science

Postby Dave Oldridge » Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:01 am

On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:57, Timothy Chase wrote:

I am creating this thread because a discussion on the BCSE
FreeForAll is has passed from a discussion simply regarding the
nature of science itself into a discussion of the relationship
between Faith and Science, and the topics which it is likely to

Some of the topics which might arise or are even likely to do so

(1) the question of whether God may choose not to reveal himself
to science;

From our ancestors' experience with God, it would seem that He
wants to be taken on faith, not revealed by science.

(2) why God might choose not to reveal himself by means of

I'm not sure I understand what is meant here.

(3) whether God would have any reason for creating a world in
which evidence converges on a scientific view in which the world
is 13.9 billion years old, repleat with fossils, nested
hierarchies of homologies between species, similarities in the
organisation of the genome between distant species, of theso
that , the same proteins and protein sequences, radiometric
dating, geology and so on - if despite all the evidence and the
covergence of such evidence - this view were untrue;

I think most traditional religions agree that God is not a

(4) whether it is possible to believe in the world revealed by
means of science and still believe in God;

Personally, I don't see any problem. But then my ideas about God
are not the same as those of some others. If, as the ancient
creeds state, God made everything there is, then, while He
possibly has some explaining to do, there is no reason to abandon
or downplay science. Science is simply showing us what God made
and how it works.

(5) whether science can ever eliminate the possibility that a
personal God exists; and,

I doubt it, just like I doubt the universal negative claims of
the anti-evolutionists.

(6) whether science itself could ever eliminate the possibility
that there exists an active deity who has performed miracles or
at least has the ability to perform miracles.

Science can, of course, show that something deemed miraculous by
some people is actually just a normal, natural phenomenon. But
science can also tell the Church that a particular event deemed
miraculous actually occurred. Miracles do not exist in a
physical vacuum and those miracles, especially, that affect the
physical universe are subject to the tests of science and can,
when faked, be debunked by science. It fact, in some cases,
branches of the Church have called on science to provide
information in such cases.

I will create a reference back to the thread in which the
question of the relationship between faith and science arose
after creating a link back to here from there - so that people
may follow the whole thread if they choose to do so.

Just wanted to state my two cents worth at the outset.


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Postby Timothy Chase » Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:15 am

Dave Oldridge wrote:From our ancestors' experience with God, it would seem that He
wants to be taken on faith, not revealed by science.
Timothy Chase](2) why God might choose not to reveal himself by means of
faith; [/quote]

I'm not sure I understand what is meant here. [/quote]


Actually I was a little rushed, and I am afraid I accidentally mashed together two thoughts. But essentially I was thinking along much the same lines that you were on this point. The question I meant to ask is, "Whether God might wish to preserve the possibility of belief in him by means of faith."

This would seem to be consistent with our experience so far. Many have wanted to prove the existence of a god, but none have succeeded. And surely if there is a god, he could choose to reveal himself if this were his choice. However, at least in Christianity, a great deal of weight is generally attached to the importance of faith - and if the Christian God were to make evident his existence through either logical or empirical demonstration, faith itself would no longer be a possibility. Nothing would destroy faith like the demonstration of God's existence.

There is of course the possibility that a god chooses to show himself to those who have demonstrated sufficient faith - this too is a part of Christianity, at least as it is traditionally understood. But in this event, the faith of the individual is already a given, and the revelation a reward.

[quote="Dave Oldridge wrote:
Just wanted to state my two cents worth at the outset.

Understood. Anyway my apologies that this thread is separate. From the thread which is currently in use - one of the moderators wanted to formally handle the splitting of the thread rather than having me do it informally, but when I deleted my post from the message board so that he could split the thread formally, that didn't delete the email which had been sent and which you then responded to.
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Postby George Jelliss » Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:27 pm

I just had a look at the ekklesia site again and came across this item:

Scriptural Reasoning by Nicholas Adams ... ture.shtml

"Scriptural reasoning' names the practice where members of different traditions read and interpret each others’ scriptures together."

Does this mean that if we sat down with the creationists and compared notes on 'Genesis' and 'Origin of Species' we would all end up as the best of friends?
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