Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Science & Technology: A False Hope

Human beings have an innate need to worship. Modern people are too sophisticated to worship idols of wood or stone. Instead, we idolize sex, self, security, power, money, and particularly science and technology. The sophistication of modern idolatry is quite high. Neither atheists nor Christians bow down to a statue or sacrifice animals on the altar of Science, but when you examine where people place their trust as an ultimate authority, even unaware Christians bow the knee to Science and its twin god, Technology. One of Satan's more heinous tricks is the subtlety of substituting science and technology as the ultimate authority over and above the authority and promises of God's Word.

Many people have written on the rise of scientific authority and technological progress in the modern and post-modern era, so there is no need to repeat that here. The bottom line is science is an unstable foundation for ultimate truth seeking, i.e. answering the "big questions" in life. Scientific progress is accomplished by adherence to an ethic of uncertainty. Technology will not lead us to utopia. The atom bomb proved that without doubt. Science is a shifting sand of doubt based on questioning the current paradigms of human understanding, and it is limited in its ability to answer the big questions in the domain of theology and philosophy. Technology is a false hope for ultimate human redemption.

Even something as apparently absolute as the law of gravity is subject to change with advancement in scientific understanding. For example, Newtonian gravity isn't as precise as Einstein's view, and who is to say that Einstein's description of gravity won't be replaced by some new understanding in the future? Such is the evolution of science, and this is a good evolution for understanding the universe around us. However, there is a not-so-good evolutionary mindset among scientists today called Darwinism. Darwinism often degrades into scientism which has taken control of science over the last century even through there are a few bright lights that things may be changing.

The unfortunate outcome of pitting science and technology against God as the ultimate authority is to is to build up a false dichotomy for truth seeking. I am disturbed by how many Christians allow the atheistic scientism driven out of Darwinism to be more authoritative in their thinking than the Word of God, but I've met relatively few people who chase down their assumptions to this level of consideration. Most people seem to be too caught up in the idolatry of consumerism, money, etc. to really consider the big questions at the root of their belief systems.

The good news is eventually true science will realign with God's Word, or errant understandings of God's Word will be corrected and realigned with true science. History shows this pattern. Human scientific understanding grows in fits and starts, and for periods of time science is sometimes at odds with Biblical truth. But, if God's Word is as important as Jesus claimed that it was, then ultimately human beings will discover there is no conflict between the Bible and science when both are correctly understood.

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