Faith and the thinking Christian: The limits of science

Faith and the thinking Christian: The limits of science

A friend recently joked that he was going to legally change his name to “The Science.” With so many people claiming they “follow the science” these days, my friend would be quite popular!

Jokes aside, the benefits we enjoy from science are countless. But I’m tired of hearing, “We follow the science.” It’s vague, perhaps purposely so. If someone asked them what they meant by that, and they clarified that they include cutting-edge research as part of their problem-solving and decision-making, then fair enough.

Science vs. scientism

But some mean more than that, claiming that science can actually lead us down whatever clear path it will uncover. That misunderstands what science can do. Science is a tool in the hands of people. It is not our leader that can prescribe for us what path to take. It is descriptive, not prescriptive: It describes how nature behaves, not how people should behave. That’s the arena of morality and ethics. People can certainly include the latest scientific research to help make decisions based on moral truth. But then they are following their moral standards, not science.

Want to read more? The full text of this article is available via subscription. Possible answers to the study questions are below.

Author: James Borgwardt
Volume 108, Number 2
Issue: February 2021

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Facebook comments

Follow us on Facebook to comment and view