Quite often, science will give us incomplete or inaccurate information and hastily we accept it only to have to retract e.g. prescription drugs, child safety equipment, the planet Pluto…but that doesn’t mean that we should simply discredit the field of study or not give it its propers. The beauty of science is that we are offered theories, laws and theorems to explain how they derive said theories and laws. This way, we can actually follow the train of thought. Because science has theories and theorems there is room for alternate hypotheses to be tested and then replace prior theories. Science is alive, like spoken language, it is open to interpretation within reason. Science allows room for improvement. This is how Pluto gets dropped as a planet. Science offers a definition of what it means to be a planet and for a substantial period of time, Pluto seemed to have met the criteria.
Science, like Math, is not something we invented; they are comprised of the laws of nature and the universe- that which precedes our existence. When it comes to faith, no such logic applies. The faithful have ongoing debates about how to interpret a book that does not have life. There are people fighting and losing lives over words scribed thousands of years ago. It’s almost comical because, no one can ever possibly have the exact interpretation because these holy works are compilations of subjective anecdotes. People do not realize why there are specific rules and restrictions. Example: the ten commandments. the history channel did a 10 part documentary on the commandments. They served a practical purpose. Don’t have sex out of wedlock (primarily females) because there were no condoms or paternity tests at a time when lineage determined your socioeconomic status and women were considered property. This was also a time when females started having babies as early as age 14. Life expectancy was short and the roles of men and women were black and white.
There is more solidarity in investing in the sciences and I’m not referring exclusively to technology. The search for God is one that invokes the use of math and science. So many people can recite Bible verses but can’t read a book.
Interestingly enough, after I typed this, prior to publishing it, I saw an episode of Bill Maher (Friday, April 5, 2013) relevant to this post. Ironically, the issue of science not always being right was laid on the table as evidence that we should not invest so much stock in science. The discussion included intelligent design (creationism) vs. evolution. To begin, it’s funny that instead of calling it what it is they spin it much like a garbage man is a sanitary engineer. A more important point was wherein lies the debate. I was happy to hear the example I’ve used, that while at one point Man thought the Earth was flat, it was science that disproved that belief.
“Have the humility to believe people who know things you don’t!” – Bill Maher 2:30 episode 277
I love this episode because it speaks to exactly the issue that I am addressing: arguing with science and not knowing when to accept truth.