Faith

Is Science anti-God? A scientist weighs in

Dr Freddy Boey // January 16, 2018, 11:57 am

ramon-salinero-271002

Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash

I feel very sad whenever I hear Christians talk about science as if a Christian should not be a scientist, that we should not be intellectual. 

Maybe this is because there are blots on the history of the Church, times when church leaders became presumptuous.

Copernicus and Galileo got into trouble with the Church when they said that the sun was the centre and that the earth revolves around it, and not the other way around.

Note that it was neither the Bible nor God that was wrong, but the church leaders. After all, if the sun was not the centre, there would not be the seasons that the Bible talks about, among other things. The church leaders in those days were presumptuous.

Science is not anti-God

The whole scientific world revolves around what is logical, what is evidence-based — this is an important phrase. It means there is evidence which we can understand. That is an assumption; I say that because we think we are so clever, we can understand everything.

Humility is called for. People are still dissecting things that Einstein said. If we cannot yet fully understand everything that a brilliant man said so many years ago, how can we imagine we know all there is to know of the whole universe?

Chaos is a terrible thing because it is like a jungle. You enjoy a garden, not a jungle. In the same way, scientists will never enjoy something that is chaotic because without order – and hence logic – there can be no science.

It is only because there is a consistent orderliness, laws of physics and nature that repeat themselves over the whole universe, that one is able to be a scientist and to be scientific.

Even the theory of chaos as a scientific theory asserts that there can be a predictive outcome to what seems like a chaotic system.

People don’t realise this but if all was chaotic, there would be nothing, really, that we could learn. Interestingly, even the theory of chaos as a scientific theory asserts that there can be a predictive outcome (that is, orderliness) to what seems like a chaotic system.

God is not anti-science

To simply attribute everything that cannot be explained to time and chance is not so much a scientific methodology as an act of faith.

For instance, it is statistically impossible that the Earth’s perfect position in the solar system happened by chance. The same goes for the Earth’s spin and 23-degree tilt that give us the 24-hour day.

Another example would be the very complex structure of the single living cell. All natural proteins are almost exclusively built on amino acids, which have a configuration of only “left-handed” chiral carbon atoms.

The smallest protein has more than 400 amino acids, all occurring structurally as “left-handed”. The probability of winning the world lottery would be 1:109. But the probability of randomly producing only “left-handed” amino acids is 1:10123.

Statistically, there is no chance even one “left-handed” protein can be man-made. And we are just talking about one living cell. The DNA is the code for reproducing living cells. Each DNA gene must repeat with no error. The probability that just one single DNA gene occurs by chance – 1:1014.

You can do the numbers for getting all our DNA perfect.

The true purpose of the Bible

The Bible is not a book about science, but it is scientific. God never started writing the Bible specifically to teach science, nor for only clever people.

He wrote it as a love story – from the beginning with Adam and Eve, in the middle with the Song of Solomon and at the end, Christ and His Church. But the Bible is scientifically accurate in its assertions.

Moses, author of Genesis, was never a plant chemist, but he was inspired to write Genesis 1 in the right order for photosynthesis (light, atmosphere and water) to occur. Everything was there before the plants were created so that they could be self-sustaining and multiply. It took us thousands of years to recognise that the order is correct and that it was recorded as it actually happened, because the Person who did it gave the description.

God, through Moses, wrote it as a matter of fact and didn’t explain the science, because what God wants to communicate is not science but His Purpose and His Love!

We don’t have to fear science. But the Church must not be presumptuous. We, too, must be humble and understand that Science is from God.

God created this universe together in such complex orderliness that we are only beginning to understand a bit of it which we call “Science” today.

This article was first published in Impact magazine and is reproduced in Salt&Light with permission.

About the author

Dr Freddy Boey

Dr Freddy Boey is a teaching leader at Riverlife Church. As a keen scientist-inventor, he has filed 25 original patents with Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He is currently Senior Vice President (Graduate Education and Research Translation) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).