Science in Christian Perspective




Lloyd G. Multhauf
Department of Physics
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

From: JASA 18 (June 1966): 62-63.

Dr. Leith applies the word "impossible" to any assertion that cannot be subjected to a scientific proof.
evidence to prove what actually did happen. This implies uniformitarianism as it allows no change n any of the fundamental processes of physics and chemistry on which the geological processes are based. If any one of these processes changed, it would be impossible (as Dr. Leith uses the word) to determine which had changed; any one could be chosen as standard.

The second implication of Dr. Leith's application of the word "impossible" is that every assertion about the supernatural is impossible. Such assertions as "God exists" and "God is Love" are impossible because they cannot be subjected to scientific proofs. Dr. Leith says, though, ". . . surely we can grant that logical possibility as we have defined it does not exhaust meaning." The two assertions above, then, are meaningful, though impossible. With a proper definition of terms this is, of course, acceptable, but I feel that Dr. Leith's definition tends to confuse rather than to provide a useful result.

I do not wish to take a position on either the Morris and Whitcomb view of non-uniformity or the uniformitarian view, but I do see the implications of the Morris and Whitcomb view differently than does Dr. Leith. If Morris and Whitcomb are correct in asserting that the Bible tells us of a non-uniformity in our fundamental laws and/or that it does not allow for millions or billions of years as the age of the earth, then God is not fooling man, rather man is going on a vain search in spite of what God has said. The same should be considered in other areas of science, such as our attempt to create life.

Biblical revelation as well as science is a means of gaining knowledge for the Christian. Since much of what is revealed cannot be subjected to a scientific proof, it seems best to define the term "possible" such that Biblical truths are also possible truths.