Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
Response to Macer and Boyle
C. Gordon Winder
Professor Emeritus of Geology
University of Western Ontario
London, CANADA N6A 5B7
From: PSCF 48 (September 1996): 211 Response: Hearn
Macer and Boyle open their Communication (Dec. 1995, p. 255) with "The debate over the compatibility of science and religion has been a feature of the last 120 years... "1 That's long enough! The ASA should adopt a policy to terminate the debate and include "compatibility" in the Statement of Faith.
Science and religion, the two most influential philosophies of all human knowledge, are compatible for most religions. For example, Albert Einstein, a Jew, said "Science without religion is lame, and religion [=Judaism] without science is blind."2 Bucaille wrote "The association between the Qur'an and science is a priori a surprise, especially since it is going to be one of harmony, and not of discord."3 About the Baha'i Faith, Aull wrote "A fundamental teaching of the Baha'i Faith is that science and religion are harmonious and complementary."4 But for science and Christianity, the pervasive relationship is debate, or controversy, or contradiction, or warfare, or antagonism, or versus. Why?
Whitehead wrote "The conflict between science and religion [=Christianity] is what naturally occurs in our minds when we think of this subject."5 Now isn't that curious? Not for Buddhists. Not for Hindus. Not for Jews. Not for Moslems. Not for Unitarians. Not for the Baha'i. Not for any other major religious grouping. Therefore, does the conflict relationship for science and Christianity make logical, common sense? My answer is "No!" What is your answer?
But Whitehead also wrote "A clash of doctrines is not a disaster ó it is an opportunity."6 There is a much more important question. What is God's attitude on the relationship between Christianity and science? On the basis of a couple of finite samplings, I perceive that God's attitude on this relationship is positive, compatible, and harmonious. Can you perceive that God considers Christianity is in conflict with science, or visa versa? I trust you agree this is not common sense, in fact it is nonsense. Christians should adhere to his attitude.
I suggest all Christians adopt as a fundamental conviction that a compatible relationship exists between Christianity and science. What is the ASA mandate? Provide a forum to perpetuate debate, or pursue compromise and conciliation to initiate resolution.
Pause for moment and think about the future of Christianity and its influence on the peoples of the world, particularly our Western society, when the pervasive mindset on its relationship with science is a harmonious one.
1Darryl Macer and Time Boyle, "Science and Christianity in Japan," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 47 no. 4 (1995): 255.
2See Louis De Broglie et al., Einstein, (New York: Peebles Press, 1979), 153, 219.
3Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Qur'an, and Science, (Paris, Seghers, 1987), 121.
4Brian Aull, "The Faith of Science and the Method of Religion," Journal of Baha'i Studies 1 no. 2 (1988): 1.
5Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, (New York, Mentor Books pb, 1925), 162.