Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor

"What is Truth in Science?"

David C. Nutter, ASA Member

Deputy Director George C. Marshall Institute
1730 K Street, NW Suite 905
Washington, DC

From: PSCF 49 (June 1997): 139-140.

I am a very new member of the ASA and have received the latest volume of PSCF (Vol. 49, No. 1) in which the debate regarding methodological naturalism (MN) rages. It appears that Christian (I use this classification purposefully rather than the term "evangelical") scientists desire some way of finding their way back to the broader scientific community. I'm afraid that debating MN is a waste of time in this correct pursuit.

As Christians, our first responsibility is to serve our Savior. We are then called to live completely integrated livesóliving out our spiritual lives in a fallen worldóso that all might see Christ. Obviously, such a position has placed committed Christians who are also trained and disciplined scientists at odds with our colleagues in the scientific community. A debate wherein science for science's sake versus science with a metaphysical twist only serves to broaden the gulf between the aforementioned parties.

Let me suggest a far more simple gangplank, which is considerably less fun but much more effective. The current debate that is being fought within the scientific community is "What is truth in science?" Please reference Representative George Brown's attack on what he terms "skeptic scientists" in the March 1997 issue of Environment (Volume 39, Number 2, pp. 12-31). This frontal attack is upon a faction within the community that believes that science is the pursuit of Truth, which of course can inconveniently muddle the plans of those on the Hill who might have specious interests (there is also a faction within the scientific community that is guilty of thisóreference Alston Chase's editorial in the Friday, March 7, 1997 edition of the Washington Times).

Scientists who also happen to be Christians believe that there is an absolute Truth and that science is a vehicle for exploring God's creation. This debate surrounding truth and Truth is central to the culture wars being fought today. I would implore ASA members to step into the fray. There are risks, of course. We all know how folks are marginalizedóostracized and often not published. Join with the ranks of scientists that I term as "purists." This is a simple way back on a bridge of love and mutual understanding.

I have long held a vision that Christians should not be reactive to culture, but rather to command culture; that we must take every thought captive for Christ. If Truth is that gangplank, let's use it.