True2Ourselves
Already a member? login
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
  
+
Register FAQ A-Z directory Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-16-2012, 07:21 AM
doinghiswill's Avatar
Knight of the Forum
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 819
Default Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview
Justin Holcomb » God Study Worldviews Mind Culture Apologetics

Christians can be confident in a discussion on the nature and use of science, precisely because only the Christian worldview can provide the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of scientific inquiry. Science requires a significant number of philosophical assumptions just to conduct empirical investigation.


Borrowed Elements?

The non-Christian account of science falters under the weight of numerous internal contradictions. It should be remembered that non-Christians do science (and usually do so very well), but they cannot give an account for the very science they are doing without relying on the “borrowed capital” from the Christian worldview. According to Cornelius Van Til, unbelievers use the good gifts of God, which are spread throughout creation and on which they unknowingly depend in their thought and life, without giving God the glory. Non-Christian scientists are able to avoid utter nihilism and skepticism in science only by being inconsistent with their own worldview and borrowing some elements of God’s revelation.

What are those borrowed elements? What are some of the most important presuppositions without which scientific investigation should prove impossible? A brief list of such presuppositions includes:


1. The uniformity of nature

The laws, properties, or characteristics of objects and phenomena of a particular class do not vary over distance or time. Nature should be regarded as uniform.


2. Induction

Since nature is considered uniform, one may, from a limited number of objects/phenomena of a class, properly induce generalizations about all objects/phenomena of that same class.


3. Ontological/epistemological realism

Nature has an objective existence as an interdependent system, and is both intelligible and accessible to the human intellect.


4. Mathematical realism

Nature can be described accurately by the use of mathematics.


5. Methodological, epistemic, and ethical values

Examples of these would be the common claims that some methods constitute good science, others bad or pseudo-science; good theories have certain characteristics; and scientists ought to report accurately and honestly.


6. The reliability of the human mind and sensory faculties

The human mind and senses “fit” the natural world, and the use of the laws of logic aids discovery of truth and tends to falsify error.


7. Ontological/conceptual categories

Observed phenomena and entities are defined a priori by known classes such as objects, facts, events, etc. and are construed in a scientific tradition as planets, waves, species, etc.


8. The usefulness/adequacy of human language to describe nature

Nature corresponds to the mind in such a way that human language closely “fits” nature.


9. The existence of singularities, ultimate boundary conditions, and brute givens

Certain features/constants of the cosmos are simply taken for granted (eg. the mass of a proton, some values for forces, free acts of moral agents, etc.).


The Necessary Presuppositions

My argument is that only the Christian description of the world offers these presuppositions necessary for scientific inquiry. The philosophical preconditions for science are in the pages of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures. According to Scripture, God is the transcendent and almighty Creator of heaven and earth, and everything owes its very existence and character to His creative powers and definition (Genesis 1; Nehemiah 9:6; Col. 1:16–17).

He makes particulars in creation the way they are and determines that they will function as they do. According to Psalm 147:5, “His understanding is infinite.” Ephesians 1:11 declares that God sovereignly governs every event that transpires, determining what, where, when, and how anything takes place. This includes the motion of the planets, the molecular world, and the death of a sparrow. Isaiah 40:12–28 celebrates the power, creation, providence, delineating, and directing of Yahweh. God has the freedom and control over the created order as the potter has over the clay (Romans 9:21). Moreover, knowledge is possible because of a corresponding capacity created in us by God.


The Uniformity of Nature

The atheist worldview cannot account for the uniformity of nature on which to base the scientific process. David Hume has taught us that to say the future will be like the past is to beg the question. Since the uniformity of nature is an unjustified assumption in the atheistic worldview, there is no basis upon which to engage in scientific activities. Bertrand Russell succinctly states the problem of assuming the uniformity of nature in The Problems of Philosophy:

The problem we have to discuss is whether there is any reason for believing in what is called ‘the uniformity of nature.’ The belief in the uniformity of nature is the belief that everything that has happened or will happen is an instance of some general law to which there are no exceptions... But science habitually assumes, at least as a working hypothesis, that general rules which have exceptions can be replaced by general rules which have no exceptions... Have we any reason, assuming that they (scientific laws) have always held in the past, to suppose that they (scientific laws) will hold in the future.

The problem is that without a basis for the uniformity of nature there is no basis for induction. Russell continues that the business of science is to find uniformities, such as the law of gravitation and the laws of motion. Is it possible to formulate general laws of science in a world with no basis for the uniformity of nature? Russell answers this in the negative by writing the following:

Experience might conceivably confirm the inductive principle as regards the cases that have been already examined; but as regards unexamined cases, it is the inductive principle alone that can justify any inference from what has been examined to what has not been examined. All arguments which, on the basis of experience, argue as to the future or the unexperienced parts of the past or present, assume the inductive principle; hence we can never use experience to prove the inductive principle without begging the question. Then we must either accept the inductive principle on the ground of its intrinsic evidence, or forgo all justification of our expectation about the future.

Christians are not left with such a problem, precisely because the uniformity of nature and induction are compatible with the Christian view of the world. God, who is providentially in control of all events, has revealed to humans that we can count on regularities in the natural world. Because of this regularity, the endeavors of science will be fruitful. Science would be impossible without the truth of the Christian worldview.
__________________
1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-16-2012, 04:43 PM
Suspended for Review
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,359
Default Re: Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

Good grief, that’s an awfully round-about way to say that ‘Goddidit’.

Mr Holcomb is saying that as we can’t do science without some a priori assumptions, rules within which to work and inductive reasoning then we have to accept the Christian Worldview because…well, because God made everything, including the rules.

In his next article he’ll be telling us that as evolution is divinely inspired, the acceptance of the fact of evolution is to accept the existence of God.

The full article is here: (http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/holcomb-realism.shtml).

Metaphysical garbage and breathtaking chutzpa.

Edit: And I've just discovered that he holds two masters degrees from the Reformed Theological Seminary. Turns out you can earn one of those with 50 – 60 credit hours, so he must have had a busy fortnight getting those under his belt.

Last edited by Brad : 02-16-2012 at 10:25 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-17-2012, 11:22 AM
Josiah
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

I don't know where this copy/paste came from, but as one who works in scientific research, nearly all of this seems to be nonsense.




.

Last edited by Josiah : 02-21-2012 at 09:57 AM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-18-2012, 04:25 AM
xenic101's Avatar
Knight of the Forum
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,341
Default Re: Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
I don't know where this copy/paste came from, but as one who works in scientific research, nearly all of us seems to be nonsense.
As one who doesn't work in scientific research, I agree with both your stated "nearly all of us (meaning scientific researchers) seem to be nonsense" and with what I think you meant to say, "nearly all of that is nonsense."
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-13-2012, 06:24 PM
ReformedEvangelist's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
Default Re: Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

I dont find the Op to be false in anyway. In fact, what I normally find is very little to any argumentation that disproves the original poster claims.

Reformed Epistemology is a sharp sword that when wielded properly can pull down the strongholds of ungodly thinking.

RE
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:42 PM
Suspended for Review
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,359
Default Re: Why Science Needs the Christian Worldview

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReformedEvangelist View Post
Reformed Epistemology is a sharp sword that when wielded properly can pull down the strongholds of ungodly thinking.
How do you tie it down specifically to Christianity?
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
science huh? justabob Christianity & Science 16 03-27-2015 08:30 AM
God and science. ElpidioLGagolinan General Discussions 52 07-25-2011 07:29 PM
The God of science antonyanil Christianity & Science 0 03-20-2011 10:05 PM
God vs science thelowlyfisherman General Discussions 3 02-02-2010 06:42 PM
The science of CERTAINTY PASHA General Discussions 5 03-18-2009 10:00 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 AM.


true2ourselves
 
 
 

Flashcoms

You need to upgrade your Flash Player.

Version 8 or higher is required.

download from http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29