Philosophy? Theology?

In an October issue of WORLD Magazine, there is an article entitled “A Chemist and God“.  It is a brief description of Henry Schaefer’s faith and how it interacts with science. It’s a short and interesting read.

Here is what intrigued me about the article. Schaefer notes that “Scientists who speak definitely about how the universe began…are going beyond science. Then he makes this statement, “When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up – we are in the realm of philosophy. Only God knows how what happened at the very beginning.”(World, October 18/25 2008, 60)

Doesn’t that put us in the realm of theology? Is theology any more credible than philosophy when it comes to determining how the world began? Aren’t both based on certain suppositions?  If only God knows and the Genesis account may not reflect the reality of how the world began, than wouldn’t both branches, philosophy and theology, be speaking from a certain frame of reference that is reflected by a belief system and not necessarily evidence?

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, each side can line up the “experts” on their side and present credible evidence to support a position. Naturally, each side picks those experts that present what seems to be the most plausible argument for their particular position and allow the hearer to decide. After all, if only God knows and someone shuns belief in God than science is the only alternative. If someone believes in God and views evidence from that perspective, than things like intelligent design, God created using evolution, and other postulates are the alternatives.

Now I’m not a philosopher nor a theologian. I am just a regular guy who gets confused easily. But it seems to me, trying to prove the unprovable, whether using philosophy or theology is similar to that old discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of pin/needle. It is an endless argument without substantive support.

Simply based on scientific evidence, the universe functions with such precise action and interaction that to think the process is random is almost ludicrous. The only other real option to explain how that precision came about is intelligent design – a creator. Now whether one makes the leap from “a creator” to a personal faith in God through Christ, might be a stretch, but it’s a start. As the article points out:

In Schaefer’s view, a natural nexus exists between Christianity and science: ‘In many respects [Christians] are not different than anybody else in science, but we do have a deep-seated trust that God is a God of order and that by following rational methods we will find truth in the scientific sense.’ (60)

As you ponder the imponderable, ponder that!  🙂


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