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"Doesn't science disprove Christianity?"

There have been obvious conflicts between the scientific community and the religious community over certain points. Of course, the most notable dispute historically was the embarrassing episode of Galileo and the whole theory of whether the earth or the sun was the center of the solar system. We know that many bishops refused to even look at the evidence of a telescope because they had already baptized another scientific tradition that wasn’t biblical. This was a case, incidentally, in which the scientific community corrected theological interpretation and misinterpretation of Scripture because Scripture doesn’t teach that the earth is the center of the solar system, and it took the scientific community to correct us at that point.

To go further than that and to say that sometimes science corrects erroneous ideas is one thing, but actually to disprove Christianity . . . there are very few points of the Christian faith that are vulnerable to scientific attack. If a person says, “Well, we can scientifically prove that people can’t come back from the dead,” for example, and if science could prove that it’s impossible for the God of the universe to raise his Son from the dead, then obviously Christianity would be discredited and disproved. I don’t see how a scientist could even begin to approach that. All a scientist can do is to say that, under normal conditions and standard procedures, people who die stay dead. Of course, it doesn’t take a twentieth-century scientist to understand that; first-century people were well aware of the fact that when people died, they stayed dead. So unless the scientist could somehow disprove the existence of God or the resurrection of Christ, I don’t see how they could in any way actually falsify the claims of the Christian faith. Just because they’re not falsified doesn’t mean that they’re verified obviously. But I don’t see how we have anything to fear at that level.

The usual point of tension, however, has to do with the origin of the universe and the origin of life. If science proves that the world was not created, I think that would destroy the Christian faith. Christianity is committed to the concept of divine creation—that there is an eternal Creator before whom we are all responsible and by whom we were all created and that all that is made has been made through him and that the universe is not eternal. If the scientist could prove that the universe were in fact eternal, that would be the end of the Christian faith. But I don’t think we have the slightest need to worry about that.

©1996 by R.C. Sproul. Used by permission of Tyndale.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Thoughts?

 
-Eilish-

Asked by -Eilish- at 1:42 PM on Jul. 6, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 28 (33,578 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (52)
  • The flaw in Christianity specifically (and it's not exclusive to Christianity) is the decision made by someone along the line to tie things to certain specific timelines or "facts". Other religions are vague in those kinds of details - the timelines upon which events happen or the timing of major events, the exact location and materials needed for something to happen, etc.

    What's interesting is those time-specific details aren't necessarily present from the original texts, but have been added in through later interpretations. Absolutes must be true or not true, and where something was previously not an absolute, some pope or denomination along the way saw fit to create one because there was a question that someone felt demanded an answer. Those people inserted contradictions where they did not exist. The faith itself is not necessarily disproven, but the overreaching egos are.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:59 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I have no conflicts marrying science with religion. My religion has no issues whatsoever with PROVEN scientific facts. So the Universe is millions of years old? We're cool with that, it doesn't contradict the OT at all if we use that same science to explain it. There were dinosaurs roaming the earth? Again, no problemo. The Earth is round and moves around the sun? We knew that a long time ago.
    I think the conflict starts when there's a bid for "power". The only way to have and keep control is to demean the other side. And this doesn't happen exclusively in the religious side. Scientists also have a grudge to settle. Many scientists are in a quest to disprove religion in general, not just Christianity, rather than to actually seeking the truth. It's interesting to note, though, that even after so many centuries of fighting, they haven't been able to- even with their almighty scientific method.

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Science may disprove certain Christian beliefs - like a geocentric universe, or the idea of a "young earth" - but it does not disprove Christianity in general, as there are many ways of understanding Christianity, ways that are compatible with what we can learn through science. We'll see certain specific beliefs fall by the wayside as we come to understand the world around us better through science, but I do believe that in the end we will be left with a way of faith that can face reality and science while still thriving as a religion, if that makes sense.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:53 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • ITA with popzaroo. The bible is full of science.
    2tinyhineys

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 7:26 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I'm not a fundamentalist, so I believe that science and religion could go hand in hand. Christianity covers many different types of beliefs.

    Candi1024

    Answer by Candi1024 at 1:45 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Science does not address the issue of Religion, it never has. And the universe has already been proven to be self-sustaining without need of a "Creator" You need to find new material other than Sproul. I'm getting tired of reading the same old rhetoric from him
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:51 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • No one or no one thing could possibly discredit one's personal belief in a god. It resides somewhere in your heart and soul that is untouchable by that of other people/things.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 1:55 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • "The big problem is that most religions claim their god or gods have powers beyond human understanding or that can defy physics and logic."

    What would that be a problem? On the basic tennets of ALL religions is that there is something more to what we can see, hear, touch and test. That there's something beyond the physical. Has science been able to prove that's not true?

    "Scientists can prove humans cannot physically walk on water, for example"

    Correction. Science has proven that under strict laws of physics, with no interference whatsoever, humans cannot walk on water. They haven't proven what could happen with G-d as a variable.

    "Godly powers trump scientific theories to believers"

    Perfectly logical and plausible view for those who believe in G-d. After all, if G-d created nature and the laws of nature, He can work with them or against them. So why would a man-made invention like science trump G-d?

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:38 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • "You're right. Science cannot disprove religion because it cannot prove a god does not exist."

    It's actually impossible to prove something doesn't exist. In order to make that claim with any degree of credibility you would have to know everything that does exist: every creature, every force, every place, etc. No human being can claim that knowledge. So no one can make the claim on the non-existence of something and still make that claim rational. Especially if the back up for that claim is something as weak as lack of evidence.
    Science will never be able to prove G-d for various reasons, first because Science is man-made and it's goal is to understand and explain the PHYSICAL world we live in. The predictable, consistent, observable world. You cannot use something that's limited to the physical to prove/explain something that above the physical.

    Continued...
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:30 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • We can definitely find evidence to suggest that the existence of G-d (or other deities) is plausible. And in reality, there's plenty of evidence to suggest the idea of G-d as a possibility. But Science cannot give us incontrovertible proof either way because it's limited by the physical.

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:32 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

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