Science Falsely So-Called

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jw

j
Salient observation from 19th century Presbyterian minister Stuart Robinson, "The Pulpit and Sceptical Culture" (The Princeton Review, Fifty-Fith Year, p. 137):



One department, formerly considered a mere secondary power, seems, by its rapid advance in the precise knowledge of matter and its laws and by its skilful application of this knowledge to the practical uses of society, has gathered an immense popular following, that makes it all-powerful in an age in which learning has become democratic in its spirit. And as its power has increased so its pride and arrogance. Hitherto it had been characteristic of true science to confess that the extension of its knowledge was also the extension of its ignorance. Those who had advanced farthest in exploring the arcana of nature were first to confess how far short they had fallen of a full comprehension of them ; and that the result of all their knowledge of the mysteries of nature was only to find themselves confronted with still more insoluble mysteries. They plodded faithfully on in their effort to discover new facts in nature and patiently arrange them, slowly enlarging the domain of science. But the spirit of the recent scientists is entirely the reverse of all this.

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Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
It's interesting how much this has changed since those days not so long ago. The new obsession is with the social sciences, which many academics in that era probably would not have even considered to be science. But these days, social sciences like economic theory and gender studies are given authority to tamp down the conclusions of "hard" sciences like biology and chemistry.

The social sciences come much closer to being a false religion than the hard sciences ever did. They create belief systems that require allegiance even when no hard data can be presented—faith to believe what is unseen, based on a feeling that it is morally better. This is the new intellectual battlefield for Christians.

I recently taught through the opening chapters of Genesis with a group of teens. None of them cared at all about discussing evolution or the age of the earth. Those were my generation's issues, but their generation pretty much accepts that those are biological and geological theories that must kowtow to a higher belief system. Those teens wanted to know why the Bible's belief system should be considered better than, say, the belief system that might dominate in a gender studies course. And they have little interest in arguments that use observable evidence; they want arguments based on what is morally right.

Certainly, both generations of "science" put their own wisdom ahead of God's. But the conversations today look quite different.
 

jw

j
It's interesting how much this has changed since those days not so long ago. The new obsession is with the social sciences, which many academics in that era probably would not have even considered to be science. But these days, social sciences like economic theory and gender studies are given authority to tamp down the conclusions of "hard" sciences like biology and chemistry.
Very astute observation. Thank you for sharing.
 
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