Tag Archives: science

A Troubling Trend Regarding Free Speech

The news has been filled recently with news stories that should send chills down the spine of every freedom loving American. In late 2015, we learned from a Pew Foundation poll that 40% of millennials favor some sort of restrictions on free speech. This alone, should be enough to scare us, but like a late night infomercial salesman, I need to say, “But, wait, there’s more!”

In just the past two weeks there have been news stories about censorship in a scientific journal because the authors of an article dared to use the word “Creator.” The article was retracted and cries went out for the dismissal of editors and peer reviewers. The message was clear: there is no room for discussion of a “Creator” in a scientific journal. So, if you have ever doubted the claims of certain scientist who hold to the idea of the divine role in creation when they say they do not get published in science journals, well here we see a live action demonstration of censorship.

At the same time the hand article referencing a “Creator” was being retracted, we also had the joy of reading about “Feminist Glaciology.” Because, you know, that seems far more likely to advance the scientific enterprise. Anyhow, the point being, we castigate some researchers for positing the idea of a “Creator,” while at the same time giving a level of credibility to researchers that want to opine about the possible role of sexism in the study of glaciers.  Was the retraction of the “Creator” article motivated by the pursuit of scientific integrity, or the silencing of talk about the divine?

But, wait, there’s more! Now we read about protesters shutting down a Donald Trump political rally. Now, I must say, that regardless of anyone’s political leanings, this is a scary situation. You would think we were living in the early stages of the Bolshevik Revolution. Seeing young people cheering the fact that they had stopped a political rally during a party primary from taking place is simply disgusting. While such a “victory” may seem grand to the protestors, I wonder if they realize that what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. In other words, I can easily see those who celebrate the forceful shutting down of free speech wailing if there own voices were suddenly silenced.

Whether it is the censorship of alternative ideas, the shutting down of the political process, or the growing acceptance in general of limiting free speech, we should all recognize the dangers that such a path can lead to. We must also realize that those who are silencing the voices of others can soon turn around and silence ours. We must all stand for the right of free speech, lest we all lose it.

Can Christians do science?

I am always surprised when I hear people suggest that Christians and science cannot mix. Of course, they will acknowledge that there are Christians that are scientists, but they will often claim that these Christians have to leave their faith at the door when they enter the lab. The idea is that science is an entirely materialist endeavor that has no room for the divine. But, is this true? From where I sit: absolutely not.

In fact, I am inclined to think that it is the atheist who has to leave their worldview at the door in order to carry out their work as a scientist. After all, science depends on the regularity of the world as described in various laws and theories. That we can make scientific predictions, develop experiments, and uncover the order of the natural world seems to betray an intelligence behind the created world. Could we carry out science in an entirely random universe where there is no rhyme or reason to what we see? Or do we need a world that has obvious design?

The Christian, on the other hand, has no problem seeing order in the world and seeking to understand God’s handiwork. Indeed, for many famous scientists who were also devout Christians, it was their belief in God that drove them to investigate creation.

If the universe was created by God, then we should be able to learn something about it. However, if the universe came into being entirely randomly and has moved forward in the same manner, without the guiding hand of a super intelligence, then how can a person hope to learn anything about it today? After all, what is keeping something entirely random from happening each time you look through a telescope or microscope? Hmmm….. It seems to me that it is the atheist who has to leave their belief system at the door when doing science and not the Christian.