I once talked to one who had a graduate degree in geology. He told me that one can’t be a scientist without believing in evolution. While I already posted some of my thoughts concerning Ham’s and Nye’s debate, I want to take up this specific issue. After listening to Nye and many others in the social media world, I have been hearing the above concept go something like this: “you can’t be a good scientist unless you believe in molecules-to-man evolution.” I have two concerns one is this assertion does not follow, second I think the debate topic about if creation is good science is wrongly put, it should have been, can materialistic molecules-to-man evolution be good science.
Why does this specific issue not make sense? Let’s look at a real world example. One can cook well at the same time believing in flying cookie monsters, leprechauns and mermaids. However, one does not have to believe in those to also cook well. The same goes for science, there are grounding precepts that have built the science concept over the years. These are in place no matter what a scientist believes. These included, uniformity, logic, math, repetition, drawing the best conclusions, information and peer review just to name a few things. All scientists need to believe in are things like these to do good science.
However, because science and reason have foundations upon the Christianity, one has to wounder how the belief that “you can’t believe in creation and be a scientist” even makes sense. In fact, the field of science is based off the Christian world view, things are knowable, repeatable, logical, uniformity and there are ethics (right and wrong) that guides us while living life (1). God is the grounding for science. Without God, the Christian God, science probably would never taken off as an enterprise. It only took off once in history that we know of, that was in Europe. The early European scholars and scientists thought they could know why things work because they had a belief that the Christian God was rational, dependable, the creator and was lawful (1).
Even Tertullian knew that since God is a rational God, we can understand things and reason. He says the following:
Reason, in fact, is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason – nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason (2).
That is why I am concerned when Christians put an artificial wall between reason and faith. This “wall” is based upon the the atheist world view. It is so prevalent in Christendom because of post-modernity and also atheist assertions. In fact it does not make sense. It is not “reason vs faith” or “science vs God.” These are complimentary with each other.
I feel that a better debate question that would have put us on the offensive instead on the definitive should have gone something like this: “can materialistic molecules-to-man evolution be considered science?”
(1) Stark, Rodney (2003) “For the Glory of God”, Chapter 2. Princeton University Press. page 147.
(2) Tertullian, On Repentance Chapter 1