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The Dangers of Separating Faith & Science

One of the greatest modern myths is that a separation of Christian faith and science led to a greater advancement in science and life in general (See Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey). Even many Christians believe this myth. They think of life as consisting of two sides that should be kept apart: the sacred and the secular. Among some Christians, this is known as two-kingdom theology. To them, Jesus is the Lord over our relationship with God, but Jesus is not the Lord over the secular (cultural) sphere which includes family, education, work, society. They believe that culture is some kind of neutral ground that is best guided by personal preference and scientific progress.

This is a false dichotomy that is dangerous to both faith and science (as well as to culture). Dr. Douglas Axe, the professor of Biology at Biola, spoke at our Veritas Faith & Science Seminar last Friday about “The Three Ways Darwin Got it Wrong.” The first way Darwin got it wrong is that his theory departs from Scripture. Darwin believed that man evolved from animals, one macro-species from another macro-species. Scripture teaches that various species were given by God. The more Darwin believed in his theory, the more he departed from his faith in the biblical God. Eventually, he abandoned God altogether. This false dichotomy was dangerous to his faith. Many Christians today follow this same path.

The second way Darwin got it wrong is that his theory of the survival of the fittest does not explain why we still have so many “unfit” species such as a sloth or a slug. Darwin’s false dichotomy behind his theory is too limited to explain the phenomena of the survival of the “unfit.” Darwin’s theory is unscientific because it is out of touch with reality.

The third way Darwin got it wrong is that his theory of natural selection is mindless and purposeless. It is a theory on mechanism—how things work. He has no account for a designer behind living things, or a purpose for those living things. But in reality, the way things work, especially living things, is related to both the intent of the designer and the purpose for which things are made. Therefore, Darwin’s theory of natural selection does not actually explain how living things improve, because it only explains a certain kind of mechanism (natural selection) and not how different kinds of mechanism work toward the purpose for which it is made. Dr. Axe explained about an experiment in which one gene was turned off and another reduced to 5% of its productivity. According to the theory of natural selection, these genes would fix itself so that it would produce a healthy and productive protein. But the result was just the opposite. Both genes were removed by itself. Dr. Axe made the point that natural selection does not necessarily favor the immediate “improvement” of a function, which proves the point that natural selection does not know the design or the purpose of that organism. So, once again, because Darwin’s theory intentionally left out the relationship of a designer and the purpose of an organism, in many cases his theory does not provide a reliable mechanism for how things work.

Dr. Axe showed us many examples of plants and animals that was stunningly beautiful with intricate designs that point to other realities in life, like the beautiful flower that is shaped like a bird. Dr. Axe left us with a conclusion: “Life is more about creative expression than ruthless survival. It is all about God’s glory!”

In August of this year, Veritas will be launching its Space Program, a major commitment to studying science, but not for the sake of learning to know how things work, or to even design new experiments that could produce great results, but to ultimately learn about its Designer in a personal way that will transform the very way we engage in the scientific enterprise.

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