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Round and round with a skeptic
Jonathan Pait
May 10, 2005

I found it interesting that a number of people took time to look me up on the Internet so they could send me their thoughts on a statement I made recently in the Washington Post.

In secular schools, they say, “Let's use science to discover the unknown truth,” Pait says. “We say, ‘We know the truth - how does this glorify the truth, who is God?’"

The point I was making is that Christians are not a relativists.  We believe there is Truth.  The truths we learn in the sciences – which are many with a myriad of truths yet to be discovered – help us to better understand Truth.  However, a relativistic educational philosophy teaches that we cannot know Truth.  Life is only a collection of truths with no complete conclusion.  The quest for knowledge is the principle thing.  It doesn’t matter that the quest will never end.

A gloating skeptic looked me up on the Internet to tell me, “Good.  Finally a fundamentalist who admits to how his religious agenda distorts science in support of preconceived conclusions!”

I couldn’t resist responding, “I would simply reply that your secularist agenda distorts science in support of a preconceived conclusion that there is no God.”

That did not make him very happy.

He responded in part,

…science draws conclusions about the natural world based on scientific method – its conclusions follow the evidence, not the other way around.

You on the other hand begin with conclusions and then selectively interpret evidence to support those conclusions.  That’s not science.

Finally, the conclusions of (true) science will be the same, whether or not those practicing the science believe in the existence of God.

I concluded our exchange with the following:

The bottom line is that the "unknown truth" is actually a belief that absolute truth doesn't exist – perhaps the more correct term would have been the “unknowable truth.”  The search is never ending.  We believe in absolute truth and that science does not have to be incompatible with that truth.  We are not afraid of science and learning.  It is incredible to learn more about this world God has made and those things we learn make his creation that much more wonderful to us.

I agree one hundred percent that science draws conclusions about the natural world based on the scientific method.  You'll receive no argument from me on that.  However, there is as much evidence to support the concept of a divine creation as there is that everything just happened by chance.  No proof using the scientific method is available to support either side of the origins argument.  Indeed the evolutionist does exactly what you have accused the creationist of, "selectively interpreting the evidence."

Both of us simply draw conclusions about how things might have come about by looking at existing data.  It is just we Christians are willing to admit that our conclusions are colored by a belief in God.  You all are unwilling to admit your conclusions are colored by a belief that there is no God.

Creationists can become top rate biologists, chemists and leaders in any field of science.  Why?  It is because the scientific method only reveals what is.  It cannot answer the question of origins.  We are on a level playing field with you guys when it comes to practical sciences.  And think about it, when it comes to succeeding in your field, isn’t that really all that is important?  Do you really care if your doctor is an evolutionist or a creationist?  Does believing evolution somehow make him a better doctor? 

The only place creationists cannot seem to succeed is in the temple of the academic world.  It is because in that realm there is the litmus test of belief in the never proved concept of evolution.  Indeed it isn't true science that is important in the academy; it is the unswerving belief in a hypothesis that can never be questioned - nor proven.  Hmmmmm, sounds a lot like faith to me.

I agree also with your statement that true science will be the same whether or not those practicing the science believe in the existence of God.  However, not everything passed off as "true" science is.

To all my skeptic friends out there, I realize I will never convince you – or you me, but it is nice to be reminded of the arguments of the other side from time to time.  Happy hunting as you search for that unknowable truth that you will never find.

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Ah, the certainty of faith! BTW, why is faith needed if it is absolutely the truth? Can't you faith folks come up with any evidence? Or, is a game of godly hints that you just enjoy playing?  . . .

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