1/22/20 - Worlds Apart - 3 - Fact or Philosophy?

We’re in the third week of our series on science and faith called Worlds Apart. This week, we’re diving in a little deeper and looking at the bias', worldviews, and philosophies that taint our view of the world and our interpretation of science. We are basically saying that everyone has a presupposition that they work from (that includes both Christians and Scientists). Most (not all) of what teens are taught about origins within science is based on a philosophy, not facts. We want to encourage the teens to recognize that and be able to see what that they don't have to choose between faith and science, but they do have to choose between faith and naturalism. I know that sounds deep but we will walk through it in the lesson and hopefully make it easier for them to understand and see in their classrooms!

Scripture:  HEBREWS 11:3
Main Point: You don’t have to choose between faith and science, but you do have to choose between faith and naturalism.

Quotes, Thoughts, and Links from the Lesson

How can I believe in faith and Science if Science seems to disprove the existence of God? Here are two perspectives:
  • Richard Dawkins - God Delusion - “ You cannot be an intelligent scientific thinker and still hold religious beliefs. It is one or the other” Link  
  • C.S. Lewis - “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature, and they expected law in nature because they believed in a legislator (or law giver).” Link

We all have Biases that impact our interpretation of science
  • The question we should start with is not what does the science tell me about my origin, but “Why does everything exist rather than nothing?”
  • How we answer with will show our bias or worldview

Are the statements below Philosophy Statements or Scientific Statements? Do they ask Why (philosophy) they believe something or How (science) they believe something?
  • Carl Sagan - “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/178439-the-cosmos-is-all-that-is-or-was-or-ever 
  • Richard Dawkins - “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the darwinian theory… we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories” https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2017/10/atheism-and-evolution.html#_ftnref1
  • S.C. Todd - “Even if all the data points to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” https://www.nature.com/articles/46661
  • Richard Lewontin - “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. the eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen.” http://www.drjbloom.com/Public files/Lewontin_Review.htm
  • George Johnson in NYTimes Article “Creation, in the Eye of the Beholder”- When we see such intricate symmetry our brains automatically assume there was an inventor. Overcoming that instinct took centuries. What Creationist and conspiracy theorists share is a deep disbelief in accidents like the ones that drive evolution, and a certainty that everything that happens was somehow intended.” https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/science/creation-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.html

Belief or Disbelief in God or Miracles are issues of faith:
  • Tim Keller in “The Reason for God” - “To be sure that miracles cannot occur you would have to be sure beyond a doubt that God didn’t exist, and that is an article of faith. The existence of God can be neither demonstrably proven or disproven.” Link

Why would someone believe in Naturalism?
  • Thomas Nagel (not a christian) - “It is… Highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents… I realize that such doubts will strike many people as outrageous, but that is because everyone in our secular culture has be browbeaten into regarding the reductive research program as sacrosanct (holy), on the group that anything else would not be science.” T. Nagel Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2012), p. 6. Link

How do we know whether the universe is made by God or Not?
  • Faith doesn’t mean wishful thinking, but a reasonable, rational assurance/conviction in what or who you cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
  • Faith that the God of Christianity Created the world
    • By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3
  • Faith that Evolution and nothing outside of the natural world created the world (Naturalism)

Why I believe the Christian Faith does the best job of answering the 4 questions of a consistent worldview?
    • Christianity’s Answers:
      • Where do we come from? God created us - Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3
      • What went wrong? We Sinned against God - Genesis 3, Romans 3:23
      • What’s the solution? Jesus died for our sins and rose again - Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:2-4
      • What’s our purpose? Glorify God and Enjoy him forever - 1 Peter 4:11, Colossians 3:17, Psalm 73:25
    • Naturalisms Answers:
      • Where do we come from? Evolutionary Processes
      • What went wrong? Nothing - the world’s not broken, it’s the Survival of the fittest
      • What’s the solution? Don’t get in the way of it, keep evolving
      • What’s our purpose? Random Meaninglessness
  • Richard Dawkins - “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/22201-the-total-amount-of-suffering-per-year-in-the-natural
  1. Where have you seen people’s natural bias come through in life? give examples (Sports, politics, Musical taste, etc…)
  2. Why is it important to recognize our bias’s in life?
  3. What are some ways you see bias in faith or Christianity?
  4. What are some ways you see bias in science or in your classroom?
  5. How is much of what is presented as science today is actually a “faith based system”?
  6. Why do you need to choose between Christianity and Naturalism, but not Christianity and Science?
  7. What is something you learned in today’s lesson or hadn’t thought about before?
  8. What are some faith and science questions you would like covered in the next few weeks?
  9. How did you apply what you learned last week and who did you tell? (From the lesson / I will statement)
  10. What is your “I Will” statement this week? (In one sentence, What will you do with what you’ve learned today: “I will _________”) Please write them down to refer to them the following week.
  11. Who can you tell what you learned?

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