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We Aren't Worth Their Time

on February 26, 2011
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ScienceNOW: “Can Science and Religion Get Along?A panel at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science tackled the often rocky relationship between science and religion.

“[A]re those who build creation museums hopeless ideologues whose Stone Age ideas should be buried once and for all?” asks the first paragraph of ScienceNOW coverage of the panel. (ScienceNOW is a publication of the AAAS.)

Apparently the panel, titled, “Evangelicals, Science, and Policy: Toward a Constructive Engagement,” was initially attacked by anti-evangelicals for supposedly kowtowing to religious interests. Perhaps surprisingly, it was evolution education proponent Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, who responded to many of the attacks. “Science is religiously neutral. Whether you’re religious or not, you use the same method and rationale in the way you do science, and if you don’t, then you’re stepping outside of science.” (Of course, Scott believes that our view of starting with Scripture is outside of science.)

While searching for a middle ground, one speaker, former pastor Richard Cizik, argued that “some people aren’t worth your time.”

Panelists dealt with such topics as climate change, stem cell research, and even neuroscience. But while searching for a middle ground, one speaker, former pastor Richard Cizik, argued that “some people aren’t worth your time.”

Can science and religion get along? In this case, some secular scientists do seem to be making an effort to reach out; the problem is that they are only reaching out to religious individuals who won’t let their faith “get in the way” of science. But science is a way for fallen humans to try to learn about the world around us, and in the absence of relying on God’s infallible Word, human error and bias may lead us astray. That’s why science and religion can only “get along” when we recognize that science is always practiced against a backdrop of religious and philosophical assumptions—including naturalism.

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