Monday, March 17, 2014

The "science and faith" label is problematic

There are several reasons I don't like the term "science and faith" and similarly "faith and learning". I think "science and theology" is more appropriate.

First, science involves faith, too. 
I discussed that in an earlier blog post.
It also links to an excellent relevant article by Professor Priyan Dias.

The nature of the faith exercised by active scientists [and lay people who believe the results of science] is not the same as Christian faith. But it is still faith. Faith in both is based on evidence; again it is not the same kind of evidence. But it is still evidence.

Similarly, the "science and faith" label easily plays into the hands of those who believe that science is rational and theology is irrational. Both science and theology involve rationality. It is not exactly the same kind of rationality but it is still rationality.

A concrete, but perhaps extreme, example to illustrate the above is the issue of string theory and the multiverse [i.e, there is not just one universe but a zillions and zillions of them, that are not causally connected to one another]. There are now a significant number of distinguished theoretical physicists who believe in a multiverse and would claim that it is rational and scientific. I certainly do not. I think the whole idea involves just as much faith, and perhaps more, than belief in the Triune God. Not only is there currently no direct conventional scientific evidence for a multiverse, it seems that by its nature this is an untestable hypothesis. 

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