We often hear it said that Christianity (or the Bible) is at odds with science. And news reports seem to underscore that idea. But is that so?
Several years back, writer Christy Barritt reported on a Rice University sociologist who indicated that “religion and science only seem at odds because that’s the way the media portrays it.” The research showed that 61 percent of those in the science field at that time were Christians. But 20 percent of the general population believed that religious people are hostile to science and that scientists are hostile to religion. (“Religion and Science Not at Odds?” in The Lookout magazine, 5/4/14)
In 2021 J. Warner Wallace published Person of Interest. In an ad for that book, Wallace reported on a survey (in Neuroscience News) that shows—just like the above report—that the majority of people “consider information provided by scientists to be more credible and reliable than information provided by religious leaders.” (Granted, there could be some wiggle room on exactly what sort of things were in the minds of the survey takers, but …)
In that same ad, Wallace detailed the fact that “the vast majority of ‘science fathers’ (the founders of every significant modern scientific discipline) were Christ followers.” And the book itself provides a long list of names.
Merriam-Webster defines science as “knowledge or a system of knowledge …” True knowledge (“science”) can’t be at odds with Scripture, since the Lord is truth (John 14:6) and his Word is flawless (Psalm 12:6; Titus 1:2). That is, if you’re coming from the perspective of having examined evidence for the Bible and found it overwhelming.
What we hear are conclusions that certain scientists and the general public push as true, along with a typical ridiculing of anyone who doesn’t accept those. But notice how articles in science magazines routinely make statements like, “We used to think ___, but we now know ___.” Wouldn’t it be nice if, upon such admissions, they also said, “Hey, we’re sorry for laughing at people who didn’t accept the original information. They were right!”
The late R. C. Foster relayed William Jennings Bryan’s reaction to a “scientific” book that was making claims for evolution. After Bryan noticed countless indistinct words like “suppose” and “perhaps” and “many think” among these presumed facts, he gave this zinger: “‘We may well suppose’ is not a sufficient substitute for ‘Thus saith the Lord’” (Told in Foster’s Introduction and Early Ministry, p 89).
It might help in our conversations, too, if each party would clearly define what they mean by science or Christianity/religion.