Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Kinds of Science

In my opinion, one of the greatest Calvinists ever was Abraham Kuyper. Not only was he a pretty smart theologian, but he became prime minister of the Netherlands.

One of Kuyper's great insights was that because there are two kinds of people in the world, regenerate and unregenerate, there are two kinds of science. There will be science that is done by people who recognise the reality of God and that which is done presupposing the non-existence or at least the irrelevance of God.

I think those of us who reject the theory of evolution would do well to take on board this concept.

In their haste to criticise evolution, Christians are often very quick to try to find flaws in the theory. They attempt to prove that evolution is bad science and therefore even the 'reasonable' atheist or to reject it. I would suggest that this is a flawed strategy.

One of the things I have noticed about most Evangelical Christians is that they do not know much about evolution and do not understand it. They too quickly try to criticise what they don't understand.

I would venture to suggest that evolution is good science within the framework of modernistic, anti-theistic presuppositions that govern academia today. Evolution provides a reasonably coherent explanation for the development of life on earth. It would be eminently rational for the unbeliever to accept the theory of evolution.

Christians will ever throw out perceived problems with evolution, yet many of these flaws arise from misunderstandings of the theory. Many of them can be resolved. It is important not to forget that science is all about solving puzzles. The more possile flaws are pointed out with the theory of evolution, the more scientists can apply their creativity to trying to resolve and explain them.

I would suggest that the strategy of trying to prove evolution to be 'bad science' is a dead end. Such a strategy fails to recongnise that a difference in presuppositions will inevitably produce two kinds of knowledge, and thus two kinds of science.

Instead, Christians should attempt to throw doubts as to the viability of atheism or agnosticism and the influence of such worldviews on scientific conclusions. A good question to ask the evolutionist would be whether she would still believe in evolution if she knew for certain whether God existed.

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