The Art of Raising Kids Who Will Not Bow to the Idol of Science

By Natasha Crain

There’s a new hero in town. He’s thought to be all-powerful, always right, and everyone’s best friend. If anyone says something that could possibly be construed as being opposed to this hero, they are to be quickly shamed and put in their place. You see, if the world wants to move forward productively and intelligently—or so the story goes—they must get in line behind this hero.

He is today’s “way and truth.”

His name is science.

Kids Science Christianity

And tens of thousands of people marched for him last weekend in the “March for Science.”

If it sounds funny to give human attributes to the concept of science, don’t blame me. I’m only talking about science in the same kind of terms that the secular world effectively does.

To be sure, this hero isn’t actually new. He’s been promoted as such for a few centuries. But his popularity is skyrocketing today. He’s become a mainstream idol and he’s literally being paraded as a replacement for God.

In this post, we’ll look at how the secular world has turned science into an idol, and how we can teach kids not to bow to it.

To be clear: This post is about combating the idol of science…not science itself. In fact, if you read this and conclude that I’m opposed to science because I used the words combat and science in the same post, it’s a good sign you’ve fallen prey to the very mentality I’m describing.

Understanding How the Secular World Has Turned Science into an Idol

Before we can understand how to combat the idol of science, we have to understand how the secular world has created the idol in the first place. Here’s the basic strategy.

1. Proclaim that science is the only reliable way to determine what’s true about our world.

The Huffington Post featured an article with “19 of the Cutest and Funniest Kids from the March for Science.” One picture shows a boy holding up a sign that says, “Make America Think Again” and is wearing a shirt that says, “In Science We Trust.”

One man bluntly stated that science is truth:

Science is Truth

Similar examples abound.

This idea—that science is the only trustworthy way of learning about our world—is the key philosophical starting point for those who want to replace God with an idol of science. (Note that this was exactly the thinking behind the ridiculous Scientific American article on the resurrection that I critiqued in my last blog post.)

If you can convince the masses that “science” is synonymous with truth, it’s quickly implied that no other sources of truth are necessary. Who needs the Bible when we can figure everything out in test tubes?

2. Promote a false dichotomy between “science” and theism so people feel they have to make a choice.

With point 1 firmly in place, people are ready to start believing that science and theism (belief in a personal God) are a trade-off. You pick one as your source of truth. But don’t think for a minute the choices are being hailed as equally viable. Those who pick God are to feel ashamed for being backward and unscientific. After all, it’s assumed they rejected science.

So choose science and join others who made the obvious choice for truth at the cool kids’ table.

That’s the message.

3. Use the word science in a such a variety of ways that people stop trying to clarify what exactly is meant by “science” in any particular context and accept whatever is claimed in its name.

March organizers said they were doing it to encourage “scientists, educators, and advocates, as well as social service workers, artists, trade workers, business people, our elderly population, and families to come together for science.”

Sounds pretty harmless, right? As one 8-year-old said, “Trees make oxygen. It helps us breathe. Who doesn’t like that?” Other kids held up similar non-controversial posters that said, “I love my microscope”; “Future scientist”; and “Science: Experiment, Learn, Fail, Repeat”; and “Science Matters.”

There’s basically no one who would have a problem with any of those statements. In fact, you might even begin feeling a wee bit silly for ever casting a skeptical eye on the March in the first place. But that’s precisely the problem. Non-controversial statements are a smokescreen for the myriad other pieces of secular worldview being promoted under the umbrella term “science.”

If the March was only about science as a field of study, as these examples would imply, no one would need to march at all.

People march because they want something.

They want you to believe something or do something. And if you take a survey of the statements made by marchers, it’s clear they are using the word science interchangeably to mean a variety of things:

  • A field of study (as in, science is the systematic study of the natural world)
  • Scientists (the people who engage in that field of study)
  • Findings of scientific research
  • Interpretation of the findings of scientific research
  • Consensus on the interpretation of the findings of scientific research
  • Policy decisions that in any way touch on any of the above

It’s an effective strategy that you can see everywhere in media today. Establish that science is the only reliable way to gain knowledge about the world, convince people they need to choose science or God, then smuggle in whatever you want to put forward as truth under the generic label of “science” and make everyone think disagreement is for the uneducated fools who didn’t make the smart choice.

Don’t believe it for a minute.

The Art of Raising Kids Who Won’t Bow to the Science Idol

As Christian parents, we must help our kids understand science as nothing more and nothing less than what it is: an extremely important field of study that can give and has given us a wealth of knowledge about the workings of God’s creation.

We can modify the three points above to see what our kids really should know.

1. Scientific research is one (important) way to determine truth about our world.

Scientific research reveals the mechanics of the universe at a level of detail far beyond what God has revealed to us in the Bible. There’s no verse in the Bible, for example, that states the force of gravity. Science complements our knowledge of God because it reveals the workings of the world He created. Christians need the field of science as much as those with any other beliefs.

But science can say nothing about the ultimate meaning or purpose of our universe, or where all those laws of nature came from in the first place. You can study how a marble maze works, and describe those actions and mechanisms fully, but that doesn’t answer the questions of how the maze came together, why it’s there, and what we should do with it.

To answer these kinds of questions about the universe, we need the input of the One who created it. In that way, the Bible complements science.

2. There need never be a choice between science and God.

Far from being polar opposites, science needs God.

The goal of science, broadly, is to discover the order of the universe. But the feasibility of that goal depends on the assumption that the workings of our natural world can be discovered. We often take that for granted, but we shouldn’t.

Our universe is both understandable and logical. These characteristics allow us to do science in the first place. If the universe was just a hodgepodge of chaotic events, ungoverned by structured laws, science would be a hopeless task.

But why is the world intelligible rather than chaotic?

If the universe is truly the product of unguided evolutionary forces, as atheists claim, there’s no reason to expect that an elegant ordering of nature would happen on its own. But if the universe is the product of intelligence, as Christians and other theists claim, we would expect it to be orderly—a reflection of its rational designer.

Much more could be said on this, but the bottom line is that there is no trade-off between science and God. It’s a false dichotomy. You can pretend you’re “choosing” science, but your choice has no legs to stand on its own. You need God and science.

3. Thoughtful conversations about “science” must be nuanced enough to determine which meaning of science we’re talking about.

Let’s revisit the various meanings of science to see just a few questions that could be asked about any statement like, “Science says X.”

  • A field of study: Science, as a field of study, can say nothing. Only people say things. So, no, science doesn’t say X.

  • Scientists: Which scientists? Which field are they in? What are their credentials for speaking on this particular subject? What is the context for what they said? Who disagrees? Why do they disagree?

  • Findings of specific scientific research: How was the study designed? What was being tested? What was assumed? Who conducted it?

  • Interpretation of the findings of scientific research: What have prior studies on the subject found? What further research is needed to understand or test these findings? Is there a reason to believe this particular study is authoritative in some way? Where is the line between the findings of the study and what people are saying should be done with those findings?

  • Consensus on the interpretation of the findings of scientific research: When consensus is claimed, who is included in that consensus? How is consensus measured? Who has determined that consensus has been reached? What reasons do we have for believing the consensus?

  • Policy decisions that in any way touch on any of the above: The questions here are literally endless. Even if 100 percent of people agreed about the interpretation of 100 percent of scientific findings, there could be endless (legitimate) discussion on what the best policy measures should be based on those findings.

“Science says X” is an authoritative statement built on a foundation of hundreds of assumed answers to questions like these. What happens when we get tricked into believing that anything labeled science is authoritative?

This.

This is from Bill Nye’s new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World, in which he “educates” the public on science issues.

This is being promoted as science.

I apologize for posting something of such a graphic nature, but this needs to be seen to be believed.

Incredible.

So, to the little boy who said, “Trees make oxygen. It helps us breathe. Who doesn’t like that?” the answer is no one.

Absolutely no one.

But that’s not the science the secular world wants us all to “like.” That science is an idol made by hands of people who want God off His throne.

Do not bow down.

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2rRhlAU


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14 replies
  1. John B. Moore says:

    So, did evolution happen or not? How old is the Earth? Is humanity affecting climate change? Did people land on the Moon?

    If you don’t want your kids to leave religion, you have to stop being stupid about science. It’s really very simple. Stop mumbling and obfuscating and using all these weasel-words to try to deny science. Kids know when you’re trying to trick them.

    Reply
    • jwniles says:

      For starters, there is no clear Christian consensus about the age of the earth. But, early work by Einstein states that, time itself can warp for objects, as those objects approach the speed of light.
      So earth was formed, and universe around the solar system spread rapidly as space expanded,
      giving, as Einstein discovered was possible, appearance of great age in the expanded universe, but not on earth.
      As for fossil layers, the great flood of Noah would have created great numbers of rapidly buried fossils. Simpler animals with lesser locomotive ability would have been buried first. Larger, swifter animals would have tended to have been buried later. There are many anomalies in these layers, so these layers are far from uniform, but these may have been the mechanics of layers of fossils.
      What I am getting at here, is, from Charles Darwin’s time forward, science workers’ guiding lights have been anti-god ideals, taken from the many scientists who rejected and are rejecting the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim views of the God of Abraham. Such science workers (and I mean those who have great control over what is taught in schools and universities) will be calling us religious ones “science deniers” and the like.

      Reply
    • Brian says:

      John, could you be more clear please. What do you mean by “stupid about science”. I am a Christian who teaches and publishes biomedical research. I don’t believe I’m being stupid about science.

      In what way is the author of this post obfuscating? I have accused atheists of using the exact same strategy for many years when they avoid my specific and direct questions. I do this only using specific examples from their writings. (i.e. I provide the data)

      Lastly, what “weasel-words” are you referring that all Christians use to deny science?

      Reply
    • Tracey says:

      Have you ever been known as a Christian, theist?
      Calling people names to get your own way, is a limping argument, Christians, Muslims, Jewish don’t need atheist to believe, never have, atheism is irrelevant to Believers, also science don’t need this either, everything is in the Bible, if you don’t know how to read this, to understand then that’s not a problem to the Believer, ever?

      Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    No-one needs to bow down and worship science, but they need to understand it. I suspect by ‘teaching them not to bow down and worship it’ you actually mean ‘teaching them to reject consensus opinion on a wide range of scientific issues’.

    Reply
    • Tracey says:

      Are you the chosen one to say/speak for the consensus of all? when did this happen. Have you studied the Bible and all the books in the different Bibles, the Gita, the Quoran, any? why can’t you read properly; the Bible what you use to try to knock down Christians? Making generalisations about the numbers of, apparent people who agree with you, is an incorrect statement, unless you can unequivocally substantiate your guess work approach, and for what period of time, will this be for?

      Reply
  3. KR says:

    How do we reliably determine what’s true about our world without using some form of empirical verification?

    Reply
    • Brian says:

      Is beauty real (i.e. true)? Are there such things as “evil” and “goodness”? What is science? The answer to all these questions, and many more, cannot be proven empirically using the scientific method.

      I think that is why the author of the post tried to promote the idea that scientific methods are one way of gaining knowledge about the world and universe we live in. There are many questions, however, that cannot be answered by scientific methods.

      Moreover, scientific methods do not produce knowledge, they produce data, which can often be interpreted, rationally, more than one way.

      Reply
      • KR says:

        Determination of truth requires an objective means of verification, otherwise it’s in the realm of opinion. I don’t see any such objective means of verification when it comes to beauty or goodness, which is of course why people consistently disagree on what is beautiful and good. If you disagree with this, can you give me an example of an esthetic or moral disagreement that was resolved by one side demonstrating that their position was the objectively correct one?

        As for what is science, the demarcation problem can lead to interesting discusions but what counts in the end is results. Science most definitely produces knowledge. Knowledge is usually defined as “justified true belief”, i.e. things we can verify. The question “does drug X in concentration Y inhibit or stimulate growth of cell type Z?” can be answered by empirical verification. The result is not a matter of interpretation but a verifiable fact, i.e. knowledge.

        Reply
        • Tracey says:

          This is about, belief, faith, hope, God then incomes science, not any other way.
          Have you every read then studied the book of Job? after Genesis?
          Psalm 19 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
          Here have a read, slowly for understanding.
          Psalm 19
          To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

          1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
          and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
          2 Day unto day uttereth speech,
          and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
          3 There is no speech nor language,
          where their voice is not heard.
          4 Their line is gone out through all the earth,
          and their words to the end of the world.
          In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
          5 which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
          and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
          6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven,
          and his circuit unto the ends of it:
          and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
          7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:
          the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
          8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
          the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
          9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:
          the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
          10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
          sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
          11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned:
          and in keeping of them there is great reward.
          12 Who can understand his errors?
          cleanse thou me from secret faults.
          13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
          let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright,
          and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
          14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
          be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
          my strength, and my redeemer.

          Reply
  4. Bryan says:

    Science only becomes an idol when it does not back up your personal religious beliefs. For example, DNA studies have proven that Native Americans did not come to South America in 600B.C. as The Book of Mormon once claimed. In fact there is no evidence of pre-Columbian Jewish DNA in the Americas. So what do Mormons do? In conversations with several of them they claim that the science of DNA must be wrong. After all, said one fellow, look at the O.J. Simpson trial (?!!!?).

    Reply
  5. Oscar says:

    Personally, and as an agnostic, I consider anyone who buys into this false dichotomy of choosing between a god and science to be very closed minded. As you say, they are by no means polar opposites. This is evident for there are many distinguished scientists who are believers of various faiths. The most dedicated of these openly accept that we do not know as fact of the existence of God and view science as a field through which we can get closer to answering this divine question.

    Addressing your claim that we need both God and science, I find it nonsensical to assume that we have a necessity of a divine invisible figure for the advancement of our world. It is much more reasonable to state that the scientific method alone is enough to develop and sustain a civilization. As far as the facts have showed, it is safe to say that religion currently relies on science to back its claims. Faith just won’t cut it.

    Now, by my understanding, your labeling of science as an ‘idol’ makes sense when referring to the current amount of people that accept new advancements or theories without question. This could very well be seen as detrimental, and in a way it is, but let’s think of this matter from another perspective.

    Scientific discovery has gotten us this far as a civilization. Foods, medicine, education, travel, weaponry, fuels, electricity, and we’re still moving forward every day. Let’s not forget that we have millions of future scientists getting ready to find new things to benefit mankind. Taking all of this into account, it is logical that people would trust any scientific advancements that they deem beneficial for everyone. Excuse the manner in which I say this but, basically, we are where we are today “because science”, so most people have grown with the tendency of getting on the science wagon and see where it takes them.

    I still agree that more people should question science though, and as an agnostic skeptic, I think just as many should question religion. You say science is just ONE way of finding the truth and that it cannot explain our purpose or meaning, this is sort of a hypocritical thing to say because purpose and meaning are things that religion itself cannot explain objectively. Further more, in the most accepted and evidence-backed theories of the origin of life, the concepts of purpose and meaning are irrelevant.

    Finally, about your claim of intelligent design on the basis of how orderly our world is, just study up every natural disaster possible on Earth and the danger of being hit by an asteroid. If that’s not enough chaos, check out the mysterious phenomena we observe in space, that stuff violates physics laws like crazy (then again it could be new laws in effect that we have yet to explain). How about our good ol’ sun? It’s been proven that it is expanding and many years in the future it will burn up the Earth. To top it all off, we are just one planet suitable for life, orbiting in an uninhabitable void.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Science got us this far? Not according to God’s account. The scientific method only came about a few hundred years ago and it is a product of men’s minds while God claims to be the maker of men so He made our minds, too.

      If there are two different realms between the metaphysical and the physical then why would physical laws control a metaphysical realm?

      That’s why people lean on God’s understanding of the metaphysical realm. In a revealed religion we only know certtain things because God told us.

      You don’t study an apple to get to the know the nature of an orange.

      You find it nonsensical that we need a divine figure and replace him with what? An ape? Confusion?

      Be careful in your confusion not to set the human race backwards. Humans have always had role models it looks to to progress forwards in social evolution.

      Identifying with apes is a terrible role model/stereotype to put in people’s heads. Do you really want people thinking their nature is derived from an ape’s?

      Just think about the necessity of role models. Then maybe you will see that people should be inclined to identify with better ones and the best is Jesus Christ. You can compare him to every other major religion’s founder and see an appreciable difference.

      Personally, it wouldn’t bother me a bit to know nothing of evolution. What does the world want to go backwards socially?

      Do people really want to attack the foundations of all morality learned from a better more spiritual source and claim an old ape nature controls people?

      That is socially backward. Be careful what kind of people you produce with that. No boundaries…each man for himself? Social chaos and lawlessness will abound them.

      Is law a physical concept? Isn’t it an idea projected by someone’s mind?

      Without law you don’t have order.

      So law comes from a rational, orderly mind.

      Did we get law from an animal’s mind or did God transfer it to us to make order out of chaos?

      Just a few things to think about. Sorry if the tone is too bold but if you mix the truth with human emotion too much then it can be hard to tell things apart.

      Still some people do find God through the discipline of science. Google Hugh Ross’ testimony and read it to see how he did it.

      That’s the end of my argument. i hardly argue any mire these days because it seems I am always engaging a learned stereotype in someone’s head.

      If you want to know…then do what God says to do then research.

      God said the noblest people research the scriptures. Some people take that a step further and compare the scriptures to the world.

      That is being open minded when you do that. An individual can confirm for himself personally that way without applying any type of bias learned from another person or discipline at all.

      Why would you let another person control your opinion through science on a very serious personal existential question?

      People make errors so learn to think for yourself.

      Reply
  6. Susan says:

    Teach the kids non-overlapping magisteria like the evolutionist Stephen Gould taught.

    Science shouldn’t be crossing over into the spirtual realm trying to define or control it. The natural and spiritual are two separate realms.

    As separate realms different laws or principles apply.

    I don’t know how anyone makes an idol out of a method though I know a human being can make an idol out of anything.

    Just tell them not to idolize science. It has made it’s mistakes and it changes over time and you should never idolize anything with feet of clay.

    They are running class action law suits for prescription drug side effects on the television every day and that should tell people that there are limits to scientific knowledge and to ask questions and take things with a grain of salt.

    Reply

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