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Creation: Proposition 3

Science and religion are both human inventions. Some people are very concerned about knowing God’s will, but even for them it is hard to know the mind of God. Even very pious people are frequently confused about the will of God. Scientists know that scientific understanding of natural processes is attained by successive approximation. Scientific understanding is not always correct, but it is usually close to correct. Religion is based on heartfelt beliefs, but science is based upon facts. As humans we endeavor to construct the will of God and we also try to construct scientific laws which apply to nature. Our constructions in both of these realms reveal our fallibility.

Response

Dr. Henson: Let me respond to the first part of the statement. "Science and religion are both human inventions. Some people are very concerned about knowing God’s will, but even for them it is hard to know the mind of God. Even very pious people are frequently confused about the will of God."

I would agree that science is a human construction. I do not agree that biblical Christianity is a human construction. To distinguish between biblical Christianity and other religions is simply not possible within the constraints of this reply. "Religion as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law." This definition comes from Webster's 1828 dictionary. If we are going to fuss about this, it is important to distinguish between believers and those who are unregenerate. It is not possible for finite man to know an infinite God's will unless that God chooses to reveal it to man. God has done that in measure in the Bible. I really don't think it is difficult for a regenerate man to know God's commandments, which are the sum of His will, if he wants to. The problem lies not with the understanding, but with the doing. It is difficult for a believer to humble himself and to obey God to do the commandments. It is impossible for an unsaved person to do either of those things.

Dr. Henson, scientists know that scientific understanding of natural processes is attained by successive approximation.

Dr. Henson: I would argue that it is not the task of science or the responsibility of scientists to understand, but to attempt to describe. The accuracy of that description would determine how well we are able to utilize our science.

The statement continues, "Scientific understanding is not always correct, but it is usually close to correct."

Dr. Henson: My opinion is that we don't have anything correct. We can fuss over that, but I think that's defensible. It is not important that we have them correct since our science is not truth. If you look on science as being truth, that is something else. I view science as workability—that is, our science allows us to do whatever we can imagine.

But, Dr. Henson, "Religion is based on heartfelt beliefs, but science is based upon facts."

Dr. Henson: Religion is based upon beliefs and science is based beliefs.

"As humans we endeavor to construct the will of God and we also try to construct scientific laws which apply to nature." What is your response to that?

Dr. Henson: We as God's children ought to be discerning and doing God's will and scientists (regenerate or unregenerate) ought to be attempting to describe natural phenomena in order to subdue the earth.

And the last part of that statement: "Our constructions in both of these realms reveal our fallibility."

Dr. Henson: In our discerning and doing and our attempts to describe and subdue, we are fallible.

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