China

I find that today there are many misconceptions about the nature of science. A common view is that science and religion (especially Christianity) are in conflict and that a thinking person would not believe in Christianity. However, the statistics tell us that a large majority of people believe in some sort of God or super being, but tend to keep science and such beliefs in separate boxes. I personally believe that science and Christianity are not only compatible but are also supplementary and tend to focus on different questions.

 

Science can tell us what an amazing universe we live in that demands an answer to why it is so, but it cannot answer existential questions such as what is my purpose in life, assuming of course that a purpose exists. Some believe that the only valid knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that science has all the answers, or at least will eventually provide all the answers. A student once said to me, “I don’t mind what people believe as long as they don’t hurt anyone because of their beliefs.”

 

I guess this reflects the attitude today; anything goes and do it if it is good for you. Truth is no longer relevant except, for example, when issues relating to God and Christianity are raised and someone says, “prove it to me.” In this short chapter we consider the nature of truth in both science and mathematics. In the next chapter we ask the question “Is there a God?” and look to science for some partial answers. It is therefore appropriate to first discuss the nature of science; its assumptions and what it can prove and what it cannot prove.