“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15
The Uniformity of Nature
How would you respond to the following: “You Christians are so unscientific. Science and religion have nothing to do with each other because science is about facts, and religion is about faith.”
Remember, when defending the Christian faith we will always do an internal critique of the other person’s presuppositions. Because your opponent is not starting with God as the ultimate authority, there will and must be inconsistencies in what he says versus how he lives. These need to be brought to light.
What is it that makes science a useful tool? Very simply, all scientific inquiry rests upon the uniformity of nature. For example, when you turn the ignition in your car, you expect the properties of electricity, chemistry, friction, and heat to act as they always have so that your car will run.
We see these expectations of uniformity everywhere we look. We expect aspirin to soothe a headache. When we squeeze a tube of toothpaste we expect toothpaste to come out.
When it was noticed that a planet in our solar system was not where it was supposed to be, the astronomers of the day didn’t throw up their hands and say, “Well, it’s a chance universe. Anything can happen.” No, they theorized that an undiscovered planet’s gravity was acting upon it. This dependence on the uniformity of nature led to the discovery of Neptune.
So the question to the non-Christian becomes, “On what worldview does the uniformity of nature make sense?”
The Christian worldview says God has revealed to us that He is the Creator of everything. As the Creator, there will be nothing that is outside His control and influence (Colossians 1:16-17); and after the Flood God told Noah that the days and seasons will never cease (Genesis 8:22).
God Has Promised!
In other words, even though we do not know the future as God does, we can be sure that the universe will be orderly and uniform tomorrow because God has promised it to be so. Although God has not revealed all scientific knowledge to us through His Word (the existence of electrons, E=mc2, behavior of genes, and so on), because He has told us that this world is uniform, the scientific method is a useful tool.
Now if the God Christians believe in does not exist, what rational
reason would there be to believe that nature is uniform? It is assumed
that the past has been uniform, but what person knows for sure? It is assumed that the universe is uniform, but what person has experienced this in all places?
To infer that it will be uniform tomorrow, some may appeal to times when they observed uniformity in the past. What gives anyone the right to think that limited experiences of uniformity in the past will carry over to the future?
If human beings are the end result of a chaotic and chance universe, all attempts to order and tame that universe would be useless and all expectations of uniformity would be irrational.
So, are Christians unscientific because of a belief in God? Not at all! When the unbeliever claims that he can be scientific without belief in God it is only because he’s borrowing from the Christian worldview.
(The apologetic method and organization for these articles is taken from the book Pushing the Antithesis: The Apologetic Methodology of Greg L. Bahnsen, American Vision, Powder Springs, Georgia, 2007.)