Amazing isn’t it how many think belief in the Christian faith is a “leap” yet abstracts such as evolution and global warming a/k/a climate change become concrete and are referred to as settled science? Dr. Mohler, as usual, succinctly addresses the subject.
The problems with this argument are legion. In the first place, there is no such thing as “settled science.” There is a state of scientific consensus at any given time, and science surely has its reigning orthodoxies. But to understand the enterprise of science is to know that science is never settled. The very nature of science is to test and retest hypotheses and to push toward new discoveries. No Nobel prizes are awarded for settled science. Instead, those prizes are awarded for discoveries and innovations. Many of those prizes, we should note, were awarded in past years for scientific innovations that were later rejected. Nothing in science is truly settled.
If science is to be settled, when would we declare it settled? In 1500? 1875? 1960? 2013? Mr. Krattenmaker’s own newspaper published several major news articles in just the past year trumpeting “new” discoveries that altered basic understandings of how evolution is supposed to have happened, including a major discovery that was claimed to change the way human development was traced, opening new questions about multiple lines of descent.
But the most significant problem with this argument is the outright assertion that science and religion represent two completely separate modes and bodies of knowledge. The Christian understanding of truth denies this explicitly. Truth is truth. There are not different kinds of truth that operate by different intellectual rules.
Every mode of thinking requires belief in basic presuppositions. Science, in this respect, is no different than theology. Those basic presuppositions are themselves unprovable, but they set the trajectory for every thought that follows. The dominant mode of scientific investigation within the academy is now based in purely naturalistic presuppositions. And to no surprise, the theories and structures of naturalistic science affirm naturalistic assumptions.
“Religion”—to use the word Krattenmaker prefers—also operates on the basis of presuppositions. And those presuppositions are no less determinative. These operate akin to what philosopher Alvin Plantinga calls “properly basic beliefs.”
In any event, both require “belief” in order to function intellectually; and both require something rightly defined as faith. That anyone would deny this about evolution is especially striking, given the infamous gaps in the theory and the lack of any possible experimental verification. One of the unproven and unprovable presuppositions of evolution is uniformitarianism, the belief that time and physical laws have always been constant. That is an unproven and unprovable assumption. Nevertheless, it is an essential presupposition of evolutionary science. It is, we might well say, taken on faith by evolutionists.