Science: Summary Principles
have not been
addressed here except as they impact the natural sciences
Summary Principles of Creation are listed
under their own category. However, there is considerable overlap
between science and creation. In a real sense, those principles
and these form a unit because they cannot really be separated.
Yet, for purpose of emphasis and modern arguments they are best
Discussion of these
The full discussion on this site of these Summary Principles has
not yet been written. However, the following sources cover many,
if not most of them:
Science and Technology
The Nature of Science.
The following are not
necessarily arranged in any priority of order.
1. Etymology and
history of the word, “science.” “Science” is being used here
consistent with the modern denotation that “science” means
natural sciences. However, readers should understand that
historically and etymologically, “science” refers to the
systematic study of any subject. For example, beginning in the
Scholastic period of history, theology was the “Queen of the
Sciences,” which demonstrates its superior position among all the
other “sciences” and natural science itself. The term “modern
science,” is synonymous with natural science.
subjectivity in the natural sciences.
At first glance, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry,
biology, and engineering do not appear to be affected by
philosophical or religious beliefs. However, this glance is
misleading. All sciences are inductive conclusions made from
observations. By definition, induction does not arrive at
truth. For induction to be truth, it would have to have observed
every particular phenomena in the universe
an impossible task.
So, inductive (empirical) conclusions are limited to those
observations actually made: that is, the construct of the
experimental design. The workings of chemistry are actually
based upon physics (behavior of electrons, protons, shell
valences, etc.). Physics makes such conclusions as the “Big
Bang” or some sort of “grand unified theory“ of the universe.
Such theories defy the simplest forms of “common sense,“ much
less qualify for serious reflection as worthy knowledge, much
less “truth.” For more explanation here,
Science and Pragmatism as Truth and
The Pragmatic Test of Truth.
Again, these natural
sciences have great function and utilitarian value, but
they come nowhere near qualifying for truth, which never changes
and is always reliable anywhere and everywhere in every time
period of history
sociology, anthropology, and economics are highly subjective.
They are behavioral sciences, having to do with the behavior of
man. Biblical values impact directly on what is right and wrong
in their theory and practice. Ignoring Biblical principles will
greatly affect their function.
Bible. The Bible, as God’s Word to man and as truth, is
always authoritative over any statements by science where both
address the same issue. Properly understood, there is never any
contradiction between science and Scripture. In many areas, the
Bible a has far greater application in science than may be
apparent from a casual consideration of the Bible itself or the
attention that other Christian scholars have given it.
3. Science is not
truth. The method of science is to discover the mechanisms
(God’s laws) of the universe and apply them for the good of
mankind. This method does not discover truth because all its
operations are theory or experiment. Theory, by definition, is
not truth. Conclusions by experiment are strictly limited to the
conditions of the experiment, and therefore, not universally
applicable. For example, no vacuum exists in nature at sea level
to make the (very useful) “law” of the speed of a falling body
(over time) a universal truth.
Discussion of Science as Truth
4. Value and Ethics.
“Science cannot determine its own value... By science bombs
are made and cancer may be cured. Most people think that bombs
and medicine are good to have. But, there is no experiment that
proves their goodness.... can any experimentation demonstrate
that either the destruction of cities (and life) or the
extension of life is good?” (Gordon Clark, Philosophy of
Science…, page 95). Such values come from God’s Word.
Technology within itself is a-moral, that is, has no inherent
morality within itself. Its morality is determined by sources
outside of itself by the intent and purposes for which it is
The cultural and moral
force of technology.
Technology does bring a strong tendency to erode values. Adding
numeric values to social and psychological studies gives them an
appearance of objectivity that they do not have. The advancement
of technology in any area is not an advancement of cultural
progress (which should be defined only by Biblical values). For
example, computers with greater speed and storage will be
necessarily be used for the “good” of mankind. A general and
immediate availability of a wide range of information
(television, computers, etc.) increases one’s susceptibility to
a sinful response to temptation because in prior times one would
not be exposed to that information. See Postman, Technopoly…
for his great review of the problems of technology. However, his
proposed solutions are not Biblical.
5. Pragmatic Value
or Operationalism. To state that science does not determine
truth is not to diminish its great pragmatic value. But, that
greatness can be for good or evil (as in #3 above). Alfred Nobel
regretted the invention of dynamite because he developed it for
its great potential in construction, but armies used it to destroy human
lives and property, often under the direct of dictators with
evil agendas. The same science that places communication
satellites in orbit can be used for “smart bombs.” See
The Nature of Science.
6. Modern science
and the Reformation. While modern science cannot absolutely
be said to have been caused by the Reformation, there are strong
reasons to believe that it was. (1) The beginnings of modern
science began in the same century as the Reformation. (2) Many,
if not most, of the early scientists were Bible-believing
(3) Neither the Greek nor the medieval concept of nature invited
the diligent examination of nature that constitutes modern
science. (4) According to the Reformers, nature was a revelation
to be studied, as special revelation was to be studied. As God
was intelligible, they expected that nature would be, also. For
more on this subject, see
Christianity and the Rise of Modern
7. Nature is God's
As God has revealed Himself in
His special revelation, the Bible, He has revealed much of
Himself in His general revelation of nature. As men are to study
the Bible to know and understand what God has chosen to reveal
of Himself, men are also to study nature in order to know the
creativity of God and apply that knowledge for the welfare of
mankind. As men learn to worship in special revelation, so
science should also evoke man’s worship of nature as the
creativity of God. As “the chief end of man is to glorify God
and to enjoy Him forever,” the chief end of science, as one of
man’s occupations, would be the same.
8. God’s design of the
universe and man’s laws that describe this design.
God created the universe
to function according to properties of matter, motion, and
energy. Gravity, centrifugal force, acceleration of bodies
approaching each other, the boiling point of water, inertia, and
many other properties within nature are according to His design.
The only reason for these properties is that He designed them
into His universe. These properties give a precision and
orderliness to the universe that makes it predictable and useful
for mankind to live and work there.
As man has discovered
these properties, he has formulated laws that
sufficiently approximate these properties to allow him to
benefit and function more fully within this orderliness. Nature
functions according to God’s design, not according to “laws”
which are only descriptions of those properties.
9. Gods Providence and
His immanence in His creation.
One tenet of the Reformation was
the Providence of God; that is, that He is immanently present in
His Creation and determines all events “according to the counsel
of His own will.” Further, He is “upholding all things by the
word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Increase Mather (1639-1723)
wrote of God’s activity in the thunder and lightning and
terrible majesty of storms, as well as, in all the events of men
and nations. Modern Christians need to recover that sense of
God’s unfailing and constant presence. The operations of the
universe are not solely because of their inherent laws and
properties, but God’s present activity in them. (Increase Mather, A History of God’s Remarkable Providences in Colonial
New England (Back Home Industries, 1997, reprint of original
10. The universe is
Both the universe and the
life of all creatures have been impaired such that disease,
death, extinctions, imperfections in structure, and other such
calamities are the results of changes in properties and
processes decreed by God upon an originally perfect universe
because of the Fall of man (Genesis 3:14-19; 1 Peter 1:24-25;
Hebrews 1:10-12). (Used with minor changes from the Coalition on
Revival’s Sphere Document on Science, #16.)
11. Laws and
properties of nature.
All laws of nature exist because
God designed them that way. For example, the law of gravity
exists because God designed two bodies to attract each other.
There is no inherent property in these bodies to cause them to
attract each other outside of God’s original design. Therefore,
all “ultimate” laws and properties in nature reside in God’s
design and ongoing Providence.
12. Technology for
“Because at any time we may be
required to resort to military defense to preserve our lives and
liberty, it is acceptable and proper for a Christian to use
science and technology to develop weapon systems essential to
the defense of his country.” (Also, from the Coalition on
Revival… Science, #19)
13. Pollution and
husbandry of animals.
The Creation Mandate to “rule”
and “subdue” all of God’s creation does not include inevitable
and unlimited pollution; cruelty to, and extinction of, animals;
or irresponsible management of the earth’s resources. Man must
be subject to all of God’s laws that govern in these areas.
However, in current times, the evidences of modern science
concerning these areas are being skewed to promote an agenda
that is inconsistent with all God‘s ordinances that govern man
and nature. Abuses of nature that have occurred do not mandate
that they be corrected by un-Biblical (immoral) means. All
peoples, Christians in particular, ought to pursue an
understanding of the best science that can be known in these
areas and apply them within the constraints of all Biblical law.
14. Global warming.
An honest review of all the
information available on global warming shows that the evidence
is inconclusive. To base political, social, and legislative
policy on such science is dishonest at best, and tyranny, at
worst. See Michael Crichton’s novel, State of Fear
(HarperCollins Publisher, 2004). For a solidly conservative,
scholarly, and Biblically accurate study of this issue, see
Alliance: For the Stewardship of Creation.
15. God is evident in
“For since the creation of the
world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power
and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). The
rest of the verses in this chapter of Romans demonstrate the link
between man’s understanding of nature and his behavior. It is
the link of the natural and the supernatural, of the physical
world and the world of ethics, and of the causes of health and
life and disease and death. It is a link of God’s immanent
activity among men and in nature according to man’s thinking and
16. The civil state
The role of government is
to “reward good and punish evil” (Romans 13:1-5). It has no role
in either the funding of science or conjoint efforts with
scientists for development and research (scientific socialism)
except in the development of weapons for police work and
18. Natural death of
living organisms. Natural science cannot account for the
death of organisms that are able to propagate, but only live for
a limited period of time, even when not assaulted by some
outside force. The processes that propagate and sustain life
fail over time for no known natural reasons. Genesis Chapter 3,
accounts for the death of living creatures. All creation
is under God’s curse because of man’s sin.
19. More information
is not the solution to cultural problems. “Our most serious
problems are not technical (nor scientific), nor do they arise
from a lack of information.” (Postman, Technopoly: The
Surrender …, page 119). The solution is the full application
of the Bible to all areas of worldview.
20. There is
no such thing as computer science. There are people
who are mathematicians, "but call what they are doing computer
science." There are those who are "working on something
like the natural history of computers. Then, there are
"hackers, who are trying to write interesting software."
(Paul Graham, Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the
Computer Age, Sebastopol: CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc, 2004,
page 18-19. Website:
1). “Operationalism” is
a word suggested by Gordon Clark (Philosophy of Science…
page 93). I suggest “pragmatic value” or “functional value.”
“Value” shows its great utility to be used for the good of
mankind. “Pragmatic” or “functional” shows its application. But,
neither of the three terms allows science to approach the notion
that it is “truth” or can determine what is right or what is
2) Neil Postman,
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, (Vintage
Books/Random House, 1993).
Philosophy of Science and Belief in God. Trinity Foundation,
Davis, John Jefferson.
The Frontiers of Science and Faith. InterVarsity Press,
Henry, Carl F. H.
Horizons of Science. Harper and Row, 1978.
Moreland, J. P.
Christianity and the Nature of Science. Baker Book House, 1989.
Biblical Basis of Modern Science. Baker Book House, 1984.
Rushdoony, R. J. The
Mythology of Science.