The science/faith gridlock

Some blog-days ago I highlighted BioLogos’s interview with Bill Nye. Brad Kramer offers some final thoughts:

I don’t think Nye is intentionally ignorant, but his insulation from religious perspectives has seemingly left him with an incomplete picture of what Christians believe and why they believe it, especially as it relates to scientific issues. However, it is no less disturbing that Christians often display an equal ignorance about the nature of science and the motives of scientists—and again, the problems often come when Christians are insulated inside a single perspective. This mutual insulation virtually guarantees the perpetuation of the gridlock that defines the faith/science conflict.

The only possible solution is for both sides to step outside the trenches and try to learn from each other. It is not enough that, as Nye said, “your community and mine can live and work together without conflict.” While we appreciate his words, we want to help people realize that the Christian community and the scientific community are not mutually exclusive. A better dialogue between science and faith, as Deb Haarsma wrote, starts with accepting that science and faith are complementary, not competing. To be sure, they approach the big questions from different angles, but they are not doomed to competition with each other (as we attempted to point out in our mention of Michael Faraday). BioLogos passionately believes that science and faith can mutually enrich each other, and that Christians can be people of faith and science without sacrificing either.

I’ll try say more later. But for now read the whole thing.


  1. Thanks for this. It’s interesting. As much as there is an ancient “conflict” between faith and science (and this is not new at all, it’s even something Thomas Aquinas and even St. Augustine wrote about), there is also a lack of conflict. It really depends on whom you speak to. In other words, the perception of conflict depends on how many people are in the “conflict” camp and how many people are not in the “conflict” camp. More honestly, it depends both on the number and the power of the people in each camp.

    And so, over my short lifetime, or let’s a lest say between the 90’s and today, I think there is less of a conflict than there has been. Sure, there are people who see a conflict. But it is becoming less and less of an issue, especially as Christian and Jewish faith are transforming more and more (and Muslim faith at a slower pace in this regard).

    The presence of blogs, books, and organisations along these lines is as much an effort to show they are not in conflict JUST AS MUCH AS it is a reflection of the fact that more people see it that way.

    So, one question not answered yet by this blog or BioLogos or the interview, is exactly how many people are we talking about (this is very hard to quantify this qualitative perspectives or opinions of many as there are many nuances in such perspectives and opinions). Better yet, here is a challenging question: do blogs and articles about the conflicting sides serve to highlight the conflict or increase it? And what effect does that have in a world in which the conflict IS decreasing in many minds and the number of minds experiencing a conflict is decreasing?

  2. Unfortunately, YECs consistently portray “real” science as “operational,” with “historical science” merely reflecting one’s “world view,” completely divorced from “operational science.” I cannot see any progress, as long as such portrayal continues.

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