Science vs. Religion?

For over a hundred years, “science” and “religion” have been posed as antagonists. More and more, “The Science” has arrogated to itself a position of unquestionable authority, with its own Holy Scripture (“studies show…”) and its own Priesthood (“97% of scientists…”).

Of course, anyone who understands the history of science knows that this is pure bunkum. True science is the process of studying God’s creation to discover its secrets, and we always question what we find in order to understand it better. This hearkens back to Solomon’s proverb: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”

Several hundred years ago, what we call “Science” was more properly known as “Natural Philosophy”, that is, the study of nature for the love of wisdom. Natural philosophers like Isaac Newton would have said with confidence that philosophy, including natural philosophy, was the handmaiden of theology. That is, our search for wisdom in the study of God’s creation serves us best only in our striving to know and love God better.

Why study God’s creation? How does it do anything to serve our knowledge of God? For one, God created it! And when he did, he called it good. What’s more, James tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” The good that we enjoy in this world is a gift from God, and the gift tells us about the Giver. In nature we find invariant rules: apples fall to the ground, and plants seek the sun. This reflects God’s unchanging nature!

All the wonders of medicine and technology that we enjoy today rest on the foundation of God’s good and unchanging nature. They are gifts from our Father in heaven. But in our modern age, we have lost sight of the Giver, and like selfish children, we have focused only on the gifts. We look to Science to save us, and not God. In our foolishness and pride, we believe that we are the source of the good things we enjoy!

In doing this, we have acted like Abraham, who thought at first that God’s promised gift—a son in his old age—depended somehow on him, Abraham, to produce it. (He didn’t realize that the God who made Abraham could easily make sons of Abraham from any old stone!) So Abraham went to Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar, to receive the fruit of God’s promise, even though God had said the child would come by Sarah herself.

It is right to desire the gifts of God, but we must not lose sight of the Giver. We must restore Science to its proper place: as a humble servant, not a proud mistress.

How do we do this, especially in the home school?

  1. We observe God’s creation carefully.
  2. We appreciate the intricacies and order of God’s creation.
  3. We interact with God’s creation respectfully.

In all of this, we cultivate a sense of wonder at God’s greatness and become more faithful stewards of His gifts.

But maybe it’s easier to show you what we mean. Here’s a free lesson plan that establishes a foundation of observation. The plan can be started at any age and used as the backbone of any science curriculum. No strings attached, no email required.