Participants: Clifford Goldstein
Series Code: CFTF
Program Code: CFTF000007
00:21 Hi, Cliff Goldstein here,
00:22 welcome to the program Contending for the Faith.
00:26 This is part of a series
00:28 I'm doing entitled Faith in science,
00:30 in which we explore some of the issues
00:33 in science and in faith.
00:35 And this is important because we are in a day and age
00:38 where science has achieved a lot of renown.
00:42 So we want to look at science, what it does?
00:45 What it cannot do? What it tells us?
00:47 What it cannot tell us?
00:49 Because I really think that these are more difficult issues
00:54 than most people tend to realize.
00:57 What is science?
00:59 What are the limitations of science?
01:01 How does it work?
01:02 How do we know if a scientific theory is correct?
01:06 What are some of the misconceptions about science?
01:10 What kind of hope does science offer us?
01:13 Or is science something that can be even detrimental
01:17 to human beings?
01:18 These are just a few of the many questions
01:20 that I want to address in this series,
01:24 but especially I want to look at science in regard
01:28 to the question of religious faith.
01:31 How do faith in science interact?
01:34 Are they hostel to each other?
01:36 Can they be harmonized or as some say
01:40 do they do with-- deal with completely different thing?
01:44 All this and more I plan to explore in this series
01:48 as I said called Faith in science.
01:50 Because yes, there is a lot more faith in science
01:54 than people believe.
01:56 That is there is belief in science,
01:58 there's things and other words
02:00 that you believe in science but you cannot prove.
02:05 Science is at the core of human endeavor
02:09 and as such it comes with all the weaknesses
02:12 that humans bring to whatever they do
02:15 and one of the biggest weaknesses
02:17 is simply that we live with the fair amount of uncertainty.
02:22 I mean this is reality on everything that we do.
02:27 Someone once said
02:28 that nature doesn't give up her secrets easily
02:32 or in the different context,
02:35 but some what the same idea
02:37 Paul says "we see through a glass, darkly."
02:41 But whether we're dealing with the things of God
02:44 or dealing with the things of science
02:46 or dealing with the things of history
02:48 or the things of psychology, literature,
02:51 whatever we are dealing as human beings,
02:55 so we are dealing with them
02:57 with the certain amount of uncertainty.
03:01 We are dealing with things
03:02 that we just don't fully understand
03:04 or know or really could even prove.
03:08 Even things that we think we know, the most about
03:11 that were the certain about come with aspects
03:15 that we don't understand that leave black holes there,
03:20 even some of the simplest things.
03:22 I want you to listen to this quote from a book
03:24 called the Beginning of Infinity, listen to this
03:29 "If you fill a kettle with water and switch it on,
03:34 all the super computers on Earth working
03:37 for the age of the universe could not solve the equations
03:41 that predicts what all those water molecules will do
03:46 even if we could somehow determine their initial state
03:50 and that of the outside influences on them,
03:56 which is itself an intractable task."
04:01 Now think about that, we are not talking about here
04:04 what goes on in the inner recesses of the human mind
04:09 which is a total mystery to us
04:11 or what goes on in the belly of distant stars or of the sun.
04:15 I mean man of life, all that's very complicated.
04:18 We are talking here about a pot of water boiling
04:23 and what does he say, all the super computers
04:28 in the world working from the age of the universe,
04:32 couldn't tell us what those water molecules will do.
04:37 Wow, that's kind a heavy.
04:39 Now my point is simple,
04:42 science like everything else in life must
04:46 to a certain degree be taken on faith
04:49 because there are vast limitations
04:52 on what we has humans know or even can know.
04:56 In fact there is a-- in quantum physics
05:00 there is a thing called the uncertainty principle
05:03 and what it states is at the most basic level of nature,
05:07 it's impossible to know for certain--
05:10 to know certain things about a particle,
05:13 it's not that our tools are limited or that by the--
05:16 or that we don't have access to it?
05:18 No, it's by the very nature of the particles themselves
05:23 certain things about them just cannot be known.
05:28 If we know one thing about a particle,
05:30 such as its position, it's impossible for us
05:33 to know its velocity or if we know its velocity,
05:37 it's impossible for us to know its position.
05:42 There is at the most fundamental level,
05:44 the bottom right level, certain,
05:47 uncertainty built right in to nature itself.
05:52 At least at the far as level we can get to at presence.
05:56 But even if we get away from quantum physics,
05:59 even if we get in to the realm of everyday life,
06:03 there is a great deal we have to take on faith.
06:06 Hence the title of the series Faith in Science.
06:12 Yes, because science is very much a faith venture,
06:16 as is most everything we as humans do.
06:21 Anyway this title is as this talk is called the Rainbow.
06:28 And I can remember one morning,
06:30 I was driving to work and I saw this beautiful,
06:35 just this beautiful rainbow that just divided the sky,
06:39 it was a giant McDonalds arch,
06:42 but only instead of that grows McDonalds yellow,
06:46 it were the wonderful colors of the rainbow.
06:50 You know, and as I saw it I marveled,
06:53 I marveled that the beauty at the covering across the sky
06:57 it was beautiful and at the same time
07:01 I thought of the promise that God made to Noah,
07:05 the one after the flood, the promise
07:08 that He would never destroy the earth by a flood again
07:12 and the rainbow being the symbol of that promise
07:18 and He said here He says
07:19 "And I will remember my covenant,
07:21 which is between me and you
07:23 and every living creature of all flesh.
07:27 And the waters shall no more be a flood to destroy all flesh."
07:32 Genesis 9:15.
07:36 And when I saw that rainbow
07:39 I thought about the covenant promise, bariti, my promise.
07:45 And I smiled because really in a sense me
07:48 just simply being there, being alive to see
07:51 that rainbow in the sky
07:54 and that I or previous generations hadn't been
07:56 wiped out with a world wide flood,
08:00 mabul the Hebrew word, helped to affirm to me
08:04 that the truth of that covenant promise.
08:09 Now I realized to that many people,
08:12 even profess Christians those who claim
08:15 to believe in the Bible would have smiled at my reaction.
08:20 They might have a little perplexed at my naivete,
08:25 I mean I could just him oh, come on Cliff,
08:28 you can't be that naive, can you?
08:31 The rainbow, a sign of God's covenant promise
08:36 not to destroyable world with the flood
08:38 what are you free?
08:40 Get real.
08:41 No one takes that seriously anymore.
08:43 There is no scientific evidence to back that up.
08:48 Well, you know, there is all sorts of problems
08:52 hear with that, with that thinking.
08:56 If the flood were only local
08:58 but some there was the flood was just a local flood.
09:01 So if the flood were only local then every rainbow
09:05 instead of a sign of God's covenant promise to us,
09:09 actually becomes a mockery of that promise.
09:13 You know, not to promise-- not to do again
09:15 what He did in Genesis which was destroy
09:17 the whole world with the flood.
09:20 Okay, not some corner of Mesopotamia.
09:23 If the flood were only local then God lied to us
09:27 because there been a lot of local floods
09:29 and that every one of those rainbows
09:31 in the sky is a-- is a sign of God mocking us.
09:35 There have been all sorts of floods,
09:37 okay, so that's the point there.
09:39 If it was just a local flood the rainbow becomes a mockery.
09:46 But also I sometimes hear profess Christians say,
09:51 but there is no scientific evidence for a flood,
09:55 not a worldwide flood.
09:57 Now that's rich, it really is.
09:59 I wonder what would evidence
10:02 for a worldwide flood look like.
10:05 The Genesis flood was a one time event, a unique event.
10:09 Okay, how then a science boost dogmatically tells us
10:13 that there is no scientific evidence for something
10:16 they cannot examine and replicate.
10:18 What they could do is they could speculate about
10:21 what they might thing it would be like.
10:23 And that's fine,
10:25 but that's all it is speculation,
10:27 guess work about something they know nothing about.
10:31 What a definitely is not as hardcore
10:33 scientific proof of anything.
10:37 Science has no more disproven the worldwide flood
10:40 than it has disproven the resurrection of Jesus.
10:45 And yet as so often is the case,
10:48 science comes out and says something
10:51 as highly as speculative
10:53 as there is no scientific evidence for a worldwide flood
10:57 and the Christians and so many of them do
10:59 what they usually do.
11:01 They just have to bow down before.
11:04 Well, science says it,
11:06 and we can't be a bunch of Bible thumping hicks,
11:09 we have to believe what science says.
11:12 That seems to be the paradigm, but I don't want to go there,
11:15 that's not where my talk is going.
11:18 I want to go back to the rainbow,
11:21 I want to got to the back-- to back to the sign of bariti,
11:26 My covenant as God's said, the covenant
11:29 that He would not destroy the world again by a flood.
11:34 Now many people can no longer believe that
11:38 because well, they say, science has shown us,
11:42 what's wrong with you?
11:43 Science has shown what a rainbow really is.
11:46 Instead of the ancient midst about being a snake God
11:50 or a path between heaven and earth
11:53 that the God's traverse to go back and forth
11:56 or about it being the belt of tear the sun God
12:00 or whatever they-- people believed,
12:02 you know, we now thanks to science have
12:05 a decent understanding of what a rainbow is.
12:08 At least the basic physical interactions that create it.
12:13 We know that a rainbow occurs
12:16 when sunlight is both reflected, refracted,
12:20 refracted and reflected in drops of water,
12:23 that disperse the light at various angles.
12:26 Sometimes I think its somewhere between 40 and 42 percent.
12:30 Light enters a rain drop at one point is reflected
12:33 to the back of that drop at another,
12:36 okay, and then you know, creating the colors
12:38 that we see and even a host of colors that we don't.
12:42 Each tiny droplet of water or mist
12:45 acts as like a kind of prism, which will--
12:47 which disperses the light into the various colors.
12:51 Some of the-- this light reflects back on the droplet,
12:54 and is reflected a second time
12:57 and it just spreads out drops at different angles
13:00 and distinctively different colors to the eye.
13:05 It involves things like refraction
13:07 and turn over reflection and dispersion.
13:10 All of which at one level it's fairly well understood.
13:14 Again we think of each this
13:16 as millions of drops as tiny prisms,
13:20 such as we played at when we were kids.
13:23 This is now how we understand
13:27 to least to some degree has rainbows are formed.
13:31 Therefore-- therefore the Bible story about the rainbow
13:36 being a sign of God's covenant is proven false.
13:41 Right or wrong?
13:44 Well, I don't know about you,
13:45 but don't you see something kind of wrong
13:48 with that kind of thinking?
13:50 I mean big time wrong.
13:53 It's a keen to saying something like this.
13:57 Let's try to put this in little formal,
14:00 more formal logic.
14:01 When science explains something,
14:04 it means that God had nothing to do with it.
14:07 That's point number one.
14:09 Point number two, Science explains rainbows.
14:12 Therefore, point number three,
14:15 God had nothing to do with it.
14:18 This is what formulaic calls a valid argument,
14:22 but not a sound one.
14:24 The conclusion might logically follow from the promise,
14:28 but the promise is wrong
14:30 and so the conclusion is wrong as well.
14:34 I mean, where did we get this idea?
14:38 Very commonly held that once we have
14:41 a scientific explanation for something,
14:45 and please don't get me started on what this notion
14:48 of what a scientific explanation is,
14:51 that can be quite controversial and we'll be looking at that.
14:55 But where did we get this idea
14:56 that once science helps us understand the mechanisms,
15:02 the physical mechanisms of some phenomena
15:05 then suddenly, automatically, God drops out of the picture.
15:09 Now we know how it works physically, therefore,
15:12 get rid of your Creator, get rid of your God.
15:15 Let me read you a quote from someone
15:17 who is always been one of my favorite authors.
15:20 He the late Christopher Hitchens.
15:23 He is one of the so called New Atheist,
15:25 so there is really nothing new about
15:27 their writings and ratings.
15:28 And I always like Christopher Hitchens,
15:30 right even after he died
15:32 I put his picture on iPad for a week or two.
15:35 But you know, he wrote this book called "God Is Not Great,
15:38 How Religion Poisons Everything"
15:40 and I was kind of it's not one of his better literary moments,
15:43 and I was sorry to see Hitch go down this path.
15:46 But anyway in it he wrote this,
15:52 he wrote "Religion has run out of its justifications.
15:57 Thanks to the telescope and the microscope,
16:01 it no longer offers
16:03 and explanation of anything important."
16:06 And I thought what in the world
16:08 was poor Hitch talking about here.
16:11 What has the telescope shown us
16:14 that nullifies the existence of God?
16:17 What has the microscope shown us
16:20 that makes the idea of God irrelevant?
16:24 In fact, what has science anywhere ever proven
16:28 and I think that's a very difficult word.
16:31 What has science ever proven
16:33 that negates the existence of God?
16:36 Well, people sometimes think, oh, what about Galileo?
16:39 When the Galileo trial with the church and all that?
16:43 Look what happened there
16:45 and how science disproved teachings of the Bible and God.
16:49 Well, if you ever study the story of--
16:52 it's really something,
16:53 there is so much this information about that,
16:56 that whole Galileo thing.
16:58 You know, Galileo, there is the irony,
17:01 Galileo was accused of heresy for teaching things supposedly
17:08 that had nothing to do with the Bible.
17:11 They weren't even in the Bible,
17:12 he was surpassingly teaching things against Bible,
17:14 yet they weren't against Bible,
17:16 they weren't-- the Bible never talked about these things.
17:18 Where does the Bible say that the earth sits
17:21 at the center of the universe
17:23 and that the planets and stars all are orbit around it?
17:27 Where does the Bible say that?
17:29 These are even taken directly
17:31 or inferred from the teachings of Aristotle,
17:34 which the church had co-opted
17:37 and federally it becomes teachings of the Bible, okay.
17:41 They weren't teachings of the Bible,
17:43 this Galileo was convicted of heresy,
17:46 not heresy to Paul, not heresy to Moses,
17:50 not heresy to Jesus,
17:51 but to the prevailing scientific theory of the time.
17:57 That of Aristotle a pagan Greek
18:00 who had been dead for 2,000 years by then.
18:03 Anyway that again that's a whole other talk.
18:06 My point for now though is this,
18:10 where does we get the idea that the minute someone
18:14 has a scientific explanation again a very loaded word
18:20 that the minute they have that whatever they have
18:22 that the divine is automatically nullified
18:27 and or pushed out.
18:29 How does the fact that we now fairly
18:32 well, you know, understand the physics involved
18:36 in the making of a rainbow?
18:38 How does that it anyway
18:39 we refute or nullify what the Bible said
18:42 about the rainbow being a sign of God's covenant with humanity
18:47 that He won't destroy the world again by water.
18:51 Now, now if the text had said, when God said,
18:57 I would create this covenant sign
18:59 through weaving together angel feathers
19:03 and that mixture of angel's feathers
19:05 would cause this colorful rainbow in the sky, okay.
19:10 Now scripture said that then you know,
19:12 I think we might have a problem.
19:15 Okay, but I don't-- when I read the Genesis account
19:19 and I read in Hebrew over and over,
19:22 it doesn't say anything like that in all-- at all.
19:27 No does the Bible record, when it first created,
19:31 you know, say that when put the rainbow in the sky
19:34 did it specifically say that
19:36 it's not gonna be created out of water droplets,
19:39 reflect-- light reflecting of a water droplets in the sky
19:44 and acting like prism.
19:45 Did the text ever say that that won't be what is?
19:48 No, of course not, I'm being rhetorical.
19:52 This again the whole idea
19:55 that well, now that we know how the rainbow is made,
19:58 it proves that God had nothing to do with it.
20:03 That is such a false conclusion.
20:07 It's an assumption not wanted by the facts.
20:11 The promises do not lead to the conclusion
20:15 because the promise that one something
20:17 is understood scientifically means
20:21 that God must automatically have nothing to do with it,
20:24 He must be removed from the picture is not proven.
20:28 Where does that come from?
20:30 It certainly not a scientific statement,
20:34 it's a philosophical statement macerating as a scientific one.
20:41 The British poet John Keats, fear that
20:47 science would one day "unweave a rainbow."
20:54 But you know, even if we could parse,
20:57 measure, and predict and quantify everything
21:02 about a rainbow down to the inners of each photon
21:05 and to the underbelly of every quark
21:08 well, would that prove other than that
21:10 we better understand the natural laws
21:12 that God use to create the sign of His committed promise.
21:18 Science no more removes God from the equation
21:22 then the action of hormones in the limbic system
21:26 reduces human love into something
21:29 it came to the-- to the liver secreting bile.
21:33 Science might one day be able to explain everything about
21:36 how rainbows are made even up the 25 digits
21:40 to the right of the decimal point,
21:42 but it could never explain why.
21:47 And you see this gets into a whole other area
21:52 in regards to the question of faith in science,
21:55 especially has it relate as science relates to faith.
21:59 And that is the question of exactly
22:02 what does science do anyway?
22:05 Does science really explain why anything happens?
22:09 I mean the real-- does it give us the real why
22:13 or does it just explain how certain mechanisms
22:16 appeared to work.
22:18 See there's a big difference here
22:20 and it something that philosophers of science
22:23 have been debating for centuries now
22:27 or for a long time now.
22:30 Let's go back to the rainbow.
22:35 Why does the rainbow appear in the sky?
22:39 Well, because of the angle of the sunlight hits
22:42 the water droplets, right?
22:44 Okay, but why when the sunlight's hit
22:47 the water droplets at this angle
22:50 does the rainbow appears?
22:52 Well, it has to do with the specific way
22:54 that light is made and water is made.
22:57 Okay, I don't have a problem with that.
22:59 But why is a light made in such a way
23:02 that it interacts with water droplets
23:04 at a certain angle you get the rainbow?
23:08 Well, it has to do with how light-- light wave's act,
23:13 okay, but then why do light waves
23:16 when interacting this or certain angel
23:20 create the rainbow?
23:21 Well, it's because light waves
23:23 just act that way they just do.
23:27 They just do?
23:29 What kind of explanation is that?
23:32 But you know, it's typical in many ways
23:35 of all scientific explanations.
23:38 At some point your why comes to a dead end,
23:45 and science can't go further.
23:48 The why has to stop
23:50 because you get to the very bottom,
23:52 at least according to the rule
23:53 that scientists have made for themselves about
23:57 what science supposedly can and cannot do entail.
24:02 But again why?
24:05 Where is the why answer to the rainbow?
24:07 We have a lot of how's and yes, it's fascinating to think
24:11 that water and light can mix in such a way
24:13 and create such a beautiful phenomena
24:16 as the rainbow really is,
24:18 but the simply say that the reason it doesn't us
24:21 because well, you know, take it to any the levels
24:24 we looked at even the bottom level
24:27 you still don't have affirm why do you?
24:32 To say that the nature of light it weighs is to do that
24:35 in a sense of just going all the way back to Aristotle,
24:39 who once said something that the reasons
24:41 watch fall to the earth is that rocks love the earth,
24:45 that's why rocks fall to the earth.
24:48 Well, what isn't why--
24:49 what is the nature of light waves to do that?
24:52 Even if we got down to the level
24:53 of the nature of photons themselves,
24:56 it would still be have to be really more
24:58 only a description than an explanation.
25:02 And logically there is no way out of this trap.
25:07 Science, it is now understood
25:11 can take you only so far than the explanation stop
25:16 without you ever getting a full why.
25:22 So I have an explanation, I think I have a why
25:27 that science can't give you.
25:30 Why then do rainbows appear in the sky?
25:37 Because God created our world in a such a way
25:42 that when sunlight and mist
25:44 are in right relationship to each other,
25:47 the mist breaks up the light by refracting it
25:51 and reflecting it at different angels
25:53 that create this electromagnetic waves
25:57 which when reaching our eyes laminate
26:00 the image of rainbows in our head.
26:03 And He did it the why that science
26:07 could never explain to remind us
26:11 of His covenant promise that never again
26:15 would God destroy the world by water, okay.
26:20 Now one could justly argue and I think they would be fair
26:26 that this is not purely a scientific answer,
26:29 and hey, I agree,
26:31 it's not purely a scientific answer, okay.
26:36 And that's because it takes us further
26:39 then where science can't take us.
26:43 Science can as we saw explain at least to a certain level
26:49 the how's, the how's, how this, how that,
26:53 but it never really gets to the why.
26:58 It's not even close.
27:01 And considering the nature of how it is practiced
27:05 science never will get close to it,
27:10 at least as it practice now.
27:12 Yeah, there is no question, there is no question
27:18 that rainbow I saw that morning,
27:21 that rainbow that was just beautiful,
27:24 glorious rainbow and indeed reminded me
27:29 of what God had said about bariti,
27:33 My covenant that's His covenant,
27:37 His covenant with the world
27:39 never to destroy the world again with a flood.
27:43 And yes, here I was evidence to some--
27:49 here I was-- I was seeing evidence to some degree
27:54 that He had kept His word.
27:58 And as I looked at it, I thought about
28:01 all that science had taught us
28:03 about how the rainbow was formed, okay.
28:07 And that's fine, but nothing in science,
28:11 nothing by any stretch of the imagination
28:14 showed the reality of how it came, the one who,
28:18 the only true why of how the rainbow was created
28:22 and that was God.