Lately I see a lot of yard signs in my neighborhood that say, “In this house we believe that:” among other things, “Science is Real.” That got me thinking, what is science and is it real?
The word, “science,” comes from a Latin word that means, “know.” And Mirriam-Webster also defines, “science,” as, “the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.” So then are these yard signs saying that my neighbors believe that knowledge is real? I agree with them, if that’s the case. I too think that it is possible to know things. But, no, I don’t think their signs mean that knowledge is real.
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines science this way: “Science, [is] any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. In general, a science involves a pursuit of knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental laws.”
I believe this is what my neighbors mean when their signs say, “Science is Real.” So science is the observations of our world and the analysis of those observations. That sounds good.
But who is doing the observations and analyzing the data to come up with this real understanding of the world?
And we all know, for real, that humans are fallible. Sometimes people purposely make untrue observations or come up with untrue analysis because they want to create their own truth about the world. But even when people are trying their best to make unbiased observations and analyses, mistakes will happen because, people are, well, fallible.
So is science real, is it the truth about the world we see around us?
Because science is based on fallible humans’ observations and analyses, I find it truly illogical to make the blanket statement that all science is real.
However, if carefully and honestly done, I believe that science can help us understand the world around us.
But how will we know if the science conducted is real? Is the truth?
To know if the findings of scientific study are real, they must be measured against a known truth. Because humans are fallible, we can’t use our own standards to measure the truth of a scientific finding. So what can we use? There is only one perfect standard that I know of, the God who created all of this that we are trying to understand.
Therefore, if a scientific finding concurs with what God has already said is true about the world, then yes, that science is real. If the science conflicts with a biblical truth, then no, the science is not real, be it because of purposeful manipulation, or accidental misunderstanding.
Remember, science is fallible human’s best attempt at understanding the world that a perfect God created.
So do I believe science is real? If it does not agree with God, then, no, the science is just vain imaginings. But if it agrees with God, then, yes, the science is real.