Forbidden Science

  Scientists are getting religion. At least that's the way it appears, based on several books on the market today. But the religion they're promoting is not Christianity; instead, it's a revival of age-old pantheism. Take In the Beginning, by astrophysicist John Gribbin. Gribbin starts with a theory known as the Gaia hypothesis, which proposes that Earth is alive-- that Earth itself is a living, self-regulating system. But Gribbin takes that idea a step further: He claims that the entire universe is alive. He suggests that black holes are baby universes, which grow up and give birth to other baby universes, in an endless process of evolution. Where will the process end? In another new book, Equations of Eternity, astrophysicist David Darling gives a startling answer: The universe is evolving into a cosmic mind. As Darling puts it, the universe is becoming its own god. But all this talk about "god" doesn't mean scientists are turning to Christianity. Gribbin states quite clearly that he rejects the idea of a transcendent Creator. In his words, "As for God, cosmology... has no need of that hypothesis." Instead, what we're seeing is a revival of an earlier science that many people thought was discredited. The idea that the universe is evolving up to god has roots in eighteenth-century Romanticism. Many biologists of that period believed that matter is made up of living molecules and that the entire universe is evolving up a great Chain of Being to divinity. You see, the idea of evolution did not originate with Charles Darwin, who lived a century later; instead it began with the Romantic idea of spiritual evolution. Romantic biologists believed in a universal Life Force unfolding from simple to complex forms under a cosmic Law of Development. Today the leaders of scientific orthodoxy would prefer to forget that period of history. They insist that "true" science must be completely materialistic. They're the authors of your children's textbooks, which often dismiss any spiritual beliefs. But we ought to teach our kids to call their bluff. Real science has never stayed within the narrow bounds of philosophical materialism--neither during its historical development nor today, judging by the titles hitting bookstore shelves. Are scientists getting religion? The truth is that science has always encompassed widely diverse philosophies of nature--from the Christian teaching of creation (held by most of the early scientists) to Romantic pantheism to scientific materialism or naturalism. For a true picture of the rich diversity within science, read The Soul of Science by Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton. What this means is that Christians need to get busy developing apologetics for the whole range of beliefs permeating our culture and claiming scientific support--not only scientific materialism but also pantheistic spiritualism. The The Soul of Science can help you in your own families and churches to prepare to meet the challenges posed in the name of science. Scientists may be getting religion, but you and I need to ask what kind of religion. Holding a false religion is just as dangerous as holding no religion at all.


Chuck Colson



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