Your Christianity determines whether you can be a legite scientist…or NOT?

MarcusrossIt seems that if you are a Christian who does great scholarship in the realm of science that you really are not a scientist at all.  At least, this is what Dr. Marcus R. Ross has to deal with.  He earned a degree from Harvard in paleontology yet is a young earth creationist.

…Dr. Dini said in an interview, adding, “Scientists do not base their acceptance or rejection of theories on religion, and someone who does should not be able to become a scientist.”

Read the full story in the NY Times: Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules

Question:  Is it possible to study and become an expert on something you do not agree with? 

And, does the Bible HAVE to fit by the rules of science to be true?

Share:
Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. While I respect those who take the young earth view (and there is some evidence to support it), I don’t think that the science of the Bible is always meant to be the truth that is conveyed. As an example, there is a place in the Bible where it relates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter as 3 (1 Kings 7:23). No one today would seriously consider using that verse to claim that pi is exactly three – however, for years that verse was used to persecute mathmeticians who tried to find better values of pi.
    The point is that scientific truth is not what the Old Testament was intended to convey. The truth of creation is summed up in the first verse – “God created the heavens and the earth.” The scientific description is given in terms of a scientific worldview of thousands of years ago. The passage was not intended to reveal scientific truth to that audience (they would have had no way to comprehend it, and I believe we wouldn’t have the ability to comprehend the total scientific truth, either), but to reveal the truth about who created everything (most other cultures believed that their gods were created out of the earth, so claiming that God created everything was pretty bold), and the fallen, sinful state of man.

    By ascribing scientific truth to a passage that was never meant to relate scientific truth, we’ve taken ourselves out of the scientific debate. The same would be true for any mathmetician who claimed that pi is 3 because the Bible says so.

    All of that said, I think evolution is a bunch of bunk, and that there might be some credence to the young earth theories. But we have to be incredibly cautious about using Biblical passages in ways that they were not intended to be used.

  2. While I respect those who take the young earth view (and there is some evidence to support it), I don’t think that the science of the Bible is always meant to be the truth that is conveyed. As an example, there is a place in the Bible where it relates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter as 3 (1 Kings 7:23). No one today would seriously consider using that verse to claim that pi is exactly three – however, for years that verse was used to persecute mathmeticians who tried to find better values of pi.
    The point is that scientific truth is not what the Old Testament was intended to convey. The truth of creation is summed up in the first verse – “God created the heavens and the earth.” The scientific description is given in terms of a scientific worldview of thousands of years ago. The passage was not intended to reveal scientific truth to that audience (they would have had no way to comprehend it, and I believe we wouldn’t have the ability to comprehend the total scientific truth, either), but to reveal the truth about who created everything (most other cultures believed that their gods were created out of the earth, so claiming that God created everything was pretty bold), and the fallen, sinful state of man.

    By ascribing scientific truth to a passage that was never meant to relate scientific truth, we’ve taken ourselves out of the scientific debate. The same would be true for any mathmetician who claimed that pi is 3 because the Bible says so.

    All of that said, I think evolution is a bunch of bunk, and that there might be some credence to the young earth theories. But we have to be incredibly cautious about using Biblical passages in ways that they were not intended to be used.

  3. While I respect those who take the young earth view (and there is some evidence to support it), I don’t think that the science of the Bible is always meant to be the truth that is conveyed. As an example, there is a place in the Bible where it relates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter as 3 (1 Kings 7:23). No one today would seriously consider using that verse to claim that pi is exactly three – however, for years that verse was used to persecute mathmeticians who tried to find better values of pi.
    The point is that scientific truth is not what the Old Testament was intended to convey. The truth of creation is summed up in the first verse – “God created the heavens and the earth.” The scientific description is given in terms of a scientific worldview of thousands of years ago. The passage was not intended to reveal scientific truth to that audience (they would have had no way to comprehend it, and I believe we wouldn’t have the ability to comprehend the total scientific truth, either), but to reveal the truth about who created everything (most other cultures believed that their gods were created out of the earth, so claiming that God created everything was pretty bold), and the fallen, sinful state of man.

    By ascribing scientific truth to a passage that was never meant to relate scientific truth, we’ve taken ourselves out of the scientific debate. The same would be true for any mathmetician who claimed that pi is 3 because the Bible says so.

    All of that said, I think evolution is a bunch of bunk, and that there might be some credence to the young earth theories. But we have to be incredibly cautious about using Biblical passages in ways that they were not intended to be used.

  4. While I respect those who take the young earth view (and there is some evidence to support it), I don’t think that the science of the Bible is always meant to be the truth that is conveyed. As an example, there is a place in the Bible where it relates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter as 3 (1 Kings 7:23). No one today would seriously consider using that verse to claim that pi is exactly three – however, for years that verse was used to persecute mathmeticians who tried to find better values of pi.
    The point is that scientific truth is not what the Old Testament was intended to convey. The truth of creation is summed up in the first verse – “God created the heavens and the earth.” The scientific description is given in terms of a scientific worldview of thousands of years ago. The passage was not intended to reveal scientific truth to that audience (they would have had no way to comprehend it, and I believe we wouldn’t have the ability to comprehend the total scientific truth, either), but to reveal the truth about who created everything (most other cultures believed that their gods were created out of the earth, so claiming that God created everything was pretty bold), and the fallen, sinful state of man.

    By ascribing scientific truth to a passage that was never meant to relate scientific truth, we’ve taken ourselves out of the scientific debate. The same would be true for any mathmetician who claimed that pi is 3 because the Bible says so.

    All of that said, I think evolution is a bunch of bunk, and that there might be some credence to the young earth theories. But we have to be incredibly cautious about using Biblical passages in ways that they were not intended to be used.

  5. I’m impressed with Dr. Ross. I did some philosophy work at University of Illinois- Chicago. State university philosophy departments aren’t exactly replete with evangelical Christians, so I have at least some sense of what it could be like for him, although I’m sure in science the potential conflict was much more intense.
    I’m proud of these scholars, who, like Daniel in Babylon, manage to learn and study and excel in a hostile environment, but remain true to their faith. Sometimes you have to be creative to keep your feet in both worlds. I certainly think that science depts. have a culture that is arrogant and condescending towards people who take their faith seriously. I imagine it’s like being Dean Batali and writing for “That 70s Show.”

    More power to Dr. Ross, and may his tribe increase!

  6. I’m impressed with Dr. Ross. I did some philosophy work at University of Illinois- Chicago. State university philosophy departments aren’t exactly replete with evangelical Christians, so I have at least some sense of what it could be like for him, although I’m sure in science the potential conflict was much more intense.
    I’m proud of these scholars, who, like Daniel in Babylon, manage to learn and study and excel in a hostile environment, but remain true to their faith. Sometimes you have to be creative to keep your feet in both worlds. I certainly think that science depts. have a culture that is arrogant and condescending towards people who take their faith seriously. I imagine it’s like being Dean Batali and writing for “That 70s Show.”

    More power to Dr. Ross, and may his tribe increase!

  7. I’m impressed with Dr. Ross. I did some philosophy work at University of Illinois- Chicago. State university philosophy departments aren’t exactly replete with evangelical Christians, so I have at least some sense of what it could be like for him, although I’m sure in science the potential conflict was much more intense.
    I’m proud of these scholars, who, like Daniel in Babylon, manage to learn and study and excel in a hostile environment, but remain true to their faith. Sometimes you have to be creative to keep your feet in both worlds. I certainly think that science depts. have a culture that is arrogant and condescending towards people who take their faith seriously. I imagine it’s like being Dean Batali and writing for “That 70s Show.”

    More power to Dr. Ross, and may his tribe increase!

  8. I’m impressed with Dr. Ross. I did some philosophy work at University of Illinois- Chicago. State university philosophy departments aren’t exactly replete with evangelical Christians, so I have at least some sense of what it could be like for him, although I’m sure in science the potential conflict was much more intense.
    I’m proud of these scholars, who, like Daniel in Babylon, manage to learn and study and excel in a hostile environment, but remain true to their faith. Sometimes you have to be creative to keep your feet in both worlds. I certainly think that science depts. have a culture that is arrogant and condescending towards people who take their faith seriously. I imagine it’s like being Dean Batali and writing for “That 70s Show.”

    More power to Dr. Ross, and may his tribe increase!

  9. It is certainly possible to study and become an expert on something you do not agree with. For example, someone may study Islam/Islamic countries, communism, criminal behavior, etc. for obvious reasons.My question is why Dr Ross wanted to spend years getting a degree in something he doesn’t believe in? He sounds capable of making contributions to science, but why would he? Would a Christian chemist use his expertise and spend years developing more efficient ways for criminals to make better and cheaper drugs?
    Something is missing from this story.

  10. It is certainly possible to study and become an expert on something you do not agree with. For example, someone may study Islam/Islamic countries, communism, criminal behavior, etc. for obvious reasons.My question is why Dr Ross wanted to spend years getting a degree in something he doesn’t believe in? He sounds capable of making contributions to science, but why would he? Would a Christian chemist use his expertise and spend years developing more efficient ways for criminals to make better and cheaper drugs?
    Something is missing from this story.

  11. It is certainly possible to study and become an expert on something you do not agree with. For example, someone may study Islam/Islamic countries, communism, criminal behavior, etc. for obvious reasons.My question is why Dr Ross wanted to spend years getting a degree in something he doesn’t believe in? He sounds capable of making contributions to science, but why would he? Would a Christian chemist use his expertise and spend years developing more efficient ways for criminals to make better and cheaper drugs?
    Something is missing from this story.

  12. It is certainly possible to study and become an expert on something you do not agree with. For example, someone may study Islam/Islamic countries, communism, criminal behavior, etc. for obvious reasons.My question is why Dr Ross wanted to spend years getting a degree in something he doesn’t believe in? He sounds capable of making contributions to science, but why would he? Would a Christian chemist use his expertise and spend years developing more efficient ways for criminals to make better and cheaper drugs?
    Something is missing from this story.

  13. This is a tricky thing, I think. Would we let an atheist into one of our seminaries to study what we believe? Would he/she be able to earn a MDiv. degree? I think not.
    However, I would not be so harsh to Dr. Marcus. His motives are NOT in question. I believe his desire to be a credentialed scientist while holding on to his faith in Christ is an honest effort. I think he is in new territory and that makes things very interesting!

    Here is another thought. Why do we use science to prove a Bible NOT written by the rules of science? Does the Bible have to measure up to science to be true?

  14. This is a tricky thing, I think. Would we let an atheist into one of our seminaries to study what we believe? Would he/she be able to earn a MDiv. degree? I think not.
    However, I would not be so harsh to Dr. Marcus. His motives are NOT in question. I believe his desire to be a credentialed scientist while holding on to his faith in Christ is an honest effort. I think he is in new territory and that makes things very interesting!

    Here is another thought. Why do we use science to prove a Bible NOT written by the rules of science? Does the Bible have to measure up to science to be true?

  15. This is a tricky thing, I think. Would we let an atheist into one of our seminaries to study what we believe? Would he/she be able to earn a MDiv. degree? I think not.
    However, I would not be so harsh to Dr. Marcus. His motives are NOT in question. I believe his desire to be a credentialed scientist while holding on to his faith in Christ is an honest effort. I think he is in new territory and that makes things very interesting!

    Here is another thought. Why do we use science to prove a Bible NOT written by the rules of science? Does the Bible have to measure up to science to be true?

  16. This is a tricky thing, I think. Would we let an atheist into one of our seminaries to study what we believe? Would he/she be able to earn a MDiv. degree? I think not.
    However, I would not be so harsh to Dr. Marcus. His motives are NOT in question. I believe his desire to be a credentialed scientist while holding on to his faith in Christ is an honest effort. I think he is in new territory and that makes things very interesting!

    Here is another thought. Why do we use science to prove a Bible NOT written by the rules of science? Does the Bible have to measure up to science to be true?

  17. To comment about pi = 3 in the Bible: keep in mind that there isn’t really an exact value for pi, because even 3.14 is rounding it out… it MUST be rounded or you will have a very long list of digits.
    As for the article, Dr. Marcus can do whatever he pleases. He doesn’t have to agree with his research/findings, he just has to understand them. I really don’t know how he could completely ignore all the facts that contradicted his worldview, but whatever floats his boat.

    As for the comment ‘evolution is bunk’, that is a very poor observation. Maybe you should do a bit of research before making such outlandish claims. Evolution is a well-supported theory.

  18. To comment about pi = 3 in the Bible: keep in mind that there isn’t really an exact value for pi, because even 3.14 is rounding it out… it MUST be rounded or you will have a very long list of digits.
    As for the article, Dr. Marcus can do whatever he pleases. He doesn’t have to agree with his research/findings, he just has to understand them. I really don’t know how he could completely ignore all the facts that contradicted his worldview, but whatever floats his boat.

    As for the comment ‘evolution is bunk’, that is a very poor observation. Maybe you should do a bit of research before making such outlandish claims. Evolution is a well-supported theory.

  19. To comment about pi = 3 in the Bible: keep in mind that there isn’t really an exact value for pi, because even 3.14 is rounding it out… it MUST be rounded or you will have a very long list of digits.
    As for the article, Dr. Marcus can do whatever he pleases. He doesn’t have to agree with his research/findings, he just has to understand them. I really don’t know how he could completely ignore all the facts that contradicted his worldview, but whatever floats his boat.

    As for the comment ‘evolution is bunk’, that is a very poor observation. Maybe you should do a bit of research before making such outlandish claims. Evolution is a well-supported theory.

  20. To comment about pi = 3 in the Bible: keep in mind that there isn’t really an exact value for pi, because even 3.14 is rounding it out… it MUST be rounded or you will have a very long list of digits.
    As for the article, Dr. Marcus can do whatever he pleases. He doesn’t have to agree with his research/findings, he just has to understand them. I really don’t know how he could completely ignore all the facts that contradicted his worldview, but whatever floats his boat.

    As for the comment ‘evolution is bunk’, that is a very poor observation. Maybe you should do a bit of research before making such outlandish claims. Evolution is a well-supported theory.

Leave a Reply