Is Science a Religion?
Hear me out.
Your alarm goes off at 6:00 am and it's time to start the day. You hop in the shower and use an anti-aging facial cleanser. After the shower, you lotion up and throw on some antiperspirant. You brush the million dollar smile with cavity protection toothpaste and rinse with a mouthwash that kills 99.9% of germs. You throw on a sweater and grab an umbrella since the weatherman says it'll be chilly with a high chance of rain. You take your daily vitamin and wash it down with purified drinking water. As you head out, you snag a breakfast bar that's 190 calories with no artificial flavors, colors, or high fructose corn syrup along with and a bottle of OJ for some vitamin C.
This is a typical morning for most people, but we rarely stop and notice how much science is around us. Nor do we take the time to truly examine the science since we are usually preoccupied with the cares of life. The majority of what's presented as fact is received at face value, but have we ever thought to question the science?
How do you know that your facial cleanser really stops wrinkles? How do you know that your mouthwash is killing 99.9% of germs? How many times has the weatherman been wrong? How do you know what's actually packed into your multivitamin? How do you know that the nutrition labels on your snacks are true? Explain it to me.
Let's be clear. I'm not suggesting that these scientific claims are necessarily false. I'd be willing to bet that your orange juice contains vitamin C. I'm simply pointing out that very few people have the time, knowledge, or resources to actually test the science. We won't take these products to a laboratory to breakdown the chemical composition. We won't dissect these product and figure out if they really contain the ingredients that are listed on the labels. So what do we do instead?
Well, we make a choice to believe the science, and most people believe the science by faith. We don't think of it as faith because we have been indoctrinated to believe that all science is truth. If it's in a textbook or on the news, then it must be true, right? A quick Google search defines science as, "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment."
The 21st Century Prophets
The key phrase at the end of that definition is "through observation and experiment." When we don't conduct our own observation and experiment, we are at the mercy of other people's conclusions. We trust others to have thoroughly vetted things with the most stringent accountability and the purest of motives. We call these people scientists, and they are essentially the prophets of this belief system. But as with any religion, there are true prophets and false prophets. Someone who doesn't recognize this will begin to deify all science as gospel. For that person, science then becomes a pseudo god and savior. It's smarter than me (omniscient), able to heal me (omnipotent), and has my best interest at heart (trustworthy). So I will submit to it and make it the final authority in my life.
Listen. Science certainly has a place in our world. I view it simply as man studying God's creation, and we have benefited greatly from scientific breakthroughs. The problem arises when people place so much blind-faith in science that it produces cult-like faith. Phrases like "trust the science" and "follow the science" have become a mantra of those who sheepishly revere the scientific pontiffs.
Normally, it wouldn't matter what another person believes. However, the hysteria around this pandemic has cause those who religiously trust the science to bully others into conforming. These believers propagate and enforce the bidding of whatever the latest scientific narrative is at the behest of those in authority. These are the people who will call the police on you if they see you having a gathering at your house. Or, those who will hand you a mask but can't hand you a drink at the drive through. Some have even gone as far as to say that if you don't follow certain rules and restrictions then you should be charged with attempted murder. Well, what if someone chooses not to place their faith in science? What if someone chooses to trust God who is unchanging as opposed to man who changes whenever it's convenient?
The truth is that even the most honest and factual scientists are subject to God's final say. How does science measure up against the Bible? Well, let's see. God created man from the dust of the earth and blew breath into his lungs. God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights and flooded the earth. God gave a son to a husband a wife who were 100 and 90 years old, respectively. He parted the Red Sea. He sent his Son to be born of a virgin. Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. He was crucified and rose from the dead three days later. And that's just to name a few. So, how exactly does science explain this?
The point here is not to get anyone to reject science. There is a lot of good that has come from science. The goal is to have people exercise scrutiny just as you should with any other area of life. Blindly following man is almost always a recipe for manipulation and control. We see this with the pandemic which has been just as much political as it is medical.
The goal is also for people to reconsider the dogmatic imposition of their scientific beliefs and mandates on others. Science is just as much of a believe system as Christianity. If a doctor tells me that I have three days to live, but God tells me that I shall live and not die, then I have a choice as to which report to believe. At the end of the day, facts can say one thing, but we don't know the final truth until we consult God. Science is limited to man's understanding and man's motives, which can change like the weather. Yet, God is unchanging.
So, no, I don't trust or follow the science, but rather, I understand science. I trust God. I follow Christ. And that's the only "religion" I need.