What Do You "Believe In?"
Recently, Howard Dean was being interviewed, and gave the following quote about the Republican Party that sparked my interest:
“One of the most disturbing things about the Republican Party over the last couple of decades is that they just don’t believe in science any more. And that is not an approach that is likely to generate any kind of creative thinking…People who use snowstorms as an example of why global warming doesn’t exist don’t understand the science and they don’t care.”
Actually, what sparked my interest was Fred Thompson’s retort: “Does that mean tooth-fairy skeptics don’t believe in dentistry?” That’s just a hoot, from one of my favorite acting politicians (he gives one of my all-time favorite movie quotes in The Hunt For Red October, but that’s a tale for a different blog).
But seriously, even though I’m definitely not a Republican or a Democrat or a Tea Party member or a partisan in any American political faction (I’m probably a small-l libertarian if I’m anything politically recognizable), I really think Dean said a mouthful there – he just doesn’t know it.
I don’t believe in science. Not just because of the corruption that has recently become apparent at the core of the AGW/CC scientific community, because all communities struggle with corruption. And not just because science has given us Hiroshima and Nagasaki and lots of other bad things — it has been a means of great blessing to many, many people! I have no desire to return to pre-modern dentistry!
But I don’t believe in science. You see, believing in something means accepting its explanation of how the world works, what makes up reality. Science tells a story of a closed system (my friend JA Turner calls it an unbreakably-sealed terrarium) where (edited after MAJ Kimball’s timely reminder below) either:
- with enough observation and education, everything can be understood, explained, and eventually predicted. Everything that occurs is completely determined by past events. OR;
- the level of complexity and interaction between elements in the system prohibits any chance at confident prediction of events. No one can tell why anything actually happens.
I’ve loaned out my copy of The God I Don’t Understand by Christopher JH Wright, so I don’t have the quote handy, but he says something in a paragraph about Satan that relates to believing. He says that when people ask him whether or not he really believes in the devil, he says, “No. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe against the devil.” Believing in something doesn’t just mean you accept its existence, or even its value. I stand in a long line of men and women who believe science is a tremendous and beautiful gift of grace from the One True God. I don’t believe in science. I believe in the God who makes science work, and without whom Science becomes a life-devouring tyrant. Google W A Plecker or Parliament of Population or Degeneracy Theory sometime, and see what science can become when it replaces the One True God as the center and sustainer of reality.