The rise of modern science was a Christian enterprise. That would seem to suggest that religious commitment is no bar to the advance of scientific knowledge. But can we say more? Did great scientists like Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton speak easily of God as the intelligence behind nature because that’s the way everyone spoke at the time? If so, it’s not surprising that they thought as they did, believing “that by doing science,” as philosopher and Return of the God Hypothesis author Stephen Meyer has written, “they were discovering God’s design and revealing it to humankind.” Maybe it was only a matter of time before science shrugged off the inherited religious attitude and became the more logically materialist research program we know today.
On an excellent new episode of Uncommon Knowledge, with Peter Robinson from Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Dr. Meyer talks with mathematician John Lennox and biologist Michael Behe about another possibility. Perhaps the foundation of scientific thinking itself implies a transcendent mind. Lennox, a scholar at Oxford University, cites philosopher Alfred North Whitehead on the “founding idea” of science: scientists expected order in nature because they believed in a legislating agent, God, who infused that order.
Consider the irony, then, Lennox says. Anyone articulating such an idea in academia today, as Behe and Meyer have found in their own careers, has painted a large red target on himself and the word “HERETIC.” According to current orthodox opinion, by affirming the heart of science, you’ve betrayed it and deserve to be silenced. Don’t miss this fascinating conversation among three deep thinker who also have some very interesting disagreements among themselves: