The Natural Limits of Science
Pivotal scientific discoveries have taken place in the last four hundred years. For example, Copernicus' heliocentrism (the sun being the center of the universe), Johannes Kepler's three laws of motion, Newton's constant of universal gravitation (G) and his three laws of motion, Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (special and general), and twentieth-century quantum mechanics are just some of the scientific developments that characterize what has been called a "revolution." Science has contributed a great deal to human knowledge and technological progress: it also has been able to challenge many long-standing religious ideas that were strongly entrenched for millennia (e.g., the existence of an immortal soul, miracles, creatio ex nihilo, and free will). Of course, there are persons who adamantly refuse to accept these empirical innovations or they show an unwillingness to embrace these concepts wholesale; some continue to propagate their own faith-stance without addressing or paying much attention to the innovative and probative evidence from science.
For example, there are certain "believing souls" now professing that the earth was created six thousand years ago. But science indicates that this belief in all likelihood is not true. Yet the notion continues to persist along with the belief that the earth is flat. The interesting thing about these convictions is that the Bible never says when God created the earth; nor does it teach that our planet is flat (Isaiah 40:22). In view of such conflicting ideas, theology and science remain on opposite sides of the ideological fence and in many cases (e.g., evolution), theologians have relinquished the battle and proclaimed science the clear victor. However, it seems important to examine how the breach between science and religion possibly developed and what it means for us today.