Monday, March 16, 2015

Gödel, Science and God

Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel were both mathematical geniuses and the best of friends. Both men believed in God, although Gödel's faith was definitely more conventional than Einstein's and he was more outspoken about it. In his blog, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, KataChriston​ explains how it demonstrates that it is impossible for us to develop any type of a unified theory of knowledge. What that means is simply that it is impossible for mathematics to prove itself. Of course science is based on mathematics and this proposes a problem for those who base their entire worldview on science: Science cannot validate itself.

What is interesting to me is how science emerged largely within a Christian context. Sociologist, Rodney Stark and historian/philosopher, Peter Harrison have written extensively on the relationship between science and Christianity. Would it have been possible for science to develop within a purely non-theistic society? Some may balk at the very question, but it's rather easy for an atheist living in the 21st century, living on borrowed capital to just assume that the scientific method is an obvious forgone conclusion. I've finally gotten around to reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, in which she points out that it is really only the Judeo-Christian worldview that allows science to make any sense. Alvin Plantinga, perhaps the most important philosopher in modern times, demonstrated through his Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, how natural evolution circumvents us from being able to think we can know anything; and this is to say nothing in regard to the hard core natural/materialists who openly admit that the human conscience is but a delusion.

Perhaps C.S. Lewis explained it best when he said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

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