Are Science and Faith Really in Conflict?
Many scholars, philosophers, and theologians see no inherent conflict between science and the essence of Christian faith. For example, Alvin Plantinga, a pre-eminent analytic philosopher (Yale, Wayne State, Notre Dame, Calvin College), argues at length in the book Where the Conflict Really Lies, that true science and true Christian faith are not in significant conflict with each other.
Since God is the author of both the natural world and scripture, there can be no real conflict between them if the scripture is God’s word.
Conflict or Potential Conflict
Still, there is potential conflict between the human interpretation in science and biblical interpretation.
And there are areas of deep conflict between naturalism/materialism/scientism and Christian faith. There also tends to be conflict between mainstream science and some of the beliefs of a number of Christians. There has been a lot of heat generated in these areas but the attempt of this website is to generate some reasoned understanding.
Ramifications of Conflict
The idea of this website is helping in the search for truth, without disregarding science or faith.
This is a particularly important need since surveys show that Christianity is declining while the "unaffiliated" are growing significantly in the United States. Catholicism and Mainstream Christianity have dramatically declined over the past decades, but in the last 10 years, Evangelicalism has shown the most declines, particularly for young people age 15 to 29. Among the biggest reasons they give for being turned off by Christianity are:
'Christianity is anti-science,'
my church is ‘out of step with the scientific world we live in'
and they have
‘been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate’
The result is that even among young people who were active in Evangelical churches in their youth, somewhere between 60% and 75% will drop completely out of active Christianity in their high school or college years. While there is evidence that older generations came back to active Christianity when they started having kids, many experts feel that is not likely to happen to a significant degree this time as long as Christianity is considered to be anti-science.
There is danger that Christianity could become increasingly irrelevant in the future
with fewer and fewer young people and as older generations die off.
Video Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz3D Team, STScI), and J. Anderson (STScI). Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team, and ESO.