It is no secrete that many scientists are committed to the idea that scientific knowledge is the only knowledge there is. This “myth of objectivity” (as I call it) denies the presence of subjective experiences in their work such as fascination with the mystery they seek to study, the beauty of their discoveries, and the delight in the coherence of their solutions. Unfortunately, this myth is not only indicative of but plays directly into the hands of a widespread cultural malaise— contagious meaninglessness. This post seeks to change the perspective.
More than a decade ago, Vern Poythress in his book Redeeming Science (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006) made the bold assertion that scientific laws bear divine attributes. He even went as far as saying that on account of their work most scientists believed in God whether they openly acknowledge it or not, and I think he is right. After all, their inquires and the methods they use presuppose the existence of an intelligible and ‘law-abiding’ world for us to investigate, created and sustained by the triune God of the Christian confession.
What scientists investigate is the regularity and predictability of observable patterns found in nature, seeking to express what they find in exact mathematical formulas. From the arrangement of sunflower seeds, the shape of broccoli, cauliflower, and pine cones to the curvature of rolled-up fern fronds, octopus arms, snail shells, and spiral galaxies all obey a mathematical pattern called the Fibonacci sequence 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 . . . . . Euler’s law is another example among many others. It describes all phenomena of exponential growth and decay in nature and economics.
Because the natural laws were not invented by scientists but discovered by virtue of human investigation along with the mathematical language that describes them, they speak to us in the terms of a “sacred geometry.”
What does this mean? Scientists discover God-breathed laws that pertain to the functioning of the creation. Hence, we should not be surprised if these laws are immutable, immaterial, invisible, and omnipresent in the cosmos like all of God’s creative activities. It follows that the laws of nature and the biblical revelation, if properly approached, cannot contradict each other for both speak the language of God’s wisdom.