I think I know that answer.
It’s hard to admit, being a scientist of sorts. I’ve studied chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics. I admired the way that science layers itself over time, building information and facts one on top of the other, like the layers of the earth over the millennia. Each subsequent scientist taking what others before him/her discovered and expanding it just a bit farther. Building ever higher towers of knowledge on the bedrock of the past. Learning. Uncovering. Digging. Discovering.
My son once asked, “What is science?” It is all of these and more. It is questioning. It is finding the answers. It is pushing the edges of human knowledge to the farthest possible places.
Oh, how exciting! To answer the questions that plague us!
And how incredibly frightening.
I think that’s why people deny science. I think it’s fear.
Fear. My least favorite emotion. I’ll take rage before I take fear. Fear gets nothing accomplished. It cowers in the dark corners, letting time run over it, letting the darkness creep in. Fear doesn’t stand up for itself, it let’s the bullies win. It believes the lies. Fear has layers of cobwebs and dust, mold and little creepy crawly things. Nothing substantial layers on fear. Nothing you’d want to build your foundations on.
Science brings us GMO’s, atomic bombs, chemicals that give us cancer, drugs that produce explosive diarrhea, viruses and bacteria modified to be killing machines, scientists that experiment on helpless animals. Science can make us doubt God. It can make us realize that the smartest, most knowledgeable creatures, ones that can change the temperature of the planet, can cause a species of plant or animal to cease to exist, ones that can affect the destiny of the entire human race, are in fact, us.
Those are hard facts to face. Science says we are destroying the planet. It has said that for as long as I can remember. All of my life. Not only are we killing the other inhabitants of earth, but we are killing ourselves, our children, the future. That’s the facts and the truth hurts.
Somehow I have been able to marry my love of us science with my belief in God. Science does not negate God. It may negate some religious beliefs, but God is beyond that. God is what has never truly been discovered by science. God is about faith. No amount of scientific discovery can take away one’s faith. It’s just sits there in defiance. The alter ego of fear, faith sits in complete opposition to that dreaded emotion. Faith negates fear.
People are afraid of science because it can be used for evil. It can be used for war and death. It can be used to torture and subdue. Science can be bad. It encroaches on the natural world, but it could also save it. Science is why we have global warming, increased carbon, the poisoning of the oceans, the extinction of plants and animals. The creations of scientists to form a better, more comfortable world for its human inhabitants is why we find ourselves in this mess. Comfort. Control. The subjugation of fear. Of death. Of disease. Of being too cold or too hot. Of not having the latest fashion fad. Silly really. We murdered ourselves for creature comforts and trinkets.
It’s hard to trust science now. It nearly destroyed us. The same could be said of God. Of course it will take the both of them to save us. Science and faith. Sometimes you’ve got to have both. Especially if you want to save the world.