"But the universe doesn't respect the boundaries between different disciplines. The differences between biology and astronomy and chemistry and so on, these are man-made artifacts of thinking. I think the whole system is doomed unless one decides that all these barriers are cleared. And I will go further to say that even the interface between theology and the other disciplines in necessary."

- Chandra Wickramasinghe

"...science and history and theology, as has well been pointed out, are not three distinct branches of knowledge. They are simply three different ways in which we view the reality we find around us, just as length and breadth and depth are three different ways we view any physical object. Since they are not three distinct branches of knowledge, they cannot be separated.

- D. James Kennedy

"...an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere."

- Sigmund Freud


On freedom of inquiry


Teacher: "If I gave you a dollar, and your father gave you a dollar, how many dollars would you have?"

Student: "One dollar."

Teacher: "One dollar? You don't know your arithmetic!"

Student: "You don't know my father!"


This joke presents a problem in arithmetic which gets answered as a problem in sociology; a theoretical problem that unexpectedly receives a real-world answer. This humorously illustrates that in the real world the lines separating different disciplines of study do not exist. The separation of mathematics from geography from philosophy, etc., may be appropriate for the sake of concentrated study, but each academic topic has little independent existence in reality.

Whether you're hauling the kids across town to buy groceries, or relocating a corporation, it's more than just a problem in only geography, or only economics, or only arithmetic, or only sociology. It's all of those and more. Life's problems don't restrict themselves so narrowly, and life's answers aren't always limited to material solutions.

The real-world approach to a best-understanding of difficult problems is to give yourself freedom of inquiry; that is, don't restrict your search to any one field of study. To do so would be to preconceive the solution before it is found. To avoid such a fallacy, the astronomer, for instance, should not overlook the mathematician. The paleontologist should not overlook the biologist. The sociologist should not overlook the theologian. Each must consider the possible contributions of the others if their search for knowledge is to enjoy true, open-minded freedom.

Likewise, the real-world approach to a best-understanding of the resurrection, or the origin of all things is, again, broad inquiry. For example, Christians could simply accept that Jesus died on the cross, or they could additionally understand the confirming medical implications of the witness's detailed observations. Or, Christians could believe the Bible's description of the stars to be "as numerous as sand on the seashore", or believe it AND be wowed by the estimated number of stars which modern astronomy provides.

It's not that belief in the Bible depends on all other fields of study. No one has to be an expert in anything in order for a belief they hold to be true. It's just that contribution and confirmation from other realms of knowledge make a believed truth more certain. It's like an astronomer who says "Trust me, the stars are far away." Yes, they ARE far away; but the contributions of others that can tell us exactly HOW far will add more certainty and appreciation than we would otherwise have.

Certainty and appreciation of biblical truths increase in the same way. Christians who hold Scripture to be true without empirical testimony are not in error, and can be confident in that. But those who look to the various natural sciences to gain an appreciation of just how true Scripture is are neither in error. For in this intellectual act of asking, seeking, and knocking, they just might arrive at a special depth of belief; a fitting reward for their passionate and God-glorifying effort of studying his creation.

Which do you believe comes across better to the Lord: to simply agree quickly with passages like Psalm 8:3-4a (NIV) that say,

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…

…or to stop and actually consider those heavens, moon, stars for yourself, and then to glorify God with your increased knowledge of his creation in addition to agreeing with Scripture? I would suggest that it takes at least some depth of knowledge of those heavenly bodies to even understand the sentiment being expressed.

The psalm writer investigated nature at least enough to be humbled before God; I can't think of a good argument why we should not do the same.



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Where did the universe come from?

Where did man come from?

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Some do not understand that having a wrong view of science may be tricking them into being narrow-minded.

Some nonbelievers who fit this description are philosophical materialists who tend to hang their hat on just a few of the many sciences to explain the world around them. They then close their minds to other avenues of learning.

Believers who exalt the Bible but disdain science are not much different.

Such narrowmindedness, as we'll see, is not conducive to understanding the real world, nor is it even a biblical position.