Common Questions: 7 Are you not making life unnecessarily complicated for young Christian students?
It is strange that in our age the ‘scientific consensus’ about origins has attained almost the status of the Holy Grail and is to be regarded as beyond question. It is often forgotten that the great pioneers of modern science like Galileo, Newton and Copernicus gave us modern science by having the courage to challenge the prevailing consensus about the cosmos and related matters.
Of course the scientific consensus in any field is to be respected, but not to be accepted without question. Much of the work of contemporary scientists is about testing current theories and assertions, and challenging the consensus where appropriate. In Common Question 6, posted in the series on this web site, I refer to some interesting examples of how the scientific consensus has shifted.
However, in the area of origins, and possibly climate-change, views contrary to the consensus are not tolerated, no matter the strength of the evidence or the credentials of the dissenters. This is clearly an affront to the proper methods of science.
I do not actively encourage students to challenge the consensus in the area of origins and I acknowledge that students who are inclined to do so are likely to incur the wrath and disdain of their tutors and peers, and are likely to be shouted down. A more complete denial of the commitment of the countries of the West to academic freedom is hard to find and it shows the extent to which the philosophy of naturalism now dominates science.
If Christian or other students have the courage to speak up or even raise the relevant questions about origins, I applaud their courage. They at least will have the satisfaction of practising proper scientific method. If, however, they choose to stay silent until they achieve their degrees or tenure, I understand their predicament.
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