Science, Evidence, and Truth

Science wants evidence. We should provide it.

Jim Baggot is troubled by ongoing speculation about the nature of the cosmos and the possibility of many different worlds as an explanation for ours. Writing in Aeon (“But is it science?”, 7 October 2020) he takes to task those theoretical physicists who are trying to pursue serious science on the basis of metaphysics, rather than evidence. He insists that we can only really know something to be true when the evidence in support of our beliefs is incontrovertible.

Science should not be done on the basis of metaphysics. Baggot is particularly concerned about this because metaphysics is the ground on which secular scientists reject “intelligent design.” It’s all untestable speculation, devoid of evidence. He doesn’t want to make room for ID to gain any traction in scientific and educational circles, and he fears the metaphysics of multiverses could end up taking science down that path.

So his target is those who propose the existence of numerous universes, without a shred of evidence, and then publish and do science on the basis of what amounts to faith, rather than evidence. Baggot wants to protect the integrity and authority of science as the arbiter of all things true, so he calls on those who are practicing what he refers to “pseudoscience” to pony up the evidence or stop talking as if their views are science.

But is science the only or even the best arbiter of truth? Science certainly “works” – as Baggot argues – within material parameters. But does that mean it’s the last word on everything? 

Perhaps if there were more indisputable evidence of the truth of Christianity, people would be less inclined to reject or ignore or dismiss it (Heb. 11.1). We who know God and Jesus Christ must speak and live the truth of that knowledge in love, in every area of life, if we expect others to credit our claims and consider our course of life.


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