First of Two Parts

A few generations ago, when conversation lagged there were always topics like theology and philosophy to quicken the hour, for educated men felt an obligation to be interested, if not well informed, in these areas. Today it is science we like to be “up on.” First Cause, no; Space Age, yes. Moses is out, Freud is in. The mere fact that a subject can be at one time in and at another time out is mute testimony to change. Sometimes it reflects man’s fickleness, but often it mirrors his growing interest both in an ever-changing world and in the new structures required to understand it.

Behind this growth in our comprehension of the universe stand several competing concepts that are usually in some degree of tension. I say tension rather than duality or plurality, for these concepts do not all apply to the same level. Not all of them purport to give the same kind of description or view of the world. All of us feel this tension.

In Christianity and the Modern World View, H. A. Hodges writes:

I should like to ask three questions and make some suggestions in the three areas they lead us to. The questions are: What is science? Where are the frontiers of science and Christianity? What is the conflict?

What Is Science?

Science in its myriad parts is both conceptual and functional—conceptual in its effort to map the physical and natural world and more recently the psychological world; functional in its perennial enlistment to fight disease, lengthen life, and serve the public good, to say nothing of its capacity to intensify the war effort.

Science is a much misunderstood enterprise. Some say it has a methodology: it gathers data, sends up trial-ballon concepts called hypotheses, tests their validity, makes corrections, modifies ...

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