Scientist Donald MacKay offers a second opinion.

In the previous article, Robert Jastrow says that as a “man of science” he is looking for help from the “man of faith.” He believes strongly in the need for dialogue between the two kinds of men. Of course, there are many men and women who pursue truth along both paths.

Donald MacKay, a British specialist in brain physiology and an evangelical Christian, is both types of man. He believes that accurate science and biblical faith live in fundamental harmony. Chairman of the interdisciplinary Department of Communication and Neuroscience at Keele University in England, Dr. MacKay has for the past 20 years led a research team of physiologists, psychologists, physicists and computer scientists in examining the brain. His most recent book on the subject is Brains, Machines and Persons (Eerdmans, 1980), in which he distinguishes between the mechanism of the human brain and the person embodied in that mechanism.

CT recently questioned Dr. MacKay about some of the issues that also concerned Dr. Jastrow.

Is science capable of telling us the meaning of life?

I see science as the best way that’s been developed of trying to test your ideas about the real world and to come up with a map of the world that can be trusted by other people—a map of the physical world, that is, of things you can observe. So, both as a scientist and as a Christian, I am proud of science.

The scientific discipline, was inspired by Christian thinking in the first instance. (For example, most of the founders of the Royal Society were Christian believers.) It is simply a way of trying to be as obedient as we can to the data God gives us about the physical world.

But the idea of looking to that scientific description for the ...

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