David Hegg | Sovereignty of Science: Providence, Anyone?

David Hegg
David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. "Ethically Speaking" runs Saturdays in The Signal.

By David Hegg

When 56 men gathered to affirm the Declaration of Independence with their signatures, they held certain truths to be self-evident. They affirmed that all are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” And, before adding their signatures, they stated they did so “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence.”

By invoking “divine providence” they were demonstrating a belief in the doctrine of providence, which has been affirmed by God-fearing people throughout history. Providence can be simply defined as the truth that all things are superintended by God so that history has a goal, life has a purpose, and all creatures are accountable to the God of life and history. 

When, in 1859, Charles Darwin published “Origin of the Species,” science began its assault against divine providence. Whether he intended it or not, his theory of evolution provided the world with an explanation of reality without any need for God. No longer was God needed as the source and superintendent of all things. Now, science could answer all the questions. Science could reign supreme. God, and more importantly, mankind’s accountability to a supreme being, would no longer provide any barriers to living any way we pleased.  

Today we see the legacy of the sovereignty of science. For example, if someone opposes evolution they are deemed to be “anti-science.” The same goes for those who are not buying the whole loaf of global warming. Of course, they are also “anti-science.” 

But the sovereignty of science also seems, at times, to be driven more by preference than principle. This allows some who have pledged their souls to science to escape its clutches if and when going against its findings proves to be more convenient and allows them to live any way they choose.

Take, for example, the hottest issue today: the right of a woman to end the life of the living child in her womb. If evolutionary science is true, then how can ending the life of a viable child be ethically allowable? Can anyone really argue such an action is “natural selection?” What could be more unnatural than an invasive procedure in which a beating heart is stopped as a living baby is sucked out through a vacuum tube? 

Evolutionary theory would demand that a tribe flourishes as the fittest among them are allowed to grow and procreate. How can it be good science, or good social policy, to systematically kill millions of those on whom their tribal future depends, never knowing if they are eliminating the strongest, best, and brightest? 

Or take the current controversy over gender. How absurd is it that we now are asked to believe there can be more than 75 different genders? Is that good science? Regardless of how loud a lie is shouted, those who deal with facts must not be deceived. There is no argument that a person’s gender is determined by their DNA. 

Of course, you can surgically manipulate the outside, and even some of the inside, of a human male or female, and use powerful chemical processes to rearrange hormones, and other bodily functions. But, in the end, the DNA remains the same, and all you have is the surgically manipulated, and chemically altered male or female you started with. 

My plea is simple. Don’t count on the sovereignty of science. Even the most ardent evolutionary theorists admit they have no explanation for how something came from nothing. If every effect had a cause, then we would do well to listen to Aristotle, who wisely demanded that, at the beginning of all things, there must be an unmoved mover, an uncaused cause. Further, we would do well to consider that the world we live in, with its complexity, diversity, beauty, and natural order, certainly argues strongly that the uncaused cause be an intelligent one. 

Lastly, given that purely chemical process cannot account for the immaterial part of the human animal — such as consciousness and the joy of acceptance — it is at least viable to consider that the intelligent, uncaused cause is a spiritual, relational being. For my money, I nominate the God of the Bible.

But, if you must salute science as king, at least be ethically consistent. Follow the evidence where it actually leads, and don’t be surprised if what you find looks a lot like biblical morality. 

David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident.“Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays. 

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