Friday, 18 December 2009

The Real Problem with Science

Sir Fred Hoyle (1915 - 2001)

"The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet!"
This is quoted from the OrthodoxNet site's article about "Junk Science" and Darwinian theory.
Fred Hoyle was born in Bingley, West Yorkshire which is not many miles from where I am (in fact, just down the road). I remember reading Hoyle's book, "The Intelligent Universe" back in the 1980's. I was very impressed with it, and it has made me a Darwinian Sceptic. Like many Christians I accept that there has been some evolution, but that there is a design in the Universe. Fred Hoyle believed this though he did not speak or write much about God. Part of his vision of the Cosmos looks very much like that of Teilhard de Chardin. Incidentally, I wonder how many people know that a few years before his death, the late John Paul 11 spoke in glowing terms of De Chardin's spirituality (something I have always admired), and had nothing harsh to say about his scientific endeavours.
When I was studying Anthropology at Durham, back in the 70's when most people were happy to accept that Australopethecus was an early hominid and that there was plenty of evidence suggesting that all we were lacking was the so-called "missing link", I learned some important things about science (based on the work of Karl Popper). I later discovered that many scientific experiments and theories - and even conclusions - need to be judged in the light of human activity and fallibility. This is not to say that "science is bunk" to borrow from Henry Ford, but that science, by its very name, does not always produce the complete truth. A speck of dust here, a slip of the elbow there, a breath in the wrong place etc can be part of the whole show.
Take a look at the article on OrthodoxNet, it has some interesting information.

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