Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

Christian predictions on the future of science (part 1)

In the previous post of this series, we examined the limits of science as evidence for Christianity.

Thus far, we have seen that compared to atheistic worldviews, Christianity gives a better account of science in every way. Christianity explains the starting point of science, the trajectory of its progress, and what lies at or beyond its limits. Atheism explains nothing, and therefore must assume the axioms of science - the very thing it's supposed to explain - in order to gain any explanatory powers. But even while riding the coattails of science, atheism cannot explain the trends in scientific progress, nor anything beyond the limits of science.

There is only one more thing Christianity needs to do in order to completely subsume science: if, as I have claimed, science is the way it is because God created it that way for his deeper purposes, then we should be able to predict the future of science based on what we know of God. Predictions are difficult, and it's been said that nobody knows the mind of God. But with faith that we have the mind of Christ, I will venture to make some predictions.

There are necessarily some caveats: these predictions will not be easy to test; that may take a long time. Just as only the long-term, large-scale trends in science could serve as evidence to distinguish between Christianity and atheism, my predictions could also only be of that same type. I will not predict specific discoveries, but rather big trends. After all, you do not expect to use general relativity to predict the result of throwing dice. Because these predictions are big trends, I expect them to hold in general, but they may fail in eschatological scenarios. With all that out of the way, here are the predictions:

We start with an easy prediction: science will never disprove nor exterminate Christianity, nor will anything else. It may come close at times - The Bible warns of times when people will abandon sound teachings, and things which would deceive even the elect if that were possible. But if God is real, Christianity will survive until the end of the world. As Christians, then, we are not worried about existential risks, although we may (and almost certainly will) suffer greatly at times. So science will never destroy Christianity. Neither will alien invasions, runaway nanomachines, sentient algorithms, ecological catastrophes, new sociological or historical trends, or new philosophical arguments. Many of these things may be dangerous and may merit our concern, and may in fact play a part in the end of the world. But as Christians we believe that we will endure until that end.

We can also predict that the trends in science which served as evidence for Christianity will continue. They are, after all, evidence for Christianity because they're what Christianity predicts. Specifically, we can predict that:

Science will continue to take us further in understanding the scale of the universe, but the full scope of its dimensions will continue to elude human experience. The real universe will always be larger in size or smaller in the building blocks than what humans can experience, even though our experiences will continue to grow through science. For the universe was made to reflects God's vast glory, and although we are perpetually gaining new understanding of that glory, it will always lie beyond us.

Science will continue to move in new, unexpected directions. New discoveries will continue to be made and entire new fields of science will continue to open up. The universe will continue to be revealed as an intricate place, requiring ever deeper thoughts and creativity to understand - for it was built by the thoughts of God, with his infinite wisdom and understanding.

Science will continue to be unified into simpler and more fundamental laws, despite being more intricate and deeper in full understanding. Our current best theories cannot be the end of the line, for they do not yet reflect the simplicity of God. If we ever do discover the theory of everything, we will find that it has properties that approach the aspects of its maker - infinitely simple, yet infinitely complex in its perfectly consistent application.

Science will continue to provide humans with increasing power and knowledge, befitting our identity as pinnacles of God's creation who were made in his image and charged with its care. And in the future, when we look at the universe anew with our increased powers and understanding, we will still say that the world is just awesome and that science is worthwhile - for God created the universe to display his character, so that we can look upon it and learn more about him.

At this point you may be disappointed and say that all I've done is predict the future from the past. This does not invalidate these predictions, nor is it surprising. God is the same in the past or in the future: he will not suddenly change the nature of science or the universe. However, I understand that part of the value of a prediction lies in its dissimilarity from the past or the expected, so I have two more predictions that fit that criteria - which I will present in the next post of this series.

You may next want to read:
Christian predictions on the future of science (part 2) (Next post of this series)
For Christmas: the Incarnation
How physics fits within Christianity (part 1)
Another post, from the table of contents

Show/hide comments(No Comments)

Leave a Reply