By now we should be able to rebut all of the aruments of this short video sent to me by reader David. It features Andy Bannister,who describes himself like this:
Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and an Adjunct Speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, speaking and teaching regularly throughout the UK, Europe, Canada, the USA, and the wider world. From universities to churches, business forums to TV and radio, I regularly address audiences of both Christians and those of all faiths and none on issues relating to faith, culture, politics and society.
And YouTube describes the video like this:
Dr. Andy Bannister, Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity explores the question of whether or not science and Christianity are opposed to each other. For more “Short Answers” videos, visit http://www.solas-cpc.org/shortanswers/ or subscribe to our channel.
It’s accommodationist, of course—how could it be otherwise given that Bannister has already drunk the Kool-Aid. He argues these points to show why science is a thoroughly Christian endeavor, even in these days of atheistic scientists.
- Christianity is a “firm foundation from which you can do science”, because the founding fathers of science, who “first got the scientific method going” were all Christians. I don’t think so: what about the Arabs and the ancient Greeks? Now, it’s true that the modern protocols of science developed in the largely Christian West, but that’s because everyone was pretty much a Christian. That doesn’t say that science is founded on Christianity—any more than saying that printing is a Christian endeavor because the printing press arose in the Christian West.
- Christianity explains “the stability of the universe” far better than does the “randomness of atheism.” But since when was “randomness” atheistic? If Bannister means, “How do we explain the laws of physics undergirding the Universe?”, well, then he has to explain the origin of God Him/Her/Xir/Itself, and give evidence for such a God. His arguments don’t even make sense without evidence of such a God, and besides, there’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know” as an answer to why physical laws are what they are, any more than saying “I don’t know” if asked if God created those laws. And then there’s the multiverse explanation. ..
- Christianity is the only viable answer to the question, “Why should we do science in the first place?” Atheists can say only, “because it works”, or “because it’s interesting.” But these arguments, say Bannister, come from the Christian notion that finding truth is good in its own right. That is of course bogus: we seek truth because it produces answers that not only satisfy us, but because only truth will tell us how to effect scientific and technological improvements. We never understood how to cure black plague so long as we thought it was an expression of God’s displeasure. Saying “we seek the truth because that is what works” is a purely secular argument, and a perfectly sound one. Since, argues Bannister, God is truth, seeking truth becomes the same thing as seeking God. My answer to this is, “show me your God, and then we’ll talk.” Besides, what is the motivation of the many, many atheist scientists who still continue to seek the truth? Are they merely acting out the vestigial Christianity that’s really motivating them?
- “Science sits on the foundation that telling the truth about your results is a good thing.” Bannister says that this is a moral claim that science cannot prove, while of course Christianity can invoke the Ten Commandments. This too is a crock. It’s wrong to lie about your results because lying screws up the system and makes it hard on everybody, as well as impossible to effect progress. In other words, we have a practical rather than a moral justification—one that can be buttressed by outcomes
Whenever I see someone like this argue that God explains everything better than no God, I immediately want to ask the person what the evidence is for their God, and why the Christian God is the right god rather than, say Brahma or Allah. All they can do at this point is babble, referring to ancient texts that they claim are better than other ancient texts. Or they rely on revelation, which is contradictory among people and has no objective verification. Bannister’s claims won’t convince anyone who isn’t already a believer; his video is a model of confirmation bias.
David added this comment, “Sadly this video featured in the ‘Recommended: Science’ category via YouTube (the rest of the channel looks like standard apologetics – naturally, comments are disabled on the channel.”